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GARDEN

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T • A • B • L • O • I • D
Grow Your Own Vegetables
M I S S I S S I P P I S T AT E U N I V E R S I T Y E X T E N S I O N S E R V I C E

There are many good reasons for friends, and others who are unable to “I enjoy giving vegetables to the
growing a vegetable garden in garden. elderly, shut-ins, neighbors, and
Mississippi. A garden offers the oppor- Here is what some of today’s friends.”
tunity to enjoy vegetables at their Mississippi gardeners have to say “I enjoy people visiting my garden.
freshest. Sometimes only minutes about their gardens and why they gar- Some come just to enjoy seeing it, oth-
elapse between harvest, preparation, den: ers to learn better ways to garden.”
and eating. On the other hand, most “We have enough for our family, “I have gardened over 50 years and
fresh vegetables available at the gro- plus some to share; what more could still do my own work. The hard work
cery store travel about 1,800 miles you ask?” and good food keep me healthy. I save
between producer and consumer, and “There’s no way to keep count of some money, but I receive other bene-
this travel often occurs over a period of the people who stop to visit my garden fits that are greater and that cannot be
several days. There’s a lot to be said and talk awhile since it is on the side of bought.”
for “homegrown” freshness. a field road that leads to a catfish pond. “We give more vegetables away
Vegetable gardens are traditional in I was so proud when I was told it was than we keep. We have a large family,
Mississippi. There was a time when the prettiest garden they had seen. I 5 children, 13 grandchildren, and 6
the state was more rural than it is have filled 3 freezers and canned more great-grandchildren, so you see we
today, and most of the family’s food than 300 jars of vegetables.” really enjoy a garden.”
was grown at home. Today, vegetable “I have always had a love for gar- “There is a great difference in
gardens are often thought of as a form dening. I have helped in caring for cooking fresh food from that which
of family recreation. Many older the family garden ever since I was has been picked for several days. To

Decide What You Want to Plant


Mississippians grow gardens that are large enough to help plant and work watch your food grow gives you some-
much too large for their own use just to in a garden.” thing to look forward to each week. It’s
have fresh vegetables for family, a profit, but it’s also a great pleasure.”

Select vegetables and the amount to plant by looking for- Irish and sweet potatoes are productive for the amount of
ward to harvest and how you will use the vegetables. garden space required but present a storage problem when
There’s no sense in planting something that won’t be used. harvested.
Available garden space should be a factor in selecting the Plant varieties recommended for growing in Mississippi.
vegetables to grow. Some vegetables take a lot of garden Don’t continue to use old vegetable varieties when there are
space for a long time, while others are planted and harvest- new varieties available that resist disease and give higher
ed in a short time period, producing a lot in a little space. yields and quality. For example, fusarium wilt is still a major
Melons, pumpkins, vining types of squash, and sweet pota- disease problem on tomatoes in some Mississippi gardens
toes are in the garden for a long time, yet the harvest period where the older varieties are planted. All recommended
is relatively short. Okra, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tomato varieties are resistant to this disease.
pole beans are also in the garden a long time, but these pro- The amount of sunlight the garden receives can help you
duce a continuous supply of food. determine which vegetables to grow. Ideally, the garden site
Sweet corn is one of those vegetables you just have to should receive full sun all day. This is not always possible,
plant despite how much space it takes (expect to harvest especially when the garden is located on a small residential
one ear per plant) because it is so good. lot where shade trees block the sun for part of the day.
Vegetables to consider for small gardens (because of the Where there is no full sun space, plant vegetables in var-
space they need and the amount they produce) are bush snap ious spots around the house. All vegetables grown for their
and lima beans; leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, mustard, fruits or seeds, such as corn, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers,
and turnips; green onions; tomatoes; sweet peppers; and eggplant, peppers, beans, and peas, should have the sunniest
eggplant. As space permits, add broccoli, cabbage, hot pep- spots.
pers, okra, summer squash, southern peas, and pole beans. Vegetables grown for their leaves or roots, such as beets,
Cucumbers, which normally take a lot of ground space, can cabbage, lettuce, mustard, chard, spinach, and turnips, can

Decide What Size Garden You Need Choose a Great Location for Your Garden
be trellised. grow in partial shade but do better in direct sunlight.

To determine what size garden you need, consider your family size,
the amount of vegetables you need, and whether you will preserve or The ideal garden site is close to you select the right vegetables and Fence the garden site to keep out
use the vegetables fresh. the house but out in the open where carefully manage the soil, some children, or dogs and other animals.
Most important in determining garden size are the gardener’s physi- it receives full sun and is not shad- vegetables can be produced in A two-strand, low-voltage electric
cal ability, available time and equipment, and genuine interest in gar- ed by trees or buildings. Choose a almost any location. fence may be the only way to keep
dening. Even though the rewards of gardening are great, the work is place that is near a water supply and Select a site free of serious weed small animals like rabbits and rac-
has loose, fertile, well-drained soil. problems. Nutsedge, torpedograss, coons out of the garden.
hard.
Few gardeners are fortunate bermudagrass, cocklebur, and Remove low tree limbs that hang
It is better to start small and build on success than to become dis-
enough to have the ideal garden site morningglory are just a few of the over the garden and give animals
couraged and abandon the garden because it was too large or too much
or soil. This does not mean growing weeds that are difficult to control in access.
work. See the Planting Guide on page 7.
a successful garden is impossible. If a garden.
Garden Plan
Sample Garden Plan
Design your garden to meet your
needs.
Careful planning reduces work and
can make the garden more productive. 20 x 50 feet
Planting seeds and plants at random 1,000 square feet—Row 1 is located 12 inches from the edge of the garden, and all rows are 36 inches apart. Rows are 20 feet long.
frequently results in waste and disap-
pointment. Spring Planting Summer Planting Fall Planting
Consider the selected method of
Planting Planting Planting
cultivation in designing your garden.
Where the work is done with a tractor, Row Vegetable Date Vegetable Date Vegetable Date
long rows are practical; but when cul- 1 Onions (plants) Feb.-March Bush Lima Beans June-July Spinach Sept.-Oct.
tivation is by hand, short rows give a
sense of accomplishment as work on 2 Cabbage (plants) Feb.-March Bush Lima Beans June-July Beets/Chard Sept.-Oct.
each is completed.
Consider the slope of the land; run 3 English Peas Jan.-Feb. Cucumbers May-June Mustard Sept.-Oct.
rows at right angles to the slope, espe-
cially on sandy-textured soils that tend 4 English Peas Jan.-Feb. (leave unplanted) Cabbage Aug.-Sept.
to wash and erode. Where the land is
uneven, contour the rows. 5 Lettuce Feb.-March Summer Squash May-June Cauliflower Aug.-Sept.
Rows for vegetables with small
plants (carrots, onions, radishes, and 6 Beets/Chard Feb.-March (leave unplanted) Turnips Sept.
others) can be closer together for hand
cultivation than for power equipment. 7 Mustard/Turnips Feb.-March Southern Peas May-June Carrots Sept.
Planting double rows or a broad band
on a bed can increase the yield from a 8 Broccoli (plants) Feb.-March Southern Peas May-June Lettuce Sept.
small garden plot. Closely spaced
rows and vegetable plants help shade 9 Bush Snap Beans March-April (leave unplanted) Broccoli Aug.-Sept.
out weeds, but the close spacing
makes weeding difficult when plants
10 Bush Snap Beans March-April (leave unplanted) Broccoli Aug.-Sept.
are small.
Closely spaced plants reduce water
11 Bell Peppers/
loss from the soil surface by protecting
Eggplant (plants) April-May
the surface from drying winds and hot
sun. The reduced air movement, how-
12 Tomatoes (plants) April-May
ever, may increase chances for dis-
eases.
Plant perennial vegetables like as- 13 (leave unplanted) (leave unplanted) Cucumbers Aug.
paragus where they won’t interfere
with yearly land preparation. Plant 14 Sweet Corn March-April (leave unplanted) Bush Snap Beans Aug.
season-long vegetables like tomatoes,
okra, peppers, and eggplant together 15 Sweet Corn March-April (leave unplanted) Bush Snap Beans Aug.
where they won’t interfere with short-
term vegetables and replanting. Plant 16 Sweet Corn March-April Tomatoes (plants) July-Aug.
corn, okra, pole beans, tomatoes, and
other tall vegetables so they won’t 17 Okra April-May Collards Oct.
shade or interfere with the growth of
shorter vegetables. in a long single row because of better fertilizer needs, and treat accordingly. trogen fertilizer as some other vegeta-
Sweet corn produces fuller ears pollination. When possible, group southern peas, lima beans, snap beans, bles.

Successive Planting, Long Season Can Reduce Garden Size


Spring Planting
when planted in a block of rows than vegetables according to their lime and and peanuts do not require as much ni- onions, cabbage,
lettuce, corn,
Gardening in Mississippi provides pumpkins in early July. Spring Irish time to provide enough at harvest for vest in fall.
tomatoes,
the opportunity to have something in potatoes can be followed by lima preserving. A second planting of okra, about 6
peppers,
the garden almost every month of the beans or southern peas, which are fol- Expected yields are given for the weeks after the first planting, has
year. lowed by fall greens. different vegetables in the Planting some benefit for late-season harvest,
eggplant
The long growing season com- Practice crop rotation (planting Guide on page 7. Keep in mind that but you can get the same benefit by
bined with successive plantings nonrelated plants in the same location the yields given for some vegetables cutting the first planting back to a
(growing more than one vegetable in in successive plantings) where garden (tomatoes, peppers, okra, pole beans, height of 3 to 4 feet in late summer.
Summer
the same space during the year) space permits. and eggplant, for example) are for Plant your garden according to a
Planting
enables gardeners to reduce the size Crop rotation is a good practice to multiple harvests over a period of detailed plan on paper. A finished gar-
of their gardens. follow when you use the same garden time. den plan shows these things:
lima beans,
As soon as one vegetable is har- site for several years because it helps Vegetables with extended harvest • what vegetables to grow
squash,
vested, clear the space and prepare to prevent the buildup of diseases in the periods require only one planting dur- • number of different plantings of
plant another vegetable. Empty row garden soil. ing the season. However, with toma- each vegetable
cucumbers, peas,
space produces nothing and provides When growing only for fresh use, toes, peppers, and eggplant, a second • time and location of each planting
okra
a place for weeds to grow, while a make small successive plantings of planting made in midsummer pro- • distance each row is to be planted
small garden intensively planted and vegetables like snap beans, sweet vides good quality vegetables for har- from one end of the garden.
managed can be very productive. corn, lettuce, radishes, leafy greens,
Related Vegetable Groups
Fall Planting
For example, follow a spring and southern peas. Planting at 2-week
planting of English peas with a late intervals provides continuous fresh
spinach, mustard,
spring planting of cucumbers; then vegetables.
Tomato Snap Bean Cucumber Cabbage
turnips,
replant the space with fall bush snap Plant only as much as your family
Eggplant Lima Bean Squash Broccoli
beans, leafy greens, or late southern can eat before the next planting
cauliflower,
Irish Potato Peanut Pumpkin Turnip
peas. begins to produce. If you plan to can
Pepper Southern Pea Muskmelon Mustard
carrots, broccoli,
Another example is to follow early and freeze as well as use fresh vegeta-
Watermelon Collard
sweet corn with winter squash and bles, plant more vegetables at one
beets

2
Garden Soil
The ideal garden soil is deep, soil increases its water-holding ing of plant nutrients. They also
loose, fertile, well-drained (inter- capacity and improves its fertility. provide organic matter and nitro-
nally as well as on the surface), has The garden soil affects the way gen when turned under in spring.
plenty of organic matter, and is vegetable plants grow and look. Manures vary in their content
free of weeds and diseases. Such When soils are cold, wet, crusty, or of fertilizing nutrients. The amount
soils are difficult to find, but with cloddy, seedlings are slow to of straw, age, exposure to the ele-
proper preparation and manage- emerge and some may not survive. ments, and degree of composting
ment, less-than-ideal soils can be Root rot diseases may take a heavy change their composition. Be care-
productive. toll on seedlings, especially beans. ful not to over-fertilize when
Water moves quickly through Other soil-related plant symptoms applying chicken litter to garden
an internally well-drained soil and are short plants, slow growth, poor soil. Use no more than 200 pounds
never completely shuts off air color, and shallow and malformed per 1,000 square feet of garden
movement. Drainage is important roots. Soil symptoms of poor space. Animal manure is lower in
because roots cannot develop, live, structure are crusts, hard soil lay- nutrient content than poultry
and function without a constant ers below the surface, standing manure and can be applied at the
supply of oxygen. Clay soils dry water, and erosion. rate of 250 to 300 pounds per
slowly after a rain because the Increase the soil’s organic mat- 1,000 square feet.
spaces in them are small and water ter content by adding manure, Overuse of manures can add so
moves through them slowly. Sandy composted leaves, sawdust, bark, much salt to the soil that plant
soils, on the other hand, have or peatmoss; or by turning under growth is harmed. Most organic
many spaces and dry out quickly. plant residues like sweet corn materials release some nutrients
Clayand sandy soils can be stalks after harvest, and green quickly and the rest over a period
partially changed to substitute for manure crops (soybeans, rye, of time. (See Organic Gardening,
a rich loam by adding organic mat- southern pea plants, and others). page 17.) Even though adding
ter. Increasing the organic matter Plant residues should be free of organic matter improves soil fertil-

Raised Beds Help Problem Areas


Raised beds are planting areas where the soil is several inches higher than that of the natural
content of a clay soil improves the diseases if they are to be added to ity, manures and plant residues are
grade.
tilth, makes it easier to work, and the garden soil. Cover crops, such not balanced fertilizers, and soils

Compost improves soil structure


improves the internal drainage. as clovers and vetch, planted in the require additional fertilizer. Test
Adding organic matter to a sandy fall prevent soil erosion and leach- soil annually to be sure.
Raised beds can help where gar- Select vegetables that produce a lot
dening space is limited, the site is low for the space they occupy. Trellis vin-
and collects water, or the soil drains ing crops like cucumbers, pole beans,
poorly. Raised beds are planting areas Malabar spinach, and melons.
Compost is partially decom- subject to leaching. matter about 6 inches deep and add
where the soil is several inches higher Support melon fruit in slings.
posed plant material mixed with Compost is something you nor- 1 cup of a mixed fertilizer, 6-8-8, to
than that of the natural grade. This is Raised beds require more water
soil. Since compost is rich in mally make rather than purchase, each 10 square feet of surface.
accomplished by adding soil to the than ground-level beds, but when the
organic matter, use it to improve but composted bark and composted Then add 1 inch of soil and enough
growing area, or by adding and mix- alternative is no garden at all, it’s
soil structure, tilth, fertility, and manure are frequently sold as soil water to moisten but not soak the
ing into the native soil amendments worth the extra effort. Here are some
water- and nutrient-holding capaci- conditioners. pile. Repeat this process until the
such as compost, sand, composted additional advantages of raised-bed
ty. Make compost from vegetable pile is 4 to 5 feet high.
sawdust, or bark. gardening:
Compost can be mixed directly and other plant materials from nor- Make the top of the pile con-
Where the native soil is adequate, • Raised beds produce more veg-
into the garden soil or used as a mal yard chores, leaves, and grass cave to catch rainwater. Under nor-
raised beds can be made by removing etables per unit of garden space
mulching material that is mixed clippings, or hauled-in materials mal conditions, turn the pile in 2 or
several inches of soil from the bed because space is not wasted with
with the soil after the growing sea- like sawdust, straw, or hay. 3 weeks and again in 5 weeks.
area, filling the excavation with walkways between every row.
son. Construct a pile of alternating Heat helps decomposition, so if
organic matter like manure or old hay, • Soil in raised beds dries and
The biggest benefit from com- layers of organic waste material the compost pile is made in the fall,
and mixing the soil with the added warms more quickly in spring,
post is its value as a soil condition- and soil. Keep the pile moist and decomposition will be slow until
organic matter. It is also possible to which permits earlier planting of
er. Compost increases the water- add a mixed fertilizer to speed the spring and summer.
pull soil from the walkways between spring vegetables.
holding capacity of soil, reducing composting process. Moist, green plant materials and
beds and place it on the beds, filling • Soil does not compact because
the frequency you need to water. Build your compost pile in fresh manure decompose much
the walkways with mulch materials soil in beds is not walked on.
Adding compost improves sandy some out-of-sight location. It can faster than dry, brown materials
like pine needles. • Closely spaced plants in raised
and clay soils. Plant growth nutri- be built on open ground or in a bin and can produce a considerable
Raised beds can be framed with beds shade out weeds and reduce
ents in compost include nitrogen, made of cinder block, rough amount of heat.
wood, bricks, or cement blocks, or weed problems and the need for
phosphorus, and potassium. They boards, or wire fence. The sides of See Extension Publication
they can be left unframed. Framing frequent cultivation.
are mostly in an organic form, and the bin should not be air- or water- 1782 Composting: Nature’s Way
adds to the appearance, and depend- Raised bed gardening, however,
they release slowly and are less tight. Spread a layer of organic to Recycle for more information.
ing on the materials used, may pro- does have disadvantages. Some of

A Soil-Compost Pile
vide seating. these are listed below:
Ideally, raised beds should be no • Closer spacing of plants can
wider than 4 feet (so you can easily reduce air flow and increase dis-
reach the center from either side) and ease problems.
no longer than 25 feet unless cross- • Yields from individual closely
overs are provided. Beds 4 feet wide spaced plants may be lower than
Soil and 25 feet long contain 100 square from widely spaced plants (total
Fertilizer feet and make calculations for rates of production from the closely
Organic Matter
Soil
application of fertilizer and granular spaced plants is often higher).
Fertilizer materials easier. Beds accessible from • Raised beds require more fre-
Organic Matter only one side should be narrower than quent watering because of im-
Soil 4 feet. All framed beds should be of proved drainage.
Fertilizer the same width so that covering mate- • Raised beds may require more
Organic Matter
Ground
rials (shade frames, sash for cold frequent fertilization because of
frames) fit all beds, making rotation the leaching resulting from fre-
easy. quent watering and excellent
Raised-bed soil that has been drainage.
improved by adding organic matter • Raised beds with permanent
and sand often enables excellent root sides make it difficult to relocate
crops like carrots, onions, and the garden.
parsnips to grow, even though they • Raised beds can be expensive to
would not grow in the native soil. establish.

3
Test Soil to Find Its pH Value
The soil reaction, or measure of acid- tested medium low to very low in magne-
ity or alkalinity, is based on a scale of 1 sium should be limed with dolomitic
to 14 and is referred to as pH. A pH of 7.0 (high magnesium) lime. An acid soil high
is neutral. Any values below 7.0 are acid, in magnesium can be limed with either
and any values above 7.0 are alkaline. calcitic limestone or dolomitic limestone.
The ideal pH values for vegetable Acid soil results in poor plant growth,
garden soils are 6.0 to 6.5. Vegetable partly because of poor root growth. This
plants do not grow well in acid soils with means greater susceptibility to drought
a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 or in alkaline soils with stress and less efficient use of soil nutri-
a pH above 7.5. Soil testing is the only ents. Plants growing in acid soil may
way to know the pH of your garden soil. show deficiency symptoms of several
Contact your county Extension office for plant nutrients.
a container and instructions for taking a Apply lime well ahead of planting (2
soil sample. There is a $6 fee for a com- to 3 months) to provide time for it to dis-
plete analysis (pH plus nutrient analysis solve and change the soil pH.
with lime and fertilizer recommenda- Apply lime evenly over the entire To get a soil sample for testing: (1) Use a spade or trowel to remove a slice of soil 6 inches deep; (2) Get similar sections from
tions) on each sample. The lime recom- area and work it into the top 4 or 5 inch- other random places in your garden; (3) Put these samples in a pail; (4) Mix soil thoroughly in the pail; (5) Remove about 1 pint of
the well-mixed soil and dry it at room temperature; (6) Place dried soil in container. Do not take samples where fertilizer has been
mendation is the single most important es of soil. Incomplete mixing may make spilled or manure has been piled. Do not include debris such as leaves, sticks, or large stones in your sample. Deliver the soil sam-
piece of information on a soil test report. future tests show a need for more lime, ple to your county Extension office.
In areas with high rainfall like which can result in overliming and poor
Mississippi, soils are generally acid.
However, there are exceptions (particu-
plant growth. Limestone not only raises
the soil pH but improves fertility. Lime
Vegetable Tolerance to Acid Soils
larly in the Delta and Blackland Prairie) also improves the structure of clay soils Slightly tolerant Moderately tolerant Very tolerant
that prove the need for soil testing. Of the and makes them easier to work. (pH 6.8 to 6.0) (pH 6.8 to 5.5) (pH 6.8 to 5.0)
garden soils analyzed at Mississippi State Liming is not a once-in-a-lifetime Asparagus Spinach Beans Lima Beans Irish Potatoes
University’s Soil Testing Laboratory in event. Since soils limed to the proper pH Beets Swiss Chard Brussels Sprouts Parsley Sweet Potatoes
1999-2004, 49 percent had a pH of 5.9 or return to their acid state with time, soil Broccoli Carrots Peppers Watermelons
below and needed lime. Twenty-six per- test every year or two to determine if Cauliflower Collards Pumpkins
cent were in the range of 6.0 to 7.0. additional lime is needed. Sandy soils Chinese Cabbage Corn Radishes
The pH of the soil tells you if the soil become acid again faster than clay soils. Lettuce Cucumbers Rutabagas
needs lime. Where it is needed, limestone Factors causing the soil pH to drop Muskmelons Eggplant Soybeans
is the most effective and inexpensive aid are listed below: New Zealand Spinach English Peas Squash
available for soil improvement. The • Using acid-forming fertilizers. Okra Garlic Sunflowers
soil’s calcium and magnesium levels tell • Leaching of lime from the soil Onions Kale Tomatoes
you what form of limestone—dolomitic by rain and irrigation water. Peanuts Kohlrabi Turnips

Discover Your Garden’s Fertilizer Needs


(magnesium and calcium) or calcitic • Decomposing of organic matter and
(calcium)—to apply. An acid soil that release of organic acids.
Side-Dress Applications of Nitrogen
(1 pint of ammonium nitrate per 100 feet of row,
The amount of fertilizer to apply to most gardeners. Calcium (Ca) and Broccoli and sweet corn also require 3 ⁄3 tablespoons per 10 feet of row)
1

depends on the natural fertility of the magnesium (Mg) are supplied by more nitrogen than some other veg- Beans ......................................................................................at 3- to 4-leaf stage
soil, amount of organic matter, type of limestone. The other required ele- etables. While nitrogen is important Beets, carrots ..............................................................4 to 6 weeks after planting
fertilizer, and the vegetables being ments are obtained from air, water, to the plant growth of fruit and root Bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes ............................after first fruit set and again
grown. Get a soil test to determine and soil. vegetables, phosphorus and potash at 4- to 6-week intervals
your garden’s fertilizer needs. Mixed fertilizers are normally sold are important to the proper develop- Broccoli, cabbage,
In addition to soil testing, you also by grade and contain two or three ment of roots and seeds. Peanuts, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts ....................................3 weeks after transplanting
must measure your garden to deter- major plant nutrients. The numbers in southern peas, and beans get nitrogen or after danger of late freeze in spring;
mine the number of square feet it the grade refer to the percent nitrogen from the air and do not require heavy Broccoli again when heads begin to show
occupies. Garden fertilizer recom- (N), available phosphate (P2O5), and nitrogen fertilization. Over-fertilizing Cucumbers, muskmelons,
mendations are based on 1,000 square available potash (K2O). these vegetables with nitrogen causes watermelons, winter squash............................................when vines begin to run
feet, and an area of 1,000 square feet Fertilizer sources of the major excessive growth of leaves at the English peas ......................................................when plants are 4 to 6 inches tall
could measure 25 by 40, 20 by 50, 30 plant nutrients are ammonium nitrate expense of the fruit. Irish potatoes ........................................when sprouts break through soil surface
by 33, or other dimensions according (34 percent N, 34-0-0), nitrate of soda Apply fertilizer before or at plant- Leafy greens (mustard,
to your plot layout. (16 percent N, 16-0-0), calcium nitrate ing. Two methods of application are turnips, chard, collards) ..........................when plants are about one-third grown
If your area is smaller than 1,000 (15.5 percent N, 15.5- 0-0, 19 percent “in the row” and “broadcast.” For Lettuce, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage ........................2 weeks after transplanting;
square feet, divide the actual area by calcium), urea (46 percent N), super- most gardeners, the broadcast method 4 weeks after sowing seed
1,000; then multiply the decimal fig- phosphate (46 percent P2O5, 0-46-0), is more practical. Okra ..........................................................................after first pods are harvested
ure by the recommended lime and fer- and muriate of potash (60 percent To broadcast, spread the recom- Onions (green and bulb)—from sets........................when tops are 6 inches high
tilizer rates. For example, if your plot K2O, 0-0-60). Because many garden mended amount of fertilizer evenly —from transplants ......................................when established
measures 16 by 24, the area contains soils have been heavily fertilized for over the soil surface and then thor- and actively growing
384 square feet; 384 divided by 1,000 years, soil test results often indicate oughly mix it into the soil during soil Peanuts............................................................................................................none
equals .384; multiply .384 by your extremely high soil levels of phos- preparation. Heavy feeding vegeta- Radishes ........................................................................................................none
recommended fertilizer rate to deter- phorus and potassium. In these cases, bles need additional fertilizer (side- Southern peas ................................................................................................none
mine the amount of fertilizer to apply. nitrogen is the only fertilizer recom- dressing) after the plants are well Summer squash......................................................before bloom when plants are
Vegetable plants require many dif- mended, since additional phosphorus established. 8 to 10 inches tall and again in 4 weeks
ferent nutrient elements for good and potassium are unnecessary. For row application, apply the rec- Sweet corn ..................................when 8 inches high and again when knee high
growth and production, but nitrogen Where nitrogen is the only fertiliz- ommended fertilizer to the row. Mix Sweet potatoes ..............................................................................................none
(N), phosphorus (P), and potassium er recommended, the usual recom- it thoroughly with the soil so that it Turnips (roots), Rutabagas ........................................4 weeks after sowing seeds
(K) are the three nutrients of concern mendation is for 3 pounds of ammo- will not damage the seed and tender
nium nitrate (3 pints) per 1,000 square plants. slightly below the level of the seeds. reach of the roots of shallow-rooted
Measuring Table for feet of garden space prior to planting. Fertilizer can be applied in a com- Nitrogen fertilizer applied before vegetables.
Fertilizer, Weight per Pint Fertilization with unnecessary nutri- bination of broadcast and row appli- or at planting time usually does not Apply (side-dress) additional ni-
Superphosphate 1 lb ents can “salt out” the garden and cations. Broadcast two-thirds of the supply all the nitrogen needed during trogen fertilizer along the row 4 to 6
Muriate of Potash 1 lb damage plant growth. recommended fertilizer over the the growing season for heavy- and inches from the base of the plants
Ammonium Nitrate 1 lb Vegetables differ in their fertilizer entire garden surface and mix it into medium-feeding vegetables. Also, ir- when plants are established, being
Nitrate of Soda 11⁄4 lb requirements. Leafy greens like mus- the soil. Apply the remaining one- rigation and rain can leach water-sol- careful to keep all fertilizer off plant
Limestone 11⁄4 lb tard, turnips, collards, cabbage, and third of the fertilizer in furrows 3 uble nutrients, especially nitrogen, leaves.
Mixed fertilizer 6-8-8, 13-13-13 1 lb
spinach are heavy users of nitrogen. inches to either side of the row and into deeper areas of the soil, out of the

4
Soil Prep Is Planting Vegetables
Important for
Successful
Vegetable seeds and transplants are available soils, choose a well-drained site. If such a site is not detailed information on application methods. It is
from many sources. See pages 22-30 for suitable available, plant on raised beds to promote drainage extremely important to apply these materials prop-

Gardens
varieties. After selecting the varieties to plant, and faster warming of the soil. Keep surface water erly because they form toxic gases after application.
check local sources to see if the varieties are avail- from flowing across the garden to help prevent dis- Crop rotation. An easy and economical way to
able. ease-causing organisms from coming into the gar- reduce soil-borne diseases is to rotate vegetables.
It is important to locate seeds early, especially if den from outside areas. Corn and members of the cabbage family can be
you are going to grow some of your own transplants Sanitation. Since many disease-causing organ- alternated with other vegetables from one year to
Preparing the soil is one of the
for the spring garden. You can order new varieties isms live through the winter in old plants, plow the next. If space permits, move the garden to a new
most important steps in gardening.
that are not available locally from mail order seed under crop debris at least 6 inches deep as soon as location every 3 to 4 years, preferably to a site that
If erosion is not a problem, plow or
catalogs. Check the Planting Guide on page 7 for possible. was in grass.
spade clay soils and grassy areas in the
amounts of seed to buy. It is important to a garden’s Tobacco mosaic virus, a common problem on Resistant varieties. Make every effort to buy
fall. Limestone is most effective when
success that the seed is fresh and packaged for the tomatoes and peppers, can be transmitted through disease-resistant varieties. Consult the list of rec-
applied in the fall.
current year. Home-saved vegetable seeds and tobacco products. Wash your hands with soap and ommended varieties, seed catalog variety descrip-
On new garden sites that were
those carried over from the previous year may give water before working in the garden if you use tions, or your county Extension office for help in
lawn areas or were heavily infested
disappointing results. Since most of the new vari- tobacco. selecting varieties that are disease resistant.
with weeds, consider using an
approved chemical to kill existing eties are hybrids, do not attempt to save seed from Disease-free seed. Weather conditions in Fertilization. Use fertilizer according to recom-
plants before turning the soil. Plow or one year’s crop to plant the next year. Also, because Mississippi favor the development of many seed- mendations based on a soil test. Fertilizers do not
turn soil to a depth of 7 or 8 inches. some diseases are carried on seeds, home-saved borne diseases. Therefore, buy certified seeds pro- prevent diseases, but a healthy, well-fertilized plant
Leave fall-plowed land rough until seeds may continue to cause a disease problem in duced in the western United States where the cli- is less susceptible to disease than one growing in
spring. your garden. The only vegetable seeds that garden- mate is dry and the seeds are relatively free of dis- soil lacking required nutrients.
Many garden tillers are not ade- ers should save are those of varieties that have been ease-causing microorganisms. Plant spacing. Crowding plants allows mois-
quate equipment for the initial break- in the family for many years and have become heir- Seed treatment. Most seeds are treated with a ture from dew or rain to remain on leaf surfaces.
ing of soil in a new garden site. loom varieties. fungicide, as indicated by their red, blue, purple, or You should avoid this because it promotes disease
Starting in early spring, disc or rake Once the garden is completely planned on paper, green color. If they have not been treated with a development.

