Organic Seeds and Farming

Planting Instructions

BEANS

Snap Beans: Sow seed 1inch deep, 2-3 inches apart in rows 15-18inches apart. Sow after mid May and as late as the end of July.

Dry Beans: Sow same as snap beans except from mid to late May only.

Runner Beans: Sow seed 1inch deep, 3-4 inches apart in mid to late May. Requires netting or trellis to grow vines up to 7 ft. tall.

Fava Beans: Sow seed 1 inch deep, 3-4 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart. Plant as early as soil can be worked in February if possible to have beans ready before black aphids appear. Can also be sown in late November in sheltered area. Mulch around plants after they emerge.

Lentils: same as dry beans.

Soy Beans: same as dry beans.

PEAS

Oregon Sugar Pod II: Sow seed 1 inch deep, 1-2 inches apart. Vines will grow 3 ft. tall on netting or trellis. Sow in early March and as late as the end of July.

Green Arrow: Sow same as Oregon Sugar Pod but from mid March to late April.

Sugar Snap: Sow same as Green Arrow. Requires netting or trellis to grow vines up to 7 ft. tall.

Sugar Ann: Sow same as Oregon Sugar Pod but doesn’t require support.

Norli: Sow same as Oregon Sugar Pod but doesn’t require support.

Little Marvel: Sow same as Oregon Sugar Pod but doesn’t require support.

GREENS

Arugula, etc.: Direct seed in garden 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart. Thin to 6 inches apart or leave densely planted for cut and come again.

KALE

Direct seed 1/2 inch deep and 4 inch apart. Thin to 15-18 inches between plants. Sow seed from early March to mid August. Sow densely for cut and come again. Will overwinter on the West Coast.

LETTUCE

Sow seed 1-2 inches apart in good well composted soil. Cover with just enough soil to keep seeds moist, thin to 8 inches between plants or sow in trays indoors and transplant out after 2 true leaves have developed ( about 3 weeks). Keep lettuce well watered for rapid growth and to avoid bitterness. Plant densely for cut and come again.

PEPPERS

See instructions for tomatoes.

TOMATOES

Here on the south coast of B.C.,we put our plants in the ground the end of May. I usually start my peppers in late Feb., and my tomatoes mid to late March. Growing your own plants from seed is well worth the effort. You will know exactly how they were grown, (what was used on them) and you will be able to grow great varieties that are not available in garden shops.

   I use a peat/ perlite mix to start my seeds in trays on tables, filling the trays full – you don’t want the level of the soil too low because this creates a “dead air” space where mold likes to hang out.-Plant seed and cover with just a dusting of soil medium. I then place the trays in bustubs of warm water until just moist. Drain well, and take care not to over water. Cover with clear plastic, and lower a fluorescent light fixture down to a couple inches from the soil surface. (You can buy these fixtures for around $20. and they’re a good investment) You can use bricks to raise /lower them. As soon as the seeds germinate, (tomatoes 5-10 days, peppers 2-4wks) remove plastic. Peppers can be fussier, and in some areas highly chlorinated water can apparently be a problem. As plants grow, adjust the light up as needed, and when the “true” leaves appear, you can transplant each seedling into a bigger pot. I use 4inch pots with a good soil mix. We make our own: 1part sifted compost, 1/2 part peat, 1/2 part perlite, adding one handful of organic fertilizer made from: 4pts. alfalfameal, 1pt.rock phosphate, 1pt dolomite lime, 1/2 pt. greensand, 1/2 pt kelpmeal. Or you can get an organic mix at the garden shop. We sometimes water with kelp and fish or comfrey tea. Harden plants off outside after all danger of frost. Plant in ground  or large container in Late May. Most of our varieties need to be staked.

WHEAT

Sow in early spring 1/2″ deep, 1″ apart in parallel rows about 6″ apart for wind resistance

ZUCCHINI, PUMPKIN AND WINTER SQUASH

Sow seeds indoors in late April or early May. Transplant into garden in mid to late May. Should be transplanted as soon as first true leaves have fully developed.

TOMATO SEED SAVING

Saving Tomato seed is easy. Most important is to be absolutely sure of the variety when you plant, always tag, and identify your varieties and make a map of where they are planted.
Select several typical tomatoes of 1variety, squeeze seeds and juice into a small labeled cup,set aside . Allow to ferment 5 days at room temp until a good layer of mold appears. This fermentation process cleans the seed and eliminates most pathogens.–At this point remove the mold layer, rinse and decant allowing the seed to settle to the bottom, pouring off any remaining material. Now dry the clean seeds on a labeled paper plate for a few days. When completely dry, store in a sealed jar or ziploc bag in a cool dry dark place.or–If you need just a few seeds, just squeeze onto a paper towel right from the tomato, label dry completely, and store in a zip bag. Marti