Image

Vegetables

A vegetable garden is healthy, economic and a whole lot of fun! Here at O'Toole's, we've found that a lot of people would love to grow their own veggies but they just don't know where to begin. So we've compiled some simple tips and tricks to help you grow some of the most popular garden vegetables. From when to plant and when to harvest to care and feeding, these simple tips will have you growing tasty, healthy vegetables in no time!

30% Monrovia Plants

April 12-30, 2021

Get 30% off all Monrovia plants including premium Trees, Shrubs and Perennials.

WaterSaver

Springtime Application

100% organic, slow-release lawn fertilizer that helps water penetrate our tough clay soils.

50% Off All Burpee Seeds

Expires April 30, 2021

Hundreds of varieties of flowers, perennials, vegetables, fruits, herbs and more!

Chris Ibsen

Store Manager – Littleton

Over 30 years with O’Toole’s! A true gardening  expert! Email Chris Favorite plant: Evergreen

Botany Lane Greenhouse

We support local growers like Botany Lane Greenhouse, which is located just north of Denver and is one of our favorite growers. Botany Lake is a wholesale production center growing high-quality plants.

Employment

Our stores are looking for energetic, positive, flexible, and dependable seasonal employees to fill several roles to support our business!

2020 Garden Giveaway Winners!

It was so inspiring to see all the creativity and gardening passion out there! Check out the winners of our 2020 Garden Giveaway! Read Full Blog Entry…

All Blog Entries
Image

2020 Garden Giveaway Winners!

September 18, 2020
It was so inspiring to see all the creativity and gardening passion out there! Check out the winners of our 2020 Garden Giveaway! Read Full Blog Entry…
Image
Ask a Gardener – Japanese Beetle
June 11, 2020
Get tips and review products to help control these significant garden pets. Read more

A vegetable garden is healthy, economic and a whole lot of fun!  Here at O'Toole's, we've found that a lot of people would love to grow their own veggies but they just don't know where to begin. So we've compiled some simple tips and tricks to help you grow some of the most popular garden vegetables. From when to plant and when to harvest to care and feeding, these simple tips will have you growing tasty, healthy vegetables in no time!

 

Arugula
Plant before the last average frost date (May 15th)

Select a cool location that is at least partly shaded

Space 3”-4” apart

Use plenty of water during hot weather – bolts quickly in hot weather

Can produce multiple crops if careful not to uproot plant

Cut plants near ground level with scissors when leaves are 2 – 4” long
Beef Steak Tomato
One of the largest heirloom tomato cultivars, Beefsteaks are great for large slices or to eat right off the vine.

Start indoors 6 – 8 weeks before last average frost date. Transplant outside after last average frost date but protect with Wall-O-Water

When planting outside, bury plant to first set of leaves

Keep fairly moist – 1” of water per week when hot

Heavy feeder – likes plenty of calcium and phophorus to prevent blossom end rot

Harvest when firm and fully colored
Beets
Plant 3 – 4 weeks before the last average frost (May 15th)

Thinning is important and don’t let the ground crust over

Harvest the tops but leave at least 2” of foliage

Harvest the roots when they are 2 -4” in diameter

The smaller the root the more tender the plant
Broccoli
Plant 4 – 6 weeks before the last average frost date

Companion plants – Carrots, Lettuce, Dill, Rosemary, Nasturtium, Spinach, Swiss Chard

Harvest when the main head is 3” in diameter, this will encourage side heads

Harvest before it flowers and then harvest 4 – 6” of the stem
E- at fresh or blanch for 3 minutes. Then dunk in ice water and hand dry. Put in freezer bags.
Brussel Sprouts
Plant 4 – 6 weeks before the last average frost (May 15th)

Harvest when leaves start to yellow

Snap off little sprouts at the bottom first, this is best done when slightly smaller than a golf ball

Leave little sprouts on upper half of plant to mature
Cabbage
Plant 4 – 6 weeks before the last average frost date (May 15th)

Companion Plants - Herbs, Marigolds, Beets and Beans

Not compatible with Strawberries, Grapes or Tomatoes

Harvest heads as soon as they are well developed, they should feel firm and solid when squeezed

If they are left in the ground too long the head will be subject to disease and splitting
Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe doesn't transplant well

Sow directly in the soil

If using protection like Wall-O-Water, plant at the end of April

Melons love heat, and they love to be planted in mounds

2 seeds per mound
Harvest melons when: color between surfaces is brown - not green

The blossom end has a fruity aroma

A crack forms on the stem right from the point of attachment
Carrots
Plant 4 weeks before the last average frost date (May 15th)

Planting when it is too hot will produce all tops and no bottoms

When harvesting do not let the carrots get larger than normal size

Freeze carrots in a Ziploc bag after scrapping and blanching for 2 minutes
Celery
Slow growing cool weather crop which matures in spring or fall

For spring crops, start plants in doors 10 weeks before last frost date (May 15th)

Keep your plants warm (about 70 degrees) well watered and well fertilized

Transplant outside when temperatures are above 55 degrees

Blanching will help reduce bitterness and improve color

Harvest when plant reaches desired height, cutting plant off at the soil line
Cherry Tomatoes
Start indoors 6 – 8 weeks before last average frost date
Transplant outside after last average frost date but protect with Wall-O-Water

Keep fairly moist – 1” of water per week when hot

Heavy Feeder – likes plenty of calcium and phosphorus to prevent blossom end rot

Harvest when firm and fully colored
Corn
Plant May 1st

Corn does not transplant well

Sow directly into the soil

Corn is a heavy feeder, fertilize often

Harvest when husks are dark green and the silks are brown
Cucumber
Sow directly into the soil on May 15th

