Seed Growing Instructions

Please be patient as we continuously strive for sets of instructions that will answer all of your questions in one place. For all else, don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

Arugula – 6” apart; spaced every 1¼” (ANNUAL)

Sow arugula outdoors ¼” deep as soon as the soil can be worked in early spring and/or again in late summer and early fall. Seeds will germinate in 5-10 days, depending on the outside temperature. For continuous harvest, sow new arugula seeds every 2 weeks.

Arugula is not a fussy salad green and can grow in full or partial sun as well as most soil types. Like most garden plants, it prefers rich and well-draining soil and it will stress and bolt (begin producing seeds) in overly hot conditions or from water deficiency.

Suggested Uses: Leaves are very popular in salads or cooked like spinach

Companion Planting: Bush Beans, Root Vegetables, Leafy Vegetables; avoid strawberries

Rotation Group: Arugula is in the demanding brassica family, so planting a cover crop like legumes, clover, buckwheat, or rye will greatly replenish soil nutrients between crops

Beans (Bush Varieties)2 rows, 14” apart; spaced every 4” (ANNUAL)

Sow beans 1” deep directly in the garden any time after the last frost. Beans dislike cold and wet soil so be sure the ground is over 10 C. Staking each plant will keep pods of the ground and generally free of pests and soil-borne disease, but bush beans are quite sturdy and upright, so staking is not absolutely necessary. For continuous harvest, sow bush beans every ten days until mid-July. Harvesting often will promote more flowering so be sure to keep evenly watered (but not soggy) all season. Beans aren’t very demanding and a little bit of compost will go a long way but do avoid high nitrogen fertilizers or you’ll have a lush and beautiful bean bush with no beans.

When harvesting for green beans, pick pods when they are only a bit thicker than a pencil to avoid an overly fibrous meal. If you’re letting your pods mature for dry beans, harvest before autumn’s heavy rains and dry out inside if possible.

Companion Planting: Brassicas (broccoli, cabbages, kale, turnips, etc.), Leafy Vegetables; avoid Alliums (onion/garlic family)

Rotation Group: Brassicas (broccoli, cabbages, kale, turnips, etc.) > Corn > Potatoes

Boneset – PERENNIAL – NATIVE – spaced every 16”

For best germination, sow seeds indoors, 1/8” deep, 1-5 weeks before the last frost and transplant in early to mid-June when there’s no longer a threat of frost. This native perennial can grow up to 3-6’ tall and will return year after year if grown in moist soils. Boneset also thrives in full sun, partial shade, and all soil types but as it likes its “feet” wet, never let it dry out. Harvest fragrant white flowers at peak bloom for holistic medicinal purposes. They also attract butterflies and other pollinators. 

Traditional (Medicinal) Uses: Salves, poultices, and tinctures for mending of bones, fever and pain reduction, and respiratory infection. Although boneset has been used medicinally by the indigenous populations of North America for centuries, there is little scientific research on its benefits, so be cautious if ingesting and pregnant and breastfeeding gardeners or others with liver and other organ issues are advised to avoid boneset as a medicine altogether.

Ground Cherries – 1 row; spaced every 18” (ANNUAL)

Ground cherries are in the tomato family and, thus, should be grown in the same way as a determinate tomato variety.

There is no need to stake a ground cherry plant, but they will sprawl around two feet if allowed to. Small “cherries” grown in a papery husk will fall to the ground when their husks turn brown and crisp, hence the name, ground cherries. Fruit not collected will likely reseed the following year if conditions are right.

See Tomatoes for complete growing instructions.

Cucumbers 1 row; spaced every 18” (ANNUAL)

Sow seed ¾” deep in at least 18 C soil temperatures, usually in mid-June here in the Canadian Maritimes. Choose a sunny spot with rich, well-drained soil. Alternatively, sow indoors approximately 4-6 weeks before the last frost date. Cucumbers are heavy feeders so be sure to work in lots of compost or composted manure at the time of sowing or transplanting. Most cucumbers will climb a trellis if space is limited, but it’s not required for their success. Keep the plants evenly watered all season or your fruit will become bitter under heat and low-moisture stress. Harvest cucumbers by cutting them from the vine with a sharp knife. Pulling or twisting them free could damage the plant.

Companion Planting: Pole beans + Corn + Squash/Cucumber = “The Three Sisters,” a companion planting combined for centuries by the indigenous peoples of North America

Rotation Group: Asteraceae (lettuce family) > Legumes (specifically bush beans or other pod crops) > Brassicas (broccoli, cabbages, kale, turnips, etc.)

Millet – 1 row, spaced every 2” (ANNUAL)

Millet is an ancient grain cultivated in prehistory that is now used as food for humans, a bird seed, an ornamental grass, and as an exotic addition to flower bouquets.

