Remember the nice fluffy beds I got ready a couple of weeks back? All that hard work made for some very quick and easy planting.
In my first bed, I planted three different varieties of beets; “Chiogga” (my favorite, cool stripey and delicious), “Early Wonder Tall Top” (they’re red, big and great for canning) and “Touchstone Gold” (yellow and small- perfect for roasting).
While I do remember the general rule of thumb (from my gardening class), that you want to plant a seed about twice as deep as it’s size, I always just look at the back of the seed packet for how deep to plant the seed and what kind of spacing they need.
Now that I have planted beets a few times, I have a good idea of how big they tend to get, so I just eyeball the spacing. I plant 2-3 seeds in each hole to ensure at least one germinates. I’ll thin when the seedlings are a couple of inches tall and feed the thinnings to my chickens.
Since broccoli takes up a bit of space, if I’m going to dedicate that space, I prefer varieties that produce multiple large heads (not tiny florets). “Thompson” broccoli is tried and true for me, so I have been planting it for several years now. Below is a picture of a beautiful giant broccoli head, from a couple of years ago, that sold me on this variety.
Next to the broccoli I planted Red Fire lettuce (a new variety to me, picked for it’s color) and Two Star lettuce (also new to me, I liked the picture and the description in the seed catalog). Since lettuce seeds are small and don’t get planted very deeply, I water them in with a watering can, instead of a hose, so the seeds don’t get washed away or into a big clump in one corner.
In my second bed, I planted a couple rows of “French Breakfast” radishes, which I will succession plant (plant consecutive rows a week or so apart), so they are ready at different times. I can’t wait to make the radish tartine recipe from Grow, Cook, Eat!
I also planted a kind of green onion I have never planted before called “Red Beard”. I may have picked that one for the name.
On the other side of that bed, I planted cilantro (also part of a succession), “Olympia” spinach and “Bright Lights” Swiss chard. I planted a bit less Swiss chard than I normally do, since I am always swimming in Swiss Chard by Summer. Look forward to many Swiss Chard recipes this Summer, as I try to cook and preserve as much of it as I can!
Potatoes also take up a bit of garden space and stay in for a long time. I took a year off from planting potatoes, for that very reason. This year, I planted just one variety, “Bintje”(never tried it before), and dedicated only a quarter of a bed to it. Next to that I planted the same variety of snap peas I plant every year, “Super Sugar Snap”, because they produce like crazy and taste like candy.
Last but not least, I planted “Purple Haze” and “Bolero” carrot varieties.
I broadcast sewed the carrots (put them in my hand and sprinkled them evenly on the soil surface) and covered them with a layer of sifted compost. I water them in the same way I did the lettuce, with a watering can, instead of a hose. I’ll thin them out later to the appropriate spacing and feed those thinnings to my chickens as well.
Lastly, after I watered everything in, I covered all the newly planted beds with row cover (also known as reemay).
I learned the hard way that, if I don’t install the row cover, the birds and squirrels are just waiting for me to go inside so they can enjoy the all you can eat buffet of seeds I have just planted for them!
My mouth is watering just thinking of all the yummy veggies and consequent meals to come!