Monday, January 7, 2013
Choosing Vegetables That Grow Easily In Short Season Zone Two And Three Gardens
Written For Northern Gardeners Almanac by Melanie J Watts
Apart from taste choose vegetable cultivars with the least number of days to maturity. (most seed catalogues have this information) You want to pick things that require little to no input, vegetables that will grow by themselves. There is no sense worrying about deadly frosts that will kill your plants before they have ripened. You don't want to be fussing with grow lights and worrying about early indoor germination dates for longer season cultivars, nor do you need to be spending a fortune on seedling starts.
The vegetables and herbs listed below are ones I have grown. They are hardy, withstanding mild frosts. They are easy to grow from seed planted directly into the garden, although it is best to get rhubarb crowns from someone. Once the seeds have germinated, the only attention the plants need is a good deep watering about once a week, or less if there is a lot of rain.
Annuals And Biennials-
carrots, beets, potatoes, onions, peas, fennel, fava beans, lettuce, spinach, mizuna, kale, swiss chard, potatoes, turnips rutabagas, garlic, radish, parsley, cilantro, summer savory, mustard greens, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, arugula, borage,
update: broccoli is another fuss free veggie that grows well.
sorrel, lovage, oregano, thyme, rhubarb, chives asparagus, mint
Once you start browsing seed catalogues you realize there are hundreds of cultivars of each vegetable. For example cultivars of carrots are differentiated by their length and even their colour. Lettuce differs in shape, as well as colour, texture, size and taste. Regular type peas have to be extracted from their pod, sugar peas grow a flat edible pod and snap peas grow a plump edible pod and pea.
This year, I’m adding mache, celeriac, jeruselum artichokes and egyptian walking onions, if I can find them, to my ever expanding list of new vegetables to try. I’ll also be increasing my seed inventory with new and different cultivars of everything else.
Check out my list of seed catalogues here
To read more about planting seeds collecting seeds and choosing seeds click on the tag seeds at the bottom of this post or follow the link here.