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Seed Library : Vegetables

Seed Library is free and open to all MCLA students, faculty, and staff. Listed are the types of seeds and number of packets available. Please request a maximum of 10 packets. To request, fill out the form and we will mail the seeds to you!

Arugula

Container Friendly: 4 plants per 12in container

Availability: 10 packets, 35 seeds/packet

How to Sow

  • For optimum flavor, grow in cool weather.
  • Sow in average soil in a sunny to partially shady area as soon as the ground can be worked.
  • In rows 15 inches apart, sow seeds evenly and cover with ¼ inch of fine soil. Firm and water gently.
  • Seedings emerge in 7-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions.
  • Arugula also grows well in containers. Use a commercial potting mix rather than garden soil.
  • Thin gradually to stand 6 inches apart starting when seedings are about 3 inches high.
  • Sow again in late summer in a protected area when the temperature is below 75°F.

How to Grow

  • Protect spring plantings with floating row covers to keep flea beetles away.
  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.
  • Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that depvers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the fopage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest and preserving Tips

  • Tender young leaves have a robust flavor, they should be ready to use about 30-35 days after sowing.
  • To harvest, pick off the outside leaves at the base of the plant. Leave center intact for future harvesting. Younger leaves, 2-3 inches long, taste best.
  • You can also harvest whole plants by cutting off just below the crown.
  • Stop picking once plants flower as the leaves will become bitter-tasting. Flowers are also edible.
  • Wrap the leaves in a clean, wet tea towel, or damp paper towel and place in a perforated plastic bag and refrigerate.
  • Arugula is best when consumed within a 3-6 days of harvest if possible.

Garden Bean (Bush Blue Lake 274)

availability: 12 packets
10 seeds/packet

Container Friendly: 5 plants / 12in. container

How to Sow

  • Because beans are members of the legume family of plants, they can benefit from an application of a soil inoculant designed for beans and peas, prior to planting. The inoculant will enable the plants to take nitrogen from the air to use as fertilizer, which can increase crop yield and quality.
  • Sow in average soil in a sunny location after danger of frost and soil has warmed, from spring to early summer. Sow after the soil has warmed, as seeds may rot in cooler soils.
  • Coat untreated seed with an inoculant.
  • Sow in rows 24 inches apart. Sow seeds 3 inches apart and cover with 1 inch of fine soil. Firm lightly and water gently.
  • Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions.
  • Keep sowing bush bean seeds every 2 weeks for a constant supply of beans.
  • Thin gradually to stand 6 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2 inches high.

How to Grow

  • In dry weather, keep soil well-watered. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Cultivate or mulch to keep weed-free, but do not work or handle plants when leaves are wet.
  • Beans as companion plants: Planted closely in rows spaced around two feet, bush bean plants blend well with like-sized warm-season vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes and eggplants. Between towers of pole bean plants, planting vines such as squash can help keep weeds down. Pole beans can help protect cool-season vegetables such as spinach and lettuces, as the weather warms.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • For fresh use, pick pods as soon as well-filled out with peas
  • For dried bean use, harvest in about 80 days, when the pods start to dry on the plant.
  • To Dry Beans: Allow the beans to stay on the plants until they are partially dry. Then pull up the plants and hang them in a warm, dry place with good air circulation until the pods and seeds are thoroughly dry. Shell the beans and save the pods and plants for composting.

Beet (Detroit Supreme)

Container Friendly: 12 Plants / 12inch continer

Availability: 13 packets, 12+ seeds / packet

 

Heirloom with great disease resistance.

Detroit Supreme is an heirloom improvement of the variety Detroit Medium Top. It has better disease resistance, smoother skin, and lovely blood red flesh with glossy green tops. It's a good "pick" for your garden.

 

How to Sow

  • Sow beet seeds in well-worked, well-drained soil in full sun after danger of frost in spring. In frost free areas, sow in fall.
  • Beets are sensitive to acidic soils and prefer a pH of 6.0 – 7.0. If your soil is more acidic, add Garden Lime as directed on the bag.
  • Sow thinly in rows 12 inches apart and cover with ½ inches of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings emerge in 14-21 days.
  • Thin to stand about 3" apart when seedlings are 1-2" tall. Note that beet seeds are actually clusters of seeds and require more thinning than other crops.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
  • Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • Pick the greens when they are 4-6 inches long and the roots are less than 2 inches in diameter.
  • Harvest roots at 1 inch for baby beets, up to 3 inches for mature beets.
  • Store fall-harvested beets at 33-35°F at 95% humidity.
  • Cook beet greens like spinach.
  • Beet roots can be pickled, grilled, baked or broiled.
  • To prevent red beets from excessive “bleeding” in cooking, wait until after cooking to peel, remove taproots and slice. Trim off the tops about 1 inch above the roots and wash carefully with a vegetable brush. Boil until tender, then plunge into cold water. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off with your fingers and remove the little taproots. Slice the beets, or serve whole.

