Vegetable Planting Guide & Growing Tips


 
 
Crop
Spring
or Fall
Gardens
 
Summer
Gardens
Directly
Sown in
Ground
 
Indoors for
Transplant
To Sow
25 Feet
of Row
 
Sowing
Depth
Space
Between
Plants
 
Days to
Maturity
Yield per
25 Feet
of Row
Beans Pole Snap
2 oz.
1 in.
4 in.
60-70
30-40 lbs.
Beans Bush Snap
2 oz.
1 in.
3 in.
50-70
20-30 lbs.
Beans Bush Lima
4 oz.
1 in.
3 in.
65-90
6 lbs. shelled
Beets
1/4 oz.
1/2 in.
4 in.
50-70
25-30 lbs.
Broccoli
15 plants
1/4 in.
18 in.
† 50-80
12-20 lbs.
Brussels Sprouts
15 plants
1/4 in.
18 in.
† 85-95
12-35 lbs.
Cabbage
15 plants
1/4 in.
18 in.
† 50-100
35-38 lbs.
Cabbage, Chinese
20 plants
1/4 in.
15 in.
† 60-90
20 heads
Carrots
1/16 oz.
1/8 in.
3 in.
62-90
20-25 lbs.
Cauliflower
15 plants
1/4 in.
18 in.
† 60-80
20-25 lbs.
Celery
25 plants
1/4 in.
12 in.
† 120
30 lbs.
Collards
1/8 oz.
1/2 in.
18 in.
55-80
30 lbs.
Corn, Sweet
1 oz.
1 in.
5-10 in.
60-100
30-40 ears
Cucumber
30 seeds
1 in.
*12 in.
50-70
30 lbs.
Eggplant
15 plants
1/4 in.
18 in.
† 62-90
25 lbs.
Kale
1/16 oz.
1/4 in.
10 in.
50-65
30 lbs.
Lettuce, Head
1/8 oz.
1/8 in.
8 in.
57-80
20-25 heads
Lettuce, Leaf
1/8 oz.
1/8 in.
3 in.
40-58
12 lbs.
Melons
30 seeds
1/2 in.
*18 in.
75-110
12-20 fruit
Okra
1/2 oz.
3/4 in.
12 in.
50-75
25 lbs.
Onions
1/8 oz.
1/4 in.
4 in.
75-150
15-20 lbs.
Peas, Garden
2 oz.
1 in.
2 in.
50-80
6-10 lbs. shelled
Peppers
15 plants
1/4 in.
18 in.
† 60-100
15 lbs.
Pumpkins
20 seeds
1 in.
*24 in.
50-75
25 lbs.
Radishes
1/4 oz.
1/4 in.
1 in.
25-35
25 bunches
Soybeans
2 oz.
1 in.
3 in.
80-115
12-15 lbs.
Spinach
1/4 oz.
1/2 in.
4 in.
40-50
14 lbs.
Squash, Summer
20 seeds
1 in.
*24 in.
50-70
20-25 lbs.
Squash, Winter
20 seeds
1 in.
*30 in.
85-120
75-100 lbs.
Tomatoes
12 plants
1/4 in.
24 in.
† 53-90
37-63 lbs.
Turnips
1/16 oz.
1/4 in.
3 in.
35-60
25-28 lbs.
Watermelons
30 seeds
1 in.
*24 in.
75-100
10 fruit

* Can also sow 3-5 seeds in hills 4 feet apart (6 feet for pumpkins) and thin to 2-3 per hill.
† Days from setting out plants.


