Growing vegetables from seed
Here we are in early May and while it’s unseasonably cold you might be asking yourself if you still have time to start a vegetable garden from seed. Lucky for you the answer is YES! While it may be a little late to start seedlings inside, there are a multitude of options to fill your garden plot that will keep you harvesting long into the fall.
My first recommendation is a timeless favorite. Beans, beans the magic fruit. The more you eat the more you… feel great because you grew them yourself and harvested them at the peak of freshness! There are literally hundreds of varieties of beans from ‘Rattlesnake’ pole beans and Asian long beans, to ‘Scarlet’ Runner Beans and ‘Provider’ bush beans. They all have the same basic requirements of full sun, and moderate water. These guys grow quickly so you can look for sprouts in about a week’s time after planting, sometimes sooner if we get a warm day. The only trick with beans is harvesting. Be vigilant and try them at different stages. Some people prefer the pencil thin young beans that are so sweet they can be eaten right off the vine while others prefer to leave them on the plant to harvest dry and add to savory winter soups. The choice is yours!
My second recommendation is a big bossy plant with lots to offer. Who doesn’t love squash? You? That’s ok, there are ornamental and luffa gourds that might suit you better. They’re all in the same family and are a lot of fun to watch as they stretch across the ground in their rumbly tumbly fashion. However, there are a few plants that seem to fare better against squash bugs and the dreaded squash vine borer. For summer squash I’d recommend early straight neck yellow squash or lemon squash. In the winter squash category most plants in the moschata species will show resistance to vine borers and diseases. The most popular of this group is the butternut squash but a quick internet search on the Baker Creek website will ignite your imagination and the possibilities of a fall/winter feast or a spectacular center piece on your mantle.
My final recommendation would be, drum roll please… herbs! There are so many herbs that are extremely quick and easy to grown from seed. Basil, parsley, and dill to name a few favorites are fast growers that will add a fresh zip to any recipe. For the most part these plants don’t have trouble with pests and also don’t mind being planted late in the season. Put them in with your tomatoes for a boost in flavor or add them to your flower garden to shelter beneficial insects. You can’t loose with these delicious beauties and if you’re lucky, they’ll self-seed for you to enjoy another season.
The time to garden is now so pull out your overalls and sharpen your shovel. Let this be the year you find a different kind of success in the garden. It could be the year you go out into the yard and find not just flowers and turf, instead you find fresh food and beautiful produce. Happy gardening to you all, and good luck!