Cook's Choice

AbundantAsparagus.pngCreative cooks will have fun with these flavorful herbs and garden-fresh veggies. Friends and family will appreciate dining on colorful salads, savory sauces and healthful greens.

Planting Guide:

Basil

  • Plant seeds 1/4″ deep indoors six weeks before last frost; outdoors two weeks after last frost.
  • Transplant seedlings two to three weeks after last frost or when soil reaches 70 degrees F.
  • Replant if you have space and want more.
  • Spacing: two plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 40-55 days from transplant. Harvest leaves as desired. Not frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Pinch stems early and often to stimulate branching and bushy growth.

Learn more about Basil in our Vegetable Encyclopedia

Onions

    • Start seeds 1/4″ deep indoors 12 weeks before last frost
    • Transplant plants into garden a month before last frost. If planting sets, plant them 1″ deep.
    • Spacing: nine plants per sq. ft., or plant more densely and then thin and eat small onions
    • Days to harvest: 100 to 120 days. Frost-hardy.
    • Hint: Onions will not tolerate weeds and require consistent moisture.

Learn more about Onions in our Vegetable Encyclopedia

Spinach

  • Plant seeds 1/2″ deep directly in garden up to six weeks before last frost.
  • Sow spinach every two weeks in spring and again in late summer for fall crops.
  • Spacing: sow 18 seeds per sq. ft.; thin to nine plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 30 to 40 days from germination. Very frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Spinach bolts in hot weather, so harvest early. Keep soil cool and moist with mulch or shade netting.
  • Buy organic spinach seeds

Learn more about Spinach in our Vegetable Encyclopedia

Tomato

  • Plant seeds 1/4″ deep indoors, six to eight weeks before last frost
  • Transplant into garden one to two weeks after last frost or when soil reaches 65 degrees F.
  • Spacing: one plant per sq. ft. Grow early season crops nearby to allow more room later.
  • Days to harvest: 55 to 100 days from transplanting, depending on variety. Not frost-hardy
  • Hint: Remove lower leaves before planting and bury extra stem.

Learn more about Tomato in our Vegetable Encyclopedia

Parsley

  • Start seeds 1/4″ deep indoors 10 to 12 weeks before last frost.
  • Transplant seedlings into garden up to a month before last frost.
  • Spacing: two plants per sq. ft.
  • Edible all summer and into winter.
  • Biennial: plants will go to seed second year.
  • Days to harvest: 75. Begin harvesting foliage at any time. Very frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Parsley takes up to 21 days to germinate. Treat seeds with hot water before planting.

Learn more about Parsley in our Vegetable Encyclopedia

Peppers

    • Start seeds indoors 1/4″ deep 10 to 12 weeks before last frost.
    • Transplant into garden three weeks after last frost or when soil reaches 70 degrees F.
    • Fruits are edible from early green to full-color maturity.
    • Spacing: one plant per sq. ft.
    • Days to harvest: 50 to 65 days green, 80 to 85 days to full color. Not frost-hardy.

Learn more about Peppers in our Vegetable Encyclopedia

Beans

  • Sow seeds 1″ deep directly in garden after all danger of frost.
  • Spacing: four plants per sq. ft. for bush beans, six to eight plants per sq. ft. for pole beans
  • Plant second crop of bush beans (if needed) two weeks after first planting
  • Days to harvest: 50-80 days from seed, depending on variety. Not frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Add a legume inoculant when planting to increase vigor and yield.
  • Buy organic bean seeds

Learn more about Beans 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

Leaf lettuce

  • Sow seed indoors 1/4″ deep, eight weeks before last frost or directly in garden when soil can be worked.
  • Thin seedlings when four weeks old.
  • Spacing: 16 plants per sq. ft.
  • Plant more lettuce every two to four weeks for a good supply.
  • Days to harvest: 28 days for baby lettuce, 45 days to full size. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Harvest outer leaves anytime, or use scissors to harvest entire plant, leaving an inch of stem to encourage new growth.

Learn more about Leaf lettuce in our Vegetable Encyclopedia