VEGAN SEEDS

ADVANCED VEGETABLE AND HERB
GROWING GUIDE
1.Growing Your Seed
2.Vegetable Seed Planting Chart
3.Vegetable Specific Instructions and Tips
4.Harvesting Your Seed
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1.Growing Your Seed
Choosing Seed Varieties
Part oI the enjoyment oI planning your garden is choosing which seed varieties you want
to grow. Choosing varieties that work best Ior your growing conditions and take
advantage oI your environment will ultimately decide the outcome oI your growing
experience. Below are a Iew tips when selecting your vegetable, herb and Ilower seeds.
Vegetables: Selecting your veggies beIore you design your garden will help ensure you
have the correct amount oI room and the best growing conditions. For smaller gardens
choose bush varieties that take up less room. For shorter growing seasons try Iast
maturing varieties that can produce maximum yields Ior your growing season. Herbs:
Choose herbs by size, growing habits, and liIe expectancy. Many herbs can live as
perennials and will increase in size every season thus needing adequate space to grow
and receive the proper nutrition.
Planning
Planning is the key to success Ior any garden or landscaping you plan to grow this
season. Choosing a plants location, spacing, and Ieedings is important in the success oI
your gardening season. Always be on the saIe side when you garden so never bite o
more than you can chew! Grow a smaller garden, one that can be taken care oI iI time is
scarce. Always leave enough space between vegetables, herbs, and Ilowers in order Ior
them to breathe correctly and receive proper nutrition. Choose varieties that are correct
Ior your growing conditions. Perennials cannot survive in certain locations so know your
hardiness zone and choose perennials accordingly. For vegetables plan your yields
according to Iamily size and whether you will need to Ireeze, can or practice successive
gardening in order to have Iresh crops every couple weeks.
Sowing
Most soil mixes consisting oI peat, perlite, and vermiculite are excellent seed sowing
media Ior bedding plants. Besides light and moisture, seeds need warmth to germinate
well. A soil temperature oI 70°F is suIIicient Ior most crops. Please see the planting
depth oI most seeds Ior optimal conditions. Some seeds preIer growing just below the
soil including most vegetables, herbs and Ilowers. Although some Ilower seeds need
light to germinate and should be placed on top oI soil.
Transplanting
AIter the seeds have germinated, let the surIace dry out occasionally. Seedlings should
never go through the night with wet leaves. Grow them at proper temperatures as given
in this guide Ior Iast, yet sturdy plants. When seedlings have developed their Iirst set oI
true leaves, they are ready to be transplanted to a 4¨ inch pot Ior optimal growing
conditions. Many ingredients can be used, to prepare a good growing medium Ior
bedding plants. Most commonly used are 2 parts soil, 1 part peat moss, and 1 part sand
with Iertilizer added. Mist the young plants Irequently during the Iirst week oI transplant
until they are well established, then water more thoroughly and less oIten. Keep your
seedlings growing Iast with the recommended liquid Ieeding program. Some vegetables
are recommended Ior direct sowing such as beans, peas, corn, carrots, radish, pumpkins,
cucumbers and others. Some varieties do much better by starting inside such as
tomatoes, peppers and herbs.
2.Vegetable Seed Planting Chart
3.Vegetable Specific Instructions and Tips
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How to Grow Tomatoes
Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable Ior home gardeners. No other vegetable comes close to it's
popularity. And, it is no wonder, as there is nothing better than a ripe tomato straight out oI the garden.
Better still, eat one while you are still in your garden. Many tomatoes never makes it past the garden
Ience.
Growing tomato plants is easy. They produce an abundance oI Iruit. The best tomato, is one that ripens
on the vine. With a wide range oI varieties to choose Irom, there is a tomato plant that's just right Ior
every home gardener.
Did you know? The world record tomato is 7.76 pounds, grown in1986 by Gordan Graham, Edmond
OK. What variety did he use? It was "Delicious".
While many people believe that tomato plants originated in Europe, they actually are native to Central
America. Explorers who travelled to the New World, Iound the Aztec Indians growing them. These
explorers brought tomatoes back to Europe in the 16th Century. Southern Europe readily accepted
them, and they became common in Italian cuisine.
Thought for the Day: Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a Iruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a Iruit
salad.
Types of Tomato Varieties:
There are hundreds oI diIIerent varieties oI tomatoes to choose Irom. The varieties oI tomatoes can be
Iound in the Iollowing groups:
·Cherry Tomato-A Iavorite oI kids and adults. These bite-sized tomatoes are easy to grow,
ripen early, and are a perIect snack right in the garden. Leave a bowl oI cherry tomatoes on your
kitchen counter, and they disappear in a hurry. They are used in a variety oI ways, including
salads, vegetable trays with dip, and shish-ka-bob. AIter the gardening season, Cherry Tomatoes
all but disappear Irom the marketplace, with those that remain commanding a high price.
·Grape Tomato- Small and bite-sized, like it's cousin the Cherry Tomato, these tasty morsels
have gone Irom unknown to t"the rage" in just a Iew years. Why? These egg-shaped Iruit are
sweeter and tastier.
·Main Crop- These are the mainstay oI home gardens. Main crop varieties mature Irom early to
mid-season, are big, round, meaty, and proliIic producers.
·Plum or Roma- OIten called paste tomatoes, they are small and plum or mostly cylindrical in
shape, and usually have a pointed bottom. They have Iar less "juice" than other varieties, and
are not as sweet. Plum tomatoes are used to make paste, sauces, canning, and even ketchup.
·Beefsteak- BeeIsteak tomatoes are the King oI the tomato crop. They grow so big that one
slice covers an entire sandwich! They also have a big, IlavorIul taste. BeeIsteaks have the
longest maturity dates, but are well worth waiting Ior.
·Long Keepers-This variety is small, usually, yellowish orange in color. They can be stored in a
cool, dark place Ior several months. How long you ask? My neighbor showed me his leItovers
in June Irom the prior Iall. As he discarded his remaining supply, he culled a Iew good ones
Ior his evening meal!
Thought for the Day II liIe deals you lemons, make lemonade. II it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody
Marys.
Starting Tomato Seeds:
Tomato plants are usually started indoors. Planting tomato seeds is an exciting time. It is one oI the
very Iirst gardening projects oI the year. AIter a long winter, you are itching to get your hands back into
some "dirt".
Begin starting tomato seeds indoors in small containers, eight to ten weeks beIore the last Irost date Ior
your area. Sow tomato seeds about 1/8" inch deep, using seed starting soil. Seeds will sprout in 10-14
days, depending upon soil temperature. Sprouting tomato seeds is quicker and more productive, when
using a heated germination mat.
As soon as the seedlings emerge, they need Iull sunlight to grow sturdy. Lack oI sunlight causes the
plants to grow "leggy". Use grow lights to supplement the amount oI available sunlight.
Tip:To help your plants grow sturdy, place a small Ian on low nearby. Or, lightly brush the tops oI the
plants with your hands a couple times each day.
How to Grow Tomatoes:
Growing tomatoes is easy. It's one reason Ior their popularity in your home garden. Just prior to
planting tomato plants in your garden, "harden them oII" by bringing them outside during the daytime
and Ior increasing hours, until you are leaving them out overnight. Use oI a coldIrame is recommended,
but not a requirement. II Irost is predicted, bring them indoors.
On planting day, pour liberal amounts oI water with a soluble liquid Iertilizer on them. Plant them in
the garden careIully. To minimize transplant shock, avoid disturbing the roots. Normal spacing is 24 "
apart, in rows 30" to 36" apart.
Fertilize on a regular basis. Early applications should be high in nitrogen. As blossoming occurs, switch
to Iertilizers which are higher in Phosphorus and Potassium. Too much Nitrogen Iertilizer results in lots
oI lush green leaves, and little Iruit. A Iertilizer speciIically Iormulated Ior tomatoes, will help to
maximize your crop.
Keep your tomato plant well watered. Deep watering is preIerable, over more Irequent, light watering.
You want moisture to go deep to all the roots oI the plant. Water directly to the roots. Keep water oII
the leaves iI at all possible. Tomatoes are susceptible to plant disease that grows in wet, humid
conditions.
Tip:Even iI you have a garden out back, we recommend Iinding a place along the back oI the house Ior
just one tomato plant. This one plant will be the last to succumb to Irost in the Iall. The warmth oI the
house, and a light plastic sheet or cloth tossed over it at night, will allow you to harvest Iresh tomatoes
aIter the Iirst Irost, right when prices are rising in the grocery store.
Tomato Cages and Staking- To maximize your crop, and minimize disease and insect damage, stake
or cage tomato plants. They will reward you with more tomatoes. And, they will be cleaner, as they will
not be sitting on the soil.
Days to Maturity:
Varying types require Irom 55 days to 85 days (BeeIsteak tomatoes). The race is always on in my
neighborhood to get the Iirst ripe tomato oI the season. Most oI us also grow and await the beeIsteaks.
One slice Irom these delicious beauties more than Iills a sandwich.
Cold and hot spells will aIIect Iruit development and growth. Fruit set will not occur below 55 degrees
or above 90 degrees Farenheit.
Insects and Pests:
Tomato plants can experience insect problems with cutworms, and a Iew other garden pests. Also, iI
not staked or caged, snails and slugs will munch on the ripening Iruit.
Did you Know?Tomato plants emit a mild toxin that discourages many small insects Irom bothering
them. This toxin can also cause skin itching and irritation.
Diseases of Tomatoes:
A number oI plant problems can arise, usually in mid summer heat and humidity. Blights and Iungus
inIections can occur in the high humidity. Early treatment with Iungicides is eIIective. Spacing plants
too close cuts down air circulation and promotes disease.
Blossom end rot can also aIIect the Iruit. This is a round, brown, indented spot on the bottom oI the
tomato. It is caused by either uneven watering or a lack oI calcium in the soil
Tip:Do not water at night iI possible in hot and humid weather iI possible. Moisture and humidity
combined with high temperatures promotes plant diseases. II possible, water at the roots.
Hardiness:
Tomatoes like it hot! They will die iI exposed to Irost. Make sure to plant them aIter the last Irost.
Tip#1:Cover your young seedling iI Irost is predicted. A simple and easy cover Ior small seedlings is
to buy large or extra large plastic disposable cups. Place them over the seedling at dusk, and remove
them in the morning. There is usually little or no wind on nights with Irost, so they are not easily tipped
over.
Tip#2:If you get a light Irost overnight and you did not cover up your plants. Go out early beIore the
sun rises, and spray your plants with the garden hose. This melts the ice oII the plants and may save
them.
Harvesting and Storing Tomatoes:
Tomatoes store well in a cool, dry location. Do not put them in the reIrigerator. While they last longer
in the reIrigerator, they will lose their Ilavor and texture. Keep them out oI direct sunlight.
Just beIore Irost, pick tomatoes while the are still green or orange. Wash them thoroughly. Rinse in a
light solution oI 1 gallon oI water and a tablespoon oI bleach. This kills oII bacteria that rots the Iruit.
Allow them to dry, then put them in a cool, dry, dark place.
To ripen tomatoes indoors, bring a couple at a time to a warm, sunny window.
'FG HIJKHIGL K MFNOH IF K PGQGHKRSGT*HUL a Irequently asked question. While we all grow tomatoes in
our vegetable garden, they are actually classiIied as a Iruit. The U.S. Congress debated this in 1893.
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How to Grow Lima Beans
Lima Beans come in bush or pole varieties. They are a Ilat, rounded bean with a distinct Ilavor. Baby
Lima beans are the sweeter oI the varieties.
Lima beans are sometimes called "butter beans". They got this name because they are a tasty treat on
your dinner plate, smothered in butter....hold the salt. Fresh Lima beans are good in salads or in soups.
Growing Lima Beans is easy. But, we do recommend supporting the plants, even bush varieties.
Days to Maturity:
Ranges Irom 65 to 75 days, a little longer Ior pole varieties.
Sowing Lima Bean Seeds:
Plant bean seeds outdoors aIter the last Irost date Ior your area. Follow the spacing directions on the
packet. Plant spacing can vary by type oI Lima bean. Bean seeds are big, making them easy to space.
Water well aIter planting, and a second time to to Iour days later, only iI there has been no rain. You
can also side dress the rows with general purpose Iertilizer.
II you live in warmer parts oI the country, plant your Iirst crop as early as possible. Then, you can also
grow a Iall crop, aIter harvesting the Iirst one.
Note: Fall crops may take a Iew days more to reach maturity, due to the declining hours oI sunlight.
How to Grow Lima Bean Plants:
Grow Lima Bean plants in Iull sun. They preIer rich, well draining soil. The plants are heavy Ieeders.
Add compost prior to planting. Apply a side dressing oI Iertilizer, to give these plants a Iast start as
soon as they germinate.
Thin seedling to proper distance, as noted on the seed packet. II there are no directions, space plants
three inches apart in rows three Ieet apart.
Even bush varieties oI Lima beans beneIit Irom some type oI support. Fences, trellis, poles, or netting
should be provided in suIIicient height Ior maximum growth, and to keep pods oII the ground.Pest and
Plant Netting works well as a support, too. Set up the netting like a Ience. You can also use the netting
to cover the crop to keep pests out.
Harvesting Lima Beans:
Pick pods when they bulge. Pick one pod, open it to see iI the beans are the right size.
Insects and Pests:
Lima beans are susceptible to a variety oI insects, most notably beetles. They can be eIIectively treated
with Sevin, Diazinon or a variety oI other insecticides.
Bunnies love beans! Rabbits eat the the tender new leaves. II there are rabbits in your area, a rabbit
Ience is not a nicety, it is a necessity. They will devastate a row oI beans in a hurry, eating the tender
new leaves. As new ones develop, they will come back Ior more.
Pest netting is eIIective Ior bunnies.
Deer love to nip leaves oI beans. II deer are a problem in your area, they will be a problem with your
runner beans. Fencing is the most eIIective control.
Plant Disease:
Lima bean plants seem to bean little less susceptible to plant disease than other beans. But, it can still
happen, especially in wet, humid weather.
Bacterial and wilt diseases are common among the Bean Iamily. This plant disease arrives with summer
heat and humidity. This oIten occurs just beIore, or during, the ripening oI the crop. Fungicides are
recommended in areas oI high heat and humidity.
Tip:Keep the leaves dry and allow more spacing between plants Ior better air circulation. Hardiness:
Bean plants are not hardy. They are susceptible to cold and Irost. Hold oII planting until a Iew days
beIore all danger oI Irost is past. In the Iall, cover the crop on nights when the temperature is expected
to go below 40 degrees.
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How to Grow Zucchini Squash
Zucchini is a member oI the the squash and pumpkin (or cucurbita) Iamily oI vegetables. It is perhaps
the best known, and most joked about oI the many varieties oI squash Zucchini is indeed a proliIic
producer. A couple oI plants in the garden, and you have plenty Ior Iamily, neighbors, and Iriends. By
mid-summer, you can't give zucchini away, as everyone has two or three on the kitchen counter, or in
their reIrigerators. Along with being a proliIic producer, zucchini also readily cross breeds with many
members oI the cucurbita Iamily, including pumpkins. Some very strange and interesting cross breeds
(Mutations!) can result in Iuture crops iI you save the seed.
There are literally hundreds oI recipes oI zucchini. Enjoy them in generous quantities in the summer, as
they are not good keepers. When the gardening season is over, they are gone.
Varieties:
Zucchini is a summer squash. This Iamily oI squash has soIt, edible skin, with a short shelI liIe.
Days to Maturity:
Zucchini is a Iast grower. Plant them today, and you will be eating them in about 45 to 55 days.
How to Grow Zucchini Plants:
Growing zucchini plants is easy, perhaps too easy.
Plant zucchini seeds in rows or hills, planting seeds one inch deep. Row spacing is dependent upon the
variety you are planting. In hills, plant Iour to Iive per hill. AIter they have germinated, keep the best
two to three zucchini plants. Water the Iirst day and iI there is no rain, every two to three days until
they germinate. Zucchini likes well drained soil, but will grow in most soils.
We chuckle at the idea oI adding Iertilizer to such a great producer, but some soils are poor in nutrients.
II your soil is poor, or iI last year's crop was less than stellar, a side dressing oI Iertilizer and regular
Ieedings oI Iertilizer will signiIicantly improve the health oI the plant, and the size oI the harvest.
Insects and Pests:
The Cucumber Beetle is the dreaded pest oI the cucurbita Iamily. There is no exception Ior zucchini.
Cucumber Beetles are either striped or spotted. They Ieed on the leaves oI the plants, and can cause
even greater damage by spreading disease Irom one plant to another.
We consider Squash Vine Borers Public Enemy #1 oI the cucurbita Iamily. They bore into the vine,
near the base oI the plant. Given a little time, they will chew right through the vine, killing the plant.
Cucumber Beetles are eIIectively controlled with most insecticides. Squash Vine Borers require
stronger insecticides. Read the insecticide label, to make certain it is eIIective against Squash Vine
Borers.
A variety oI other pests can also cause problems, depending upon where you live.
Diseases of Zucchini Plants:
As a member oI the Cucurbita Iamily, zucchini is susceptible to a variety oI bacteria and Iungus
diseases. Among the most common, are powdery mildew and bacterial wilt. Plant disease problems are
most common in hot and humid weather, and especially towards late August as the plant is aging and
weakens. Promoting a strong, healthy plant, coupled with Iungicide treatment, will help to avoid these
problems.
Treat with Iungicides at the Iirst sign oI problems.
Harvesting:
Pick zucchini when they are young (Iour to six inches) and tender. Some people wait until the Iruit
becomes a monster. While deIinitely still edible, it is tougher and the skin may need to be peeled.
Some people enjoy seeing just how big they can grow them! II this is you, grow one or two monsters
Ior show. Pick small ones to eat.
Hardiness:
Zucchini is not a hardy plant. It is susceptible to Irost in the spring and Iall. They are also very
susceptible to insects and disease. Fortunately, these proliIic producers overcome these threats to
produce a bountiIul crop. As you plan to grow, them make sure those plans include how to use the large
quantity you will have.
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How to Grow Hot Peppers
Growing Hot Peppers seems to have to become one oI America's hot gardening projects. Hot peppers
are easy to grow. And, they provide a "kick" to meals and snacks.
As a lover oI hot peppers, you will probably grow several varieties. Think oI what you can do with the
choice and selection! For starters, there are recipes galore. Many call Ior a speciIic variety oI hot
pepper. Try substituting with diIIerent varieties. Perhaps, you will make your own hot sauce or salsa.
You can also hold a "hot pepper tasting". You, your Iamily and your Iriends, can sample the diIIerent
varieties, and rank them.
Common Varieties of Hot Peppers and their Scoville Rating:
Pepper:
Anaheim Paprika Cherry Bomb Jalapeno Serrano Cayenne Tabasco
Thai Habenero
Scoville Score:
200 1,000 2,000 4,000 8,000 30,000 80,000 80,000 200,000
Sowing Hot Pepper Seeds:
Hot Pepper plants are best started indoors, eight to ten weeks or more beIore the last Irost date Ior your
area. They are a somewhat diIIicult seed germinate, Seedlings grow slowly at Iirst. Many growers
simply visit their local garden store Ior seedling to transplant. Avid garden hobbyists', will Iind pleasure
and satisIaction in starting their own pepper plants indoors.
