The priority here is to prevent disease

by making sure there is good air circulation, and good cultural practices. Plants will grow quickly and use nutrients quickly too, so keep them well fed with compost and get a soil test.

Start with the soil: good drainage will allow air to supply your plants’ roots with oxygen, and prevent root rot. Beds raised above the rest of the garden will drain better. Adding compost will not only lighten the soil and allow for air pockets, but it will increase the diversity of soil micro-life, keeping it in balance. Consider using inoculants of beneficial fungi and bacteria to increase this effect.
Keep the soil from building up problems by rotating crops. The basic plant families are: cabbage/kale; potato/tomato; squash/melon; grain/corn; spinach/beet; pea/bean; carrot/parsley and lettuce/endive. The plants within each group share diseases and pests, so you should not grow them in the same spot two years running. Herbs and flowers scattered around the garden help to deter pests too.Make sure that plant wastes are hot-composted at the end of the season, to kill disease spores and overwintering pests.

In planting, ensure air circulation by using wider spacings and by keeping the beds weeded. Don’t enclose your garden too much—let breezes in and out. Trellis climbers and tomatoes well, and keep the bottom 12”-18” free of leaves. A light mulch will prevent spore-laden soil from splashing on plants. Weekly spraying with compost tea prevents disease and adds nutrients.
Resources:
Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast by Ira Wallace
Good Bug, Bad Bug, by Jessica Walliser
Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier
Popular This Season:
Lettuce+anuenue
On Sale 10%

Anuenue Summercrisp Lettuce

The only lettuce we know that will sprout in temperatures above 85°F without special treatment. A wonderful summer lettuce, developed in Hawaii. Does equally...
  • Days to maturity: 68-87
  • When to plant: Winter
  • Spacing: 8-9
Vgr 3740 eruca+sativa rocket leo+michels wikipedia
On Sale 10%

Arugula Greens, Organic

Fast and easy. Spicy, tender leaves and flowers for salads with mouth-watering flavor.Self-sows, attracts beneficial insects, makes a great understory  in su...
  • Days to maturity: 37-50
  • Seeds per packet: 200
  • Germination days: 5-10
Orach+aurora
On Sale 10%

Aurora Orach, Organic

An amazing rainbow of bright and unusual colors really jazzes up summer salads and vegetable plates: red, gold, green, pink, carmine, and purple. The leaves ...
  • Days to maturity: 37-60
  • Seeds per packet: 80
  • Germination days: 7-14
Bean+black+turtle
On Sale 10%

Black Turtle Dry Bush Bean, organic

Plump, beautiful black beans for soup or refries, on 22-24" tall bushes. Unique, sought-after flavor. Can be harvested earlier as green snap bean, then later...
  • Days to maturity: 95
  • When to plant: After danger of frost
  • Germination days: 8-16
Vle 4260 bronze+arrow+lettuce
On Sale 10%

Bronze Arrow Looseleaf Lettuce

A rare, long-standing heirloom leaf lettuce that has it all. Our own strain, unavailable elsewhere. The head in the picture sprouted from spilled seed in the...
  • Spacing: 8-9
  • Days to maturity: 60
  • Germination days: 2-15
Okra+cajun+jewel
On Sale 10%

Cajun Jewel Okra, Organic

Already a favorite in the South, we suggest trying this jewel in the North too.We don't live in good okra country; nights are cool here in the Coast Range. C...
  • Days to maturity: 50-64
  • Germination days: 10-15
  • Seeds per packet: 40
Vbe 2160+ca+blackeyed+pea
On Sale 10%

California Black Eyed Peas

Bush variety. Customers say these are "unbelievably easy to grow". Erect, high-yielding plants bear creamy-textured beans with distinct, delicious flavor. BO...
  • Seeds per packet: 130
  • Days to maturity: 85
  • Germination days: 8-16
Corn+country+gent
On Sale 10%

