Planting and Growing Seeds

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Our Seeds
Starting Seeds Indoors

Start seeds indoors that need a longer season to grow (peppers, tomatoes, leeks), or for earlier harvest (broccoli, squash). If you have plenty of room, some people like to start everything indoors so that when they transplant outdoors, there are no gaps in rows or thinning of plants required.

Seeds can be started 1-3 seeds per container and thinned to one, or all in a larger container and transplanted as they grow.

Soil should be kept moist (not wet) until they sprout, then water thoroughly and let them dry out between waterings.

If seedlings become tall and leggy, more sun or light is needed.

Harden off outdoors before transplanting.
Set in shade a few hours a day, for a few days, then sun for a few days.
Water well when transplanted.
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Starting Seeds Outdoors

Moisten bed thoroughly. Keep bed moist when germinating and while plants are small with small roots.

SOWING SEEDS IN SUMMER. When it's hot and dry seeds do not like to grow. Provide a cool, moist climate for them. Cover the moist, seeded area with burlap, boards or shingles until seeds germinate. Remove as soon as sprouts appear.
Soil

Organic matter may consist of broken down leaves, grass clippings, compost, shavings, or manure.

Phosphorous is mainly for fruit, flower and seed growth. It also helps new root growth. It also helps plants fight disease. Manure is low in phosphorous. Bonemeal is a good source of phosphorous.

Potassium is required for good root development, strong stems and maintaining a plants rate of growth. It also heps plants fight disease.  It is found in leaves, composted leaves, and wood ashes. Wood ashes turned into the soil for root vegetables, can deter the root maggot
.
Nitrogen is needed for leaf growth. Nitrogen is a building block for development of chlorophyll. It can be found in rotted manure, compost, fish emulsion or blood meal. For a fast acting treatment, make manure or compost tea (set in pail with water for a few days).

DO NOT USE FRESH MANURE ON ROOT VEGETABLES, it will cause forking and growth of side roots.
Mulch

Helps to retain moisture and prevent weed growth around plants in summer.

Use leaves, evergreen branches or needles, grass clippings, hay, wood shavings, chips or bark, newspaper, plastic, stones or straw.

DO NOT MULCH freshly seeded areas or young seedlings.
DO NOT MULCH if ground is wet and cool.

Wood shavings, sawdust, bark, peat moss, leaves, pine needles and manure are all acidic. Bonemeal, lime (calcium carbonate), or wood ashes can be used to lower acidity.

LOCATION. Full sun. Poles, fence or trellis for pole beans.

SOIL. Good drainage, not compacted, moist. Beans are shallow rooted, mulch is good.
If the plants become too dry, only a few beans will form in a pod, and the remainder of the pod will be squiggly.
Give plants more water.

SEEDS. After danger of frost, sow outside. Soil should be 65 degrees for germination.

Early beans plant 1"  deep, later when it is hot and dry out, 2" deep.

Bush beans can be sown every 2 weeks from May to July. Plant 4" apart, thin to 8" apart when 2" tall.

Pole beans plant 4" apart on both sides of your trellis, or 6 seeds per pole, and thin to 3 seeds per pole.

Pole beans, fava beans and lima beans, only sow once in spring.

Beans

Broccoli

LOCATION. Full sun. Part shade.

SOIL. Rich. Plenty of nitrogen, well rotted manure or compost, a shovel full per plant. Needs calcium, ground eggshells turned into soil before planting work well.

SEEDS. Direct sow around the time of the last frost in spring. Plant 5-6 seeds in hills, 18" apart, 1/4" deep.
Thin to strongest plant per hill.
Use crushed eggshells around plants to deter cut worm.

Indoors 6-8 weeks before frost. Set out 5-6" plants after last frost.
Bury in soil 1-2" deeper than in pots. Plant 18" apart.
Use foil collars to deter cutworm.

Corn

LOCATION. Sun.

SOIL. Rich, moist, with plenty of nitrogen.
Turn 1" of manure or compost into soil before planting.

If sides of leaves curl, ground is too dry.

SEEDS. Plant in blocks not rows for better pollination.

Outdoors, after the last frost.
Plant 4-6" apart with rows 2" apart. Plant seeds 1" deep, 2" in hot weather. Thin to 12" apart.
Add nitrogen to improve growth when corn is 8"tall,  and again when tassles are forming (manure tea works well). Mulch when 6" tall to cover side roots.

Cucumbers

LOCATION. Sun.
Vines can sprawl along the ground or climb a fence.
They do not like very hot weather, plants will drop their blossoms.