After-Planting Controls
the soil several times at regular inter- the land prepared, and the seed on hand, the job of fungicide, treat them yourself.
vals to keep down weeds and to give a planting begins. Treat large seeds in a jar. To treat small seeds,
smooth, clod-free planting bed. Planting is not a “one shot” operation. There are tear off one corner of the seed packet. Lift out as Spraying. Control diseases like rust, mildew,
If you did not plow or spade the different times for planting different vegetables. much of the seed treatment fungicide (Thiram or anthracnose, and leaf spot with a foliar fungicide.
garden site in the fall, turn the soil in Vegetables may be grouped in the garden plan and Captan) as is held on the tip of the blade of a Sprayers and dusters are available for this purpose. A
spring as soon as it is dry enough to planted according to their hardiness and tempera- penknife, and insert the dust through the hole in the spray is generally more effective than a dust.
work. A good test to determine if the ture requirements. Lettuce and English peas are seed packet. Fold down the corner of the packet and Successful disease control with fungicides
soil can be worked is to mold a hand- cool-season vegetables and grow best in cool shake thoroughly. depends on these factors:
ful of soil into a ball. If the ball is not weather. Okra and southern peas are warm-weather DO NOT eat treated seed or feed it to live- • Apply early to prevent early-season infection
sticky but crumbles readily when vegetables and need warm temperatures for best stock. and rapid spread of disease.
pressed with your thumb, the soil is in growth. Healthy transplants. Select healthy, vigorous • Select the proper fungicide because not all
good condition. Cool-season vegetables differ from warm-sea- plants for transplanting. Buy them from a reputable fungicides control the same disease.
If you did not apply recommended son vegetables in that they are hardy or frost toler- dealer or grow your own.
• Cover all foliage thoroughly.
lime to the garden site in the fall, apply ant, seeds germinate at cool soil temperatures, and Soil fumigation. Multipurpose soil fumigants,
• Repeat application.
both lime and recommended fertilizer root systems are shallow and require frequent irri- such as Vapam, are available to control many soil-
in the spring. Plow or spade the soil, gation. Cool-season plants are smaller, respond borne fungi, bacteria, and nematodes. Mix Vapam
more to nitrogen fertilizer, and are generally more with water and apply it as a drench with a sprinkler Suggested fungicides include benomyl,
spread the lime and fertilizer, and mix
tolerant of shade than warm-season vegetable can. Immediately after application, saturate the soil chlorothalonil, and other products listed in the
it in with a disc, harrow, or rototiller.
Pulverize the soil and get a smooth, plants. with water until it is wet to the depth that control is Fungicides for Disease Control table on page 16.
These fungicides are usually applied at rates ranging
Before-You-Plant Practices
level surface by raking as soon as pos- desired. Instead of drenching with water, you can
sible after turning. This helps to firm cover the treated area with a plastic tarp for 48 from 1 to 2 tablespoons per gallon of water. Refer to
the soil, break up clods, and leave a Site Selection. To reduce chances of damping- hours. Wait at least 14 days after application before

Try New Varieties for Advantages Over Established Varieties


smooth surface for seeding. Soil left in off, root rot, and other problems associated with wet planting. Refer to label directions for rates and See Planting, page 30
rough condition for several days after
turning in the spring may dry out and
form hard clods, making it much more

All America Selections


difficult to prepare a good seedbed. It is always interesting to try new ance. This insect vectored disease can
Prepare a small garden plot for varieties to see if you like them and if be moved from weeds, flowers, or
planting by using a spade, shovel, or
ALL ®
they have some advantage over the other infected vegetables to the toma-
spading fork to turn the soil. Use a
AMERICA
varieties you have grown before. This A vegetable variety the AAS trial gardens, so there are toes in the garden, and the only “treat-
SELECTIONS

small tractor or garden tiller for a larg- is not easy to determine in just 1 year,
WINNER
designated as an All many excellent varieties that do not ment” is to remove the diseased plant
er garden. Completely cover all plant and decisions shouldn’t be made on before it can serve as a source to dam-
America Selection (AAS) has been bear the AAS designation. Many
material on top of the ground and just 1 year’s experience. age other plants. Varieties marketed to
judged in a number of national trial AAS vegetables are suited for grow-
work it into the soil when the soil is Here are a few ways to compare home gardeners include Amelia,
gardens to have some advantage or ing in Mississippi, so be sure to try
turned. established and new varieties: BHN444, and BHN 640. Top Gun has
uniqueness over a standard compari- these new varieties as well as other
Where the soil is clay and level and • Select a location with uniform soil both TSWV tolerance and will set at
son variety. This may be disease new varieties listed in catalogs.
likely to stay wet, use a hoe, rake, or where plants will receive the same higher than normal temperatures.
resistance, color, productivity, fla- The Vegetable section (pages 22-
tiller to pull the soil into raised rows treatment. Avoid row ends and Many other varieties have been intro-
vor, or something else. All America 30) includes a list of recommended
that are 10 to 12 inches across on the border rows. duced to commercial growers that will
Selections must show wide adapt- varieties. Some previously designat-
tops. Let the sides slope gently to the • Plant on the same day and in the grow well in Mississippi gardens but
ability to climatic and soil condi- ed AAS varieties are no longer avail-
walkways to provide good surface same way. are not sold in small enough quantities
tions. AAS is a nonprofit organiza- able, since the program is more than
drainage. • Do not mix seeds or plants. Label to be considered for the home garden.
them and mark their location on a tion that accepts variety entries from 50 years old. The year of introduc-
Conventional row spacing is 36 to
plan. breeders around the world. tion for AAS varieties listed in this Southern Pea: QuickPick,
40 inches apart, but spacing depends
on a number of factors: equipment, • Record observations of plant Not all new varieties developed publication is given with the variety frequently called Louisiana Quick
garden size, and vegetables being growth, yield, disease and insect each year are submitted for testing in descriptions in the Vegetable section. Pick, is now available to home garden-
grown. Rows for vigorously vining problems, and general impres- ers. These pink-eye, purple-hull peas
vegetables like watermelons, can- sions. Seeds of many of these varieties are unique. Try a couple of these new vari- bear above the foliage and are resistant
taloupes, pumpkins, and winter squash The vegetable varieties listed here available only through mail order cata- eties in your garden. You may be pleas- to virus.
are usually 6 to 8 feet apart. and designated as “new” have been logs. New varieties are introduced antly surprised by their performance.
Raised bed gardens are relatively introduced by seed companies in because they offer some advantage Snow Pea: A couple of new vari-
easy to prepare for planting once the recent years. Some have been evaluat- over an established variety, such as Tomatoes: The biggest news in eties compete with Oregon Sugar Pod
beds are constructed. (See Raised ed on a limited basis only; others have earliness, higher yields, improved dis- varieties for gardeners is the availabil- II. Atitlan are an afila (no-leaf) type
Beds on page 3.) not yet been grown in Mississippi. ease resistance, color, or something ity of tomato spotted wilt virus toler-
See Varieties, page 19
5
Zones Determine Planting Dates Spring and Summer Planting Dates
Use the map and chart in this section
to determine dates for planting vegeta-
cient time for the vegetables to mature
before the heat of summer. The cut-off Cool-Season Vegetables
bles in your garden. Use the map to date for planting warm-season vegeta- Vegetable Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5
identify the zone (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) in bles is to permit maturity and harvest Beets Feb. 1 Feb. 12 Feb. 22 Feb. 27 Mar. 3
which you garden. Some Mississippi before disease, insect, and weather Mar. 1 Mar. 15 Apr. 1 Apr. 1 Apr. 5
counties are in only one zone, while pressures become too great and before Broccoli (plants) Feb. 1 Feb. 12 Feb. 22 Feb. 27 Mar. 3
others are in more than one. cold temperatures in the fall. Feb. 15 Mar. 1 Mar. 10 Mar. 15 Mar. 20
The zones are based on weather data Most cool-season vegetables can be Cabbage, Collards (plants) Feb. 1 Feb. 12 Feb. 22 Feb. 27 Mar. 3
for the median (most frequent) dates of planted in both spring and fall. This Feb. 15 Mar. 1 Mar. 15 Mar. 20 Apr. 1
last freezes (temperature of 32 °F or gives two opportunities for successful Carrots Jan. 20 Jan. 29 Feb. 8 Feb. 13 Feb. 18
less) in spring. In some years the last harvests. Most warm-season vegetables Apr. 15 Apr. 15 Apr. 15 Apr. 15 Apr. 15
freeze occurs earlier, and in some years can be planted over a period of several Cauliflower (plants) Feb. 1 Feb. 12 Feb. 22 Feb. 27 Mar. 3
later, than the median dates. The zones weeks ranging from midspring to mid- Feb. 15 Mar. 1 Mar. 10 Mar. 15 Mar. 20
are listed at the top of the chart. The summer. Chard, Swiss Feb. 1 Feb. 12 Feb. 22 Feb. 27 Mar. 3
cool- and warm-season vegetables are Multiple plantings at 10-day inter- Mar. 1 Mar. 15 Apr. 1 Apr. 1 Apr. 5
listed on the left, and the recommended vals of beans, corn, peas, radishes, and Kohlrabi Jan. 20 Jan. 29 Feb. 8 Feb. 13 Feb. 18
planting dates make up the body of leafy greens within the recommended Mar. 1 Mar. 15 Apr. 1 Apr. 1 Apr. 5
information in the chart. planting intervals provide for succes- Lettuce, head Jan. 20 Jan. 29 Feb. 8 Feb. 13 Feb. 18
Beets, for example, are recommend- sive harvests. Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Mar. 5 Mar. 10
ed for planting in zone 1 from February Some of the cool-season vegetables Lettuce, leaf Jan. 20 Jan. 29 Feb. 8 Feb. 13 Feb. 18
1 to March 1. The starting dates are 4 like broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cab- Apr. 1 Apr. 1 Apr. 1 Apr. 10 Apr. 15
and 6 weeks before the last median frost bage, cauliflower, collards, kale, Mustard Feb. 1 Feb. 12 Feb. 22 Feb. 27 Mar. 3
date for the zone for cool-season veg- spinach, and rutabagas produce better Apr. 1 Apr. 1 Apr. 15 Apr. 15 Apr. 20
etables, and 2 and 4 weeks after the last when grown in the fall. These plants Onions (sets or plants) Jan. 20 Jan. 29 Feb. 8 Feb. 13 Feb. 18
median frost date for warm-season veg- mature as the weather is getting cooler, Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Mar. 15
etables. and they are of better quality and pro- Peas, English Jan. 20 Jan. 29 Feb. 8 Feb. 13 Feb. 18
The cut-off date for planting cool- duce over a longer period of time. Mar. 10 Mar. 10 Mar. 15 Mar. 20 Apr. 1
season vegetables is to provide suffi- Potatoes, Irish Jan. 20 Jan. 29 Feb. 8 Feb. 13 Feb. 18
Feb. 15 Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Mar. 10 Mar. 15
Radishes Feb. 1 Feb. 12 Feb. 22 Feb. 27 Mar. 3
Mar. 15 Mar. 15 Apr. 1 Apr. 15 Apr. 25
Spinach Jan. 20 Jan. 29 Feb. 8 Feb. 13 Feb. 18
DeSoto Alcorn
Feb. 15 Mar. 1 Mar. 15 Mar. 15 Mar. 15
Turnips Feb. 1 Feb. 12 Feb. 22 Feb. 27 Mar. 3
Marshall
Benton

Tishomingo

Apr. 1 Apr. 1 Apr. 15 Apr. 15 Apr. 20


Tippah
Tate
Pre

Warm-Season Vegetables
Tunica
nti

Union
ss

Panola Lafayette
Itawamba

Pontotoc Lee
Quitman
Coahoma

Ya
Beans, snap bush Mar. 15 Mar. 25 Apr. 4 Apr. 8 Apr. 14
Apr. 15 Apr. 20 May 1 May 1 May 10
lob Ca
us lho
Tallahatchie ha

Beans, snap pole Mar. 15 Mar. 25 Apr. 4 Apr. 9 Apr. 14


un Chickasaw Monroe
Bolivar

Sept. 1 Aug. 15 Aug. 15 Aug. 10 Aug. 1


Grenada

Beans, lima bush Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28


Webster Clay
Sunflower

Leflore

Aug. 15 Aug. 1 Aug. 1 July 25 July 15


Mon

Lowndes

Oktibbeha

Beans, lima pole Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28


tgom

Choctaw

Carroll
Washington

Aug. 5 Jul. 20 Jul. 20 Jul. 15 Jul. 5


ery

Corn Mar. 1 Mar. 11 Mar. 21 Mar. 26 Mar. 31


Noxubee
Humphreys

Holmes Attala Winston

Jul. 15 Jul. 15 Jul. 15 Jul. 15 Jul. 15


Cucumbers Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28
Sharkey

Leake
Issaquena

Yazoo Neshoba

Sept. 14 Aug. 28 Aug. 21 Aug. 14 Aug. 10


Madison Kemper

Eggplant (plants) Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28


Aug. 15 Aug. 10 Aug. 10 Aug. 1 July 15
Scott Newton Lauderdale

Muskmelons Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28


rren

May 1 May 1 May 15 May 15 Jun. 1


Wa

Hinds Rankin

Okra Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28


Smith
Clarke
Jasper

Jul. 15 Jul. 15 Jul. 15 Jul. 15 Jul. 15


Claiborne Simpson

Peanuts Mar. 15 Mar. 25 Apr. 4 Apr. 9 Apr. 14


Copiah

May 1 May 1 May 1 May 15 May 15


Jefferson Wayne
Jones
Covington

Peas, southern Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28


Lawrence

Jeff avis

Lincoln
D

Aug. 10 Aug. 1 Aug. 1 Aug. 1 Jul. 20


erso

Franklin
Adams
n

Peppers (plants) Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28


Marion Lamar
Pike

Aug. 15 Aug. 10 Aug. 10 Aug. 1 Jul. 15


Forrest

Perry Greene
Walthall

Amite
Wilkinson

Potatoes, sweet (plants) Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28


Zone 1 March 1-11 Jul. 1 Jul. 1 Jul. 1 Jul. 1 Jul. 1
George

Pumpkins, Winter Squash Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28


Pearl Stone

Zone 2 March 12-21


River

Jul. 1 Jul. 1 Jul. 1 Jul. 1 Jul. 1


Jackson

Spinach, New Zealand Mar. 15 Mar. 25 Apr. 4 Apr. 9 Apr. 14


Harrison

Zone 3 March 22-26 Apr. 15 Apr. 15 Apr. 20 May 15 May 15


k
coc

Squash, summer Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28


Han

Zone 4 March 27-31 Sept. 14 Aug. 28 Aug. 21 Aug. 14 Aug. 10


Tomatoes (plants) Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28
Zone 5 April 1-10 Aug. 15 Aug. 10 Aug. 10 Aug. 1 Jul. 20
Watermelons Mar. 29 Apr. 8 Apr. 18 Apr. 23 Apr. 28
Median Date of Last Freeze in Spring May 1 May 1 May 15 May 15 Jun. 1
Planting Zones – To use the map, find your county and determine which zone it is located * For Fall Gardening, see page 19.
in. Then find the vegetable planting dates for your zone on the chart to the right.

6
Transplants Can Shorten
Planting Guide
Planting-to-Harvest Time Distance Average Average
Some vegetables are planted in the container nearly to the top with Depth of between Crop No. of
the garden using small plants (trans- the mix. Wet the mix thoroughly and Seeds or Plants Planting Plants Expected Days to
plants) rather than seeds. This is let excess water drain. Expandable Vegetable per 100 ft (inches) (inches) per 100 ft Harvest
standard practice with warm-season peat pellets (available at nurseries Asparagus 1 oz 1 18 30 lb 2 years
vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and garden supply stores) eliminate 65 plants 6-8
and eggplant, and is becoming the the need for a mix and a container
practice with cucumbers, squash, except for one to hold the pellets. Beans, snap bush ⁄2 lb 1 3-6 60 lb 50-55
1

cantaloupes, and watermelons Place dry, flat pellets in a shallow


Beans, snap pole ⁄2 lb 1 4-12 80 lb 65
because transplants shorten the time tray and sprinkle them several times
1

by several weeks between planting with warm water until they are com- Beans, lima bush ⁄2 lb
1
1 3-6 47 lb in shell 65
and harvest. pletely expanded. Allow a little time 18 lb shelled
Sweet potato plants are grown between sprinklings. Surround the
Beans, lima pole ⁄2 lb 1 4-12 66 lb in shell 80
from stored sweet potato roots and expanded pellets with sand or ver-
1

25 lb shelled
not from true seed. In the early miculite to hold them upright and
spring garden, transplants of cab- slow their drying between waterings. Beets 1 oz ⁄2
1
2 75 lb 65
bage, broccoli, cauliflower, head let-
tuce, and onions are recommended. Planting Seeds. Do not plant Broccoli ⁄8 oz ⁄4- ⁄2 18-24 50 lb 80-115
1 1 1

Not all vegetable plants transplant seeds too thickly. When using trays 50-65 plants 18-24 50 lb 75
with the same degree of ease as small or pans, plant the seeds in rows and Cabbage ⁄8 oz
1
⁄4- ⁄2
1 1
12-18 150 lb 100
seedlings or when setting them out in cover with one-fourth of an inch of 65-100 plants 12-18 150 lb 80
the garden. But even vegetables mix. When using individual contain-
described as difficult to transplant ers, plant two or three seeds per con- Cabbage, Chinese ⁄8 oz ⁄4- ⁄2 12 100 lb 80
1 1 1

can be transplanted into the garden tainer. With the expanded pellets, Carrots ⁄8 oz
1
⁄4- ⁄2
1 1
2 100 lb 75
with great success when they are make a small depression in the top
started in containers. and drop in the seeds. Plant seeds of Cauliflower ⁄8 oz ⁄4- ⁄2 18-24 80 lb 80-115
1 1 1

Grow vegetable transplants in a watermelons, squash, and cucumbers 50-65 plants 18-24 80 lb 65
cold frame, hot bed, greenhouse, or a in individual containers.
Chard, Swiss 1 oz ⁄4- ⁄2 6 75 lb 50
well-lighted window. Transplants are recommended for
1 1

Here are some advantages to seedless watermelons. To aid germi- Collards and Kale ⁄4 oz ⁄4- ⁄2 8-16 150 lb 55
1 1 1

growing your own plants: nation, plant seedless watermelon


Corn, sweet 3-4 oz 1-2 12 10 doz 80
• They are often less expensive to seeds with the rounded end facing
grow than to buy. down and the pointed end facing up. Cucumbers ⁄2 oz
1
1 12-18 100 lb 55
• They are available when you
need them. You grow the vari- Eggplant 50 plants 24 150 lb 85
eties you want and are not Kohlrabi ⁄8 oz
1
⁄4- ⁄2
1 1
3-4 75 lb 55
forced to accept substitutes.
• You avoid the danger of bring- Lettuce, head ⁄4 oz ⁄4 12 75 head 80-115
1 1

ing in diseases and insects. 75-100 plants 12-14 75 head 80


Lettuce, leaf ⁄4 oz ⁄4 8-12 50 lb 50
You can successfully grow trans-
1 1

plants of many vegetables by follow- Muskmelons ⁄4 oz 1 36-48 100 fruit 90


1

ing a few simple guidelines:


Mustard ⁄4 oz ⁄4- ⁄2 2 100 lb 45
1 1 1

Seed. Use fresh seed from a rep- Use cool, white 40-watt fluorescent Okra 1 oz 1 12-18 90 lb 65
utable source. Transplants require tubes for a supplemental light source.
several weeks to grow, so get your Onions, green 600 sets or plants 2 100 bunches 35
seeds early. Do not buy too much Onions, bulb 220 sets or plants 6 100 lb 110
seed. A small amount produces many Germination. Cover containers
plants. If the seed has not been treat- with a piece of plastic, or slip them Parsley ⁄8 oz ⁄4 4-6 30 lb 90
1 1

ed with a fungicide as indicated on into a clear plastic bag to keep the Peanuts ⁄2 lb 1-2 3-4 45 lb green 110
the package, do so with a small humidity high. The best temperature
1

15 lb dry
amount of fungicide. (See the for germination is 80 °F. As the tem-
Before-You-Plant Practices section perature drops below 80 °F, germina- Peas, English 1 lb 1-2 2 30 lb in shell 65
on seed treatment, page 5.) tion slows. Tomato, pepper, and egg-
Peas, southern ⁄2 lb 1 4-6 40 lb in hull 65
plant seeds won’t germinate at
1

Soil. Most garden soils are not temperatures below 60 °F. Even at Peppers, bell 50 plants 24 150 lb 75
good enough to be used for raising the optimum temperature, eggplant
transplants because they are poorly and pepper seeds may take 2 weeks Potatoes, Irish 10 lb 4 12 150 lb 100
drained and contaminated with dis- to germinate. Potatoes, sweet 75-100 12 100 lb 120
ease and weed seeds. Several com- As soon as the seedlings begin to
mercial sterile soilless mixes are come through the mix surface, lower Pumpkins ⁄2 oz 1-2 48 300 lb 90-110
1

available. Prepare a soilless mix the temperature and increase the Radishes 1 oz ⁄2 1 40 lb 28
using these ingredients: amount of light to prevent spindly
1

2 quarts Sphagnum peat moss growth. Use cool, white 40-watt flu- Rutabagas ⁄2 oz ⁄4- ⁄2 12 90 lb 90
1 1 1

1 quart vermiculite orescent tubes placed several inches


Spinach ⁄2 oz ⁄2 4 70 lb 45
1 quart perlite above the seedlings for 18 hours a
1 1

1 tablespoon limestone day for a supplemental light source. Squash, summer ⁄2 oz


1
1 36 150 lb 55
Tomato, pepper, and eggplant
Container. Containers for seed seedlings grow best when the day Squash, winter ⁄2 oz 1 48 100 lb 90
1

germination can be plastic egg car- temperature is 70 to 75 °F and the Tomatoes 35-65 plants 18-36 125 lb 70
tons, half-pint milk cartons, small temperature at night is 60 to 65 °F.
trays, aluminum foil loaf pans, pie Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower Turnips, greens ⁄4 oz ⁄4- ⁄2 2-3 50-100 lb 50
1 1 1

tins, peat pots, or peat pellets. Make prefer cooler temperatures—65 to 70 Turnips, roots ⁄4 oz ⁄4- ⁄2 2-3 50-100 lb 60
sure there are drainage holes in the
1 1 1

bottom of the container before filling See Transplants, page 8 Watermelons ⁄2 oz


1
1 ⁄2
1
48-72 60 fruit 85

7
Planting and Thinning Tips
Plant only fresh in some radish seeds
seeds from a reliable to mark the row.
source. Old seeds Seeds that are
are slow to germi- large enough to han-
nate and often pro- dle easily can be
duce spotty stands planted in groups
and deformed For small seeds, make a planting fur- (hills) or spaced
plants. row with a hoe handle or rake drawn evenly (drilled) in
When planting along the cord. the row. When
seeds, mark straight planting in hills,
rows with stakes place several seeds
and a cord to make in small areas at the
cultivating, spray- desired final plant
ing, and harvesting spacing.
easy. Rake the seed Sweet corn,
bed clean of clods, squash, pumpkins,
rocks, and other For larger seeds, open a deeper plant- melons, and okra
types of debris. ing furrow with your hoe. are often planted in
Make shallow fur- this way. Once the
rows suitable for seeds germinate and
small seeds by the seedlings are
drawing a hoe han- established, remove
dle along a string. the excess
For deeper fur- seedlings. Sweet Plastic row tunnels and floating row covers permit early planting and provide some protection against cold. Plastic tunnels can be used
rows, use a corner of When sowing small seeds, cut or tear
corn, okra, and sum- in combination with black plastic mulch. Floating row covers made of a non-woven polyester also provide early insect protection.

Days from Planting to Seedling Emergence


the hoe blade. In the mer squash are
off a corner of the packet and scatter tion and seedling establishment,
spring, plant seeds seeds in the furrow while tapping gen- thinned to one plant
remove extra seedlings. The choice
shallow to speed tly with your index finger. per hill, pumpkins
of planting method, drill or hill, for Under Good Growing Conditions
germination. As the and melons to two Beans 5-10 Cucumbers 6-10 Peppers 9-14
many vegetables is up to the gar-
season progresses, plants per hill. Beets 7-10 Eggplant 6-10 Radishes 3-6
dener.
plant seeds deeper to Seeds of beans, Broccoli 5-10 Lettuce 6-8 Spinach 7-12
If your seeds are 1 or more years
ensure a good sup- peas, beets, chard, Cabbage 5-10 Okra 7-10 Squash 4-6
old, plant them thicker than you
ply of moisture. and sweet corn are Carrots 12-18 Onions 7-10 Tomatoes 6-12
would fresh seeds. Extra seeds at
Small seeds are frequently spaced Cauliflower 5-10 Peas 6-10 Turnips 4-8
planting time cause poor germina-
difficult to distribute evenly down the Corn 5-8 Parsley 15-21 Watermelons 6-8
Space larger seeds evenly and drop tion and seedling death from dis-
thinly and evenly row when planted.
by hand. ease and insects. much soil do not come up. Leaving the plants spaced too
and are easier to Individual seeds
After the seeds are placed, cover Removing the extra seedlings closely together reduces yields,
space if mixed with may be spaced 1 or
them with soil. (See the Planting (thinning) seems wasteful to many makes the plants more susceptible
dry sand or dry, pul- more inches apart
Guide at right for depth of plant- gardeners, especially new garden- to disease, and generally starves the
verized soil before but at a spacing
ing). Firm (do not pack) soil over ers. However, when the majority of plants for water and nutrients.
planting. When closer than the
the seeds with the flat blade of a seeds germinate and the seedlings In the thinning process, try to
planting small seeds desired final plant

SMALL MEDIUM LARGE
⁄4 - 1⁄2 inch ⁄2 - 1 inch hoe. Be careful not to plant seeds survive, the plants become crowd-

Transplants
like carrots that ger- spacing.
1 1 1
1 - 1 2 inch
too deep. Seeds covered with too ed. See Tips, page 9

Protect Newly Set Plants


Seed size determines depth of planting.
minate slowly, mix After germina-
but not enough to grow the
seedlings. Homemade mixes of Cold Frame
peat, vermiculite, and perlite con-
continued from page 7 Cabbage, broccoli, and cauli-
tain no fertilizer. Seeds contain a
flower transplants can be easily
°F during the day and 55 to 60 °F at small amount of nutrients to get the
grown in an outside cold frame. Cut off the bottoms Cutaway view
night. At these temperatures, broc- seedling started, but you must sup- of plastic containers
Build a simple frame and cover it of a hotkap
coli, cabbage, and cauliflower take ply fertilizer such as water soluble
with polyethylene. Plants grown in
5 to 7 weeks to reach the size for 20-20-20. Prepare a fertilizer solu-
transplanting to the garden. Peppers tion following instructions on the
and eggplant may need 8 to 10 container.
weeks to reach the size for setting
out in the garden. Disease. Damping-off is the
major disease that attacks
Thinning and Transplanting. seedlings. Seedlings appear pinched
Individual containers with more at the soil line, fall over, and die.
than one seedling must be thinned Control this disease by thoroughly
to one plant. Pinch out or cut off the watering (drenching) the growing Plants must grow in a cold frame for 8
to 10 weeks before setting in the garden.
extra seedlings while the first mix after planting the seeds with 1 Wire tomato cage
wrapped in plastic
leaves are still small. tablespoon of Captan (50 percent
a cold frame require 8 to 10 weeks
Seedlings germinated in trays wettable powder) per gallon of
to reach the size for setting in the
must be transplanted to individual water.
garden, so start early. Place the cold
containers while still small. Lift and frame in a sunny location with the
separate seedlings and replant them Hardening Off. Transplants
low side facing south and the high Wooden shingle
into individual containers such as grown in a cold frame are stockier
back facing north. Paint the inside used as a sunshade
peat pots, plastic cel-paks (saved and better able to withstand outside
white to reflect light and promote
from previously purchased trans- garden conditions than transplants
uniform growth.
plants; be sure to wash them), peat grown indoors or in a greenhouse.
Since temperatures in a cold
pellets, or other small containers. Before setting out tender trans-
frame are frequently below the opti-
Use a commercial soilless potting plants, place them in a cold frame
mum for seed germination, plant
mix or prepare your own. for 1 to 2 weeks to acclimate them
seeds in a soilless mix in trays and
to colder temperatures, brighter
germinate them indoors. Once the
Fertilizer. Some potting soils light, and wind. This greatly
contain a small amount of fertilizer increases their chances of survival
once set in the garden. See Transplants, page 9

8
Pollination, the transfer of pollen within a drought do not interfere with the transfer of All summer squash, Halloween pumpkins,
flower or between flowers, is needed for corn pollen but can prevent proper pollination Petals vegetable spaghetti, acorn squash, and small
many vegetables to produce. With vegetables and fertilization, resulting in poorly developed Anthers ornamental gourds are closely related and do
we grow for their leaves (greens, spinach, ears. cross if planted close to one another. This is
cabbage) and roots (beets, carrots, radishes), Pistil of no concern to gardeners who do not save
pollination is not important. But with vegeta- their own seed. Jumbo pumpkins and most
bles we grow for their developing fruit, Ovary winter squash can cross. If you grow several
ripened fruit, or seeds (melons, corn), pollina- varieties of summer and winter squash and
tion is almost always needed. pumpkins in the same garden, purchase fresh
seed each year.
Bees often are seen on vegetables that are The different corn colors (yellow and
wind- and self-pollinated, where they are col- white) and types (normal, sugary enhanced,
lecting pollen and nectar. Since pollinating supersweet, field, and pop) crosspollinate if
Pistil
Anther insects are so important in the garden, it is planted close to one another, and if they silk
important to consider them when choosing and tassel at the same time. Results can vary
Ovary and applying insecticides. Choose insecti- from a few yellow kernels on normally all-
cides that are least toxic to bees, and apply white ears to a situation where the corn is not
Flower Parts Corn pollen is carried by the wind as it falls from them late in the day when bees are not active- fit to eat. All sweet corn must be isolated
the tassel to the silks of the ears.
ly working in the garden. from field and popcorn, and all supersweet
Pollen is produced in the anthers (male The pollination process in all beans, peas, Vegetables that are self- and insect-polli- corn must be isolated from all other corn.
parts) and must be moved to the pistil (female and tomatoes is called self-pollination because nated often suffer from lack of pollination
part). One part of the pistil, the ovary, devel- the transfer of pollen takes place within the and fertilization, just as wind-pollinated corn
ops into the seed or fruit that is eaten— individual flowers without the aid of insects or does. High temperatures, shade, and insuffi-
squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn kernels. wind. cient moisture often result in pollen that does Petal
Pollen is moved from the anthers to the pistil Squash, pumpkins, melons, and most not behave normally and causes a lack of fruit
Stigma
in one of three ways. cucumbers are insect-pollinated. In these veg- development. Poorly shaped fruit (cucum- Anther
Corn pollen is carried by the wind as it falls etables, which have the male and female flower bers, watermelons, tomatoes) result from Petals Removed
from the tassel to the silks of the ears. If any- parts in separate flowers (yet still on the same incomplete pollination. Ovary
thing prevents this wind transfer of pollen, the plant), insects transfer pollen from male flow- Crosspollination between different vegeta- (Small Squash)

result is ears with empty rows and missing ker- ers to female flowers while going from flower bles is an unnecessary worry of many garden-
Stem

nels. Corn planted in a single row loses most of to flower, collecting nectar and pollen. The ers. Different varieties of the same wind- and Female Flower Male Flower
its pollen. This is why corn should be planted in most common pollinating insects are honey- insect-pollinated vegetables may cross, but Squash Flowers
a block of adjacent rows rather than one or two bees and bumblebees. there is no crossing between the different

Transplants Tips
very long rows. High temperatures and vegetables: cucumbers, melons, and squash.

with good roots that are healthy, stocky, Starter Solution. Starter solution is a
medium-sized, and free of disease or insects dilute mix of a water soluble fertilizer high in
are best. Avoid yellow, spindly, or oversized phosphorus, such as 11-57-0. Used at the rate
continued from page 8 plants and those with spotted foliage, brown of 1 cup per plant, it stimulates root growth continued from page 8
seeds have germinated, move the trays to the marks on the stems, or knots on the roots. Buy and helps plants get off to a fast start. Starter save the strongest seedlings and
cold frame. Open the cold frame cover for plants in containers (fiber pots or plastic tray solution is prepared by dissolving 2 table- remove excess plants with a hoe, rake,
ventilation or remove it on clear days when packs) so that root systems are intact and pro- spoons of the dry fertilizer (11-57-0) per gal- or your fingers. Where seedlings are
the air temperature is 45 degrees or higher. tected. Bundles of bare root plants (cabbage, lon of water or 3 pounds per 50 gallons. very close together and pulling dis-
Thin the seedlings to stand one-half inch or onions, broccoli, peppers, lettuce, and toma- Protection. Protect newly set plants from turbs the roots of the remaining plants,
more apart. Crowding results in spindly, weak toes) should be fresh, have a good green sun, cold, and wind. Homemade shelters pinch out or cut the excess plants.
transplants. Fertilize to promote growth. color, and have moist and healthy roots. include boxes, baskets, flower pots, and plas- Seedlings of some vegetables, if care-
Growing onion transplants tic milk containers. fully removed during thinning, can be
requires considerable time. Start Commercial hotkaps of paper transplanted and used to fill in empty
by planting seeds in September or plastic and devices contain- places, to expand your planting, or be
or October in closely spaced ing water protect young, ten- shared with other gardeners.
rows in a cold frame. der plants from frost. A wood- The temperature of the garden soil
Transplants will be ready for en shingle stuck in the ground at planting time affects the rate at
setting out in January and at a slant on the south side of a which seeds germinate or if they ger-
February. To have transplants of plant serves as a sunshade. A minate at all. Most cool-season veg-
cabbage, broccoli, and other piece of newspaper or a paper etable seeds germinate at a soil tem-
cool-season vegetables ready in grocery bag pinned down over perature of 60 °F, while most warm-
time for spring planting, you a plant provides protection season vegetable seeds germinate
must start very early in the year, Pictured are dry and expanded peat pellets. from the sun. slowly at a soil temperature of 75 °F.
which may not be practical. Wire tomato cages with the The longer seeds are in the soil with-
Transplants of these vegetables bottom 12 to 18 inches out germinating, the more they are
wrapped with clear plastic provide some pro-
Sweet potato transplants (slips) are pro- Transplanting to the
can be grown for the fall garden. subject to attack by diseases and
tection to transplants from wind, cold, and insects.
Garden
duced by planting potatoes in beds of sawdust blowing sand. Black plastic mulch is an effective
or sand. Maintain the temperature in the bed way of raising the soil temperature to
close to 80 °F. Since disease problems can be Transplants of cucumbers, squash, and permit early planting of warm-season
carried on the mother roots and transmitted to melons grown in small containers must be set vegetables. (See Mulching on page
the slips, it is better for gardeners to purchase in the garden while still quite young (cotyle- 10.)
their sweet potato slips or to use vine cut- dons expanded and first leaf showing), about Other materials available to home
tings. Vine cuttings are made by cutting pota- 3 weeks after planting the seeds. gardeners are plastic row tunnels and
to slips above the surface of the bedding If possible, set all vegetable transplants on floating row covers that permit early
material. The cuttings develop roots rapidly a cloudy day or in the evening. Place peat planting and provide some protection
when planted in warm, moist garden soil. pots and other fiber pots directly into the against cold. Plastic tunnels can be
planting holes. Be sure to cover the upper used in combination with black plastic
Buying Transplants edges of the pots with soil to prevent wicking
the moisture out of the pots.
Place the top edge of the peat cup 2 inch- mulch. Floating row covers made of a
es below the soil level. non-woven polyester also provide
When buying vegetable transplants, select Plant tall transplants deeply, burying the early insect protection.
recommended varieties when possible. Plants stem to the first set of leaves.