Days to Maturity:
70 to 90 days or more, depending upon the variety. Read the package Ior the speciIic time Ior the
variety you acquire.
How to Grow Hot Peppers:
Hot Pepper plants should be grown in Iull sun. Prepare the garden, adding plenty oI compost, manure,
and a general Iertilizer.
No matter what type oI hot pepper you grow, they like the weather hot. Transplant young seedlings
outdoors aIter the last chance oI Irost. II the weather is still cool, delay transplanting a Iew days, to
avoid stunting the plants. Keep them in a cold-Irame indoors or next to the house.
Space 18-24 inches apart, in rows 24 to 36 inches apart. This spacing will vary somewhat, depending
upon the variety oI hot pepper you are growing.
Hot Pepper plants preIer moist soil. Add plenty oI water during hot, dry summer months.
Add mulch around the peppers to keep down weeds, and to retain soil moisture. As the peppers
develop, switch over to a Iertilizer higher in Phosphorous and Potassium. Gardeners oIten make the
mistake oI providing too much nitrogen. The result is a great looking bushy, green plant, but Iew Iruit.
Peppers are selI pollinators. Occasionally, they will cross pollinate Irom pollen carried by bees or other
insects. II you are going to save the seeds Ior next year, you need to minimize the possibility oI cross
breeding. Do not plant diIIerent varieties near each other.
Harvesting:
Peppers can be picked as soon as they reach a size which is edible. However, leaving the Iruit on the
vine to mature, maximizes their "heat",or capsaicin in the Iruit..
Insects and Pests:
Several insects enjoy your pepper plants. Spider mites and aphids are the most common with an
occasional borer. In many areas, it is inIrequent. For the inIrequent problem, try an organic insecticide
or dust. Deer will eat the leaves oI both sweet pepper and hot pepper plants.
Disease:
While many viruses and diseases can aIIect Peppers, it is somewhat inIrequent. Fungal inIections can
be treated with Iungicides. Apply treatment as soon as you see it.
Hardiness:
No doubt about it, your hot peppers like it hot. They do not like Irost. In the spring, Irost will stunt or
kill the plants. Cold weather can cause the plant to slow down or stunt it. In the Fall, cover the plants, iI
Irost is expected. Use a hot cap in on cold and Irosty spring nights. II they are vented, they can they leIt
on all day.
Tip:For a quick cover-up on cold Iall nights, use Iive gallon buckets. They are the perIect size, and can
be quickly placed over the plant.
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How to Grow Spinach
A generation ago, kids were threatened with a variety oI punishments iI you do not "eat your spinach".
We don't push spinach as much today, as our parents did. From a nutrition standpoint, perhaps we
should.Whether our parents knew it or not, spinach truly is good Ior you. It is packed with vitamins and
minerals. Even Popeye knew the beneIits oI this healthy Iood.
When we speak oI spinach, most people still think about the cooked, usually boiled, oIten mushy green
vegetable. It is amazing how many people have never tried the mild Ilavored spinach in a salad. Fewer
still, think about where they can use spinach. It mixes well in many recipes, and can be Iound in places
like stuIIed shells, lasagna, and soups.
Did you Know? Spinach is an ingredient oI one oI the most popular tomato vegetable juices? That's
right, without Spinach, you would be drinking V7.
Varieties of Spinach:
·Smooth leaves
·Savoyed or crumpled leaves
Days to Maturity:
45 to 50 days. Spinach can be harvested over a couple oI weeks.
Sowing Spinach Seeds:
Plant in rows. Sow Spinach seeds 1/2" to 1" apart. Cover very lightly, 1/2" deep, with soil. Final
spacing oI the plants should be 2" to 3" apart. Water lightly and daily Ior three to Iive days. Heavy
watering can wash the seeds out oI the soil or wash them too deeply into the soil. Provide 12" between
rows.
How to Grow Spinach Plants:
Grow Spinach plants in Iull sun. Spinach plants like cool weather and lots oI moisture in rich, well
drained soil.
Growing spinach at a Iast pace, will produce the most IlavorIul, and tender leaves. That means plenty
oI water, and a healthy dose oI Iertilizer. Keep plants well weeded.
TIP:Use succession planting, by sowing a row or partial row every two weeks. This will provide Iresh
Spinach Ior most oI the year.
Insects and Pests:
Regardless oI whether people like spinach, it is certain that insects and some animals do...especially
bunnies. For the bunnies, a rabbit Ience is in your Iuture. For insects, there are insecticides which can
be applied, but require several days beIore you can harvest eat the spinach. We like to avoid
insecticides on leaIy vegetables wherever possible. We suggest organic sprays, and a willingness to
give up some oI the harvest to insects, over using pesticides. AIter all, one oI the reasons most oI us
have gardens is to avoid the pesticides.
Diseases of Spinach:
Spinach is Iairly resistant to most plant diseases. However, it will wilt and rot in hot, humid weather.
The plant will also bolt, or go to the seed stage, in high when the weather gets hot.
Hardiness:
Like most leaIy vegetables, Spinach thrives in cooler weather, with moderate moisture. It does not like
mid-summer heat, and dry conditions. However, you will Iind some varieties that are slow to bolt.
Many gardeners plant a crop Ior spring and early summer harvest and leave the mid summer months to
heat loving tomatoes and corn. Then, as the late summer heat begins to wane, they plant a Crop Ior Iall
harvest.
Spinach will survive a light Irost.
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How to Grow Watermelon
Watermelon is a Iavorite summer treat. Mouth watering and thirst quenching, it is perIect Ior hot
summer days, parties, picnics, and much more. Don't Iorget to have a pit spitting contest when you
serve watermelon....outdoors, please. Laugh iI you will, "Pit Spitting" is a serious business, errr game.
"Watermelon Pit Spitting" contests, with prizes, are common at some community summer picnics and
Iestivals.
The large oval watermelons that Iirst comes to mind, requires a lot oI space, and a long growing
season. That's why most home gardeners don't allot precious garden space Ior them. There is choice in
the much smaller, but equally sweet baby or "bush" variety that requires about 1/3 oI the space.
Did you know? Growing Watermelons is serious business. Watermelon competitions or "weigh- oIIs"
are a common event at Iall Iestivals. Many pumpkin weigh-oIIs include a giant watermelon category,
complete with prizes Ior the largest watermelon. Just how big can a watermelon grow? Giant
Watermelons can grow over 200 pounds!
Varieties of Watermelon:
·Standard watermelons are usually 20 to 30 pounds or more, and are oblong shaped. ·Baby or
bush varieties are round and much smaller. They weigh anywhere Irom a couple pounds to ten
pounds.
Sowing Watermelon Seeds:
Indoors: II you have a short growing season or want to get a head start, plant watermelon seeds indoors
in individual containers or pots. We recommend using peat pots, which can be planted directly in the
garden with minimal transplant shock.
Outdoors: Sow watermelon seeds in hills or rows. For regular watermelons, sow three to Iour seeds per
hill, spacing the hills eight to ten Ieet apart. Space the rows ten Ieet apart or more, iI you have room.
Thin watermelon seedlings in each hill, to two seedlings one week aIter they have germinated. When
planting in rows, space the seeds Iour to six inches apart and thin seedlings to ten to twelve inches
apart. For bush varieties, Iinal spacing can be cut in halI or even more iI you are tight Ior space.
Important:Make sure you know how many days you need to reach maturity Ior the variety you buy.
Give a little more time than the seed packet suggests to reach harvest, beIore that Iirst killing Irost.
Days to Maturity:
80 to 90 days Ior baby bush varieties, and 90 to 100 days or more Ior the larger varieties.
How to Grow Watermelon:
Watermelon plants need Iull sun to grow healthy vines and big Iruit. Plant aIter the last Irost date Ior
your area.Watermelons are heavy Ieeders. Add generous amounts oI manure, compost and leaves to
your garden. Work the soil well. Make sure it drains well.
Fertilize regularly. Use a high nitrogen Iertilizer until Ilowers Iorm. Then, switch over to a high
phosphorous and potassium Iertilizer. We also recommend the use oI liquid Iertilizers and Ioliar
Ieeding.
Watermelon plants like lots oI water. There is no surprise here. Make sure to add water during dry
spells. Keep the soil moist at all times.
Weeding is also important especially early in the season. Weeds will compete Ior moisture and
nutrients.
Tip: For extra big watermelons, cover the vines with garden soil. This will promote secondary root
growth where leaI stems meet the vine. It can add many pounds to the Iruit.
Harvesting:
So, how do you know when a watermelon is ripe? Most people tap on the Iruit, and listen Ior a dull
thump. II you grow many oI them, this is an art Iorm.
Other signs include:
·Ceasing oI growth
·Yellowing oI the underside
·Drying or shriveling oI the stem near the base oI the Iruit
Insects and Pests:
Watermelon is susceptible to a variety oI pests. Cucumber beetles are perhaps the watermelon's
pumpkin enemy #1. Cucumber beetles will rob the plant oI nutrients, eat pollen, and spread plant
disease. A variety oI other pests will also enjoy the watermelon plants in your home garden. Use oI
insecticides early is important, especially against the dreaded cucumber beetle.
Diseases of Watermelon:
A wide variety oI viruses and Iunguses can aIIect your crop. OI particular note is powdery and downy
mildews. Maintaining a healthy plant is the Iirst step in disease control. This includes weeding, pruning
and proper spacing to allow good air circulation, especially in wet and humid weather. Fungicides can
be eIIective, iI used early.
Hardiness:
Watermelons are a tender annual. Spring and Iall Irosts will kill the plant. They thrive in hot weather.
Their growth will slow to a crawl during cold nights. Provide plenty oI protection Ior your tender
seedlings. Use hot-caps or cold-Irames on cool nights or when Irost is a possibility.
A Iall Irost will not damage the Iruit and it can still be harvested.
!<#=7--. ,-'. ,193
How to Grow Beans
There is a wide variety oI beans. You could say there is a bean Ior everyone. Each type oI bean has a
diIIerent distinct Ilavor, and is used in diIIerent ways.
A bush bean or a pole bean? That is the question.
Many varieties oI beans can be Iound as either a pole or a bush bean. Bush beans grow as small bushy
plants close to the ground, and need no support. A Pole bean is a vining variety. It needs support oI a
pole, trellis or Ience, to grow and thrive. It also requires a slightly longer time to reach maturity. Once a
pole bean begins to produce, it tends to produce Ior a longer period oI time. A great advantage oI pole
beans, is the bean grows straighter and it stays oII the ground. Pole beans are cleaner and easier to pick.
Did you Know?Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans beIore they go into space because passing
wind in a spacesuit damages them. Not to mention the another drawback in such a conIined space....
Varieties:
·Green Beans- There are bush and pole green beans. Among the pole beans, you can Iind an
Italian or Roma bean which is long, Ilat, and has a stronger Ilavor. Green beans mature in 60-75
days ,depending upon the variety. Pole varieties take the longer time period to mature. Harvest
when the bean reaches Iull size, but beIore the pod gets too Iat, An over ripe pod is tough. The
bean loses it's sweetness and becomes bitter.
·Yellow Beans- Yellow beans only come in bush variety. However, most will agree it is the Iar
better tasting oI the two. And, more tender too.
·Lima Beans are sometimes called Butter Beans, come in bush or pole varieties. They are a Ilat
and rounded bean with a distinct Ilavor. Baby Lima beans are the sweeter oI the varieties.
·Shell Beans- There are a wide variety oI shell beans, the most common oI which is the Navy
bean used to make baked beans. Shell beans are grown Ior the seed or bean inside the pod or
shell.
·Pinto Beans- A dried bean, popular in Mexican cuisine.
·Fava Beans- A big, Iat bean grown Ior it's seed. Fava beans are great in soups.
·Black-eyed Peas- Is it a bean or a pea? You make the call. It's also called "Cowpeas". This
Iavorite southern bean is grown Ior the bean inside. It grows in a slender pod which looks like a
green bean. The bean inside is tan in color, and has a black circle on it with a beige spot in the
middle oI the circle. Hence it's name "Black eye".
·Soybeans- High in protein, Iiber and calcium. Its health and nutrition beneIits, makes it
increasingly popular in home gardens.
·Scarlet Runner bean- an edible ornamental bean.....KEWL!!!
Did you Know?A bush variety can have some characteristics that revert back to a parental plant, and
grow like a pole bean. There really has not been much explanation oI what may cause this, or iI any
environmental conditions enhance this occurrence. II your bush bean is producing runners like a pole
bean, you can cut oII the runners at a node just past the length they want the stem.
Days to Maturity:
Ranges Irom 60 to 90 days depending on variety. II planted early, many areas can plant a Iall crop.
Sowing Bean Seeds:
Plant beans outdoors aIter the last Irost date Ior your area. Follow the spacing directions on the packet.
Plant spacing can vary signiIicantly by type oI bean. Bean seeds are big, making them easy to space.
Water well aIter planting, and a second time to to Iour days later, only iI there has been no rain. You
can also side dress the rows with general purpose Iertilizer.
How to Grow Beans:
Grow bean plants in Iull sun. They preIer rich, well draining soil. The plants are heavy Ieeders. Add
compost prior to planting. Apply a side dressing oI Iertilizer, to give these plants a Iast start as soon as
they germinate.
Thin seedling to proper distance, as noted on the seed packet. II there are no directions, space plants
three inches apart in rows three Ieet apart. Double rows are common in home gardens. When using
double rows, leave enough room Ior the them to grow without the rows overcrowding.
Pole beans and vining bean crops require some support. Fences, trellis, poles, or netting should be
provided in suIIicient height Ior maximum growth oI the vines. Pest and Plant Netting works well as a
support, too. Set up the netting like a Ience. You can also use the netting to cover the crop to keep pests
out.
For maximum growth and harvest, water Irequently, especially during dry periods. Try to keep the
leaves dry as you water. This will help avoid Iungus diseases.
Apply a general purpose Iertilizer once a month during the season. Keep beans well weeded all season
long.
Harvesting Beans:
As a rule oI thumb, pick beans while pods are still tender. Pods can get stringy, especially as they
mature.
For dried beans, pick aIter the pods have dried. The beans can be allowed to dry right on the vine.
Insects and Pests:
Most varieties oI beans are susceptible to a variety oI insects, most notably beetles. They can be
eIIectively treated with Sevin, Diazinon or a variety oI other insecticides.
Bunnies love beans! Rabbits eat the the tender new leaves. II there are rabbits in your area, a rabbit
Ience is not a nicety, it is a necessity. They will devastate a row oI beans in a hurry, eating the tender
new leaves. As new ones develop, they will come back Ior more.
Pest netting is eIIective Ior bunnies.
Deer love to nip leaves oI beans. II deer are a problem in your area, they will be a problem with your
runner beans. Fencing or is the most eIIective control.
Disease:
Bacterial and wilt diseases are common among the Bean Iamily. This plant disease arrives with summer
heat and humidity. This oIten occurs just beIore, or during, the ripening oI the crop. Fungicides are
recommended in areas oI high heat and humidity.
Tip:Keep the leaves dry and allow more spacing between plants Ior better air circulation.
Hardiness:
Beans are not a hardy plant. They are susceptible to cold and Irost. Hold oII planting until a Iew days
beIore all danger oI Irost is past. In the Iall, cover the crop on nights when the temperature is expected
to go below 40 degrees.
!>#2121&,-7
How to Grow Cucumbers
Cucumbers, commonly called "cukes", are a Iavorite garden vegetable. Most gardeners grow at least
one variety, iI not more. Although quite susceptible to insect and disease problems, they are easy to
grow. They are also proliIic producers.
Cucumbers are vining plants, members oI the Cucurbita Iamily which includes pumpkins, squash, and
gourds. They grow best when allowed to sprawl along the ground in your garden. This is because
secondary roots will develop along the vine at the junction between the vine and the leaI. Secondary
roots are a source oI additional nutrients Ior your plant and Iruits' growth.
II you have limited space, cucumbers are very successIully grown in a small space by training them up
a Ience or trellis. II a trellis or Ience is your only choice, go Ior it. You will not be disappointed.
Fresh cucumbers are great on vegetable trays with dip, sliced or in salads.
Varieties of Cucumbers:
·Slicing Cucumbers
·Pickling Cucumbers
·Oriental Cucumbers - These are long and thin, with many over a Ioot long.
Days to Maturity:
55 to 65 days. Once cucumbers begin to ripen, you can usually harvest them Ior several weeks.
Sowing Cucumber Seeds:
Plant in rows or hills, planting them one to 1 inch deep. When planting in rows, sow cucumber seeds 2
" to 3" apart, thinning seedlings to 6" apart.. II you are planting in hills, plant Iour to Iive per hill. AIter
they have germinated, keep the best two to three. Cover very lightly with soil.Water the Iirst day and iI
there is no rain, every two to three days until they germinate.
Growing Cucumber Plants:
Cucumber plants require well drained soil. Like other members oI the cucurbita Iamily, they are big
Ieeders. Early in the season, provide plenty oI high nitrogen Iertilizer. Switch over to a more balanced
Iertilizer, aIter the Ilowers begin to bloom. A side dressing oI Iertilizer and regular Ieedings oI Iertilizer
will signiIicantly help the health oI the plant and the size oI the harvest.
Also make sure to provide lots oI water, Ior Iast growth.
Tip:Cucumbers grow quickly, and are at their best when picked beIore they get too big. Encourage new
Iruit development by picking regularly. Do not allow them to get overripe on the vine or they will slow
down, or even cease bearing new Iruit.
While cucumbers grow best on the ground, they will also do will grown up a Ience or trellis. They
grow well on Veggie Cages (see below), too. Train young plants up the Ience or trellis. AIter they get
started, they will continue to climb on their own, and will Iix themselves to their support, by curling
their tendrils around the support.
A word about hot weather:Cucumber plants do not like mid summer's heat and humidity. The leaves
will wilt and can burn in the hot, midday sun. Using overhead sprinklers intermittently during midday,
can alleviate the problem. Shade covers are also eIIective. Or, you can grow them in an area that is
shaded to partially shaded Irom the midday sun.
Insects and Pests:
Like all members oI the Cucurbita Iamily, the Cucumber Beetle is the dreaded pest oI cucumbers.
Cucumber Beetles are either striped or spotted. They Ieed on the leaves oI the plants and can cause
even greater damage as they spread disease Irom one plant to another. They are eIIectively treated with
most insecticides. Mild insecticides like Sevin are most commonly used Ior eIIective treatment.
Public enemy number one to the cucurbita Iamily is the Squash Vine Borer which bores into the vine,
usually near the tap root ,and will eat right through the vine. Once it gets inside, the only way to kill it
is to surgically remove it. Cutting Squash Vine Borers out oI your vine is done by slicing up or down
Irom the entry area until you Iind the pest. Then, apply Iungicide around the wound to minimize
disease.
Squash Bugs will suck the juices oI plants. II severe, the plant will die. A variety oI other pest can also
cause problems, depending upon where you live.
