First Timer's Garden Layout
These are great crops for beginning gardeners, easy to start from seed and garden-store transplants. Plant it all at once, in late May in southeast Minnesota. NOTES: When spinach is harvested or ‘bolts' (shoots up), replant with lettuce. Extra plantings of basil or nasturtium may be added for color, flavor and to help ward off pests.


  Summer squash / zucchini Plant seeds
3 hills, 12" apart, 3 seeds per hill, thin to one plant
  Tomato Use transplants
2 plants, 24" apart when staked or caged
  Pepper Use transplants
3 plants, 15" apart
  Swiss chard Plant seeds
Every 8" sow a few seeds, thin to one plant
  Bush bean Plant seeds
Sow seeds 2" apart and 1" deep, thin to 4" apart
  Beet & carrot (1/2 row for each) Plant seeds
Sow seeds 1" apart, thin to 3" for beets, 2" for carrots
Plant a double row of each, 4" between rows
  Spinach (plant first)
Lettuce (after spinach bolts)
Sow spinach 9-10 seeds per foot & thin to 3-4"
Sow lettuce 1" apart, grow as salad mix
Plant seeds, in a double row, 6" between rows
  Onion Use transplants
Plant 4" apart, in a double row with 4" between rows

Arboretum's chosen varieties for 2010

Zucchini ‘Gold Rush'
Tomato ‘Celebrity',
Tomato ‘Red Grape'
Pepper ‘Ace'
Pepper ‘Carmen'
Swiss chard ‘Bright Lights'
Bush bean ‘Foremost'
Beet ‘Red Ace'
Carrot ‘Nelson'
Spinach ‘Spargo'
Lettuce ‘Black-seeded Simpson'
Onion ‘Big Daddy'

Many varieties of these vegetables are available locally and will perform well in this region. Varieties chosen by Arboretum gardeners for 2010 Veggies by the Yard garden plantings at the Arboretum are available from Johnny's Seed Company or Territorial Seed Company.