WFAE’s Charlotte Talks tackled vegetable gardening today. Apparently, it’s not as hard as you might think! One guest, David Blackley is a backyard gardener and owner of Renfrow’s Hardware in Matthews; he eats something from his garden every single night for dinner. He shares some of his harvest (pictured) and some of his tips with us. What should you plant and what should you eat every holiday of the year – Good Friday, Tax Day? His tips fill you in… (keep reading.)
Listen to the Show
Vegetable Planting Guide (pdf)
Holiday Calendar for your Garden of Eatin’ (From Renfrow’s Hardware)
Remember, there is something to plant and something to eat from your Garden of Eatin’ 365 days of the year.
New Year’s Day
Cook collards; scratch in onions; plant blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, fruit trees, scuppernongs, etc. Prune fruit trees and grape vines. Eat your last ripe tomato from fall (ask David how!) Eat the Brussels sprouts and broccoli that you planted in the fall.
Super Bowl Weekend
Earliest starting of indoor seeds: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. Cook up a pot of greens and make a spinach salad to go with your chips and beer! Pop up a skillet of your homegrown popcorn. Delicious!
Plant sugar peas, onions, fruits and berries, Irish potatoes and asparagus. Plant rhubarb and horseradish.
Start tomato and pepper seeds inside. Cut down cover crops so soil can begin to dry out. You should still be enjoying your collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lettuce and spinach from your fall planting. Put up your walls of water for your tomatoes that you started indoors during Super Bowl weekend. Plant lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard for a short harvest season before spring planting hits.
Traditional planting day in the south. Good zodiac signs. Often too cool when Easter falls early though. Arrival of baby chicks, turkeys, guineas, bobwhite quail. Will have shipments every week for the next eight or so. First planting of sweet corn.
Most everything can be planted by seed or plants, though it may be a little cool at night for cukes, eggplant, okra seed. Second planting of sweet corn.
Replant after your “frost god” sacrifices. (Those tomato and pepper plants that weren’t protected when that late frost came around.) Plant sweet potato plants. Second planting of tomatoes. Best to have waited to plant pepper plants now. Harvest large sweet onions. Early garlic harvest.
Traditional planting day for our transplanted Yankee customers. Planting and weeding is in full swing. Really good gardeners have picked their first ripe tomato. Squash should be coming in nicely.
Last Day of School
Third planting of tomatoes and last planting of sweet corn. Leave excess zucchini on neighbors’ porches. Should be harvesting and drying herbs by now before they begin blooming. You could be eating your first picking of green beans.
Fourth of July
Most folks should be eating maters by now and some sweet corn if you are good! Last planting of squash and zucchini. Any later and the worms get into the fruit. Great time to plant Crowder peas. They will harvest in August and September when you are sick of eating green beans. Start leek, onion and broccoli seeds in cups. Last chance for planting tomatoes. Lima beans and butter peas are in full swing.
Vegetarian Month: Who wants meat when there is okra, corn, beans, maters, peas, squash, corn…? Well, you get it. August maters make the best juice. You should be canning everything in sight! Plant fall turnips before Labor Day.
Labor Day through Halloween
Plant mixed greens, beets, sugar peas, cover crops, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, onions. Dig sweet potatoes and harvest pumpkins and remaining green tomatoes before frost. Gather the first eggs from your spring chicks that are now around six months old.
Your greens have had a few good frosts on them. Now it’s time to put some in the freezer. Give thanks and gorge yourself on your sweet potatoes, collards, turnips. Time to eat the turkey you raised. Who needs Harris Teeter these days! Start planting fruit trees, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. New package seed will start arriving for Santa to pick up for stocking stuffers.
Eat one cherished red tomato from the dozen on your kitchen windowsill with the cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts you just harvested from your garden.
More from WFAEats:
Vegetable Planting Guide (pdf)