Disease:
As a member oI the Cucurbita Iamily, cucumbers are susceptible to the same diseases as pumpkin and
squash. These include both Iungus and bacterial problems. Powdery mildew is also a problem with
cucumber plants. II not treated at the onset oI powdery mildew, the disease can be Iatal to your crop.
Treat with Iungicides at the Iirst sign oI problems, or just beIore hot humid weather arrives in your
area.
Hardiness:
Cucumbers are susceptible to spring and Iall Irost. They grow best in temperatures between 60 to 80
degrees.
!?#)-$$12-
How to Grow Lettuce
Lettuce is the starting point Ior every good salad. It is also a basic in sandwiches, and as a decorative
underlayment Ior other Ioods. It is nutritious, yet low in calories. That is why it is so popular Ior
dieters ,and Ior those who want to stay trim. Dieting and health issues aside, we eat lettuce because it
tastes good!
Popular Varieties of Lettuce:
Good news! There are many types oI Lettuce. They are separated into two basic groups:
Head Lettuce-This group's leaves Iorm into a ball or head as it grows and matures. It also includes
varieties which head or bunch up, balled "Loose-head". Members oI this groups include:
·Ice burg - The king oI lettuces
·Romaine ·Bibb
·Butter crunch or Butter head
Loose Leaf Lettuce-Members oI this group have leaves which make little or no attempt to group or
bunch together. They commonly called "loose leaI". Members include:
·Argula
·Black Seeded Simpson - Iast and easy to grow. It's the most popular loose leaI variety
·Endive
·Salad Bowl
·Grand Rapids
·Mesclun - A combination oI leaI lettuces in one seed packet.
Days to Maturity:
Loose leaI varieties can be ready to begin cutting in as little as three weeks. Varieties which Iorm loose
or tight heads need more time, up to several weeks. Because there are so many varieties, check the
inIormation on the seed packet Ior more speciIic growing times.
Sowing Lettuce Seeds:
Lettuce seeds are very Iine. Plant in rows, spreading the seeds as thinly as possible. No matter how
hard you try, they are so diIIicult to disperse, that thinning oI the seedlings is must. You can purchase
seed tapes oI some oI the more popular varieties which will space them properly. While it costs more, it
is also a time saver.Cover the seeds with a very Iine layer oI loose soil or starting mixture.
You can also plant indoors in pots. This works well Ior bunching or heading types oI lettuces, and will
give your seedlings a more controlled environment . Given a lot oI direct sunlight, it also results in a
strong seedling. When transplanting in the garden, you can give it the proper spacing.
Succession planting is a common and useIul practice. Lettuce are perIect candidates Ior succession
planting. Plant small rows or sections oI your garden with lettuces every week to ten days. This will
provide a continuous harvest. Vary the types you plant to aIIord variety over the season.
Whether sowing indoors or out, you will likely want to transplant your seedlings with the proper
spacing Ior Iull development without crowding. Lettuce likes cool weather and lots oI moisture.
Transplanting should only be done in cool, preIerably cloudy weather. II the weather is hot and sunny,
we recommend putting oII transplanting iI possible. II this is not possible, then transplant in the
evening. Water thoroughly and every day aIter, unless it rains, Ior about a week.
The key to growing crisp, sweet lettuce, is to get it growing at a Iast pace. That means plenty oI water,
and a healthy dose oI Iertilizer.
Tip:When transplanting lettuce in hot weather, place some Iorm oI sun shade over the plant Ior a
couple oI days. Any makeshiIt shade will do.
Harvesting:
Pick lettuces as soon as it is big enough to use. On loose-headed varieties, the outer leaves can be
picked and the inner leaves allowed to grow. Or, use the plants pulled while thinning. Use a sharp kniIe
or scissors. Loose leaI varieties will grow back aIter cutting.
Insects and Pests:
Bunnies like lettuce. Got bunnies!? Then, a rabbit Ience is in your Iuture.
Insects can become a real problem, too. Lettuce is delicate, and can absorb many insecticides. II you
want or need to use insecticides, look Ior brands that are less harmIul to you and the environment. We
like to avoid insecticides on leaIy vegetables wherever possible. We suggest organic sprays and a
willingness to give up some oI the harvest to insects versus using pesticides. AIter all, one oI the
reasons most oI us have gardens is to avoid the pesticides.
Note:We do not recommend insecticides at all Ior loose leaI lettuce varieties. Slugs are a real problem
Ior all types oI lettuces. There are a variety oI control methods.
Disease:
Lettuce will wilt and rot in hot, humid weather. The plant will also bolt or go to seed stage in higher
heat. Heading or bunching types are more susceptible to rotting and bolting. LeaI types grow and
mature quickly, and have Iewer disease problems.
Hardiness:
All Iorms oI lettuce thrive in cooler weather, with moderate moisture. Lettuce does not like mid-
summer heat, or dry conditions. Many gardeners will plant a crop Ior spring and early summer harvest,
leaving the mid summer months to the tomatoes and the corn. Then, as the late summer heat begins to
wane, they plant a new lettuce crop Ior a Iall harvest.
"!#=7--. 6-66-7
How to Grow Pepper Plants
Peppers have always been one oI the more popular vegetables in the home garden. Growing pepper
plants is easy. Sweet bell peppers, and many hot peppers, are native to Central and North America. A
wide range oI hot pepper varieties are also native to Asia, most notably Thailand and China.
It used to be that any grower who liked peppers, would plant several sweet green bell pepper plants in
their garden. Several weeks later, they would harvest some great tasting Iruit. No diIIicult decisions on
the variety. And, home grown peppers are not diIIicult to grow.
Today's gardeners enjoy the opportunity to select between a tremendous array oI choices. You can pick
sweet or hot. When it comes to hot, there are varying degrees oI hot. The debates rage as to who has the
hottest pepper. Varieties Irom Mexico, China and Thailand usually are the hottest.
You also get to select color. There are a wide variety oI colors to choose Irom, versus the "plain old
green" ones which were the only choices your parents and grandparents had to choose Irom. There are
a number oI yellow, red, and orange colors. There is even a variety with a striking purple color.
AIter you are done selecting hot/sweet and color, don't Iorget shape. There are traditional "bell pepper"
shapes, long and slender, and oI course round or "cherry peppers".
Sowing Pepper Seeds:
Peppers are best started indoors, eight to ten weeks or more beIore the last Irost date Ior your area.
Pepper seeds can be a diIIicult seed germinate, and seedlings grow slowly. Many growers simply visit
their local garden store Ior seedling to transplant. Avid garden hobbiests Iind pleasure in a new
challenge, and start their own pepper plants indoors.
Tip:Provide bottom heat or heat lamps to raise the soil temperature to 80 degrees. This will promote
better and quicker germination.
Days to Maturity:
70 to 90 days or more, depending upon the variety. Read the package Ior the speciIic time Ior the
variety you acquire.
How to Grow Peppers:
Select a location in your garden that receives Iull sun. Prepare the garden, adding plenty oI compost,
manure, and a general Iertilizer.
No matter what type oI pepper you grow, they like the weather hot. Transplant young seedlings
outdoors aIter the last chance oI Irost. II the weather is still cool, delay transplanting a Iew days, and
keep them in a cold-Irame, indoors or next to the house.
Space 18-24 inches apart, in rows 24 to 36 inches apart. This spacing may vary somewhat by variety.
Pepper plants preIer moist soil. Avoid wet soil. Water regularly in the hot, dry summer months.
Add mulch around the peppers to keep down weeds, and to retain moisture. As the peppers develop,
switch over to a Iertilizer higher in Phosphorous and Potassium. Gardeners oIten make the mistake oI
providing too much nitrogen. The result is a great looking bushy, green plant, but Iew Iruit.
Tip:Peppers are selI pollinators. Occasionally, they will cross pollinate Irom pollen carried by bees or
other insects. To minimize this possibility, don't plant hot and sweet peppers too close. Don't worry
though, as it will not aIIect the Iruit oI this year's crop. The cross will show up in the genetics oI the
seeds, iI you save them.
Harvesting:
Peppers can be picked as soon as they reach a size which is edible.
Insects and Pests:
Several insects enjoy your pepper plants. Spider mites and aphids are the most common, with an
occasional borer. In many areas, it is inIrequent. For the inIrequent problem, try an organic insecticide
or dust.
Disease:
While many viruses and diseases can aIIect Peppers, it is somewhat inIrequent. Fungal inIections can
be treated with Iungicides. Apply treatment as soon as you see it.
Hardiness:
No doubt about it, peppers do not like Irost. In the spring, Irost will stunt or kill the plants. Cold
weather can cause the plant to slow down or stunt it. In the Fall, cover the plants, iI Irost is expected.
Use a hot cap in on cold and Irosty spring nights. II they are vented, they can they leIt on all day.
Tip:For a quick cover-up on cold Iall nights, use Iive gallon buckets. They are the perIect size, and can
be quickly placed over the plant.
""#61&6@*.
How to Grow Pumpkins
There's something special about pumpkins. Everybody loves pumpkins. People are Iascinated by them.
It is the only Iruit or vegetable that people play with, and we do so in a big way. And, every gardener
loves to grow pumpkins. Many people do not believe they have the space. But read on. You will be
pleasantly surprised to discover that you can be growing pumpkins in very small and unique places.
Varieties of Pumpkins:
There are literally hundreds oI varieties oI pumpkins, Irom the small miniatures which only weigh a
couple oI ounces, to the giant varieties that routinely show up at Iall weigh oIIs at 1,500 pounds and
more!
Pumpkins belong to the "Curcurbita" Iamily. There are a wide range oI varieties Ialling into these
categories:
Cucurbita Moschata- This group oI primarily squash includes the pumpkins Irequently used Ior
commercially canned pumpkins. Commercial pumpkin varieties usually have a tan-colored skin.
Cucurbita Pepo- These are the Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins you carve on Halloween, as well as the cute
little miniature pumpkins that Iit in the palm oI your hand. Some oI the most popular varieties include:
·Connecticut Field pumpkin
·Howden pumpkin
·Howden Biggie
·Jack B. Little Miniature pumpkins
Cucurbita Maxima- Maxima, as it's name implies, are the giant pumpkins. Giant pumpkin growing
has become a very popular hobby. Giant pumpkin growers are among the most devoted, and perhaps
Ianatical oI gardeners. Popular giant pumpkin varieties include:
·Atlantic Giant pumpkin
·Big Max pumpkins
Days to Maturity:
Days to maturity varies widely, depending upon variety. Plan 90-100 days Ior miniature pumpkins,
100-120 days Ior Jack O'Lanterns and 130-160 days Ior giant pumpkins.
How to Grow Pumpkins:
Pumpkin plants can be started indoors 2-3 weeks beIore the last Irost date in your area. Or, pumpkin
seeds can be direct seeded into your garden. Plant these tender annuals outdoors aIter the last Irost date
Ior your area.
Pumpkins are vining plants that can quickly spread very Iar. Follow the spacing directions on the
packet. They can vary signiIicantly variety. Water well aIter planting, and a second time two to Iour
days later, only iI there has been no rain.
Pumpkin seeds can be planted in hills Iour to six Ieet apart Sow Iour to six seeds per hill, thinning to
two to three. Or, plant in rows six inches apart, thinning to 1 to 3 Ieet apart, depending upon how much
space you have. Plant miniatures closer, and Giants Iarther apart.
Pumpkins are big Ieeders. They preIer a very rich soil, with lots oI compost and manure (iI you can get
it). Fertilize on a regular basis. Use a high nitrogen Iormula in early plant growth. Switch over to a
Iertilizer high in Phosphorous (the middle number) just beIore the blooming period.
Pumpkins also need lots oI water. Try to keep the soil moist, not wet, at all times. It is also important to
avoid getting the leaves wet, iI possible. Heat and humidity is the perIect ingredient Ior powdery
mildew, a major problem Ior your pumpkin patch. Also, avoid watering near dark.
Is your garden space limited?When it come to growing pumpkins, where there's a will, there's a way.
Let the vines grow across the lawn or sidewalk. It's only Ior a Iew weeks. You might be amazed at
some oI the places that people have grown pumpkins. We received an email Irom a woman in Los
Angeles. She was growing pumpkins on the rooItop oI a high-rise apartment, inside oI an old kiddie
pool. Growing pumpkins in big 5-10 gallon buckets is possible. Try miniature varieties and let them
hang oII the deck.
When to Pick Pumpkins:
It's easy to tell when a pumpkin is ripe. It turns a bright orange. Pick pumpkins when ripe, and put them
somewhere in or around the house where they can glow!
II your pumpkins ripens early, we recommend you pick them beIore an animal Iinds them and decides
to eat it Ior dinner. Store them in a col, dry place out oI sunlight until the weather cools in your area.
Once the weather cools, bring them outside Ior display.
Insects and Pests:
Gardeners love pumpkins. Insects and a wide variety oI pests love 'em, too. The most common insects
are Cucumber beetles, squash vine borers and squash bugs. Dusting or spraying regularly beIore an
inIestation occurs, is recommended.
Squash Vine Borers (SVB's) are a serious problem in some areas. SVB's bore into the vine, and eats the
vine Irom the inside out. Untreated, it ends your season.
Squash Bugs will suck the juices oI plants. II severe, the plant will die.
Among the animals that love pumpkins (either the plants or the Iruit) are bunnies, woodchuck, squirrels
and deer. Use animal repellent like pepper and garlic sprays as needed.
Pumpkin Plant Diseases:
A variety oI diseases aIIect pumpkins, most notable is powdery mildew. Apply Iungicides at the Iirst
sign oI a problem. Better still, apply them beIore plant disease problems occur. Hot, humid weather
encourages pumpkin diseases.
Tip:Allow enough time aIter watering Ior the leaves to dry beIore evening. Water on the leaves in
warm weather encourages plant disease.
Hardiness:
Pumpkins are tender annuals. Protect them Irom Irost and cold weather both spring and Iall. Weather
below 50 degrees will slow or even stunt their growth.
"(#7'A*93
How to Grow Radishes
Radishes spice up salads and vegetable trays. Their color adds appeal to many dishes, and makes them
a very desirable garnish. Their sharp, zippy taste livens up salads, and are great with dips and dressings.
Radishes are Iast and easy growing. In addition, they take up little space in your garden. As a result, it
is very popular in the back yard garden.
Tip:Radish seeds germinate in a matter oI days. Many gardeners put a Iew radish seeds amongst the
rows oI carrots and other vegetables that take a long period to germinate. This "marks" the rows. As the
carrot crop begins to grow, you can either pull and discard the radish, or pull and eat them (We much
preIer the latter!).
Even though many kids do not like them, they are a great crop. They are easy to grow, perhaps the
Iastest to harvest oI all vegetables. With a harvest in as little as twenty days, young gardeners are
quickly rewarded Ior their eIIorts.
Varieties:
·There are a wide variety oI radishes.
·Colors are red or white.
·While the most popular radishes are round, the Irench varieties are cylindrical, resembling a
small carrot, but less tapered at the tip.
Sowing Radish Seeds:
Sow radish seeds 1/2 inch deep. Space them 1 1/2 to two inches apart. Separate rows eight to ten inches
apart. We recommend double rows, with wider rows between the double rows to aIIord easy access.
Tip:Broadcast spreading is also common, and easy to do. Prepare a square or rectangular area and
spread the seed out across the entire area. Then, lightly sprinkle loose soil over the area.
Thin seedlings to two inches apart in all directions. Radishes do not like to be crowded. They will not
Ior a bulb, iI overcrowded by other radishes or weeds. Weeding is very important to proper bulb
growth. Most growers don't give much thought to weeding, because oI their quick growth. But, it is
important Ior proper bulb development.
Succession planting every two weeks will result in radishes all season long! Note, you may want to
skip the mid-summer weeks, as radishes will not perIorm well in high heat. Like many other
vegetables, they tend to bolt in hot weather.
Days to Maturity:
20 to 30 days. Note, some cylindrical varieties may require longer.
How to Grow Radishes:
Growing radishes is easy.
Radishes will grow in average soils. Like other vegetables, they will respond to rich, well drained soil.
While preparing your garden space, work the soil six inches or more iI you are growing the long,
cylindrical varieties. Add Iertilizer while working the soil. Make sure to remove rocks and stones.
AIter the seeds germinate, thin rows to avoid crowding.
Keep rows weeded, especially in the Iirst week or two.
Make sure to provide ample water.
Tip:Radishes will sometimes bolt or Iail to Iorm a bulb. The most common causes oI this are crowding
and insuIIicient amounts oI water.
Insects and Pests:
Sucking and chewing insects can sometime inIest the leaves, but not overall growth oI the radish. Root
maggots can enter the roots, destroying the crop. II this occurs, plant Iuture crops in a diIIerent
location.
Disease of Radishes:
Few diseases aIIect radishes in their short growth cycle.
Hardiness:
While radishes thrive in cooler weather, they do not take a liking to Irost. You can plant seeds just
beIore the last Irost date. II Irost warnings are posted, cover them up at night.
"/#2'77%$
How to Grow Carrots
Want to learn how to grow carrots? You've come the right place. Smart, health conscious gardeners
grow them. They are a Iavorite oI weight watchers and health conscious crowd. Carrots are loaded with
vitamins, and they are nutritious. On top oI being good Ior you, carrots taste good, too. They can be
nibbled and munched upon whenever the urge arises. Bunnies like them because they know just how
good and healthy carrots are.
Varieties:
·There is a variety oI carrot Ior everyone. Carrot varieties are largely categorized by length.
·Short varieties come as small as two inches, and are as wide as they are long. These are the
carrot oI choice Ior gardeners who have hard clay or rocky soils.
·The longer varieties do best in rich, well worked soil rich in compost. The long, Iat carrots are
the most popular oI home gardeners.
·While most carrots are orange, there is a yellow and a red variety Ior those looking Ior a
diIIerent type to try.
·Baby carrots are a shorter type oI carrot.
·There is even a Chinese baby carrot to choose Irom.
Tips for Growing Carrots:
·Work the soil deeply. Remove all rocks and stones.
·A loose soil is very important. Add plenty oI compost.
·Do not add too much nitrogen Iertilizer. It results in "hairy" roots.
·Water deeply.
·Thinning seedlings is a must. Follow the spacing on the seed packet.
Planting Carrots:
Prior to planting carrot seeds, work the soil deeply. Add liberal amounts oI compost. II compost is not
available, add peat moss. When growing carrots, it is important to remove any rocks, stones and debris
which may impede the downward Iormation oI the roots. When a root hits an object, Iorked roots will
result.
Carrot seed are among the smallest, Iinest oI garden seeds. They are very diIIicult to space. Sow them
very thinly, about 1/4 inch deep. Cover them with a Iine garden soil. Or sprinkle them on top oI the
soil, and lightly water them into the soil. Space rows 1 to 1 1/2 Ieet apart. We recommend double rows
spaced 1 1/2 Ieet apart, and then wider rows, to aIIord easy access.
Broadcast sowing is also popular with carrots. With broadcast sowing, sprinkle or spread the seeds
across the area you are planting. Seeds Iall randomly, and do not develop in rows.
Whichever method you use, it is important to thin the seedlings beIore crowding impairs their growth.
AIter the seeds have germinated, thin to two inches apart.
