Giving Garden



Would you like to help feed the hungry in your community? These “keeper crops” mature late in the season, so you can donate your harvest in a single trip to your food pantry.

Planting Guide:

Winter squash

  • There are many types, including butternut, acorn, sweet dumpling, hubbard and spaghetti squash.
  • Plant seeds 3/4″ deep indoors or outdoors, three weeks after last frost, when soil is 70 degrees F.
  • Transplant: three weeks after last frost, or when soil is 70 degrees F.
  • Spacing: one plant per sq. ft. Grow on trellis or allow vines to run out of the garden
  • Days to harvest: 85 to 100 from planting seeds, depending on variety. Pick before first frost.
  • Hint: Prune growing tips to keep under control. Leave stems attached when harvesting.

Learn more about Winter squash in our Vegetable Encyclopedia


  • Sow seeds indoors 1/4″ deep eight weeks before last frost or outdoors four weeks before last frost.
  • Transplant seedlings into garden four weeks before last spring frost
  • Spacing: one per sq. ft.
  • Start seeds for fall crop in early summer.
  • Days to harvest: 60 to 105 days, depending on variety. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Plants prefer cool weather. Hot temperatures can cause heads to split.

Learn more about Cabbage in our Vegetable Encyclopedia


  • Sow seeds 1/2″ deep indoors eight weeks before last frost or in garden six weeks before last frost.
  • Transplant seedlings into garden up to six weeks before last frost. Very frost-hardy.
  • Spacing: two plants per sq. ft. Can be planted midsummer wherever early crops are removed.
  • Kale continues to grow and produce leaves until late fall.
  • Days to harvest: 60 days. Very frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Kale can be grown in part shade. It needs plenty of moisture, so mulch well.

Learn more about Kale in our Vegetable Encyclopedia

Swiss chard

  • Plant seeds 1/2″ deep indoors six weeks before last frost, or in garden two weeks before last frost
  • Transplant: Around the time of last frost
  • Plant a second crop to ensure a plentiful supply of tender leaves.
  • Spacing: two plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 30 days from seed for baby; 50 days to full size. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Good source of summer greens, chard is not bothered by heat.

Learn more about Swiss chard in our Vegetable Encyclopedia


  • Sow seeds in garden 1/4″ deep three weeks before last spring frost.
  • Spacing: Plant 30 seeds per sq. ft.; thin to 16 plants per sq. ft.
  • Replant six to eight weeks before fall frost for late crop.
  • Days to harvest: 55 to 70 days from seed. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Before planting, loosen soil to 12″; remove stones and add compost.

Learn more about Carrot in our Vegetable Encyclopedia


  • Sow seeds 1/2″ deep directly in garden five to six weeks before last frost.
  • Spacing: Plant seeds 18 per sq. ft., thin to nine plants
  • Plant more in midsummer for a fall harvest
  • Days to harvest: 45 to 60. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: The longer you wait to harvest, the bigger the beets. Tops and thinnings are flavorful. Beet greens also make a great "wrap" for grilled proteins and veggies. 

Learn more about Beets in our Vegetable Encyclopedia