PLANTING BY VARIETY
Direct seed 1/4 inch deep in early spring. Keep the soil moist to slow early bolting. This peppery and nutty green likes a fertile, well drained soil and is successful in the Pacific NW because it likes cool conditions and is hardy enough to overwinter. For a continued supply, do successive sowing every 2-3 weeks.
Basil is a tender annual that likes shelter and warmth. Sow 1/8 inch deep into flats in February. When the plants have two sets of true leaves and the soil is warm (above 60 degrees), they are ready to transplant 6-12 inches apart in full sun. Because they like warm soil through the evening, we have always kept our basil in a protected spot like a cold frame or greenhouse. We feed it with fish emulsion, never water the leaves, and pinch off flower buds to promote maximum leaf growth.
Direct sow seeds 1 inch deep and about 2-4 inches apart into warm soil (above 60 degrees). Beans don’t require as rich a soil as other veggies, so they are a good crop to follow a heavy feeder in your garden. Soil that is too cool or wet will result in poor germination and rot. Once established in the soil they enjoy regular watering at their roots (not foliage) during hot weather. When seeds have formed, the regular watering can stop. Our Black beans and Edamame are a bush variety planted in rows 24 inches apart. The Shackamaxon are a pole variety. We surround each pole with a planting of about 6 beans. Harvest when the foliage yellow or dropped and the pods are brown and papery. Thresh pods to remove seeds. Allow seeds to dry well before storage.
Sow seeds into flats indoors in February. When the starts have solid roots, harden them off, and transplant into fertile, uniformly moist soil 12-24 inches apart. After harvesting the first head, auxiliary buds will continue to produce smaller but tasty heads. For a late fall and early winter harvest, direct sow seeds in mid July, planting ½ inch deep and keeping the soil moist to help plants deal with the heat of late summer.
Celery likes a rich and continuously wet soil so it can draw up large amounts of water. Sow into flats in March and transplant when the soil temperature is above 60 degrees and the seedlings have 2 true leaves. Plant about 8 inches apart. Keep the plants well watered. Do not let the soil dry out. Use a thick mulch to retain moisture. Harvest by picking individual stalks as needed.
Direct sow 1/2 inch deep in early spring and every two weeks for continuous supply of fresh leaves. Difficult to germinate in hot weather. Sow in shade and keep cool until seedlings have emerged.
Plant seeds in moist, well-drained soil about 1/4-inch deep and 12–18 inches apart after the danger of frost has passed. You can also plant transplants instead of seeds. They also like soil that is not too rich. This bright orange flowering plant can tolerate dry summers. Dead head to prolong flowering. Will reach 3-4 feet in height.
PAINTED MOUNTAIN CORN
Plant seeds directly when the soil temperatures are above 65 degrees. Plant 4 inches apart in rows 24-30 inches apart. Plant in blocks because these plants are wind pollinated. Mulch well and water regularly and deeply. Harvest when the kernels are full and milky OR hen the silks are drying a browning.
Scatter seed on prepared soil when the first frosts have passed. Rake gently. Sow consecutively through the summer to provide a constant supply of fresh leaves and seed heads that are ready for canning when pickling starts.
Grow this gourmet green as an alternative to lettuce. Sow direct in early July for harvest in late fall and winter. Transplant into a rich soil in a sunny location after they have established secondary leaves. Smaller plants will overwinter and produce good edible regrowth in the early spring. Give 12-18" spacing.
In early spring after the last frost, scatter these tiny seeds on rich well drained soil in full sun to create an area of the garden dedicated to this fragrant and butterfly loving herb. Or, start in pots and transfer as individuals into the garden. In the first year of growth, monitor soil moisture to make sure the roots don't dry out. In the second year, if the plant reseeds itself, or establishes itself as a perennial, it will handle dryer conditions and express its drought tolerance.
Direct sow Kale twice in the growing season, first in the early spring for an summer harvest and in August for winter harvest. Kale prefers a fertile, well drained soil. Direct sow ½ inch deep and 2 inches apart, thinning to 4 inches (using the tender young plants in salads). Kale enjoys a cool moist soil and cold winters that improve flavor and provide year round eating. Being a biennial, kale will got to flower in the spring. The flower shoots and buds are FABULOUS to eat. The yellow flowers are also edible.