Care and Feeding of Carrot Plants:
Keep carrots well weeded early in the season. They are easily overcrowded, with any competing weeds
usually winning out.
While they may not show it, carrots need a good supply oI water, in soil that drains well. They also
respond well to Iertilizer applied prior to sowing carrot seeds, and a couple oI times during the season.
Do not over Iertilizer your carrots. Too much nitrogen in the soil, results in hairy(Iine Ieeder roots),
miss-shaped carrots.
Tip:Make sure to mark the rows well, as carrots take a long time to germinate. We suggest you plant a
Iew radishes in the rows to "mark" them. AIter the carrots have germinated, the radishes can be
harvested.
Days to Maturity:
Carrot roots are ready to pick approximately 65 to 75 days, depending upon variety.
Insects and Pests:
The most common problem is the maggot stage oI the Carrot Ily. This 1/4 inch white maggot eats along
the outside oI the carrot.
Bunnies are well known to enjoy carrots. Experienced gardeners know that bunnies much preIer other
crops like the leaves oI beans and lettuce. Mice and moles will also nip at the tops oI the carrot roots.
Disease:
There are some diseases, particularly viruses, that can occasionally inIest your crop. To the home
gardener this is usually inIrequent, except in wet weather, or poorly drained soils.
Harvesting:
Begin to harvest carrots as "baby" size, thinning the row as you harvest. Once you begin picking, you
can harvest as needed. AIter the plants have died oII, the carrots do not need to be harvested right away.
They can remain in the soil Ior weeks or more.
In the "old days" beIore reIrigeration, carrots were kept in the soil, and covered with a thick layer oI
leaves. Then, they were dug up as needed, Ior consumption. Carrots kept in the ground will last well
into the winter months.
Note:Keeping carrots in the ground Ior long periods can aIIect Ilavor.
Hardiness:
Carrots are somewhat hardy. They will withstand cold weather and a light Irost.
"4#,--$9
How to Grow Beets
How many oI you out there like beets? Okay, so Beets may not be the most popular vegetable on the
planet. But those who like Beets, really love them. Home gardeners quickly discover, that Beet plants
are easy to grow. Big, bulbous beet roots reach maturity quickly, and take up little space.
Almost all varieties oI beets are a deep rich red. There is one white variety on the market. Beets are
commonly known to bleed, or leak, their deep red juices. This juice can cause stains, so be careIul
where your set them.
Did you know?Beets are one oI eight vegetables that makes V8 taste so great.
Varieties:
·There are several varieties oI beets. Most are round in shape, with deep red color.
·A Iew varieties are deep red and cylindrical, making them easier to cut uniIorm slices.
·There is also an uncommon white beet.
Planting Beet Seeds:
Plant Beet seeds thinly, 1/2 inch deep. AIter germination, thin to 2 to 3 inches apart. Rows should be
spaced 1 1/2 Ieet apart.
Growing Beet Plants:
Apply a general purpose Iertilizer while sowing, and again two to three weeks later. Beets should be
kept weed Iree. It is easy Ior weeds to overshadow the shorter beet leaves.
Do not overcrowd beets. Overcrowding will aIIect the development oI the beet root, causing it to grow
deeper and slender, rather than Iorming a big round bulb.
Tip:Keep the soil lightly watered. Too little water will result in a tough and leathery crop.
Days to Maturity:
Approximately 55 to 60 days Ior most varieties.
Insects and Pests:
Aphids and beetles will occasionally inIest the plants. Treatment with insecticide is eIIective. Mice and
squirrels and a Iew other pests will sometimes nibble on your Beet crop.
Disease:
Mildew and leaI spots are an occasional problem. Treat with Iungicides.
Harvesting Beet Roots:
Begin to harvest beets when they are two inches in diameter, thinning the row as you go. Beets are
tender when young. A big, round beet root will look really impressive, but will certainly not taste
impressive, as they will get tough quickly.
Hardiness:
Beets are sensitive to Irost. But, they are a root crop. Should Jack Frost pay an unexpected visit, the
beets are still harvestable.
"8#2'1)*B)%;-7
How to Grow Cauliflower Vegetable
As a member oI the cabbage Iamily, cauliIlower likes the cooler weather oI spring and autumn. They
may go dormant in the hottest days oI summer. The cabbage Iamily is well known to withstand Irost
and Ireezes. But, cauliIlower is less cold hardy than other members oI this Iamily.
The majority oI cauliIlower is grown as a Iall crop. Serious cauliIlower growers will grow a spring and
a Iall crop. CauliIlower does not do well in mid-summer's heat.
The plant will produce just one, large head.
Varieties:
Most varieties, like Early Snowball, produce white heads. There is a variety that produces a light green
head, making it quite novel.
Days to Maturity:
Varies by variety: 55 - 70 days
How to Grow Cauliflower:
Growing cauliIlower is a little more diIIicult than other members oI the cabbage Iamily. This is largely
due to the need to cover and "blanch" the head.
The plants like cool weather. Many growers plant both a spring and Iall crop. For a spring crop, start
indoors Iour to six weeks beIore the last Irost in your area. Transplant spring crops into the garden aIter
the last Irost date in your area. Fall crops can be directly seeded into the garden.
CauliIlower plants grow best in Iull sun. The soil should be rich and well drained, with plenty oI
organic matter. A slightly alkaline soil is best.
Watering is important. CauliIlower plants need regular, even watering. Do not allow the soil to dry.
Fertilize when planting and at regular intervals. The combination oI ample water and regular Iertilizing
is important to vigorous growth, and development oI a big, healthy head.
Blanching Cauliflower
The heads are covered, or "blanched", Ior two reasons. Covering the heads helps protect it Irom rotting.
It also helps to produce the white color and improve Ilavor.
Blanch the heads as soon as the curd gets 2-4 inches in diameter. This is done by covering the head
with the large leaves just below the head. Use garden twine to tie the leaves loosely around the head.
The object is to protect the head Irom light and water, while letting air in. As the head grows, loosen
and re-tie the leaves, as necessary.
Harvesting Cauliflower:
Harvest your CauliIlower when the Ilower head is Iull, and the Ilorets are still tightly packed.
Timing oI harvest is very important to taste. Food quality and taste rapidly deteriorates as the Ilowerets
begin to separate and open, and as the head turns Irom a creamy white to brown.
Insects and Pests:
The most common pest oI cauliIlower is cabbage Ilies, and cabbage worm or cabbage loopers. Cabbage
loopers are the larva stage oI a moth. Those white moths that visit your garden and yard are the
culprits. Some people call them white butterIlies.
EIIective treatment in the home garden is to place a screen over the plant so the moth can not lay her
eggs. Commercial growers apply insecticides to control them.
Disease:
The heads oI the cauliIlower is susceptible to rotting in warm, humid weather. That's one oI the two big
reasons to protect the head (curd) Irom water.
Hardiness:
All members oI the cabbage Iamily like cool and even cold weather. They can be among the Iirst plants
in your garden each spring. Start them indoors, and plant them beIore the last Irost, Ireeze or snow.
":#2%7.
How to Grow Corn
Corn is among the most popular oI vegetables. People look Iorward all year to Iresh corn on the cob in
late summer. Very little compares to the Iresh taste oI corn picked Irom the garden, moments beIore it
is cooked. Corn loses it's Ilavor very rapidly. Once it is picked, the sugars immediately begin to turn to
starch.
The only trouble with corn, is it requires a large amount oI space to grow. Most backyard gardeners
grow tomatoes because they can grow as Iew as one plant, which takes up very little space. Even urban
backyard gardeners have enough space Ior a single tomato plant. Planting corn requires a minimum oI
three rows (ideally Iour), oI about Iour Ieet in length. The space between rows needs to be three Ieet.
This minimum space allows adequate pollination Ior the corn. Corn is pollinated by pollen Irom it's
tassels (the tops oI the corn plant). Compare this to tomatoes, which are selI pollinating (which is why
you can grow a single plant).
Corn will usually produce one to two ears. It is also a Iavorite Ior Iall decorations where the stalks can
be used in a variety oI outdoor displays. As a result you get two uses out oI your crop. II you are a
Iarmer, livestock can be Ied the corn stalks aIter the Iall decorations are through.
Varieties of Corn Plants:
·Yellow corn- The most common and popular oI varieties. There are a wide range oI types
oI seed within this category.
·White Corn- With white kernels, this author and many others consider white corn to be among
the best tasting corn you can Iind. Among this category, Silver Queen corn is the most popular
by Iar.
·Bi-Color- This variety boasts both yellow and white kernels. Not only does it taste good, it
looks good too!
·Popcorn- Kids and adults will enjoy the thrill oI growing their own popcorn, and popping it in
the Iall. The ears need to thoroughly dry. Rub two dry ears together to remove the kernels Irom
the cob, or take the cob with kernels still attached, and pop it in the microwave!
·Broom Corn- Few people today are Iamiliar with Broom corn. This corn was grown Ior the
thin, strong stalks. They would be dried, then tied at the end oI a stick to make a broom.
·Ornamental Indian Corn- This corn is grown only Ior decorative purposes. It is dried and the
ears are used to decoration Ior Halloween, Thanksgiving, and other Iall events. Common,
popular varieties include: Ornamental multi-color Indian Corn and, Blue Hopi Corn.
·Tall stalks- This corn is grown Ior it's tall stalk. It is used in competition at Iall Iestivals. A corn
stalk Irom this variety can grow over twenty Ieet!
Days to Maturity:
Ranges Irom 65 to 95 days depending on variety. Among the longest varieties are "Silver Queen", one
oI the all time Iavorites, and certainly worth the wait. While some oI today's enhanced sugar varieties
claim to have higher sugar content and sweetness, Silver Queen remains the home gardener's Iavorite
"Queen oI the Corns".
How to Grow Corn Plants:
Grow corn in Iull sun and a rich garden soil.
Plant corn seeds in rows, about 1/2 to 1 inch deep. Space Iour to six inches apart in rows three Ieet
apart. Some home gardeners will plant two seeds close together then, thin out one oI them iI both grow.
This assures maximum use oI limited garden space, with no gaps due to poor germination. Another
method is to space the seed closer together, then thin them. Water well aIter planting, and again two to
Iour days later iI there has been no rain.
To assure proper pollination, plant Iour rows Iour Ieet long.
Tip:Some gardeners try to transplant corn seedlings to Iill gaps in the row. In general, corn, does not
transplant well. You can succeed however, under the right conditions. First, transplant when the
seedling is very small. Second, transplant in cooler weather and near evening. Dig extra deep to extract
the plant as corn seedlings send out a long, deep tap root. Finally, water well and daily Ior about a
week.
Fertilize with a general purpose Iertilizer every two to three weeks. Water regularly in dry weather.
Water deeply.
Keep corn plants well weeded in their early liIe. Place mulch between the rows to keep weeds down.
Insects and Pests:
Corn Ear worms and silkworms are the most common pests. Insects are not oIten a problem until the
ears begin to Iorm. Entry is through the silk. Sevin dust is very eIIective when applied directly on the
silk, or dusted in the air.
To control corn earworms, some people apply a couple drops oI mineral oil on the silk. Apply it aIter
pollination. The mineral oil suIIocates the earworms.
Deer are also be a problem iI they exist in your area. Occasionally birds will enjoy a meal on your corn.
Bluejays are common Ieeders in cornIields.
Diseases of Corn:
Until the ear begins to Iorm, corn usually experiences Iew disease problems. Occasionally a corn
Iungus develops at the ear. It is a black-ish, purple colored glob. It grows in rainy weather. II corn
Iungus is present, remove and destroy the plant. Put it in the garbage and not in your compost pile
where the Iungus can harbor and be transIerred to other crops.
Did you Know?That ugly, black-ish, purplish corn Iungus on your corn stalk is edible. It is considered
a delicacy to some. In Mexico, it is called "cuitlacoche" and is considered a delicacy.
Harvesting Corn:
Corn is at it's best when the kernels have just Iilled out. It is best to pick corn just beIore eating. II you
need to store it, harvest corn in the morning when it is at it's peak sweetness.
·Corn is ready when the silk has dried and and turned a dark brown.
·II you are inexperienced at picking corn in the Iield, select an ear that looks ripe. Without
taking it oII the plant, pull back the husk just enough to expose the tip oI the ear. II it is not ripe,
close it back up and tie a "twister" around it to seal out the bugs.
·Pull ears down, while twisting, to break them oII the plant. ·It helps to hold the cornstalk with
your Iree hand. This avoids breaking the stalk oI the
plant.
On the Grill:On those hot summer days when it is too hot to boil water indoors, try grilling corn. Just
soak the ears, husk and all, in a bucket oI water Ior a couple oI hours. Then, cook it on your grill,
turning regularly. When it's done, pull oII the husk, eat and enjoy!
Hardiness:
Corn likes it hot . It is somewhat resistant to dry weather. It sends it's roots deep, seeking moisture in
the dry summer conditions. It will be one oI the last garden vegetables to wilt in the heat oI the sun and
drought conditions. Corn does not like Irost or Ireezes. Although they may survive light or scattered
Irosts.
"<#2',,'=-
How to Grow Cabbage
The cabbage Iamily comprises a number oI hardy vegetables. They thrive in the cooler weather oI
spring and autumn. They may go dormant in the hottest days oI summer. As hardy as they come,
members oI the cabbage Iamily will withstand Irost and Ireezes. Some say their Ilavor improves aIter a
Irost. They are among the last oI the vegetables harvested in the Iall, and can even be picked aIter a
light snow. Members oI this Iamily have a strong Ilavor.
A member oI the mustard Iamily, cabbage has a strong, distinct Ilavor. Medical studies are showing that
members oI the cabbage Iamily are beneIicial to your health. The studies suggest that they help to
guard against cancer, especially colon and rectal cancers. OI particular note in this category is broccoli.
Varieties of Cabbage:
·Broccoli - A Iavorite member oI the cabbage Iamily. Broccoli is planted Ior it's immature
Ilower or head. Pick it beIore the Ilower starts to unIold or it will turn bitter. II planted in early
spring, you can get a large head in the spring, Iollowed by many side shoots all the way into late
Iall season.
·Brussels Sprouts- This vegetable grows into a tall plant with a large stalk. By breaking oII the
lower leaves at the stalk, you encourage a round sprout to develop. While not too diIIicult to
grow, this vegetable is susceptible to major aphid inIestations, just as this IlavorIul vegetable is
maturing. Spraying is all but a must. Brussels Sprouts were developed in Brussels in the 14th
Century.
·Cabbage- Cabbages are red or white, with white being the most common. Easy to grow in cool
weather, they tend to rot in hot weather. Cabbage is highly susceptible to cabbage loopers. They
are best grown as a Iall crop. Cabbages harvested in the Iall are oIten picked as the snow begins
to Ily.
·Chinese Cabbage- Oriental varieties are growing in popularity. ·CauliIlower - CauliIlower is
grown Ior the white "Ilower", or head. It is best grown as a Iall
crop. Tie the leaves around the developing head to blanch it into a creamy white color.
Did you know?There are also varieties oI cabbage and even cauliIlower that are grown as a Ilower?
These are varieties that have colorIul leaves and Ilowers.
Days to Maturity:
Varies by early (65 - 70 days) to late season varieties (90 - 100 days).
Insects and Pests:
The cabbage Iamily is extremely susceptible to insects. Among the most common are aphids, and
cabbage loopers. Cabbage loopers are the larva stage oI a moth. Those white moths that visit your
garden and yard are the culprits. Some people call them white butterIlies. EIIective treatment in the
home garden is to place a screen over the plant so the moth can not lay her eggs. Commercial growers
apply insecticides to control them. Aphids are controlled by Irequent spraying. Organic controls in the
Iorm oI soap or garlic sprays are also eIIective.
Disease:
Cabbage Ialls victim to rotting during hot and humid weather. Other Iamily members are Iairly resistant
to most diseases.
Did you Know?One U.S. President openly proclaimed his distaste Ior Broccoli. While he made a
seemingly innocent statement oI his Iood preIerences, it created quite a stir. Who is the President? II
you guessed George Bush, you are correct.
Hardiness:
All members oI the cabbage Iamily like cool and even cold weather. They can be among the Iirst plants
in your garden each spring. Start them indoors, and plant them beIore the last Irost, Ireeze or snow.
They will survive below thirty degrees. In the Iall, they will be your last crops to survive the
increasingly Irequent Irosts.
While the cabbage Iamily thrives on cool weather, many varieties will rot, or go dormant during hot
weather.
">#=7--. 6-'9
How to Grow Sweet Peas
Sweet Peas are one oI the Iavorite vegetables oI kids and adults. Kids and adults love them straight
Irom the garden. You can pick peas oII the vine, shell them and eat them raw, Ior a delicious, and
healthy snack. Peas are one oI the hardier vegetables. Sometimes called snow peas, they get their name
as young seedlings can survive Irosts, Ireezes and even snow!
There are numerous varieties oI peas. Some pea plants require Iencing or support. Others are described
as "SelI-supporting". Read the directions on the package to identiIy what you are buying. We
recommend you Ience them regardless oI type. This helps to keep the pea pods oII the ground ,and
results in cleaner peas. Inexpensive chicken wire Ience and a Iew stakes are all you need.
Varieties of Sweet Peas:
·Regular Sweet Peas- These nutritious vegetables are grown Ior their seeds. There are many
varieties to choose Irom. Some are better Ior canning and Ireezing, while others are best Iresh.
·Edible Podded- Eat the pea pod and all. The pod is sweet and tender (iI picked while still
young). It also contains pea seeds. Best oI all, they are Iar easier to prepare. Simply pick them,
wash them oII, and cook them. No shelling is needed.
·Chinese Peas- Similar to edible podded peas, you eat the crispy pod oI these chinese varieties.
The diIIerence, is the pea inside is very tiny.
Days to Maturity:
Ranges Irom 55 to 70 days, depending on variety. Early varieties have less seeds in the pod, usually
three to Iour. Later varieties may have 8 to 10 seeds.
Hills and Mounding:
Early spring crops beneIit by creating a long hill or mound. This slight elevation helps to warm the soil.
Most importantly, it keeps excess water and spring rain Irom rotting the seeds beIore they sprout.
Don't worry iI there is cold weather or even snow. Young pea plants are hardy, and will survive
temperatures into the 20's.
How to Grow Sweet Peas:
Growing sweet peas is easy. Select an area oI your vegetable garden that gets Iull sun. They preIer rich
garden soil. Mound soil Ior spring planting, iI your area receives heavy and Irequent spring rains.
Sow sweet pea seeds as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. Space seeds 1" to 1 1/2" apart.
We suggest planting double rows, with the double rows about 2 Ieet apart. The Ience Ior them to climb
up, is later placed between the double rows.
Apply a side dressing oI Iertilizer to give these plants a Iast start as soon as they germinate. Apply a
general purpose Iertilizer every three to Iour weeks.
Planted in the early spring, the soil is usually contains plenty oI moisture until warmer, drier weather
sets in. Water deeply, as needed.
Sweet Peas do not grow well in hot weather. However, Iall crops will do well. Make sure to plant them
with enough growing time to mature prior to heavy Ireezes.
