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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
see Zucchini and squash
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
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!