Carrot (Nantes Half Long)

Cucumber (Bush Champion)



Container Friendly: 1 Plant / 12inch container

Availability: 0 packets, 4 seeds / packet 

CHECK BACK SOON

How to Sow and Plant

Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Direct sowing is recommended, but to get a head start you can grow cucumbers indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost in individual biodegradable pots indoors. Sow 2-3 seeds per pot.
  • Sow seeds ½  inches deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Thin to one plant per pot.
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • Sow in directly in the garden in fertile, warm soil after danger of frost has passed. Cucumber seeds will not germinate in soil colder than 60 degrees.
  • Sow seeds 3 inches apart in groups of 4-6. Cover with 1 inch of fine soil.
  • Space groups 19 to 26 inches apart each way.
  • Keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
  • Thin to 3 or 4 strongest seedlings in each group when they are 1-2 inches high.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. 
  • Cucumbers have a shallow root system, mulches help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • As plants grow mulch to control weeds, keep fruits off the ground and conserve moisture
  • Do not move the vines, they are easily injured.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • When cucumber seeds are direct-sown along a cucumber fence, vines can be trained to grow upright for easy picking and to save space for other plants to grow. Good companion vegetable plants are direct-sown radishes, bush snap beans, and transplants of compact herbs, peppers, eggplants and tomatoes. Attract bee pollinators by planting daisies such as sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias and coneflower, and mints such as bee balm, sage, oregano and lavender. More bees mean more chances flowers will be pollinated and develop into fruits.

Harvest & Preserving

  • Like most vegetables, cucumbers are tender and tastiest when harvested young before their seeds are fully developed.
  • Slicing cucumber varieties are generally ready for harvest when about six to eight inches long; pickling cucumber types at three to five inches- both in about 50-60 days from seeding.
  • To avoid damage cut fruit from the vine rather than pull
  • Don't allow the fruits to become overripe on the vine as this signals to the plant that the seed-development process is nearly complete and it will shut down.
  • Keep mature cucumber fruits picked to encourage further production. During hot weather cucumbers grow very fast, you may need to harvest every day.
  • Harvest the cucumber fruits early in the morning before the sun hits them for the best flavor and texture.

Hot Pepper Blend

Includes Hungarian Wax, Anaheim Chili, Long Slim Red Cayenne, Ancho (Poblano) and Jalapeno M. Days to maturity are from time plants are set in garden. For transplants add 8-10 weeks. Space plants 18-24" apart.

 

Availability: 16 packets, 10 seeds/packet

 

How to Sow and Plant

  • Only home gardeners who enjoy long growing seasons in the Deep South should attempt to sow pepper seeds directly in the vegetable garden. Most of us must start our own pepper plants indoors about 8-10 weeks before transplanting after the last frost.
  • Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Planting in the Garden:

  • To get an early start with your pepper plants, particularly in the North, cover the prepared bed with a dark colored polyethylene mulch at least a week before transplanting. This will heat the soil beneath and provide a better growing condition for young pepper plants. The mulch will also help the soil retain moisture throughout the season as the pepper plants grow.
  • Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Peppers should be set 18 inches apart in a row with the rows spaced 2-3 feet apart.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball. 
  • Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development. 
  • Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water. 
  • Use a plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.  
  • Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
  • Peppers may also be planted in containers. Use a container at least 18-24 inches wide and deep and use a commercial potting mix rather than garden soil.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. 
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for peppers as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2" of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Note that hot peppers tend to be hotter when they have less water and fertilizer. If they receive plenty of water and fertilizer they may be more mild than expected.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Try planting pepper plants near tomatoes, parsley, basil, and carrots in your home vegetable garden. Don't plant them near fennel or kohlrabi. Peppers are very colorful when in full fruit and combine well with green herbs, okra, beans and cucumber fences in the garden bed.