Harvest as sweet peas, and edible podded varieties, while young and tender. Sweet Peas lose their
sweetness and become hard, iI leIt on the vine too long.
Insects and Pests:
Pea seedlings are a popular Iood Ior birds. As the seedlings grow, birds will sometimes eat the tender
tips. We recommend placing chicken wire or bird netting over the young seedlings.
Boring insects will sometimes enter the pea pod. Occasional aphid inIestations can also occur, but this
is uncommon. Sevin or Diazinon is eIIective.
In wet weather, slugs will climb the vines and suck on the pea pods. Use snail and slug pellets. For
organic control, make a beer trap. Put a little beer in a small can or bowl. Tuna cans work great. Bury
the trap, up to the lip, in the garden soil. Snails and slugs will be attracted to it, Iall in and drown.
Disease:
With summer heat and humidity, comes diseases that can beIall these plants just beIore, or during the
ripening oI the crop. Fungicides can be used in areas oI high heat and humidity. However, we
recommend you Iind out whether it is a problem in your area Iirst.
Hardiness:
Peas are very "cold weather" hardy. Plant them early in the season. They will withstand Irost, light
Ireezes, and even snow cover. Planted early enough you can complete one crop by early July, and still
have time Ior a Iall crop in most areas.
Peas do not like heat. In hot weather the plant stunts or slows it's growth. Any peas that develop and
mature are not as sweet.
"?#6'79)-C
How to Grow Parsley
Did you know that Parsley is an easy to grow vegetable? That's right, a vegetable! Almost everyone
thinks oI it as a herb. We suggest you grow it in a Ilower garden near the house, or a container,
especially iI your garden space is limited. By planting it near your house, you can quickly harvest some
Ior cooking, and it will continue to grow well into the Iall months.
As a herb, parsley has a mild Ilavor which is used in a wide variety oI recipes. It also is an important
garnish, decorating many types oI trays and dishes. Kids seem to like to take Parsley garnish, and
munch on it.
Did you Know?Hamburg Parsley is grown Ior it's long root to Ilavor soups and stews. It is an excellent
source oI vitamins A,C, calcium and iron.
Try growing this herb in a sunny window and enjoy it Iresh all winter. We do!
Thought for the Day:II a parsley grower is sued, can you garnish his wages?
Growing Parsley Plants:
While Parsley is a biennial, it is oIten grown as an annual, especially in colder climates.
Parsley plants can be started indoors or out. We suggest you sow these tiny parsley seeds indoors, and
let them grow Ior a Iew weeks prior to planting outdoors. They transplant easily. And, transplanting
aIIords easy spacing.
Sow seeds thinly. Parsley seeds are so Iine, you can sow on top oI the soil and just water them in.
Germination can take two weeks. Young plants will grow slowly, but steadily.
Parsley can grow in partly shady areas. The soil should be rich. This easy to grow herb, tolerates poor
soil and poor drainage. So, you can be put parsley in areas oI the garden that other plants do not like.
Harvesting:
Begin to pick parsley as soon as the leaves begin to curl and are oI suIIicient size Ior your recipe. For
best Ilavor oI this mild herb, pick early in the day when the oils are the strongest.
Insects and Pests:
Aphids will inIrequently enjoy a meal oI your parsley. Aphids have Iar too many other Ilowers and
vegetables that they preIer much more.
We recommend tolerating the occasional inIestation, rather than using insecticides.
Hardiness:
Parsley is very hardy. Parsley that has wintered over in your garden will begin their growth with the
Iirst rays oI sun in the spring . New growth begins shortly aIter the snow has melted. You will be
harvesting the leaves late into the Iall.
(!#,7%22%)*
How to Grow Broccoli Plants
Broccoli is a tasty and nutritious cool weather crop, popular in home gardens. It is a member oI the
mustard Iamily, and was originally cultivated Irom wild cabbage. Like other members oI the mustard
Iamily, it has a strong, distinct Ilavor.
Medical studies show that the Broccoli plant is beneIicial to your health. The studies suggest that they
help to guard against cancer, especially colon and rectal cancers.
Days to Maturity:
Broccoli will Iorm its Iirst head in about 85 - 90 days. AIter picking the primary head, most varieties
will produce secondary shoots with much smaller heads all season long.
How to Grow Broccoli Plants:
Broccoli is a cool weather crop. Broccoli preIers Iull sun and a rich garden soil. It grows best in the
spring and Iall. Fall crops will survive long aIter the Iirst Irost, and even aIter the Iirst snowIall. Flavor
is best in cool and cold weather. Sow Broccoli seeds as early as the ground can be worked. We
recommend an early indoor start 3-4 weeks beIore the last Irost. As soon as the garden is ready Ior
planting, transplant seedlings. Spring Irosts will not aIIect them.
Keep soil moist during the growing season. Fertilize with a general purpose Iertilizer every 3-4 weeks.
Harvest compact heads beIore they begin to Ilower. As soon as the Iirst Iloret begins to open, broccoli
loses its sweet Ilavor and becomes bitter. Harvest side shoots in the same manner. Broccoli grows
slowly in hot weather. It Iorms Iew heads during this period. Most home gardeners avoid growing
broccoli during the hot humid months oI summer.
Insects and Pests:
Broccoli is extremely susceptible to insects. The most common insect problems are are aphids, and
cabbage loopers.
Cabbage loopers are the larva stage oI a moth. Those white moths that visit your garden and yard are
the culprits. Some people call them white butterIlies. Try placing a screen or insect netting over the
plant, so the moth can not lay her eggs. Commercial growers apply insecticides to control them.
Aphids are controlled by Irequent spraying. Organic controls in the Iorm oI soap or garlic sprays are
also eIIective.
Disease:
Broccoli plants are Iairly resistant to most plant diseases.
Hardiness:
Broccoli thrives in cool and even cold weather. It can be among the Iirst plants in your garden each
spring. Start them indoors, and plant them beIore the last Irost, Ireeze or snow. They will survive below
thirty degrees. In the Iall, they will be your last crops to survive the increasingly Irequent Irosts.
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How to Grow Onions
The onion Iamily can bring tears to your eyes, literally. Tears aside, onions are a popular vegetable, and
a Iavorite oI the home gardener. II they make you cry, why do so many home gardeners grow onions?
There are lots oI reasons. Try, easy to grow, takes up little space in the home garden, and lots oI
culinary and medicinal uses. Is that enough reasons!?!
Onions have a place in a tremendous number oI recipes Irom main courses to soups and salads, dips
and hors d'ceuvres. It is used in BreakIast, Lunch, Dinner, breads, and Ior snacks. We once thought the
only thing onions were not used in was dessert. A reader led us to onion dessert recipes!
Tip:There are lots oI ideas to help avoid the tears while cutting onions. Try chewing gum. Others have
suggested chewing bread, taIIy, etc. One way to assure you won't get all teary-eyed chopping onions, is
to have someone else chop them Ior you!!!!
Onions are easy to grow, have a Iairly short growing period, and importantly, they take up little space.
With just one square Ioot oI garden space, you can grow an onion or two. As a result, even the most
space limited gardener usually has a Iew onions in the garden.
Onions are also good Ior your health. They were once believed to ward oII evil spirits. (We recommend
Garlic to be more eIIective Ior this use). Onions also have medicinal value. Recent medical studies
suggest onions help to lower cholesterol and heart disease.
Did you Know?II you don't have a vegetable garden, place a Iew in your Ilower garden. II you rent,
put a Iew in a planting pot or box, and set it on the deck or in a sunny window. Yes, you can grow
onions just about anywhere.
Types of Onions:
·Common Slicing Varieties: White and Yellow, or Spanish onion
·Purple onion -our Iavorite with it's mild taste, is easier on the gastro-intestinal system
·Scallions or Green Onions: Grown Ior it's long stem, and little or no bulb.
·Pearl Onions or Pickling Onions: You guessed it, Ior pickling
·Shallots:A mild tasting, small bulb
·Leeks: Like a scallions, it is mild, yet distinctive tasting. The stalk is eaten.
·Vidalia Onions - deIined more by where they are grown, than the variety.
Long Day or Short Day Onions?
Most onion varieties begin to Iorm a bulb, when the temperature and hours oI daylight reach certain
levels.
"Long Day Bulbs" begin to Iorm a bulb, when there is 14-16 hours oI daylight. They include Sweet
Spanish Onions and Walla Walla onions.
"Short Day Bulbs" will begin to bulb when there is 12 - 14 hours oI daylight hours. Short day bulbs
include Yellow Granex, Texas Grano and Red Burgundy.
Growing Onions:
Home gardeners have three choices Ior starting onions. Onion seeds, seedlings, and sets (or bulbs).
Seeds take the longest time, and should be started indoors. Seedlings give you a jump start on growing
and are hardy. They can be bought at a garden store or bought mail order.
Plant onions 3 to 4 inches apart, in double rows six to ten inches apart. Leave enough room to get
between the rows to weed.
Onions grow best in rich soIt soil or loam. But they tolerate most soils, especially iI you add suIIicient
Iertilizer. Keep the soil moist, and allow good drainage.
The trick to big onions, is to get the plant to grow really big, prior to Iorming a bulb.
Nature sends a message to the onion plant to Iorm a bulb. that signal is warm up and longer daylight
hours. Onions are biennials. They will go to seed in the second year, sending up a tall, hard stalk with a
seed pod. Many growers do not know this, as we harvest our onions in the Iirst year. Occasionally, the
onions go to seed in the Iirst year.
Harvest:
Pull onions when aIter the tops have Iallen over. Rinse oII dirt, and allow the onions to dry in the open
air Ior a Iew days. Then, cut the tops oII the onion and cut oII the roots. Allow the cuts to air dry Ior
two or three more days. This will help to seal the onion and avoid pre-mature spoiling.
Tip:To get a really early start, buy onion sets as early a possible. Place a Iew in some moist (not wet),
loose starting mix or potting soil about two to three weeks beIore you can set them outdoors. They will
sprout and develop a good roots system Ior an early start.
Insects:
Most members oI the onion Iamily are resistant to insect problems. Root maggots can attack the
bulbs.Tiny thrips are an occasional problem. Insecticidal soap sprays or sevin are very eIIective.
Did you know?Onions, garlic and even chives are an ingredient in a number oI organic insect sprays.
Disease of Onions:
The onion Iamily is resistant to most disease.While they are resistant, there are a number oI potential
ails. Wet, and humid weather can increase the likelihood oI disease.
Hardiness:
Onions are as hardy as they come. Frosts, Ireezing temperatures, and even snow will not kill them. It
will only slow their growth until warmer weather returns. Extended cold below 20-25 degrees however
can kill them iI they are growing when exposed.
Tip: Plant chives amidst your Ilower or herb garden once and grows Ior decades. Plant it along the wall
oI a house and you extend the season. Chives can also be grown in a sunny window all winter long.
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How to Grow Cantaloupe
Okay, is it a Melon, a Cantaloupe or a muskmelon? Fact oI the matter is, people call them by all three
names. Does it really matter? We don't think so. Any Iruit that tastes this good, and is served at
breakIast, lunch, dinner, and snack time, can be called anything you want to call it.
A cousin oI the watermelon, cantaloupes have a sweet, musky taste, and are mouth watering delicious.
Already popular in the home garden, it continues to gain in popularity. "Bush type" varieties, requiring
less space, are the most popular. Bush varieties are not really a bush. Rather, they grow on a shorter,
more compact vine.
When preparing a bowl oI melons, two or thee varieties are oIten used together. The color combination
oI orange Cantaloupes, mixed with green colored Honeydew melons is aesthetically pleasing. Food that
looks good, tastes even better.
Varieties of Melons:
·Cantaloupe and Muskmelons- There are several varieties, including early and bush types.
·Honeydew Melons- This is a sweet, light tasting melon. The Ilesh is lime green to light
green in color.
·Crenshaw Melon- Another, less common melon with a peach colored Iruit and a yellow skin.
Planting:
Common wisdom recommends melons be planted in "hills" or groups. However, this is not a
requirement. II you are growing large quantities, it may not be practical.
When planting in hills, sow Iour to six melon seeds per hill and space the hills Iour to six Ieet apart.
Sow 1/2 to 1 inch deep. AIter germination, thin and keep the three or Iour healthiest plants. Row
spacing should be Iive to six Ieet. The more compact "bush" types may tolerate closer spacing.
II you choose not to hill, sow seeds three to Iour inches apart.
Seedlings can be started indoors. A germination mat is helpIul. We recommend using peat pellets to
help to minimize transplant shock.
Days to Maturity:
Growing melons takes most oI the summer season, They require approximately 75 to 90 days, with
most varieties on the higher end. While they take a while to grow, it's worth the wait.
Insects and Pests:
Melon plants are a Iavorite Iood oI a variety oI insect pests. Among the most common pests are the
cucumber beetle and the squash vine borer. Occasionally, other pests will invade the melon patch.
Common insecticides such as Sevin are very eIIective. Treatment beIore the emergence oI insects is
recommended.
Mice and moles also enjoy melons. Many a grower has seen their melon turn to mush just beIore it is
picked. Close inspection oIten reveals a mole tunnel leading under the Iruit. Placing a board under the
Iruit is one means oI deterrence. Pest control is another.
Disease:
Melon plants are very susceptible to powdery mildew and other Iungus diseases. Early treatment with
Iungicide is eIIective. II not caught early, the entire patch can be aIIected.
Harvesting:
Determining when a melon is ripe is a bit oI an art Iorm. As a general rule, a melon is ripe when the
stem begins to dry out. The end oI the melon is soIt when pressed with your thumb. A melon is over
ripe when it is soIt all over. Melons can be picked just prior to ripening. Commercial growers pick them
just beIore they are ripe, as they ship better and keep longer.
Once harvested, it will only last about a week un-reIrigerated. Melons will keep Ior weeks in your
reIrigerator.
Hardiness:
Melons do not like cold and Irost. Plant outdoors aIter the last Irost date Ior your area. II the plants still
have Iruit in the Iall, be prepared to cover the plants on Irosty nights.
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How to Grow Eggplant
Not only is eggplant easy to grow, it is one oI the more proliIic producers oI the vegetable world. On
top oI that, it is great in recipes. Eggplant Parmesan is one oI the better known oI all Italian recipes.
Eggplant is a very popular European vegetable, especially in the Mediterranean region.
Eggplant is grown and enjoyed all over the world. There are website links and inIormation in many
places among them India, Egypt, China, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, France and dozens more countries. A
web search will result in eggplant recipes Irom all corners oI the globe.
Varieties of Eggplant:
·The most common are dark purple, sometimes almost black colored Eggplants, which are
either globe or round shaped.
·They also can be slender and straight. ·Other less common varieties can be white, scarlett
(reddish) and a yellow or golden in
color.
Planting Eggplant:
Eggplant likes hot weather. Plant aIter the last day oI Irost Ior your region. Plants oIten are started
indoors six to eight weeks beIore the last Irost date, and transplanted as the weather warms in the
spring. A second setting in mid summer, is oIten started outdoors.
For outdoors planting, select a sunny location. Eggplants like Iull sun. Sow eggplant seeds very
shallow, about 1/4. You can even set them on the soil and lightly water them in. II started outdoors, you
can also sow seeds in a seedbed and transplant plant seedlings to the desired location. Space 1 1/2 Ieet
apart. Space rows 2 to 2 1/2 Ieet apart.
Growing Eggplant - Care and Feeding:
Grow Eggplant in Iull sun. BeIore planting, add plenty oI compost and manure, as eggplants thrive in
rich soil. Keep the soil moist to promote maximum growth.
Apply a general purpose Iertilizer in the spring when you till the soil. Add additional applications every
three to Iour weeks.
Mulch around the plants to add nutrients, and Ior moisture retention. Keep eggplants weed Iree, so they
do not compete Ior sunlight and nutrients.Provide Irost protection Ior the plants both spring and Iall.
Days to Maturity:
Approximately 55 to 70 days Ior most varieties, with some little longer.
Insects and Pests:
Aphids, Red Spider mites and whiteIlies are common pests. Garden dusts like Sevin are usually
eIIective.
Disease:
Eggplant does not suIIer Irom too many diseases. But cool weather will slow down production.
Harvesting:
Begin to harvest eggplants as soon as the Iirst Iruit reaches a desirable size. Keep picking them and do
not let them get too big. By continuous harvesting, you will encourage more Iruit to set all the way to
Irost.
Hardiness:
Eggplant is a hot weather crop. It is susceptible to cold temperatures and Irost. Delay planting in the
spring until nighttime temperatures are in the upper Iorties. II you start the season early, use hotcaps Ior
cool nights to help the young seedlings get oII to a good, healthy start. II your crop is still producing in
the Iall, cover them on cold evenings to extend the harvest.
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How to Grow Okra
Lots oI people don't even know what Okra is. Some people say they have never eaten it. II you have
ever had a Gumbo recipe oI any kind, you have had Okra. II you've eaten any southern cooking, it's
very likely that you've had Okra.The part oI the plant that you eat, is actually the Okra seed pod.
Okra is grown all over the world. It is most common in the southern part oI the U.S., and uncommon
elsewhere. Now here comes the good part..... Growing Okra is easy, and it grows quickly. It's quick
maturation, makes it a vegetable that can be grown even in areas with short seasons. So, iI you have not
tried it in your garden beIore, give it a try this year.
Sowing Okra Seeds:
Sow Okra seeds 1/2 inch deep, spacing them 6 to 8 inches apart, in rows 2 Ieet apart. A week or so aIter
germination, thin to a Iinal spacing oI 12 to 18 inches apart.
Sow seeds early aIter all danger oI Irost has past, and the weather has warmed. Do not rush to plant
them aIter the last Irost. The seeds preIer warm weather and warm soil to germinate. They will grow
quickly in warm weather.
Maturity: 50-60 days. How to Grow Okra:
Okra is quick growing in hot weather. It loves the heat more than perhaps most other vegetables.
Provide Iull sun and rich, well drained soil. Keep them watered, but make sure to provide good
drainage, as they do not like to keep their Ieet wet Ior extended periods. Apply both Iertilizer and
mulch.
Harvesting:
Harvest Okra when the pods are young and tender, about three to Iour inches long. They will get hard
and stringy quickly. Pick the pods regularly, as oIten as every other day. This will encourage the plant
to produce more Ilowers and pods Ior an extended period oI time.
Insects and Pests:
Aphids and other insects enjoy sucking on the juices oI the plants. The Iirst time this author ever grew
it, the Okra mainly Ied the insects. Insect control is important Ior a bountiIul harvest.
Hardiness:
Commonly grown in the south, Okra is susceptible to Irost. Pod production diminishes in cool weather.
(8#$17.*6
How to Grow Turnips
As members oI the mustard Iamily, Turnips are not common crops in home gardens in the U.S. They
are however, quite popular in Europe and even Canada. This easy to grow root crop is nutritious and
versatile. It tastes good raw, with dips and cooked. Once you've tasted it, you will be growing turnips,
too.
Varieties or Turnips:
There are round varieties as well as long cylindrical and Ilat types.
Sowing Turnip Seeds:
Sow Turnip seeds 1/2 inch deep, sprinkling the small seeds thinly to an inch apart in the rows. Separate
the rows 1 Ioot apart. Use double rows to conserve space in your home garden.
