Top 07 Plants Selection for Garden 2020Top 07 Plants Selection for Garden 2020
1. Red Ace Beets
Pickled beets are a wintertime family favorite around here, and they are one of my son’s favorite vegetables. Red ace is a reliable, solid producer. Beets are another plant that has few pest problems, yield well in a small space, and are not very much work to cultivate. They do well in moderately fertile soil.
I don’t rush planting beets because I direct seed them into the garden and they will germinate better once the soil has warmed up, so I wait until the middle of May to plant the seeds. I used to thin them out when they were seedlings, but now I wait a lot longer until the plants are very well established and the smallest beets are about the size of a ping-pong ball. Then I’ll harvest up all the smallest beets to use in mid-summer salads and let the larger beets keep maturing until they are pretty big, baseball-sized or bigger. They are usually ready to harvest in late summer, when I’ll harvest them all and can them all in the same day.
2. Arcadia Broccoli
I particularly love eating broccoli, so although it is not easy to cultivate and takes a lot of space for the yield it delivers, for me it is worth the trouble. All vegetables taste better when they are freshly picked from the garden and this is especially true with broccoli.
For years I tried growing broccoli in the early spring, trying to get it to grow quickly before the summer heat set in to stress the plants and make them flower. It is possible to get good results like this if your soil is very fertile so as to encourage fast growth, and you provide ample irrigation and if you have a fairly long, mild spring. Most years my spring crop would be a partial success, but the yield was a bit disappointing, even in good years. In years when the broccoli would get stressed because of heat or lack of water, the results were pretty pitiful.
So now I don’t bother with spring plantings of broccoli, and I wait until late June to plant small broccoli plants that I seed into flats around mid-May. In my climate, I can keep planting broccoli until the end of July, and that gives me broccoli to harvest until mid-October.
When I harvest Arcadia, for the first few weeks I cut the central shoot and leave the plant in the ground because this variety grows vigorous, large side shoots once the central shoot is harvested. It also has excellent cold tolerance, perfect for fall production. I like to put some up in the freezer for wintertime eating.