Harvesting and Preserving Tips

  • Like cucumbers and summer squash, peppers are usually harvested at an immature stage. The traditional bell pepper, for example, is harvested green, even though most varieties will mature red, orange, or yellow. Peppers may be harvested at any stage, but their flavor doesn’t fully develop until maturity. Fully ripe peppers in multi-colors are delightful in the garden as well as in salads.
  • Cut the fruit from the plant with a sharp knife or pruners leaving a small part of the stem attached.
  • Sweet bell, pimento and cherry peppers are delicious eaten green but are sweeter and higher in vitamins if allowed to turn bright red before harvest. Some varieties are yellow at maturity or may mature from green through yellow and red.
  • Hot peppers may be harvested at any stage. Anaheim is usually picked green and cayenne types red.
  • Bell peppers may be chopped and quick frozen for use in many recipes; sweet cherry and banana peppers and hot cherry peppers are perfect for pickling.
  • A popular and trouble-free way to store hot peppers is to dry them. String mature red peppers by piercing the stem with a needle and heavy thread. Hang the string in a warm, dry, airy place (not in the sun!) to dry. They can make a colorful kitchen accent. Pull a pepper from the string when you need one. Hot peppers remain hot even after they are dried. Remember that in recipes a little hot pepper can go a long way.
  • Please note that hot peppers can burn sensitive skin on contact and fumes from grinding or cooking them can irritate the lungs and eyes. When working with hot peppers use rubber gloves and wash your hands before touching your face or eyes.

Tomatoes!

San Marzano 

 

Best Boy Hybrid

Sweet Aroma Hybrid 

Jalapeño

 

Availability: 20 packets, 10 seeds / packet 

How to Sow and Plant

  • Only home gardeners who enjoy long growing seasons in the Deep South should attempt to sow pepper seeds directly in the vegetable garden. Most of us must start our own pepper plants indoors about 8-10 weeks before transplanting after the last frost.
  • Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Planting in the Garden:

  • To get an early start with your pepper plants, particularly in the North, cover the prepared bed with a dark colored polyethylene mulch at least a week before transplanting. This will heat the soil beneath and provide a better growing condition for young pepper plants. The mulch will also help the soil retain moisture throughout the season as the pepper plants grow.
  • Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Peppers should be set 18 inches apart in a row with the rows spaced 2-3 feet apart.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball. 
  • Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development. 
  • Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water. 
  • Use a plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.  
  • Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
  • Peppers may also be planted in containers. Use a container at least 18-24 inches wide and deep and use a commercial potting mix rather than garden soil.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. 
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for peppers as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2" of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Note that hot peppers tend to be hotter when they have less water and fertilizer. If they receive plenty of water and fertilizer they may be more mild than expected.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Try planting pepper plants near tomatoes, parsley, basil, and carrots in your home vegetable garden. Don't plant them near fennel or kohlrabi. Peppers are very colorful when in full fruit and combine well with green herbs, okra, beans and cucumber fences in the garden bed.

Harvesting and Preserving Tips

  • Like cucumbers and summer squash, peppers are usually harvested at an immature stage. The traditional bell pepper, for example, is harvested green, even though most varieties will mature red, orange, or yellow. Peppers may be harvested at any stage, but their flavor doesn’t fully develop until maturity. Fully ripe peppers in multi-colors are delightful in the garden as well as in salads.
  • Cut the fruit from the plant with a sharp knife or pruners leaving a small part of the stem attached.
  • Sweet bell, pimento and cherry peppers are delicious eaten green but are sweeter and higher in vitamins if allowed to turn bright red before harvest. Some varieties are yellow at maturity or may mature from green through yellow and red.
  • Hot peppers may be harvested at any stage. Anaheim is usually picked green and cayenne types red.
  • Bell peppers may be chopped and quick frozen for use in many recipes; sweet cherry and banana peppers and hot cherry peppers are perfect for pickling.
  • A popular and trouble-free way to store hot peppers is to dry them. String mature red peppers by piercing the stem with a needle and heavy thread. Hang the string in a warm, dry, airy place (not in the sun!) to dry. They can make a colorful kitchen accent. Pull a pepper from the string when you need one. Hot peppers remain hot even after they are dried. Remember that in recipes a little hot pepper can go a long way.
  • Please note that hot peppers can burn sensitive skin on contact and fumes from grinding or cooking them can irritate the lungs and eyes. When working with hot peppers use rubber gloves and wash your hands before touching your face or eyes.