9
Mulching
A mulch is any material used to minating seeds and seedlings.
cover the surface of the garden soil Mulches prevent weed problems,
to protect plant roots from heat, thereby reducing competition for
cold, or drought, to keep fruit clean, light, water, and nutrients. The
or to control weeds. Mulches help resulting fewer cultivations mean
to make more attractive, higher less crop-damaging root pruning.
yielding vegetable gardens. By reducing the loss of soil
A mulch in the garden changes moisture, mulches lessen the fre-
the environment where the plants quency of necessary watering, and
are growing, resulting in better garden vegetables suffer less in dry
plant growth and higher yields. If periods. Organic mulches also
used improperly, a mulch can lower increase the water absorption rate
yields or result in plant death. of soils.
When deciding to use a mulch, The reduced soil temperatures
weigh the advantages against possi- under organic mulches encourage
ble disadvantages, cost, and avail- root growth in the upper soil layer
ability of a particular mulching where there is more oxygen and
material. fertilizer.
There are many types of mulch- A mulch reduces soil erosion
ing materials, but they can be divid- and the splattering of soil on veg-
ed into two general categories: nat- etable leaves and fruit during rains
ural and synthetic. Natural or sprinkling. This can reduce loss-
mulches are materials such as es to soil-borne diseases.
straw, hay, compost, composted Apply organic mulches to
bark, or pine needles. Synthetic warm-season vegetables when the
mulches are plastics and papers. soil has warmed sufficiently for

Natural
To apply a plastic mulch, bury one end of the plastic and roll the other end over the row. Bury the edges and cover the ends so there are
good plant growth and when plants no exposed edges. Cut planting holes into the plastic at intervals. If you need to apply additional side-dress fertilizer or water after the
are established and large enough mulch is down, apply it through the planting holes and upside-down “T” slits.

Mulches
that they won’t be covered. The
soil should be weed-free, recently
cultivated, and contain plenty of
Natural mulches consist of moisture. Mulching warm-season plant fruit and leaves from soil- break up all large clods. Rake the Although plastic warms the soil
organic plant and/or animal residue vegetables early in the growing sea- borne diseases. Black plastic is the soil to prepare a smooth, level sur- in spring, it can have disadvantages
or by-products. They are generally son makes them susceptible to frost most commonly used synthetic face. Make sure the soil contains a in summer. Excess heat can build
spread over the ground surface injury by preventing soil warming mulch. It is widely available, rela- good supply of moisture before up under the plastic, and high soil
around established plants or over and by insulating plants from any tively inexpensive, and comes in being covered. Plastic that is 3 to 4 temperatures can injure plant roots
the entire growing area in a layer 2 warmth in the soil. various widths and lengths. Use feet wide is best for covering a and reduce yields. Rather than
to 5 inches deep. Composted saw- Organic mulches are beneficial plastic with a thickness of 1 ⁄2 mils standard garden row. Select a time remove the plastic and lose the
1

dust, bark, wood shavings, leaves, when applied to cool-season veg- (.0015 inches). to apply plastic mulch when there is advantage of weed control, cover
grass clippings, rice hulls, ground etables like broccoli, cabbage, and Use clear plastic mulch only little or no wind. Bury one end of the plastic with pine needles, hay,
corncobs, and animal manures may English peas in midspring. They when soil has been fumigated to the plastic and unroll it down the or similar material to shade it where
also be used. Pine needles, hay, and help to keep the soil from rapid kill weed seeds. Clear plastic row. Get the plastic as straight as the crop foliage does not provide
straw are light and airy; therefore, a warming and drying and can extend warms soil more rapidly than black possible and in contact with the soil good cover.
4- to 5-inch deep layer is needed for the growing and harvest periods. plastic, but weed seeds germinate surface. Cover all edges to prevent You can spray black plastic
them to be effective. Some organic mulches require under clear plastic, so it should not wind problems. mulch with a white latex paint after
Most natural mulches have some changes in methods of garden fer- be used. If you have a small garden, use the mulch is installed or after an
fertilizer value and are good soil tilization. Sawdust, wood shavings, Warm-season vegetables like large sheets of black plastic to early crop to reduce the buildup of
conditioners when worked into the and ground corncobs are low in cucumbers, melons, squash, toma- cover the whole area rather than excess heat under the mulch. This
soil. nitrogen. As they decompose, toes, peppers, and eggplant grow covering individual rows. will make it useful for summer and
They improve both the physical nitrogen is drawn from the soil, better and produce more when However, this has the disadvantage fall vegetables. The light-colored
and chemical properties of soil. causing a shortage of nitrogen in grown on black plastic mulch than of excluding rain and sprinkler irri- surface reflects much of the heat,
Organic matter incorporated into the mulched vegetables. To prevent when grown on bare soil. gation from the entire soil surface. and the other benefits of the mulch
the soil improves water-holding this, add one-fourth pound ammo- Transplants can be set through plas- Also, wet plastic is slippery, and remain.
capacity, nutrient availability, and nium nitrate or its equivalent to tic mulch by cutting holes with a working in the garden when there is At the end of the season, remove
aeration of the soil. each bushel of sawdust, shavings, sharpened bulb planter. Use the dew on the plastic can be haz- the plastic because it will not
Some mulching materials, such or corncobs before applying mulch. same tool to plant seeds of widely ardous. decompose in the soil as organic
as pine needles, peat, and oak When it is time to side-dress, pull spaced vegetables like squash and Soils lose less moisture from mulches do.
leaves are acid in nature and lower the mulch back from plants and melons. evaporation with plastic mulches,
the soil pH. Regular soil testing apply fertilizer to the soil surface. While frequently used with so you won’t need to irrigate as Newspaper
indicates the amount of lime neces- With sawdust, compost, or bark, warm-season vegetables, plastic often. In prolonged dry periods and
Newspaper is an organic materi-
sary to make any soil pH adjust- apply fertilizer to the mulch surface mulch can be used with cool-season with vegetables that are in the gar-
al, but as a manufactured product it
ment. and water it in. vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, den for a long time, supplemental
may be thought of differently from
Finely ground peat moss makes Always remember that dry and cauliflower to promote early water becomes necessary.
other organic mulches. Newspaper
a poor mulch. It blows and mulch burns. growth. Plastic mulch is not used The easiest way to irrigate with

Synthetic
makes a good mulch when you use
becomes almost water repellent with vegetables that are closely plastic mulch is to install a drip irri-
a thickness of several sheets. Hold
when dry. Peat is best used to spaced in the rows. gation system, or lay soaker hoses

Mulches
newspaper to the soil surface with
improve soil organic matter con- Black plastic mulch can also be on the surface of the rows before
soil, sticks, or coat hanger wires.
tent, moisture holding capacity, and used with plastic row tunnels to covering them with plastic.
Some gardeners use a thin layer
structure by mixing it with the soil. promote early growth and harvest. Because a plastic mulch protects
of pine needles to hold the newspa-
Organic mulches are summer Plastic mulches are springtime soil from leaching rain, the soil
Applying Plastic
per down. Apply a newspaper
mulches, since most of their advan- mulches. They help warm the soil, needs less fertilizer.
mulch after plants are established.
tages are realized in hot weather. A permitting early planting; promote When additional fertilizer is
Prepare the soil completely Like other organic mulches, news-
summer mulch protects soil from rapid growth; provide for early har- required, apply it through the plant-
before applying a plastic mulch. paper decomposes rapidly and adds
compacting rains, foot traffic, dry- vest; and provide weed control. ing holes and upside-down “T” slits
Incorporate all fertilizer and lime, organic matter to the soil.
ing winds, and heat. It also controls Plastic mulches reduce loss of cut at intervals into the plastic.
remove all weeds and debris, and
weeds by excluding light from ger- soil moisture and protect vegetable

10
Insects – Identification and Control
The average home vegetable garden may pest populations are especially high (because of “honeydew,” which supports the growth of black garden pests with chewing mouthparts.
contain more than a dozen different types of the time of year or planting location). sooty mold fungi. Although sooty mold fungi do Ants are attracted to the garden for many rea-
vegetable crops, and each of these crops may be For example, yellow squash are very likely to not invade the plant, heavy buildup of sooty sons. Some feed on honeydew produced by
attacked by several different species of insects. experience heavy infestations of squash bugs mold is unsightly and can interfere with photo- aphids, some feed on decaying fruit, and some
Being able to manage and control these insect and squash vine borers when grown in midsum- synthesis. search for other insects. In many cases, ants are
pests is one of the keys to successful vegetable mer to fall. When grown in the same location Harlequin cabbage bugs overwinter as considered only a minor nuisance pest, but fire
gardening. year after year, southern peas are likely to expe- adults in old cabbage stalks, bunches of grass, or ants can inflict a painful sting. Control ants by
Insect pests can damage vegetables in sever- rience heavy infestations of cowpea curculios if other areas that give protection. They are black controlling aphids, keeping fruit harvested, and
al different ways. Pests like tomato fruitworms, you do not apply timely insecticide treatments. with brilliant red or yellow markings. They suck using labeled fire ant baits around the perimeter
cowpea curculios, stink bugs, and pickleworms Fall tomatoes normally experience heavy infes- sap from cabbage, collards, mustard, and of the garden (not in the garden).
cause direct damage by feeding on the fruit. tations of stink bugs and tomato fruitworms. turnips, and cause the plants to wilt and die. Bean leaf beetles overwinter as adults in or
Pests like tobacco hornworms, which feed pri- There are many other examples, and experi- Stink bugs can be either brown or green. near garden sites. They are ready to feed on
marily on the leaves, or aphids, which suck sap enced gardeners quickly learn which pests are They give off an unpleasant odor when handled young beans and southern peas as they emerge
from the plant, cause indirect damage. Even especially troublesome in their area and when to or crushed. Stink bugs are large, shield-shaped from the ground. Adult coloration and markings
though the fruit is not damaged directly, the expect these pests. insects that may or may not have any distin- can vary, but they are typically reddish to yel-
plant’s ability to produce fruit can be reduced if guishing marks. They suck the sap from seeds in lowish with a black band around the edge of the
it loses enough leaf area or sap. Pests like thrips Common Garden Insect Pests developing bean and pea pods, scarring the first pair of wings. Sometimes, but not always,
and bean leaf beetles also can cause damage by developing seed. In some cases, the punctured they may have three or four black spots on the
Insects damage plants by eating the foliage,
transmitting plant diseases. In addition to the seed will not develop normally. The outside of back. However, there are numerous exceptions
boring in stems or roots, sucking plant juices,
direct damage they cause, pests like corn ear- the pod will be marked with a small, pimple-like to this color pattern, and some specimens are
and attacking the fruit. The type of damage
worms and cowpea curculios also contaminate structure at the puncture site. red, solid tan, and even pink. You may overlook
caused by a particular insect depends on the type
food. Thrips are very small insects rarely more the beetles because they feed on the underside of
of mouthparts the insect has. Pest insects can be
Even though there are many different species than one-sixteenth of an inch long. The insect is the leaves. If disturbed, they will drop to the
classified as having one of two different types of
of insect and mite pests that can occur in home straw-colored with a pair of fringed wings. It ground and hide. Adults eat small holes in the
mouthparts: sucking or chewing.
vegetable gardens, they do not usually all occur damages plant leaves or flower buds by punctur- leaves. When treating for bean leaf beetles, be
The following two sections briefly discuss
at one time, so you probably will not have to ing plant cells with its single, ice pick-like sure to apply insecticide to both the upper and
some of the more common insect pests in these
“spend the summer spraying bugs” in order to mouthpart and feeding on the escaping sap. The lower leaf surfaces.
two groups. For more detailed information on
have a successful garden. There are many meth- feeding causes the leaves to curl and have a sil- Blister beetles are gray, black, or striped
insect management and control, see Extension
ods besides insecticide sprays that can manage very appearance. The shoots of infested onions slender beetles about three-fourths of an inch
Publication 2347 Insect Pests of the Home

Sucking Insects
insect populations and keep them from reaching take on the same silvery appearance. To check long. The adults eat the foliage of most garden
Vegetable Garden.
levels where insecticide sprays are necessary. for thrips, place a handkerchief between the crops, especially tomatoes.
Many of these methods are passive, requiring rows and slap the plants toward the handker- Cabbageworms or cabbage loopers are
relatively little effort from the gardener, and chief, or pull one or two plants and shake them pale green measuring worms with light stripes
many are things that you will do anyway if you over an empty box. If the insects are present, you down their backs. Imported cabbageworms are
want to grow a vigorous, productive crop. Insects that have sucking mouthparts remove will see them on the white background. velvety green. They make ragged holes on the
Sometimes insect pest populations will reach plant juices, causing plants to wilt. The results of Whiteflies are small white insects common- undersides of leaves and bore into the heads of
damaging levels and you will need to treat with feeding may be on individual leaves and stems, ly found on the underside of leaves. When cabbage, collards, and related plants.
insecticides. Apply these treatments only to the or the whole plant may be affected, especially infested plants are disturbed, the insects flutter Corn earworms are green, pinkish, or
crop (or crops) being attacked. Rarely will you seedling plants. Sucking insects can deform fruit about. Both adults and immatures are damaging. brown with light stripes along their sides and on
need to apply a broadcast treatment of insecti- like peas and beans before the pod hardens. The They feed by piercing the tissue and removing their backs. These worms reach a length of near-
cide to every crop in the garden. In fact, doing so following paragraphs describe examples of gar- plant sap. Whiteflies can occur in great numbers ly 2 inches before they are ready to pupate. They
can be counter-productive, causing pest prob- den pests with sucking mouthparts. on plants like eggplant and tomatoes. Early attack corn at two different growth stages. In
lems that you otherwise would not have had. Aphids or plant lice are soft-bodied insects detection and complete plant coverage are corn that has not tasseled, the worms will feed in

Chewing Insects
This is because unneeded insecticide treatments that may be green, pink, black, or yellow. They important to control this pest. the whorl, damaging new leaves as they form.
can destroy beneficial insects, allowing the pests remove the sap from leaves or stems, causing Later, the adult moths are attracted to the new
that they were keeping in check to increase in curled leaves and yellowish plants on many gar- silks for egg laying. After hatching, the young
numbers. den crops. They also can inject poisonous saliva larvae will burrow into the ear and feed on ker-
However, there are situations when repeated or disease-causing organisms during feeding. nels near the tip of the ear. Many gardeners do
Insects with chewing mouthparts cut holes in
insecticide treatments may be needed to ade- Very large numbers of these insects can occur on not bother with trying to control this pest in corn,
leaves and fruit, and bore into stems and fruit.
quately protect certain crops. This is especially cabbage, tomatoes, mustard, and peas. These preferring instead to simply discard the damaged
The following paragraphs describe examples of

Sucking Insects
true when you are trying to produce a crop when insects secrete a sticky substance known as portion of infested ears. However, this insect
will also attack tomatoes, and heavy infestations
can cause severe injury to this crop.
For control of earworms in corn during the
whorl stage, direct sprays into the whorl when
you first note damage. To prevent damage to the
ears, apply insecticide when silks first appear.
Make spray applications 3 to 4 days apart until

Chewing Insects
Squash bug 0.7”
the silks are dry. Treat the ear area of the stalk
Spider mite 0.01” Aphid 0.2” Green stink bug 0.5” Harlequin bug 0.5”

thoroughly. To provide as much protection as


possible for bees, make applications in early
morning or late afternoon, and do not treat the
tassel.
Cowpea curculio adults are secretive insects
that are rarely seen. They are small and dark
gray. The larva, a white legless grub, is the most
Vegetable weevil 0.4” Bean leaf beetle 0.2” Striped blister beetle 0.6” damaging stage. It feeds on developing seeds
within the pods of beans and peas and destroys
Mexican bean beetle 0.3”

their usefulness. To control cowpea curculios,


Cornfield ant 0.2” Cowpea curculio 0.25” Corn earworm 1.5” apply a foliar spray when small pea pods first
appear, and make a total of 3 applications at 5-
Squash vine borer 1.0” Pickleworm 0.75” Flea beetle 0.25” Colorado potato beetle 0.5” day intervals.
Cutworm adults are dull-colored moths that
are most active during the night. The worms are
dull gray, brown, or black and may be striped or
Cutworm 1.25”
Spotted cucumber beetle 0.25” Striped cucumber beetle .25” Cabbageworm 1.0” spotted. Cutworms feed at night and remain hid-
Tomato hornworm 3” - 4”
See Insects, page 14

11
Insecticides for Controlling Insect Pests in Home Vegetable Gardens
Crop Pest Insecticide (PHI)* Crop Pest Insecticide (PHI)*
Tomatoes tomato fruitworm Bt kurstaki (0), carbaryl (3), cyfluthrin (1), Squash, spider mite malathion (squash-1; pumpkin-3), insecticidal
tobacco hornworm cyhalothrin (5), esfenvalerate (1), malathion (1), Pumpkin (cont.) soap (1), neem oil (NA)
permethrin (1), pyrethrins (0), spinosad (1)
Melons thrips permethrin (1), esfenvalerate (3), spinosad (3)
looper Bt kurstaki (0), spinosad (1)
cucumber beetle permethrin (1), esfenvalerate (3), carbaryl (3),
stink bug carbaryl (3), cyfluthrin (1), cyhalothrin (5), flea beetle malathion (1)
leaf-footed bug malathion (1), permethrin (1), pyrethrins (0)
leafminer spinosad (3)
spider mite malathion (1), insecticidal soap (1),
neem oil (NA) looper spinosad (3), Bt kurstaki (0)

thrips carbaryl (3), cyfluthrin (1), cyhalothrin (5), esfen- pickleworm permethrin (1), esfenvalerate (3), spinosad (3),
valerate (1), malathion (1), permethrin (1), melonworm carbaryl (3)
pyrethrins (0), spinosad (1)
whitefly insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA)
whitefly insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA), insecticidal
oil (see label) spider mite malathion (1), insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA)

leafminer spinosad (1) Beans aphid malathion (1), insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA)
(lima beans, snap
aphid insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA), malathion beans, pole spider mite malathion (1), insecticidal soap (1),
(1), pyrethrins (0) beans) neem oil (NA)

Peppers aphid insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA), malathion bean leaf beetle permethrin (3), esfenvalerate (3), carbaryl (3),
(3), pyrethrins (0) cucumber beetle malathion (1)
Mexican bean beetle
leafminer spinosad (1)
cowpea curculio esfenvalerate (3)
flea beetle carbaryl (0)
corn earworm permethrin (3), esfenvalerate (3), spinosad (3)
European corn borer cyfluthrin (7), esfenvalerate (7), permethrin (3), lima bean pod borer
spinosad (1) other caterpillars

thrips malathion (3), cyfluthrin (7), esfenvalerate (7), leaf miner spinosad (3)
permethrin (3)
stink bug malathion (1), carbaryl (3), permethrin (3),
spider mite malathion (3), insecticidal soap (1), plant bug pyrethrins (0)
neem oil (NA)
Southern Peas aphid malathion (3), insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA)
pepper weevil malathion (3), cyfluthrin (7), permethrin (3) (cowpeas, field
peas, black-eyed spider mite malathion (3), insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA)
Eggplant flea beetle carbaryl (3), malathion (3), permethrin (3), peas, crowder
rotenone/pyrethrin (1) peas) bean leaf beetle carbaryl (3), malathion (3)
cucumber beetle
Colorado potato beetle spinosad (1), carbaryl (3), permethrin (3) Mexican bean beetle
tortoise beetle
cowpea curculio carbaryl (3)
Okra aphid insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA), malathion
(1), pyrethrins (0) corn earworm spinosad (3)
lima bean pod borer
stink bug malathion (1), permethrin (1), pyrethrins (0) other caterpillars
leaf-footed bug
stink bug malathion (3), carbaryl (3), pyrethrins (0)
corn earworm permethrin (1), spinosad (1) plant bug

looper Bt kurstaki (0), spinosad (1) Sweet potatoes armyworm spinosad (7)
other caterpillars looper

Corn cutworm carbaryl (2), cyfluthrin (1), cyhalothrin (21), flea beetle carbaryl (7), permethrin (7)
esfenvalerate (1), permethrin (1) cucumber beetle
tortoise beetle
chinch bug carbaryl (2), cyfluthrin (1), cyhalothrin (21),
stink bug esfenvalerate (1), malathion (5), permethrin (1) sweet potato weevil carbaryl (7)
Stored sweet potatoes may be treated with phos-
corn earworm carbaryl (2), cyfluthrin (1), cyhalothrin (21), met (Imidan dust) according to label.
fall armyworm esfenvalerate (1), malathion (5), permethrin (1),
European corn borer pyrethrins (0), spinosad (1) Irish potatoes Colorado potato beetle spinosad (7), carbaryl (7), permethrin (7),
rotenone/pyrethrin (1)
Squash, squash bug carbaryl (3), esfenvalerate (3), malathion (squash-
Pumpkin 1; pumpkin-3), permethrin (1), pyrethrins (0) blister beetle carbaryl (7), permethrin (7)
flea beetle
squash vine borer permethrin (1), esfenvalerate (3)
potato tuberworm permethrin (7), spinosad (7)
pickleworm permethrin (1), esfenvalerate (3), carbaryl (3),
malathion (squash-0; pumpkin-1) leaf miner spinosad (7)
cucumber beetle permethrin (1), esfenvalerate (3), carbaryl (3),
malathion (squash- 1; pumpkin-3)

12
Insecticides for Home Vegetable Gardens (continued) Insecticides for the Home
Vegetable Garden
Crop Pest Insecticide (PHI)*
Peas aphid malathion (3), insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA)
(English Peas, This section provides general information effective against most other types of insects.
Sweet Peas, Snow thrips malathion (3), spinosad (3) about commonly used garden insecticides. See However, it is also effective against thrips, leaf
Peas) the Insecticides for Controlling Insect Pests in miners, and Colorado potato beetles. It is
caterpillar spinosad (3), Bt kurstaki (0) Home Vegetable Gardens table for specific acceptable to use certain formulations of spin-
pest/insecticide recommendations. osad in organic gardens.
leaf miner spinosad (3) Use Insecticides Safely! Before using any Insecticidal soaps* are potassium salts of
insecticide, always be sure to read the label fatty acids. They control insects that they con-
Onions onion thrips malathion (3), cyhalothrin (14), insecticidal soap (1)
carefully and follow all label directions regard- tact by disrupting cell membranes. They are
ing personal protection equipment and instruc- most effective against soft-bodied pests like
Turnips aphid malathion (7), insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA)
tions for mixing and applying the product. The aphids, mites, and thrips. Thorough coverage
vegetable weevil malathion (7), carbaryl (14) label is the law, and the use directions it speci- of the pest is necessary in order to achieve con-
yellowmargined fies are designed for the safety of the applica- trol. Insecticidal soaps have a short pre-harvest
leaf beetle tor, the environment, and those using the area. interval and are labeled for use on most vegeta-
flea beetle Handle insecticides with the respect they bles. Safer Insecticidal Soap is an example of
deserve. They are poisons, and excessive expo- one brand name.
looper Bt kurstaki (0), spinosad (1) sure can result in acute and/or chronic health Neem oil* is a botanical product that is pri-
diamondback moth problems. marily useful against aphids, mites, and white-
Be sure the insecticide is labeled for use flies. It is labeled for use on most vegetables
Collards aphid malathion (7), insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA) on the vegetable being treated. Few insecti- and is sold under several brand names
cides are labeled for use on every vegetable (Monterey 70% Neem Oil is one example).
looper Bt kurstaki (0), spinosad (1) crop grown in the garden. Before applying an Thorough coverage of the pest is necessary in
diamondback moth insecticide to a particular crop, be sure to read order to obtain control.
the label and verify that the product is labeled Rotenone* is a botanical insecticide that is
harlequin bug malathion (7), carbaryl (14) for use on that crop. used primarily by organic gardeners. It is use-
stink bug Observe and follow the pre-harvest ful in the control of aphids, certain beetles, and
interval. The pre-harvest interval, or PHI, is some caterpillar pests. Rotenone is moderately
Mustard aphid malathion (7), insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA) the amount of time that must elapse between toxic to mammals.
making an insecticide application and harvest- Pyrethrin* or pyrethrum is a botanical
looper Bt kurstaki (0), spinosad (1) ing the crop. PHIs vary greatly depending on insecticide that is used primarily by organic
diamondback moth the insecticide being used and the particular gardeners. This insecticide provides rapid
vegetable crop being treated. For example, the knockdown of most insects, but insects often
vegetable weevil malathion (7), carbaryl (14) PHI for carbaryl (Sevin) is 3 days on tomatoes, recover. Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) often is
7 days on Irish potatoes, and 14 days on mixed with pyrethrin to act as a synergist. This
Spinach aphid malathion (7), insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA) turnips. Failure to observe PHIs can result in increases the overall effectiveness and helps
consumption of excessive insecticide residues. prevent pests from recovering, but piperonyl
leafminer spinosad (1)
butoxide is not acceptable for organic garden-
looper Bt kurstaki (0), spinosad (1) Specific Insecticides ing. Pyrethrin or pyrethrin + PBO is active
other caterpillars against a wide range of insects, is labeled for
(* indicates insecticides that are suitable for
use on most vegetables, and has a very short
use in organic gardens.)
Cabbage aphid malathion (7), insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA) pre-harvest interval. However, its efficacy is
Carbaryl is most commonly sold under the
thrips limited by its very short residual activity.
brand name Sevin. This product has been a
Pyrethroids are a group of relatively new
standard for insect control in the home veg-
looper Bt kurstaki (0), spinosad (1) synthetic insecticides that are modeled after the
etable garden for many years. It is effective
diamondback moth botanical pyrethrum molecule. These products
against a wide range of pests and is labeled for
cabbageworm are effective against a wide range of insect
use on most vegetables. It is especially useful
pests and are used at very low rates. The fol-
against many beetles. However, this product
harlequin bug carbaryl (3), cyhalothrin (1), malathion (7), lowing four pyrethroid insecticides are current-
does have a tendency to flare spider mites
stink bug permethrin (7) ly labeled for use in the home vegetable gar-
when used excessively.
den.
Malathion is another long-time standard
Brocolli, aphid malathion (broccoli-3; cauliflower-7), insecticidal 1. Permethrin is the oldest and most
insecticide for home vegetable gardens. Like
Cauliflower soap (1), neem oil (NA) common of the pyrethroid insecticides. It is
carbaryl, it controls a wide range of pests and
widely available and is sold under many differ-
looper Bt kurstaki (0), spinosad (1), permethrin (1), is labeled for most vegetables. It is especially
ent brand names (Martin’s Vegetables Plus,
diamondback moth cyhalothrin (1) useful for control of aphids, “bugs,” and certain
Bonide Eight Vegetable, Fruit & Flower, and
other caterpillars beetles.
Hi-Yield Garden, Pet & Livestock Insect
Bt kurstaki*: Bacillus thuringiensis is a
Control are three examples). Permethrin is
harlequin bug carbaryl (3), cyhalothrin (1), malathion (broccoli- bacteria that produces compounds that are
labeled for use on many different vegetable
stink bug 3; cauliflower-7) toxic to certain insect species. There are differ-
crops and is effective against many beetle,
ent species and strains of this bacteria that pro-
“bug,” and caterpillar pests.
Brussels sprouts aphid malathion (7), insecticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA) duce different toxins. Bt kurstaki produces a
2. Lambda cyhalothrin is one of the
compound that is toxic to certain caterpillars
newer pyrethroid insecticides (Triazicide Soil
looper Bt kurstaki (0), spinosad (1), permethrin (1), but has no effect on other insect species.
& Turf Insect Killer Concentrate is the most
diamondback moth cyhalothrin (1) Thuricide is one of the more common brand
common brand name). It is very effective
other caterpillars names for this product. It is most effective
against a number of different insect pests, but it
against leaf-feeding caterpillars like loopers
is labeled for use only on a very few vegetable
harlequin bug carbaryl (3), cyhalothrin (1), malathion (7), and diamondback moths.
stink bug permethrin (1) crops.
Spinosad* is a relatively new microbial
3. Cyfluthrin is another relatively new
insecticide that is very effective against a num-
Lettuce aphid malathion (head lettuce-7; leaf lettuce-14), insec- pyrethroid insecticide. It is sold under the
ber of different caterpillar pests. Two common-
ticidal soap (1), neem oil (NA) brand name Bayer Advanced Garden Power
ly available brand names that are labeled for
Force Multi-Insect Killer Concentrate. Like
use on many different vegetable crops are
caterpillar Bt kurstaki (0), spinosad (1), permethrin (1), cyhalothrin, it is very effective against a num-
Monterey Garden Insect Spray and Fertilome
cyhalothrin (1) ber of different insect pests, but is labeled for
Bore, Bagworm, Leafminer, and Tent
* The numbers in parentheses indicate the pre-harvest interval (PHI), or the number of days that use only on a very few vegetable crops.
Caterpillar Spray. Spinosad is very effective
must elapse between treatment and harvest. Always verify PHIs on the label of the insecticide against most caterpillar pests, but it is not
being used. See Insecticides, page 14

13
Insects Noninsecticidal Insect Management Methods
Without question, biological control harmless to most beneficial insects, while ety selection also can be an important
continued from page 11 is the single most important method of broad-spectrum insecticides like perme- insect management consideration. These
den during the day. They damage stands by cutting young plants at controlling insect pests. thrin are more disruptive. Still, there are are just a few general examples of how
the soil line. Control cutworms by using aluminum foil or wax paper For every insect pest, there are many times when you will need to use one of cultural control practices can influence
collars to protect young transplants. You can also use sprays contain- different species of predators and para- the broad-spectrum treatments to obtain insect populations.
ing permethrin to control cutworms and/or prevent injury. sites that feed on that pest and help keep control of a particular pest or pest com- “Hand-picking and foot-stomping” is
Fall armyworm adults are dull-colored, night-flying moths. its population in check. If it were not for plex. one type of mechanical control that
They usually do not appear in our area until the first part of June. these naturally occurring predators and There are many cultural control home gardeners can use successfully. In
Larvae will vary in color from light tan or green to nearly black, with parasites, our gardens would be overrun practices that can make plants more or small plantings, you can control insects
yellowish lines down their sides. The larvae feed primarily on corn with insect pests. You, as a gardener, less vulnerable to insect attack and/or by physically removing individual insects
but will sometimes feed on peas, tomatoes, and beans. They infest must recognize the importance of this injury. Healthy, vigorous plants are gen- or egg masses. Physically washing aphids
the whorls of corn and can be found 1 to 2 inches deep in the whorl. natural control and avoid disrupting it erally more resistant and more tolerant to from plant terminals with spray from a
It is difficult to get insecticides to the target; direct sprays into the when possible. damage by insect pests. Consequently, garden hose is another form of mechani-
whorls. By their very nature, insecticide treat- practices that promote good growth and cal control.
Flea beetles are small with enlarged hind legs. They jump vigor- ments are disruptive to biological control plant health also aid in insect manage- You might also use floating row cov-
ously when disturbed. These beetles eat tiny round or irregular holes because they kill beneficial insects, as ment. ers, which prevent insects from being
out of leaves. The leaves often look as if they had been peppered with well as the pests. This is why you should Because many species of insect pests able to attack or deposit eggs on young
very fine soot. The beetles attack cabbage, eggplant, peppers, pota- avoid unnecessary insecticide treatments. complete several generations per growing plants. Collars of wax paper or aluminum
toes, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, and related crops. Destroying naturally occurring beneficial season, with populations increasing sub- foil can protect young transplants from
Mexican bean beetles are short, yellow to coppery-brown bee- insects can actually cause pest popula- stantially with each generation, early- attack by cutworms.
tles with a curved shape. When the insects are at rest, 16 black spots tions to increase. planted crops often experience lower Reflective mulches are another useful
are visible on their backs. Good coverage of upper and lower leaf However, do not allow a fear of dis- insect pressure than late-planted crops. mechanical control for certain pests.
surfaces will help control this insect. rupting natural control to keep you from This is especially important with crops These are especially effective in prevent-
The pickleworm and melon worm are similar in appearance but making insecticide applications when like sweet corn, summer squash, and ing thrips from attacking young tomato
vary in their feeding habits. The pickleworm often enters the fruit they are needed. In the Southern garden, tomatoes. and pepper plants and spreading virus
from the ground side, causing the inside of the fruit to sour after air there will be times when pest populations Many insect pests also reproduce on diseases, particularly tomato spotted wilt
enters. It also tunnels in the vines. The melon worm rarely enters the escape natural control and reach damag- alternate weed hosts and over-mature virus.
vine. It feeds on the foliage more than the pickleworm. When ing levels. Prompt, judicious use of insec- vegetable plants that are left in the gar- Using plastic mulches instead of
mature, both worms are about three-fourths of an inch long and range ticides can control pest populations and den. So good sanitation practices, includ- organic mulches helps reduce popula-
from whitish to green. Damaging populations are more likely to help prevent crop damage. ing weed control and prompt removal of tions of certain pests because the plastic
develop on late-planted crops. Start control procedures when young When selecting insecticide treat- plants that have ceased to produce, will mulch provides less favorable shelter for
worms are in and around blooms. ments, keep in mind that some insecti- help reduce insect populations. pests like crickets and slugs.
Seed maggots are small, white to dirty-white fly larvae. Seed cides are more disruptive of natural con- Some varieties of a vegetable are less Commercially available pheromone traps
attacked by this insect usually fail to germinate, or plants are weak trol than others. For example, Bt products vulnerable to insect damage than other or sticky traps also can help you control

Insecticides
and stunted. Infestations are usually most severe during wet, cool control only caterpillar pests and are varieties of the same vegetable. So vari- or monitor certain pest species.
springs and on ground that is high in organic matter. If these condi-
RTU, sprays that are labeled for use in
tions are present, delay planting until conditions are right for good
the home garden. Permethrin, carbaryl,
germination and growth.
cyhalothrin, cyfluthrin, and neem oil are
Serpentine leaf miner adults are tiny flies. Their maggots feed continued from page 13 examples of active ingredients that are
on the tissue between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves, caus-
sold as RTUs. These products come in
ing slender, white, winding trails through the interiors of the leaves.
Caution!
4. Esfenvalerate is one of the hand-pump spray bottles in which the
They can severely damage beans, cucumbers, peas, squash, toma-
older pyrethroid insecticides. It is labeled product has already been diluted to its
toes, and other vegetables.
for use on a number of different vegetable final-use strength. These RTU treat-
Squash vine borer adults are distinctly colored, wasp-like moths.
crops and controls a wide range of insect ments are a very convenient way to
1. Be sure to read and
The front wings are covered with metallic, olive-brown scales; the
pests. Two common brand names are apply spot treatments to individual
hind wings are transparent. The abdomen is ringed with red, black,
follow all label directions.
Monterey Bug Buster and Ortho Bug-B- plants. However, they are too costly to
and copper. Eggs are placed on leaves and stalks. Small larvae will
Gone Multi-Purpose Insect Killer. use on a large scale.
bore into the plant from these locations, causing the runner to wilt
Single-nozzle hand-pump
2. Note and observe the

Applying Insecticides in
eventually. As with all borers, this insect is difficult to control once
sprayers—Single nozzle hand-pump
it enters the plant because insecticides cannot reach the feeding site.
pre-harvest interval (PHI).

