Cold Crops – Vegetables you can plant as soon as you are able to get in the garden, as early as April some years in Minnesota ( Zone 4).

Growing Beets

When to Plant Beets – Cold crop in Zone 4 – can be planted as soon as the ground is worked up.

How to Plant Beets – Plant seeds ½ inches deep.  This seed is good size so it’s easy to plant.  Do not seed too thickly.

After Planting Beets – It’s hard to plant thin but they can also be thinned after the plants come up, about 3-4 inches tall.

Harvesting Beets – When they have a nice set of leaves about 4 to 5 inches tall you can pull them.  Eat them in a fresh green salad or cook them.  You need a lot for cooking so fresh might be better!

Cooking Beets – Do not cut off the root or the tops!  If you cut the root and tops off they will ‘bleed to death’!  Cut about 1 inch above the root bulb.  They need to cook about 20 minutes.  Rinse under cold water.  Slip skin off.  Cut into cubes.  Butter, salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

 

Growing Cabbage

When to Plant Cabbage – Cold crop – these are starter plants.  An early variety is good to plant.  If you have room, then plant again at mid-season.  Check days on tags in pots.

How to Plant Cabbage – Plant 14 to 18 inches apart

After Planting Cabbage – These can be ornery.  I dust with an organic dust called Dipel (yes, I have extra to sell).  The white butter flies are the insects that cause the problems.  They lay eggs on the plants and then the green larva eats the cabbage.

Harvesting Cabbage – Keep track of days from planting.  That works to know when to pick.  To check if ready to harvest heads of cabbage, put your hand on the head an if it feels hard, it’s ready to pick.  After you cut it off stem, peel outer leaves to get to a nice head.  Put in cold water to crisp up.  You then put in fridge to continue chilling or prepare it for dinner!

 

Growing Carrots

When to Plant Carrots – Cold crop in Zone 4.  Can be seeded as soon as the ground is worked up.

How to Plant Carrots – This seed is very fine an be sure to plant thin.  Do not plant deep.  You can take the end of your hoe handle and make a dent in the soil.  If your soil is not soft drag the hoe to make the row.  Then find soft soil and cover seed.  The soft soil can be next to your row and just dig with your hand and gather some to sprinkle over the carrot seed.

After Planting Carrots – It’s good to thin plants when they get about 3 to 4 inches tall.  You will have a better carrot if you thin so the plants remaining can spread.

Harvesting Carrots – About 60 days from when carrots came up, check carrots for size.  When they are about 6 inches long and shoulders are ½ to 1 inch wide you can dig them.  Wipe off soil from one of them and eat your first taste of heaven!