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Dinner for Beginners

Dinner for Beginners

‘Dinner for Beginners’ contains 6 delicious easy to grow varieties including Golden Wax Bean, Mesclun Salad Mix, Sweet Marketmore Cucumber, Cherry Belle Radish, Genovese Sweet Basil and Cocozelle Zucchini.

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Dinner for Beginners Planting Menu – The Easiest Things to Grow

Lot’s of people are afraid to start organic gardening because think they have a ‘black thumb’. Believe me, there’s no such thing. Starting an organic garden takes nothing more than a little knowledge applied to nature. To prove it, I put together a collection of the 7 easiest things to grow. Follow the seeding instructions and sign up for my FREE Organic Gardening Manual. Surprise yourself!

‘Dinner for Beginners’ contains 6 delicious easy to grow varieties including Golden Wax Bean, Mesclun Salad Mix, Sweet Marketmore Cucumber, Cherry Belle Radish, Genovese Sweet Basil and Cocozelle Zucchini.

Cherry Belle Radish (Raphanus sativus)

This no brainer is a tasty, round, brilliant red radish with crisp white flesh. Tolerant of poor soils, retains tenderness, resists pithiness. 1949 All America Selection Winner, it may be planted and harvested all summer long. Sow 1-2 seeds per inch in rows 6 inches apart in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Sow every two weeks for a continuous supply. Be sure to thin seedlings. Watering tips. During germination, keep entire seedbed evenly moist. Harvesting tips. Harvest as soon as they reach eating size.


  • Planting depth: 1/2″
  • Soil temp for Germ.: 40-90°F
  • Days to germ.: 4-12
  • Plant Spacing: 4″-6″
  • Days to maturity: 20-30
  • Conditions: Full sun.
  • Water Often

Sweet Marketmore Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)

The Sweet Marketmore Cucumber is a dependable and prolific slicing cucumber that is resistant to many diseases and viruses. It grows well in many hardiness zones and is ideal for cooler climates. The fruits grow 8 to 9 inches long and have a clean, crisp cucumber flavor.


  • Planting Depth: 1/2″
  • Soil Temp. for Germ.: 65-70°F
  • Days to Germ.: 5-7
  • Plant Spacing: 18″-24″
  • Days to Maturity: 60-75
  • Conditions: Partial Shade to Full Sun.
  • Moderate water.

Mesclun Salad Mix

This classic is an abundant potpourri of color, shape, taste, and texture. Harvest a new combination each day. Early greens (Arugula, Purple Wave Mustard, Red Russian Kale, and Très Fin Endive) complement an assortment of lettuces (Rouge D’hiver, Speckled, Red Salad Bowl, Buttercrunch, and Simpson Black-Seeded).

These lettuces are incredibly productive. Try cutting the tops off 2” above soil when half grown and watch then grow back 2 or three times


  • Planting Depth: 1/8″
  • Soil Temp. for Germ.: 50-80°F
  • Days to Germ.: 2-15
  • Plant Spacing: 3″-8″
  • Days to Maturity: 25-65
  • Conditions: Partial Shade to Full
  • Sun. Water Often

Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash (Cucurbita pepo)

Easy-to-grow and deliciously tender, this yellow summer squash has been an heirloom favorite for over 150 years. An abundant producer of yellow-skinned, white-fleshed fruit, they are perfect lightly steamed, with a little olive oil or butter and shredded basil leaves. Yum!
To get a head start on the season, Yellow Crookneck can be sown indoors in pots, 2-4 weeks before the last frost, then transplanted very carefully. Pick them young, when 6-8 inches long and harvest every other day when plant is producing heavily.


  • Planting depth: 1″
  • Soil temp for Germ.: 75-95°F
  • Days to germ.: 6-10
  • Plant Spacing: 12″-18″
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
  • Conditions: Full sun
  • Moderate water

Cocozelle Zucchini Squash (Cucurbita pepo)

Zucchini is such an amazingly versatile vegetable, and this ancient Italian favorite is both easy to grow and prolific for several months. Cocozelle’s soft flesh, with contrasting green stripes, has a slightly nutty flavor. The fruit, seeds and flowers are all edible, but what I like about this variety is that the fruits stay slender even at 12″.

These little beauties will be one of the first things you can harvest from your baby food garden and like all zucchinis, taste best when harvested young.


  • Planting depth: 1″
  • Soil temp for Germ.: 60-80°F
  • Days to germ.: 5-10
  • Plant Spacing: 2′-3′
  • Days to maturity: 40-50
  • Conditions: Full Sun
  • Moderate Water

Golden Wax Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)

The Golden Wax Bush Bean was first introduced in the early 1870s. It is a compact, bush type snap bean, growing 16 to 20 inches tall that rewards the gardener with an abundance of crisp, succulent 5 to 6 inch long golden beans bursting with a bright, sweet, nutty flavor. Pods are stringless, and straight, with small light-green legumes inside. Like most beans, this productive plant is very easy to grow in northern and southern climates, and is suitable for the home garden or for the patio in containers.


  • Planting Depth: 1″
  • Soil Temp. for Germ.: 65-85°F
  • Days to Germ.: 7-10
  • Plant Spacing: 6″
  • Days to Maturity: 45-60
  • Conditions: Full Sun
  • Moderate Water

Genovese Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

I call this classic Italian heirloom the ‘Gerry Bruckheimer’ of Basil because it’s such a huge producer. You’ll get bunches of continuous aromatic leaves bursting with sweet, liquoricy flavor.

Genovese has a high leaf to stem ratio and grows 14”-20” tall. It’s slow to bolt, and you can snip the flowers off to extend the harvest period


  • Planting depth: 1/4″
  • Soil temp for Germ.: 65-85°F
  • Days to germ.: 5-10
  • Plant Spacing: 6″-12″
  • Days to maturity: 75-100
  • Conditions: Full sun/Partial shade
  • Moderate water
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