Gardening this summer? Thinking about What to Plant?
Ask the Gardener’s Companion
CPP News Service
While the lower mainland is considered by many to have some of the most
fertile commercial farmland in North America, there is no shortage of
urban gardeners in the region either.
Now that planting season is finally
here, and people are getting out in
their gardens en masse, we thought some advise from The Old Farmer’s
Almanac Gardener’s Companion, one of the best known sources of food and
agricultural information, might come in handy as what to plant:
If you’re going to put the time and effort into creating a
vegetable garden, you might as well grow food that your family will
eat-and enjoy. The Summer 2004 Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardener’s
Companion provides tips on how to grow the vegetables a recent USDA
poll ranks as America’s favorites.
Grow What Everyone Loves to Eat!
1. POTATOES: Plant in loose, fertile, well-drained soil in full sun as
soon as the soil is about 45 to 55 degrees F and can be turned over
without clumping. Put a seed potato piece, cut side down, every 14
inches, and cover with three to four inches of soil.
2. LETTUCE: Leaf lettuce, the easiest type to grow and the most popular
for backyard gardens, needs very little space. Plant it at the ends of
garden rows, or in containers on porches, patios, and balconies. Always
buy new seeds each season.
3. ONIONS: Start onion seeds indoors 8 to 12 weeks before the last
frost, or buy sets and plant them two to six inches apart, gently
pressing them into loose soil as soon as the ground can be worked. (Use
the closer spacing if you want to pull immature onions as scallions.)
If planting seeds in the garden, sow them _-inch deep and keep the soil
evenly moist. Seeds are tricky, because if the soil dries out, they
won’t germinate. Thin emerging seedlings to three inches apart.
4. TOMATOES: Tomatoes like warm weather. Plant seedlings outside when
evening temperatures are above 55 degrees F. If you purchase lanky
seedlings from a nursery, bury their stems right up to the first two
leaves when you plant them.
5. CARROTS: Carrot flavor can vary depending on they type of soil.
Prepare the soil well by turning it over to a depth of at least a foot
before planting carrots. If you soil is heavy clay or very rocky, plant
carrots in a raised bed at least 12 inches deep, filled with fluffy,
rich soil. Plant carrot seeds _-inch deep. Cover with a layer of
vermiculite or fine compost to prevent a crust from forming and slowing
Editor’s Note: The
preceding excerpt is from the summer 2004 issue of The Old Farmer’s
Almanac Gardener’s Companion. Full permission for reprinting is granted
on the condition that credit is given to the Gardener’s Companion, on
sale wherever books and magazines are sold. For more information on the
Almanac’s line of products, please visit www.almanac.com.