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  • Sowing Method: Direct
  • Plant Type: Vegetable

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Gardening Tips

Beet Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
: 1⁄4"-1⁄2"
Row Spacing: 12"
Seed Spacing: 1"
Days to Germination: 6-12 days
Germination Temperature: 45°-75°F

Beets grow from compound seeds, which may produce several seedlings. Enhance germination by soaking the Beet seeds for an hour in bathtubwarm water. Planting Beets too early may cause stunting and bolting (going to seed), so wait until the soil has warmed to at least 45°F and there is no chance of hard frost. Beets prefer evenly moist, moderately fertile soil. Keep the Beet bed wellweeded, carefully thinning to 3" between plants when seedlings are about 2" tall. Baby Beets make the most choice eating. Harvest them on the smaller side to enjoy their sweet taste and smooth texture. (Or, harvest a bit larger for winter storage.) Enjoy chilled, with goat cheese, black olives and dried cranberries over baby greens with a raspberry vinaigrette. Yum. Or roast them whole with other root vegetables for hearty winter dinners. Beet greens are delicious too when steamed and dressed with butter and lemon juice.

Tips for Harvesting and Storing Root Vegetables

Baby Beets
If you’re planning to serve your tender baby Beets whole and unpeeled, try hilling the soil around their shoulders as they grow. This will keep the skin from hardening over and losing its smooth, red appearance.

Beet Geometry Saves Time
Beets do long service in the garden, from the first snippets of spring greens to rich, flavorful storage beets in winter. But their “seeds” are actually pods containing multiple seeds, so rows must be laboriously thinned. Turn that trait into a time-saver by planting multi-plant blocks. Using soil blocks or plug trays, sow two seeds in each block. This will produce four or five seedlings per block. Plant the blocks 10" apart in rows 12" apart. They will grow fine in clusters, and you’ll have plenty of space in between for cultivating in two directions~much easier than weeding a crowded row. The same trick works for Onion seedlings, which are also difficult to weed. Plant them in groups of four and they will push themselves apart a bit as they grow.

Late Great Beets
Storage Beets need to be planted early in the season to give them plenty of time to make full size. But did you know you could start a second crop of smaller beets just for fresh fall eating? Sow these six weeks before the last expected frost date in your area. You’ll be rewarded with tender, tasty Beets that you can harvest all the way up to the first hard freeze. They’re great steamed in a covered pan with butter or even sliced raw in salads. And the tender greens are delicious too. The cool weather keeps them mild and fresh tasting.

Shade Tolerance

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties
Broccoli Raab Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/4” -1/2”
Row Spacing:18”-24”
Seed Spacing:1”
Days to Germination:7-15 days
Germination Temperature:45°-75°F

This tangy, easy-to-grow green tastes like a cross between Broccoli and Radishes. Also known as Rapini, Broccoli Raab is a classic favorite of Italian cooks. Like other Brassicas, Raab prefers sunny, cool weather; plant in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked or in the early fall. Raab is not fussy and thrives in moderately fertile soil, even in a bit of shade. Amend area with compost and/or well-rotted manure and seed it in rows or broadcast lightly. Cover with a sprinkling of soil and water lightly. Raab springs up quickly; monitor it regularly, keeping soil evenly moist. Thin as desired to 4"to 6" apart, using the braised thinnings in pasta. Harvest Raab before the buds open for the sweetest flavor and most crunchy texture. Harvest entire plant or trim shoots with kitchen snips; the Raab will regrow if you leave the central stem in the soil.