Country Gentleman (Shoe-peg) Sweet Corn, Organic

Heirloom white corn from 1890-many folks favorite. Called "shoepeg" corn because the kernels are not oblong and growing in rows, but round and cover the cob ...
  • Days to maturity: 95
  • Planting depth: 1-2
  • When to plant: Mid-summer
Watermelon+crimson sweet
On Sale 10%

Crimson Sweet Watermelon

Staff pick for quality and flavor.Deep red, firm flesh with a high sugar content and rich, complex, taste. The most disease-resistant watermelon we carry, wi...
  • Spacing: 12-24
  • Days to maturity: 90
  • Germination days: 10-14
Vbr 2540 109 broccoli di ciccio terra web
On Sale 10%

Di Cicco Broccoli, Organic

A rich-tasting old Italian heirloom. A best-seller year after year-reliable and tasty. Compact 2-3' light-green plants. Harvesting the 3-4" central head stim...
  • Days to maturity: 48-85
  • When to plant: Early fall
  • Germination days: 5-17
Tomato eva purple ball
On Sale 10%

Eva Purple Ball Tomato

It is unusual for an heirloom to have such outstanding disease resistance. Even shows some resistance to late blight. In this case, \"purple\" is really a ro...
  • When to plant: 6-8 weeks last frost
  • Days to maturity: 69-80
  • Spacing: 24
Vco 3299florianicorn
On Sale 10%

Floriani Corn, Organic

The most sought-after polenta corn. Heirloom from the Valsugana Valley of Italy, and renowed for its fabulous flavor. Small, popcorn-like kernels are a lovel...
  • Days to maturity: 100
  • Planting depth: 1-2
  • When to plant: Mid-summer
Vco 3240 dsc 0327 web

Georgia Collards

Old Southern heirloom from 1880 with crumpled, very tender leaves. We have received many comments from customers who really appreciate the flavor of this par...
  • Days to maturity: 60-80
  • Germination days: 5-17
  • When to plant: Mid-summer
Corn golden bantam 8 row
On Sale 10%

Golden Bantam Sweet Corn

Heirloom from 1902, and still a favorite. This is the original 8-row strain which was the first popular yellow sweet corn. 8 rows of yellow kernels on 7" ear...
  • Days to maturity: 70
  • Planting depth: 1-2
  • When to plant: Mid-summer
Vmu 4455greenwave
On Sale 10%

Green Wave Mustard Greens, Organic

Big, easy to grow, flavorful curly mustard. Large, bright-green leaves with frilled edges are hot when raw, with rich, deep almost smoky.flavor cooked. Class...
  • Days to maturity: 35-60
  • Germination days: 9-12
  • Seeds per packet: 200
Vpe 4885+habanero
On Sale 10%

Habanero Hot Pepper

Incomparable in salsa. Famous extrahot pepperfrom the Yucatan, Jamaica, and all the Caribbean. Bushy 24" plants loaded with peppers. Lantern-shaped f...
  • Days to maturity: 90-100
  • Germination days: 8-25
  • Seeds per packet: 30
Tomato homestead
On Sale 10%

Homestead 24 Tomato

Great for hot, humid regions like the South. This variety reliably sets fruit in high temperatures. Big, leafy vines produce lots of smooth, red, slightly fl...
  • When to plant: 6-8 weeks last frost
  • Spacing: 21
  • Days to maturity: 69-80
Vle 4200 lettuce jericho 3 web
On Sale 10%

Jericho Romaine (Cos) Lettuce, Organic

Heat-resistant variety from the deserts of Israel with large, dense, green heads 12-14" tall. Golden Rule Garden coordinator Ellen Bartholomew says, "It will...
  • Spacing: 10-12
  • Days to maturity: 60
  • Germination days: 2-15
Vbe 2355 king web
On Sale 10%

King of the Garden, Henderson's Leviathan Lima Bean

Some people call them Butterbeans. Developed in 1883 by Frank Platt, and still a standout for its early ripening and ability to take cooler weather than othe...
  • Days to maturity: 85
  • Spacing: 8
  • Seeds per packet: 50
Vgr 3790 02438.03.grnmalabar.cat
On Sale 10%

