EverGood Farm

Planting Guide

To get the most out of your small garden space we encourage people to plant closer than you may be accustomed to. If you desire, when the current crop has slowed down production we recommend pulling it out and replacing it with another vegetable. Depending how long you have left in your growing season you could try something quick growing like lettuce, scallions, and herbs like cilantro or dill, or a green like kale, spinach or Swiss chard harvested baby size. On the farm, our practice is to each week pull out finished crops. Then we prep the bed for planting, add fertility and replant. Not only does this allow us to get the most out of our space, but it keeps the bed from being “bare” for very long which can cause erosion and soil loss in heavy rains.

For fertility we recommend adding compost or composted animal manure, to improve the general soil quality. We also recommend adding a quick release fertilizer like pelletized chicken manure. This can be added a few times in a plants life cycle (but not advised for crops in their flowering stage like tomatoes, peppers etc because it can cause excess leaf growth). Spraying your foliage in its early stages with a fish/seaweed emulsion can also be very beneficial. We foliar spray weekly. If not mentioned for the individual plants we recommend keeping everything consistently watered for the best results. Keeping weeds to a minimum is also recommended to give your veggies less competition from other plants. Certain plants do not compete well with weeds like onions and all plants will not do well with weeds at their small transplant size.

Bush Beans: Individual Plants can be planted 4-6 inches apart in a row. Bush beans do best in dry conditions. Plants/leaves/beans will mold with extended rainy/damp periods without sun. To keep the plant producing it is best to pick every other day. They should produce beans for around 3 weeks. Beans generally don’t need extra fertility if the soil is well amended. Always water the roots not the foliage if possible to delay fungus growth.

Beets: Separate plants and plant one beet plant every 2-4 inches. Keep well watered until established because their roots will be small still. Beets are heavy feeders. After 2-3 weeks of planting side dress with a quick release fertilizer. Beets also respond very well to foliar sprays. Beets can be susceptible to leaf spotting diseases. While this makes the leaves look “ugly” it doesn’t usually affect the roots. Harvest beets when they are your desired size 2-4” in diameter.

Broccoli: Plant broccoli plants 18” apart in rows. We plant broccoli in a zig zag pattern with two rows/bed spaced 1’ apart so each plant has its own circle. Keep broccoli well fertilized/ foliar sprayed until plant is close to mature size. Broccoli also needs to be consistently watered. Water and fertility stress are the biggest reason for poor crown formation. Heat also plays a role but if you keep it consistently watered that will help. After harvesting the main crown, all the plants we sell are good “side shoot” producers. This means many smaller broccoli heads will form off the main stem. When the side shoots star getting small and bitter that’s a good time to pull out the plant.

Cabbage purple and green: Cabbage can be treated similar to broccoli except that it only produces one main head. Harvest when it has filled up the leaves and is firm. It responds well to foliar spraying. Pull the plant out after it has produced its head.

Cucumber: Cucumber can be trained to vine up a trellis or be left to sprawl over the ground. Plant cucumber plants 6-12” apart in single rows. Handle plants very gently. The stem bruises very easily which will stunt the plant. Cucumbers benefit from regular fertility and foliar spraying until flowering stage. Regular watering is also a must to keep the plant growing quickly. Cucumbers produce most of their fruit over a 2-3 week period, then they slow down. It is possible to get two plantings of cucumbers planted 2 weeks apart in our growing season. Cucumbers can get mildew on their leaves. To avoid this water in the morning and try to water so that leaves don’t get wet.

Zucchini/winter squash/pumpkins: Zucchini, winter squash, and pumpkins have similar water and fertility requirements as cucumbers but are usually more forgiving if it isn’t as consistent. Once zucchini gets going it will produce fruit until frost. If it’s been a damp season zucchini and winter squash can get mildew on its leaves. This can get bad enough to affect the fruit. To avoid this try to water in the morning so leaves dry out or water at soil level so the foliage stays dry.

Kale: Treat kale similar to broccoli and cabbage except expect it to produce all the way until the snow falls! Space kale 12-18” apart and in rows 1’ apart. Add fertilizer every 2-3 weeks and keep well watered to encourage fast growth. Start picking the leaves when they are 6-10” long. Always pull leaves from the bottom and do not remove the top growing tip. Any lower leaves that turn yellow and old can be removed to keep good airflow. By the end of the season your kale plants may resemble short palm trees!

Kohlrabi: Plant kohlrabi 6” apart in rows one foot apart. Keep well fertilized and and consistently watered to avoid splitting. While giant kohlrabi stay amazingly tender at cabbage size they can be harvested at anytime bigger than a softball. Use a clippers to cut the stem just above the soil.

Head lettuce: Plant head lettuce about 6-8” apart in rows 1’ apart. Keep well watered and fertilized once before they reach maturity. Some people like to pull lettuce leaves as they need them therefore letting the lettuce head stay in the ground a bit longer. More fertility may be needed if you do this. All lettuce will bolt eventually and start to taste bitter. We harvest whole heads and replant every week to every other week for a constant supply.

