There are some specific things to know when preparing to plant your seeds. Every seed is different. You will want to know planting in relation to the frost date, planting depth, seed spacing, thinning info and harvest details. It is also nice to know a little background, history and suggestions on food preparation.
In order to accomplish this you need to follow the instructions on the seed packet.
These are my seed packets for the Spring 2012
These descriptions and planting instructions are taken directly from the seed packets.
Eggplant Ukrainian Beauty
Big, beautiful, purple-black fruit are great for baking. This great variety comes from Ukraine, and sets heavy yields on the 3-4 feet tall bushy plants. We like large eggplants breaded and baked, then served with spaghetti sauce.
Planting Instructions: Start indoors 8-12 weeks before last frost. Surface-sow and keep moist until sprouts appear, which can take up to three weeks or so. Transplant into the garden when weather has settled and soil is warm. Provide rich soil and ample moisture.
Pepper Red Belgian
This variety is popular among growers for its earliness and high yields. The fruit start out a pale yellow, then slowly turn red. The peppers are wedge shaped and 3-1/2″ long. Many growers prefer the flavor to ordinary bell peppers as they are very sweet and rich in taste. This is a family heirloom from Belgium.
Planting Instructions: Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before last frost date of spring. Surface-sow or barley cover the seeds which benefit from light to hurry germination. Keep the seed-tray in warm conditions, but do not allow to dry out. When sprouts appear, move to a sunny window or grow-light. Set out well-developed transplants after last frost date when weather is warm. Peppers need rich soil. Peppers may be used green or ripe.
Tomato Abu Rawan
Planting Instructions: Volumes have been written about tomato culture, but tomatoes can be grown simply enough by the backyard grower. This Queen of the Summer Garden is usually started from seed indoors 4-8 weeks prior to the last frost of spring. Seeds are surface-sown or covered only slightly to allow light which sometimes assists germination. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Containers are held in warm conditions until sprouts appear, which may take anywhere from 3-10 days, depending on temperatures, moisture, etc. Move sprouting plantings immediately to bright light conditions, such as a south -facing window or under a grow-light setup. Inadequate light is a frequent cause of failure of young seedlings. At about the time of last frost, set out seedlings into rich, moist soil, well amended with compost, manure, or other good organic soil amendment. Set the plants more deeply than they grew in their pots, removing any leaves that would then be below soil level. Most indoor seedlings are too leggy despite best efforts, and the extra stem becomes an active party of the root system. Mulch to keep water from splashing from the soil onto the leaves, which is thought to spread blight. Most heirloom tomato plants get pretty large under good conditions, and should be staked to avoid sprawling over the mulch. Fruit laying on the surface is apt to rot, even on a well-draining mulch like coarse straw. Mulch also keeps soil temperatures and moisture conditions more constant. Judging ripeness is largely a matter of watching for a color change, or a softening of the fruit.
Leek Giant Musselburgh
An heirloom that was introduced in 1834, near Edinburgh, Scotland. Large, very thick stems, with a mild, tasty flavor. Grows well in most locations, perfect for home or market, this old favorite has huge size, and is very winter hardy.
Planting Instructions: Sow seed indoors in late winter. Sprinkle on soil surface, barely covering, and keep moist until the thread-like seedlings emerge. Grow in full sun, and cool conditions, with afternoon temps under 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Set seedlings outdoors 6-8 weeks before last frost of spring into rich, finely-worked soil. Plant in rows one foot apart and allow up to 6 inches between seedlings in the row. Weeds must be controlled as the seedlings do not compete well. When plants reach about the thickness of a pencil, mulch may be applied to control weeds and conserve moisture. Add to the mulch as the plants grow, until final depth of mulch is about six inches. This will blanch the lower portion of the plant and allow the leeks to grow thick and succulent.
Rocky Top Lettuce Salad Mix
Our improved blend is now better than ever! With more brightly colored and unique lettuces, it makes a flavorful and brilliant salad. A top selling item for us – our customers just love it! People love the rich, old-fashioned taste.