Mesclun (Sweet Salad Mix)

Container Friendly

Availability: 13 packets, 60 seeds / packet

A tender, mild flavored blend of leaf veggies for early spring salads. Mouth watering, time-tested heirloom varieties in red (Ruby lettuce, Bull's Blood beet) and bright green (Bloomsdale spinach, Simpson lettuce, Tendergreen mustard). Plant them and then pick them all together, starting when the leaves are about 3" long. 

How to Sow

  • For optimum flavor, grow in cool weather after danger of frost. Mesclun will not germinate at temperatures over 80 degrees F.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Sow in average soil in full sun in mid spring for the first crop and again in late summer for a fall crop. When sowing in late summer, plant in a protected area when temperatures are below 75 degrees F.
  • In rows 12 inches apart, sow seed directly in the ground ¼ inch deep and cover with fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist. Or, broadcast the seeds in the bed.
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions.
  • Plant every 2 weeks to extend harvest time.
  • Thin gradually to stand 6 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2 inches high.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding as plants are shallow rooted.
  • Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • Begin harvesting all mixes about 30 days after germination.
  • When the plants are 4-5 inches tall, cut them about 1 inch above the ground, then water the bed with compost tea.
  • Many mescluns will resprout in about 20 days and may be cut again. You can harvest entire plants as soon as they are large enough to be used, then replant the bed.
  • After harvest, immerse in cold water, and then pat dry. Store in sealed plastic bags and refrigerate.

Microgreens (Rainbow Mix)

Harvesting the delicate, smallest, days-young shoots of this varied blend of vegetables provides an explosive flavor burst for topping fresh salads, roasted root vegetables and any meat dish. An easy to grow mix of 20% Beet Detroit Red, 20% Cabbage Pak Choi, 20% Kohlrabi Purple, 20% Broccoli Di Cicco and 20 % Radish China Rose. Sow every 5-10 days and snip with scissors when 1-2" high.

 

How to Sow Microgreens

  • To start indoors, sow in trays filled with seed starting formula.
  • Sow evenly and thinly in rows 2 inches apart. Cover firmly and keep evenly moist.
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.

How to Grow Microgreens

  • Thinning is not necessary for microgreens.
  • Microgreens are easy and fast to grow. Keep plants clean of soil and dirt.
  • If planted outdoors, keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.
  • Keep microgreens plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.

 

Microgreen Harvesting and Preserving Tips

  • Harvest small seedlings when they are between the sizes of a sprout and a baby leaf vegetable, usually when there are just 2-3 true leaves.
  • Clip young leaves at the base of seedlings around 2 inches high with clean scissors.
  • Rinse thoroughly and lightly pat dry before consumption.
  • Store in sealed plastic bags and refrigerate.

Bunching Onion (Evergreen Long White)

Container Friendly, 10 plants / 12 inch container

Availability: 9 packets, 50 seeds/packet 

 

How to Sow and Plant

Onions may be grown from seed, from young bare root plants or from sets (small bulbs). Make sure to choose the correct variety for your day length. Southern gardeners should select Short Day varieties; Northern gardeners do best with Long Day varieties; gardeners in the middle of the country should select Intermediate Day varieties, but can use some Short Day varieties.

Sowing Seed Indoors

  • Onion seed may be started indoors in small flats in seed starting mix 6-10 weeks before the last frost.
  • Sow thinly and cover with ¼ inch of seed starting formula. Keep moist and maintain a temperature of about 60-65 degrees F.
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow. Incandescent bulbs do not work because they get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • After danger of a heavy frost plant the seedlings in the garden when they are about the thickness of a pencil. Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens cell structure and reduces transplant shock and sun burn.
  • Space 3-4 inches apart in rows 1-2 feet apart. Plant more closely if you plan to harvest scallions.

Soil Preparation in the Garden

  • Choose a location in full sun where you did not plant onions the previous year.
  • Apply a balanced fertilizer and work into the soil prior to planting. Onions prefer a pH of 6.0 – 7.0.
  • Onions prefer an organic soil that drains well. Work organic matter into your soil at least 6-8 inches deep, removing stones, then level and smooth.

Sowing Directly in the Garden

  • Sow onion seeds in average soil in full sun after danger of frost in spring. In frost free areas, sow in fall.
  • Sow thinly in rows 1- 2 feet apart and cover with ¼ inch of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
  • Thin to stand about 3 inches apart when seedlings are 1- 2 inches high.

