If you are a serious vegetable gardener on Long Island you’ve probably put lettuce, beets, kale, mesclun greens, snow peas, cabbage and other cool weather crops in the ground.


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Red and green romaine, butter crunch lettuce, parsley and beets in the ground

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The tomatoes and peppers are still in the greenhouse or indoors as they go through the hardening stage (leave them out in the sun for a couple of hours each day and then bring them inside till they are ready to go in the ground around Mother’s Day)  Usually they will start to get much larger when given some outside time and you will have to transplant them into larger cups.  Use the the kind that melt down and become soil after a few weeks in the ground. You can find them at any garden shop or home store.




And if you haven’t started outside yet BETTER GET MOVING! You’re running out of precious growing season . If you have a tiller (I use a small compact MANTIS…it works great) work the ground into a nice loose consistency.




That brings in plenty of fresh air and allows the rain to soak deeply. It also makes it a lot easier for your plants to root freely. We don’t want highly compacted soil.


You can add some organic fertilizer before you put down your seeds or live plants. . I use VEGETABLES ALIVE from the organic catalogue GARDENS ALIVE. It’s easy to find online.

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Once you’ve got the ground ready to go you can plant seeds and or plants already started from the local nursery. We like to do both.



Swiss chard, Rosemary, cabbage, curly kale and beets from the local nursery already started


Somethings are better from seed and some of the plants I get started do really well. We like FORT HILL NURSERY on Route 25A in Huntington. Year after year we do really well with their beets, swiss chard, curly kale, and different types of romaine and butter crunch lettuce.


This year we planted seeds for Dinosaur Kale…a variety we really like.  It’s actually an Italian heirloom that we got from BURPEE.

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We always try to plant in long rows whenever possible with about 10 inches between the rows so we can get in there with a tool and keep the weeds to a minimum. Once the plants get tall enough we mulch the areas with a good organic compost. This feeds the plants and also keeps weeds away. Make sure your plants are strong and healthy before you lay down a few inches of mulch.  If they are weak or not firmly rooted the mulch can kill them.

In a few weeks we’ll be planting the warm weather crops…tomatoes, peppers, basil and eggplant.  We’ll update you then.


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3 Responses to GET THOSE VEGGIES ROLLING NOW!-Garden 2015

  1. Monica says:

    Hi Joe. I enjoyed your article and the pics too. I have been looking for an organic fertilizer and it seems none of the nurseries around me sell it. So when I saw the one you recommended from Garden Alive, I googled it and I came across some not very good info about this company. Check out the negative reviews they have:
    Keep up the good work!

    • joeref says:

      Hi Monica. I can only relate my own experiences. I have used Gardens Alive for organic fertilizers and a few pest products for about 10 years and I’ve never had a single problem of any kind…billing, shipping or product performance.

  2. Pingback: The Veggie Garden 2015-continued | Joe Refano's BIG MOUTH

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