Planting in the Market Garden

Novice vegetable gardeners often ask, “How do I keep my garden producing food all season long?” Part of the answer is: you plant new crops at intervals throughout the season. Recently, we did just that in our Market Garden. But planting on a larger production scale requires some special tools and planning. Here’s how it happens:

This week the Market Garden crew planted flats of gilfeather turnip (Vermont’s state vegetable), dill, and salanova lettuce. (We grow salanova lettuce as a mix, but it can be grown as a lettuce head, too, depending on spacing and how it’s harvested). We grew all the plants from seed in our greenhouse. Before planting, we submerged them in a fish fertilizer dunk to give them a fertility boost that helps when transplanting.  (Transplanting can be tough on plants, especially in hot weather). 

We use a plug popper to loosen the seedlings and get them out of the trays. The popper has little dowels that perfectly match whichever seed tray we’ve used. For example, we seed into trays with 200 cells, so the popper has 200 little dowels spaced the same as the tray cells. We used the popper for the gilfeather turnip and the dill, but not the salanova. 

We measure the bed feet with the measuring wheel. We know how much space we need because each winter we do math: we plan which plants will go in which fields, how many bed feet are needed, and thus how many seeds need to be planted in the greenhouse. 

We use a multi-row dibbler wheel to mark the spacing for the planting. The dibbler has removable spikes that can be set to whatever spacing we need.

We roll the dibbler down the bed and it makes impressions in the soil where the plants need to go.

One person lays out the plants and another person follows burying them in the soil. The transplants then get watered!  We also put metal hoops and netting over the gilfeather turnip to control pests. (The dill and salanova don’t get covered.)

Thanks to the Market Garden team for all their work growing healthy, organic, and delicious fresh produce! Order your favorite veggies and fruits from our Farm Store for curbside pickup. (Blueberries are now in season!)

Lynn Wolfe

Posted by Lynn Wolfe

July 21, 2020

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