Home Vegetable
sprayers are the most common method of
Infestations are more common on pumpkins and late-planted squash,
applying insecticides in the home garden.
Gardens
and weekly insecticide treatments are often required to protect these
They come in sizes ranging from 1 quart
3. Store insecticides in a
crops. Apply in late afternoon to protect bees.
to 5 gallons, with 1 gallon being the most
Cucumber beetles, striped or spotted, damage several garden
safe, secure place where
You can choose from several differ- common size. They can be used to apply
vegetables. Some of these are cucumbers, muskmelons, squash, and ent methods of applying insecticides to
children cannot get to them.
liquid concentrate, wettable powder, or
to a lesser extent, beans and peas. The spotted cucumber beetle vegetables in your home garden. Liquid wettable granule insecticides according
(SCB) is more of a problem on these latter vegetables than is the sprays, dusts, and ready-to-use sprays to label directions. Here is an example
striped. They feed on leaves, tender stems, and in some cases, the
4. If you spill any of the
are three of the most common methods. of the directions that might appear on
root system. The larvae of the SCB damage seedling corn and are Dusts—A few insecticides are avail-
insecticide on your body,
the label of a liquid concentrate: “Mix 1
known as the southern corn rootworm. Use foliar sprays of carbaryl able for use as ready-to-use dust formu- tablespoon/gallon of water and spray to
wash with soapy water
or other recommended insecticides to control adults. lations (5% Sevin Dust and 0.25% per- run-off, taking care to direct spray to
Tobacco hornworm adults are large moths that feed on the nec-
immediately. Wash all
methrin are two examples). Dusts nor- undersides of leaves.”
tar of various plants. They do not damage any portion of the plant, mally are applied using a shaker can—
exposed skin after dusting
Hand-pump sprayers are powered by
but the larvae can eat large amounts of foliage quickly, and larvae often the container the insecticide pumping air into the headspace over the
or spraying.
will occasionally feed on fruit. This worm is green with diagonal comes in is modified so it can be used as insecticide mixture. This compressed
white lines located along the sides and a prominent horn at the tail. a shaker can—or a hand-powered, air then forces the insecticide spray
These insects are found on tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and related pump-type duster. Dusts have the
5. Wash all food before
through the nozzle when the spray valve
plants. advantage of being relatively conven- is opened. Most hand sprayers have a
preparing or eating.
Slugs are not insects. However, they can be annoying. These ient to apply, but they are generally less nozzle that can be used to adjust the
pests leave a trail of thick, sticky material over plant parts that will effective than sprays. It is also difficult coarseness or fineness of the spray
appear as a silver trail when dry. They feed on young foliage and to achieve thorough, uniform coverage droplets. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the cide. It is best to dedicate one sprayer
low-lying fruit like strawberries. Slugs rest in moist, shaded areas with dusts, especially when using the sprayer after each use. specifically for herbicide use and anoth-
during the day and become active at night. To control slugs, use shaker-can method of application. Also, To avoid disappointing crop injury, it er for applying insecticides and fungi-
methaldehyde on iron phosphate baits according to label directions. many people consider dusts to be is strongly recommended that insecti- cides. Label each sprayer clearly.
Be sure not to contaminate edible parts of plants. Trapping can be unsightly. cides not be applied with a sprayer that
effective. Place wet burlap bags in your garden late in the afternoon. Ready-to-use sprays—Several has previously been used to apply herbi-
The next morning, look under the bags for slugs and destroy any insecticides are sold as ready-to-use, or
you find.

14
Vegetable Diseases
Garden vegetables can be attacked by a wide range of fungi, you to take preventive disease control measures next year. To have a plant pathologist diagnose a diseased specimen,
bacteria, viruses, and nematodes. Since no single control measure Many garden vegetable diseases are easy to identify. Others wrap the specimen in newspaper, paper towel, or (preferably)
is effective against all diseases caused by these microscopic pests, may need the advice of someone more experienced, such as an waxed paper. Pack it in a box or carton and ship it immediately to
gardeners must rely on a well-balanced defense to keep diseases Extension county agent, home economist, or plant pathologist. Extension Plant Pathology Lab, P. O. Box 9655, Mississippi
in check. Disease is best identified on plants that are less than 50 percent State, MS 39762.
One of the first steps in setting up a disease control program damaged. Do not use dead plants. Additional information on diseases and nematodes that attack
is correct identification of disease problems—the earlier the bet- Common vegetable disease symptoms and recommended garden vegetables is available at your county Extension office.
ter. With quick action, you can control leaf spots, blights, and control measures are provided below. If you cannot identify a dis- Diseases take their toll in Mississippi gardens every year, but

Specific Diseases and Control Measures


mildews within the same season. Other disease problems may not ease problem from these descriptions, call, write, or visit your adequate planning and following recommended disease controls
be treatable this season, but correct disease identification allows county Extension staff for assistance. will keep losses to a minimum.

Damping-Off (seedling yellow, wither, and drop off. luxuriantly early in the season and are plants. • Control foliar diseases, since
disease)—Seeds of many vegetables Frequently, only the upper half of the then subjected to prolonged dry • Suppress thrips by applying app- dead leaves on the ground may
are susceptible to damping-off fungi plant has green leaves, and in severe weather. Because of drying conditions, roved insecticides (Malathion 50 trigger infection. Also control
when planted in infested soils. The cases, the plant becomes completely the disease may be more serious on the or Diazinon 25 EC at 2 teaspoons weeds early in the season for the
seeds may fail to germinate, or defoliated. windward side of a garden and on per gallon). same reason.
seedlings may be attacked before or Early blight also occurs on plant staked tomatoes than on unstaked or • Further suppress thrips with shiny • Treat problem areas with PCNB
after emergence and turn brown, stems and sometimes on fruit. On bushy plants. mulch materials around tomatoes (Terraclor) as a dust, granule, or
shrink, and finally die. Control meas- seedlings, the disease may girdle the Prevent blossom-end rot by main- and other susceptible vegetables. wettable powder. Rates and meth-
ures include these: plant fungicide- stem and give the appearance of taining a soil pH around 6.5, irrigating Apparently, light reflection from ods of application are stated on
treated seeds in well-drained areas; do damping-off. and mulching to maintain uniform soil the mulch surface repels thrips the label.
not apply excessive amounts of nitrate Reduce losses to early blight by moisture, and avoiding heavy applica- and the chances of virus transmis- • Wrap transplant stems with a 4-
forms of nitrogen fertilizers; and rotate providing good ventilation in plant tions of nitrogen. Control blossom-end sion. Conventional black plastic by 4-inch strip of aluminum foil
the location of the vegetables. beds and watering when leaves have rot by spraying with 4 tablespoons of may be sprayed or hand painted and plant so that 2 inches of
Root Rot of Beans and Southern time to dry. Seed treatment with 96 percent calcium chloride per gallon with aluminum-colored paint. Oil- wrapped stems are below and 2
Peas—Root rot is severe on green Thiram aids in controlling the damp- of water at 7- to 10-day intervals for 4 based paints adhere to plastic sur- inches are above the soil.
beans, lima beans, and southern peas. ing-off stage. Do not set tomato plants applications. Begin spraying with first faces and may be easily applied. Stem Anthracnose of Lima
The disease first appears as reddish or where early blight occurred the year appearance of symptoms. Overdosing This technique gives best results Beans—Stem anthracnose is the most
reddish-brown areas on stems and before, and remove and destroy all dis- plants with calcium chloride may when mulch is laid down at the common disease of lima beans. The
roots. As the disease advances, discol- eased plant debris in the garden after result in leaf burn. Calcium chloride is time of planting and used in com- first stages of infection appear on pods
ored areas spread until the entire root harvest. suggested only for tomatoes. bination with other recommend- as small, brick-red blotches. These
and lower stem are affected. Above- Applications of chlorothalonil or Spotted Wilt of Tomatoes and ed control procedures. blotches may spread over the entire
ground symptoms include stunting, mancozeb effectively control this dis- Peppers—This viral disease is trans- Southern Blight—Southern blight surface of the pods. Later, the diseased
yellowing, drooping of leaves, failure ease. There is no waiting period after mitted by several species of thrips and affects most garden vegetables. The
to produce normal pods, and death. application until harvest for Bordeaux may kill plants or drastically reduce fungus that causes southern blight
These control practices reduce mixture or chlorothalonil, but there is fruit-set. Fruits from diseased plants attacks plant parts (roots, stems,
losses from root rot: a 5-day waiting period for mancozeb. are generally small and distorted. leaves, or fruit) that are in contact with
• Use high-quality seeds treated Begin applying when plants are 8 Tomatoes develop irregular yellowish or just under the soil surface.
with a fungicide like Arasan. to 10 inches tall, and continue at 7-day blotches.
• In-furrow fungicides (Terraclor) intervals through the growing season.
help control root rot. Apply one- Applications of these fungicides also
fourth of the material in the open control some of the other leaf, stem,
furrow and the remainder in the and fruit diseases of tomatoes.
covering soil during planting. Blossom-End Rot of Tomatoes—
• During cultivation, do not throw Blossom-end rot occurs on the tomato
Stem Anthracnose – Lima Bean
soil against plant stems. fruit. It may also be a problem on pep-
• Plant in a 4- or 5-year rotation pers, squash, and watermelons. It is areas become brownish to grayish and
with other vegetables. more common on fruit that is one-third may have many tiny black specks
• Plant in well-prepared soils with to one-half grown and occurs on the which are fruiting bodies of the fun-
a pH of about 6.5, fertilized blossom end of the fruit. It begins as a Spotted Wilt Southern Stem Blight gus. Occasionally, diseased pods fall
according to a soil test and treat- small, water-soaked spot that develops from the plant.
ed for nematodes if recommend- into a dark brown, leathery spot that Initial symptoms appear as thick- The first visible symptoms are usu- A brick-red streaking may occur
ed. Plant seeds 1 inch deep only may involve half the fruit. The surface ening of veins on younger foliage. ally an advancing yellowing and wilt- along the veins on the under side of
during favorable weather, in of the spot shrinks and becomes flat or Younger foliage generally exhibits a ing of the foliage, beginning with the leaves and on young stems.
warm soils, and on top of a bed to sunken. pronounced downward curling. lower leaves. During warm, moist Reddish spots occur on the lower
avoid “drowning.” Internodes become shortened, and weather, a white fungus growth may leaf surface and enlarge and become
Early Blight of Tomatoes—Early immature fruit does not ripen. Dark appear on the lower stem near the soil noticeable on the upper leaf surface.
blight is a major disease of tomatoes in purple streaks can occur on leaves, surface and on organic debris in the Occasionally, leaves are killed and fall
Mississippi. Symptoms first appear on stems, and fruits. Other symptoms are soil. Later, light tan to dark brown from the plant. Severely diseased
lower, older leaves as circular, dark blighting and blackening of young mustard seed-like bodies called sclero- plants are yellow and stunted.
brown to black spots that often contain shoots. On individual leaflets, small, tia develop in the mold. As the disease Reduce damage from stem an-
rings, giving a “target board” effect. dark, circular dead spots may appear. advances, several plants next to one thracnose by following these prac-
As the disease progresses, leaves turn Badly spotted leaves may turn dark another in the row die. tices:
and wither. Southern blight is difficult to con- • Because stem anthracnose can be
Some varieties are now being trol, but you can reduce losses with carried over on seed to the next
released with resistance. Check with these practices: season, use only certified disease-
Blossom-End Rot – Tomato
your seed source. It is not clear how • Plow 6 inches deep in the fall to free, western-grown seed.
Blossom-end rot is caused by a effective or long-lived these resistant bury organic debris and the scle- • Never plant lima beans in the
lack of calcium in the developing fruit. cultivars will be. rotia. same location more than once in
The uptake of calcium from the soil by Try these control practices: • Avoid throwing soil on the plants 3 years.
the tomato plant can be reduced by • Remove and destroy diseased when cultivating. • Avoid fall planting of lima beans
fluctuations in soil moisture—either plants. • Where a few scattered plants are in an area of the garden where
excessively wet soil or excessively dry • Keep weed populations down in affected, remove them from the stem anthracnose was a problem
soil. The disease commonly occurs and around gardens to reduce garden along with the soil 6 inch- the previous spring.
when plants are grown rapidly and movement of virus-carrying es deep and 6 inches from the
Early Blight – Tomato thrips from weeds to garden stem. Continued on next page

15
Fusarium Wilt—This fungal dis- have a nematode problem is during the vine. If you press your finger tip been hot-water treated. This is the
ease often infects watermelons, cab- fall when nematodes are most active. against the cut surface several minutes most effective treatment for rid-
bage, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, To detect root-knot nematodes in the after cutting and then slowly remove ding seeds of the causal bacteria.
and peas. Lower leaves often turn yel- growing season, observe the galled it, the bacterial ooze frequently • Purchase transplants that have
low on one side of the plant only. Two roots. Have your soil tested for nema- remains attached and strings out in been certified as disease-free.
brownish streaks that originate from todes by sending a soil sample to the thin threads. • Rotate in the field so that at least 2
the roots are exposed when the stems Extension Plant Pathology Lab, P. O. Since bacterial wilt resistant years, and preferably 3, elapse
are split lengthwise. Infected plants Box 9655, Mississippi State, MS cucumber varieties are not commonly between cruciferous crops.
are usually stunted and wilted. The 39762. available, the best control is to keep Yeast Spot of Lima Beans—
best way to control fusarium wilt is Once you know nematodes are cucumber beetle populations in check. Gray-brown sunken lesions on young
Mosiac – Southern Pea
using resistant varieties. present, you can use certain cultural A rigid spray schedule with recom- or nearly mature seeds is a good indi-
Fruit Rot—Bacteria and fungi practices to help reduce nematode mended insecticides (refer to the cation of this disease. Yeast spot is
• Apply Bordeaux mixture or often infect fruit, resulting in soft, populations. These include setting Insect Control section) should reduce more a problem in seasons when
another copper-based fungicide on slimy fruit with an offensive odor. You nematode-free transplants, rotating the incidence of bacterial wilt. southern green stink bug populations
a 7-day schedule, beginning at full can reduce the occurrence of fruit rot crops, fallowing, practicing good sani- Black Rot of Cabbage—This dis- are high because the yeast fungus
bloom. by staking, mulching, avoiding tation, controlling weeds, and planting ease attacks cabbage and other cru- enters seeds through pod punctures
Mosaic—This virus disease com- mechanical injury to fruits, controlling resistant varieties. Vegetable varieties cifer crops like collards, mustard, cau- this insect makes. The spots, or
monly infects beans, sweet corn, insects, following a regular fungicide having resistance or tolerance to root- liflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, lesions, develop within 2 to 3 days of
squash, melons, cucumbers, peas, pep- knot nematodes are marked in the list rutabagas, kale, and rape. Black rot inoculation. Bright, sunny days allow
pers, and tomatoes. Symptoms include of recommended varieties. In addition, may affect plants at any stage of the stink bug to move from one plant
the following: you can plant marigolds in gardens to growth but usually is most prominent to another, spreading the disease.
• Misshapen leaves with light and help reduce nematode populations. close to maturity. On older plants, yel- Yeast spot is best controlled by fol-
dark green areas. As an alternative to chemical treat- low wedge-shaped areas appear at leaf lowing a good insect control program
• Fruit with green specks, yellow ment, solarization can reduce parasitic margins and expand toward the center. to discourage build-up of stink bugs.
and green mottling, or bumps. nematode populations. Solarization is Blackened veins are apparent in affect-
• Distorted fruit. the use of heat from the sun for killing ed areas. Vascular tissue within the
• Overall stunted plants. nematodes in the soil prior to planting. stem also may become discolored.
Control of virus diseases is diffi- To use solarization, place clear plastic Black rot causes head dwarfing,
Precaution: Because of pos-
cult. Reduce chances of mosaic in (1 to 1.5 ml thick) on moist, tilled soil, and soft rot frequently develops on
these ways: sible changes in pesticide rec-
Fruit Rot – Squash and seal the edges with soil, bricks, or affected heads.
• Plant resistant varieties when other materials. Apply the plastic in Practices important for controlling ommendations, you must fol-
available. program, and removing mature fruit May or June. Leave it in place for at black rot include these: low all label instructions.
• Control insects. from the garden. least 8 weeks. Remove the plastic in • Use disease-free seeds that have

Fungicides for Disease Control


• Eliminate weeds. Rust—This fungus disease occurs August in time to establish a fall gar-
• Remove diseased plants as they commonly on beans and sweet corn as den, if desired. If not, remove it before
appear. reddish-brown spots on leaves that rub cold weather begins.
• Purchase certified transplants or off when touched. Apply fungicides Leaf Spots—Leaf spots, caused by
buy western-grown seed. like chlorothalonil or sprayable sulfur fungi or bacteria, commonly occur on
• Do not use tobacco products at the first sign of disease and at week- many vegetables. They appear on

Chlorothalonil
when handling plants. ly intervals thereafter until the disease leaves and sometimes stems as dis-
Phenoxy herbicide damage (such is under control. tinct, dark-colored or tan spots one-

Mancozeb
or Maneb
Vegetable

Benomyl
as 2,4-D) resembles symptoms of Nematode Diseases—Nematodes sixteenth to 1 inch in diameter. The

Copper

PCNB
Sulfur
mosaic disease. Leaves and stems are are slender, tiny, worm-like animals regular application of a fungicide gen-
typically twisted, deformed, curled, that feed on plant roots, stems, and erally provides acceptable control of Beans, Lima 28 At planting
leathery, and excessively long and nar- leaves. Nematodes cannot ordinarily fungal leaf spots. Applying copper Beans, Snap 14 7 At planting
row. Apply herbicides carefully and be seen with the naked eye and go fungicides helps control bacterial as Beets
correctly in and around the garden. unnoticed until plants become well as fungal leaf spots.
Broccoli 0 See label See label
Powdery Mildew—Powdery unthrifty and stunted. They seldom kill
plants; however, they can reduce qual- Brussels Sprouts 0 See label See label
ity and yields of many vegetables, Cabbage 0 See label See label
such as beans, beets, carrots, cucum- Carrots 0
Cauliflower 0 See label See label
Collards
Corn, Sweet 14 7
Cucumbers 0 0 See label
Eggplant See label
Cleared for use on most vegetables; no time limitations.
Cleared for use on most vegetables; no time limitations.

Leaf Spots – Turnips Endive See label


Powdery Mildew Lettuce See label
Bacterial Wilt of Cucumbers— Melons 0 0 See label
mildew is caused by a fungus that This destructive disease is caused by a
Mustard Greens
commonly occurs as a white, powdery Root-Knot Nematodes bacterium that overwinters in the bod-
growth on leaves of cucumbers, ies of adult striped and spotted cucum- Okra
squash, melons, beans, and English bers, lima beans, okra, peas, squash, ber beetles. As these beetles feed on Onions 14 See label
peas. Benomyl and chlorothalonil tomatoes, and watermelons. young plants in the spring, bacteria are Peas, Southern
effectively control powdery mildew Nematode injury to roots reduces introduced into the vascular system.
Peppers
on vine crops, and sulfur provides con- uptake of water and nutrients from the Here they are able to multiply rapidly
trol on beans and peas. soil. Typical above-ground symptoms and produce a sticky material that Potatoes, Irish 0 See label 0
are general stunting, yellowing, loss of stops movement of moisture through Potatoes, Sweet
vigor, and overall decline. The most the plant. As a result, leaves on an Pumpkins 0 0 See label
common underground symptom in infected runner wilt rapidly, and with- Radishes
gardens is root-knot galling. in a short time all runners become per-
Nematodes other than the root- manently wilted. Plants can die within Spinach
knot nematode also can cause severe a week or two after initial symptoms Squash 0 0 See label
plant damage. Some of the less obvi- appear. Yellowing is not normally Tomatoes 0 See label 5
ous symptoms are stubby roots, tiny associated with this disease. Turnips 14 0
lesions, excessively branched roots, or A symptom of bacterial wilt is a
complete loss of secondary roots. thick, white, sticky substance that Check label to determine that the fungicide is cleared for use on the intended crop.
Numbers indicate the number of days that must pass from last application to harvest.
The best time to determine if you oozes from the cut stem of a wilted
Fusarum Wilt – Tomato Blank spaces indicate the fungicide is not cleared for use on that crop.

16
Watering
Vegetable gardens usually need The water will slowly seep into the plants that are easily blown over.
about 1 inch of water (630 gallons per soil, providing moisture to the root
1,000 square feet) per week in the zone. Periodically place 1 to 2 table- Drip and Trickle
form of rain or irrigation during the spoons of fertilizer in the jugs to stim-
Soaker or perforated plastic hoses
growing season. Gardens in sandy soil ulate plant growth.
are excellent for watering the garden.
may need as much as 2 inches of water
Sprinklers
Place the hose with holes up along one
per week in midsummer. Where a
side of the plants or underneath an
water source is located close to the
There are several choices of garden organic or plastic mulch.
garden, there are few excuses (a local
sprinklers, ranging from the simple A number of different drip and
ban on watering during a shortage) for
garden hose with a spray nozzle to trickle irrigation systems are available
letting the garden suffer in dry weath-
semi-automatic equipment. Many through mail order catalogs, magazine
er.
portable lawn sprinklers are adequate ads, and local distributors. These sys-
Mulches that slow soil surface
for the garden. Adjust the rate of water tems usually consist of a supply line
evaporation can reduce the amount of
application so that it is not faster than that connects to a garden hose and
water needed. Soaker hoses and drip
it can enter the soil. Water applied too delivery tubes that are placed next to
or trickle irrigation systems wet only
rapidly runs off, resulting in erosion or the plants. A 150-mesh filter is recom-
the soil in the root zone and can cut in
puddles, and causing soil compaction. mended to prevent clogging small
half the amount of water used.
Place the sprinkler so plants do not pores and emitters. The systems oper-
Adequate soil moisture is impor-
interfere with the pattern of applica- ate at low pressure and deliver small
tant for seed germination, uniform
tion. This often means mounting the amounts of water very slowly through
growth, and productivity. The most
sprinkler above the tops of the plants pores in the delivery tubes or emitters
critical periods for adequate moisture
where wind may affect the distribution punched into the delivery tubes. A drip irrigation system makes it possible to water a large garden all at the same time. It
are during seed germination, early
pattern. Small cans placed throughout An irrigation system makes it pos- also allows you to harvest, cultivate, spray, and do other garden chores while watering.
growth, flower and fruit development,
the garden can be used to measure the sible to water a large garden all at the The major disadvantage of a drip system is the initial cost.
and root enlargement of root crops,
amount of water applied and show the same time. You also are able to har-
and immediately following transplant- while watering. Never allow the soil to dry complete-
overlap necessary to approach an even vest, cultivate, spray, and do other gar-
ing. • Keeps plant leaves dry. ly. Drip irrigation, when used correct-
application of water. den chores while watering. The largest
Where a water source is not close Correct use of a drip irrigation sys- ly, prevents drought stress but is not
Since overhead sprinklers wet disadvantage of a drip system is the
to the garden, it is possible to water tem should keep vegetable plants designed to correct drought stress like
plant leaves, water early enough in the initial cost.
some plants with a little work. actively growing in dry periods yet sprinkler irrigation, which wets all the
day to allow time for leaves to dry Advantages include these:
Partially bury 1-gallon plastic milk cause no problem when rain occurs soil.
before night. This helps keep leaf dis- • Reduces water use by one-half or
jugs between tomato, pepper, egg- following irrigation. The system, Single drip lines will not adequate-
eases from developing and spreading. more.
plant, squash, and other widely spaced when properly operated, keeps soil at ly water wide-row or raised-bed gar-
Each watering should wet the top 3 to • Water is placed where it is need-
plants. Punch a few small holes near the base of the plant (root zone area) dens, but several spray heads are avail-
5 inches of soil. Frequent light water- ed: at the base of plants and not in

Organic Gardening
the bottoms of the jugs before placing moist. This may require operating the able that do a good job in these special
ings result in shallow rooting, suscep- walkways.
them in the soil. Fill the jugs periodi- system for short periods three or four types of gardens when fitted to the
tibility to damage by drought, and • Permits working in the garden
cally with water hauled to the garden. times a week during dry weather. drip irrigation delivery tube.

