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Growing Vegetables/Early bearing vegetables


Hi Mike-

I am a school teacher so I have summers off. I spend most of my summer at my cabin/cottage in North Central Ia. I have had a garden the past few years but some (actually most) of my vegetables ripen too late for me to use as I go back to work before Labor Day and only get back a few times before closing it up for the winter. I tried using transplants and they were better but still didn't have a lot ready by the time I had to leave to go back to work. Is there any catalogs/companies that specialize in early/short growing season vegetables? Could I try starting plants in February/March and transplant a full size plant in May?


Jim, there are no companies that I know of that exclusively sell short-season seeds, but most of the reputable suppliers have sections in their catalogs for these varieties.  

I purchase all of my seed from Park Seed.  They have a great catalog and it is free by request.  All of their seeds have the number of days from sowing to harvest in the description.  Fir instance, some of their early corn varieties can be harvested in just 48 days, as opposed to the standard varieties that take 70 days to mature.  The same is true for tomatoes, such as Early Girl.  Attached is a link to their website.  I highly recommend them for the quality of their seed, as well as their service.

One other suggestion would be to plant vegetables that naturally mature in a short time.  Examples would be lettuce, radishes, bush beans, and beets.  I would not attempt to plant vegetables such as winter squash or melons, as these take close to 100 days to harvest.

Good luck, and enjoy your weekend.



Growing Vegetables

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Mike Mascio


I have been an avid gardener since 1985 and an AllExpert volunteer since 1998. I specialize in soil preparation, seed starting and plant propagation, flowers, vegetables, and general landscaping. I am a strong advocate of the square foot method of gardening and the use of organic controls for pests and diseases.

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