Planting Instructions: An Old World crop that requires cooler temperatures to grow really well. Plants may benefit from a few hours of afternoon shade in hottest summer weather. Sow seed on soil surface and rake in lightly or otherwise barely cover, but not too deeply. Do not allow seedbed to get dry. Thin gradually, enjoying the thinnings in an early salad or two.
Snow Peas Sugar Ann
An early, edible-pod pea ideal for small gardens. Its short, bushy vines do not need support, and it produces about 10 days earlier than other snap peas. Delicious pods are a joy sauteed, fresh or steamed. An AAS winner from 1984.
Planting Instructions: All require mild weather to do their best. May be sown in the spring, one-half to one inch deep and several inches apart in all directions, several weeks before the last frost date of spring. Most types need support, such as a trellis, net, fence, etc. Try to time the planting so the plants mature a full crop before the arrival of really hot weather. For fall planting, sow the seeds in the late summer two months before first frost date of autumn.
Squash Golden Zucchini
Slender fruit are bright golden-yellow, they are as delicious as they are attractive, bush plants.
Planting Instructions: Summer Squash are grown from immature fruits which can be harvested all summer long. Very heavy feeders, they need soil heavily amended with manure, compost, or other source of lots of nutrients. Sow in place in full sun after last frost; or start a couple weeks earlier indoors, but never let squash transplants become rootbound, and do not disturb the roots in transplanting. Seed are sown up to one inch deep. Space plants 3′ apart.
Squash Zucchini Black Beauty
The classic dark-green, summer squash that has made modern zucchini of this type popular. Introduced in the U.S. markets in the 1920′s and seed companies started listing it in the 1930′s. Delicious fried or baked, best picked young.
Planting Instructions: Very heavy feeders, they need soil heavily amended with manure, compost, or other source of lots of nutrients. Sow in a place in full sun after last frost; or start a couple weeks earlier indoors, but never let squash transplants become rootbound, and do not disturb the roots in transplanting. Seed are sown up to one inch deep. With the exception of Zucchino Rampicante, summer squash are bush-type (non-running) plants that may be grown 4-5 feet apart.
Basil Greek Dwarf
Planting Instructions: Basil thrives in summer heat. May be sown in place in long summer areas, or started indoors and set out after last frost date of spring. Seed should be sown in warm conditions, covered very lightly, and kept reasonably moist until seedlings emerge. Grow in full sun. Set out seedlings at any size, when warm conditions have arrived to stay. Plants can be spaced at least 6-12 inches apart, but most varieties will fill in when spaced up to 24 inches. Keeping flower spikes picked off in early summer will allow the plants to grow more quickly.
Popular in Mexican cuisine, this herb is a must for all salsa and chili recipes, delicious and flavorful.
Planting Instructions: Hardy annual, 40-60 days – prefers cool conditions, not adapted to hot summer cultivation. Direct-sow in ordinary garden soil where plants are to grow, covering the seed up to 1/4 – 1/2 inch deep. Space plants 8-12 inches apart; do not crowd. Likes full sun in cooler seasons, partial shade in hotter weather. Succession plant for continued harvest, sowing every two to three weeks from earliest spring till hot weather, and resuming when summer’s heat begins to lessen. Harvest leaves as needed until plant sets seed; thereafter, allow the seed to mature; harvest and dry for coriander.
Wonderful mild onion flavor, these long, thin chives are excellent in many meals; great raw or cooked. Lavender flowers.
Planting Instructions: Sow the fine seed on soil surface, never allowing mix to really dry out. Set outside around last frost date of spring, or direct-seed in garden at about that time. Perennial.
Parsley Giant of Italy
A very large Italian strain of parsley with great flavor. Perfect for sauces.
Planting Instructions: Hardy biennial, grown as an annual – Sow in place in the garden in early spring or late summer in deep, rich, well-worked soil. Prefers afternoon shade in hot-summer areas. Cover seeds 1/4 to 1/2 deep and keep moist. Thin seedlings to 6-8 inches apart. Plants need adequate water throughout the growing season.