Three Bed Garden Collection
The vegetables in this collection were chosen for gardeners that want a small, yet productive raised bed garden consisting of three beds that are 4' x 8' in dimension. Everything except the beans can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring.
Bed 1: Plant the kale, spinach and broccolini, with the spinach planted down the middle lengthwise, and the kale and broccolini on either side.
Bed 2: Plant carrots and parsnips in four lengthwise rows that are 9" apart.
Bed 3: Plant the peas down the middle of the last bed and can be trained up a trellis as they grow, plant the beans on either side of the trellis in late spring after all risk of frost is gone.
Sow as soon as ground can be worked. Even moisture and soil temperature (18-24 degrees C) are essential for good germination. 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.
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.
Pests & Diseases: Root maggots and Rust Flies can be deterred by using row covers. Leaf spot and blight diseases (Cercospera and Altenaria) can be controlled using a sulfur or copper fungicide. Aster Yellows is a disease spread by leaf hoppers. Control these insects by spraying in the evening with insecticidal soap or a pyrethrum product.
Plant seeds 1⁄4-1⁄2 inches deep. Transplant or thin small plants to 15-18 inches apart in rows 32-36 inches apart. Transplants can be started in April for May planting. Transplant after 3-4 weeks. Use a starter fertilizer, soaking the root ball thoroughly prior to transplanting. Direct seed in late spring, as seedlings can tolerate a light frost. Transplant outdoors 12–24" apart for sprouting broccoli in rows 18–36" apart.
Growing: Broccoli prefers full sun but will tolerate part shade. Prepare a rich, loose soil that holds moisture well and has pH level of 6.0-6.5. Broccoli is a heavy feeder and will also benefit from applications of boron, calcium and magnesium, particularly during the early stages of growth.
Harvest: Before flower buds open, cut stems of central head and side shoots. Stems 4–8" in length can be bunched for sale or sold loose. Recommend harvesting regularly to encourage continued production.
Parsnip seed does not keep well from year to year; use only fresh seed, sowing as early as ground can be worked. Sow seed 1⁄2 inches deep in rows 18-24 inches apart. Thin to 3 inches apart. Adequate moisture and a cool soil temperature of 15-18 degrees C is essential for good germination which may take up to 21 days.
Growing: Full sun and soil pH of 6.5. Requires a rich, deeply cultivated soil with plenty of organic matter; incorporate compost or well-rotted manure prior to planting.
Harvest: Harvest any time once roots are adequately sized. Parsnips are tender and flavourful in the fall. A few light frosts will improve the flavour. They may also be mulched and left in ground over winter and dug as the ground thaws.
Pests: Parsnips are fairly pest-free and disease-free, however, they are susceptible to root maggot damage. Use row covers to protect young seedlings early in the season.
Plant as soon as the ground can be worked, very frost tolerant. Sow 1⁄4-1⁄2 inches deep, 1 inch apart in rows 18-30 inches apart. Thin seedlings to 8-12 inches apart. Kale germinates easily in cool or warm soil temperatures with even moisture.
Growing: Choose an area with full sun and soil pH of 6.0-7.0. Enrich the soil with compost or well-rotted manure. Flavour is improved if the plants grow quickly. Kale benefits from additional feedings of liquid fertilizer during the growing season.
Harvesting: Leaves can be used at any time for salads or as garnishes. Leaves are cropped, leaving the bud to grow new leaves, or the entire plant is harvested at one cutting. For a fall crop, wait until the plants are touched by a frost to sweeten the taste.
Spinach thrives in cool weather, so plant as soon as the soil can be worked or when soil temperatures are between 10-24 degrees C. For a fall crop, plant again in late August or early September. Sow thinly, about 1⁄2 inches deep. Thin to 1-3 inches apart in rows 12 inches apart.
Growing: Full sun to partial shade with soil pH of 6.5-7.5. Moderate feeders require a fertile, well cultivated soil. Enrich soil with plenty of compost and some partially rotted manure or fertilizer high in nitrogen. Needs even moisture for good growth. Drought and warm temperatures will cause premature bolting.
Harvest: Cut as soon as leaves are big enough to eat. If spinach is looking old and tired, cut the entire plant back to 1 inch tall to stimulate young, tasty growth. If showing signs of bolting, harvest the whole crop-it freezes well.
Pests & Diseases: Leaf Miner is the most common insect to attack Spinach. Use Rotenone or Trounce‚ to spray newly hatched eggs, timing is very critical. Use row covers to protect plants completely, or grow with taller companion plants to help shelter the spinach.
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.
Pests & Diseases: Prevent root rot and other plant diseases by regular crop rotation.
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: 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.
Pests & Diseases: Root maggots and cutworms can attack the seed and young seedlings. Foliar disease, both fungal and bacterial, can be slowed by allowing for good air circulation between plants and not over fertilizing. Copper sprays will work to some extent to prevent or prolong the onset of diseases.