SOIL. Planted in a clay and humus soil, plants will grow the highest yeild of cucumbers.
Planted in a light soil that warms quickly in spring will cucumbers will ripen earlier.
Inadequate watering results in bitterness.

SEEDS. Direct sow when soil is warm.
Plant in hills or rows (rows for climbing).
ROWS. Plant 4" apart, thin to 8-12" apart.
HILLS. Plant 6 seeds per hill and thin to 3 per hill.
Mulch may be applied when plants 12" tall, mulch can deter cucumber beetles.

Lettuce and Greens

Lettuce

LOCATION. Sun. Part shade, especially in warmer weather.

SOIL. In spring lettuce prefers light, sandy soil that warms quickly. Later in the season, a heavier soil is best.

Nitrogen should be present in soil for leaf growth
Plants should grow quickly, before the weather becomes too hot, causing bolting (going to seed, bitter).

SEEDS. Plant outdoors before the last frost into early June. Sprinkle 1/4" of light soil on top of seeds.

For a fall harvest, plant near the end of July.

Kale

LOCATION. Sun. Part shade.

SOIL. Light, rich soil.
Roots are shallow, mulch can be benficial.

SEEDS. Sow seeds outdoors before the last spring frost into early summer. Seeds will germinate in soil 40 degrees Farenheit, or warmer.
Plant 1/4" deep, 1/2" in hot weather.

Plant seeds 2" apart. When seedlings are 2-4" tall, thin to 8" apart, 12" apart for larger kales (eg. black tuscan or curly kale).

Mizuna

LOCATION. Sun. Part shade.

SOIL. Light, well drained, with plenty of organic matter.

SEEDS. Plant seeds outdoors in early spring (seeds will germinate in temperatures as low as 40 degrees), and again in July for a fall harvest.

Plant 1/4" deep, 1/2" in warmer weather.
Plant 1" apart and thin to 6" apart.
LOCATION. Sun. Part shade, especially in hot weather.

SOIL. Light, organic matter, fertile, especially nitrogen.

pH 6-7, spinach is particular about soil pH.
Roots are shallow, mulch is good.
Do not use acidic mulch (wood, leaves).

SEEDS. Sow outdoors, before the last frost.
Plant 1/2" deep, 1" apart. Thin to 4" apart when plants have 2 leaves, then later to 8-12" apart.

Sow 2-3x every 2-3 weeks until early June, then at the end of July for a fall harvest.

Top dress with manure tea or fish emulsion when plants are 4-6" tall, so that they grow quickly, before the weather gets too hot for them.

Spinach

Swiss Chard

LOCATION. Prefers full sun in cool weather, and part shade in the heat.

SOIL. Well drained, loose, fertile, moist.

SEEDS. Sow seeds outdoors around the time of the last spring frost.
Plant seeds 1/2" - 1" deep, and 2-4" apart.

Thin to 6" apart when seedlings are 2" tall, and then to 12" as plants mature.

Peas

LOCATION. Full sun. Part shade.
Trellis tall varieties.

SOIL. In early spring, light soil that warms quickly is best. Later in the warmer season, plant in heavier, not compacted soil.

SEEDS. Sow outdoors from before the last frost into July.

Plant 1" deep, 2" apart. Plant 2" apart on both sides of the trellis.
Plant bush peas plant in a grid, 3" apart in 3'x3' (or larger) blocks, so that the plants support each other as they grow.

To plant in the heat of summer, dig a 4" trench, wet the bottom, put peas in, cover with 1-2" soil (deeper in hotter weather).
Peas are shallow rooted plants, mulch is beneficial.
LOCATION. Sun.
If the weather is too hot or cold, will drop blossoms.

Do not plant sweet peppers near hot peppers, they will become hot also.

SOIL. Fertile, sandy loam. Peppers need magnesium as they grow. A dusting of epsom salts turned into the soil before planting will increase magnesium content.

If leaves are pale and growth is slow, top dress with manure tea, one cup each.

SEEDS. Start seeds indoors 8 weeks before the last frost. Peppers require a minimum temperature of 75 degrees to germinate. Pepper seedlings do not like to be too large for their containers.

Transplant into warm soil, 15-18" apart when days ar a minimum of 65 degrees, and night 55 degrees.

Peppers

Root Vegetables

Asparagus

LOCATION. Full sun. Part shade. In it's own plot.

SOIL. Sandy loam, light sandy soil with organic matter. Needs phosphorous and potassium ot grow properly.

SEEDS. Start seeds indoors in early spring. Plant 1/4 - 1/2 " deep. Transplant outside when 8-12" tall.

