The Oberlin Seed Banking Project is a local, grassroots initiative generated from a network of farmers, gardeners and visionaries, in the hopes of spreading gardening material and knowledge to the broader Oberlin community.
Planting Instructions: Cilantro is a fast-growing, aromatic herb that grows in the cooler weather of Spring of Fall. Plant in the Spring after the last frost date or in early Fall. Do not grow in summer heat or plants will “bolt” and become bitter. Cilantro prefers full sun. Plant the seed in light, well-drained soil spaced 1-2 inches apart. Sow every 3 weeks for continuous harvest. Space rows about 12 inches apart. It is important to keep seeds moist during their germination so water regularly – 1 inch a week. But once plants are established, they do not need as much water. Harvest while plant is still low to the ground. Cut leaves off the stalks and leave stalks alone.
Planting Instructions: Spinach is a cool-weather vegetable (preferring temperatures between 35 and 75 degrees F but tolerating temperatures as low as 20 degrees F after they are well rooted). It grows most quickly in fertile, well-drained soil. Plant about about 4-6 weeks before the last frost in the Spring and again 6-8 weeks before the first frost in the Fall. Space seeds 12 inches apart. Though it prefers full sun, it can grow in partial shade. In the Spring, plants will grow tall and bloom (called “bolting”) as soon as the days are longer than 14 hours. Spinach leaves are ready to harvest as soon as they grow big enough to eat. Harvest by removing only the outer leaves and allowing the center to still grow. In Spring, when the plants are about to “bolt,” uproot the entire plant so you can eat the leaves before they become bitter.
Planting Instructions: Sow summer squash seeds in prepared beds or hills after all risk of frost has passed. Stop planting summer squash 12 weeks before your average first Fall frost date. Plant in a sunny area with fertile, will drained soil. Plant seeds 8 inches apart and 1 inch deep. Water well. Summer squash blossoms are edible, and you can harvest fruits from baby-sized up until they toughen with age. Harvest at least twice a week, using a sharp knife to cut fruits (leave a small stub of stem attached). Promptly wash fruits in cool water and store.
Planting Instructions: Radishes are a hardy, cold-season vegetable. They can be planted in both Spring and Fall. Plant 4-6 weeks before the average day of last frost for Spring, and 4-6 weeks after the average day of first frost for Fall. Plant seeds 1/2 inch – 1 inch deep, and 1 inch apart, in rows 12 inches apart in well drained soil with a lot of moisture. Radishes need a lot of sun – make sure they are not even shaded by neighboring plants. Plant consecutively every few weeks while the weather is still cool for continuous harvest. Radishes grow very quickly and can be ready for harvest as soon as three weeks after planting. Do not leave in the ground too long after plants have reached maturity, they will deteriorate quickly. Cut the tops off short, wash the radishes thoroughly, and dry.
Location: OECC and OPL
Scientific Name: Asteracaea
Planting instructions: A cool season plant, calendula can be started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost or directly seeded outdoors after the last frost. Seeds germinate in 5-15 days. Remove faded flowers on a regular basis and apply organic fertilizer several times during the growing season.
Planting Instructions: Winter squash can grow from a size large enough to be one serving on up to serving a table full of people at 12 pounds. Will ripen 80 to 110 days after planting. Space 5-6 feet apart and at least 12-inches deep. Plant in early Spring.
Planting Instructions: Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep in spring, 4 weeks before the last expected frost. Space seedlings 1 foot apart in rows 3 feet apart. For a fall crop, broadcast seed 8 to 10 weeks before the first expected frost; thin to 12 inches apart.
Planting Instructions: Can be planted in Fall or Spring. For Fall harvest, put seeds in ground 4-6 weeks before first expected frost; for Spring harvest, put seeds in ground about 4-weeks before last expected frost. Plant seedlings in clumps of 3-6. Space clumps 12 inches apart. 10-12 plants will supply a family of 2 with plus extra to freeze and use during winter weather. Mustard grows fast, so you can begin picking leaves about 4-weeks after planting, when leaves are about 6-8 inches long. Left along, leaves will grow up to 18 inches over the course of 6 weeks. Keep soil evenly moist for optimum flavor. Watch out for flea beetles and cabbage worms. To protect, add a floating row cover.
Planting Instructions: Can be eaten as Snow Peas or English Peas. To use as Snow Peas, harvest really young before pods fill out; just crunch on the whole thing–skin and all! To use as English Peas, let the peas inside get big, and then shell them, eating the peas separately from the skin. Plant in early Spring–in cool, damp weather. Space plants 5 inches apart. Young pea plants can survive a light frost, so plant before last frost hits. However, be prepared to protect flowering plants from a late frost–it will hurt flowers and mess with pod development. Weed often, and mulch as best you can. Peas don’t need a trellis, but pods will be easier to pick when vines are upright. If you want to use a trellis, insert it prior to planting. To make a trellis: Use netting, stakes, and string, or a wood frame trellis covered with chicken wire or metal fencing or a collection of twiggy branches stuck into the ground among the plants. Peas attach by tendrils–tiny stems that curl and encircle supports. Tendrils quickly wrap around slender supports to hoist vines skyward.
Planting Instructions: Zucchini is a type of summer squash, so soil needs to be very warm for it to grow (at least 60 degrees F). Plant Zucchini earliest about 1-week after the last Spring frost and latest mid-summer. If you wish to plant earlier, use starter pots and transplant when soil is warm enough. Plant 3-feet apart, 1-inch deep, in very moist soil, but not soggy. Make sure beds receive as much sun as possible. Squash are heavy feeders, so ensure that soil has plenty of nutrients. Water deeply once a week–make sure soil at least 4-inches down gets wet. Harvest when small and tender–usually after about 60 days.