Bean, Pole Snap Dust seed with Legume-Aid. Fertilize when planting and again when 6 to 8 inches tall. Train on a trellis, tripod, fence or other support. Keep picked to encourage further production.
Bean, Bush Snap Dust seed with Legume-Aid. Fertilize at planting time and again when 6 to 8 inches tall. Keep picked to encourage further production.
Bean, Lima Dust seed with Legume-Aid. Requires a longer, milder growing season than snap beans. Fertilize at planting time and again when plants are 6 to 8 inches tall.
Beet Thin soon after germination. Fertilize at sowing time and again when leaves are 3 to 4 inches tall. Dig when roots are 2 to 3 inches in diameter for best flavor. Tops are also edible.
Broccoli Set plants slightly deeper in garden than in container. Side-dress with fertilizer as buds begin to form. Harvest while heads are still tight.
Brussels Sprouts Does best as fall crop in warm climates. Cold tolerant. Break off lower branches as sprouts begin to form to encourage buds. As older sprouts are harvested (from the bottom up) and new ones form, break off more branches. Frost improves flavor.
Cabbage Set plants slightly deeper in garden than in container. Fertilize at setting out, and side-dress 4 weeks later. Harvest when heads are still tight.
Cabbage, Chinese See Cabbage. Heads grow more upright and cylindrical than regular cabbage. Excellent eaten cooked or raw in salads.
Carrot For best carrots, soil should be loose textured and cultivated deeply — otherwise grow round and short-rooted types. After germination, thin seedlings well. Fertilize when foliage is 6 to 8 inches high. Harvest when between finger thickness and 2 inches in diameter.
Cauliflower See Cabbage. Blanch by tying outer leaves over heads when they are 2 inches across.
Celery Requires cool growing season and rich, moist soil. Set plant in a trench 4 to 5 inches deep and fill in with soil as plant grows. If further blanching (whitening) is desired, hill plants by mounding additional soil around their bases. Apply soluble plant food every 2 to 3 weeks.
Collards Sow directly outdoors in early spring or in late summer for the fall garden. Can also be sown indoors in mid to late winter for transplanting outdoors in early spring. Especially good as fall crop since frost will improve flavor. Withstands both cold and hot weather. Fertilize at planting time. Harvest entire plant or pick leaves as needed.
Corn, Sweet To ensure pollination, plant several rows together in a block, rather than in 1 long row. Side-dress with fertilizer when 8 inches high. Keep well-watered, especially from tasseling time to picking. Hill corn plants by pushing a few inches of soil up around the base of the plants when they are fertilized. This provides stability, but take care not to disturb the roots. Do not remove suckers. Regular sweet corn, super-sweet, sugarenhanced, and popcorn should be isolated from each other to prevent cross-pollination. To isolate, plant at least 200 feet away or at a two week delay.
Cucumber Sow in rows or in hills, 3 to 4 feet apart with 3 plants per hill, or start as transplants in Jiffy Pots 2 weeks before setting outside for an early crop. Fertilize at planting time. Keep well-watered and cultivate carefully. Harvest when young and green; if they are allowed to mature (and turn yellow), the plant will stop producing.
Eggplant Easily damaged by cold temperatures. Fertilize at planting time and when fruits start to form. Harvest when relatively young and skins are very shiny.
Kale See Collards. Kale does not tolerate summer heat, but is extremely cold-tolerant.
Lettuce, Head Sow directly in the garden, or indoors for transplants. When transplanting, minimize shock by pinching or removing larger leaves. Fertilize at planting time, and again 4 weeks later. Harvest when centers are firm.
Lettuce, Leaf Fertilize at planting time and again 4 weeks later. Harvest entire plant or pick outside leaves when ready; new ones will form from the center.
Melon See Cucumber. Keep well-watered when growing, but on the dry side when ripening. Cantaloupes (Muskmelons) are ready when the stem slips easily from the melon with slight pressure. Honeydews and some Cantaloupes turn pale yellow or tan when ripe.
Okra Likes a long, warm growing season. May need to sow indoors 4 to 6 weeks before planting outdoors for northern areas. Fertilize at planting time, and again when 12 inches tall. Harvest pods when young and tender (3 to 4 inches long). Do not allow pods to mature or plants will cease production.
Onion Can also be planted from sets or transplants. Fertilize at sowing time. Use thinnings for green onions. When tops fall, pull onions and allow to dry before storing. In Zone 8 and further south, may be sown outdoors in fall for spring harvest.
Pea, Garden Dust with Legume-Aid before sowing. Plant taller varieties in a double row flanking a trellis, with 30 inches between each double row. Peas fresh from the garden have exceptional flavor. Harvest edible-podded types when young, before seeds form fully. Fertilize at planting time.
Pepper Fertilize lightly at planting time and again lightly after 6 weeks. Avoid heavy applications of fertilizer. Peppers can be harvested when mature and red or yellow, but are most often picked when green, as soon as the fruit is firm.
Pumpkin See Cucumber. Allow more space for pumpkins than for cucumbers or melons. When the desired number of fruit has set, end of vine can be pinched off to prevent additional fruit production and encourage large fruit size. Harvest when rind is hard enough it can’t be penetrated with a fingernail.
Radish Harvest when crisp and mild (before roots become pithy). Excellent to interplant with slower germinating crops to mark rows.
Soybean Dust seed with Legume-Aid before sowing. Fertilize at planting time and again when plants are 8 to 10 inches high. Soybeans require a long, warm growing season. Harvest immature beans when pods are plump and seeds are full size but still green, or for dry use, pick when fully mature.
Spinach Does well in cool weather. Soil should be kept moist. Best in soil of nearly neutral pH.
Squash, Summer See Cucumber. If planting in hills, space hills 4 feet apart and thin to 2 plants per hill. Pick fruit when small (4 to 6 inches) for best flavor and continued production.
Squash, Winter See Cucumber. If planting in hills, space hills 4 to 6 feet apart, and thin to 2 plants per hill. Harvest after vines die or just before frost, when skin is tough. Cut squash, leaving 2 to 3 inches of stem attached to fruit and allow to cure with plenty of air circulation before storing under low humidity at 50 to 55° F.
Tomato Set plants deeper than in the original container. Tall or leggy plants can be planted by stripping away all but the top leaves, and laying the plant horizontally in a shallow trough, with only the upper leaves above the soil. Mulch, after the soil has warmed, to maintain even soil temperature and moisture. A light side-dressing of fertilizer may be applied when first blossoms appear. Soil should be well-limed before planting — this and even moisture levels will help prevent Blossom-End Rot. Avoid use of tobacco products near tomatoes. Select varieties with genetic resistance to disease. Harvest when red and juicy. At end of season, pick green tomatoes before frost, wrap in a single layer of newspaper and bring indoors to ripen.
Turnip Fertilize at planting time and again when plants are 4 inches tall. Keep well-watered. Harvest when roots are 2 to 3 inches across. Leaves are also highly edible when young.
Watermelon See Cucumber. If grown in hills, space hills 4 to 6 feet apart and thin to 2 plants per hill. Keep well-watered when growing, but on the dry side when fruit is ripening. Several clues indicate ripeness — thumping on the side of the fruit should produce a dull rather than a sharp sound; the side of the fruit touching the ground will turn from white or light yellow to gold, and the tendril next to the point of attachment of stem and vine will turn brown and die. Seedless watermelons require special care for good germination. They usually do best sown indoors and set out soon after germination. This allows control of moisture and temperature levels. To avoid disturbing the roots, sow seeds in individual Jiffy Pots or One-Steps®. Avoid excess water during germination. Allow sowing medium to drain for 24 hours before sowing and after sowing, cover with clear plastic to avoid having to rewater. Maintain a warm temperature; 85° F is best during germination, dropped to 75° F after growth emerges. Set out after 1 to 2 true leaves appear.