Dig a 12" deep and 12" or more wide trench. Layer compost or manure in bottom. Make mounds 18" apart. Drape seedling roots over mounds. Cover plants to near tops. Fill in trench as plants grow.

DO NOT PICK THE FIRST YEAR.
DO NOT CUT BACK THE TOPS. THEY FEED THE ROOTS.

Pick spears the size of your finger and larger beginning in the second year.

Beets

LOCATION. Full sun. Half day sun. Dappled sun.

SOIL. Sandy loam with organic matter to retain moisture.

SEEDS. Sow outdoors a few weeks before the last frost, through July.

1/2 " deep. 1" apart. Thin to 4" apart when 2" tall.

Carrots

LOCATION. Sunny. Part shade.

Carrots do not like hot weather, they become woody, pale and bland.

SOIL. Loose, sandy loam with organic matter to retain moisture.
Deeply cultivated and free of obstacles (roots, stones).
Grow shorter carrots in harder soils.

SEEDS. Plant outdoors from before last frost through July.

Plant 1" apart, cover with 1/2" light soil.Thin to 1" apart when 1-2" tall, then later to 2-3" apart.

Carrots are slow to germinate, 1-2 weeks.

Leeks

LOCATION. Sun.

SOIL. Light, deeply cultivated with organic matter.

SEEDS. Start indoors in early spring.

Transplant 8" apart burying seedlings 1/2 - 2/3 deep.

Mound soil around plants as they grow.

Parsnip

LOCATION. Sun. Part shade.

SOIL. Not sandy, sand will result in growth of side roots.
 Deep, loose with plenty of organic matter.
Deeply cultivated.

SEEDS. Before last frost. 1" apart, cover with 1/2" light soil. Thin to 8" apart when 4 " tall.

Slow to germinate, 2-3 weeks, keep moist, mark rows.
LOCATION. Sun for spring radish to grow quickly. Quick growth forms mild, tender and crisp radishes.
Part shade for fall radish.

SOIL. Spring radish, light sandy loam that warms quickly.
Winter (fall) radish, heavier soil with organic matter.

Turn wood ash into topsoil before planting, deter maggots

SEEDS. Spring radish, outdoors before last frost. Sow some then a few days after sprout, sow some more, they only last a short time.
Winter radish should be sown in mid July to late August. They may be sown in the spring but because they take longer to grow, near mature roots tend to get more woody in midsummer as compared to fall.

1/2" deep, 3/4" deep in warmer weather. Thin to 1" when 1-2" tall for spring radish, 3-6" for winter radish. Mulch when 1-2" tall.

Radish

Turnip and Rutabega

LOCATION. Sun. Part shade.

SOIL. Loose, well cultivated, well drained, with plenty of organic matter and adequate phosphorous.
Turn compost or manure 6" into the ground.

SEEDS. Outdoors. Turnips can be planted from before frost through July.
Rutabegas plant once the soil has warmed.

Plant 1/4" deep, 1/2" in hot weather. Rows 15" apart for turnips, 18" for rutabegas.
Thin to 3-4" apart when they are 5-6" tall. Later thin rutabegas to 8" apart.

Squash, Pumpkins, Melon and Watermelon

LOCATION. Sun. Squash is slow to ripen in cool and cloudy weather.

SOIL. Rich. Heavy feeder and drinker.
A shovel of manure per hill when planting is good.
Loose soil containing plenty of organic matter, and rich in phosphorous.

SEEDS. Bush varieties are best planted in hills.
Plant 6 seeds per hill 1" deep and thein to 3 per hill.
Space hills 3-4' apart.

Vining varieties can sprawl on the ground or climb (a strong fence or trellis).
Vining varieties can be planted in hills for sprawling, or in a row along the support for climbing.
Plant 8" apart in row, thin to 2' apart. Leave 6' between rows.

Squash can also be planted in a grid with seeds 4' apart.

Mulch holds misture and can deter beetles.
Mulch, wood, plastic, or a shingle set under ripening fruit on the ground can help prevent rotting.
LOCATION. Sun. If part shade is all that is available, choose the smaller, cherry tomato varieties.

Plants may be left to wander along the ground, or set up to climb a fence, teepee or trellis.

If the weather is cool and cloudy, tomatoes are slow to ripen.

SOIL. Loose with plenty of organic matter including peat and well rotted manure.

SEEDS. Start seeds indoors in early spring.
Seeds require a temperature of 75-80 degrees to germinate.