Nutrient Content of Organic Materials


Interest in organic gardening— tent, the nutrients are available more
using organic and natural materials slowly than nutrients from inorganic
for fertilization and disease and insect sources. This protects nutrients from Percent Nutrient
control—is increasing. leaching, but when a rapid change in N P2O2 K2O Availability
Much of the interest is on reducing nutrient level is needed, this can be a
or eliminating use of chemical pesti- problem. Rock Phosphate 0 20 to 30 0 very slow
cides for controlling insects and dis- Controlling diseases and insects
eases. There is less interest in the use by natural means alone is difficult. Bone Meal 1 15 0 slow medium
of natural and organic fertilizers. Therefore, organic gardening is easier Compost up to 3 1 1 slow
Organic gardening in Mississippi on a small scale than on a large scale.
faces some serious problems with the To increase chances for success, Dried Blood 12 1.5 .5 medium rapid
rapid loss of soil organic matter and organic gardeners should follow these Fish Emulsion 5 2 2 rapid
severe insect and disease pressures on practices:
vegetable plants. Organic gardeners, • Plant disease- and nematode-resist- Cotton Seed Meal 6 3 1.5 slow medium
to ensure the greatest chances for suc- ant varieties. Cow Manure, fresh .25 .15 .25 medium
cess, should have the garden soil test- • Use marigolds, solarization, and
ed for pH and nematodes. organic products like Clandosan Sawdust 4 2 4 very slow
Soils with a low pH (acid) can be 618 to control plant parasitic nema-
Wood Ashes 0 1 to 2 3 to 7 rapid
corrected using limestone, ground todes (see Extension Publication
oyster shells, wood ashes, or 483 Nematode Control in the • Plant as early in the spring as possi- • Control insects using biological diseases. Use fixed copper fungi-
dolomitic limestone. Adding organic Home Garden). ble to avoid some insect problems. controls and natural products. cides to control many fungus and
matter benefits soils with a high pH • Plant seeds from disease-free plants. • Keep the garden free of weeds that • Rotate garden areas. bacterial leaf spots, anthracnose,
(alkaline). • Plant only healthy vegetable trans- may harbor diseases and insects. • Encourage natural insect predators. and downy mildews. Do not use
Animal manures are the most plants. • Hand-pick insects. Trap slugs under boards and moist tobacco products while working in
widely used organic fertilizers. • Place a cardboard collar around • Water during the day so plants are burlap laid on the ground, or use the garden. Mix different vegetables
Unfortunately, their composition plant stems at ground level to pre- not wet at night. Remove diseased beer traps. in a row to eliminate monocultures
varies with the source, age, degree of vent cutworm damage. plants and plant parts from the gar- • Stay out of the garden when the and the chance for a disease to

Beneficial Insects
rotting, water content, and amount • Incorporate plant residues and ani- den. plants are wet to prevent spreading spread rapidly.
and kind of litter used. mal manures early to allow suffi-
Most organic materials do not cient time for them to decompose
contain plant nutrients in balance before planting.
with plant requirements and must be • Use mulches to control weeds and
supplemented to correct these imbal- keep soil from splashing onto the Minute pirate bug .25”
ances. A well-leached animal manure plants and fruit.
has an estimated fertilizer ratio of 1- • Use aluminum foil or silver-painted
1-1, or 20 pounds each of N, P2O5, plastic mulches to repel aphids and
and K2O per ton of manure. Besides thrips that injure plants and also Convergent lady beetle .15” - .25”
Assassin bug .50” - .75” Tiger beetle 0.5” - 0.7” Green lacewing 0.6” - 0.8”
being relatively low in nutrient con- transmit plant viruses. Praying mantis 2.5” - 5”

17
Weed Control
Weeds (plants growing out of Cultivation weeds from becoming established in
Nozzle Parts
place) are a serious garden problem. the mulched area. Bermudagrass and
Cultivation is the most widely used
They rob vegetable plants of sunlight, nutsedge are difficult to control com-
method of garden weed control. It is
water, and nutrients. They also provide pletely with mulches. Weeds that
not a one-time chore, for with each
hiding places for insects and serve as a appear in the planting holes of plastic
rain, irrigation, and stirring of the soil,
source of vegetable diseases. mulch should be pulled by hand. Spray Nozzle Nozzle Body Strainer Cap Spray Tip
weed seedlings emerge.
Weeds can kill a gardener’s enthu-
Herbicides
A variety of hand and power equip-
siasm, which can cause them to aban-
ment is used for cultivation, but the
don the garden in midsummer. It is
most commonly used tools are the hoe Commercial vegetable growers
important to control weeds while they
and garden tiller. have a fairly wide choice of chemical
are small and before they get out of
A sharpened hoe blade is an excel- weed killers (herbicides) to prevent or
control.
lent tool for cutting the roots of weeds. control weed problems. Gardeners,
Since any plant growing out of
The severed plants dry in the sun and however, have a much smaller choice
place can be considered a weed, a
die. of herbicides.
sweet corn plant (from a carelessly
A garden tiller and other soil-dis- Don’t expect to control all weeds gardener will keep two sprayers: one or the liquid formulation. Granules are
dropped seed) growing in a row of
turbing tools, the hoe included, are in a garden of mixed vegetables with for lawn herbicides and the other for easier for most gardeners to use. After
bush snap beans is technically a weed;
used to disturb the soil around the one herbicide. First, no single herbi- garden herbicides. When spraying her- application, mix the herbicide in the
but the most common garden weeds
weed plant’s roots. On a hot day, the cide controls all weeds. Secondly, bicides approved for application over top 2 inches of the soil. Two very shal-
are crabgrass, yellow and purple
weeds die when their roots dry and the some vegetables are also sensitive to the tops of vegetable plants, do not use low cultivations provide good mixing
nutsedge, morningglories, bermuda-
plants are unable to get water. Small the herbicide, and if the wrong herbi- a sprayer that has been used with lawn with the soil. Treflan is lableled for use
grass, and pigweed.
weeds die more quickly than large cide is used, the vegetable is injured herbicides. before planting seeds of several veg-
Most weeds can be controlled and
weeds, so cultivation should be fre- along with the weeds. Before using a herbicide in your etables and before setting transplants
kept from becoming serious problems
quent enough to prevent weed Herbicides applied to the soil garden, read the product label for a of others. Read the package label for a
in the garden. Methods of control
seedlings from becoming established. before vegetables are planted and listing of vegetables it can be used on, list of approved vegetables.
include hand-pulling, cultivation,
Cultivation should also be shallow so before weeds have emerged are called the recommended rate of application, Poast—Poast is a postemergence
mulching, and use of chemicals.
you do not disturb or injure vegetable preemergence herbicides. Some pre- and the method of application. Never herbicide that selectively controls
Hand-Pulling
plant roots. emergence herbicides can be applied use a product that is not labeled, and grass weeds in several vegetables.
Deep cultivation, in addition to immediately after the vegetable seeds do not exceed the recommended rate. Apply Poast to most grasses before
Hand-pulling is not an effective destroying weeds, injures vegetable or plants are planted but before the Dacthal—Several brand names plants reach 8 inches high. One appli-
way to control weeds in a large gar- plant roots and brings more weed weed seeds germinate. Postemergence are available. Dacthal can be used on a cation controls most annual grasses,
den, but it can be effective under cer- seeds to the surface, where they ger- herbicides are applied after weeds wide variety of vegetable plants. but several applications may be
tain circumstances. Hand-pull weeds minate. “Hoe blight,” the wilting and have emerged. Applied correctly, Dacthal gives good required to control perennial grasses
that appear in the row with vegetable death of vegetable plants after cultiva- Herbicides used in the garden may control of most grasses and a few like bermudagrass. Mix a crop oil con-
plants, as well as those that grow in the tion, often results from careless culti- be in the form of granules, wettable broadleaf weeds. This herbicide con- centrate in the spray solution before
planting holes of a plastic mulch. vation. powders, or liquids. The equipment trols weeds as their seeds germinate. application. Read the Poast label for
Weeds that grow between closely Take a perennial weed, such as needed for application depends on the Therefore, before applying Dacthal, specific instructions and approved
spaced rows of vegetables in wide bermudagrass, out of the garden fol- formulation used. Use a pump-up remove existing weed plants. vegetable crops.
rows, raised beds, or small gardens lowing cultivation because pieces of pressure sprayer for applying liquids Trifluralin—Several brand names Glyphosate—Formulations of this
also may require hand-pulling. Weeds the plant that have no roots can form and wettable powders. Since most gar- are available. Treflan is a preemer- popular nonselective, postemergence
growing in containers used for vegeta- roots and make the bermudagrass den sprayers are equipped with a cone- gence herbicide used to control grass herbicide are approved for limited use
bles should be hand-pulled. Extremely problem worse. type nozzle, use a 50-mesh screen and problems in the garden. Some plan- in the vegetable garden site. Most
small weeds are difficult to pull by a 8003 E or equivalent fan nozzle
Mulching
ning of the garden to group Treflan- applications are for eliminating exist-
hand, but do not wait until the weeds attached to the sprayer for applying labeled vegetables in one area is help- ing weed problems before vegetable
get so large that pulling them destroys herbicides. ful when you use this herbicide. To seedling emergence and before veg-
Mulching is an effective way to
adjacent vegetable plants. Thinning Chemical herbicides used in the obtain good weed control, mix Treflan etable plants are in the garden. Read
control garden weeds. Natural and

Herb Gardening
seedlings spaced too closely together vegetable garden can be washed from with garden soil. Cultivate soil to the label for specific application
plastic mulches properly applied to
and hand-weeding frequently can be the sprayer, but some of those used on eliminate clods. Broadcast the recom- instructions and limitations.
weed-free garden soil prevent most
done at the same time. the lawn cannot. Therefore, a wise mended amount of either the granules

Herbs are a special group of plants used for plant the herb in the vegetable garden. to transplant bare-root. garlic flavor and scent; grow from seed or divi-
flavoring and scents. Many herbs used in flavor- Otherwise, prepare a small area especially for Basil—annual grown for its leaves; available sion; attractive white flowers sew many seed;
ing foods and teas (culinary herbs) can be grown herbs so that they can be enjoyed for their in several different flavors and plant types; easi- self-seeds prolifically.
in Mississippi gardens. Most herbs should be appearance as well as fragrance. ly gown from seed; purple leaf types make Onion Chives—perennial grown for onion-
grown in full sun, but a few tolerate light shade. Herbs have few pests, which is good because attractive vinegar. flavored leaves; attractive purple flowers; grow
They prefer a well-drained soil of medium fer- there are few if any pesticides approved for use Sweet Bay—tender perennial, evergreen from seed or division.
tility with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. An organic mulch on these plants. When planting herbs in the veg- shrub; source of bay leaf; requires cool green- Coriander—annual; grow from seed; fresh
in summer benefits the plants. etable garden, protect them from pesticides used house protection in winter; frequently grown as green leaves known as cilantro and Chinese
Herbs that can be grown in Mississippi are on vegetables. a container plant; start with a nursery-grown parsley; also grown for seeds.
annuals that are planted every year, biennials Grow herbs started from containers so they plant. Costmary—perennial; known as bible leaf;
that are planted in the fall and flower the follow- can be set in the garden without disturbing the Bergamont—perennial, also known as bee grown for minty scented leaves; grow from seed
ing year, hardy perennials that come back year roots. Borage and dill are two herbs that do not balm; grown for minty leaves; attractive flowers or division.
after year, and tender perennials that may sur- transplant well if bare-root. Either scatter seeds attract bees and hummingbirds; start from crown Dill—annual grown for seed heads and
vive a mild winter but often need to be treated as in the garden where these herbs are to grow, or division or seeds. leaves; prefers cool weather; grow in spring and
annuals or protected from freezing temperatures. start plants in containers. Borage—annual grown for cucumber-fla- fall; doesn’t transplant well bare-root; scatter
You can start most popular herbs from seeds. The flavors and scents of herbs are caused by vored leaves and attractive small blue flowers; seeds where plants are to grow or use container-
Many of the perennial herbs are propagated by oils in the plant tissue. High fertilization, excess attracts bees; makes a large, unruly plant; diffi- grown plants.
stem cutting, layering, or crown divisions. moisture, and shade result in low oil content and cult to transplant bare-root. Garlic—perennial grown for dry bulb; plant
Annual, and some perennial, herb plants are sold weak flavor. The oil content in many herbs is at Salad Burnet—perennial grown for cucum- garlic cloves in October and harvest bulbs in
at nursery and garden centers, and seeds and its highest just before the plants begin to flower. ber-flavored leaves; grow from seed or crown May and June.
plants are offered by many mail order catalog division. Scented Geraniums—tender perennials;
companies. Herbs and Their Catnip—perennial grown for leaves; a mint; available in many different scents: rose, pepper-

Characteristics
Because herbs are used in very small grow from seed, cuttings, or division. mint, lemon, lime, orange, strawberry, apple,
amounts, just a few plants of each type may be Chamomile—perennial grown as annual; almond, mint; variety of foliage forms available;
enough. If you want a large quantity of a partic- Anise—annual grown for its licorice-fla- flowers used for tea; grow from seed.
ular herb, such as sweet basil for making pesto, vored leaves and seeds; slow growing; difficult Garlic Chives—grown for leaves with light
See Herbs, page 19

18
Fall Gardening
Fall gardening is the way to the weather cools in September and sun for a few days. You can use
have fresh vegetables right into October. Choose planting dates in bare-root transplants from thinning
winter. Many fall gardens are car- midsummer that allow these veg- the seedling row, but be prepared to
ried over from summer gardens. etables to mature before frost. provide water and shade until they
Tomato plants, okra, peppers, and The map at right provides the become established.
eggplant, if cared for during the median dates of the first freezes A fall garden is open to attack
summer, continue to produce until (temperatures equal to or lower by insects and diseases just as the
cold slows them down and frost than 32 ºF) in the fall. summer garden. In some cases, the
kills them. insect problems are worse. Worms
To keep these vegetables pro-
ducing, control insects and dis- Young Plants (cabbage loopers and imported
cabbage moths) are serious prob-
eases, keep the plants watered and The hot, dry weather in July, lems on fall cabbage, cauliflower,
fertilized, and don’t let the garden August, and September is hard on broccoli, and collards. Control
grow up in grass and weeds. A germinating seeds and young these leaf-eating worms with one
good fall garden, however, is not seedlings. Germination and of the biological sprays. Squash
just keeping the summer garden seedling survival is improved if bugs are troublesome on fall
alive. It means planting new veg- one of these methods is used: squash and pumpkins.
etables to produce in fall and early • Water a day or two before plant- Fall vegetables need fertilizer
winter. ing so seeds are planted in moist just as much as spring and summer
Plan the fall garden at the same soil. Watering after planting can vegetables. Don’t count on the fer-
time you plan the spring and sum- cause the soil surface to pack and tilizer applied in spring to supply
mer garden. Include your seed crust. fertilizer needs of vegetables plant-
needs for fall when ordering seeds • Plant seeds in moist soil and ed in late summer and fall. Fertilize
for the spring and summer garden. cover with moistened, non-crust- before planting and side-dress as
It helps to have the seeds on hand ing materials: a mix of peat moss needed.
so you can plant them at the appro- and vermiculite or composted As the danger of frost approach-
priate time. sawdust and sand. Keep the sur- es, pay close attention to weather
Many cool-weather vegetables face moist during germination predictions. Tender plants often can
normally planted in spring grow and seedling establishment. be protected from an early frost and October 27 - November 2
and produce better in the fall, since Plant three to five seeds of the continue to produce for several
they mature as the weather cools. small-seeded vegetables like broc- weeks. When a killing frost is November 3 - 7
When wet weather causes a delay coli and cabbage at the recom- inevitable, harvest tender vegeta-
in planting early spring vegetables mended final plant spacing in the bles. November 8 - 12
garden row. Once the seedlings are
November 13 - December 2
(past a time when they can be Green tomatoes that are turning
expected to mature before hot established, thin the seedlings to white just before turning pink will

Median Date of First Freeze in Fall


weather destroys them), a fall gar- one plant at each location. ripen if stored in a cool place. Pick
den provides a second opportunity. these tomatoes, wrap them in
Chinese cabbage (very sensitive to
heat) and rutabagas (require a long
Transplants paper, and use them as they ripen.
Don’t abandon the garden when
Start vegetable transplants for
period of cool weather) are two
the fall garden in individual con-
freezing temperatures kill the Vegetables Typically Planted in a Fall Garden
cool-weather vegetables recom- plants. Clean up the debris, store
tainers, such as peat pots, small Bush Snap Beans Carrots Kohlrabi Radishes
mended for planting only in the stakes and poles, take a soil test,
clay or plastic pots, or peat pellets. Beets Cauliflower Lettuce Rutabagas
fall. and row up part of the garden to be
Setting out plants without disturb- Broccoli Chard Mustard Spinach
Warm-season vegetables plant- ready for planting early spring Irish
ing the root systems reduces trans- Cabbage Chinese Cabbage Onions Turnips
ed in midsummer for fall harvest potatoes and English peas.
plant shock.

Herbs
require additional time to mature as

Varieties
Protect young plants from the

ably hardy; grown for leaves; available in different lenge them to tell the roots apart without
plant types, upright and creeping; adapted to pot cul- tasting them.
ture; prefers moist, well-drained soil.
continued from page 18 continued from page 5
Sage—perennial grown as annual, not reliably Sweet Corn: Bodacious growers
excellent pot plant; propagate by cuttings. hardy; available as common, golden, and variegated; that can brow without support. Snow should give Applause a try. If sweet is the
Ginger—tender perennial grown for pungent root; grown for leaves; grow from seed, cuttings, or layer- Sweet stays tender at later ages and can most important aspect of sweet corn, order
treat as annual (plant in spring and harvest in fall); ing; prefers well-drained soil. have identifiable seed at harvest and still be Mirai 301 or Mirai 130. These are just a
propagate by root cuttings; prefers moist, rich soil. Pineapple Sage—tender perennial; pineapple- tender enough for stir frying. couple of several corns that blend shrunk-
Anise Hyssop—perennial grown for licorice fla- scented leaves; large plant; attractive red flowers grow en-2 and sugary enhanced genes on the
vored leaves for teas; attractive purple flowers attract from cuttings. Pumpkins: There have been many, same ear.
bees; a mint; propagate by seed or division. Summer Savory—annual grown for leaves; grow many developments in pumpkins in the last
Lemon Balm—perennial mint grown for lemon- from seed; unruly plant. few years. Jarrahdale is a blue-skinned Jalepeno Pepper: The standard
scented leaves; grow from seed, division, or cuttings. Winter Savory—perennial grown for leaves; grow pumpkin with traditional orange flesh. jalepeno is from 2½ to 3½ inches long and
Lemongrass—tender perennial grown for lemon- by layering; a neater plant with better flavor than sum- Full Moon is a large, white pumpkin. Lil an inch in diameter. Much Nacho is 4 inch-
mer savory. Pump-Ke-Mon is a white miniature pump- es long. Conchos and El Jeffe are both
flavored leaves used in oriental cooking; attractive as
Tarragon—perennial grown for licorice-flavored kin with orange stripes in the sutures. Bat longer and wider than Mucho Nacho.
ornamental grass with blue-green color; leaves have
leaves; French Tarragon the only type to grow and wings is a miniature pumpkin that has a
Approximate Number
sharp edges.
Lemon Thyme—perennial; low-growing attrac- only grows from stem and root cuttings; suffers with splotched rind of dark green and orange.
tive plant for sunny area; leaves have strong lemon fra- summer heat.
Lettuce: Fans of Lolla Rosa red leaf of Plants to Expect
per Ounce of Seed
grance. Winter Tarragon—tender perennial, not reliably
Marjoram—perennial grown as annual; grown for hardy; also known as mint marigold; licorice-flavored lettuce should try Antago or Blackhawk.
leaves; propagate by cuttings and division; small sin- Fans of black seeded Simpson who want a
leaves; grow from seed, cuttings, or by layering.
Mint—perennial; many different flavors and leaf gle, orange, marigold-type flower in fall. darker green should try Green Star. Broccoli 5,000
and plant types; spreads rapidly; prefers moist soil, tol- Thyme—perennial, but not reliably hardy; variety Cabbage 5,000
erates shade; keep cut for tender growth. of flavors and plant types; grown for leaves; propagate Beets: A new golden beet is named
Touchstone Gold. Golden beets have the
Cauliflower 5,000
Oregano—perennial grown for leaves; grow from by seed, cuttings, or divisions; prefers well-drained
traditional purple-red skin, but the interior Eggplant 2,500
soil.
Peppers
seed, cuttings, or division.
Parsley—biennial grown as annual; grown for Lemon Verbena—tender perennial, shrubby,
is a golden yellow. If you want to have 1,500
leaves; grow from seed; prefers moist soil. grown for leaves; propagate by cuttings; grow in con-
some fun with your gardening friends,
Tomatoes 4,000
plant some Blankoma beets and some
Rosemary—perennial, evergreen shrub but reli- tainer and provide winter protection. White Lady turnips side by side and chal-

19
Staking and Training Tomatoes
Support Tomato Plants
The main reason for staking and supporting
tomato plants is to keep plants and fruit off the
ground. This reduces losses from fruit rots when
fruit touch the soil and from sunburn when fruit
Wire
are not shaded by foliage.
Supported plants are easier to spray or dust
for insect and disease control and easier to har-
vest than those sprawling on the ground. Three
popular methods of supporting tomato plants
are staking, caging, and trellising. Supported
tomato plants are pruned (suckered) to reduce
the number of branches, thereby making plants
more suitable for the selected method of sup-
port. Plant type also determines the amount of
pruning.
Tomato varieties are divided into two gener-
al groups based on their pattern of growth.
Determinate, or self-topping, varieties have Remove
short- to medium-length vines. Plants are heav- sucker
ily branched and do not make continuous
growth. Rather than having continuous produc-
tion of leaves and flower clusters, every branch
ends with a flower cluster. Determinate varieties
often are early and have a short but concentrat- Concrete reinforcing or hogwire
ed production season. These plants are staked or
caged but are not adapted to trellising. Some
determinate varieties are Celebrity, Mountain
Pride, and Rutgers. Determinate varieties are
not heavily pruned, regardless of the support
system, because most of the fruit is produced on
8- to 10-inch clearance
the branches.
between wire and ground
Indeterminate varieties continue to grow
and produce leaves and flower clusters until dis-
ease, insects, cold, or lack of water and fertiliz-
er kills the plants. Indeterminate varieties are
Better Boy, Floradel, and Big Beef.
Indeterminate varieties are heavily pruned when
trellised, moderately pruned when staked, and
lightly pruned when caged.
Pruning removes small shoots where each There are many ways to prune and tie toma- Caging ground about 20 feet apart. The tops of the posts
leaf joins the stem. Properly pruned plants pro- to plants. Limit staked indeterminate plants to should be about 6 feet above the soil surface.
Tomato plants supported by cages made
duce larger and earlier fruit than non-pruned two or three fruit-producing branches. A popu- Stretch a heavy wire or a piece of barbed wire
from concrete reinforcing wire require consider-
plants of the same variety. Remove shoots when lar method is to select the main stem, the suck- between the tops of the posts and attach a length
ably less work than either staked or trellised
they are less than 4 inches long to avoid injuring er that develops immediately below the first of heavy twine to the wire above each plant.
tomatoes because there is no tying and only lim-
the plant. The larger the sucker before removal, bloom cluster (a very strong sucker), and one Barbed wire prevents twine from slipping as the
ited pruning. A 5-foot length of 10-guage rein-
the larger the resulting wound, and the more other sucker below that. Remove all other suck- top wire sags with the weight of the plants. Tie
forcing wire with 6-inch openings makes a cage
wasted plant energy that went into the sucker. ers and as you tie the plants, periodically twine to the base of each plant or to a bottom
of about an 18-inch diameter. Make cages at
Remove a sucker by grasping it between your remove additional suckers that develop on wire if one is used. As plants grow, wrap them
least 5 feet high for indeterminate varieties.
thumb and second finger and bending it to the selected branches. Tie individual branches to around the twine for support, or use the plastic
Shorter cages are best for determinate varieties.
side until it breaks. This is best done early in the the stake with soft cord by first tying twine to clips that greenhouse tomato growers use.
Using heavy bolt cutters, remove the sections of
day when plants are crisp and not wilted from the stake and then looping it loosely around the When trellising two stems per plant, use a sepa-
the bottom horizontal wire, leaving wire legs to
the day’s sun and heat. Do not cut suckers with plant. Never tie a plant immediately below a rate cord for each stem.
stick into the ground.
a knife because this is one way to spread virus fruit cluster because the weight of the fruit may Trellising produces ripe fruit earlier than
Set your tomato plants 3 feet apart in the row
diseases. cause the plant to sag and strip the cluster from other methods of support. Each plant produces
and place a cage over each plant. Push legs into
Decide on the method of support before set- the plant. Continue to prune and tie the plant as fewer but larger tomatoes that are more subject
the ground for anchoring the cage. Protect early
ting tomato plants in the garden. Plants for trel- it grows. to sunburn because of the small amount of pro-
plants from cold and wind by wrapping the bot-
lising are set closer together than plants to be The Florida weave is an alternative system tective foliage.
tom 18 inches of each cage with clear plastic.
staked or caged. Plants for caging are set farther to support staked tomato plants in a row. Using Tomato plants loaded with fruit are heavy.
Black plastic mulch, in combination with
apart than plants for staking. polypropylene cord (it doesn’t stretch), tie the Anchor the posts to keep them from collapsing.
caging and a clear plastic wrap, promotes early
cord to the first stake about 6 to 10 inches above
Staking Other Wire Supports
blooming.
the ground. Run the cord to the second stake and
Caged plants generally are pruned to four or
wrap it around the stake once at the same level.
Staking requires wooden or metal stakes 5 to five main fruiting branches. As plants grow, Some determinate plants are not suited for
Be sure to keep the cord tight. Repeat this
6 feet long for indeterminate varieties and 3 to 4 keep turning ends of the branches back into the standard trellising and staking because of their
process, going on to the third, fourth, and
feet long for determinate varieties. Wooden cages. Caged plants may not produce ripe toma- limited vine growth. These plants, as well as
remaining stakes until you reach the end of the
stakes should be at least 1 inch square. Metal toes as early as staked or trellised plants, but indeterminate plants, can be held off the ground
row. Come back with the cord on the opposite
stakes can be of smaller diameter and have the they produce more tomatoes that are less likely by a wire trellis. Support a 2- to 3-foot width of
side of the stakes, wrapping it around each
advantage of lasting many years. Do not use to crack or sunburn. hog wire 8 to 10 inches above the ground with
stake. Plants are held in the space between the
chemically treated wood. Sections of concrete “H” supports. Center the wire over the row and
Trellising
cords on opposite sides of the stakes. Repeat
reinforcing rods (rebar) make excellent tomato pull the plants through an opening as they grow.
this process as plants grow so the branches are
stakes. Pruning and tying are not necessary. Space
always held between the cord. Three to five runs Trellising is only for indeterminate varieties.
Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart in the row plants about 2 feet apart and the “H” supports 8
down the row should be enough for the season. Set plants about 1 foot apart in the row and
and drive a stake next to every plant or every to 10 feet apart. A wire stapled to the top of the
Remember to keep pruning plants as they grow prune to just the main stem, or occasionally to
other plant. Place the stake 3 to 4 inches from “H” on each side provides additional support to
to reduce the amount of plant material that must the main stem and one strong sucker (the suck-
the base of the plant on the side away from the plants. Tightly stretch and fasten the hog wire at
be supported. er originating just below the first bloom cluster).
first bloom cluster to prevent trapping the fruit both ends.
When staking determinate varieties, prune Remove all other suckers as they develop.
between the plant and the stake. only once to remove the first suckers. Build a trellis by setting support posts in the

20
Harvesting
Gardening itself is a lot of fun, but harvest Chinese cabbage—cut entire plant at the Lettuce, leaf—when leaves are large attached to tuber, 100 days.
is what gardeners work toward. Harvesting at ground line when the head is fairly compact enough to harvest, 40 to 50 days. Potatoes, sweet—when roots have
the right time is essential to obtain quality. If or the plant has reached the desired size, 80 Lettuce, head—harvest for leaves as reached a usable size. Before frost or ground
you pick vegetables too soon, they can be days. needed before heads form or as soon as heads cools below 50 °F, 120 days.
tough or too tender, lacking substance and Collards—as soon as leaves are large are firm, 80 days. Pumpkins—when fully colored, hard
flavor. If you pick them too late, they may be enough to pick. Large, old leaves are tough Melons, muskmelons—ready when blos- rind, and heavy, 110 days.
tough, fibrous, or too soft. and fibrous, 55 days. som end of fruit gives to pressure from finger Radishes—pull as soon as large enough,
The number of days from planting to Sweet corn—17 to 21 days after silking. and melon separates (slips) easily from stem. 28 days.
maturity is generally listed in catalog Harvest when silks turn dark and begin to Netting should be coarse and prominent Radishes, winter—harvest before ground
descriptions. For vegetables commonly start- shrivel. Kernels should be bright, plump, and according to variety and with no green lines freezes, 50 days.
ed with transplants, such as tomatoes and milky, except super sweets, which may showing, 42 to 46 days from pollination, 90 Rhubarb—pull leaf stalks from plants
peppers, the number of days given is from appear watery. Small, soft kernels and large, days from seed. when leaves are fully grown. Discard leaf
setting plants in the garden to harvest. For hard, starchy Melons, honey- blade and eat the stalk only.

Average Bushel
vegetables that are typically direct-seeded in kernels are taste- dew—when the Rutabagas—dig any time large enough.
the garden, such as peas and sweet corn, the less, 70 to 85 greenish rind takes Becomes dry and woody if soil moisture is

Weights of Vegetables
number represents the days from planting the days. on a golden cast, insufficient, 90 days.
seed. Cucumbers, melon does not slip Spinach—use before leaves get old and
The number of days given represents an pickling—pick from the vine, 110 tough, 45 days.
average and varies with weather and variety. when 2 inches or days from planting. Spinach, New Zealand—pick terminal 3
Cool-season vegetables mature more rapidly less in length for Melons, water- to 4 inches of shoots when plants get large
as weather warms in late spring; warm-sea- pickles and 4 to Weight in m e lons—ready enough.

dills. Use large Vegetable Pounds (ground spot) turns


son vegetables mature more slowly as weath- 6 inches for when undersurface Squash, summer—when medium in size,
er cools in fall. Early varieties mature more color good, and rind easily dented with fin-

relish. Harvest Beans, lima (unshelled) 32


rapidly than mid- and late-season varieties. cucumbers for from white to gernail; zucchini when 6 to 10 inches long
Use the number of days as a guide, but also cream-yellow, 42 to and shiny, 55 days from planting; yellow
consider the weather, the variety description before cucum- Beans, snap 30 45 days from polli- summer 5 to 7 days from pollination, zucchi-

dull, puffy, or Cabbage (sack) 50


of early, midseason, or late, and the appear- bers become nation, 90 days from ni 3 to 4 days from pollination.
ance of the vegetables. planting. Squash, winter (storage)—color should
Asparagus—cut or snap spears when yellow. Frequent Cucumbers 47-55 Mustard—as be good for the variety and the rind very

Eggplant 33
they are 6 to 8 inches tall and before leaf harvest is neces- soon as large enough hard, 90 days; acorn 60 days from pollina-
bracts at the tips begin to open. Harvest sary, 55 days. to harvest, old tion, butternut 65 days from pollination, hub-
spears of large and small diameter, but leave Cucumbers, Greens 23-24 leaves are tough, 45 bard 85 days from pollination.

when 6 to 8 inch- Okra 30


20 to 50 percent of the spears to grow to pro- slicing—harvest days. Swiss chard—as soon as large enough to
vide energy for next year’s crop. Okra—pick pick off leaves, from about 12 inches up. Old
Beans, snap—best when pods are crisp es long and Peanuts (green) 35-45 when pods are 2 to 4 leaves are tough and fibrous, 50 days.

become soft or Peas, English 28-30


and snap easily but when tips are still pliable, before the ends inches long, 4 to 6 Tomatoes—when color is good all over.
50 days for bush, 65 days for pole. days from pollina- Size is no indication of maturity. Will ripen
Beans, lima—pick when pods are well- begin to turn yel- Peas, southern 25 tion, 60 days from off the plant, but quality is better when
filled but still bright green and fresh. End of low, 62 days.
Cucumbers,
Peppers, bell 25 planting.
Onions, green—
ripened on the plant. Reduce bird damage by

and Potatoes, Irish 60


the pod should feel spongy when squeezed, picking before fully colored, 70 days from
65 days for bush, 80 days for pole. burpless when one-fourth to transplants; 45 days from pollination.
Beans, shell—harvest when beans are E u ro p e a n
Potatoes, sweet 55 one-half inch in Turnips, greens—when large enough to

when 8 to 10 Spinach 20-25


very evident in the pods but before pods types—harvest diameter and tops pick. Tough, fibrous, and bitter when old.
begin to dry, very much like lima beans and are 12 to 16 inches Turnips, roots—best when of medium
southern peas, 70 days.
Beans, dried—harvest when pods are dry
inches long and
1 to 11⁄2 inches in
Squash, summer 42 tall.
Onions, bulb—
size and firm. Large turnips tough and
strongly flavored, 60 days.
but before they shatter. Plants may be turning diameter. dig when tops have Watermelons—see Melons.
yellow. Cut entire plant and dry or pick the Eggplant—ready when fruit is half yellowed and fallen over.
pods. When the beans are completely dry, grown, before color dulls, 65 to 85 days from Parsley—when leaves are large enough to Keep these points in mind when harvest-
shell them and store in the freezer, 90 days. transplants. pick, 90 days. ing vegetables:
Beets—pull when medium-sized (11⁄4 to 2 Endive, escarole—cut plants at ground Peanuts—dig when tops are yellowing • Harvest at the proper stage of maturity, not
inches in diameter), 60 to 70 days; leafy tops level when large enough to eat, 85 days. and inner hulls are brown. All pods do not before. You can harvest most vegetables
are an excellent cooked green. Gourds, small decorative—cut from the mature at the same time, but dig the entire several times if you harvest only the part
Broccoli—heads should be compact with vine with stem attached when the rind is plant, 110 days. that is ready.
tight buds. Individual bud and head size hard, before frost. Peas, English—best when pods are bright • Harvest on time. Harvest okra every 1 or 2
determined by variety, 65 to 75 days from Gourds, dipper and birdhouse—cut green and fairly well filled. Raw peas should days. This also applies to summer squash,
transplants yet within the same time period from the vine with stem attached when they be sweet, 65 days. beans, and cucumbers.
from direct seeding in the fall. Yellow flow- begin to dry. Mature gourds are not injured Peas, snap—best when pods are green, • Harvest when the foliage is dry. Tramping
ers indicate overmaturity. by frost. crisp, and peas have filled pods, 65 days. through wet foliage spreads diseases.
Brussels sprouts—cut sprouts from the Gourds, luffa—cut from the vine when Peas, southern—pick purple hull vari- • Don’t damage foliage by stepping on vines
stalk when they are 1 to 2 inches in diameter skin turns yellow or after the gourd has dried. eties when pod is up to 50 percent purple. or breaking stems. This creates wounds and
and firm, 90 days from transplants. Lower For eating, harvest when small (4 inches or Pick tan pod types when pods show a hint of entrances for diseases.
sprouts develop first. Remove the leaf when less in length) and tender. yellow. Peas should be green when shelled, • Don’t harvest when plants are wilted.
cutting the sprout. Horseradish—dig roots in late fall after 65 days. Wounds made by harvesting permit water
Cabbage—cut when head is firm and frost. Where soil doesn’t freeze and is well Peppers—pick green bell peppers when loss, which increases water stress inside the
before splitting, 80 days from transplants. drained, roots can be left in the ground until shiny green and firm, 75 days from trans- plant.
Carrots—harvest according to desired needed. plants. Colored peppers are harvested when • Immediately move freshly harvested veg-
size and weather. Sugar content is higher in Jerusalem artichoke—dig tubers all fully colored, yellow, red, etc. Pimiento etables into the shade and keep them cool.
mature roots, but younger ones are more ten- winter after the tops are killed by cold. should be fully red. Sweet banana and hot • Use freshly harvested vegetables as soon
der, 75 days. Kale—cut entire plant or larger leaves Hungarian Wax are harvested when fully yel- after harvest as possible.
Cauliflower—cut when head is firm and while still tender. Old kale is tough and low, turning red, or fully red. Harvest hot • Don’t injure the plant during harvest.
smooth, should not be coming apart or ricey stringy. Cold weather improves flavor, 55 pepper when green or fully colored. Gently remove the part to be harvested
in appearance, 65 days from transplants. Pure days. Potatoes, Irish—as soon as large enough from the plant. Cut eggplants and water-
white color depends on blanching. Creamy Kohlrabi—pull when swollen stem is the for early potatoes. Harvest main crop after melons with a knife. Cut okra that won’t
color is fine. size of a baseball. Large, old kohlrabi is vines have yellowed. Greenish or sunburned snap off.
woody and tasteless, 55 days. potatoes are not good. Skin should be firmly

