Vegetables are the mainstays of our gardens– and our dinner tables. We await their arrival every spring and savor each season with simple meals from the garden. Read on for info on growing, harvesting, and preparing some of the varieties in your box.
Annual, up to 5’ vining. Well-drained soil and full sun. Use care when planting as seedlings can resent having their roots disturbed. Plant 12” apart along a fence or between 4’-tall garden stakes and tie up with string for easier harvest. Will easily climb if encouraged. Regular watering will ensure consistently-sized fruits. Cucumbers are fast growers. Once the first fruits appear, check plants every other day. Must be pollinated by bees to fruit.
Cucumber, Marketmore 76
63 days. Open-pollinated. Lots of dark green, 8″ long slicing cucumbers. One of Fedco’s most popular varieties.
Eggplants have lovely purple blossoms that catch the eye in any garden. They prefer well-drained soil and full sun. Space plants 18” apart and be careful not to over-fertilize. Too much nitrogen can promote leaf growth rather than fruiting. Fruits can be hard to pull from the plant without snapping a branch—use a knife or scissors to harvest. Plants may also benefit from some support or trellising when branches are laden with fruit.
Egglant, Ping Tung Long
62 days. Fast maturing and quite prolific for an eggplant. This is a Taiwanese variety with long, purple fruits.
Leafy greens prefer well-drained soil and full sun. Some afternoon shade in the hottest months may keep plants producing for a longer season. Most leafy greens reach harvestable size within 60 days of transplanting. Monitor for pests and water during hot or dry spells to keep the plants healthy and productive. Plant 12-18″ apart.
Kale, Rainbow Lacinato
55 days. Also called Dino and Toscano kale, we love this variety for it’s beautiful purple stems and the small variations in leaf shapes. Plus it’s tender and delicious. Kale can be harvested continuously spring-fall. Young leaves are delicious in salads with cherry tomatoes and lemon-garlic dressing. Kale can also be added to any stir-fry or stew, or simply sautéed with olive oil and garlic.
Swiss chard, Bright Lights
55 days. The most eye-catching of garden greens. Beautiful, wavy green leaves with stems of bright orange, yellow, red, and white. The same species as beets, these are grown for their prolific and versatile greens. Chard can be harvested spring thru fall, or new plants can be started in the fall for overwintering. If allowed to overwinter plants will flower and go to seed the following spring. Excellent in omelets, sautéed with garlic, hot pepper, and toasted sesame seed oil, or added to a skillet of chickpeas.
Head lettuce, Buttercrunch
60 days. Plant in full sun, or in a spot with some afternoon shade in the summer. Prefers well-drained, but well-watered soil. Harvest leaves individually or cut the whole head just above the soil level. Harvest in the coolest hours of the day (morning or evening) and submerge in cold water promptly after harvest to maintain freshness.
Peppers love well-drained soil and full sun. Space plants 18” apart. Like other solanaceous (nightshade) crops, be careful not to over-fertilize. Too much nitrogen can promote leaf growth rather than fruiting. Fruits can be hard to pull from the plant without snapping a branch—use a knife or scissors to harvest. Plants may also benefit from some support or trellising when branches are laden with fruit.
Hot pepper, Ho Chi Minh
68 days. 4-5″ long yellow-orange hot peppers! This is another one that I’ve been longing to try for years. 30,000 scovilles (around that of a cayenne). They look like they make some bomb hot sauce.
Sweet pepper, Napoleon sweet
76 days. Sweet red bell pepper. Thick fleshed and versatile– eat them fresh, fried, or dried.
Plant in rich, well-drained soil with full sun. Onions dislike competition, so keep well-weeded. Space each clump about 4-6” apart.
Scallion, Red beard
50 days. This is our first time growing this variety from Kitazawa Seeds and we can’t wait to try them! They look beautiful and hearty, with promises to grow up to 27″ long! Use the stalk and the leaves.
Summer squash love the sun and heat. But do be careful to keep the seedlings well-watered until they become established! Space plants 18-24″ apart in a section of your garden where they will have room to vine. Cover plants with lightweight fabric until the onset of flowering to keep plants warm and protect from insect pests. Must be pollinated by bees to fruit.
Summer squash, Saffron
42 days. Creamy yellow squash with a narrow neck. Smooth texture and rather sweet. Excellent producer.
Tomatoes & Tomatillos
Tomatoes and tomatillos love full sun and well-drained soil. Both can grow roots from their central stem; bury the plant up to the first set of leaves (3-8” deep) to grow sturdier, well-rooted plants. If you would like to encourage larger fruits, pinch back all of the branches up to the first flowering stem. Space plants 1-2’ apart in rows that are 2-3’ apart. Avoid adding too much nitrogen to the soil as this promotes leaf growth rather than fruit production. Trellising or tomato cages will prevent fruit-laden branches from breaking and will make harvesting easier.
Tomato, Golden jubilee
80 days. This medium-sized golden beaut is less prone to cracking than the big guys but is just as meaty and delicious as our most beloved sandwich slicers. A cross between Tangerine and Rutgers tomatoes.
62 days. These light orangey-pink cherries are sweet and fruity. They are also less susceptible to cracking than our old friend, Sun Gold! Early, complex, prolific, what more can be had from a cherry tomato?
Tomato, Pruden’s purple
72 days. Beautiful pink sandwich slicer with smooth texture and bright flavor.
Tomatillo, Rio Grande
80 days. Holy smokes, we were surprised by the size of these tomatillo fruits! These are big, round, green tomatillos with beautiful papery husks. They are true workhorses of the garden; they come on early and produce until fall. We find that they also like to self-seed, but we always appreciate when they come back.