Planting a garden that provides you with food is a great way to become more self-sufficient and to save money. Not all crops are easy to start, and some require a lot of attention to germinate and successfully develop to a size that can survive the elements outside on their own. Other crops can be directly planted into the soil and are very easy to look after. Aside from ensuring that they have enough water, these varieties can be directly sown into the soil and left alone to produce amazing crops all through the season.
These root vegetables can be directly planted into the soil right after the last frost and are easy to look after. Place them 1/2” deep, and 1/3” apart in rows to get the best results and the best harvest.
Another root vegetable, radishes grow very quickly and can be planted as soon as the frost has passed. Like carrots, they like to be planted ½ ” deep and 1/3” apart in rows. They do not require any thinning, and mature quick enough that you can sometimes get 2-3 crops harvested in one season.
Both winter squash and summer squash can be directly sown into the soil and the only difference is when to harvest them. Squash should be planted once the soil begins to warm after the last frost, normally 2-4 weeks. They need to be planted 1” deep, and spaced 8” apart. Growing them on mounds is beneficial, and encourages them to ramble.
These root vegetables can be planted year round, so long as the ground can be worked. Plant their seeds ¼” deep and 1” apart. To improve germination, soak the seeds overnight in water before planting them.
Like beets, turnips can be planted anytime so long as you are able to work the soil. Plant them ¼” deep and 2” apart in rows, and thin them to every 4” once the greens have developed to allow them room to grow.
Germinating quicker in warmer climates, peas are best if planted 4-6 weeks after last frost. Peas need something to climb and should be planted 1” deep and 3” apart. Like beets, soak the peas overnight in water before planting them to encourage germination.
Both bush beans and pole beans, like peas, germinate in warmer weather and when the soil has had a chance to warm up after last frost. For best results, plant them directly into the soil 4-6 weeks after the last frost, 1” deep, and 4” apart. Soak the beans overnight in water if you want to speed up the germination process before planting them.
Most lettuce varieties can be planted out as soon as the frost has past, and some can even handle one or two minor frosts once established. Plant them ¼” deep and space them out with 4” between each plant. It is important to keep them moist when they are germinating for best results.