Beginner Garden Seed Collection
For this collection we've gathered some of our favourite and easiest to start vegetables for the beginner home gardener.
Includes 9 packages, 1 each of Merlin Beet, Napoli Carrot, Tasty Green Cucumber, Baby Leaf Blend Lettuce, Rover Radish, Noche Squash and 200 seeds each of Gold Rush Bush Beans, Aldrin Bush Beans and 125g of Sugar Lace Peas.
Beans Planting: Direct seed after risk of frost when soil warms to 18-24˚C. Sow 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart in rows 18 inches (bush beans) to 24 inches apart (shell beans). Reseed until mid-summer for a constant supply all season long. If using untreated seed, plant thicker and thin to desired density. Use inoculant at the time of planting to help boost soil fertility.
Growing: Both bean types require a full sun location, soil pH of 6.5-7.5, and well-drained soil. Good air circulation around plants is essential, especially for late shelling or dry type beans, as they are very susceptible to fungal diseases which prevail later in the season. Beans are light feeders; compost or well-rotted manures worked into the soil at the time of planting is sufficient.
Harvest: Snap & Fillet Beans: Use maturity days as an indicator. Harvest once the beans are smooth, firm and crisp. Keep plants constantly picked to ensure a fresh supply. Bean formation in the pod is a sure sign of over-maturity. Dry & Shell Beans: Harvest when the pods are completely dry and brittle. Cut or pull pods from plants and shell the beans. Store beans in an air tight container in a cool dry spot. For fresh eating of horticultural or shell beans, harvest when bean formation starts to take place within the pod.
Beets Planting: Sow seeds thinly 1⁄2-1 inch deep, in rows spaced 8-12 inches apart. Soil temperature should be 18-24 degrees C for optimal germination. Thin seedlings1 inch apart for greens and 3 inches apart for summer use of roots. Plant every two weeks, starting as early as soil can be worked until late June.
Growing: Choose a full sun location. Beets require a light, well-drained, cool soil with pH between 6.5 and 6.8. Compost or well-rotted manure along with pure wood ashes, as a supply of additional potassium, should be mixed well into the soil prior to planting. Applying Boron after 4-6 weeks of growth will prevent internal browning, particularly in dry seasons. Keep well-watered as drought will result in tough or woody roots.
Harvest: Young and tender beet leaves can be used as greens. Dig or pull roots when 2-3 inches in diameter or desired size.
Carrots Planting: Sow seed 1⁄4-1⁄2 inches deep. Seed takes 14-21 days to germinate. Planting a few radish seeds helps to loosen the soil and mark the rows for these slow emerging seeds. Thin plants to at least 1 inch apart in rows spaced 18-24 inches apart. Sow as soon as ground can be worked. Even moisture and soil temperature (18-24 degrees C) are essential for good germination.
Growing: Carrots are best grown in full sun but will tolerate light shading. Choose deeply-worked, stone free soil with pH of 6.5. Chantenay types are suitable for shallow or heavy soils. Raised beds or rows are recommended. Carrots are light to moderate feeders. Avoid using fresh animal and green manures at the time of planting. Moisture is required for good root formation.
Cucumber Planting: Sow indoors 3-4 weeks prior to last frost or direct seed after all risk of frost. For indoor planting use 2 inches square jiffy strip pots and plant 1-2 seeds per square; thin to ensure one plant per pot. Plant seeds 1⁄2-1 inch deep, transplant or space plants 6 inches apart in rows 4-6 feet apart. Plants are tender, so soil should be warm (18-24 degrees C) for germination to begin. If growing on a trellis, space plants 18 inches apart.
Growing: Cucumbers require full sun and soil pH of 6.0-6.8. As they are heavy feeders, an application of compost or well-rotted manure worked into the planting area will help. Regular applications of a complete soluble fertilizer during the growing season is beneficial. Plants should not be allowed to wilt. Make sure they are well-watered before transplanting. Spread a mulch around plants before they start to vine, to cut down on weeds and conserve moisture. The mulch will also help to keep the fruit clean.