Plant seeds 1/4" deep. Transplant into individual containers when 3-4 leaves have grown. Plants should be short and bushy with dark foilage and no flowers when they are transplanted outdoors.
Harden plants off before transplanting. Leave at least 2' between plants in the garden.

Tomatoes and Ground Cherries

Herbs

LOCATION. Sun.
Chives, cilantro and parsley will grow in part shade.

SOIL. Light with organic matter.

SEEDS. All herbs may be started indoors in early spring, except cilantro and parsley, which have a long taproot that does not like to be transplanted.

Basil will not withstand any frost.

Dill and cilantro will tolerate a little frost.

Chives, lavender, lemon balm, and thyme are perennials that survive through the winter, but when they are seedlings, can be susceptable to frost.

Flowers

Baby's Breath

LOCATION. Full sun is best.
Can also be grown with 4-6 hours of sun, but will develop fewer blooms.

SOIL. Any soil, not too rich. Do not feed plants.

SEEDS. Sow outdoors just before the last spring frost.
Sprinkle soil lightly over seeds to cover.
Pat area down gently with palm.

Germination takes 10-20 days.

Cut flowers back for longer period of blooms.
Leave flowers on to develop seeds for you to grow next year.


LOCATION. Plant in full sun.
Plants will grow but develop few, small flowers if they are planted in part shade.

SOIL. Well drained soil. Will grow in any soil from poor and rocky to rich and fertile.

SEEDS. Plant seeds outdoors around the time of the last spring frost.

Plant seeds 1" apart. Can be thinned to 3-6" apart for bushier plants.
Cover seeds with 1/4" of light soil.

Germination usually occurs in 7-14 days.

Cut flowers back for longer period of blooms.
Leave flowers on to develop seeds for you to grow next year.

Bachelor Button (Cornflower)

Calendula

LOCATION. Will grow and bloom in full sun to part shade conditions.

SOIL. Will grow in any garden soil. Rich soil or feeding will produce bushier plants with more flowers.

SEEDS.  Plant seeds outdoors in spring before the last frost. Calendula prefers cooler temperatures.

Plant seeds 2-3" apart. Can be thinned to 6-12 " apart for bushier plants.
Cover seeds with 1/4" of light soil.

Cut flowers back for longer period of blooms.
Leave flowers on to develop seeds for you to grow next year.

LOCATION. Part shade. Prefers the sun that it receives to be during the morning hours.

SOIL.  Rich, loose, loamy, well drained. (Columbine grows naturally at the edges of woods.)

SEEDS.  Seeds require a period of cold before they will germinate.

Plant outdoors in early spring when soil is no longer mucky, 3-4 weeks before the last spring frost.
Seeds may also be placed in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks before planting.
Seeds will germinate when soil temperatures are approximately 70 degrees farenheit.

Plant seeds 2" apart, 1/4" deep. Press soil gently over with the palm of your hand.

Most perennials do not flower during their first year of growth.

Columbine

Cosmos

LOCATION. Full sun for prolific blooms and strong plants.

SOIL. Prefers poor to average quality of soil.
Will not grow well in rich soil.
Require moisture to begin growing but will tolerate hot, drought conditions once established.
Cosmos are originally from Mexico.

SEEDS. Plant outdoors after last spring frost. Plant 1/4" deep and 2-3" apart. May be thinned to 8-12" apart.

Cosmos are day length sensitive and do their best blooming during the shortening days towards the end of summer.

Echinacea

LOCATION. Full sun.

SOIL. Well drained, average quality soil.

SEEDS. Should be cold stratified.
Put seeds in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks before planting, or plant outdoors 3-4 weeks before your last spring frost.

Plant seeds 1/2" deep and 3-4" apart
  Plants should be thinned to 6-12" apart. 
Germination generally takes 10-21 days.

Most often during the first year, the plants will only develop a few leaves. From the second year onward, plants will be full size with flowers.




Flax

LOCATION. Full sun

SOIL. Prefers a rich, fertile soil that has good water retention properties (ie. plenty of organic matter).

SEEDS. Plant seeds 1/2" deep, 1" deep in coarser soils (sandy, rocky).

Germination is approximately 10 days.




Forget me Not

LOCATION. Prefers part shade but grows well in full sun also.

SOIL. Damp. Lots of organic matter to retain moisture.

SEEDS. Plant seeds outdoors after the last spring frost.

Sprinkle 1/8" soil on top of seeds and gently press down with the palm of your hand.
Plant seeds 2-3" apart. Can be later thinned to 6-8" apart.

Will self sow seeds for the following year.





Lunaria

LOCATION. Full sun to part shade.

