Plant It & Forget It

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No time to garden? These easy-care crops require very little attention during the growing season. Plant your garden in late spring and start harvesting by mid-summer.

Planting Guide:

 

Cucumber

  • Plant seeds indoors 1/2″ deep three weeks before last frost, or seed in garden after frost.
  • Transplant into garden after frost and when soil is 65 to 70 degrees F.
  • Spacing one per sq. ft. for bush type; two per sq. ft. for vining type.
  • Extend harvest with a second crop, planted two weeks later.
  • Days to harvest: 50 to 60 days after transplanting. Not frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Use row covers until flowering to keep off insects.

Learn more about Cucumber 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

Hot 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. Heat increases with 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 Hot 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

Summer squash

  • Plant seeds 3/4″ deep indoors or outdoors three weeks after last frost, or when soil is 70 degrees F.
  • Transplant three weeks after last frost, or when soil is 70 degrees F.
  • When picked frequently, plants will produce continuously until frost.
  • Spacing: one plant per sq. ft. for bush varieties; two plants per sq. ft. for vining types growing on trellis.
  • Days to harvest: 30 to 40 days from transplant; 40 to 50 from seed. Not frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Start under garden fabric (row covers) to protect from insects.

Learn more about Summer squash 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

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

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

Beet

  • 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.

Learn more about Beet in our Vegetable Encyclopedia

Carrot

  • 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

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