You can plant earlier if you use Wall-O-Water

Don’t let cucumbers get too big

Vines will stop producing if mature cucumbers stay too long on the vine

Use early smaller fruit for pickles

Constantly pick off small sized fruit

Cut off vine – Do not break off

Once picked, immediately immerse in cold water to disperse field heat

This will also increase quality and life or picked fruit
Eggplant
Best started indoors 8 weeks before last average frost date (May 15th)

Put plants in the ground after the danger of frost has passed

Place these plants among your other flowers for a different look

Harvest when they have developed some color

Pick them small, or if you like your eggplant larger, pinch off some of the terminal growth
Early Girl Tomato
So called because of its early ripening fruit, Early Girl is one of the most popular hybrid tomatoes.

Start indoors 6 – 8 weeks before last average frost date, transplant outside after last average frost date but protect with Wall-O-Water

When planting outside, bury plant to first set of leaves

Keep fairly moist – 1” of water per week when hot

Heavy feeder – likes plenty of calcium and phophorus to prevent blossom end rot

Harvest when firm and fully colored
Lettuce
Plant 4 – 6 weeks before the last average frost date with a new planting every 2 weeks after initial planting

Companion plants – Onions, beets, garlic, carrots

When harvesting, shear to 2” above ground when plant is about 10” in diameter or pick individual leaves at anytime

The plant will re-grow

The earlier the harvest, the more tender the crop
Green Beans
Plant after last average frost date (May 15th)

Use an inoculant

Harvest when pod snaps or breaks cleanly

If you wait too long, the bean will get tough and stringy

Freezing – Blanch for 3 minutes and put in Ziploc bag

Stores up to 12 months
Onion
Plant sets – push them under the surface of the soil spacing them 4 – 5” apart or closer if you want scallions

Trim or harvest tops about halfway for larger bulb production

Soil should be loose, rich and well drained

A raised bed is preferable

Harvest in fall when leaves start to turn yellow
Peas
Plant 4 – 6 weeks before the last average frost date

Pre-soak seed for 24 hours and treat them with an inoculant

Harvest snow peas before the seeds start to form

Peas that are too mature will stop the plant from producing

Harvest shelling peas when the pods are plump, about 3 weeks after flowering
Peppers
Plant after last average frost date or earlier with some protection like Wall-O-Water

Pepper Plants will get stunted if they get too cold

Peppers are heavy feeders so fertilize often

Peppers are ready to pick when they reach a good size

Wait until they turn yellow or red for richer flavor

Add gypsum to the soil to help prevent blossom end rot
Potatoes
To plant, cut seed potatoes into pieces that have at least 2 eyes

Plant on Good Friday for New Potatoes on the 4th of July or when the plant begins to bloom

Harvest after the first frost for larger potatoes

Put the plant down about 10 – 12”

As the plants begin to grow, fill in the hole
Pumpkins
Sow directly in the ground after frost danger has passed or earlier with the protection of Wall-O-Water

Pumpkins don’t transplant well

Harvest when the shell has hardened, usually after the first frost

Use Neem Oil periodically throughout the season to prevent bugs and powdery mildew

Don’t wait until the fungus is on Pumpkins because then you need to spray and remove the infected leaves
Radish
Plant 4 – 6 weeks before the last average frost date (May 15th)

Companion plants – Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Arugula

Best if they are harvested when they reach full size or slightly earlier, usually 4 – 5 weeks after sowing

If left too long, they will be weedy tasting
Shallots
Plant 4 – 6 weeks before the last average frost date and grow like an onion

Harvest the tops after 60 days and new bulbs in late summer or early fall when the shoots turn yellow and die
Spinach
Sow directly in the ground 4 – 6 weeks before last average frost date

Spinach doesn’t transplant well

Sow approximately ½” deep and 2” apart in wide rows

For a continuous harvest, sow continuously every 2 weeks until daytime temperatures average above 75 degrees

Cover seeds with a fine soil and keep evenly moist until germination

Thin out seedlings to 6” apart when 4” tall to prevent bolting

Harvesting by pulling the entire plant when leaves are still young
Squash
Sow in ground in early May or earlier if using protection like Wall-O-Water

Use Neem Oil periodically to prevent bugs and fungus.

Harvest Summer Squash early and often – don’t let the fruit get too big

Harvest Winter Squash after first or second frost

It cannot be over ripe but can easily be under ripe

Harvest when you can’t dent skin with your fingernail
Swiss Chard
Plant 2 – 4 weeks before the last average frost

Plant ½” deep and 2” apart and keep evenly moist

Loves high nitrogen fertilizers, we suggest 15-5-10 or equivalent

If plant sends up a seed stalk, pull up and re-plant immediately as a fall crop

Harvest when leaves are 10” or shorter
Roma Tomato
Start indoors 6 – 8 weeks before last average frost date

Transplant outside after last average frost date but protect with Wall-O-Water

When planting outside, bury plant to first set of leaves

Keep fairly moist – 1” of water per week when hot

Heavy feeder – likes plenty of calcium and phosphorus to prevent blossom end rot

Harvest when firm and fully colored
Watermellon
Plant after April 30th and use Wall-O-Water

Plant likes being moist but do not water the tops of the plant

Heavy Feeder – fertilize every 4 – 6 weeks with a good water-soluble fertilizer

Harvest when you see a creamy golden color