Sow millet ¼” deep directly after all danger of frost has passed or 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. It grows best in direct sunlight and shouldn’t be transplanted until soil has warmed to at least 10 C. A high nitrogen fertilizer is helpful but healthy soil should be enough for impressive growth. This is a sturdy plant that will germinate between 7-14 days.

Suggested Uses: Millet makes an attractive hedge to any garden; it also produces nutritious grain for both humans and birds; try adding it to a floral display for a very attractive splash of variety or find a decorative container to grow it on your patio.

Peppers (Bell/Hot) 1 row; spaced every 9” (ANNUAL)

Start both bell and hot peppers indoors under bright light starting in mid-February to late March. Germination temperatures must remain steady around 21 C (70 F). After germination, reduce heat a bit but avoid growing seedlings below 16 C (61 F). Once they are around 2” tall, re-pot them into 3”-4” sized pot until they’re ready for transplanting. They might need yet another pot up if they’re too big before outside temperatures are optimal. Peppers can be sown directly outside when the weather is warmer but they require a fairly long growing season and may not produce ripened fruit before the first autumn frost. Mulching and row covering is highly recommended for direct-seeded pepper plants.

Sow peppers ¼” deep in plain potting soil or a growing mix and keep moist but not sopping wet until the seed has sprouted after 7-14 days. In early June, harden off seedlings by exposing them to outside weather every day until they’ve acclimated to the new growing conditions. A week or so should do it. When there’s no chance of a spring frost, transplant seedlings in a sunny, well-drained place outside. If your soil is compacted or heavy clay, it will help to break it up a bit with a pitchfork or shovel and mix in a generous amount of compost. For maximum yields, apply fertilizer and dried and pulverized egg shells to the transplant site. Both amendments work to grow peppers large and healthy.

Keep your pepper plant weeded and evenly watered. Staking pepper plants may be necessary but should be indicated on relevant seed options. We currently aren’t staking any varieties at Fair Share Market Garden and they’re doing just fine.

Companion Planting: Basil and Marigolds are very common garden companions and along with repelling certain pests and attracting pollinators, they are also said to improve the fruits’ flavor.

Rotation Group: Brassicas (broccoli, cabbages, kale, turnips, etc.) > Legumes (beans, peas, other pod crops) > Root Vegetables (no potatoes)

Oregano – (Greek) – 1 row, spaced every 8” (PERENNIAL)

For best results, sow oregano ¼” deep indoors, 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. Keep temperature at around 21 C for the 7-14 day germination period. Before transplanting, be sure to harden off seedlings by exposing them to outside weather every day until they’ve acclimated to the new growing conditions. A week or so should do it. When there’s no chance of a spring frost, transplant seedlings in a sunny, well-drained place outside. Alternatively, oregano can be sown outdoors in mid to late May or again in mid-August through to mid-September.

Oregano’s flavour intensifies when it is dried.

Companion Planting: All veggies; basil, chives, parsley, savory, thyme

Suggested Uses: Oregano goes with any tomato dishes; excellent pollinator attractor

Popcorn (Sweet/Flour/Popcorn) – 3+ rows, 15” apart; spaced every 8-10” (ANNUAL)

Direct sow 1½” deep all types of corn when the soil has warmed to at least 18 C. It’s best to wait until after the last frost or risk slow germination or seed rot. Work in a general purpose fertilizer or well-composted horse manure when sowing and keep the crop evenly watered all season. To ensure proper pollination, plant at least 3-4 rows in a block formation and keep different varieties as far away as possible if you plan on saving any seed for the following year, as corn cross-pollinates very easily. A small packet of around 50 seeds should be optimal for a 6’x6’ plot in the garden.

Companion Planting: Pole beans + Corn + Squash = “The Three Sisters,” a companion planting combined for centuries by the indigenous peoples of North America

Rotation Group: Potatoes > Legumes (beans, peas, other pod crops) > Brassicas (broccoli, cabbages, kale, turnips, etc.)

Snap Peas 1 row, spaced every ½”; trellis (ANNUAL)

Peas are a cool weather crop that should be sown from early April through to mid-May when the soil temp is 10-16 C, or 4-6 weeks before the last frost. For consistent sprouting, keep the soil evenly moist during the germination period. Avoid the use of high-nitrogen fertilizers. Peas, like other legumes fix nitrogen into the soil without the need for human intervention. Once flowering starts, it is important to keep the plants well-watered to produce large pods. Pick mature pods as often as possible to encourage more flowering. Sow 10-14 days apart for extended harvests.