Malabar Spinach

A very unusual productive and delicious Asian vegetable. Thick, darkgreen leaves on handsome 6' vines provide abundant tasty greens throughout the summer. He...
  • Days to maturity: 90
  • Seeds per packet: 50
  • Germination days: 7-14
Vcu 3441 jamie+pics+october+2010+215
On Sale 10%

Marketmore 76 Cucumber, Organic

Dark green 8" blunt-ended fruit. Prolific and vigorous plant, tolerant to mosaic. Great home garden variety of the "supermarket" type cucumber. BOTANICAL NA...
  • Days to maturity: 58-75
  • Seeds per packet: 40
  • Germination days: 7-10
Tomato+matts+wild
On Sale 10%

Matt's Wild Cherry Tomato

Fun to grow. Trusses of very sweet, intensely-flavored tiny ½" fruit. Harvest whole bunches with scissors, like grapes. Big vines should be trellised and can...
  • When to plant: 6-8 weeks last frost
  • Days to maturity: 55-68
  • Spacing: 18
Vle 4273 lettuce merlot brighter web
On Sale 10%

Merlot Looseleaf Lettuce, Organic

Darkest red of all lettuces-deep purple in bright sun-and highest in anti-oxidant anthocyanins. Shiny curly leaves have complete resistance to downy mildew r...
  • Days to maturity: 30-59
  • When to plant: Winter
  • Spacing: 8-9
Squash+musque+de+provence
On Sale 10%

Musque de Provence Pumpkin, organic

Rich, complex flavor, used both cooked and sliced thin as a crunchy raw vegetable. Long keeping French heirloom, still much in use today. Disease and pest re...
  • When to plant: After frost, warm soil
  • Days to maturity: 110
  • Planting depth: 1.5-2
Purslane
On Sale 10%

Purslane Greens, Organic

Does well in any garden soil, and loves hot weather. Fleshy, crunchy leaves have a fresh, very slightly lemony flavor, great in summer salads. Popular in man...
  • When to plant: Spring
  • Days to maturity: 50
  • Seeds per packet: 200
Veg 3520 dscf2286 web
On Sale 10%

Rosa Bianca Eggplant, Organic

Treasured Italian heirloom. Beautiful plump fruits are shaded rosy pink and white, and the flavor is out-of-this-world: creamy, mild, totally bitterfree. Rea...
  • Germination days: 10-17
  • Days to maturity: 70
  • Seeds per packet: 40
Vsq 5469+trombocino
On Sale 10%

Tromboncino (Zucchini Rampicante) Squash

Vine. C. moschata We love this Italian squash with a long neck and bulbed end. Rich flavor and good keeping ability can even be used as a winter squash if th...
  • Spacing: 15-18
  • Planting depth: 1.5-2
  • Days to maturity: 60
Vsq 5440 jamie pics october 2010 103 web
On Sale 10%

Waltham Butternut Squash, Organic

AAS 1970. A vigorous vining type with light-tan bottle shaped fruits up to 3-6 lbs. Light orange, rich dry flesh with a delicious nutty flavor. A small seed ...
  • Days to maturity: 110
  • Spacing: 12-18
  • Planting depth: 1.5-2
Vbe 2340+yard long+bean
On Sale 10%

Yard-Long Pole Green Bean

Vigorous vines to 10' should be trellised. From tropical Asia-thrives on heat. Thin, tender pods 12-30" long are excellent snap beans when young. These are t...
  • Days to maturity: 70-80
  • When to plant: After danger of frost
  • Germination days: 8-16
Vsq 5370 crookneck
On Sale 10%

Yellow Crookneck Squash, Organic

Bush. Fruits in profusion, with mild flavor. Old-time favorite. The crookneck yellow summer squashes are a day or two later than straightneck types, but inco...
  • Days to maturity: 58
  • Spacing: 15-18
  • Planting depth: 1.5-2