Sow seeds early in the spring and again in the Iall. Although they can be grown in the summer, they
preIer cool weather. Leave the middle oI the summer Ior the heat loving vegetables.
Days to Maturity: 35-45 days How to Grow Turnips:
While Turnip plants will tolerate poorer soils, they will grow better in richer garden soils, and be less
likely to take on a woody texture. Work the soil and add compost. Make sure to remove any large rocks
and stones.
Turnips sprout quickly, in about a week. AIter two weeks, thin seedlings to Iour to Iive inches apart.
Provide ample water, as the most common cause oI woody stems is dry soil. As with other root crops,
the action is below the soil. The leaves may not tell you when the soil is dry. Our rule oI thumb is
"when in doubt, water".
II you are growing Turnips just Ior leaves in salads and soups, provide plenty oI Iertilizer and a high
nitrogen mix. II you are growing them Ior the roots, avoid a high nitrogen Iertilizer, which will deter
root development.
Harvesting:
Harvest Turnip leaves Ior salads as soon as they reach a size large enough to eat. Four to six inches is
ideal. AIter cutting the leaves, new leaves will grow. You can usually harvest the leaves several times.
As with most root crops, it is better to pull them while still young and tender. Begin to harvest Turnips
at golI ball size. Once they reach tennis ball size, the root will become tough and woody.
Some people leave their Iall crop in the ground and pick a Iew, as needed, well into the winter months.
II the root and plant is still growing, they can become too large. We recommend pulling them, cutting
oII the leaves and storing them in a cool, dry place. Many people will store them in their basement in
dry soil, to help retain moisture and Ireshness.
Insects and Pests:
Turnips are bothered by a variety oI insects and pests. The insect world knows that this vegetable is
tasty and nutritious. They include slugs and snails, aphids, beetles, cutworms and root maggots.
Because they grow and are harvested quickly, large inIestations are not oIten a problem in the home
gardens. By the time you spot a problem, it is time to harvest.
Disease:
Occasional mildews and a white blister disease can aIIect the crop. However, it is inIrequent.
Hardiness:
Turnips are cool weather crops and withstand light Ireezes.
(:#2-)-7C
How to Grow Celery Plants
Celery is a vegetable that is popular with the health conscious. It is almost absent oI calories, yet
contains important vitamins and minerals. Despite their very mild Ilavor, people much on them all day
long. While some people complain that it has little taste, it's that mild taste that makes it such a great
tool Ior dipping into your Iavorite dip, salad dressing, or sauce. It also adds a little crunch to recipes.
Did you Know?Celery has negative calories? Being almost absent oI calories, the process oI eating
consumes calories, netting you a negative calorie meal or snack!
Celery is not commonly Iound in the home garden, despite the Iact that is is a very common item in the
grocery store. The reason is Celery is a little more diIIicult to grow than the common garden Iruits and
vegetables. Growing Celery requires a longer growing season, and preIers cooler temperatures. Celery
originated in wetland ares, ad requires lots oI water. Without the proper care, Celery stalks can be very
dry and stringy.
The more demanding conditions and attention that celery needs, sometimes causes home growers to
rise to the challenge. A high proportion oI growers look Ior a diIIerent vegetable or variety each year, as
a challenge to their gardening skills. Why not make growing celery your next challenge?
Varieties of Celery Plants:
·There are a limited number oI varieties oI celery on the market. ·Varieties that require
blanching are little used in the home garden, as they require a lot oI
extra work.
·As previously mentioned, it is diIIicult to Iind them in seed catalogues and are usually
available as seedlings in garden stores. You may even have to shop around Ior seedlings as
many garden stores will not carry them.
Planting Celery:
We recommend you start seedlings indoors, using a germination mat. The seeds are very tiny, diIIicult
to sow, and requires thinning out seedlings. In addition, the longer growing season may necessitate an
indoor start in many areas oI the country.
Sow celery seeds in individual pots or containers. As the seed is very tiny, put as Iew as possible into
each pot. AIter they have germinated and are large enough to thin, remove all but two or three. As they
continue to grow, thin to one per pot(individual slot).
Transplant outdoors aIter the last date Ior Irost in your area. Space plants one Ioot apart, in rows 2 to 2
1/2 Ieet apart.
Growing and Caring for Celery Plants:
Celery is a heavy Ieeder . It also requires lots oI water. Make sure to provide plenty oI water during the
entire growing season, especially during hot, dry weather. II celery does not get enough water, the
stalks will be dry, and small.
Celery plants should be grown in Iull sun.and in a rich a rich, garden soil. Add plenty oI compost and
mulch around the plants to help retain moisture. Add general purpose Iertilizer as you work the soil
beIore planting, and Iertilize regularly. Add mulch as needed, to help retain soil moisture and add
nutrients.
Late in the season, blanch inner stalks by tieing the stalks together with twine.
Days to Maturity:
Approximately 120 to 140 days.
Insects and Pests:
A broad range oI insects and pests are attracted to Celery. These include Slugs, Aphids, LeaIhoppers,
Celery Ilies, and more.
Disease:
LeaI spot and blight are the most common problems. Splitting oI stalks is a result oI dry weather and
too little moisture . As with most plants, blights occur most Irequently in wet weather and should be
treated early with Iungicide. Bacteria can also cause rotting in the center oI the stalk.
Harvesting Celery:
Harvest aIter the stalks have reached a Ioot or more. The outside stalks may be discarded or used in
soups iI undamaged by slug and other insects. The inner stalks are more tender and taste best
uncooked.
Hardiness:
Celery is susceptible to both spring and Iall Irost. Set plants outdoors aIter the last Irost date Ior your
area. Because they require a long growing period, be prepared to cover your crop in the early Iall to
protect them against Irost just prior to the maturing oI the plant. II Irost does damage the plant, the
inner stalks should still be good.
Pests:
Most critters shy away Irom Celery. And, many gardeners will be ecstatic to know, that deer do not eat
it!
(<#9D1'93
How to Grow Squash
Squash plants are members oI the cucurbita Iamily oI vegetables, which also includes pumpkins. There
are a very wide variety oI squash, resulting Irom easy cross breeding among Iamily members. II you
grow a number oI varieties oI squash and save the seeds, next year's crop will likely produce some very
strange and interesting cross breeds (Mutations!).
Squash is easy to grow, and most varieties are proliIic producers. The size oI your garden may
determine which squash varieties to grow. Bush squash requires a much smaller space, than vining
squash varieties.
Varieties of Squash:
It is impossible to describe every type oI squash, as they readily cross breed across varieties, producing
a wide range oI cross breeds. Listed below are the most common "purebred" types. Most squashes are
vining plants, but a number oI varieties, including the inIamous Zucchini, are bush types. Make sure
you know which variety you have beIore planting, and plan your garden space accordingly.
There are winter and summer varieties. Winter squash produce Iruit with thick skins. They can be
stored Ior long periods, well into the winter months, iI properly stored. The skin oI winter squash is not
eaten. Summer squash produces thin-skinned Iruit, and does not store well. Summer squash is usually
eaten without peeling the skin.
Winter Squashes:
·Acorn
·Butternut
·Buttercup
·Hubbard , Blue hubbard. golden hubbard
·Spaghetti Squash - AIter cooking, this interesting squash can be pulled out in strands similar in
appearance to spaghetti,. It's popular with kids.
·Cushaw
Summer Squashes:
·Zucchini
·Crookneck Summer Squash
·Straightneck Summer Squash
Days to Maturity:
Most summer squashes require 45 to 50 days to maturity. Winter squashes range Irom 70 to 110 days or
more. The larger Iruited varieties, like Blue Hubbard, require the most time.
Did you know?Most people know that giant pumpkin growing is a big hobby, with avid growers. But,
did you know that almost all pumpkin weigh-oIIs also have a category Ior giant squash? Giant squash
can grow over 1,000 pounds!
Sowing Squash Seeds:
Plant in rows or hills, planting seeds one inch deep. Row spacing is dependent upon the variety you are
planting. In hills, plant Iour to Iive per hill. AIter they have germinated, keep the best two to three
squash plants. Cover very lightly with soil. Water the Iirst day and iI there is no rain, every two to three
days until they germinate.
How to Grow Squash:
Squash plants should be grown in Iull sun.
Squash plants are Iood hogs. They need a rich garden soil, and ample Iertilizer. The soil should be well
drained. A side dressing oI Iertilizer and regular Ieedings oI Iertilizer will signiIicantly help the health
oI the plant and the size oI the harvest.
Water regularly, especially during dry periods and the Iruit growth stage. Water deeply. Like other
garden vegetables, keep soil moist, not wet. It is important to note, that irregular watering, can result in
pre-mature ripening oI the Iruit.
Weed regularly, especially during the early growth stage. Adding a layer oI mulch or compost, will
keep the weeds down, and Ieed the plant.
Train vines to go in the direction you want them to go. CareIully, and slowly, turn vines as needed.
Move them a little each day. Trim vines, removing tertiary vines to promote larger Iruit growth.
Tip:Bury vines with an inch or two oI garden soil, to encourage secondary root growth.
Insects and Pests:
The Cucumber Beetle is the dreaded pest oI all members oI the Cucurbita Iamily. Cucumber Beetles
are either striped or spotted. They Ieed on the leaves oI the plants, and can cause even greater damage.
They spread disease Irom one plant to another. They are eIIectively treated with most insecticides.
Squash Vine Borers (SVB's) are a serious problem in some areas. SVB's bore into the vine, and eats the
vine Irom the inside out. Untreated, it ends your season.
Squash Bugs will suck the juices oI plants. II severe, the plant will die.
A variety oI other pests can also cause problems, depending upon where you live. Apply insecticides as
needed, Iollowing the directions on the label.
Diseases of Squash:
As a member oI the Cucurbita Iamily, most squash are susceptible variety oI bacteria and Iungus
diseases. Among the most common, are powdery mildew and bacterial wilt. Plant disease problems are
most common in hot and humid weather. A strong plant, healthy plant and Iungicide treatment will help
avoid these problems. Treat with Iungicides at the Iirst sign oI problems.
Hardiness:
Squash is not a hardy plant. They are susceptible to Irost in the spring and Iall. They are also very
susceptible to insects and disease. But, most growers successIully plant and harvest at least one variety.
(>#,7199-)9 967%1$9
How to Grow Cabbage Family Vegetables
The cabbage Iamily comprises a number oI hardy vegetables. They thrive in the cooler weather oI
spring and autumn. They may go dormant in the hottest days oI summer. As hardy as they come,
members oI the cabbage Iamily will withstand Irost and Ireezes. Some say their Ilavor improves aIter a
Irost. They are among the last oI the vegetables harvested in the Iall, and can even be picked aIter a
light snow. Members oI this Iamily have a strong Ilavor.
A member oI the mustard Iamily, cabbage has a strong, distinct Ilavor. Medical studies are showing that
members oI the cabbage Iamily are beneIicial to your health. The studies suggest that they help to
guard against cancer, especially colon and rectal cancers. OI particular note in this category is broccoli.
Varieties of Cabbage:
·Broccoli - A Iavorite member oI the cabbage Iamily. Broccoli is planted Ior it's immature
Ilower or head. Pick it beIore the Ilower starts to unIold or it will turn bitter. II planted in early
spring, you can get a large head in the spring, Iollowed by many side shoots all the way into late
Iall season.
·Brussels Sprouts- This vegetable grows into a tall plant with a large stalk. By breaking oII the
lower leaves at the stalk, you encourage a round sprout to develop. While not too diIIicult to
grow, this vegetable is susceptible to major aphid inIestations, just as this IlavorIul vegetable is
maturing. Spraying is all but a must. Brussels Sprouts were developed in Brussels in the 14th
Century.
·Cabbage- Cabbages are red or white, with white being the most common. Easy to grow in cool
weather, they tend to rot in hot weather. Cabbage is highly susceptible to cabbage loopers. They
are best grown as a Iall crop. Cabbages harvested in the Iall are oIten picked as the snow begins
to Ily.
·Chinese Cabbage- Oriental varieties are growing in popularity.
·CauliIlower - is grown Ior the white "Ilower", or head. It is best grown as a Iall crop. Tie
the leaves around the developing head to blanch it into a creamy white color.
Did you know?There are also varieties oI cabbage and even cauliIlower that are grown as a Ilower?
These are varieties that have colorIul leaves and Ilowers.
Days to Maturity:
Varies by early (65 - 70 days) to late season varieties (90 - 100 days).
Insects and Pests:
The cabbage Iamily is extremely susceptible to insects. Among the most common are aphids, and
cabbage loopers. Cabbage loopers are the larva stage oI a moth. Those white moths that visit your
garden and yard are the culprits. Some people call them white butterIlies. EIIective treatment in the
home garden is to place a screen over the plant so the moth can not lay her eggs. Commercial growers
apply insecticides to control them. Aphids are controlled by Irequent spraying. Organic controls in the
Iorm oI soap or garlic sprays are also eIIective.
Disease:
Cabbage Ialls victim to rotting during hot and humid weather. Other Iamily members are Iairly resistant
to most diseases.
Did you Know? One U.S. President openly proclaimed his distaste Ior Broccoli. While he made a
seemingly innocent statement oI his Iood preIerences, it created quite a stir. Who is the President? II
you guessed George Bush, you are correct.
Hardiness:
All members oI the cabbage Iamily like cool and even cold weather. They can be among the Iirst plants
in your garden each spring. Start them indoors, and plant them beIore the last Irost, Ireeze or snow.
They will survive below thirty degrees. In the Iall, they will be your last crops to survive the
increasingly Irequent Irosts.
While the cabbage Iamily thrives on cool weather, many varieties will rot, or go dormant during hot
weather.
(?#-.A*E-
How to Grow Endive Plants
Endive is closely related to Chickory. Endive is loose leaIed, with a slight bunching oI blanched leaves
in the center oI the plant. There are two types: the Irilly curled Endive with pointy leaves, and a
smoother-leaIed Escarole. Endive has a slightly bitter, buttery taste. It is very popular, and attractive in
salads.
Days to Maturity:
Endive is ready to harvest in 90-100 days.
Sowing Endive Seeds:
Endive seeds are very Iine. When planting in rows, spread the seeds as thinly as possible. Cover the
seeds with a very Iine layer oI loose soil or starting mixture. Water lightly, and keep soil moist. Thin
plants to 6" apart, in rows 18" apart.
Tip:Some people sprinkle the seeds on top oI a Iine soil, and just water them in. Endive are good
candidates Ior container gardens. Try growing Endive in a container on your patio
or deck.
How to Grow Endive Plants:
Endive likes cool weather and lots oI moisture, in rich, well drained soil. Provide an even amount oI
moisture and Iertilizer. Liquid Iertilizer works well.
Weed the patch regularly, as weeds will compete Ior moisture and nutrients.
Harvesting:
Endive grows slower than most lettuces. You can harvest leaves as soon as it is big enough to use.
Insects and Pests:
Bunnies like all kinds oI lettuce. Got bunnies!? Then, a rabbit Ience is in your Iuture. A variety oI
insects can pose a real problem. Lettuce is delicate and can absorb many insecticides. II you want or
need to use insecticides, look Ior brands that are less harmIul to you and the environment. We like to
avoid insecticides on leaIy vegetables wherever possible. we suggest organic sprays, and a willingness
to give up some oI the harvest to insects, versus using pesticides. AIter all, one oI the reasons most oI
us have gardens is to avoid the pesticides.
Slugs are a real problem Ior all types oI lettuces. There are a variety oI control methods.
Disease:
Disease problems are Iew, except in wet or hot weather.
Hardiness:
Like other lettuce, Endive thrives in cooler weather, with moderate moisture. It is not Iond oI mid-
summer heat, or dry conditions.
/!#2%))'7A =7--.9
How to Grow Collard, or Collard Greens
As a member oI the cabbage Iamily, Collards plants are much less known. Collard are closely related to
Kale. They are strong Ilavored, open leaIed cabbage. They do not Iorm a large, round head.
Despite being easier to grow than regular cabbage, why isn't it popular? The answer is taste. Collard
greens have a strong taste, and can be quite bitter, especially in the warmer weather.
Varieties of Collard Plants:
·Collard- There are Iew varieties to choose Irom. Many garden stores and seed catalogs do not
carry them. You may have to search a little Ior it.
Sowing Collard Seeds:
Many areas can grow a spring and a Iall crop. All members oI the cabbage Iamily can withstand Irosts
and Ireezes. Plan to place your seeds or seedlings in your garden as one oI the Iirst crops. II you time
your crop right, you will have a couple weeks in the middle oI summers' heat and humidity when you
are not growing Collards or Kale. This is actually good, as these plants do not like high heat and dry
conditions.
TIP: II you plant early in the year, consider using a raised row or bed to allow better drainage during
early spring rains.
Indoors:Start your spring crop indoors Iour to six weeks beIore planting outdoors. Plan to plant your
seedlings outdoors very early in the season. It can be planted outdoors beIore the last Irost date Ior your
area.
Plant seeds in containers 1/2 inch deep, in sterile starting mix. Water thoroughly once, then lightly aIter
the seeds have sprouted. Provide plenty oI sunlight or artiIicial gro lights so the plants do not become
spindly. Boost your plants health with a light application oI liquid Iertilizer once or twice during this
period.
Outdoors:Collard seeds can be direct sowed into the row, or seeded in a separate area and transplanted
to the row aIter a Iew weeks. We recommend planting them together in a seedbed, and transplanting the
seedlings. This allows Ior better control oI the spacing oI your seedlings. This is a common method Ior
the second planting. Plant seeds 1/2 inch deep. Water well and make sure to keep the top level oI soil
moist, especially during the drier mid-summer planting.
Whether direct seeding or transplanting, make the Iinal spacing 18 to 24 inches apart, in rows three Ieet
apart. The outer leaves oI a healthy plant will spread and cover a lot oI space.
Tip:For direct seeding, prepare the soil Iirst. Then, place tomato cages (to mark your planting) 18 to 24
inches apart. Sow several seeds inside the ring oI the cage. Thin to two plants a week aIter germination,
and to one plant aIter a couple oI weeks. This avoids transplant shock ,and aIIords proper spacing Ior
maximum growth. Remove the tomato cages aIter the seedlings have begun to grow.
How to Grow Collard Plants:
Growing Collard greens is easy. Because Collards do not Iorm heads, it is easier to grow than cabbage.
The young leaves can be harvested as the plant grows Ior salads, soups and other recipes.
Collard plants preIer Iull sunlight. Collards will grow in average and poorer soils. But like any plant,
they respond Iavorably to richer soil high in nutrients. Note: Make sure to provide plenty oI nitrogen
Ior a greener crop.
Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Dry conditions lead to bitter vegetables in all oI the vegetable world.
Collards are no exception.
Days to Maturity:
Collard greens are normally harvested in 70 - 80 days. The tender young leaves can be harvested as
soon as they reach a size that is easy Ior picking.
Insects and Pests:
All members oI the cabbage Iamily are extremely susceptible to insects. Collards are no exception.
Among the most common are aphids, and cabbage loopers. Cabbage loopers the larva stage oI a moth.
