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Alan McDaniel

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
Asparagus

Environmental Preferences

LIGHT: Sunny.

SOIL: Well-drained, deep sandy loam.

FERTILITY: Medium-rich.

pH: 6.0 to 6.7

TEMPERATURE: Cool (60 to 65°F).

MOISTURE: Average; a flush of spears often follows a soaking rain.

May 1, 2009 426-401
Beans

Environmental Preferences

Light: sunny

Soil: well-drained

Fertility: medium rich

pH: 5.8 - 7.0

Temperature: warm (65 degrees - 80 degrees) except fava beans

Moisture: average

May 1, 2009 426-402
Cole Crops or Brassicas


All of the following crops are members of the cabbage family. It is best not to plant cabbage family crops in the same spot year after year, since diseases and insect pests will build up. Rotate crops within your garden.

Broccoli

Environmental Preferences

LIGHT: Sunny.

SOIL: Well-drained, high organic matter.

FERTILITY: Rich.

pH: 6.0 to 6.7

TEMPERATURE: Cool (60 to 65°F).

MOISTURE: Keep moist, not waterlogged.

May 1, 2009 426-403
Cucumbers, Melons and Squash

Environmental Preferences

LIGHT: Sunny.

SOIL: Well-drained; moderate-high organic matter.

FERTILITY: Rich.

pH: 5.5 to 7.0

TEMPERATURE: Hot (65 to 80°F).

MOISTURE: Keep moist, not waterlogged; mulch helps maintain moisture.

May 1, 2009 426-406
Fertilizing the Vegetable Garden

The amount of fertilizer to apply to a garden depends on the natural fertility of the soil, the amount of organic matter present, the type of fertilizer used, and the crop being grown. The best way to determine fertilizer needs is to have the soil tested. Soil testing is available through your local Extension agent, through private labs, and with soil test kits which can be purchased from garden shops and catalogs.

May 1, 2009 426-323
Leafy Green Vegetables

Environmental Preferences

LIGHT: Sunny, tolerates shade; prefers shade in summer

SOIL: Well-drained, loose loam

FERTILITY: Rich

TEMPERATURE: Cool (60 to 70°F)

MOISTURE: Moist, but not waterlogged; frequent, light waterings

May 1, 2009 426-408
Mulches for the Home Vegetable Garden
Mulching is a practice adaptable to nearly all home gardens. To mulch is simply to cover the soil around plants with a protective material, organic or inorganic.

Using a mulch can help you and your garden in many ways. Mulches reduce weed growth by making conditions unfavorable for germination of weed seeds and by providing a physical barrier for emerging weeds. A good mulch layer can save many hours of laborious weeding. A thick layer of organic mulch material is especially effective in reducing the number of annual weeds in the garden, since they have difficulty penetrating such a layer. Some perennial weeds may also be suppressed in this way if they are small, but often dandelions or other taprooted weeds will eventually find their way through the mulch. These are easy to spot, and since the soil stays moist beneath the mulch, they are easy to pull. Rhizomatous grasses will often make their way through organic mulches as well, but often the rhizomes will be on or near the soil surface and will be easy to lift out. Black plastic and thick layers of newspaper are often better mulches for controlling perennial weeds.

May 1, 2009 426-326
Onions, Garlic, and Shallots

ENVIRONMENTAL PREFERENCES

LIGHT: sunny (green onions tolerate partial shade)

SOIL: well-drained loam

pH: 5.5 to 7.0

TEMPERATURE: cool (45 to 60°F) during develop ment; medium hot (60 to 75°F) during bulbing and curing

MOISTURE: moist, but not waterlogged

May 1, 2009 426-411
Potatoes, Peppers and Eggplant

Environmental Preferences

LIGHT: Sunny.

SOIL: Well-drained with moderate organic matter.

FERTILITY: Medium-rich.

pH: 4.8 to 6.5

TEMPERATURE: Cool (55 TO 65°F).

MOISTURE: Uniform moisture, especially while tubers are developing.

May 1, 2009 426-413
Root Crops

Environmental Preferences

LIGHT: sunny

SOIL: well-drained, deep loam, free of rocks

pH: 5.5 to 6.5

TEMPERATURE: cool (60 to 65°F)

MOISTURE: moist, but not water logged

May 1, 2009 426-422
Season Extenders

To get the most out of a garden, you can extend the growing season by sheltering plants from cold weather both in early spring and during the fall. Very ambitious gardeners harvest greens and other cool-weather crops all winter by providing the right conditions. There are many ways to lengthen the growing season, and your choice depends on the amount of time and money you want to invest.

May 1, 2009 426-381
Seed For The Garden

Choosing and purchasing vegetable seeds is one of the most enjoyable gardening pastimes. Thumbing through colorful catalogs and dreaming of the season¼s harvest is one way to make winter seem a little warmer. Seed purchased from a dependable seed company will provide a good start toward realizing that vision of bounty. Keep notes about the seeds you purchase - their germination qualities, vigor of plants, tendencies toward insects and disease, etc. From this information, you can determine whether one seed company is not meeting your needs, or whether the varieties you have chosen are unsuitable for your area or gardening style. For example, if powdery mildew is a big problem on squash family plants in your area, the next year, you may want to look for mildew-resistant varieties.

May 1, 2009 426-316
Sweet Corn

Environmental Preferences

Light: sunny

Soil: deep, well-drained loam

Temperature: warm (60 to 75 degrees F)

Moisture: average

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Culture

Planting: seed after danger of frost is past; extra-sweet varieties should be planted when soil temperatures reach 65F.

Spacing: 9 to 12 inches x 24 to 36 inches; minimum of three rows side by side (preferably four rows) to ensure good pollination.

Hardiness: Tender annual

Fertilizer Needs: heavy feeder; sidedress when plants are 12 to 18 inches high with 3 tablespoons 10-10-10 per 10 feet of row.

May 1, 2009 426-405
Tomatoes

Environmental Preferences

LIGHT: Sunny.

SOIL: Well-drained, loam.

FERTILITY: Medium-rich.

TEMPERATURE: Warm (70° to 80°F).

MOISTURE: Moist, but not waterlogged.

May 1, 2009 426-418
Weeds in the Home Vegetable Garden

The most common definition of a weed is a plant out of place. Many plants that are considered weeds in the vegetable garden are beneficial wildflowers in other settings. Some, such as the Venice mallow (or flower-of-an-hour), morning glory, and even thistles, have flowers that rival those intentionally planted in flower beds. Unfortunately, some of the plants, while attractive in the wild, are too aggressive for use in the home garden and can take over the landscape. Seeds of even very obnoxious wild flowers may be sold occasionally, so care must be used in the selection of wildflowers vs. weeds.

May 1, 2009 426-364