21
Storing Vegetables
In addition to canning, freezing, Cabbage—Protect fall-grown for several months. mature because they do not store well ed beans and peas in plastic bags in
and drying fresh vegetables, you can cabbage from freezing. Pull mature Irish potatoes grown in the fall are in the garden. If planted in April or containers with tight-fitting lids. If
store many to use later. The length of heads and wrap leaves over the head. easier to store than spring-grown May, they are ready to harvest in July freezer space is available, you can
successful storage depends on the Set the heads, roots up, in a well- potatoes. Harvest when the soil is dry, and August. If left exposed to the sun store dried peas and beans in the
vegetable and the storage conditions. drained, cool place, and cover with and don’t expose potatoes to the sun. and wet weather, they rot. Store in a freezer without prior heating.
Loss of moisture is the major fac- soil or straw. You can pull mature Cure in a warm, moist place for about cool, fairly dry place. Small quantities
tor that reduces quality during stor- heads with roots attached and place a week to heal cuts and bruises; then can be stored in an air-conditioned Seed Storage:
Cool and Dry
age. Reducing the temperature slows them in a cold home. Do not

Approximate Years of Storage Life


this loss and delays growth of bacteria frame. stack these veg-
and fungi that cause vegetables to Onions— etables in stor- Moisture and high temperatures
spoil.
Some vegetables, such as winter
After bulbs are
harvested and
of Seeds Under Cool, Dry Conditions age, and do not
expose them to
cause rapid loss in the ability of veg-
etable seeds to germinate. Therefore,
squash, onions, Irish potatoes, and dried, trim tops, temperatures discard vegetable seeds held in stor-
pumpkins, lose moisture slowly; leaving about Asparagus – 3 Cucumbers – 5 Pumpkins – 4 below 50 ºF. If age buildings, vehicles, and other
while others, such as leafy greens, one-half inch. Beans – 3 Eggplant – 5 Radishes – 5 the humidity is places with widely fluctuating tem-
lose moisture rapidly. Place vegeta- Most southern Beets – 4 Kale – 5 Rutabagas – 5 too high, molds peratures and humidities.
bles in a plastic bag or container onions do not Broccoli – 5 Kohlrabi – 5 Southern peas – 3 and rots devel- The longer seeds are stored, the
before refrigerating to prevent rapid store well, but for Brussels sprouts – 5 Lettuce – 5 Spinach – 5 op. more important it is to control mois-
loss of water. This applies to lettuce, best storage, keep Cabbage – 5 Muskmelons – 5 Squash – 5 Tomatoes— ture and temperature conditions. Low
mustard greens, spinach, collards, dry bulbs in a Carrots – 3 Mustard – 4 Tomatoes – 4 Ripe tomatoes moisture content in the seeds means
turnip greens, Chinese cabbage, beets, cool, well-venti- Chard, Swiss – 4 Okra – 2 Turnips – 5 store best at a longer life, especially if seeds must be
carrots, radishes, snap beans, shelled lated place. If the Collards – 5 Peas, English – 3 Watermelons – 5 t e m p e r a t ure kept at warm temperatures.
limas, cucumbers, broccoli, cauli- temperature is too Corn – 1-2 Peppers – 4 around 60 ºF. At Seeds can be stored over, but not
flower, kohlrabi, and green onions. warm, tops will refrigerator tem- touching, calcium chloride, dried sili-
Turnip roots not only lose moisture sprout. If humidi- peratures, the ca gel, or freshly opened powdered
rapidly but have a strong odor, so be ty is too high, the roots begin to swell place potatoes in a cool, dark place. quality rapidly deteriorates. Mature milk by sealing them in air-tight con-
sure to bag them. and develop. Just make sure they don’t freeze. Fall- green tomatoes (those that have tainers.
For short-term refrigerated stor- Irish potatoes—Spring-grown Irish grown potatoes can be successfully reached full size and are turning white Bean and okra seeds can be over-
age, wash vegetables to remove potatoes are difficult to store. Cure stored for several months. before coloring) will ripen if picked dried, resulting in hard seed coats and
insects, soil, and spray residue before potatoes for several days in a warm Sweet potatoes—Sweet potatoes before frost injures them. Wrap toma- reduced germination. Seeds can be
refrigerating. place to heal cuts and bruises. Do not are very sensitive to cold soils and toes in paper and store in a cool place. stored successfully at temperatures
Some vegetables can be stored for wash potatoes unless they are very cold storage. Potatoes that are chilled Check them regularly to remove any above 32 ºF. Between 40 and 50 ºF is
several weeks or longer without dirty from harvesting in wet soil. in the soil or in storage will not keep ripening or spoiled tomatoes. You can satisfactory when moisture content of
refrigeration under proper conditions. Store dry potatoes in boxes in a closet very long. Dig potatoes before soil have garden tomatoes for Christmas the seed is not too high.
Beets, carrots, turnips, rutaba- in an air-conditioned home. If the temperatures drop to 55 ºF. Cure pota- and even later if you strip the vines of For long-term storage (several
gas—When you grow these root house is on a conventional founda- toes for 7 to 10 days in a warm, moist fruit before a freeze and handle them months) seeds can be stored in the
crops in the fall, you can sometimes tion, store potatoes under the house. place—80 to 85 ºF and 90 percent rel- as described. freezer. Seeds are not harmed if prop-
leave them in the garden until you Be sure to shut out all light to prevent ative humidity. Curing helps heal all Dried beans and peas—The erly dried before storing, but be sure
need them if the garden site is well greening of the stored potatoes. cuts and bruises that occurred during greatest danger in storing dried beans to let them come to room temperature
drained and the vegetables are pro- There are sprays or treatments that harvest. Store cured potatoes at 55 ºF and peas is infestation by insects. Pick before handling.
tected from freezing. Pull soil up over prevent spring-grown Irish potatoes and high humidity to prevent shrink- dry pods and thoroughly dry them in a Do not store chemically treated
roots or cover them with straw. Store from sprouting. Natural dormancy age. Storage at warmer temperatures warm, well-ventillated place before seeds with vegetables or other food

Vegetables
harvested roots in plastic bags in your prevents sprouting for about 100 encourages sprouting. shelling. Kill insects by heating dry, items that are to be eaten.
refrigerator or in moist sand in a cool days, but refrigeration or cold storage Pumpkins, winter squash— shelled beans and peas in a 180 ºF
location. is the only way to hold these potatoes Harvest these vegetables as they oven for 15 minutes. Store these treat-

Asparagus soils but prefers well-drained soils and lime to a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. growth begins, broadcast 2 to 3 You can grow asparagus plants
high in organic matter. Plants lose Asparagus does poorly at a soil pH pounds per 100 square feet or 25 feet from seed instead of starting with 1-
vigor, are more susceptible to root rot, below 6.0. of row of 6-8-8 fertilizer and work it year-old crowns. To grow plants from
and may die when planted in poorly Mary Washington is the most lightly into the surface. Repeat fertil- seed, soak seeds in aerated water for 3
drained soils. widely available garden variety. ization after harvest. days. Use a small electric aquarium
Since asparagus is a perennial Plants and seeds of newer varieties, Harvest can begin the third year. air pump with a bubbler stone to aer-
Asparagus is
plant that grows in the same location such as UC-157, Purple Passion, and Harvesting earlier than the third year ate the soaking seeds. Plant individual
a perennial plant that
for several years, there is only one Jersey Giant, are of more limited reportedly weakens the plants. seeds about 1 inch deep in small pots
can be grown successfully in many
chance to prepare the soil before availability to home gardeners. Harvest all spears, large and small, or containers. Plants should be large
parts of Mississippi. Performance in
planting, so do it right. Start preparing In early spring, plant 1-year-old when 6 to 8 inches long, and before enough to set in the garden in 12 to 14
south Mississippi gardens, however,
soil about a year before planting by crowns 4 inches deep in clay soils and leaf bracts at the tip begin to open. weeks. Treat seedlings the same as 1-
is likely to be disappointing. In the
mixing in large quantities of organic 6 inches deep in sandy-textured soils. Cut spears 1 to 3 inches below the sur- year-old crowns, using the same
southern part of the state, asparagus
matter, such as composted manure, Do not use older crowns or pieces of face, trying not to injure spears devel- planting depth and spacing. During
may not become completely dormant
compost, and green manure crops. old crowns dug from an existing bed. oping below the surface, or you can the first season’s growth, gradually
in winter and may continue producing
Mix 2 to 3 pounds of 13-13-13 fertil- Dig a trench 12 to 18 inches wide to snap spears at ground level. When the fill in the trench.
a few weak spears.
izer per 100 square feet into the soil the desired planting depth in the pre- diameter of most of the spears drops Asparagus has both male and
Asparagus grows on a variety of
pared planting area. Space crowns 12 to the size of a pencil, stop harvest for female plants. Male plants produce
to 15 inches apart on the bottom of the the year. On young beds, harvest for spears of larger diameter than
Plant crowns 4 inches deep in
trench. Spread roots, being sure the only 2 to 3 weeks. Harvest established female plants. New all-male vari-
12- to 18-inch wide beds. Cover
with 2 inches of soil and gradu- crown is right side up. Cover crowns beds for up to 8 weeks. eties are now available. Female
ally fill in this trench during the with 2 inches of soil, and during the Do not allow grass to take over plants produce red berries in late
first season. first season as plants grow, gradual- the bed during summer months after summer. Volunteer seedlings origi-
ly fill in the trench with soil. If you harvest. Fertilize and keep the bed nating from these berries may
plant more than one row, space rows clean and watered. Asparagus fern spread asparagus to other garden
4 to 5 feet apart. can reach 4 to 7 feet in height. Do areas.
Keep bed free of weeds at all not cut until after frost kills it in late
Variety
times. Remove all brown, frost-killed fall.
Mary Washington—leading home
stalks in winter, and, if available, Control insects attacking spears
garden variety; some resistance to rust.
cover bed with 2 to 3 inches of com- during harvest with malathion and
posted manure. Each spring before carbaryl. Continued on next page

22
Jersey Giant—hybrid; 100 percent medium green color; 6.9 inches long; Asparagus (yardlong) beans are so never let the soil dry completely. ual cups or cells in plastic trays.
male; producer of larger, uniform tan seed; 51 days from planting. pole beans with pods that reach 3 feet Because beets require cool tempera- Seedlings exposed to temperatures
spears; excellent vigor; tolerant to Gator Green—white seed; round; in length. At this stage they are past tures, you can grow them in spring below 45 ºF for 2 weeks or more in
fusarium wilt. long, straight pods; mosaic tolerant; their prime and should be used like and fall. plant beds may form small flower
fresh market type. southern peas. Harvest when pods are Most beet seeds produce a small heads and be unproductive. Seedlings
Greencrop—white seed; long, flat 10 to 12 inches long for use as a snap cluster of seedlings when they germi- grown indoors, in a hot bed, or in a
Beans pole bean type pod; fresh use and pro- bean. nate. Even with individually placed greenhouse often are killed by the first
cessing; no disease resistance; AAS seeds, thinning is necessary for cor- cold night after transplanting to the
All gar- Bush lima beans (butter beans)
1957. rect plant spacing. Thin seedlings to garden in early spring. Harden these
den beans are more sensitive to cold than snap
Provider—purple seed; round; stand 2 inches apart. Beet seeds are seedlings for 1 to 2 weeks in a cold
are sensi- beans, so delay planting until the soil
medium-length pods; white seeded slow to germinate, so mix in some frame before setting them out. Use 1
tive to cold temperature is at least 65 degrees.
type also available. radish seeds to mark the row. Poor cup of starter solution (page 9) for
soil and cold Both small- and large-seed types are
Topcrop—medium green; round; stands of seedlings can often be traced each plant when transplanting to the
air temperatures. Seeds planted used as green-shell beans. The small-
medium-length pod; slightly curved; to planting too deep or crusting soils garden.
in cold, wet soils rot, but colored seed limas produce better than the
mosaic resistant; brown seed; AAS after rain or irrigation. Side-dress broccoli plants with a
bean seeds are more tolerant to cold large-seed types. Most varieties
1950. Black spots in beets may indicate a nitrogen fertilizer as soon as they
soils than white bean seeds. require about 65 days from planting to shortage of boron in sandy soil. begin active growth after transplanti-
Soil type is important to bean seed harvest. Use treated, fresh seeds. Do
Green-shell beans are grown like Dissolve 1 level tablespoon of house- ng. A second side-dressing just before
germination. In germination, the two not use last year’s dry garden beans
bush snap beans. These are special hold borax in 3 gallons of water and heading will help increase the size of
large seed halves (cotyledons) must for this year’s seeds because of dis-
varieties: apply it to 100 feet of garden row as a the center heads.
come through the soil surface. Clay or ease carryover problems. The major
French’s Horticultural—pods and corrective measure. Reduce the For fall broccoli, plant seeds
compacted soils hold the cotyledons, disease is stem anthracnose. Control
beans cream colored, splashed with amount of borax for shorter rows directly in the garden where they are
and germination is poor. Cover seeds this disease by using western-grown
scarlet; a semi-runner type; 68 days. because too much boron can be toxic to grow. Keep the seed bed moist to
with a non-crusting material, or add seeds and planting rotation in the gar-
King Horticultural—similar to to plants. prevent crusting and to aid germina-
sand, peat moss, vermiculite, or per- den. Do not plant lima beans in the
French’s Horticultural; 75 days. Do not discard beet leaves; they tion. Do not delay planting past rec-
lite to the soil. If a crust forms, care- same garden location where they were
Taylor’s Horticultural—non-run- are an excellent leafy green. You can ommended dates waiting for moisture
fully break it or sprinkle it lightly with grown last year.
ning plant; pods and beans similar to also use the thinnings of young beets or for temperatures to cool. If water is
water several times to soften it and aid
French’s Horticultural; 75 days. as greens. Beets require 60 to 70 days not available to keep the seed bed and
germination. All beans are nitrogen Varieties
from planting to harvest. Harvested seedlings moist, do not direct seed.
fixing plants, so be careful to avoid Dixie Butterpea—white seed; 3 to
Pole snap beans extend the har- beets can be stored in the refrigerator Fall broccoli is better in quality
heavy nitrogen fertilization and nitro- 4 small, plump beans per pod; sets
vest of snap beans through the sum- in a plastic bag for several weeks. A than spring broccoli because it
gen-rich soils. pods under high temperatures; large
mer. They are more tolerant of hot variety with golden roots is available. matures as the weather is getting cool-
Major problems with beans are and vigorous plants; late maturing.
temperatures than bush beans. er rather than warmer, but fall broc-
blossoms and pods shedding, dis- Early Thorogreen—small, flat, Varieties
Support vines with cane poles, coli has more insect problems than the
eases, and insects. Both too much and rich-green baby lima; heavily produc- Burpee’s Red Ball—uniform;
strings, or a trellis, allowing for 6 to 8 spring crop. Control the major worm
too little moisture cause blooms and tive; sets throughout the plant; very smooth-skinned; globe-shaped; 3-
feet of growth. Bean vines are heavy, problems by spraying or dusting with
small pods to shed. This also occurs adaptable and vigorous; green-seeded inch dark red roots; tops erect; medi-
so construct a strong trellis. Barbed a biological control containing
when summer temperatures are Henderson Bush. um tall; red and green.
wire as the top wire prevents poles Bacillus thuringiensis.
extremely high. Control most diseases Henderson Bush—creamy white Cylindra—long, cylindrical root
and strings from slipping. Support Harvest broccoli while the cluster
by buying western-grown seeds, seed; 3 to 4 small, flat beans per pod; that gives uniform slices; dark red; 6
posts to prevent trellis collapse in wet of flower buds is still tight. Open yel-
selecting disease-resistant varieties, most popular older variety; small inches long; leaves excellent as
weather. When exposed to very hot low flowers indicate overmaturity. A
using treated seed, rotating land, and plant; productive; processing type. greens.
summer temperatures and dry soils, hollow stalk may indicate a shortage
not working or harvesting beans when Jackson Wonder—speckled butter Detroit Dark Red—an old stan-
beans drop their blooms and small of boron in the garden soil. Dissolve 1
leaves are wet. Major insect pests are bean; seed buff with purple markings; dard variety; globe shaped; smooth;
pods. Harvest all beans to keep vines tablespoon of household borax in 3
bean leaf beetle (round holes in beans small, greenish-white with pur- uniform; deep red color.
producing. Pole beans yield more gallons of water and apply it to 100
leaves) and Mexican bean beetle ple markings at green shell stage; Golden Beet—yellow interior;
than bush beans because they produce feet of garden row. Use less borax for
(lace-like leaves). medium-sized plant. orange skin.
over a longer period of time. shorter row lengths. Using more than
Nemagreen—seeds greenish- Ruby Queen—uniform; smooth;
Bush snap beans can be green or Nitrogen-rich soils result in excessive is recommended can be toxic to
white; 3 to 4 small, flat beans per pod; round with fine taproot; superior qual-
yellow (wax) and round or flat. They vine growth and no beans. Most pole plants.
plants small; productive; resembles ity; fine for canning; small crown;
are sensitive to hot, dry weather; snap bean varieties require 65 to 70
Henderson Bush; resistant to root- AAS 1957. Varieties
therefore, do not plant them to mature days from planting to first harvest.
knot nematodes. Green Comet—hybrid; extra
in midsummer. Late-planted bush
beans do not set a big crop, and the
Varieties Broccoli early; medium-sized, 6- to 7-inch uni-
Alabama No. 1—black seed; nem- Pole lima beans are grown like form heads; large side shoots; 61 to 75
pods that develop are of poor quality. Broccoli is one
atode resistant. pole snap beans. days; AAS 1969.
Bush beans should be planted in a of the most nutri-
Blue Lake—white seed; fresh and Packman—hybrid; very early;
broad band of several closely spaced Varieties tious of all vegeta-
processing type; pods long; round- compact plant with large, flattened
rows. Carolina (Sieva)—white seed; 3 to bles. The edible
oval; smooth; meaty. head; 62 days.
Harvest beans at the tender snap 4 beans per pod; pole type Henderson; parts are the
Cornfield (Striped Creaseback) — Premium Crop—hybrid; midsea-
stage, but any snap bean variety can popular old variety; widely grown; 80 compact clus-
colored seed; pod flat; light green son; medium large, 7- to 8-inch head;
be allowed to grow to the green shell days. ters of
turning purple brown; stringy. minimum of side shoots; 75 to 89
stage and be used much like lima Florida Speckled Butter Bean— unopened
Dade—white seed; fresh use type; days; AAS 1975.
beans and southern peas. Most bush seed buff, splashed with maroon; 3 to flower buds and the
similar to McCaslan; tolerant to sev-
snap bean varieties require 50 to 60 attached stems. Each plant produces
Brussels Sprouts
4 small beans per pod; greenish with
eral diseases; early.
days from planting to harvest. purple at green shell stage; bears well one large central head and often sev-
Kentucky Blue—pods 6 to 7 inch-
in hot weather; 78 days. eral smaller side heads following har- This cold-hardy, slow-growing,
Varieties es long, round, straight; good flavor;
Willowleaf—dull white seed; sim- vest of the main head. This cool-sea- long-season vegetable is not frequent-
Atlantic—mottled seed; medium mature in 58 to 65 days; vines resist-
ilar to Carolina, except dark green son vegetable grows in all parts of ly grown in
green; slim; round-oval; long pod; ant to strains of bean rust and com-
leaves are narrow; 90 days. Mississippi in spring and fall, but fall Mississippi
mosaic resistant. mon bean mosaic virus; AAS 1991.
production often is more successful. gardens.
Blue Lake—white seed; dark Kentucky Wonder—colored seed;
green; round pod; slow to develop fresh use; pod long, flat; meaty, brit- Beets For spring broccoli, start plants in The cool
a cold frame 6 to 8 weeks before time weather of
fiber; good flavor; processing type. tle; low fiber; good flavor; popular Beets require
for setting plants in the garden. This neither
Contender—old variety; colored old variety. cool temperatures
means starting in what seems mid- spring nor
seed; pale green; oval pod; frequently Kentucky Wonder 191—white and a loose,
winter. Grow seedlings at cool tem- fall is long
curved; early; fresh-use type that seed; similar to Kentucky Wonder. moist soil for
peratures and spaced at least one-half enough for maxi-
develops fiber rapidly. Louisiana Purple—purple pods best production.
inch apart in rows 4 to 6 inches apart mum yields. When
Derby—white seed; round; long, that turn green when cooked. An adequate supply
so they are hardy and able to with- attempting a spring
slim, straight pods; slow seed devel- McCaslan—white seed; fresh use; of potash in the soil is nec-
stand cold temperatures when trans- crop, set plants early and side-dress as
opment; resistant to common bean light green pod; flatter and smoother essary for roots to form. Test soil
planted. soon as active plant growth begins
mosaic virus; AAS 1990. than Kentucky Wonder; very produc- before planting. Beets do not tolerate
Seedlings can be grown in individ-
Magnum—long, flat pod; light- tive. acid soils. Beets are shallow-rooted, Continued on next page

23
and again when sprouts form. For a row when cultivating to keep carrots plant or by removing the large outer longer standing ability.
fall crop, start plants in midsummer. Chinese Cabbage covered. Misshapen, twisted, and leaves, leaving the smaller leaves to
Set plants 24 inches apart and keep
Several
forked carrots result from clay soils, develop for future harvests. If wa- Sweet Corn
them watered. Sprouts develop where sticks, roots, stones, or root knot tered, spring-planted chard may sur-
different
leaves join the main stem. As sprouts nematodes. vive the summer to produce leaves for
vegeta-
develop, do not remove leaves. Lower fall harvest. The green portion of the
bles are Varieties
sprouts mature first, and you can cut leaf can be stripped off, leaving the
com- Danvers 126—fresh use and pro- Seed compa-
leaves when you harvest sprouts. Heat broad mid-rib, which can be steamed
monly cessing type; tolerates high tempera- nies have offered an
causes soft sprouts. Aphids often and eaten like asparagus.
c a l l e d tures; moderately tapered; stump root explosion of new sweet
infest developing sprouts, making There are several varieties of
Chinese cab- 6 to 8 inches long; broad shoulder; corn hybrids in recent years. Sweet
them inedible. chard; the biggest difference among
bage. There are open pollinated; 75 days. corn varieties can be divided into
them is that some varieties have
Varieties both heading and nonheading types. Red Cored Chantenay—process- three broad groups: normal sweets,
brightly colored stems. The red-
Jade Cross—hybrid; vigorous Michihli types form tall, cylindrical ing type; choice for heavy soils; sugary enhanced sweets, and super
stemmed varieties may be mistaken
plant; uniform sprouts closely spaced; heads. A second type, Napa, forms tapered; short, thick stump root; 4 to 6 sweets. Within the sugary enhanced
for rhubarb but cannot be used as a
11⁄2 inches in diameter; 90 days; AAS heads similar to loose heads of savoy inches long; heavy shoulder; 68 days. group there are two types: those with
rhubarb substitute.
1959. cabbage. A third type, Pak Choi or 100 percent of the kernels being sug-
Because of its upright growth and
Long Island—sprouts 11⁄2 inches in Bok Choi, often called celery cab- Cauliflower large, attractive leaves, chard can be
ary and those with about 25 percent of
diameter; firm; plants 32 to 34 inches bage, resembles swiss chard and is the kernels being sugary. Both the
Cauliflower is grown much like used as an ornamental in borders and
tall; 90 days. nonheading. All types rapidly go to normal sweets and the sugary
broccoli and cabbage, display beds.
seed in warm weather, which makes enhanced are excellent types for gar-
but plants are
them better suited for fall rather than Varieties dens because seeds are normal in size
less tolerant
spring gardens. Sow seeds in early fall Bright Lights—red, yellow, pur- and germinate well.
of heat and
and thin seedlings to stand 8 to 12 ple, and green petioles. Super sweet seeds are small, and
cold. Start
inches apart. It is important that the Lucullus—early; leaves crumpled; conditions must be ideal for good ger-
from trans-
plant growth not be interrupted. dark green; broad, pale-green petiole. mination. Super sweet seedlings are
plants in spring.
Rhubarb—crimson stalks; leaves slower to establish than the normal
Varieties Direct seed or use trans-
Cabbage China Express—hybrid; early, plants in fall. Select early maturing
dark green; heavily crumpled. and sugary enhanced types. The super
sweets have a sugar content that is
slow-bolting Napa type; for spring varieties to avoid late spring heat and
Cabbage can be green or red,
planting; disease resistant. late fall cold. Cauliflower plants are Collards two to three times higher than that of
smooth or curly (savoy), and have flat normal sweet corn and a slow conver-
or pointed heads. China Pride—hybrid; rugged more sensitive to spring freezes than This leafy green
sion rate of sugar to starch. Therefore,
Cabbage is grown exactly as Napa type; best for fall; broad, large broccoli or cabbage. seems to be in
super sweets hold up well on plants
described for broccoli in both spring heads; good, dark green color; disease Cauliflower plants must be kept gardens
and in the refrigerator.
and fall. When purchasing cabbage tolerant. growing vigorously from germination year-round
Both the normal sweet and the
plants in spring, beware of large Monument—hybrid; Michihili through harvest. Any interruption in but is at
sugary enhanced sweet corns have
plants or those with stems as large as type; 18 inches tall; dense head with growth caused by drought, heat, or its best
fairly rapid rates of conversion of
a pencil. Bundled, bare-root trans- deep green outer color and white inte- cold can cause the edible head to fail in spring
sugar to starch, but these sweet corns
plants with large, woody stems may rior; 80 days. to develop (button). Use a starter solu- and fall
also have a creamy texture, while
flower without forming a head. What-A Joy—Pac Choi hybrid; tion (page 9) when setting plants in during cool
super sweets are more crisp and
When growing transplants, select Joy Choi is white-stalked. the garden. weather. Early spring plantings pro-
watery.
varieties that mature over several Some of the new cauliflower duce edible leaves right through sum-
In addition to differences in sugar
weeks to extend the harvest season Carrots hybrids are self-blanching (leaves mer if watered and fertilized, and if
content, sweet corn also comes in dif-
from a single planting. Also, pur- fold over developing head), eliminat- insects are controlled.
ferent colors: yellow, white, and
chased transplants of a non-hybrid ing the need for tying outer leaves to Some gardeners prefer to harvest
bicolor (yellow and white kernels on
(open-pollinated) variety mature over ensure a white head. With nonself- the large, mature lower leaves, leav-
the same ear).
several weeks. Use starter solution blanching types, tie the large outer ing young leaves and the growing bud
Sweet corns also are divided into
(page 9) when setting transplants in leaves loosely together over the center to produce more leaves for later har-
varieties that mature early (65 to 70
the garden. of the plant when the small head is 2 vests. Other gardeners harvest leaves
days), midseason (70 to 80 days), and
As cabbage matures, head-split- to 3 inches in diameter. The head from young plants by cutting them
late (80 or more days). Most early
ting results from the pressure of water should be ready to harvest 7 to 12 from the plants, leaving the growing
Mississippi’s high varieties are better adapted to the
taken up by the plants after the heads days after tying the leaves. Cut the buds to produce leaves for later har-
clay content, poorly drained northern states and do not make satis-
are solid. Soft heads indicate lack of head before it develops a coarse, ricey vests. Collard seeds are sometimes
soils are not suited for developing factory growth or ear size in the south.
maturity. appearance. Cauliflower plants make planted in May, June, or July for sum-
long, straight carrots, so select vari- For an ear of corn to develop prop-
Serious insect problems for cab- only a single head. Downy mildew mer transplants and fall harvest.
eties that are only 6 to 8 inches long. erly, corn pollen from the tassel at the
bage are aphids and cabbage worms. can be a serious disease problem. Collards are relatively heavy feed-
Carrots are sensitive to acid soils. top of the plant must fall to the silks of
The major diseases, black leg and Aphids, cabbage loopers, and import- ing plants and require side-dressing
Raised beds filled with improved soil the ear located about halfway up the
black rot, are seed-borne and difficult ed cabbage moths are major insect with a nitrogen fertilizer. The most
allow you to grow carrots where they stalk. Plant several short rows, rather
to control except by purchasing dis- pests. popular old varieties, Georgia LS
wouldn’t grow in native soil. than one or two long rows, for better
ease-free seeds and plants. (long standing) and Vates, are both
Carrot seeds are slow to germi- Varieties pollination. Better pollination means
relatively slow to go to seed. Vates is
Varieties nate, and germination may not be uni- Majestic—hybrid; earlier than fuller ears. Hot, dry conditions during
the preferred variety for overwinter-
Red Head—hybrid; main season; form. Hard, packing rains following Snow Crown; heads 7 inches across; pollination result in missing kernels,
ing.
red; 85 days; AAS 1971. planting and before germination result 66 days. small ears, and poor development of
Major insect problems are aphids
Rio Verde—hybrid; heads slightly in a poor stand or no stand at all. Mix Snow Crown—hybrid; early ear tips. A water shortage, signaled by
and leaf-eating worms. Larvae of cab-
flattened; strong blue-green; main some radish seeds with carrot seeds to Snowball type; white heads up to 8 visible wilting (rolling of the leaves),
bage loopers and imported cabbage
season late; 85 days. mark the row. Carrot seeds germinate inches across; 68 days; AAS 1975. at the time of silk emergence results in
moths are serious pests in late spring,
Round Dutch—open-pollinated; best in a warm, moist soil. Cover the Snow King—hybrid; extra early; reduced yields and quality.
summer, and early fall.
old, popular garden variety; most planted row with clear plastic or a withstands heat; ideal for fall; 60 When different varieties of sweet
commonly sold as transplants; main floating row cover to help get a good days; AAS 1969. Varieties corn planted close together silk and
season; round, green head; tolerant to stand. Remove the plastic immediate- Vates—standard older variety for tassel at the same time, crosspollina-
cold weather; resistant to bolting; 75 ly after germination, but you can Swiss Chard overwintering; good resistance to tion can occur by wind-blown pollen.
days. leave the polyester row cover over the bolting; low-growing, compact. This may result in something as sim-
Swiss chard is a
Ruby Ball—hybrid; very deep red; seedlings until they make some Georgia LS—spring and summer ple as yellow kernels scattered in the
close relative of the
solid, round head; 5 to 6 inches growth. To aid emergence, cover the planting not recommended for over- ears of white corn; but more impor-
garden beet that does
across; 70 days; AAS 1972. seeds with a noncrusting material like wintering. tant is the reduction in quality when
not develop an edible
Savoy Ace—hybrid; savoy heads sawdust, sand, or vermiculite, and Blue Max—hybrid; slightly super sweet corns are pollinated by
root. Grow chard just
of deep green; round; 78 days; AAS keep the newly seeded row moist. savoyed, large leaves that extend any other type of sweet corn.
like beets, but space the
1977. Thin seedlings to stand about 2 inches down the petioles; blue-green color; Therefore, isolate the super sweets
plants 4 to 6 inches apart in
apart. mild taste; upright, vigorous, compact from other sweet corns by time of
the row.
Green shoulders on carrots result plant.
Harvest chard by cutting the entire
from sunburn. Pull a little soil to the Champion—Vates type with Continued on next page