Those white moths that visit your garden and yard are the culprits. EIIective treatment in the home
garden is to place a screen over the plant so the moth can not lay her eggs.
Commercial growers apply insecticides to control them. Aphids are controlled by Irequent spraying.
Organic controls in the Iorm oI soap or garlic sprays are also eIIective.
Disease:
Collards are Iairly resistant to most diseases.
Hardiness:
Collards, as previously mentioned, are among the hardiest oI annuals. The plants can withstand
temperatures into the upper 20's. You know you have a hardy plant when you go out to the garden in
December, brush a little snow away, and harvest some vegetables.
Did you Know?For all members oI the cabbage Iamily, Ilavor is better in cool weather. Most growers
will attest that the Ilavor is best aIter a Irost.
/"#9;*99 23'7A
How to Grow Swiss Chard Plants
Swiss Chard is probably the most under appreciated oI all vegetables. It is vitamin rich and nutritious,
and is extremely easy to grow. A proliIic grower, Swiss Chard tolerates poor soil, inattention, and
withstands Irost and mild Ireezes. Swiss chard tastes good. You can eat both the stalk and the leaves.
The leaves can be used as a Iresh salad, or cooked like spinach. The stalks are cut up and cooked in a
variety oI dishes.
What more can you ask Ior in a garden vegetable?
Did you Know?Swiss Chard is a member oI the beet Iamily. It just doesn't have a bulb.
Varieties of Swiss Chard:
·Swiss Chard comes in a Iew types. One has a reddish stalk. Another has a creamy white stalk.
A third variety oI swiss chard is multi colored. Aside Irom the discerning diner, these varieties
taste pretty much the same.
Tip:Buy a packet oI the red and the white stalked types. Mix them together in your garden Ior an eye-
appealing display. Then, mix the two stalks in your recipes to add color. The seed lasts a couple oI
years iI kept in a cool and dry place. So iI two packets is too much, keep some until next year!
Sowing Swiss Chard Seeds:
Plant Swiss Chard as soon as the soil can be worked. It will sprout Iairly early, and will not be harmed
by spring Irosts. One planting will last the entire year. So, plan a permanent place Ior it.
Tip:For an even earlier crop, start a Iew seedling indoors. Transplant them outdoors when the night
temperatures go down to a minimum oI 28 - 30 degrees. Even iI you plant a little too early, they can be
covered up during unusually cold weather.
Outdoors, sow seeds 1/2 to 1 inch apart, in rows three Ieet apart. Thin seedlings to two to three inches
apart. Swiss chard is quite tolerant to crowding, so don't worry iI they appear too close. II you are just
growing it Ior your home garden, a Iour to six Ioot row is more than enough Ior a whole Iamily.
Days to Maturity:
Swiss Chard can be picked as soon as the leaves are large enough to harvest, usually in Iour to six
weeks.
How to Grow Swiss Chard:
Growing Swiss chard is easy!
In selecting the location, you can plant Swiss Chard in the shadier parts oI your garden, and where the
soil is the poorest. While this plant is very Iorgiving, like any plant this proliIic grower will respond to
compost, manures and Iertilizers.
To minimize the bitter mid-summer taste, make sure the plants get plenty oI water. When you water the
rest oI the garden, don't Iorget the chard.
Let the outer leaves grow as big as you want. II you can't eat it as Iast as it is producing, cut and discard
leaves as they begin to wilt, turn brown or be damaged by insects. II the patch gets out oI hand, do
major surgery on the leaves. The inner leaves will take their place quickly.
Insects and Pests:
Insect inIestations are Iairly uncommon. Occasional chewing and sucking pests will aIIect them, most
notably aphids. Most inIestations occur in mid-summer when the leaves take on a slightly bitter taste.
For home gardeners, we do not recommend sprays. Discard any aIIected leaves. In our home garden, iI
an inIestation occurs in the mid summer, we turn to another leaI vegetable, as Swiss Chard at this time
oI year is a little too bitter Ior our taste anyway. Keep removing inIested leaves. Deer eat Swiss Chard.
This is most common in the Iall when other Iood sources are gone.
Disease:
Swiss Chard is resistant to most plant diseases. One planting will almost always last the season.
Harvesting:
You can harvest the leaves regardless oI size. Pick the outer leaves and the new inner leaves will soon
grow in their place. II the leaves turn a little too bitter Ior you in mid-summer, make sure to come back
to them as the weather cools. The inner leaves are most tender and tasty, and are slightly blanched. Cut
the stems near the base, even iI you are not going to use them. be careIul not to cut the stems oI the
inner leaves. Rinse thoroughly and check the underside oI the leaves Ior insects.
Hardiness:
Here's the best thing about Swiss Chard. As the weather cools, the leaves are their tastiest. Swiss Chard
tolerates Irost and Ireezes into the upper twenties. Even iI a Ireeze kills oII the outer leaves, the inner
leaves may be protected. Cut away any Irost damaged leaves. You still have chard to pick.
Even in Northern U.S., Swiss Chard is being picked at Thanksgiving. Many gardeners pick Swiss
Chard as late as Christmas!
Tip:A cold Irame usually ensures Iresh chard well into December when lettuce prices are sky-
rocketing.
/(#91.B)%;-7
How to Grow Sunflower Plants
Some Iolk see a SunIlower as a Ilower. Others, see it as a vegetable. It is, oI course, both a beautiIul
Ilower, and a great vegetable! Healthy, nutritious and attractive, SunIlowers have it all. That is probably
why sunIlowers have spread Irom their native home in North America, and are now grown around the
world!
As homeowners, we adorn our yards and gardens with our choice oI dozens oI sizes and varieties. We
use it to attract birds to our homes. We also enjoy eating the seeds. They are high in protein. SunIlowers
are popular as a cooking oil, too.
SunIlowers are also great Ior kids. The seeds are big and easy to handle, and they require minimal
attention. Kids like to grow big things, so a sunIlower Iits the bill. The end product is not only eye
appealing, but makes a great snack. We put SunIlowers, along with pumpkins, as the top two plants Ior
kids to grow.
Native Americans used SunIlowers Ior a variety oI uses. They ground the seeds Ior making breads and
cakes. Like today, the seed was used as a snack. It was used to create dyes Ior clothing, and as body
paint. The plants were used medicinally Ior ointments and snakebite remedies.
Did you know?Giant SunIlower plants can grow over 20 Ieet tall, and their blooms over two Ieet in
diameter? Fall Iestivals oIten include competition Ior the tallest sunIlower
Varieties of Sunflowers:
There are many types oI sunIlowers. And, gardeners like to grow a wide variety oI them.
·SunIlowers are basically separated by size. The giant varieties grow over ten Ieet. Regular
sunIlowers typically grow Irom six to ten Ieet. Miniatures are gaining in popularity as borders.
They are very popular in Asia, and grow two to Iour Ieet.
·Some varieties oI sunIlowers have one big head or Ilower. They are usually the giant sunIlower
varieties. Other large headed varieties, have a Iew much smaller heads that Iorm on lower
branches. Some varieties have multiple heads. These are typically mid sized sunIlowers, and are
perIect Ior Ilower gardens in attracting birds.
·SunIlower seeds are usually a dark brown to black, or large, grey and white striped. The latter
is the most popular Ior eating due, to their large size. Don't worry over selection. The birds will
eat ample quantities oI both, and so will you. Whether you are Ieeding the wildliIe or not, there
are plenty oI wildliIe that enjoy sunIlower. They include all sorts oI birds oI course, squirrels,
and rodents.
·Giant SunIlowers- Many people Iind growing these to be addicting. A giant sunIlower can be
either a very tall plant, or an enormous Ilowerhead.
·Mexican SunIlower(Tithonia) - Grow 4-6 Ieet tall, with daisy-like Ilowers. Blooms summer to
Iall.
Did you know?II you have a pet hamster,mouse, gerbil or bird, adding a Iew sunIlower seeds in their
diet as a nice treat.
Sowing Sunflower Seeds:
SunIlower seeds are best sown outdoors directly into the garden. AIter planting, cover them with a
screen, as the birds and animals love to dig the seeds out. You can also start them in a seedbed and
transIer them when they are small.
II you plant sunIlowers indoors, use individual peat pots. Start two to three weeks beIore the last Irost
date Ior your area. Plant one or two seeds per pot, thinning to one beIore planting outdoors.
II you grow them to Ieed the birds, look Ior seedlings growing near the base oI last year's crop. They
can be leIt to grow, or transplanted to another location.
Whether you plant directly outdoors or transplant them, make the Iinal spacing as Iollows:
·Giants: Space three Ieet apart in rows three to Iour Ieet apart.
·Regular/Intermediate sizes: Space two Ieet apart in rows three Ieet apart.
·Miniatures: Space one Ioot apart in rows three Ieet apart.
For individual planting, put the seedling or seeds in just about any sunny location. Plant either
individual, in groups, or in patterns. Make sure they are visible Irom your deck, porch and windows.
Did you know?SunIlowers always point their blooms or Iace to the rising sun in the East. Keep this in
mind as you determine where to plant them.
Tip:Miniatures make great borders or edging plants in Ilower gardens.
Days to Maturity:
70 to 90 days or more, depending upon the variety. Read the package Ior the speciIic time Ior the
variety you acquire.
How to Grow Sunflowers:
SunIlower plants grow well in average to rich soils. They need to grow their roots deep and wide, to
enable them to withstand strong winds. II you have a choice, sandy soils are not recommended, as they
are easily uprooted in loose soil. Rich soil is important, when growing giant varieties.
Contrary to it's name, we Iound they will tolerate some shade as we put them against an east wall oI our
house every year. However, they will grow their best in Iull sun.
Deep roots help sunIlowers to withstand most droughts. They will beneIit Irom a dose oI Iertilizer
when you apply it to the rest oI your garden. Apply extra phosphorus and potassium when the Ilower
bud begins to develop, to promote bigger blooms.
Tip:II you are crowded Ior space, plant one or two sunIlowers amidst your vine crops. One or two will
not seriously shade the vines. Make sure not to plant them near their tap roots Ior the vines.
Harvesting:
Harvest sunIlower seeds aIter the Ilower begins to die back, and most iI not all, oI the petals have Iallen
oII. Pull out a seed and open it to see iI it is Iull. Cut oII the head, leaving a Iew inches oI stalk. Hang
the stalks to dry in a well ventilated area. Do not stack them in a box, as mold can develop during the
drying process. As soon as the Ilowers have dried, extract the seeds by rubbing two Ilower heads
together. They should come oII oI the Ilowerhead Iairly easily.
SunIlowers are also used as dried Ilowers in vases and Ior craIt projects. They can be cut just beIore the
Ilowers die oII and dried over a Iew weeks. Miniature sunIlowers make lovely Iresh bouquets also. For
craIt projects, it is important to leave a suIIicient amount oI stalk.
We enjoy sharing this crop with wildliIe. We also enjoy eating the seeds, too. Birds and squirrels will
begin their assault beIore the seeds are completely ripe. You can protect against this annual invasion by
covering the entire Ilower with an old nylon stocking, a cheese cloth bag, or any other covering that
allows light and especially air to Ilow through. Do not use plastic bags, as moisture buildup will rot the
Ilower and heat buildup will scald it. Some people will put a bag below the Ilower to catch any seeds
that Iall.
Insects and Pests:
The birds and squirrels are the primary invaders Ior your SunIlower crop. Fortunately, most insects are
not a problem. Occasionally, ants enjoy the nectar Irom the Ilower. They are no real threat to the seeds.
Diseases of Sunflowers:
SunIlowers seldom have disease problems. Score another point Ior an easy to grow and enjoyable
plant!
Hardiness:
SunIlowers are an annual. They can withstand a mild Irost. However, cover your seedlings iI a hard
spring Ireeze is anticipated.
//#3-7,9
Growing Herbs in Herb Gardens
Herbs are essential ingredients Ior Ilavoring and spicing up recipes all over the world. Without them,
eating would be pretty bland. Herbs add Ilavor, character, and uniqueness to recipes. Used alone or in
combination, they help to make cooking Iun and enjoyable, and eating a sheer joy!
Herb gardening can be done in a very little space. All it takes is a Iew herb plants, grown along the side
oI the house or garage, and you have an ample supply Ior the kitchen. Try growing herbs in a container
on your balcony or deck. They are very comIortable in windowsill planters, too. Many herbs make
good indoor houseplants during the winter months.
Varieties:
There are a wide variety oI herbs which you can use. Depending on who is counting, there are 40 to 60
diIIerent kinds oI herbs. Each one has it's own distinct Ilavoring. Most are easy to grow. There are
annuals, perennials and even biennials.
With that many herbs, there should be lots or uses, right!?! Absolutely! Listed below are the diIIerent
categories oI herbs. Note, many Iall into two or more categories.
Aromatic Herbs-Grown Ior their scent, aromatics herbs are used in Ilower vases or dried
arrangements. Their oils are used in perIumes, candles, and toiletries to name a Iew. A couple oI
Iavorites are Lavender and Mint.
Culinary Herbs-We think oI this category oI herb Iirst and Ioremost. Most gardeners grow a
Iew or several varieties. Needless to say, Iood would be plain and boring without this group oI
herbs. Some oI the more popular include Basil, Chives and Dill.
Medicinal Herbs-Since ancient times, many types oI herbs have been used in medicine and
believed to have the power to cure a wide range oI ailments. We know some oI them have been
proved to be true. Others, like garlic, have preventative characteristics. (A garlic a day keeps the
Cholesterol away" ...sorry, I couldn't resist!)
Also in ancient times, many herbs were believed to have the power to ward oII evil spirits. We
all are too Iamiliar with the belieI that Garlic worn around the neck will ward oII vampires.
Ornamental Herbs-They are commonly grown Ior Iresh or dried arrangements. Ornamental
herbs also make the Ilower gardens look nicer. That is why herbs are oIten grown amidst the
Ilowers. In this sense, they are used like a Ilower. You probably consider most oI these to also
Iit within another category oI herb. II so, you are right!
The Value of Medicinal Herbs:
Since ancient times, herbs were, and continue to be used Ior a wide variety oI medicinal purposes.
Some herbs, most notably Garlic, were used to ward oII evil spirits. Over the years, many herbs were
proven to be eIIective in the treatment oI a wide range oI ailments and injuries.
Planting Herbs:
Herb gardens are Iun and easy to grow. They also take up little space. Many growers put herb gardens
up against their house or garage wall, so they can walk out and pick the herbs they need Ior the day's
meal.
Tip:II you are growing perennials or biennials, make sure to plan your Herb garden so as not to disturb
them the next year.
You can select your own Iavorites, or buy a package with a wide variety. We encourage you to
experiment and try new herbs each year. That way, you will be certain to try new recipes all winter
long.
Most herbs grow best in well drained, Iairly Iertile soil with a neutral pH oI 6.5 to 7.0.
Seeds can be sown indoors or out. Many seeds are very tiny and Iine. Make sure not to plant them
deeply. Just barely cover the seed and keep the top surIace oI the soil moist. Thin seedlings according
to the instructions on the seed packet.
Insects and Pests:
Few pests aIIect the herb Iamily. In Iact, some herbs, such as garlic, are used in organic pesticide
Iormulas. Occasionally mites and aphids can bother a number oI herb varieties.
Disease:
Disease is not too common among the herb Iamily.
Harvesting and Drying Herbs:
It is best to harvest herbs in the morning. This is when the oils are the highest concentration.
Immediately aIter harvesting them, wash them in cool water. Then spread them out on a drying rack.
Allow good ventilation. They should dry in two to three days. Many herbs can also be Irozen Ior later
use(culinary herbs).
Did you Know?It is the oil in herbs that gives herbs their aroma and Ilavor.
/4#2'$.*6
How to grow catnip
Known in antiquity as "catswort." Bees seem to preIer its Ilowers over most others, but a common
plant pest in gardens, the Ilea beetle, is deterred by it. The universal appeal oI this species to cats is
underscored by the Iact that the herb's common name in every Western language contains some
variation oI the word "cat."
Did you know?Catnip grows as a loosely branching, low perennial. In a Ilowerbed, you can plant
catnip in Iront oI purple coneIlower, which blooms about the same time. The plant bears tiny, white
blooms that are not very showy. You can also grow it in containers.
Starting Catnip Seeds:
Keep plants Iull by pinching the growing stems and Ilower buds when they appear. The small white
Ilowers that appear in the summer will Iorm seeds that sprout; the plant also spreads via underground
runners. Some cats are very rough on plants. To keep plants Irom being loved to death, cover each with
an arch oI chicken wire. The stems can grow up through the holes, yet the plant`s base and roots are
protected. Or, try interspersing with bamboo stakes to prevent cats Irom rolling on top oI the plant.
Tip:Set out plants in the spring aIter the last Irost, spacing them 18 to 24 inches apart.
How to Grow Catnip:
Plant catnip in a place where your cats can rub and roll in it without hurting adjacent plants. Some cats
like catnip so much that they lie on it, roll on it, and chew it to the point oI destruction. II you Iind that
to be the case, place some 1- to 2-Ioot-long bamboo sticks or thin dowels every 2 to 3 inches within the
canopy oI the plant to make it impossible Ior a cat to lie on top oI the plant.
Days to Maturity:
Sow seeds indoors in February and March, and transplant or direct sow in April and May. Can also be
direct sown where it is to grow in September. Bottom heat will speed germination. Ideal temperature
Ior germination: 21-27°C (70-80°F). Seeds should sprout in 10-20 days.
Insects and Pests:
Catnip does very well in containers, raised beds, or borders in Iull sun to partial shade away Irom
creepy crawlers.
Did you Know?
AIter the main bloom, plants should be cut back hard to encourage a second bloom and tidy shape.
Diseases of Catnip:
A number oI plant problems can arise, usually in mid summer heat and humidity. Blights and Iungus
inIections can occur in the high humidity. Early treatment with Iungicides is eIIective. Spacing plants
too close cuts down air circulation and promotes disease.
Hardiness:
Catnip like it hot! They will die iI exposed to Irost. Make sure to plant them aIter the last Irost.
Harvesting and Storing Catnip:
Harvest leaves by cutting the stems anytime during the growing season. The Ioliage keeps its scent best
when air-dried. You can stuII sachets and cat pillows with dried leaves. Dried leaves are also popular
Ior herbal tea. To save the summer catmint bounty, harvest when Iully grown, and keep the plant picked
regularly.
;VW XI YKHL SOZG OH LI JNYVT*HUL a Irequently asked question. It is a chemical in the catnip that only
eIIects cats in a way that attracts them to everything like a drug.
/8# ,'9*)
Growing Basil in Gardens
Basil is a leaIy, Iragrant annual with a bushy appearance. The most common type oI basil is sweet
basil; other types include purple basil (less sweet than common basil), Lemon basil (lemon Ilavor), and
Thai basil (licorice Ilavor). Basil is easy to grow and works well in Italian dishes, but it only grows in
the summer, so plan accordingly.
Did you know?II the weather is going to be cold, be sure to harvest your basil beIorehand, as the cold
weather will destroy your plants.
Varieties of Basil:
-Cinnamon basil, to add a hint oI cinnamon to a dish
-Purple basil, to add some nice color to your garden (when steeped in white vinegar, it
creates a beautiIul color)
-Thai basil, to add a sweet licorice Ilavor to a dish.
