Planting and Gardening Tips


There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.

Janet Kilburn-Phillips

We love growing things and we love when our customers grow things, whether you’re a gardener with years of experience or if you have your first basil plant in a window. If you’ve bought seedlings from us, we want to help make sure that your plants succeed and result in delicious and nutritious food for you and your household, so we’ve put together some tips and resources below. Please reach out to us at dictofarm@gmail.com if you have any other questions or tips you want us to post for other customers.

Our Certified Organic seedlings have a few special features:

  • Biodegradable peat pots (except for some of our larger plants). You can plant the whole pot right into your garden or container. Because the roots can grow through the peat pot, this prevents root-binding that occurs in plastic pots.
  • Locally sourced, Organic potting mix. The potting mix we use is produced by Summer Creek Farm in Thurmont, MD. It consists of sustainable, renewable materials such as compost, coconut coir, and rice hulls.
  • Carefully chosen varieties. There are lots of varieties for any particular crop. We choose beautiful, high-yielding varieties with great flavor because they produce the highest quality vegetables in the home garden.

General tips:

  • Plant directly into garden or into a container filled with potting mix.
  • Keep soil moist but not overly wet. Any container should have drainage holes on bottom – most plant containers come with a tray or you can place an extra plate underneath.
  • Almost all plants prefer a lot of sun so place in an area outdoors or in a window that receives the most sun.
  • Make sure you place plants at the correct spacing (or in the right size container) so you don’t crowd them and don’t waste precious garden space – see below for place spacing guide and container guide links!

Herb tips:

  • Herbs should be planted in a minimum 6-inch diameter container, but many will grow to fit the size of their container. You can also plant several herbs together in a larger container.
  • Herbs should be cut/used frequently to encourage continuous growth. Some herbs have a shorter lifespan but some can survive from season to season, especially if allowed to grow larger in the ground (such as oregano and thyme).

Fruiting veggies (tomato, pepper, eggplant, etc.) tips:

  • Do not plant outside until the danger of frost has passed.
  • If planting in container, should be planted in a minimum 12-inch diameter container, although larger is better.
  • Mix some organic fertilizer (read fertilizer instructions for rate) or compost into the potting soil or ground.
  • Pinch off flowers for the first month to allow roots to develop.
  • Tomatoes and peppers need some support from a trellis or a stake.

Green veggies (spinach, broccolini, etc.) tips:

  • Most green veggies grow best in spring and fall.
  • Many leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce can be cut multiple times in a season every week or two.
  • Mix some organic fertilizer (read fertilizer instructions for rate) or compost into the potting soil or ground.

Other Resources: