Challenging vegetables

Wed. Mar. 4, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Challenging vegetables

I’m not talking about challenging them to a fight!

As I talked about seed starting, there are some vegetables that are just a bit more challenging to grow.

Carrots for instance. I love carrots but they really love loose soil, the seeds don’t like busting through hard soil.

Carrots ‘Purple Dragon’ – these were planted in a first year raised bed – the soil was not compacted and they grew beautifully!

One trick I heard from The Spruce is to plant radishes right next to the carrots, they come up first and have no problem breaking up the soil. Of course you’ll pull those radishes out when the carrots start growing.  Or, you can plant seeds indoors and transplant in May. Two main things for carrot success are loose soil and mulch!

While cauliflower is considered part of the brassica family and a cool season veggie, it’s also a biennial, meaning it grows leaves one year and flowers the next.  Mature plants can handle cold, but cauliflower seedlings actually like temperatures in the 60s F. Don’t plant these until 3 weeks before the last frost date and have a row cover nearby.  Another thing cauliflower doesn’t like is fluctuating temperatures. That will produce tiny heads. If this winter is any indication of our summer to come, that’s going to be interesting! has some great information too!  I didn’t have great luck with cauliflower, the heads were small.

Head lettuce can be challenging. Lettuce likes it cool. If we end up with a warmer than normal Spring and hot summer temps, your lettuce will be way too bitter to eat. Then you’re talking compost pile! A few tips to help would be planting in a more shaded spot and/or starting plants in mid Summer for a Fall harvest.  Another tip is to transplant lettuce seedlings in late afternoon and water them in well. This gives them the whole evening and night to settle in before the sun shines on them!

Lettuce ‘Buttercrunch’

Loose leaf lettuce is really easy to grow!

loose leaf lettuce with kale and nasturtium