Some of us love to putter around in the garden. After all, New Jersey is the Garden State! For some residents, there’s something very therapeutic about prepping the soil, planting the seeds, tending the garden, and (ultimately) reaping the harvest that all of that work made possible.
Not all of us (even in the Garden State) are that patient, however. Some of us are in a bit of a hurry to “get to the good stuff.” We want results and we don’t want to wait all summer for things to start happening. But how can we make that happen?
Not long ago, NPR featured a story that offered some tips for getting results more quickly. You can read the whole story here, but we’ll give you a few tidbits—just to get you going (and in case you don’t have time to read the whole article).
According to the experts interviewed by NPR, there are essentially two ways to speed up the process. One is to choose plants that have a shorter “germination-to-harvest” cycle. That means you don’t have to wait quite as long to start enjoying the fruits (or veggies) of your labor.
A second way to get the jump on Mother Nature is to use hybrid seeds. These are seeds developed from plants that have desirable traits such as being cold tolerant (meaning you can plant them sooner) and plants that sprout early. Mix them together and you’ve got a head start on the growing season!
Pea shoots, sunflowers, arugula, and beet greens are examples of plants that meet those characteristics. Another earlier-producer is broccoli, which takes only 10 days to germinate. Within 50-60 days, you should be able to start harvesting. What that means is that you can start enjoying salad fixings from your garden fairly soon.
If you’re expecting sweet corn or vine-ripened tomatoes in June, you’re probably out of luck. Those things just take time. But if you’re itching to get some produce from your New Jersey garden early, you can give those early producers a try.
If your home garden doesn’t generate enough produce for your family, don’t worry. The Hillsborough Farm Country Market, The 206 Farmers Market, The Norz Hill Farm & Market, and the Griggstown Farm are all within minutes of Hillsborough. Any of them will be happy to help make up what your own garden may be lacking!