Seeds – Come And Get ‘Em!

Do you need some seeds to get started? We’ve got you covered! Several OSU Extension offices have individually packaged seed starter kits to get your garden going.
Check out the details for the pick-up process per county location here!

Contents of your Victory Garden Seed Packet

Click on the appropriate name for more information on how to grow your seeds

Beet – Detroit Dark Red

Cucumber-Poinsett 76

Lettuce – Green Ice

Radish – Champion

Sunflower –All Sorts Mix

*Contents of packets vary

Beet– Detroit Dark Red

How to Sow

  • Sow beet seeds in well-worked, well-drained soil in full sun after danger of frost in spring. In frost free areas, sow in fall.
  • Beets are sensitive to acidic soils and prefer a pH of 6.0 – 7.0. If your soil is more acidic, add Garden Lime as directed on the bag.
  • Sow thinly in rows 12 inches apart and cover with ½ inches of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings emerge in 14-21 days.
  • Thin to stand about 3″ apart when seedlings are 1-2″ tall. Note that beet seeds are actually clusters of seeds and require more thinning than other crops.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
  • Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • Pick the greens when they are 4-6 inches long and the roots are less than 2 inches in diameter.
  • Harvest roots at 1 inch for baby beets, up to 3 inches for mature beets.
  • Store fall-harvested beets at 33-35°F at 95% humidity.
  • Cook beet greens like spinach.
  • Beet roots can be pickled, grilled, baked or broiled.
  • To prevent red beets from excessive “bleeding” in cooking, wait until after cooking to peel, remove taproots and slice. Trim off the tops about 1 inch above the roots and wash carefully with a vegetable brush. Boil until tender, then plunge into cold water. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off with your fingers and remove the little taproots. Slice the beets, or serve whole.

(Details obtained from the Burpee website on Detroit Dark Red Beets)
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Cucumber – Poinsett 76

Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Direct sowing is recommended, but to get a head start you can grow cucumbers indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost in individual biodegradable pots indoors. Sow 2-3 seeds per pot.
  • Sow seeds ½ inches deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Thin to one plant per pot.
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • Sow in directly in the garden in fertile, warm soil after danger of frost has passed. Cucumber seeds will not germinate in soil colder than 60 degrees.
  • Sow seeds 3 inches apart in groups of 4-6. Cover with 1 inch of fine soil.
  • Space groups 19 to 26 inches apart each way.
  • Keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
  • Thin to 3 or 4 strongest seedlings in each group when they are 1-2 inches high.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
  • Cucumbers have a shallow root system, mulches help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • As plants grow mulch to control weeds, keep fruits off the ground and conserve moisture
  • Do not move the vines, they are easily injured.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • When cucumber seeds are direct-sown along a cucumber fence, vines can be trained to grow upright for easy picking and to save space for other plants to grow. Good companion vegetable plants are direct-sown radishes, bush snap beans, and transplants of compact herbs, peppers, eggplants and tomatoes. Attract bee pollinators by planting daisies such as sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias and coneflower, and mints such as bee balm, sage, oregano and lavender. More bees mean more chances flowers will be pollinated and develop into fruits.

Growing tips

Harvest & Preserving

  • Like most vegetables, cucumbers are tender and tastiest when harvested young before their seeds are fully developed.
  • Slicing cucumber varieties are generally ready for harvest when about six to eight inches long; pickling cucumber types at three to five inches- both in about 50-60 days from seeding.
  • To avoid damage cut fruit from the vine rather than pull
  • Don’t allow the fruits to become overripe on the vine as this signals to the plant that the seed-development process is nearly complete and it will shut down.
  • Keep mature cucumber fruits picked to encourage further production. During hot weather cucumbers grow very fast, you may need to harvest every day.
  • Harvest the cucumber fruits early in the morning before the sun hits them for the best flavor and texture

(Details obtained from the Burpee website on All about Cucumber)
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Lettuce – Green Ice

How to Sow

  • Sow lettuce seeds in average soil in full sun in early spring for first crop. Sow in late summer for fall crop.
  • Sow every two weeks to extend harvests.
  • In late summer, sow in a protected area that stays below 75 degrees F.
  • Sow thinly in rows 12 inches apart and cover with ¼ inch of fine soil.
  • Follow the spacing recommended on the seed packet for specific varieties.
  • Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-10 days.