24
planting so that they silk and tassel at How Sweet It Is—white; 8-inch of cucumbers. This has no impact on plants. Most plant producers grow dishrag gourd (luffa) is a utility gourd
different times; or isolate them by a ears; late; requires isolation; 88 days; the fruit being harvested and should only Black Beauty, the old standard, with yellow flowers. This gourd can
distance greater than the pollen is car- AAS 1986. be of concern only if you save seeds. late-maturing variety. New varieties be eaten when young and is also
ried by the wind. If popcorn and field Summer Sweet 7210—yellow; 8- Since most modern varieties are and hybrids offer high yields, earli- known as running okra. The fruit can
corn pollinate any type of sweet corn, inch ears; midseason; requires isola- hybrids, saving seeds is not recom- ness, and a choice of size, shape, and reach 2 feet in length and have promi-
they will destroy its eating quality. tion; 78 days. mended. color. nent ribs, or it can be smooth.
Soil fertility problems frequently Cucumber seedlings that are not Eggplant is in the garden from Gourds are grown the same way as
cause low yields in sweet corn. If soils grown in small pots or containers do spring planting until frost, so mulch muskmelons, cucumbers, squash, and
are cold and wet during early plant- not transplant easily, so plant seeds plants to reduce summer’s heat and pumpkins. Vines are vigorous and
ing, deficiencies of nitrogen and phos- where they are to grow; or start drought stress. Side-dress eggplant spreading and will readily climb a
phorus will occur. Small ears at har- seedlings in peat pots, pellets, or cups, when plants are half grown and again support or trellis. Trellising results in
vest indicate low fertility, and poorly Cucumbers and set them in the garden before the after first harvest. better shaped gourds and keeps them
filled ear tips indicate low nitrogen, Cucumbers are divided into two first true leaf enlarges. Several diseases and insects attack off the ground, reducing rotting and
phosphorus, or potassium. broad groups, pickling and slicing, on Most new cucumber hybrids are eggplant. The most serious disease is soil staining.
Corn earworms are the most seri- the basis of shape and color. resistant to major diseases. Problem- Phomopsis fruit rot. The most serious Plant seeds about 1 inch deep
ous sweet corn pests, although chinch Pickling types are short and causing insects are cucumber beetles, insect pest is the flea beetle. This when soil is warm and danger of frost
bugs, flea beetles, blister beetles, and blocky and have white or black spines squash bugs, and pickleworms. small, black insect eats many tiny is over. Space plants about 2 feet apart
armyworms also cause serious dam- on the cucumber (spines are small and holes in the leaves and may defoliate when not trellising. Utility and luffa
age. As soon as silks appear, spray or Varieties and kill plants. gourds have large, vigorous vines and
easily overlooked). Fruit are generally Pickling type
dust to control earworms. Continue to dark green at stem end and may be require a long growing season.
Calypso—gynoecious hybrid; Varieties
apply insecticide on a 3- to 4-day almost white at blossom end. Fruit Although mature gourds are not hurt
multiple disease resistance; uniform Black Beauty—old standard; low-
schedule until silks are brown and dry. with white spines turn light yellow or by frost, vines of all types are sensi-
dark green; blocky; white spine; 56 spreading, bushy plant; fruit round to
Sweet corn is ready to harvest white when overmature. Black-spined tive to frost.
days. globe and dark purple; 80 days.
about 20 days after the first silks types turn orange. Fertilize as for squash and water-
Carolina—gynoecious hybrid; Florida Market—prolific over a
appear. The ear should feel full, the Slicing cucumbers have long fruit, melons. Side-dress when the vines
multiple disease resistance; medium- long season; plants tall and upright;
kernels should be plump, and the juice are generally dark green from stem to begin to run.
length vine; medium dark green; fruit long, cylindrical, glossy dark
should be milky in the normal and tip, and have white spines. Grow slic- Harvest ornamental gourds in
blocky fruit; white spine; 55 days. purple; Phomopsis resistant; 85 days.
sugary enhanced types. ing cucumbers on a trellis for straight, August or September when fruits
Dusky—hybrid; extra early; free
Birds are a problem at planting uniformly colored fruit. Slicing type become hard. Harvest dipper gourds
setting heavy yielder; fruit deep oval,
time and at harvest time. They pull Fruit types may actually be used Ashley—straight, slightly tapered when they turn tan or brown and luffa
glossy black; tolerant to tobacco
seedlings from the soil to feed on the interchangeably (except in vegetable fruit; 7 to 8 inches long; 66 days. gourds when skin is yellow and can
mosaic virus; 63 days.
kernels and also feed on the ears as shows), and the two types crosspolli- Cherokee—gynoecious hybrid; 7 be easily removed. Harvest using
Millionaire—Oriental type with
they approach maturity. Problems nate. to 71⁄2 inches long; 63 days. clippers to avoid twisting or breaking
purple-calyxed, black fruit.
with animals, such as raccoons and The normal type of cucumber Gemini—gynoecious hybrid; mul- the stems. Handle carefully to avoid
squirrels, feeding on sweet corn as it cuts and bruises.
Endive and Escarole
plants have separate male (short stem tiple disease resistance; 8 to 81⁄2 inches
matures are difficult to prevent. You and pollen) and female (little cucum- long; 61 days. Following harvest, wash the orna-
can prevent some damage by using a ber and pollen-receiving organ) flow- General Lee—tolerates cucumber These mental, dipper, and birdhouse gourds
2-strand electric fence around the gar- ers on the same plant. This condition mosaic virus. two strong- in a non-bleaching disinfectant and
den. Place one wire about 4 inches is called monoecious. Some of the Poinsett 76—open-pollinated; flavored place them in a dry location with good
aboveground and the other at about 12 newer hybrids are described as being monoecious; 7 to 8 inches long; mul- leafy greens air circulation until thoroughly dry.
inches. The electric fence should be in predominantly female, or gynoecious. tiple disease resistance. are com- Cure dipper and birdhouse gourds for
operation well before corn approaches These plants produce few if any male Salad Bush—monoecious hybrid monly used in several weeks in a warm, dry place.
maturity. flowers. Seed packets of gynoecious with short (24-inch) vines; multiple salads. Both are Gourds are very hard, and the seeds
hybrids generally have about 15 per- disease tolerance; dark green fruit; cool-season vegetables like lettuce rattle when completely dry.
Varieties adapted to containers, hanging bas- and are best grown like head lettuce; With luffa gourds, remove the yel-
cent seeds of a pollinator (normal
Normal type kets, and small gardens; AAS 1988. transplants in spring and direct seed- low skin and seeds from the fresh
plants with male flowers) mixed in.
Jubilee—yellow; large ear; white Slicemaster—early gynoecious ing in fall. gourds. Remaining fibers can be
Until recently, all garden cucum-
silk; late. hybrid with multiple disease toler- Endive has curly, finely cut leaves, washed and dried in the sun. Luffa
bers required pollination for fruit to
Merit—yellow; tolerant to high ance; 8 to 9 inches long; dark green while escarole has broad, flat leaves. gourds dried with the skin on must be
develop, and the cucumbers had seeds
temperatures and drought; large, color; 61 days. Both have a somewhat coarse texture soaked in water for several days to
in them. Plant breeders are now devel-
heavy ears; smut resistant; sometimes Straight 8—white spine; AAS and a strong flavor that some interpret soften the skin to ease its removal.
oping seedless (parthenocarpic) vari-
called silkless because silks come off 1938 and still productive! as bitter. Remove seeds, wash fiber mass, and
eties that develop without pollination
ears easily; midseason to late. Sweet Success—greenhouse type; dry in the sun.
and seeds. Varieties
Silver Queen—white; exceptional seedless; 12 to 14 inches long; best After drying, colorful ornamental
All cucumbers must be harvested Florida Deep Heart—broad, dark
quality; late. grown on trellis; some disease toler- gourds can be waxed or dipped in
before blossom ends soften or fruits green leaves, creamy white heart;
Sweet G-90—bicolor; very tender ance; AAS 1983. shellac and hung by their stems to dry.
begin to yellow. Smaller sizes are escarole type; 85 days.
and sweet; 75 days. Sweet Slice—hybrid; multiple dis- Major insect pests of gourds are
more desirable for pickling than the Green Curled—finely cut, curled
Sugary Enhanced (se) larger fruit, which can be used for rel- ease tolerance; mild burpless; nonbit- cucumber beetles, squash bugs,
leaves; endive type; 95 days.
Bodacious—homozygous se; yel- ish or mock spiced apple slices. ter; 10 to 12 inches long; 63 days. squash vine borers, and
pickleworms.
Gourds
low; early (75 days); medium-sized Harvest slicing cucumbers before Thunder—very early; strong dis-
ear; excellent eating. seed coats on the seeds begin to hard- ease package.
Calico Belle—bicolor; homozy- en. Gourds are
gous se; midseason; medium-sized Remove all overmature, large, and Eggplant divided into
Horseradish
ear; excellent eating; good yields. poorly shaped fruit from the vines to several
Eggplant
Incredible—yellow; an improved keep plants producing. groups
is an Horseradish is a hardy perennial
Miracle; good husk protection and tip Poor fruit shape (crooks, nubs, and based on
extremely cold- plant that is normally grown as an
fill; 100 percent se; late. balls) is caused by low soil fertility, use and
sensitive veg- annual. This cool-season root crop is
Miracle—yellow; excellent flavor; drought, or poor pollination. A flower
etable, and not well adapted to Mississippi’s cli-
tender kernels; large ears; midseason. cucumber is almost 95 percent water, c o l o r.
early planting mate and soils.
Platinum Lady—white; excellent so lack of water affects fruit develop- T h e
results in stunt- Start in early spring with root cut-
flavor; purple color in stalks and ment and quality. small, hard-
ed plants. Direct tings (sets) that are 8 to 14 inches
husks; early to midseason. Bitter cucumbers result from poor shelled ornamental gourds used for
seeding in the garden is not recom- long. Plant them 18 to 24 inches apart
Snowbelle—white; creamy tex- growing conditions (low soil fertility, decoration have yellow flowers.
mended. Start with transplants, either and 4 to 5 inches deep in a trench.
ture; 1 week earlier than Silver high temperatures, and drought). Varieties within this group are Apple,
home grown or purchased. Use a Water and mulch to keep soil cool.
Queen. Varieties are now available that do not Bell, Egg, and Crown of Thorns.
starter solution (page 9) when setting Horseradish does best in deep, loose,
Tendertreat–yellow; excellent fla- become bitter, but this is no excuse for Ornamental gourds belong to the
out transplants. fertile soil. Use a fertilizer high in
vor and tender; purple color in stalks neglecting the plants. same botanical group as summer
You have a broad choice of vari- potash to promote good root develop-
and husks; tall plants; late. Cucumbers do not crosspollinate squash, and they do crosspollinate.
eties when ordering seeds from a cat- ment. Keep side shoots removed to
with melons, squash, or pumpkins, The ultility gourds, dipper and
Super Sweet (sh2) alog, but there is often little or no
but they do cross with other varieties birdhouse, have white flowers. The
choice of varieties when purchasing Continued on next page

25
force development of one large root. though the hybrid variety, Grand fled leaves; attractive; slow to bolt; seed) when weather warms in late red in stems and leaves; AAS 1988.
This requires digging around the Duke, was named an All America AAS 1952. spring. Plant seeds 4 to 6 weeks Cajun Delight—five-sided; dark
crown to cut off the side shoots. Selection in 1979. Salad Bowl—slow to bolt; large, before the last frost in spring and 6 to green pods.
Harvest in the fall after frost. Kohlrabi grows very well in upright leaves; light green; deeply 8 weeks before the first frost in fall. Clemson Spineless—leading
Side roots not removed during Mississippi and is becoming popular as notched; AAS 1952. Several plantings, a couple of weeks home garden variety; straight pods
growth can be removed at harvest, an alternative to chips for snack food. SloBolt—long-standing Grand apart, provide a continuous supply of tapered, ridged, spineless; less foliage
stored, and used to start another crop. Thinly sliced raw roots are used with Rapids type. mustard. Harvest by cutting entire than Perkins Spineless; 65 days; AAS
dips. plants, breaking off only the large 1939.
Butterhead types
Jerusalem Artichokes Thin seedlings to stand about 4
Butternut Crunch—long standing
leaves, or cutting plants to within an
(Sunchokes) inches apart. Keep plants watered and
bibb type; dark green outside leaves;
inch or so of the crowns, permitting Onions
fertilized so they won’t become regrowth for a second harvest. Curly
This AAS 1963. Onions
woody. The swollen stem can reach leaved varieties trap a lot of sand that
relative are grown
several inches in diameter but should is difficult to wash off.
of the for green-
be harvested at the 2-inch size.
sunflower Varieties topped
produces fleshy Varieties Florida Broad Leaf—broad, flat salad onions
tubers you can boil, Grand Duke—hybrid; early; vig- leaf; sawtooth edge; the most popular and dry bulb onions.
fry, or eat raw. orous; 50 days; AAS 1979. garden variety. Select a loose, fertile
In the spring, plant small tubers 2 Purple Vienna—leaves and stem Green Wave—very curly leaf; soil and start with transplants, small
to 3 inches deep and 18 to 24 inches purple; stem flesh white; 55 days. AAS 1957. dry bulbs (sets), or seeds. Set out
apart. Stalks reach several feet in White Vienna—standard variety; Southern Giant Curled—very transplants in late winter and early
height and produce masses of attrac- light green; 55 days. curly leaf. spring, depending on location, and
tive yellow flowers before frost in the Muskmelons (Cantaloupes) Tendergreen (Mustard use for both salad and bulb onions.
fall. Lettuce Muskmelons are popular with gar- Spinach)—strap-shaped leaf; Onion sets planted in early spring also
Tubers can be harvested all winter deners who have plenty of space to smooth. produce salad onions and bulbs. Fall-
Both
and are best left in the ground until accommodate their spreading vines. planted sets produce fall salad onions
leaf and
needed. Keep harvested tubers in a
head let- Muskmelons do not tolerate cool Okra and when overwintered, produce
plastic bag in the refrigerator to pre- temperatures or transplanting very spring salad onions and bulbs.
tuce grow
vent shrinkage. well, so wait until the soil is warm Onion seeds are normally planted
well in
Beware of this plant. It quickly before planting seeds. To warm the in fall (September to October) for the
Mississippi
becomes a weed from small tubers soil, use black plastic mulch, floating production of transplants, but few gar-
gardens in spring
left in the ground at harvest. row covers, or plastic tunnels. Start deners go to the trouble of raising
and fall. Leaf lettuce is more cold Okra is
transplants in individual containers their own onion plants.
hardy, faster maturing, more shade a hot-weather
Kale tolerant, and a few varieties are more like peat pots, and move them to the vegetable. Most
Separate onion sets into two
garden shortly after the seeds germi- sizes—smaller than a dime and larger
This heat tolerant than head lettuce. varieties make large
nate and the soil is warm. than a dime—before planting. The
close rela- Start plants in a cold frame in late plants that require a fair amount
Muskmelons can be grown on a small sets planted in spring make bulb
tive of winter or early spring for transplant- of garden space. When two rows are
trellis, but the fruit must be supported onions, and planted in fall, may sur-
cabbage ing to the garden, or sow seeds direct- planted side by side, leave extra space
with a sling. Control the vigorous vive the winter to make bulb onions.
and col- ly in the garden. Head lettuce seeds between the rows and on both sides to
vines by pinching out the growing ter- Large sets planted in spring or fall
lards is best grown sown directly in the garden in very allow for easy harvesting.
minals once the melon crop has set. generally flower and should be used
in the fall garden. Light early spring make a good crop if May Okra seeds are hard. Soak them in
Bees are necessary for pollination. for green salad onions since onion
frost improves the flavor, and in is a relatively cool month. Remember, water overnight before planting to
Muskmelons do not crosspollinate plants that flower do not mature into
some years, kale plants survive the garden head lettuce doesn’t have to speed germination.
with cucumbers, squash, or watermel- good dry bulbs.
winter to produce an early spring form a solid head before being har- Space the seed about 4 inches
ons, so off-flavor and poor quality are Space sets and transplants for bulb
crop of leaves. vested and used. apart in the row and thin seedlings to
attributed to growing conditions onions 4 to 6 inches apart in the gar-
Sow seeds directly in the garden Lettuce transplants easily, and the recommended spacing, or plant
(excess water while ripening, low soil den row. Onion plants have shallow
in late summer, and thin plants to plants with plenty of growing space groups of two or three seeds at the
fertility, and hot, cloudy weather). roots and are subject to injury from
stand 8 to 12 inches apart. Harvest develop more quickly than those in recommended final spacing and thin
Many newer hybrid varieties are dry soils. Side-dress with a nitrogen
the lower leaves, or cut the entire the crowded seed row. Thin leaf let- seedling groups to one plant. Planting
resistant to major diseases. fertilizer once or twice to encourage
plant. Aphids and leaf-eating worms, tuce to at least 4 inches apart, butter- through black plastic mulch is recom-
strong and vigorous growth.
such as cabbage loopers and import- head bibb types to 6 inches apart, and Varieties mended to promote earliness. Okra
As onion bulbs begin to mature,
ed cabbage moths, are the most seri- crisp head types to 10 to 12 inches Ambrosia—hybrid; excellent fla- seedlings are sensitive to cool, wet
the tops yellow and fall over. Lifting
ous pests. apart. vor; 4-pound melons; light orange soils and cool air temperatures. Acid
the bulbs gently with a turning fork to
Kale is available in two different All types of lettuce are relatively flesh; resistant to downy and powdery soils result in poor pod development.
break some of the roots hastens matu-
types—a curly-leafed type that is heavy feeders and need high nitrogen mildews. A second planting of okra seeds
rity. Do not bend over the tops to has-
normally used for eating and an orna- fertility. Because the root system is Dixie Jumbo—hybrid; replace- about 6 weeks after the first planting
ten maturity. This practice reduces
mental type used for garnish. Be sure small and shallow, keep soil moist to ment for Hales Best Jumbo; salmon ensures plenty of tender pods in late
bulb size and opens the onions to neck
to grow the correct variety for eating. promote rapid, constant growth. flesh; 4-pound melons; resistant to summer and fall when production on
rot.
Lettuce does not grow well in hot downy and powdery mildews. the early planting is declining.
Varieties The onion varieties grown for
weather without plenty of moisture, Hales Best 36—round; well-net- Cut back tall okra plants to a
Dwarf Siberian—hardy; vigor- bulbs in the South do not make
and even then it may become tough ted; small seed cavity; salmon flesh; height of 3 to 4 feet to promote
ous; large, coarse leaves; deep strong-flavored, hard-storage type
and bitter and go to seed. 87 days. branching, to make harvesting easier,
bluish-green color. bulbs. The soft, sweet Southern
Magnum 45—hybrid; early; 3- and to renew the plants. Side-dress
Vates—low, spreading; hardy; Varieties onions keep for several weeks, but
pound melons; deep orange flesh; with a nitrogen fertilizer at the same
slow bolting; leaves curled. Crisp head types plan to use them rapidly.
resistant to powdery mildew. time.
Winterbor—very curly leaves; Great Lakes—medium-sized;
Mission—hybrid; western shipper Harvest okra pods by snapping or Varieties
cold tolerant. solid head; large, dark green wrapper
type with no sutures; deep salmon cutting frequently. Even the spineless Crystal Wax—white skin and
leaves; slow bolting; frost resistant;
varieties cause some skin irritation, so flesh; standard variety; flat, medium-
Kohlrabi resistant to tip burn; AAS 1944. flesh; 3- to 4-pound melons; resistant
wear long sleeves when harvesting. sized bulb; soft, mild flesh; also used
to powdery mildew.
Known as Disease problems are generally for green salad onions.
Leaf types
s t e m
Black Seeded Simpson—old vari- Mustard Greens minimal, but okra is sensitive to root
knot nematodes. Insect pests are corn
Granex 33—Vidalia type onion;
hybrid; thick, flat globe shape; yellow
turnip,
ety; large, upright plant; light green Mustard greens
kohlrabi is a earworms, stink bugs, and ants. skin; fair storage quality; mild, sweet
leaves; heavily frilled. are quick and
rapid-maturing, flavor; susceptible to pink root.
Grand Rapids—old popular easy to grow Varieties
cool-season veg- Granex 429—yellow skin; deeper
home garden variety; large, erect, in spring and Annie Oakley—hybrid; Clemson
etable that can be shape than Granex 33 and several
compact leaves; light green; wavy. f a l l . Spineless type; spineless pods slightly
grown in both the days later maturing; mild, sweet fla-
Prize Head—early; curled and Mustard ribbed.
spring and fall gar- vor.
frilly; outer leaves reddish-brown, does not tol- Burgundy—burgundy-colored
den. This vegetable is not widely Texas Grano-1015 Y—yellow
inner leaves medium green. erate heat and bolts (runs to pods; dwarf plants grow to only 4
grown by Southern gardeners even
Red Sails—deep bronzy-red ruf- feet; plant has ornamental appeal with Continued on next page

26
skin; globe shape; sweet and mild; Pinkeye Purple Hull-BVR—a typ- weather tolerant; vines 18 to 24 inch- peanuts) entering the ground. Do not in the garden. Growing transplants
resistant to pink root. ical pinkeye type but with resistance es; powdery mildew resistant; 56 throw or pull soil to the plants while from seeds takes 10 to 12 weeks.
to blackeye cowpea mosaic virus. days. cultivating because this kills leaves, Direct seeding in the garden is not
Southern Peas Sugar Daddy—stringless; easy to interferes with flowering, and increas- recommended.
Peas pick; 74 days. es the chance for disease. All peppers are sensitive to exces-
(English, Snap, Snow) Sugar Snap—4- to 6-foot vine; Once pods are developing in the sive nitrogen fertilization. Too much
thick-walled, edible pod; 21⁄2- to 31⁄2- soil, cultivation causes injury and fertilization will cause blossoms and
English inch pods; wilt resistant; 68 days; weeding close to the plants must be small pods to drop off. Hot daytime
peas require AAS 1979. done by hand. temperatures and cool nighttime tem-
early spring Peanuts are relatively tolerant to peratures also cause blossom drop.
Field pea, planting in Snow peas dry soils when compared to some Problems with peppers other than
cowpea, and protepea all are order to Dwarf Gray Sugar—early; 3-inch, other garden vegetables. However, blossom drop are blossom end rot
names used for the southern pea. mature before warm weather light green pods; vines 2 feet tall. they need plenty of water when flow- (resulting from drought and acid
There are numerous types and vari- destroys them. Prepare the planting Mammoth Melting Sugar—4-inch ering vigorously and when pegs are soils), southern stem blight, sunburn,
eties with many old family favorites site in fall by adding all fertilizer pods; 4-foot wilt-resistant vines. entering the soil. A water shortage at leaf diseases, anthracnose, viruses,
in the seed trade. Gardeners classify except nitrogen. Prepare a high bed so Oregon Sugar Pod II—4-inch this time greatly reduces yields. Water and aphids.
peas several different ways: seed that planting is possible when the rest pods; 28-inch disease resistant vines. is also important as harvest approach-
color, pea size and shape, and pod of the garden may be too wet. Varieties
es. Do not water peanuts as they begin
color. Small-sized pea and pod types Sweet peppers
are referred to as lady peas. Other
Some varieties of English peas Peanuts to mature. The Virginia and Runner
Bell Boy—hybrid; medium long;
have smooth seeds and others have types have good seed dormancy, but
common types are crowders, creams, wrinkled seeds. Smooth-seeded peas Peanuts are divided into four gen- blocky; mostly 4-lobed fruit; tolerant
Spanish types may sprout if watered.
blackeyes, pinkeyes, purple hulls, and have a starchy flavor, even when eral categories according to plant and to tobacco mosaic virus; heavy set;
As peanuts mature, leaves turn
silver skins. young, and are used mostly for can- nut types: Virginia, Runner, Spanish, AAS 1967.
yellow. Since plants flower over a
Do not plant this warm-weather ning. Wrinkled-seeded peas are and Valencia. Big Bertha—hybrid; elongated
period of weeks, all pods do not
vegetable early in cool soil. Peas grow sweet when young and are slower to Vi r g i n i a bell type; resistant to tobacco mosaic
mature at the same time. False matu-
in all soil types but are sensitive to lose quality. a n d virus.
rity (plants yellowing) caused by dis-
high levels of nitrogen fertilizer and Soil temperatures at planting Runner California Wonder—thick walled;
ease reduces yields. From 120 to 150
respond by making all vine and few should be at least 45 °F for good ger- types are blocky fruit; 3 to 4 lobes.
days are required from planting to
pods. Older varieties have a tendency mination. Plant seeds 1 inch deep and mostly Emerald Giant—large, 4-lobed
maturity.
to make a vine; newer varieties are 1 inch apart. Allow 8 to 10 inches low-growing blocky fruit; tolerant to tobacco mosa-
Dig when about 75 percent of the
semi-vining to bush type. between double rows. Some form of plants with two large seeds per pod inner hulls of Spanish types and 65 ic virus.
Seed quality and variety are support makes harvesting easier and and are the best garden types. Spanish percent of the inner hulls of Runner Jupiter—early; large and blocky;
important to success when growing keeps vines off the ground, reducing and Valencia types are mostly erect types are brown. mostly 4-lobed; medium-dark green
peas. Varieties such as Mississippi losses to pod rot. Tall varieties must plants, small-seeded, with the Spanish Dig the whole plant with a turning turning red at maturity; tolerant to
Silver, Mississippi Purple, Magnolia be supported. Double rows of short having two to three seeds, and the fork, being careful to break off as few tobacco mosaic virus.
Blackeye, Mississippi Cream, and vine types support themselves. Mulch Valencia three to four seeds per pod. pods as possible. Freshly dug green Keystone Resistant Giant—large
Mississippi Pinkeye have multiple to keep soil around roots cool and Peanuts grow best on coarse-tex- peanuts are excellent for boiling. pendant, blocky fruit; resistant to
disease resistance (fusarium, root moist. tured, sandy loam soils. On fine-tex- After several days of exposure to tobacco mosaic virus.
knot nematode, and several strains of Grow sugar peas (snow peas) the tured soils, the Virginia and Runner good drying conditions, the moisture Sweet Banana—Sweet Hungarian
virus) and perform better than vari- same way as English peas. Harvest types are difficult to harvest, and content of the peanuts drops from 50 type; 6 inches long; tapered; light yel-
eties that possess no disease resist- edible pods while still young and ten- many pods may be left in the ground. percent to about 20 percent. Move low turning red.
ance, such as California Blackeye, der, and before peas enlarge. Edible- Peanuts are good users of residual plants to a warm, airy place for 2 to 3
Knuckle Purple Hull, and Bunch podded peas are also grown like fertilizer in the soil and may not need weeks to complete curing before Hot peppers
Pinkeye. English peas. Plants and pods resem- additional fertilizer. Soils of low fer- pulling the nuts from the plants. Cayenne—dark green turning red;
Major disease problems are fusari- ble English peas, but the pods as well tility require about 10 pounds of 0-24- Yields vary with planting date, soil 6 inches long; processing type for
um wilt, several viruses, root knot as the enlarged peas are eaten togeth- 24 or equivalent per 1,000 square feet. pH, growing conditions, and type drying and sauce; concentrated fruit-
nematodes, and pod rots. The most er without shelling. Sugar Snap, a Soils of medium fertility require grown. Virginia and Runner types ing habit; strong 24-inch plants.
serious insect problems are cowpea 1979 AAS Gold Medal winner, has about 7 pounds per 1,000 square feet. yield about 1 bushel (green-35 to 45 Habanero—the hottest of the hot
curculios, aphids, and stink bugs. tall vines that require support. More Peanuts are very sensitive to low soil pounds; dry-15 pounds) of peanuts peppers; a Caribbean favorite; gold-
recently developed varieties have pH and low levels of soil calcium. per 100 feet of row. en-orange lantern-shaped fruit. Be
Varieties
short vines. Remove seeds that are still in the Major diseases attacking garden careful.
Louisiana Quickpick—bears pink-
pods, being careful not to damage the peanuts are leafspot, stem and pod rot, Hungarian Wax—canary yellow
eyed, purple-hulled pods above the Varieties seed coat or split the seed. Use one- and nematodes. Control these dis- fruit; 6 to 8 inches long; turns red
foliage. English peas half pound of seed per 100 feet of eases by changing the location of when ripe.
Magnolia Blackeye—green pea is Alaska—smooth seed; canning row. Virginia and Runner types peanuts in the garden every year. Jalapeno—very hot; thick-walled;
light green to cream with black eye; type; early; 28-inch vines; 52 days. require 3 feet between rows, with Also, remove all dead plants and tapered green fruit turning red; 3 inch-
mature green pod is light green to Green Arrow—midseason; wrin- plants 3 to 4 inches apart in the row. leaves from the garden site or turn es long.
cream; mature pods are tan; plant is kled seed; 24- to 28-inch vine; 41⁄2- Plant Spanish types closer together (in them under in the fall to allow time Super Chili—hybrid; thin-walled,
small, and pods are not held up well; inch pods; 9 to 11 peas per pod; resist- rows 2 feet apart with 2 to 3 inches for decomposition. tapered fruit; 21⁄2 inches long; fruit
plants have multiple disease resist- ant to downy mildew and fusarium between plants). Plant on a wide, Control most leafspot diseases by held upright on small plants; orna-
ance. wilt; 68 days. slightly raised bed. Cover seeds with regularly applying fungicides contain- mental value; AAS 1988.
Mississippi Cream—small, light- Little Marvel—old variety; wrin- 11⁄2 to 2 inches of coarse-textured soil. ing chlorothalonil or maneb. TAM Mild Jalapeno—mildly hot
green pea; plants have multiple dis- kled seed; 15-inch vines; early; 3-inch On fine-textured soils, 1 inch is deep Sanitation is the best way to control jalapeno type; dark green; thick wall;
ease resistance. pod; 6 to 8 peas per pod; dark green enough. stem and pod rot caused by southern productive.
Mississippi Pinkeye—eye pink at pea; 62 days. Inoculate the peanut seed where a blight.
the fresh-shell stage; darkens to pur-
ple at dry stage; green pods turn pur-
Thomas Laxton—early; wrinkled well nodulated peanut or southern pea Control velvet bean caterpillars, Irish Potatoes
seed; 28- to 34-inch vine; 31⁄2-inch crop was not grown on the garden site corn earworms, fall armyworms, and
ple at fresh-shell stage; multiple dis- pod; 6 to 8 peas per pod; large pea; the preceding year. Buy a fresh com- thrips with carbaryl (Sevin). Control
ease resistance; a new variety. excellent quality; 61 days. mercial peanut inoculant and apply it aphids with malathion.
Mississippi Purple—brown crow- Wando—midseason to late; small to the seed immediately before plant-
der type; green pea is large, turning to
brown seed; mature pod light green to
pod; 24- to 30-inch vine; tolerates ing. Peppers
some heat; 3-inch pod; 6 to 8 peas per To prevent poorly developed pods,
purple turning brown when dry; semi- Garden peppers, both hot and
pod; 70 days. sprinkle about 21⁄2 pounds of gypsum
vining type plant with multiple dis- sweet, are generally purchased as Most garden Irish potatoes are
or basic slag per 100 feet of garden transplants from a local distributor at
ease resistance. Snap peas grown in the spring, since good seed
row over the plants when they begin planting time. Peppers grow well on
Mississippi Silver—brown crow- Snappy—large pods; 8 to 9 peas; potatoes are impossible to find for fall
to flower. black plastic
der type; green pea is large turning to vines 6 feet; mildew resistant; 63 planting. This is one of the few veg-
Because peanut plants are low- mulch. Use a
brown seed; mature pod is green turn- days. etables recommended for growing in
growing, close cultivation is diffi- starter solu-
ing silvery and then yellow; large, Sugar Ann—bush-type plant; 18 mildly acid soil. A soil pH below 6.0
cult. Keep weeds under control and tion when
semi-vining plant with multiple dis- to 24 inches tall; AAS 1984. is acceptablebecause it retards devel-
soil free from crusts that interfere setting plants
ease resistance. Sugar Bon—2- to 3-inch pods; with the pegs (young undeveloped Continued on next page