Onions-bulb: Separate onions and plant 4-6” apart in rows 6-8” apart. Keep weed free and consistently watered and fertilized. Onions respond very well to foliar spraying. Onions do not do well with weed competition. Harvest onions fresh when they have bulbed up to desired size. Use the green tops like a scallion. If you want to have cured storage onions, harvest onions when the tops have flopped over and have turned brown and look like they are browning off. Cure in a well ventilated dry area (hanging and in the sunlight are ok). Onions should store 3-6 months in a cool dark place once cured.

Scallion: There is no need to separate the individual scallions. Simply pull out of the tray and plant in its group of 4-5 onions. Plant 6” apart in rows 1’ apart. Keep well fertilized (similar to bulb onions) and consistently watered. Keeping the weeds down will also help too. You can start pulling individual onions or the whole bunch when they look like a good size to you. They will get bigger over a couple weeks but still remain tasty even when bigger. To harvest it may be helpful to cut the root underground with a small knife if they won’t pull out easily.

Peppers: Plant peppers 18” apart in rows 1’ apart. If possible peppers love to be hot so mini greenhouses over peppers will help your plants thrive and even produce colored peppers. Peppers need a lot of fertility to keep going. We recommend fertilizing every two weeks with a granular fertilizer until they start producing fruit. Foliar spraying is also recommended until flowering stage as well. Keep consistently watered. Pick off any leaves that are yellowing or looking diseased. Peppers can be harvested either green or allowed to turn colored. Snack size peppers we recommend letting them turn color if possible. You won’t regret waiting! Peppers can benefit from some sort of trellis or cage support system. Always water the roots not the foliage.

Pumpkin: see Zucchini and squash

Tomatoes: Plant all tomatoes 18”-24” apart. 1 plant/row. To make a stronger plant you can plant tomatoes so their top two sets of leaves are above the soil. Remove any lower foliage before you do this. All of our tomato plants are indeterminate which means they need support and benefit from being pruned. Tomatoes need to be consistently watered (not overwatered or underwatered especially at fruiting stage otherwise you’ll get cracked fruit!). We recommend fertilizing similar to peppers. And to stop fertilizing at fruiting stage. For a good video on how to prune check out this link. When our tomato plants are mature they will have at least 1’ of lower foliage removed. This is to help stop the spread of soil borne disease and to allow more airflow. Always water the roots not the foliage.

Herbs: Basil: Plant basil plants 6” apart. Basil also does great in pots on a sunny warm deck. Basil thrives in a dry hot environment. We generally do not fertilize basil once it is in the ground as we usually replace it within a month. Basil will quickly get fungal diseases in our humid wet summers. This will look like a rotting black circles on the leaves and stem. We usually plant basil 2-3 times during the summer and always in our greenhouse. Basil can be foliar sprayed for a couple of weeks before you start picking it. Pick big leaves as they grow and pick the flowers as they form to keep the basil tasting good and not turning woody. Always water the roots not the foliage.

Cilantro: If you would like a continuous supply of cilantro we recommend planting by seed or transplant every two weeks. Cilantro will bolt within 2-4 weeks of reaching maturity regardless of what you do! Cilantro flowers will turn into seeds which you can dry as use as coriander seed though! Or use the flowers in salads. You can fertilize cilantro once before it reaches maturity if you would like but it isn’t necessary if your soil if well fertilized. Pick leaves sparingly after a couple weeks in the ground and more aggressively once it reaches maturity. Cilantro will regrow once or twice before bolting if you cut it as a bunch a few inches above the ground. Dill: Grow dill similar to cilantro but you can let it get tall and flower since most people like to use the flowers for pickling. Dill will self seed and come back year after year if you leave it in an undisturbed area.

Parsley/sage: Parsley will do great in a pot on your deck and should last all season. Parsley will benefit from being fertilized a few times over the summer if you are able, but it is pretty hardy if you forget. Once leaves are big enough, harvest as needed. You can also cut the plant to a few inches above the ground and it will grow back in a couple weeks. Sage may come back year after year if its roots are well mulched. Pull sage leaves as needed but do not cut all the foliage off because it will not regrow as well as parsley!

Oregano, marjoram, thyme, French tarragon: These four herbs will do great in pots but can also be planted in the ground spaced about 6”-12” apart from each other. They can generally take care of themselves in well fertilized soil but can benefit from being fertilized once or twice in the summer. All four of these herbs may come back year to year and can be treated like perennials. Please be aware that oregano and marjoram can become invasive in your garden in one summer. They will self seed readily and come up everywhere! To keep this from happening keep them from flowering.

Vegetable companions we have found to be successful: -Tomatoes with basil, beets, or scallions, marigolds, and lettuce (on the southern side of the tomato plant so the tomatoes don’t shade out the smaller veggies) -Broccoli with lettuce -Scallions with lettuce (plant the lettuce 1 week after planting the scallions so the lettuce doesn’t grow bigger than the scallions) -There are plenty more combinations out there-this is just what we have been able to make work on our commercial scale and have success with. If you find any other good combinations please share!

Copyright © 2011 www.evergoodfarm.com
Rhinelander, WI 54501, USA
All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2011 evergoodfarm.com. All rights reserved.