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VEGETABLE GARDEN: SELECTED VEGETABLE CROPS
  MG Manual Reference
Ch. 10, pp. 68 - 70

[Selected Crops: intro | asparagus | beans | broccoli | brussels sprouts | cabbage | cauliflower | sweet corn | cucumbers | eggplant | lettuce | melons | onions | peppers | potatoes | squash | tomatoes | herbs | herb use ]

Notes on the culture of individual plants have been developed to provide an easy-to-use guide, a summary of a wide range of information concerning the culture, nutritional value, harvest, and storage of specific food crops. These are not intended to be comprehensive references, and you may need to consult other materials to obtain very detailed information. In most cases, though, the culture notes should provide enough know-how to get a crop from seed to harvest. The following key will help to explain the various terms on each food crop fact sheet.
ENVIRONMENTAL PREFERENCES Top

Light
Sunny - requires direct light at least 6 hours per day, prefers 10 hours per day.
Tolerates partial shade - will do well with fewer than 8 hours of sunshine per day, but probably needs at least 5 hours per day.
Prefers Shade - more than 6 hours of direct sunlight may be harmful; prefers filtered light, probably needs at least 3 to 4 hours of light per day.
Soil
Well-drained - water does not stand or remain puddled for more than 24 hours after a hard rain.
Deep - at least 8 to 12 inches of topsoil or loose subsoil; no shallow hardpan.
Loam - soil composed roughly of equal portions of clay and sand, with a reasonable amount of humus; good garden soil.
Fertility
Results of soil tests can be used to indicate the basic fertility level of soils. Soil testing does not indicate nitrogen levels, due to variability.
Pounds per 1000 square feet P2O5

Low 0 to .5 pounds
Medium .6 to 1.9 pounds
High 2.0 + pounds
Temperature
Approximate ranges of daily mean temperature preferred for optimum growth.
Moisture
Amount of rainfall or supplemental watering needed for optimum growth; more for sandy soils, less for clay.
Average - roughly 1 inch of water per week.
Moist - roughly 1 to 2 inches of water per week; soil should be well-drained.
CULTURE Top

Planting
Specific information needed to get plants started, such as when to seed, whether to start plants indoors, best transplant time, etc.
Spacing
Optimum distances between plants and rows.
Hardiness
Very hardy perennial - can withstand winter extremes with only slight protection.
Hardy perennial - can withstand winters with protection in colder areas.
Hardy annual - can withstand frosts in spring and fall; may need protection from heavy frosts or freezing.
Half-hardy annual - can withstand light frosts, but not heavy frosts or freezing.
Tender annual - frost will seriously damage plant tissue.
Very tender annual - frost will destroy tissues; needs warm weather for growth.
Fertilizer Needs
Refers to relative levels of nutrient uptake from the soil. This information can be used to group similar types of plants, so that fertilizers may be applied to sections of the garden according to plant needs.
CULTURAL PRACTICES Top

Gives general growing information. Includes proven methods for increasing production and/or decreasing pest problems. Unique growing suggestions may be included.
COMMON PROBLEMS Top

Gives a general list of the most common diseases, insects, and cultural problems of the crop. Identify the cause of the problem, review non-chemical and preventative control information, then refer to current Pest Management Guides or contact your Extension Agent for specific chemical control information.
HARVESTING AND STORAGE APPROXIMATE YIELDS Top

These figures vary according to the variety, local environmental conditions, planting designs, and cultural practices.
Amount to raise
These figures are average ranges per person. Specific amounts will vary depending on projected usage, whether fresh or processed, and according to personal preferences. (Also refer to table 10.9)
Storage
Optimum storage conditions; gives temperature ranges and % RH (percent relative humidity).
Preservation
Suggestions for preserving the crop over an extended period. See Extension publications on food preservation for specific methods.

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