Gardening Tips: A Second Heaping
Since Broccoli Raab thrives best in cool weather, it is a good idea to grow two crops, ones for spring and one for fall. Your second crop will be especially productive and sweet tasting, since it can actually benefit from a touch of frost. Sow it 3 weeks before the first frost is expected. A nitrogen rich fertilizer such as cottonseed meal or blood meal will also improve your results.
Edamame Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1”
Row Spacing:18”-36”
Seed Spacing:3”-6”
Days to Germination:7-14 days
Germination Temperature:60°-80°F

Growing Edamame is as easy as growing Bush Beans. It also loves sun and well-draining, fertile soil. Direct-sow Edamame when the soil has warmed to 60°F and all danger of frost has passed. Amend the soil as needed with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well-aged manure. Cool, wet weather may necessitate a second planting: Edamame seeds rot in cold, damp soil. After planting, do not water until the sprouts emerge, unless it is very hot and dry. After emergence, and throughout the season, avoid watering the foliage. Water by soaking the soil around the plants and fertilize with kelp or fish emulsion as needed. Harvest Edamame when its inedible pods are green, tender and plump, well before they turn yellow. Meaning ‘twig bean’ in Japanese, Edamame is similar to the field soybean although it has been bred for larger seeds, sweeter flavor, a more creamy texture and easier digestion. Chill, freeze, boil or blanch the pods shortly after picking before their sugars convert to starch. Most commonly boiled for 5 to 10 minutes in salted water before popping them out of their pods into your mouth, Edamame is about 40% protein and high in vitamins A, B, calcium and iron.
Winged Bean Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
: 1"
Row Spacing: 3" - 4"
Seed Spacing: 12" - 24"
Days to Germination: 6-10 days
Germination Temperature: 60°-80°F

All parts of this Asian are edible! The small pods are wonderful grilled and sautéed. Larger pods yield flavorful beans that can be dried for storage. The nutrient-rich leaves can be eaten fresh or cooked like spinach, and the delicate, pale blue flowers are edible too. Even the roots are delicious, and have more protein than both potatoes and yams.

A tropical vine, Winged Bean is grown as an annual in northern climates, where it grows like a pole bean up to 12' tall. Seeds can be a challenge to germinate. Nick each seed and soak them in warm water for 24-48 hours, changing the water 2-3 times a day, before sowing outdoors after all danger of frost has passed in spring. Choose the hottest, sunniest spot in your garden and sow the seeds up to 1" deep and 1-2' apart in trellised rows spaced 3-4' apart. In colder zones, starting seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date may increase the success of pod formation before frost in fall. Harden off the seedlings by slowly introducing them to the outdoors over the span of a week, and then transplant out into the garden after the last frost date. Fertilize twice: once when the plants are young and again when pods begin to form.
Coaxing Up Carrots
Carrots, like Parsley, Dill and other Umbelliferae, can be difficult to germinate when direct-sown outdoors. To speed things up, be sure you keep the seed bed continually moist until the sprouts emerge.

Carrot Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
: 1⁄4"
Row Spacing: 12"
Seed Spacing: 1"-2"
Days to Germination: 14-21 days
Germination Temperature: 45°-85°F

Carrots grow best in moderately fertile, sandy and well-draining soil. Sow seed thinly in rows when the soil has warmed to 45°F, usually as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. Or, mix the seed with fine sand for easier seed distribution. Barely cover with fine soil, tamp down lightly and water with a fine spray. Your challenge: to keep the seed in place while keeping the surface soil from drying and crusting!

Until seeds germinate, keep the soil moist with frequent, light water sprinklings. The first thinning should be 1" to 2" apart. Later on, thin as desired depending on the variety. Frequent finicky weeding and watering until the seedlings take hold will pay off in a juicy, luscious Carrot crop. Carrots are at their sweetest when small, so harvest by gently pulling them out while holding the base of the greens.