How to Grow

  • Thin to stand 8 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2 inches tall.
  • Keep lettuce plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth.
  • Lettuce is shallow-rooted, so avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.
  • Unless there is regular rainfall, lettuce plants must be watered deeply at least once a week and more frequently during periods of drought.
  • Mulch with a layer of compost or clean straw to help the soil retain moisture.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • For the best quality, pick lettuce early rather than late as lettuce allowed to grow too long may be bitter and tough.
  • Try to harvest in the morning when the leaves are crisp, sweet, and full of moisture.
  • Harvest looseleaf types anytime the leaves are large enough to use.
  • Harvest butterhead types when they have formed heads and the leaves are a good size.
  • Cut the heads below the crown.
  • On leaf types, you can just pick a few leaves at a time, if you like.
  • Store for 5-7 days in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Many gardeners wrap leaves in moist paper towels.
  • Lettuce is a classic ingredient in salads. It adds crispness to sandwiches and can be used as a garnish, braised, or added to soups. Many of the looseleaf cultivars are also decorative in the garden.

(Details obtained from the Burpee website on Green Ice Lettuce)
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Radish – Champion

How to Sow

  • Sow radish seeds in well-worked soil after danger of frost in early spring, again in late summer for fall crop. In frost free areas, sow in the fall.
  • Sow thinly in rows about 6″ apart. Cover with 1/2″ of fine soil; firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings emerge in 4-6 days.
  • Thin to stand about 2″ apart.
  • Sow winter radishes in midsummer for late fall and winter use. They can grow large with several inches of root showing above ground.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
  • Water continuously and evenly. Avoid over-fertilizing radish plants.
  • Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • Pull spring radishes when they are the proper size for the type, about 25 days after planting. If you wait too long to harvest they will become pithy. Push back the soil to see if they have formed bulbs, and taste one or two to see if they are ready. Finish harvest before warm weather comes.
  • Cut off the tops and store in plastic bags at 32-40 degrees F, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 weeks.
  • Harvest winter or fall radishes as needed in fall. Dig all remaining roots before the ground freezes and store throughout the winter (use as needed).
  • Radishes may be eaten raw in salads or sautéed in butter with salt, pepper and herbs as a side dish. Winter radishes may be cooked like turnips or used in stir fry. They may also be pickled.

 

(Details obtained from the Burpee website on Champion Radish and All About Radishes )
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Sunflower – All Sorts Mix

How to Sow, to Grow and Tips

  • Direct sow seeds in average soil in full sun after all danger of frost.
  • When choosing a site consider that sunflowers need a well-drained soil. They face the sun, so make sure they are in an open area of the garden. The taller varieties will cast shadows on other plants, so plant these at the north end of your garden.
  • Prepare the soil by removing weeds and working organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
  • Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
  • Sow seeds ½ inch deep in groups of 2 or 3 seeds. Space the groups 18-24 inches apart, depending on the variety.
  • Firm soil lightly, water and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings will emerge in 7-10 days.
  • Thin to one plant per group when seedlings have two sets of leaves.
  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Keep soil evenly moist but not wet.
  • Once established sunflowers can tolerate drought.
  • No fertilizer is needed unless the soil is poor. Do not over fertilize.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Some varieties only produce one bloom so once the bloom is spent, the plant may be removed.
  • Remove plants after they are killed by frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year.
  • Edible sunflowers will mature in about 3 months or more after sowing. To harvest the seeds, cut the heads off after the stalks are quite dry but before fall or winter rains come. Check the flower heads for maturity to see if the florets in the center of the flower disk have shriveled and the back of the flower head is turning yellow, or the head is starting to droop. Cut flower-heads with a foot of the stalk attached. Hang heads in a warm, dry, well-ventilated place so the seeds may fully ripen and dry. Cheesecloth, netting or a paper bag with holes punched in for ventilation should be placed over the head to protect the seeds and to collect those that may drop from drying.
  • Shorter varieties may be grown in containers. Be sure to use a commercial potting mix.
  • Pollenless varieties make terrific cut flowers.
  • (Details obtained from the Burpee website on All About Sunflowers )
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