Harvest: Pick slicing cucumbers when they reach 6-8 inches long; pickling types at 3-5 inches. Keep mature cucumbers picked off the vines to encourage a longer yield. Harvest cucumbers for pickling early in the morning.
Lettuce Planting: Direct seed in early spring. Sow thickly in wide rows or in beds. Cover lightly (about 1⁄4 inch deep). Plant every one to two weeks to insure a constant harvest.
Growing: Choose an area with full sun to partial shade and soil pH of 6.2-6.8. Lettuce is a heavy feeder and prefers a rich, well cultivated soil with good drainage. Some success can be expected even in poor soils using the loose-leaf types. Add plenty of compost or well-rotted manure prior to planting. Benefits from regular feedings with a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Mulching is useful to keep soil cool and reduce weeds.
Harvesting: Harvest when plants are 3-4 inches tall. Simply cut off the leaves above the soil. Under proper conditions the lettuce will regrow and provide a second harvest.
Peas Planting: As peas prefer cool growing conditions and will tolerate light frosts, they may be planted as soon as the ground can be worked and will germinate in a wide range of soil temperatures (4-24 degrees C). Sow seed 1 to 11⁄2 inches deep, 1-2 inches apart in double rows spaced 3-6 inches apart with 24 inches between the next double row. All peas, including dwarf types, are natural climbers; more productive, and not as susceptible to rot, if given some support or planted along a fence or trellis. Seed is offered in both treated and untreated; if using untreated seed, avoid planting in cold, wet, poorly aerated soils, as you risk losing the seed to rot.
Growing: Full sun to partial shade with soil pH of 6.0-7.0. Light feeders require a well-drained, rich and sandy soil. Work organic matter, including rotted manure or compost into the soil for best results. An application of garden inoculant, either to the soil or to the seeds themselves before planting, can be very beneficial. Even soil moisture is essential especially during flowering and pod set. Use mulch to conserve moisture and keep weeds down.
Harvest: Harvest when pods are young and tender. Pick regularly to promote continued production.
Radish Planting: Begin sowing as soon as the ground can be worked. Radish does best in the spring and fall when the soil is cool (4-18 degrees C) and the days are short. Summer production of radish may not be as uniform. Sow 1⁄2 inches apart and 1⁄4 inches deep in rows 12-18 inches apart. Thin to approx. 35 plants/ft. Make successive sowings every 5-7 days to keep a constant supply of fresh radish all season.
Growing: Requires full sun and pH of 6.0-7.0. Extremely light feeders; no special soil preparation is required. Sufficient water is essential as the faster the radish, the better the flavour. Plant radish in rows with slow germinating seeds like carrots, parsnip and beets to help break the soil and aid in the germination of the slower seeds.
Harvest: Harvest as soon as roots reach a desired size, 20-25 days.
Squash Planting: Plant after all danger of frost has past or when the soil has warmed to 21-27 degrees C as seed will not germinate in cool soil. Can be started indoors 3-4 weeks ahead of last frost date. Sow 1 seed into jiffy pots, and transplant out after all risk of frost has passed. For early direct plantings, use floating row covers to raise soil temperature, increase early growth and protect tender plants from wind injury. Sow summer squash 1 inch deep, 6 inches apart, thinning to 12 inches apart in rows 36-48 inches apart. Sow winter or vining squash similarly, using a spacing of 24-36 inches between plants with 48-60 inches row spacing.
Growing: Full sun and soil pH of 5.5-6.5. Moderate feeders; mix plenty of organic matter into soil as squash prefers a rich loamy soil of good fertility and moisture retention. Even and sufficient soil moisture is essential. Benefits from mild feedings with a fertilizer high in phosphorous to initiate fruit formation.
Harvest: Harvest summer squash when they are 4-8 inches long and when their skin is still shiny. Winter squash can be cut later in the summer or early fall before frost, or when the skin is hard enough so that you cannot cut it with your finger nail. Simply cut from the vine leaving 4-6 inches of stem attached to the fruit. Store in a cool, dry area.