Sow into flats indoors in February, harden off by April and begin transplanting when they are about 4 inches tall. Leeks have shallow root systems and grow best when they are in well-drained, fertile soil with good moisture retention. We place transplants into the soil about 2 inches deep and about 6 inches apart. Firm the soil only gently around the transplant. Monitor the transplants for continuous moisture until they are well established. To blanch, hill the soil several times in the season to force the leaves higher up the plant. Mulch with straw during the winter months.
Sow into flats indoors in mid March, sowing seed about 1/8 deep. A cool-season crop, lettuce that grows best between 60-70 degrees. Transplant into the garden after they have established secondary leaves. Water daily in the early morning before direct sun hits the leaves. Thin to about 8 inches between plants. Continuous plant every three weeks until the temperatures are near 70 degrees.
Sow directly in soil in early spring 1/4 inch deep. This asian green is in the same family as kales, and even though the leaves are more delicate, they can withstand the winters of the Pacific NW. Plant in late summer for a winter harvest. Mizuna is a “cut and come again” plant that produces for several weeks.
Orach or “mountain spinach” likes the same rich, fertile soil as spinach. Direct sow into uniformly moist, fertile soil in spring. Thin plants as you would spinach, eating the young greens in salads. Orach has a unique emerald/garnet color to the leaves and can tolerate more warmth than the spinach. Try growing it this year and add color and variety to your garden, salads and stir fries.
Direct sow into soil in April. Like carrots, parsnips like deep soil and full sun. We plant seeds ½ inch deep and thin plants to 4 inches apart. They are slow to germinate and require that the soil not dry out. The sweetest roots are dug after the fall frosts develop their flavor. Parsnips will over-winter into the early spring in the garden or in a root cellar. Harvest and eat before the warmth of late spring. As with all biennial, the roots will toughen to support the plant growing a stalk to flower and seed.
Direct sow into soil in March to April. To avoid rotting seed, plant into a well drained soil. This sugar snap is fast maturing in the cool weather, but can handle the heat of a dry summer if irrigated at its roots. Peas are good soil builders and excellent for following heavy feeders in the garden rotation. We plant about 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Our trellis is 6 feet high to hold these climbers. The pods are sweet and crisp and best to eat when the peas are slightly bulging the pod. Always use two hands to pick peas to protect the stalks and encourage them to continue to produce more fruit.
Add this sun loving flower to the garden to feed the bees and help with pollination. Lacy fern like leaves surround a fiddle head of blue flowers that unfurl as it blooms. Direct sow (scatter) into soil in early spring and cover with 1/4 inch of soil. Keep moist as the small fern like leaves emerge. Allow the plants to drow seed and self sow for the following year. Use as a cover crop. Phacillia is prolific, will shade out weeds but is easy to pull. Place a few near broccoli and kale to attract a predatory wasp that feeds on pesky aphids.
PUMPKIN and SQUASH
Squash are a long season tender annual that grows best in fertile, well-drained soil. Seeds can be direct seeded in soil (one inch deep) that has reached 70 degrees, or start seeds inside and transplant into the garden when the soil is 60 degrees. Place plants at least three feet apart. I mulch the plants to retain moisture on the roots and never water the leaves. Pumpkins should be orange/green and the squash a shiny grey color. Be sure to age them before storing.
Direct sow in early July for harvest in late fall and winter. Plant into rich soil in a sunny location. Smaller plants will overwinter and produce good edible regrowth in the early spring. Give 12-18" spacing in all directions. Taste and culture is similar to Escarole.
Spinach likes a rich, fertile soil with lots of organic matter and a cooler climate. We direct sow the seed ½ inch deep in a uniformly moist soil. We thin to 3 inches apart, using the baby greens for salads. Once the plant begins to bolt with the heat, the leaves will become tough and less sweet. Try successive planting as late as July for a fall harvest.
Sow seeds indoors 6-8 months before the last spring frost. We start our seeds inside in flats, transplanting twice before going into the ground when it is warm. First transplant is into 4 inch pots. Second up-pot is into gallons. We will hold them until a good root system is set. Harden off the pots and transplant into the warm soil of the garden. Staking is required because all three are good producers...especially if you prune the suckers. Always remove any rotting fruit.