Select a location where they can remain as they take two years to grow, and will reseed themselves to keep growing.

SOIL. Turn compost or manure into soil before planting as the bed will remain the way you prepare it, plants will always be growing there.

SEEDS. Plant outdoors, after the last spring frost.
Sprinkle with light soil to cover, press gently with the palm of your hand.
Plant 4" apart. Can be thinned to 8-12" apart.

Plants will grow large leaves during the first year. Lavender flowers will form during spring of the second year, and turn into coin shaped seed pods.

Mallow

Mallow

LOCATION. Full sun to part shade.

SOIL. Well drained soil of average quality.
Water during very dry conditions.

SEEDS. Plant seeds 1/4" deep and 4" apart.
May be thinned to 12" apart.


Marigolds

LOCATION. Full sun.

SOIL. Well drained soil of average quality.

SEEDS. Plant seeds outdoors after the last spring frost, when the soil has warmed a little.

Plant seeds 1/4" deep. Press soil down firmly with the palm of your hand. Plant seeds 4" apart.
May be thinned to 12" apart.


Milkweed

LOCATION. Full sun to part shade.

SOIL. Well drained soil of average quality.

SEEDS. Seeds must be exposed to cold before they will germinate. Put seeds in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks before planting, or plant directly outdoors 3-4weeks before the last spring frost.
Seeds may be soaked for 6 hours before planting. Plant outdoors 1/8" deep and 3-4" apart.
Seeds will germinate when the soil temperature reaches 70 degrees farenheit.


Morning Glory

LOCATION. Full early morning sun.
Long vines require support for climbing.

SOIL. Well drained soil of average quality.

SEEDS. Plant seeds outdoors around the time of the last spring frost.
Soak seeds for 24 hours before planting.
Plant seeds 1/4" deep and 4" apart.
May be thinned to 8" apart.
Will germinate in soil approximately 60 degrees farenheit.


Nicotinia

LOCATION. Full sun to part shade.

SOIL. Well drained soil of average quality.

SEEDS.Begin seeds indoors in early spring.
Press seeds into soil, do not cover.
Transplant outside after last spring frost, and after soil has warmed.
Plants will attract potato bugs if potatoes are nearby.


Poppies

LOCATION. Full sun to part shade.

SOIL. Well drained soil of average quality.

SEEDS. Plant outdoors around the time of the last spring frost. Sprinkle seeds onto moist soil surface. Sprinkle seeds thinly in a row or plot. Press down firmly with the palm of your hand.

Sage

LOCATION. Full sun to part shade.

SOIL. Soil of average quality. Tolerates dry conditions.

SEEDS.  Plant seeds outdoors after last spring frost.
Plant seeds 1/4 " deep and 3-4 " apart.
Plants may be thinned to 8" apart.

Sunflowers

LOCATION. Full sun.
Plants turn their flowering heads to face the sun as it moves across the sky during the day.

SOIL. Rich, fertile soil with plenty of organic matter is best, but will grow in poorer quality soils as shorter plants with smaller flowers.

SEEDS. Plant seeds outdoors around the time of the last spring frost. Plant seeds 1" deep and 4-6" apart. Thin plants to 8-12" apart.

Sweet Peas Perennial

LOCATION. Full sun.
Will tolerate part shade if they receive afternoon sun.
Vines prefer to have something to climb or lean on as they grow.

SOIL.Will grow in loam, a sandy soil, or clay. Will tolerate dry soil.

SEEDS. Seeds require a period of cold before they will germinate. Put seeds in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks before planting, or plant outside 3-4 weeks before the last frost in spring.
Soak seeds 24-48 hours before planting.
Plant 1" deep and 2" apart.

Sweet William

LOCATION. Sun, 4-5 hours per day is sufficient.

SOIL. Loose, rich, well drained soil.

SEEDS. Sow seeds outdoors around the time of the last spring frost.
Plant 1/8" deep and 6" apart.

Wisteria

LOCATION. Full sun, part shade preferably from deciduous trees (more sun in the spring and fall). Slightly protected area, south east facing if possible.

SOIL. Fertile soil, will be growing in the same location for many years.

SEEDS. Saok seeds for 48 hours before planting. Begin indoors, transplant outside when plants are 12" tall. Set outside for a few hours at a time to become accustomed to the weather before transplanting.
May take 3-10 years to flower.

Zinnia

LOCATION. Full sun.

SOIL. Fertile, well drained.

SEEDS. Plant outside after last spring frost.
Sow seeds 1/4" deep, press soil down gently with the palm of your hand. Plant 4-6" apart.