Gardening Pt II: Planting the Basics

If you’re new to the whole gardening game, it’s easy to put off your planning until May or even June. By then however, it’s too late to plant a lot of delicious vegetables so you’ll end up buying your tomatoes elsewhere. While there is much to love about the local farmer’s markets and all the wonderful organic groceries you can find there, it isn’t the same as eating cucumbers that you’ve poured your love and hard work into.

French beans

This is why I’m writing about gardening in February because some veggies can be planted as early as March! Don’t worry, you won’t be bombarded with every single stalk and mushroom out there. We’re going to look at the basic veggies that are your summertime staples. Find out below when to plant the top 10 veggies in your garden.

1. Tomatoes


It isn’t summer without a batch of freshly picked tomatoes on your kitchen counter, right? Turns out that if you want them in July, you had better plant them in March. Start them indoors and then you can plant your sprouts in your garden one to two weeks later. Just be sure that the threat of frost has passed and you’ll be eating tomato pie from July until October. (via Yummy Mummy Kitchen)

2. Onions


Here’s another veggie that requires early planting. Those onion bulbs can go in the ground from March all the way through April. If you’ve never grown your own onions before, wait until the tops seem dead with wilted leaves and then harvest them a week or so later. This should happen in the early months of Fall. If you plant enough of these tasty veggies, cure them in the sun and keep them in a dry cool space once cured. They’ll promise to get you through winter, spring and summer to the next harvesting season. Now that’s a vegetable with major benefits.

3. Broccoli


Now we get into the big planting months. Broccoli needs to be started in April or May. Your main concern with this green veggie is to be sure that they aren’t overcrowded. Plant them two to five centimeters apart during the germination period, but once they’re started you don’t have to worry about spacing in your great big garden. Doctors orders and you can be eating broccoli salads in July and broccoli and cheese soup in September. (via Prairie Health and Wellness)

4. Squash


Whether you’re going for summer squash or winter squash, both need to be started indoors, in full sunlight in April or May. Harvesting summer and winter squash is different. You want to pick your summer squash varieties while they are still small and tender because the bigger they grow, the more bitter and unpalatable they become. Winter squash should be picked around the time of the first frost when it develops a thick skin. Both will give you some awfully good side dishes to take to those barbecues. (via Blue Sky Organic Farms)

5. Cucumbers


Get these babies under the dirt to start germinating in April, plant them in your garden six to ten days later and you’ll be picking cukes from July through September. Just think of all the cucumber sandwiches and cucumber salad and cucumber slices you’ll be eating. Seriously, you’ll want to share some with your neighbors. (via Eat and Relish)

6. Sweetcorn

sweet corn

If you’re looking to grow this super popular vegetable, you’ll want to start your seeds in April. Then plant them in your garden with the same specifications as the cucumbers. They’ll be ready to eat starting in July and ending in October. Don’t worry about planting too little because if you run out, there are a million other people who planted too much. A tip for the chefs, if you haven’t grilled your corn on the cob before, you have to try it with your homegrown sweetcorn this summer. Trust me. (via Helentea)

7. Carrots


Plant your carrots depending on when you want to eat them. You can start the longer germination period of ten to seventeen days in April and plant all the way through July, but only if you still like eating carrots come October. Be sure you plant them two to five centimeters apart in your garden or you could have a twisty carrot monster when you try to harvest them. (via Imgkid)

8. Lettuce


You’ll be happy to hear that if you don’t get your lettuce planted in April because of everything else, that’s okay! But if you start planting in April and keep planting and planting and planting through July, then come June you can keep harvesting and harvesting and harvesting through the fall. Fresh home-grown salads in November for the win! These plants do need room to breathe so don’t plant them quite so close in your garden. It’ll also make it easier to see the Peter Rabbits who might try to munch on those tasty leaves. (via The Cabin Garden)

9. Radishes

mixed radishes

Radishes can be planted… are you ready for this?… April through August. Yes, it’s true. So don’t stress about getting them in the ground because you could totally plant these as the rest of your garden is peetering out. Give them the space they deserve and I hope you like radish soup because you’ll be eating it in October.

10. French Beans

french beans

Cheers to the latest classic vegetable. These guys don’t need to be planted until May but if you think that’s late, they can be put off as late as July. Start ’em indoors one to two weeks before you plant them in the garden and keep harvesting and eating ’em until October. Do you realize what this means? This means that there’s a possibility for fresh green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. Oh yeah!