Tips for Harvesting and Storing Root Vegetables

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties
Direct-Sow Basics

Asian Greens Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
: ¼”-1/2"
Row Spacing: 12”
Seed Spacing:2”-3”
Days to Germination: 5-10 days
Germination Temperature: 70°-75°F

Our versatile, easy and popular Asian Greens thrive in cool temperatures, tolerating mild frost. Sow when the danger of heavy frost has passed. Asian Greens appreciate soil with a moderate amount of organic matter dug in. Keep the soil evenly moist for a mild, sweet taste. When growing individuals, thin them to 8" to 10" apart. For ‘baby leaf’ harvesting, lightly broadcast seed, sprinkle with soil and water lightly. As the plants grow to about 3" tall, give them a “haircut” for salads and stir-fries. Feed regularly to enjoy one or two more cuttings from the initial sowing. In cool summer areas, seed at 10 to 14 day intervals, ensuring a steady harvest of fresh, vitamin-rich greens. Hot weather causes hot and/or bitter flavor and bolting. Your last sowing may be toward the end of summer for fall harvest. Protect with shade cloth at the hottest part of summer days if necessary.

Shade Tolerance

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties
Just because legumes are known to improve the soil in which they grow, it does not mean that they needn't be planted in good soil themselves. This is especially true of Beans. If you dig in well-rotted manure at the time of planting, your bean plants will grow better, be more free from disease and give you a better yield.

Beans Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
: 1"
Row Spacing: 18"-36"
Seed Spacing: 3"-4"
Days to Germination: 6-10 days
Germination Temperature: 60°-80°F

Beans love sun and well-draining, fertile soil. Plant Beans when the soil has warmed to 60°F and all danger of frost has passed. Amend the soil as needed with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well-aged manure. Cool, wet weather may necessitate a second planting: bean seeds rot in cold, damp soil. After planting, do not water until the sprouts emerge, unless it is very hot and dry. After emergence, and throughout the season, avoid watering the foliage. Water as needed by soaking the soil around the Beans and fertilize with kelp or fish emulsion as needed.

For Pole Beans, provide support with rough poles, teepees, netting or a trellis. Harvest when the Beans are young, slim and on the small side for the best eating! It is vital to keep Beans picked regularly since seed formation slows and eventually halts production. Sow Bush Beans every 10 to 15 days until 2 months before the first frost date in the fall for continuous yields.

A mainstay of the kitchen garden, homegrown Beans outshine those that are store-bought in their delicious, just-picked flavor, crisp-tender texture and rich vitamin content.

Beans Show Their Colors
My favorite use for purple-podded Beans is to pick them while slim and tender, along with green and yellow ones, and arrange all three on a platter with a hummus dip.

Beans, Beans & More Beans

Shade Tolerance

Just because legumes are known to improve the soil in which they grow, it does not mean that they needn't be planted in good soil themselves. This is especially true of Beans. If you dig in well-rotted manure at the time of planting, your bean plants will grow better, be more free from disease and give you a better yield.

Fava Bean Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
: 1" - 2"
Row Spacing: 20"-30"
Seed Spacing: 2"-3"
Days to Germination: 10-14 days
Germination Temperature: 40°-65°F

An old-fashioned favorite, Fava Beans are a member of the Vetch family and, unlike true Beans, are frost hardy. Traditionally sown like Peas, they may be planted in late fall for early spring harvest if winter temperatures stay above 20°E Otherwise, direct sow in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked in a bed well amended with compost and/or well rotted manure as needed. Sow 1" to 2" deep and keep the seedbed moist while germinating Thin the seedlings to about 6" apart. Mulch to deter weeds and retain ground moisture. Growing from 3' to 6' tall, these plants will need some support. Fava Beans may be harvested as a green shelling bean in about 65 days, when the pods are deep green and plump. The pods are only edible when very tiny. The shelled beans must be skinned unless eaten very young. To skin them, parboil for 1 minute, cool, then pinch so that the bean pops out of its skin. To shell as dry beans, twist pods to release them or spread pods on a tarp and dance on them to break the beans loose. Store as dry beans when you can no longer nick them with your finger- nail. Fava Beans are delicious in soups, risotto, bean salads or as a simple, healthy side dish.

Beans Show Their Colors
My favorite use for purple-podded Beans is to pick them while slim and tender, along with green and yellow ones, and arrange all three on a platter with a hummus dip.

Beans, Beans & More Beans

Shade Tolerance

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties