The Chesapeake Harvest Starter Plant Project

Chesapeake Harvest Starter Plants Are Here!

Chesapeake Harvest is pleased to announce a branded line of starter plants for your home garden. Grown locally by Tidal Creek Growers and sold by Homestead Gardens, over 50 varieties were hand-selected by horticulturists for your Chesapeake garden, and are now ready for you! Click here for a complete list of Chesapeake Harvest plants.

These locally-grown starter plants are sold in 100% biodegradable packaging. These pots naturally deteriorate in your garden or compost pile without additional processing. The pots nurture the plant after transplanting and keep plastic out of our landfills. Less waste means less pressure on landfills and more protection for our fragile Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The quality products produced by Tidal Creek Growers have been appreciated by Maryland farmers since 2002.

When you choose Chesapeake Harvest Starter Plants, you’re choosing local, delicious, healthy food and a clean Chesapeake Bay!

For 2018, plants are exclusively on sale at the two full-service Homestead Gardens centers.

TO PURCHASE PLANTS
visit Homestead Gardens at one of their two locations:

743 W. Central Ave
Davidsonville, MD 21035

522 Ritchie Highway
Severna Park, MD 21035

743 W. Central Ave
Davidsonville, MD 21035

522 Ritchie Highway
Severna Park, MD 21035

Wholesalers – please inquire about pre-orders throughout the season.

Available Plants

  • Burpless
  • Bush Champ
  • Cool Breeze
  • Sweet Success
  • Talladega
  • Tasty Jade
  • Burpless
  • Bush Champ
  • Cool Breeze
  • Sweet Success
  • Talladega
  • Tasty Jade

Classic

  • Basil, Sweet
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Lavender, Hidcote
  • Lavender, Munstead
  • Lemongrass
  • Mint, Mojito
  • Oregano, Greek
  • Oregano, Italian
  • Parsley, Curl
  • Parsley, Italian
  • Rosemary, Arp
  • Tarragon, French
  • Thyme, French
  • Verbana, Lemon

 

  • Basil, Sweet
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Lavender, Hidcote
  • Lavender, Munstead
  • Lemongrass
  • Mint, Mojito
  • Oregano, Greek
  • Oregano, Italian
  • Parsley, Curl
  • Parsley, Italian
  • Rosemary, Arp
  • Tarragon, French
  • Thyme, French
  • Verbana, Lemon

Sugar Snap

  • Better Belle
  • Big Bertha
  • California Wonder
  • Jalapeño
  • Red Beauty
  • Sweet Banana
  • Better Belle
  • Big Bertha
  • California Wonder
  • Jalapeño
  • Red Beauty
  • Sweet Banana

Zucchini

Zucchini, Golden

  • Zucchini
  • Zucchini, Golden
  • Chandler
  • Ozark
  • Quinalt
  • World Sweet
  • Chandler
  • Ozark
  • Quinalt
  • World Sweet
  • Beefmaster
  • Better Boy
  • Better Bush
  • Big Beef
  • Big Boy
  • Brandywine
  • Early Girl
  • Lemon Boy
  • Mortgage Lifter
  • Rapunzel
  • Sugar Rush
  • Sungold
  • Super Sweet
  • Whopper
  • Beefmaster
  • Better Boy
  • Better Bush
  • Big Beef
  • Big Boy
  • Brandywine
  • Early Girl
  • Lemon Boy
  • Mortgage Lifter
  • Rapunzel
  • Sugar Rush
  • Sungold
  • Super Sweet
  • Whopper

Appetizers

Charcoal Baba Ghanoush

Natures Garlic Farm

Eggplant Caviar

Chef Jordan Lloyd

Sides

Fresh Corn Salad

Sand Hill Farm

Marinated Peppers

St. Helier Farm

Entrees

Cucumbers are native to India, so they appreciate warm growing conditions. Nevertheless, when temperatures soar above 90 degrees for several consecutive days, the plants will temporarily stop producing fruit (the same happens with many vegetables). Keeping soil evenly moist, but not wet, and adding a layer of cooling mulch can help. Cucumbers don’t need a lot of fussing, but they do enjoy a consistent supply of nutrients once they start producing. Monthly applications of fish emulsion or compost tea will help support strong yields. Cucumbers develop quickly in peak season, so it’s important to harvest regularly. Leaving fruit on the vines may cause the plant to stop producing altogether.

  1. Dislike having their roots disturbed, so care should be taken during transplant
  2. Need 8-10 hours of sunlight per day
  3. Do best with 1” of water per week, more if weather is very hot and dry
  4. Are susceptible to diseases, so avoid working among them when wet
  5. Vining types can be grown vertically to save garden space
  6. Are heavy feeders.
  7. Are a little like people; they can become bitter if grown in a stressful environment
  8. Benefit from afternoon shade provided by taller plants or shade cloth
  9. Need 8-12” spacing if trellised, 3’ if grown on the ground
  10. Need harvesting several times per week.

Eggplants, also known as aubergine, require highly fertile soils and lots of sun. Wait until the weather has settled and soil temperatures have reached 60 degrees before purchasing or transplanting your plants. Feed eggplants once or twice a season with fish emulsion or a rich compost tea. They’ll be ready to harvest 16-24 weeks after planting. You can tell when the eggplant is ready for picking when the flesh does not spring back after applying gentle pressure with your thumb. Raw eggplant will turn brown quickly once cut, so when you begin your kitchen preparation, work quickly.

  1. Benefit from warm soils and shallow cultivation
  2. Do well in raised beds, or planted into black mulch, to help warm the soil
  3. Require staking to support them once they start to produce
  4. Need thorough watering all at once rather than little bits over several days
  5. Want 1”-2” of water per week after they are producing fruit
  6. Like 8-10 hours of sunlight per day
  7. Suffer from flea beetle damage. Use floating row covers to protect when young.
  8. Get leafy but less productive with too much nitrogen
  9. Require no pruning other than removing old, shriveled leaves
  10. Can be grown in containers of appropriate size

Annual

  1. Need about six hours of sunlight
  2. Have the best flavor before flowering
  3. Require adequate drainage
  4. Like to dry out from one watering to the next
  5. Perform best in low to moderately fertile soil
  6. Need at least 8” diameter pots if container grown
  7. Benefit from regular trimming, especially annual types
  8. Are best grown as close to your kitchen as possible
  9. Taste best if harvested in the morning
  10. Can be planted 2-3 times during the season for continuous yields

Annual herbs are a culinary jackpot. With a ready supply of fresh basil, cilantro, or parsley (which is actually a biennial, but that’s another topic), a cook has the potential to transform any dish from something mediocre to something spectacular. The robust flavors and bright green colors add just the right kind of pop. Plant in well-drained soil in a sunny location. Be careful to water sufficiently but not too frequently. Also adaptable to containers, annual herbs like moderately rich soil and proper drainage. Growth can be hindered if the tips are allowed to flower and go to seed, so trim regularly to keep them delivering.

Perennial

  1. Need about six hours of sunlight
  2. Have the best flavor before flowering
  3. Require adequate drainage
  4. Like to dry out from one watering to the next
  5. Perform best in low to moderately fertile soil
  6. Need at least 8” diameter pots if container grown
  7. Benefit from regular trimming, especially annual types
  8. Are best grown as close to your kitchen as possible
  9. Taste best if harvested in the morning
  10. Mint does not play well with others; plant in a separate container

Perennial herbs, like rosemary, thyme and oregano are an important addition to the home garden, thanks to their ability to liven up almost any dish. If you don’t have a suitable in-ground location, these herbs can be container grown with great success, just be sure to transplant to larger containers as needed, from year to year. Avoid common mistakes such as over- or under-watering. Most herbs like to dry out completely between waterings, but container-grown plants can still need water once a day in hot, sunny conditions. Surprisingly, herbs perform well in poorer soils, as long as they have proper drainage and moisture. Clip tender new shoots often to keep them sturdy and eager to produce new growth.

Peppers, whether sweet or hot, can be eaten fully ripe (and generally more colorful) or immature (and green). Some gardeners recommend planting two of each type, if you have the space – to harvest green peppers from one set earlier in the season, while the other is left to continue to mature. Contrary to popular myth, growing hot and mild peppers close to each other in the garden will not result in spicy-sweets that season. It is possible to experience that cross-pollination if you save the seeds from either type and grow them out the following year. Sweet peppers like to be mulched, unless they are planted in heavier soils that hold water. Hot peppers can thrive without mulch.

  1. Benefit from warm soils and shallow cultivation
  2. Space about 18” apart
  3. Make colorful additions to flower beds and borders, if you don’t have issues with deer
  4. Require staking for support
  5. Want 1”-2” of water per week after they are producing fruit
  6. Cannot tolerate waterlogged soil; allow them to dry out between waterings
  7. Like 6-8 hours of sunlight per day
  8. Do not require lots of fertilizer – a single dose at planting time may be sufficient
  9. Do not love cold temperatures, so are best stored out of the refrigerator
  10. Can be grown in containers of appropriate size

Zucchini

If one zucchini plant can produce an average of 3 to 9 pounds of fruit, it might seem unnecessary to plant more than one. But, squash blossoms are only open for a few hours each day and require pollination from a male flower to produce fruit. Planting in groups can boost the chances of success. Excessive yields can be managed by picking the squash blossoms themselves, or by harvesting the fruits when they are tiny and able to be served whole. If you’ve been plagued by the various pests that affect squash plants, try delaying your planting until July, at which point the insect pressure may have diminished.

  1. Are ready for harvest just 40-60 days from planting
  2. Can be planted several times during the season for continuous supply
  3. Benefit from being planted in groups of two to three plants
  4. Can be protected from pests with row covers – remove during the day for pollination
  5. Want 8-10 hours of sunlight each day
  6. Appreciate a liquid fertilizer every 3 to 4 weeks
  7. Will produce more squash the more they are picked
  8. Can leap from not-ready to ready-to- harvest in a single day
  9. Have edible flowers
  10. Can be grown in containers of suitable size

There is a remarkable flavor and texture difference between a commercial strawberry and one grown in your own backyard, and well worth the effort of trying to grow them at home. Choose a site that has rich soil, full sun, no perennial weed issues, and that has not previously grown any member of the nightshade family. Watering strawberries at the base of the plant will help prevent fruit rot, and mulch will keep soil evenly moist and berries cleaner. Remove all flowers of June-bearing plants in the first growing season, and flowers of other varieties until the end of June each season. If you won’t eat your harvest right away, pick into a shallow container lined with a paper towel, refrigerate, and don’t wash until ready to serve.

  1. Want at least 6 hours of sun and well-drained, rich soil
  2. Are susceptible to diseases that affect tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant – avoid planting in the same location
  3. Can be planted in early spring, as soon as the ground can be worked, or in fall
  4. Must be planted above the “crown”
  5. Need 1-2 inches of water per week
  6. May benefit from being covered with bird netting
  7. Will benefit from some flower removal early in season. Varies by variety.
  8. Need to have runners removed regularly
  9. Can produce for three to four years with proper maintenance
  10. Perform well in containers of appropriate size and with adequate drainage

Rare is the gardener who doesn’t get excited about growing tomatoes. These quintessential summer fruits are the mainstay of many recipes, year-round. Space them about 3’ apart (unless you’re growing indeterminate types) for proper air circulation and room to expand. Watering these plants from below rather than overhead will minimize soil borne diseases to which many, especially heirloom types, are susceptible. Loamy soil, rich in composted organic matter, and regular fertilizing, will help support vigorous production. For yields that last through the season, consider planting a new set of tomato plants three weeks after you plant the first ones.

  1. Benefit from warm soils and shallow cultivation
  2. Grow roots from sections of buried stem. At transplant, bury 2-4” of the plant, above the existing soil line, to encourage a strong root system.
  3. Require sturdy staking for support
  4. Are best kept on a 3-year planting rotation, along with their cousins – potatoes, peppers, and eggplants
  5. Want 1”-2” of water per week after they are producing fruit
  6. Like 8-10 hours of sunlight per day
  7. Enjoy a little shade in late afternoon
  8. Get leafy but less productive with too much nitrogen
  9. Like to be fertilized at planting. Fertilize again every 1-2 weeks after fruit production begins.
  10. Can be grown in containers of appropriate size

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