Companion Planting: Radishes, spinach, lettuce, and other early greens; carrots, celery, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, turnips; avoid Alliums (onion/garlic family)

Rotation Group: Cucurbits (cucumbers, squash, melons) > Asteraceae (lettuce family) > Legumes (specifically bush beans or other pod crops)

Sunflowers – 1 row/hedge; spaced every 12” (ANNUAL)

Sunflowers are extremely easy to grow and tall varieties like Russian Mammoth are very satisfying to walk among.

Direct sow  ½” deep in rich, well-draining soil in late May or sow indoors 2-3 weeks early using peat pots at 21 C (Peat is an unsustainable resource and its harvest causes complete devastation to the natural environment. Try making paper pots, using egg shells or anything else that will maintain its integrity but still remain malleable enough not to obstruct root growth). Harden off seedlings then transplant to a site in full sun. Evenly water for germination. Apply generous compost and fertilizer at the time of sowing or transplanting. Be sure to harvest your sunflower seeds before the blue jays do. If there is little competition in your garden, fallen sunflower seeds will likely reseed themselves.

Companion Planting: Anything. Just avoid potatoes

Tomatillos – 1 row; spaced every 9” (ANNUAL)

Start tomatillos indoors under bright light starting in early May. To ensure pollination, start at least two plants. Like tomatoes, germination temperatures must remain steady around 21 C (70 F). After germination, reduce heat a bit but avoid growing seedlings below 16 C (61 F). Once they are around 2” tall, re-pot them into 3”-4” sized pot until they’re ready for transplanting. Tomatillos can be sown directly outside when the weather is warmer but they will produce much more by transplanting after the last spring frost.

Sow tomatillos ¼” deep in plain potting soil or a growing mix and keep moist but not sopping wet until the seed has sprouted after 3-7 days. In early June, harden off seedlings by exposing them to outside weather every day until they’ve acclimated to the new growing conditions. A week or so should do it. When there’s no chance of a spring frost, transplant seedlings in a sunny, well-drained place outside. If your soil is compacted or heavy clay, it will help to break it up a bit with a pitchfork or shovel and mix in a generous amount of compost.

Keep your tomatillo plant weeded and evenly watered. Staking tomatillo plants is recommended to keep the plant upright and the delicate branches from breaking off.

Store tomatillos, husk and all, in the fridge for about a week. Fruit left on the ground until the following season will likely produce a tangle of new plants. If that’s where you want them, just thin them out and add a dash of fertilizer for best growth.

Companion Planting: Basil and Marigolds are very common garden companions and along with repelling certain pests and attracting pollinators, they are also said to improve the fruits’ flavor.

Rotation Group: Brassicas (broccoli, cabbages, kale, turnips, etc.) > Legumes (beans, peas, other pod crops) > Root Vegetables (no potatoes)

Tomatoes (Indeterminate/Determinate) 1 row; spaced every 9” (ANNUAL)

If you’ve got the space, start both indeterminate (vine) and determinate (bush) tomatoes indoors under bright light starting in late-March to late May. Like peppers, germination temperatures must remain steady around 21 C (70 F). After germination, reduce heat a bit but avoid growing seedlings below 16 C (61 F). Once they are around 2” tall, re-pot them into 3”-4” sized pot until they’re ready for transplanting. They might need yet another pot up if they’re too big before outside temperatures are optimal. Like peppers, tomatoes can be sown directly outside when the weather is warmer but they require a fairly long growing season and may not produce a satisfactory amount of ripened fruit before the first autumn frost. Mulching and row covering is highly recommended for direct-seeded tomato plants.

Sow tomatoes ¼” deep in plain potting soil or a growing mix and keep moist but not sopping wet until the seed has sprouted after 3-7 days. In early June, harden off seedlings by exposing them to outside weather every day until they’ve acclimated to the new growing conditions. A week or so should do it. When there’s no chance of a spring frost, transplant seedlings in a sunny, well-drained place outside. If your soil is compacted or heavy clay, it will help to break it up a bit with a pitchfork or shovel and mix in a generous amount of compost. For maximum yields, apply fertilizer and dried and pulverized egg shells to the transplant site. Both amendments work to grow tomatoes large and healthy.

Keep your tomato plant weeded and evenly watered and try not to shower it with water as it may increase the risk of fungal infection. Instead, water the base of the plant. Staking determinate plants is recommended to keep the plant upright and tomatoes off the ground. Trellising indeterminate plants is absolutely necessary for healthy fruit production.

Companion Planting: Basil and Marigolds are very common garden companions and along with repelling certain pests and attracting pollinators, they are also said to improve the fruits’ flavor.Rotation Group: Brassicas (broccoli, cabbages, kale, turnips, etc.) > Legumes (beans, peas, other pod crops) > Root Vegetables (no potatoes)

More to come . . .

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