27
opment of potato scab disease. Sweet Potatoes Jewel—blocky shape; smooth medium-long curving neck; thick,
Prepare garden rows in fall by copper skin with rose blush; orange sweet flesh.
T h i s
building a high bed that will permit flesh. Howden—Connecticut Field type;
tropical
early spring planting. Small whole Unit I Porto Rico—old variety; no more uniform in shape.
potatoes or cut pieces of large pota-
root
field disease resistance; root shape Jack Be Little—miniature pump- Rhubarb
crop
toes are referred to as seeds. Use cer- variable; copper skin; yellow-orange kin; 3 inches across, 2 inches high; This cool-season perennial
is start-
tified seed potatoes that are not shriv- flesh. not edible; for decoration only; small vegetable is not adapted to
ed from
eled or black on the inside when cut. Nancy Hall—popular old variety pumpkins last several months. Mississippi’s hot summers, wet win-
small plants
Do not use potatoes left over from last with no disease resistance; light Jack O’Lantern—10 pounds; ters, and clay soils. The plant may
called slips or
year’s garden because they may be orange flesh. medium orange; smooth, shallow survive but will not thrive. Rhubarb
vine cuttings. Slips are produced by
diseased and result in low yields. Do ribs. grows best where summer tempera-
sprouting sweet potato roots in moist
not use potatoes from the grocery
sand or sawdust. Cover roots in a box Pumpkins Prizewinner—hybrid; traditional tures do not exceed 75 degrees.
store, since the variety may be color and shape; up to twice as big as Plants are subject to attack by a num-
or bed with 3 to 4 inches of sand or Most garden pump-
unadapted and the potatoes may have Big Max. ber of fungi, resulting in crown rot.
sawdust, water, and keep warm (80 kins are planted for
been treated to prevent sprouting. Spirit—hybrid; 12-inch diameter; If you want to grow rhubarb,
°F). In a few weeks when sprouts are Halloween.
Cut seed potatoes into pieces 10 to 15 pounds; deep oval; bright select a well-drained soil in a lightly
several inches long, pull them from Pumpkins
weighing 11⁄2 to 2 ounces with at least orange; semi-bush; AAS 1977. shaded area. The shade reduces sum-
the roots. Additional slips develop and planted in
one eye per piece. Small seed pieces Spookie—small; average 6 mer temperatures. Raised beds pro-
can be used for later planting. spring, when
produce weak plants; large pieces are pounds; dark orange; thick, fine-tex- vide additional drainage, which may
Before planting sweet potato slips s u m m e r
a waste of seeds. Cut seed potatoes tured, sweet flesh. help reduce disease problems.
(homegrown or purchased), cut about s q u a s h ,
several days before planting and hold Triple Treat—6 to 8 pounds; Set the large, fleshy crown in
1 inch from the base of the stem to cucumbers, and
them at room temperature spread in a round; thick flesh; seed early spring so the bud is about 1
reduce disease problems. Use starter melons are plant-
single layer to allow the cut surfaces with no hulls. inch below the soil surface. Each
solution when setting slips in the gar- ed, mature in midsummer, long before
to dry and heal. This reduces seed plant needs 4 to 6 square feet of
den. Halloween. If left in the garden, they
piece rot following planting. You need growing space.
Vine cuttings are slips cut at the rot. Therefore, they must be harvested
1 pound of seed potatoes to plant Normally, harvest should not
bed surface with no roots or cuttings and used or stored in a cool, dry place.
about 10 feet of row; 10 pounds begin until the second or third year to
taken from the ends of slips set in the Pumpkins for Halloween are best
should plant 100 feet of row. Space allow establishment, but the plants
garden earlier. They have the advan- planted in late June and early July.
seed pieces 10 to 12 inches apart and might not live that long in
tage over slips of further reducing dis- They require 90 to 110 days from
cover with 3 to 4 inches of soil. Mississippi. Harvest by pulling the
ease and insect problems. Vine cut- planting to harvest.
Spring-planted potatoes normally
tings several inches long can be made Most pumpkin varieties produce Radishes large outer stalks and leaving the
bloom, and some of the flowers small inner stalks to enlarge. Do not
until July 1. These cuttings root rapid- strong, running vines that require Radishes are quick maturing cool-
develop into fruit that look like small eat the leaf blade because it is poi-
ly when set in warm, moist soil. plenty of garden space. Some vari- season vegetables for spring and fall
green tomatoes. These fruits, the sonous. Following harvest, apply a
Sweet potatoes need warm soils eties are described as having short gardens. They are ready to harvest
green areas on the skin of potatoes small amount of nitrogen fertilizer
and about 90 to 110 days from setting vines and are adapted to limited within 4 weeks of planting and rapid-
that have been exposed to light, and around each plant. Mulch plants in
the plants until harvest. Even good space. ly pass into a pithy, unusable condi-
sprouted potato eyes contain a poison- late fall and again in early spring.
roots will produce poor yields if the Pumpkins crosspollinate with tion. Radishes that produce only tops
ous substance that may cause illness if Before growth starts in spring, apply
soil is clay, wet, or overfertilized with summer squash, acorn squash, veg- result from being planted too thick
eaten. Prevent greening of potatoes by a small amount of mixed fertilizer,
nitrogen. A good sweet potato fertiliz- etable spaghetti, and small ornamen- (late thinning), too much shade, or hot
keeping them covered with soil as such as 13-13-13, around each plant.
er has a ratio of 1-2-4. Select a loose, tal gourds if they are growing nearby. temperatures. Black spots in radishes
they grow, and keeping them in the If plants develop a flower stalk in
well-drained soil that allows for root This is of no concern unless you plan may indicate boron deficiency.
dark after harvest. summer, remove it at first appear-
growth and easy digging. Side-dress 3 to save seed for another year. Dissolve 1 level tablespoon of house-
Some gardeners prefer to grow ance.
to 4 weeks after transplanting with a Jumbo pumpkins belong to a dif- hold borax in 3 gallons of water and
potatoes in straw mulch. Potatoes
low nitrogen, high potash fertilizer. ferent squash group from Halloween
grown in such a manner are clean and
Many sweet potato varieties flower in pumpkins, and they crosspollinate
apply to 100 feet of garden row. Use Spinach,
proportionately smaller amounts for
easy to harvest. Cover seed pieces
late summer. Sweet potato flowers are with many types of winter squash. shorter rows. New Zealand Spinach,
with 1 inch of soil. When green
sprouts appear, place 4 to 5 inches of
similar to morningglory. The tan pumpkins Kentucky Field Some large-root types designated and Malabar Spinach
Dig sweet potatoes when the soil and Dickinson Field belong to a third as winter radishes are recommended
straw around the plants. Keep the F r e s h
is fairly dry and the air is warm. Early group and crosspollinate with butter- for the fall garden. They remain crisp
layer of straw deep and moist. When spinach is a
harvest results in many small roots. nut squash. longer than small types, are more pun-
potato vines die, harvest potatoes by popular salad
Late harvest results in jumbo roots All of this crossing results in some gent, and are best grown like fall
carefully removing the straw. vegetable. A
and possible cold injury. Do not let strange looking volunteer squash- turnips.
Problems with Irish potatoes are cool-weather
freshly dug potatoes sit in the sun; pumpkins in the garden or compost
seed piece rot resulting from planting Varieties green, spinach is
they scald easily. If exposed to tem- pile the next year.
in clay, wet soils; enlarged lenticels Champion—scarlet; deep oval; adapted to growing
peratures below 50 °F, potatoes may Pumpkin seeds saved from har-
(warts) and tuber rot from excessive large root and top; 28 days; AAS in spring, fall, and
develop hard spots in the roots, a con- vested pumpkins make a nice snack
soil moisture near harvest; early 1957. winter gardens.
dition known as hardcore, or be food when roasted. Some pumpkin
blight; Colorado potato beetles; and Cherry Belle—round globe; cher- Spinach grows best on a
chilled and begin to break down. varieties have seeds with no hulls.
aphids. ry red skin; crisp, solid flesh; short well-drained soil rich in organic mat-
Problems in growing sweet pota- Never eat seeds that were purchased
Most varieties have white flesh top; 21 days; AAS 1949. ter with a pH approaching 7.0. It
toes are sweet potato weevil in the for planting because of insecticides
and light brown or red skin. Some China Rose—winter type; deep grows poorly on soils with a pH
southern half of the state, larvae of and fungicides used as seed treat-
specialty varieties have yellow or rose skin; white flesh; pungent; long; below 6.0. Spinach plants are shal-
various insects that burrow into the ments.
dark flesh. 52 days. low-rooted and require adequate soil
roots, and the diseases scurf (soil Problems in growing pumpkins
Round Black Spanish—winter moisture. Plant spinach seeds 4 to 6
stain) and soil rot. Clip the base of the are cucumber beetles, squash bugs,
Varieties type; large globe shape; 31⁄2- to 4-inch weeks before the last frost in spring
slips before planting or use vine cut- pickleworms, squash vine borers, and
Atlantic—light brown. diameter; black skin; pungent white and 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost
tings to reduce scurf infection. Acid powdery and downy mildews.
LaChipper—light brown. flesh; 55 days. in fall. Soak seeds in water overnight
soils help to control soil rot. Cracks in
Norland—early; red; oblong- Varieties Scarlet Globe—bright scarlet to soften seed coats and hasten germi-
the roots indicate nematode damage
shaped; shallow eyes. Autumn Gold—hybrid; early; 7 to globe; crisp; white; mild flesh; 24 nation. With ideal growing condi-
or interrupted growth caused by peri-
Red LaSoda—midseason; red; 10 pounds; fruit begin turning gold at days. tions, spinach is ready to harvest in 45
ods of drought.
oblong-shaped; deep eyes. an immature stage; AAS 1987. Snowbelle—hybrid; white; round to 50 days from planting. Harvest
Red Pontiac—midseason; red; Varieties Big Max—50 to 100 pounds; fair- root; crisp; mild; 30 days. entire plants, individual large outer
oblong-shaped; deep eyes. Beauregard—light rose skin; mod- ly round; pinkish orange; rough. White Chinese (Winter Cel- leaves, or clip plants, leaving about an
Superior—midseason; light erately deep orange flesh; high yield- Connecticut Field—20 pounds or estial)—winter type; 6 to 8 inches inch for regrowth.
brown. ing; some disease resistance but not more; fairly round; deep yellow- long; 3-inch diameter; crisp; white; New Zealand spinach is a hot-
Norchip—early; light brown; resistant to nematodes. orange; thin, hard shell; thick, coarse mild flesh; 60 days. weather leafy green. It is not a true
round to oblong; shallow eyes. Centennial—variably tapered to flesh. White Icicle—long; white; crisp; spinach, but the tender young shoot
cylindrical root shape; medium to Cushaw—12 pounds; skin cream- tapered to a point; 28 days. tips are used in similar ways. It grows
large size; orange skin; deep orange white mottled with irregular green rapidly, has many branches, and
flesh; vines thick and vigorous. stripes; bulbous blossom end with
Continued on next page

28
prefers a well-drained loamy soil, rich tion. Fall squash can be grown by Delay harvest until the fruit rind is Set tomato transplants deeper than Varieties
in organic matter. Being a hot-weath- planting seeds in August, but mosaic very hard and vines begin to die. they were growing in the plant bed, I--indeterminate
er plant, the seeds of New Zealand virus has been a serious problem in Immature fruit of most varieties are peat cup, or plastic tray; the deeper D--determinate
spinach should not be planted until recent years. tasteless. Yellow acorn varieties are the better. Amelia—large-fruited with toma-
the soil is warm. Soak seed in water Side-dress plants with a nitrogen edible at all stages of maturity. All All garden tomato plants, indeter- to spotted wilt virus resistance; D.
overnight before planting to aid ger- fertilizer when they have several winter squash are pollinated by bees minate as well as determinate, must Better Boy—VFN hybrid; 8- to
mination. Space plants 12 to 18 inch- leaves but before they start to bloom. and require 60 to 70 days from polli- be supported off the ground in some 12-ounce red fruit; 72 days; I.
es apart in the garden row. Side-dress Proper harvesting is important for nation to maturity. manner to prevent loss of fruit to rots Big Beef—large-fruited beef stake
plants with a little nitrogen fertilizer continuous production. Remove all and sunburn. Wooden stakes, placed with good disease resistance; I; AAS
Varieties
every 4 to 6 weeks. large and overmature squash. This at planting time or shortly after, are 1994 .
Early Butternut Hybrid—mature
Malabar spinach is a tropical, vin- problem is more serious with zucchi- the most common type of support. Celebrity—VFNT hybrid; 7- to 8-
fruit are tan; excellent flavor and tex-
ing plant that does best in hot, humid ni than with other types of summer Wire cages at least 18 inches in ounce red globe; firm, flavorful fruit;
ture; stores well; viney but not overly
weather. Easily grown from seed, the squash. diameter made from concrete rein- D; 72 days; AAS 1984.
vigorous; AAS 1979.
plant makes an attractive vine that Several serious insect pests attack forcing wire are also popular. Cages Cherry Grande—VF hybrid; large
Sweet Mama—hybrid; dark green;
should be trellised to keep it off the squash plants: spotted and striped wrapped with clear plastic to a height cluster of 11⁄2-inch firm, round, red
2 to 3 pounds; flattened; round;
ground. There are two leaf types, red cucumber beetles, squash bugs, stem of 18 inches provide some protection fruit; D; 60 days.
Buttercup type fruit; orange flesh;
and green. Individual leaves or the borers, and pickleworms. A regular from cold winds and wind-blown Floramerica—VF hybrid; 8- to 12-
stores well; vigorous vines; AAS
tender young shoot tips can be used as spray program with carbaryl (Sevin) sand. Black plastic mulch laid before ounce red fruit; 76 days; D; AAS
1979.
a hot-weather spinach substitute. helps reduce damage from these planting, in combination with plastic- 1978.
Table Queen—acorn type; small
insects. wrapped cages, is beneficial to early Floradel—F; 8-ounce red fruit; 75
Varieties fruit; dark green; deeply ridged;
Disease problems are mainly fruit plants. to 85 days; I; old variety; open-polli-
Chesapeake—hybrid; semi-savoy; smooth and hard; yellow flesh; bush
rot on crowded, shaded plants and Staked plants in a row do not have nated.
bolts rapidly; large, upright plant; type plant.
mosaic virus. to be tied directly to the stakes. They Marion—F; 6-ounce red fruit; 79
overwinters; recommended for fall Vegetable Spaghetti—fruit 8 to 10
Varieties can be supported by nylon cord that days; I; old; open-pollinated.
planting. inches long, 3 pounds; yellow when
runs from stake to stake, down the Mini Charm—miniature cherry
Dixie Market—compact, upright Aristocrat—hybrid zucchini; cylin- mature; cooked flesh is greenish-
row on both sides of the stakes, and at tomato with indeterminate growth
plant; savoyed; recommended for fall, drical fruit; smooth; uniform; dark white, spaghetti-like strands; flavor is
several levels (Florida weave). and abundant production.
winter, and spring planting. green; 53 days; AAS 1973. bland; prolific vine; 90 days; orange-
Tomato plants form many branch- Mountain Spring—VF hybrid;
Long Standing Bloomsdale— Bush Scallop—scalloped white to fleshed type also available.
es (suckers) as they grow. It is a com- early; resistance to cracking; D.
large; savoy leaf; semi-upright plant; pale green fruit; 55 days. Waltham Butternut—large, tan
mon practice to break the suckers out Park’s Whopper—VFNT hybrid;
recommended for spring planting. Butterbar—hybrid yellow straight- fruit; 3 pounds; uniform shape;
of the plants to encourage larger and large fruit; I; 70 days.
Melody—hybrid; semi-savoy; neck; long, cylindrical; butter yellow; orange flesh; stores well; vigorous
earlier fruit and to make the plant eas- Super Fantastic—VF hybrid; 8-
upright plant; recommended for early small seed cavity; 49 days. vine; AAS 1970.
ier to tie and spray. Determinate types ounce red fruit; 70 days; I.
spring and fall planting; AAS 1977. Dixie—hybrid; crookneck; lemon are not pruned as heavily as indeter- Sweet 100—hybrid; large clusters
Skookum—hybrid; early; dark yellow. Tomatoes minate types, and in no instance are of 1-inch, round, red fruit; I; 65 days.
green; semi-savoy leaf; upright; Early Prolific Straightneck—pop- T h e all the suckers removed.
resistant to downy mildew. ular old variety; creamy yellow; tomato is Products advertised to promote Turnips and Rutabagas
straight; slightly tapered; 52 days; the most fruit development by spraying on the
Summer AAS 1938. popular flower clusters are useful at times but
Turnips are grown for both leaves
(greens) and roots in the spring and
Squash Early Summer Crookneck—popu-
lar old variety; yellow; small, curved
garden should not be counted on for all the
fall garden. For greens, it is not neces-
vegetable. fruit set. When conditions are not
A l l neck with bulbous blossom end; 55 sary to thin seedlings, and there are
Tomatoes come in many ideal (shade; cool, wet weather; high
summer days. varieties just for greens. For roots,
shapes, sizes, and colors, but the most temperatures) for natural pollination,
s q u a s h Senator—hybrid zucchini; 6 to 7 thin seedlings to 2 to 4 inches apart.
popular is the medium-sized (6 to 8 these sprays are useful. Fruit that
(straight inches long; medium green. Rutabagas are a
ounces) red globe. develop entirely from these sprays,
n e c k , Sunburst—hybrid scallop; bright fall crop with
Tomato plants require full sun, with no natural pollination, do not
crookneck, bush yellow with green at blossom and planting recom-
moderate amounts of fertilizer, stak- have seeds and are not the best quali-
scallop, and zucchini) are actually stem ends; AAS 1985. mended in
ing or caging, and an insect and dis- ty.
true pumpkins. They crosspollinate August or early
ease control program. Determinate Tomatoes are attacked by a num-
with each other as well as Halloween Winter Squash (short, self-topping) varieties like ber of diseases and insects. The most
September.
type pumpkins, spaghetti squash, and Roots require 4 to 6
These hard-shelled Celebrity, Mountain Pride, and serious diseases are early blight (no
small ornamental gourds. All this weeks longer to
squash are grown for Mountain Spring are gaining in popu- resistant varieties), spotted wilt virus
crossing does not affect the quality of mature than turnip
harvest in larity, but the indeterminate varieties (BHN 444 and Amelia are resistant
the current season’s production. roots. Thin rutabaga seedlings to at
fall and like Better Boy are used more widely. varieties), fusarium wilt, blossom end
Summer squash have a tender skin least 6 inches apart (12 inches pre-
storage Most tomatoes are set out as trans- rot, and root knot nematodes. Regular
and are harvested at an immature ferred) in the row. Rutabaga leaves
through plants, since it takes several weeks use of fungicides containing maneb or
stage, generally within 4 to 6 days can be eaten.
early win- longer to harvest from tomatoes plant- chlorothalonil controls early blight
after bloom. The plants are bush type Hot weather causes turnips to be
ter months. ed as seeds. Do not set out transplants and several other leaf and fruit dis-
rather than vining and are suited for strong-flavored or bitter and pithy.
Acorn and too early in the spring. Cool soils as eases. Plant disease-resistant varieties
small gardens. Most new varieties are Black spots inside the roots indicate a
Butternut are the two most popular well as cool air temperatures chill to reduce disease problems. Disease
hybrids. need for boron. Dissolve 1 level table-
types, but the group includes many plants, resulting in delayed harvest. resistance is indicated in the variety
Summer squash have separate spoon of household borax in 3 gallons
others, such as buttercup, spaghetti, Use a starter solution when setting the descriptions below by a series of let-
male (attached to the plant by a thin of water and apply to 100 feet of row.
hubbard, banana, marrow, and turban. transplants. If transplants have small ters, V, F, N, and T. The V indicates
stem) and female flowers (small Use less for shorter rows.
Some of the pumpkins, such as fruit at planting time, remove fruit to resistance to verticillium wilt, F for
squash behind the yellow blossom) on Major problems are aphids, leaf-
cushaw and Kentucky Field, are treat- prevent stunting the plants. fusarium wilt, N for root knot nema-
the same plant and depend on bees for eating worms, and leaf spots.
ed as winter or storage squash. An odd Plants set out in spring are some- todes, and T for tobacco mosaic virus.
pollination. Hybrids may produce a
assortment of local squash called times maintained through the summer Major insect problems are aphids, Varieties
few female flowers before male flow-
“aboveground sweet potatoes” fall in hopes of a fall crop. With thrips, stink bugs, blister beetles, fruit All Top—hybrid; broadleaf turnip
ers appear, and without pollination,
into this group. mulching, irrigation, fertilization, and worms, horn worms, leaf miners, and for tops only; dark green; 50 days.
these fail to develop into squash.
Most of these squash have strong a good pest control program, this is white flies. American Purple Top—rutabaga;
Plant summer squash seeds in hills
vining plants. The fruit range in size possible, but the fall fruit that develop Problems are blossom end rot (low 4- to 5-inch diameter; spherical; pur-
about 3 feet apart, with 3 to 4 seeds
from the small acorn and hybrid Early are frequently small. This results from soil calcium, lack of water), fruit ple-red crown; pale yellow flesh; 90
per hill or in a row with single seeds
Butternut to the large banana and hub- failure to maintain a season-long cracking (excess water and high tem- days.
spaced about 1 foot apart. Space sin-
bards. Winter squash planted in spring pruning program. A second planting peratures), sudden wilting (root dam- Just Right—hybrid; root and top
gle plants about 3 feet apart.
along with summer squash mature in of tomatoes for a fall crop provides age from cultivation or drowning), type; white root; broad, serrated leaf;
Crowding leads to low production and
midsummer. These fruit lack the eat- large, attractive fruit. Start seedlings blossom drop (low or high tempera- 60 days; AAS 1960.
disease.
ing quality of those produced on in June and set plants out in July or tures, poor nutrition), and sunscald Purple Top—old standard; root
Squash do well on black plastic
plants from seeds planted in late June early August. You can use rooted cut- (excessive pruning, no plant support, and top type; white globe root with
mulch in spring, especially when
or early July along with Halloween tings (suckers) that were removed in or loss of leaves to disease). purple crown; 57 days.
planted early. They benefit from
pumpkins. pruning to start a second planting.
warm soil and lack of weed competi- Continued on next page

29
Planting
Seven Top—leaf type; cut leaf; dark green; 45 days. seedless melons, it is necessary to plant some standard
Insect control. Insects feeding and
Tokyo Cross—hybrid; root and top type; semi-globe; melons close by to provide pollination. All watermelons
laying eggs cause wounds on roots,
white root; early; 35 days; AAS 1969. are pollinated by bees and require about 45 days from pol-
stems, and fruits. These wounds let
lination to maturity. continued from page 5
fungi and bacteria enter and cause dis-
Watermelons Disease problems are anthracnose, fusarium wilt,
labels for recommended rates for spe- eases. Some insects also transmit
gummy stem blight, and bacterial wilt. Insect problems are
Most watermelon plants require a lot of space and cific vegetables and diseases con- viruses, bacteria, and fungi that cause
striped and spotted cucumber beetles.
quickly take over a small garden. Some varieties are trolled on those crops. diseases. Controlling insects in the
described as having short vines. Those described as hav- Varieties Some gardeners prefer to prepare garden is an important method of dis-
ing bush-type plants may be disappointing. Bush Charleston Gray—bush-type plant; 10- to 13- their own fungicide. Bordeaux is an ease control.
Varieties are available pound melons; red flesh. example of a fungicide that can be Staking and mulching. Control
that produce large or Bush Jubilee—bush-type plant; 10- to 13-pound easily prepared by combining copper diseases like cucumber belly rot and
small, round or oblong fruit; red flesh. sulfate (blue stone), lime, and water. tomato soil rot by growing plants on
oblong, solid or Charleston Gray—30 pounds; oblong; light green; Directions for making Bordeaux mix- mulch and trellising or staking to keep
striped fruit with red bright red flesh and dark seeds; some disease resistance. ture are available at your county fruit off the ground.
or yellow flesh, with Crimson Sweet—23 to 30 pounds; semi-round; distinct Extension office. Ask for Plant Watering. Water plants in late
seeds or seedless. striping; thick, hard rind; sweet, red flesh; some disease Disease Dispatch Sheet M-707 The morning or early evening. Watering
Plant when the soil is warm and all danger of frost has resistance. Preparation of Bordeaux Mixture. late in the evening leaves foliage wet
passed. Water- melon transplants in peat cups or plastic Jubilee—25 to 40 pounds; long; light green with dark Weed control. Weeds can harbor longer, which helps diseases develop.
trays can be used, but they must be small (not yet vining) stripes; red flesh with black seeds; some disease resist- disease-causing organisms. A weedy Harvesting and working in the
to avoid plant injury. Use transplants with seedless melons ance. garden also reduces air movement and garden. Do not harvest vegetables or
because the seed is small, expensive, and slow to germi- Jubilee II—22 to 30 pounds; oblong; light green with sunlight, which creates conditions work in the garden when plant leaves
nate. For seedless melon transplants, plant the seeds with dark green stripes; open-pollinated; firm, red flesh; sweet; favorable to disease development. are wet.
the rounded end down and the pointed end up. some disease resistance.
Hot kaps, black plastic mulch, floating row covers, and Royal Jubilee—hybrid Jubilee type; elongated; 25 to
plastic tunnels are ways to obtain earliness. Black plastic 30 pounds; bright red flesh; resistant to fusarium and
also controls weeds. You can use transplants or seeds in anthracnose.
combination with black plastic mulch. With normal vining Royal Sweet—20 to 25 pounds; hybrid; oblong; medi-
melons, plant several seeds in groups spaced about 6 feet um-green stripes; bright red flesh and small dark seeds;
apart. Thin seedlings to two plants in each group. With some disease resistance.

30
County Offices
Adams—75A Carthage Point Road, Natchez 39120 (601-445-8201) Lincoln—301 South First Street, Room 201, Brookhaven 39601 (601-835-3460)
Alcorn—2200 Levee Road, Corinth 38834 (662-286-7755) Lowndes—512 Third Avenue North, Columbus 39703 (662-328-2111)
Benton—382 Ripley Ave.Ashland 38603 (662-224-6330) Madison—152 Watford Parkway, Canton 39046 (601-859-3842
Bolivar—406 North Martin Luther King Drive, Cleveland 38732 (662-843-8361) Marion—1060 Hwy 13, South, Columbia 39429 (601-736-8251
Calhoun—121 Parker Street, Pittsboro 38951 (662-412-3177) Marshall—810 Highway 178 East, Holly Springs 38635 (662-252-3541
Carrol—105 B East Washington Street, Carrollton 38917 (662-237-6926) Monroe—517 Highway 145 N, Suite 1, Aberdeen 39730 (662-369-4951
Chickasaw—415 Lee Horn Drive, Suite 4, Houston 38851 (662-456-4269) Montgomery—618 Summit Street, Winona 38967( (662-283-4133
Choctaw—Harmon Circle Courthouse Annex, Ackerman 39735 (662-285-6337) Neshoba—12000 Hwy. 15 N., Suite 2, Philadelphia 39350 (601-656-4011)
Claiborne—510 Market Street, Port Gibson 39150 (601-437-5011) Newton—65 Seventh Street, Decatur 39327 (601-635-2267)
Clarke—101 Westwood Avenue, Quitman 39355 (601-776-3951) Oktibbeha—106 Felix Long Drive, Starkville 39759 (662-323-5916)
Clay—218 W. Broad Street, Suite D, West Point 39773 (662-494-5371) Panola—245-C Eureka Street, Batesville 38606 (662-563-6260)
Coahoma—503 East Second Street, Clarksdale 38614 (662-624-3070) Pearl River—417 Hwy 11 N., Poplarville 39470 (601-403-2280)
Copiah—2040 W Gallman Road, Crystal Springs 39059 (601-892-1809) Perry—103-B 2nd Street West, New Augusta 39462 (601-964-3668)
Covington—68 Industrial Park Drive, Collins 39428 (601-765-8252) Pike—1140 North Clark Avenue, Magnolia 39652 (601-783-5321)
DeSoto—3260 Hwy 51 S., Ag Office Bldg., Hernando 38632 (662-429-1343) Pontotoc—171 Hwy 15 North, Pontotoc 38863 (662-489-3910)
Forrest—952 Sullivan Drive, Hattiesburg 39401 (601-545-6083) Prentiss—2301 North Second Street, Booneville 38829 (662-728-5631)
Franklin—20 Walnut Street, Meadville 39653 (601-384-2349) Quitman—Courthouse Annex, 225 Peach Street, Marks 38646 (662-326-8939)
George—7128 Highway 198 East, Lucedale 39452 (601-947-4223) Rankin—601 Marquette Road, Brandon 39042 (601-825-1462)
Greene—#2 Oak Street, Leakesville 39451 (601-394-2702) Scott—230 South Davis Street, Forest 39074 (601-469-4241)
Grenada—1240 Fairground Road, Suite E, Grenada 38901 (662-226-2061) Sharkey—120 Locust Suite 3, Rolling Fork 39159 (662-873-4246)
Hancock—3064 Longfellow Drive, Bldg 24, Bay St. Louis 39520 (228-467-5456) Simpson—2785 Simpson Highway 49, Mendenhall 39114 (601-847-1335)
Harrison—2315 17th Street, Gulfport 39501 (228-865-4227) Smith—212 Sylvarena Avenue, Smith County Office Bldg., Raleigh 39153 (601-782-4454)
Hinds—1735 Wilson Blvd., Jackson 39204 (601-372-1424) Stone—214 N. Critz Street, Suite A, Wiggins 39577 (601-928-5286)
Holmes—113 W. China - Jail Annex, Lexington 39095 (662-834-2795) Sunflower—200 Main Street, Courthouse, Indianola 38751 (662-887-4601)
Humphreys—103 Castleman Street, Belzoni 39038 (662-247-2915) Tallahatchie—100 South Market Street, Charleston 38921 (662-647-8746)
Issaquena—129 Court Street, Mayersville 39113 (662-873-2322) Tate—#1 French's Alley, Senatobia 38668 (662-562-4274)
Itawamba—304 C Wiygul, Fulton 38843 (662-862-3201) Tippah—10791B Hwy 15 S., Fairgrounds, Ripley 38663 (662-837-8184)
Jackson—4111 Amonett Street, Suite E, Pascagoula 39567 (228-769-3047) Tishomingo—1008 Battleground Drive, Room 106, Iuka 38852 (662-423-7016)
Jasper—37 B West 8th Avenue, Bay Springs 39422 (601-764-2314) Tunica—1221 Kenny Hill Avenue, Suite 3, Tunica 38676 (662-363-2911)
Jones—515 N. 5th Avenue, Laurel 39440(601-428-5201) Union—112 Fairground Circle, New Albany 38652 (662-534-1917)
Kemper—Rt 4, Box 332 587 Old Scooba Road, DeKalb 39328 (601-743-2837) Walthall—250 Ball Avenue, Tylertown 39667 (601-876-4021)
Lafayette—101 Veterans Drive, Oxford 38655 (662-234-4451) Warren—1100-C Grove Street, Vicksburg 39180 (601-636-5391)
Lamar—216 Shelby Street, Suite B, Purvis 39475 (601-794-3910) Washington—148 N. Edison Street, Greenville 38701 (662-334-2670)
Lauderdale—410 Constitution Avenue 5th Floor, Meridian 39301 (601- 482-9764) Wayne—810-A Chickasawhay Street, Waynesboro 39367 (601-735-2243)
Lawrence—Courthouse Square 0435 Brinson Street, Apt. B, Monticello 39654 (601-587-2271) Webster—16 East Fox Avenue, Eupora 39744 (662-258-3971)
Leake—729 East Main Street, Carthage 39051 (601-267-8036) Wilkinson—982 Second South Street, Woodville 39669 (601-888-3211)
Lee—5338 Cliff Gookin Blvd., Tupelo 38801 (662-841-9000) Yalobusha—18025 Highway 7, Coffeeville 38922 (662-675-2730)
Leflore—309 W. Market, Greenwood38930 (662-453-6803) Yazoo—212 East Broadway Street, 3rd Floor, Yazoo City 39194 (662-746-2453)

The information given here is for educational purposes only. References to commercial products, trade names, or suppliers are made with the understanding that no endorsement is implied and that
no discrimination is intended against other products or suppliers.

Originally prepared by Milo Burnham, Ph.D., former Extension Horticulturist. Revised and distributed by David Nagel, Ph.D., Extension Horticulturist; Blake Layton, Ph.D., Extension
Entomologist; Alan Henn, Ph.D., and David Ingram, Ph.D., Extension Plant Pathologists

Discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or veteran’s status is a violation of federal and state law and MSU policy and will not be tolerated. Discrimination
based upon sexual orientation or group affiliation is a violation of MSU policy and will not be tolerated.

Publication 1091
Extension Service of Mississippi State University, cooperating with U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published in furtherance of Acts of Congress, May 8 and June 30, 1914. MELISSA J. MIXON,
Interim Director
(rev 10M-07-08)
G A R D E N
T • A • B • L • O • I • D
Contents
M I S S I S S I P P I S T AT E U N I V E R S I T Y E X T E N S I O N S E R V I C E
Grow Your Own Vegetables ................................................................................................1
Garden Plan ..........................................................................................................................2
Garden Soil ............................................................................................................................3
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Planting Vegetables................................................................................................................5
MISSISSIPPI STATE, MISSISSIPPI 39762-5446

ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

Pollination ..............................................................................................................................9
PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE, $300
OFFICIAL BUSINESS

Mulching ..............................................................................................................................10
P. O. BOX 5446

Insects - Identification and Control ..................................................................................11


Vegetable Diseases ..............................................................................................................15
Watering ..............................................................................................................................17
Organic Gardening..............................................................................................................17
Weed Control ......................................................................................................................18
Herb Gardening ..................................................................................................................18
Fall Gardening ....................................................................................................................19
Staking and Training Tomatoes ........................................................................................20
Harvesting ............................................................................................................................21
Storing Vegetables ..............................................................................................................22
Vegetables ............................................................................................................................22