From Plants

  • Burpee ships small onion plants about 10 to 12 weeks old in early spring. Plant onion plants as soon as possible after you receive them, as soon as the soil can be worked, before the last frost.
  • Plant onion plants 1 inch deep, 5 – 6 inches apart, or 2 – 3 inches if you prefer to thin later for green onions or scallions. Water well.

From Sets

  • Just press sets into the soil up to their tops, barely covered with soil 3-4 inches apart in rows 1-2 feet apart. If sets are planted too deeply they will take longer to develop.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
  • Ample water is important at all stages of growth, especially when bulbs are forming. Onions are shallow rooted and tend to dry out during periods of drought. The best method to water is by ditch or furrow irrigation. This provides water to the roots while keeping the tops dry. If the tops are regularly wet they are more susceptible to disease.
  • Onions are heavy feeders, side dress with fertilizer about six weeks after planting.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • Pick green onions (scallions) when plants reach 6-8" tall, while the stalks are still white at the bottom and fairly thin.
  • When harvesting onion bulbs, about 100 days from sowing, bend the tops over when about ¼ of the tops have already fallen over and turned yellow. After a few days, pull the bulbs and cover them with the foliage to prevent sunburn.
  • Allow onions to dry in the garden for up to a week, then cure them indoors in a warm, dry place with good air circulation for 2-3 weeks. Then cut off the foliage, leaving 1" above the top of the bulb.
  • Clean the bulbs by removing dirt and any of the papery skin that comes loose when you handle them.
  • Put bulbs in mesh onion bags or old pantyhose and store in a cool, dry location. Check occasionally for any wet spots or mold and remove any damaged bulbs immediately to protect the rest.
  • All onions lose their pungency when cooked. To neutralize the flavor, sauté, parboil or microwave the onions briefly before adding to your recipe.
  • To minimize the discomfort of onion tears while chopping onions, work fast (but carefully!) and work closely to the kitchen fan. You can also use a food processor.
  • Besides fresh storage, small onions may be canned by the hot pack method.
  • Chopped, sliced or grated onions may be quickly dried in a food dehydrator and stored in air-tight containers on the pantry shelf.
  • Small whole onions may also be pickled, while larger ones may be used in mixed pickles or to flavor cucumber or tomato pickles.

Radish (Cherry Bell and Cherry Giant)

Cherry Belle Availability: 5 packets, 45 seeds/packet

Cherry Giant Availability: 12 packets, 12 seeds/packet

 

Planting tips: Garden radishes are cool season, hardy annuals. Direct seed as soon as soil can be worked. Thin to promote even-sized roots. Plant every 10 days for continual supply. Harvest radishes promptly for best quality. Topped radishes store well for 3-4 weeks in refrigerator. 

25 days to maturity.

Open pollinated, organic

Spinach (Bloomsdale Long Standing)

Container Friendly: 7 plants / 12in container

Availability: 23 packets, 22 seeds/packet

How to Sow

  • Sow in early spring for the first crop, again in late summer for a fall crop.
  • Sow in average, well-worked soil in a sunny location.
  • In rows 1 ½-2 feet apart, sow seeds evenly and cover with ½ inch of fine soil. Firm lightly and water gently.
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions.
  • Thin gradually to stand 6 inches apart starting when seedlings are about 1-2 inches high. Do not thin baby leaf spinach.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding as spinach is shallow rooted.
  • Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1-1 ½ inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • Harvest the outer leaves when 3 inches long.
  • Snip baby leaf as needed when the leaves reach about 2 inches.
  • When the warm weather arrives and seed stalks start to develop, harvest the entire plant immediately.
  • Leaves can be sautéed or steamed as well as eaten raw.
  • Wash, dry and store in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Swiss Chard

Container Friendly: 1 plant per 12in container. 

Availability: 8 packets, 50 seeds/packet

How to Sow

  • Sow in average soil in full sun spring as soon as ground can be worked.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Sow about 6 inches apart and cover with ½ inch fine soil.
  • Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
  • Thin stand to about 12 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2 inches tall.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.
  • Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • If flower stalk appears, remove it to prolong the harvest.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • Begin harvesting leaves when they reach 5-6 inches or are large enough to use.
  • Break off the outer leaves at their base, taking care not to damage the inner leaves.
  • Plants that are harvested regularly will continue to produce new growth from the center of the plant.
  • Both the leaves and stalks are edible raw, steamed, and sautéed, but avoid the lower 2-3 inches of the stalk as it may be fibrous and tough.
  • Swiss chard may be blanched and frozen. Stems may be pickled.