One-Block Feast: Spring Garden Plan
(Page 8 of 14)
The Spring Garden Plan
Tender greens, crisp green onions, and plump radishes are cool-season crops, meaning they grow best in cooler temperatures. Long periods of hot weather can cause them to turn bitter and to bolt (set seed) before they produce edible parts. In mild-winter climates, plant them in very early spring so they will mature before summer heat settles in, or in late summer for a fall or winter crop. Because growing conditions vary by region (and even within neighborhoods), check the planting times for your area. Many of the crops we planted thrive in full sun in cooler areas, which means the planting location needs at least 6 hours of sun per day. In hot climates, give them part shade. Some crops, such as mesclun and radishes, are easy to grow from seeds. Others on our spring menu, including strawberries, are easier if you start with bare-root plants or nursery seedlings. Use our spring garden plan as a tool to help you lay out your vegetables this spring.
See the Winter Garden.
Best known for their edible roots, beets also send up leaves that are tasty in soups and salads if picked when they are young and tender. The plump, heart-shaped bulbs come in various colors, from red and deep plum to golden. We chose three heirlooms: ‘Bull’s Blood’, with blood red foliage that adds color to salads; golden, which forms sweet, mild-tasting globes; and supersweet ‘Chioggia’, whose roots reveal alternating rings of white and pink when sliced.
Best Site: Full sun and fertile, well-drained soil enriched with compost.
Days to Harvest: 40 to 52 days for ‘Bull’s Blood’, 55 days for golden, and 54 days for ‘Chioggia’ from seed.
Planting and Care: In mild climates, sow seeds in early spring or late summer so plants will mature in mild weather. Space them 1 inch apart, then cover with 1/4 inch of compost. (To prolong the harvest, sow at monthly intervals.) When the plants are small, thin them to 3 inches apart. Keep the soil evenly moist, and apply a dilute fish emulsion after the tops are up.
How to Harvest: Pull up the roots when they are about 3 inches wide (the bigger they grow, the woodier they get).
Seed Sources: Burpee; and Ed Hume Seeds.
Pulled straight from the earth and showered at the sink, homegrown carrots taste sweeter than any you can buy at the grocery store. But flavor, even among homegrown types, differs by variety. We grew ‘Nantes’, which forms blunt-tipped orange carrots about 7 inches long—great for munching raw. They are also delicious roasted with other root vegetables or grilled with thyme.
Page: << Previous 1
| 8 | 9
| Next >>