Sowing Basil Seeds:
Make sure that the soil is moist. Basil plants like moisture. II you live in a hot area, use mulch around
the basil plants (the mulch will help keep the soil moist). Make sure to pick the leaves regularly to
encourage growth throughout the summer. AIter 6 weeks, pinch oII the center shoot to prevent early
Ilowering. II Ilowers do grow, just cut them oII. During the dry periods in summer, water the plants
Ireely. Remember to pinch out the Ilower heads.
Did you know?II the weather is going to be cold, be sure to harvest your basil beIorehand, as the cold
weather will destroy your plants.
Days to Maturity:
Generally around 5-8 weeks total.
How to Grow Basil:
To get a head start, start the seeds indoors 6 weeks beIore the last spring Irost. Ensure your outdoor site
gets 6 to 8 hours oI Iull Sun daily; soil should be moist and well-drained. AIter the last Irost date, plant
the seeds/seedlings in the ground about 1/4-inch deep. The soil should be around 70ºF Ior best growth.
Plant the seeds/seedlings about 10 to 12 inches apart. They should grow to about 12 to 24 inches in
height. For smaller plants, plant Iarther apart (about 16 to 24 inches).
II you're planning on cooking with these plants, plant in clean soil (don't use Iertilizers that leave
harmIul residues) and grow them away Irom driveways and busy streets so that exhaust won't settle on
the plants.
Tip:Tomatoes make great neighbors Ior basil plants in the garden.
Harvesting:
AIter the seedlings have their Iirst six leaves, prune to above the second set. Every time a branch has
six to eight leaves, repeat pruning the branches back to their Iirst set oI leaves. The best time to harvest
is right when the plant starts to bud (beIore the Ilowers bloom). Basil is most pungent when it is Iresh.
II pruned regularly, twelve basil plants will produce 4 to 6 cups oI leaves per week. The best method
Ior storing basil is Ireezing. Freezing will prevent the plant Irom losing any oI its Ilavor. To quick-
Ireeze basil, dry whole sprigs oI basil and package them in airtight plastic bags.Another storage method
is drying the basil (although some oI the Ilavor will be lost). Pinch oII the leaves at the stem and place
them in a well-ventilated and shady area. AIter 3 to 4 days, iI the plants are not completely dry, place
them in the oven on the lowest heat setting with the door slightly open. Remember to turn the leaves
(Ior equal drying) and check them Irequently.
Insects and Pests:
mainly just Aphids.
Diseases of Basil:
Variety oI bacterial and Iungal leaI, stem, and root diseases
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Anise (Pimpinella anisum) is an annual that can grow up to 2 Ieet tall. This herb, which can be used Ior
medicinal and culinary purposes, with its clusters oI white Ilowers, can add ornamental value to a
garden as well. Anise seeds can be used to Ilavor soups, cakes, candies and curries. Native to Egypt and
the Mediterranean region, anise can be grown in CaliIornia and areas oI the United States within
USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Anise is a low spreading bright green bushy plant that grows
12 to 24 inches tall and almost as wide. Lower leaves are broad and lobed; upper leaves are Ieathery.
Anise Ilowers in midsummer, small yellowish-white Ilowers in umbrella shaped clusters.
Did you know?Growing anise Irom seed is best done in permanent containers or directly in the garden,
because the herb doesn't transplant well.
Sowing Anise Seeds:
Sow anise in the garden as early as 2 weeks aIter the average last Irost date in spring. Anise requires a
long, Irost-Iree growing season oI about 120 days. Sow anise seeds / inch; when seedlings are 6 weeks
old thin to 12 inches apart. Space rows 18 to 24 inches apart. Companion plants. Cabbage, grapes;
avoid planting with carrots, radishes. Anise may require staking in windy gardens. Keep planting beds
Iree oI weeds.
Did you know?Anise grows easily in containers. Select a container at least 8 inches deep and wide.
Days to Maturity:
Harvest anise seeds about one month aIter the plant Ilowers. Harvest the leaves as needed, while the
plant matures.
How to Grow Anise:
Select a pot with drainage holes and Iill it with moist, sterile potting mix, up to about 3/4 inch Irom the
top. Press down on the soil with your hand to level the surIace.
Sprinkle six to eight anise seeds over the soil surIace, at an equal distance Irom each other. Cover the
seeds with a 1/4-inch layer oI soil. Lightly tamp the soil with your hand to Iirm it over the anise seeds.
Water the soil with a spray bottle to avoid disturbing the shallowly planted seeds. Stretch plastic wrap
over the pot to help the soil retain moisture. Cover the plastic wrap with sheets oI newspaper to
maintain a constant soil temperature. Keep the soil moist -- not soggy -- during the germination period.
Position the pot in a warm room. Aim Ior a temperature oI about 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Expect
the seeds to germinate within two weeks.
Harvesting:
Snip anise leaves Ior Iresh use as needed. Seeds require more than 100 Irost-Iree days to reach harvest.
Collect seed heads while they are still green. Hang them in a warm, dry place to dry; thresh when dry
or pasteurize them in an oven at 100°F (38°F) Ior 15 minutes. Complete the harvest beIore the Iirst
Irost in Iall. Keep anise regularly and evenly watered through out the growing season and particularly
just beIore harvest. Anise requires no special Ieeding; side dress plants with age compost at midseason.
Insects and Pests:
Anise has no serious pest problems. Anise oil is said to repel insects.
Diseases of Anise:
Anise has no serious disease problems.
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Cold-hardy and resilient, kale is an easy member oI the cabbage Iamily to grow. You can set out plants
quite early in spring as long as you protect the young plants Irom severe cold winds with a cover. They
will grow steadily Ior months until the weather gets too warm. You`ll get a second chance to plant kale
in the Iall, when cool weather brings out a wonderIully sweet, nutty Ilavor that is unique to these cold-
natured plants. Fall is the best time to plant in areas where winter doesn`t dip below the teens, or in a
cold Irame Iarther north, because the leaves are sweeter when they mature in cooler weather. In the
kitchen, kale can be steamed, stir-Iried, or substituted Ior spinach in omelets, casseroles, or even
quesadillas.
Did you know?It`s a wonderIul addition to smoothies, too.
Sowing Kale:
Set out plants in spring 3 to 5 weeks beIore the last Irost; in late summer, you can begin planting kale 6
to 8 weeks beIore the Iirst Irost Ior Iall and winter harvests, and continue planting throughout the Iall in
zones 8, 9, and 10. Kale grows best in Iull sun, but will tolerate partial shade as well. Plants that receive
Iewer than 6 hours oI sun daily will not be as stocky or leaIy as those that get ample sun, but they will
still be plenty edible! Like collards, kale likes Iertile soil to grow Iast and produce tender leaves. Enrich
the soil with compost and Iertilizer beIore setting out the seedlings. Apply Iertilizer and lime according
to test recommendations. II you Iorgo the soil test, work nitrogen-rich amendments such as blood meal,
cottonseed meal, or composted manure into the ground beIore planting.
Did you know?II the weather is going to be cold, be sure to harvest your kale beIorehand, as the cold
weather will destroy your plants.
Days to Maturity:
Generally around 5-8 weeks total.
How to Grow Kale:
Kale is easy to plant. Set plants at the depth at which they are growing in the container. Space them 18
to 24 inches apart. The leaves will grow bigger iI given a lot oI space, but smaller leaves tend to be the
most tender. At this point you may need to be patient, because spring-planted kale may stay small until
slightly warmer soil temperatures trigger vigorous growth. Kale planted in late summer or early Iall
may sulk through spells oI hot weather. Then, when conditions improve, the plants will take oII,
quickly multiplying in size.
Kale likes a nice, even supply oI water, about 1 to 1.5 inches per week. You can measure how much
water rain has provided by using a rain gauge in the garden. Mulch with compost, Iinely ground leaves,
weed-Iree hay, straw, pine needles, or Iinely ground bark to keep the soil cool and moist and to keep
down weeds. Mulching will also help keep the leaves Iree oI splashing soil Ior a clean harvest.
Tip:Tomatoes make great neighbors Ior basil plants in the garden.
Harvesting:
Like collards, kale leaves are sweetest in the Iall, aIter they`ve been touched by a light Irost. Pick the
oldest leaves Irom the lowest section oI the plants, discarding those that appear yellowed or ragged.
Pick your way up the stalk, taking as many leaves as you like, as long as you leave at least 4 leaves
intact at each plant`s top (or growing crown). Kale will produce new leaves all winter in zones 7 to 10.
In climates where hard Ireezes are Irequent, kale oIten survives winter with additional cold protection
Irom thick mulch, row covers, or plastic tunnels. Overwintered plants will eventually bolt (producing
yellow Ilowers) in spring, signaling that it`s time to remove them and make room Ior other crops. Wash
the leaves thoroughly and store them in a plastic bag. You can eat the stems or discard themit`s up to
you. II you cook the kale, the stems will become more tender. Kale leaves will keep Ior several days in
the Iridge in a loose plastic produce bag.
Insects and Pests:
Kale oIten grows as a careIree crop, but there are several insects that like kale as much as people do.
Velvety green cabbageworms oIten can be Iound chewing holes in kale leaves. The larvae oI cabbage
white butterIlies, cabbageworms are more likely to Ieed on cabbage, broccoli, and cauliIlower than to
bother your kale.
Diseases of Kale:
Variety oI bacterial and Iungal leaI, stem, and root diseases
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Dill is a zesty seasoning that is a popular addition to many Ioods but is most commonly used in
pickling to make dill pickles. Both the seeds and the leaves can be used, and the leaves are sometimes
reIerred to as dill weed. Even the umbrella-like yellow Ilower clusters can be use Ior their dilly Ilavor.
It`s technically an annual, but because it seeds itselI so easily, you will Iind that dill will just come back
each spring as new plants are sprouted. Dill extremely easy to grow which makes it a Iavorite among
herb gardeners.
Did you know? Not to plant your dill near closely related plants like Iennel or coriander.
Sowing Dill:
They will easily cross-pollinate with each other, which will leave you with hybrid dill seeds that don`t
have the right Ilavor. It will ruin your Iennel or coriander too.
Regular varieties oI dill will grow to a height oI 2 to 3 Ieet, and may shade other plants. But it`s a very
Iine-leaIed plant so it doesn`t cast a lot oI shade. And because it is a delicate plant, don`t start your dill
where it will be subject to high winds. They`ll need a Iull day oI sun as well.You can just sow your
seeds right out into the garden, around the time oI your last Irost date. Cover with a 1/4 inch oI soil.
Spacing isn`t a big issue with dill because it is a very Ieathery plant and can be grown quite close
together.Even though it can get tall, you should try to plant dill near the rest oI your main vegetable or
herb garden. The plants attract lacewings, and lacewing larvae will help control your aphid pests.
Days to Maturity:
60 days until seeds are ready, leaves in 30 days
How to Grow Dill:
Dill is one oI the most maintenance-Iree plants you are going to Iind. It had very long roots, so once it`s
established, you won`t need to worry about regular watering chores. Do give your plants a drink iI you
have a stretch oI dry weather though. It`s a light Ieeder and won`t require any additional Iertilizing. In
Iact, soil that is too rich in nutrients will lead to less-IlavorIul dill.To keep your plant Irom getting too
tall or leggy, continually pinch out the top buds. This will make Ior a bushier plant, giving you more
leaves to harvest.II you are growing your dill in a grouping, the tall plants usually provide each other
with enough support to stay upright. Plants growing Iarther apart, or just growing individually may
need a bit oI support to keep them Irom bending over. They shouldn`t need a cage or anything like that,
but a tall stake or trellis can help your Ilimsy dill stand tall. Dill does not compete well, particularly
within the Iirst month or so. Keep the area well weeded. Even with established plants, you want to keep
the weeds to a minimum. Your dill can survive but the aromatic oil production in the leaves will be
reduced iI the plant has to complete with weeds Ior water.
Harvesting:
You can start to snip oII dill leaves aIter the Iirst Iew weeks oI growth, but your harvest oI seed will
have to wait until the plants have Ilowered. Collect the seeds once the blooms have completely dried
and gone to seed. Don`t wait too long because they disperse quickly. You can easily Iind that all the
seeds on a plant are gone overnight. Not only will you lose your harvest, you will then Iind a lot more
dill around the yard next season.
Once your dill plants bloom and go to seed, they won`t produce any more leaves. For an extended
period oI dill weed harvesting, you can snip oII the new Ilowers oI some oI your plants to keep them
sprouting new leaves.Since it won`t grow more leaves aIter blooming, your harvest opportunities will
be reduced until winter. But your dill plants are somewhat Irost tolerant and can usually survived the
Iirst Iew light Irosts.Fresh dill weed can be stored in the reIrigerator Ior up to 3 weeks and still maintain
its Ilavor. Both the seeds and the leaves can be dried and stored Ior many months in an air-tight
container. Leaves can be Irozen as well, but they will lose a lot oI their Ilavor iI stored this way.
Insects and Pests:
Caterpillars oI the swallowtail butterIly are partial to dill, and they can eat many oI the leaves oII your
plants. Pick them oII when you Iind them, and spray your plants with an insecticide spray to keep them
away. These caterpillars are also sometimes called parsley worms. Having these lovely butterIlies
around the garden can be nice so don`t be too rigid about killing oII the caterpillars. Some people
actually plant extra dill to accommodate them.
Diseases of Dill:
Not very many diseases are a problem Ior dill. Alternaria blight is a Iungus that can attack your plants
right around the time when the seeds are starting to Iorm. The leaves will start to yellow and may drop
oII. A Iungicide may help, but you should pull aIIected plants as soon as you discover the problem to
keep it Irom spreading to the whole patch oI dill.
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No matter how many Rare and Unique Hot Peppers we add to our collection, some oI the Basics are
still the best. The absolute BEST Chili Pepper Ior drying and making your own blend oI Pepper powder
or Pepper Ilakes, the Cayenne (or Capsicum pepper) still Rocks! Why? It's the Flavor and thin skin.
The less moisture a Hot Pepper has, the easier it is to dry. This very hot pepper is the prime ingredient
in Cayenne pepper, which is made when the dried peppers are ground into powder. This is also the
Iavored spice oI Creole and Cajun cuisine used to give gumbo and crayIish dishes their punch. Thin-
walled, skinny, wrinkled Iruits are 5 to 6 inches long and very hot. However, they will not be hot when
small. Wait until they get at least 5 or 6 inches long to pick hot ones. They can be substituted Ior most
dishes calling Ior Serrano, Jalapeno, or Habanero peppers. Easy to grow and tolerant oI hot, humid
weather, Cayenne will produce peppers all summer. These skinny peppers are also called chili or Iinger
peppers. Great Ior containers.
Did you know?Cayenne peppers are one oI the more resilient Chili varieties and is typically doesn't
have an issue with pepper diseases.
Sowing Cayenne Pepper:
Give your peppers a head start by planting seeds indoors 5 to 8 weeks beIore the Irost-Iree date Ior
your area. For plants that require more than 90 days to bear Iruit; starting early is necessary (especially
Ior gardeners in the northern section oI the country) to have enough time to produce a suIIicient
harvest. Keep the leaves oI the growing cayenne peppers clean and not covered in soil as they oIten
become when being transplanted. The immature plants need to absorb as much light as possible
through its Ioliage in order to grow.
Did you know?Plant the pepper seeds in peat pots or short wooden Ilats, which are excellent Ior
transIerring outside Ior row planting. A cold Irame can be used to house the Ilats outdoors to save you
Irom lugging them around. The principle oI the cold Irame is that it blocks oII chilling winds while
permitting the radiant heat oI the sun to shine through.
Days to Maturity:
On average around 10 weeks.
How to Grow Cayenne Pepper:
Avoid setting the hot pepper plants out too early; while night temperatures are still dropping below 60
degrees F. Curiously, the tropical native plants are also adversely aIIected by stretches oI extremely hot
days, above 85 degrees F.
Harvesting:
Harvest growing cayenne peppers by cutting the stem one inch above the pepper. Avoid twisting loose
when harvesting the produce. Hot varieties such as Tabasco and cayenne must be picked red. Hot
peppers can be harvested as needed, although, they are at their hottest when Iully ripened.
Insects and Pests:
To destroy uninvited insects in the cold Irame or greenhouse, smash up some laurel leaves in a bowl
and leave overnight. The damaged laurel releases prussic acid gas, which is deadly to the eggs oI most
bugs. Small amounts oI the acid do not harm humans.
Diseases of Cayenne Pepper:
There are Iew known diseases that this pepper accumulates.
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Though chamomile is one oI the best-known herbs Ior tea, it can be a bit conIusing when it comes to
the speciIic varieties. You can grow either German chamomile or Roman (English) chamomile but they
are not the same plant. While they may be used interchangeably when making tea, the two plants are
very diIIerent when it comes to how you grow them.
German chamomile is an annual, and it grows in a bushy shrub up to 3 Ieet tall. On the other hand,
Roman chamomile is a perennial that only gets about a Ioot high and tends to grow along the ground.
Though both will produce very similar aromatic blossoms, it`s German chamomile that is the more
commonly grown Ior its blossoms. The inIormation in this article will Iocus on how to grow the
German variety in your garden. Chamomile bushes have blooms with small white Ilowers with large
yellow centers (like small daisies), and it has a distinctive apple-like aroma when in bloom. Though it
can be grown in a Ilower bed, the blooms are very small compared to the large and rather wild-looking
bush. Chamomile tea is enjoyed Ior its taste, and as a home-remedy Ior stomach upset. It also can help
you Iall asleep in the evenings. There are no signiIicant levels oI any other nutrients in chamomile tea.
Did you know?II you have a Iever or allergies to ragweed, you may Iind that chamomile has the same
eIIect on you because they are closely related. That includes the plants growing outdoors, but also the
tea you brew as well.
Sowing Chamomile:
You can start your chamomile seeds indoors Ior later transplant, about 6 weeks beIore you are
expecting the last Irost oI the winter. Start them in seed pots but don`t bury the seeds under the soil.
They need light to sprout, so just sprinkle a Iew seeds in each pot right on the surIace oI your potting
soil. Keep them moist, and thin down to one per pot aIter they start to grow. Your seedlings should be
kept in a sunny spot until its time to plant them. For container growing, you can sprout your seeds
directly into their Iinal pot iI kept indoors until aIter the Irosts are past. You`ll want to keep your little
seedlings about 12 to 18 inches apart when you plant them. Sunny locations are best Ior chamomile but
they will do just Iine with a little bit oI shade as well. Plant them into the garden aIter the last Irost is
over.Though an annual that will only survive Ior one year, chamomile will readily seed itselI. That
means you can have an ongoing patch oI chamomile iI you let some oI the blossoms go to seed rather
than picking them all. II you take this route, plan your location with the intention oI having a
permanent chamomile bed. You can also plant your chamomile seeds directly into the garden, rather
than starting transplants iI you preIer. In that case, you can either sow your seeds in the early spring or
even put the seeds out in the Iall to overwinter.
Days to Maturity:
30 days to mature.
How to Grow Chamomile:
Chamomile isn`t a very heavy Ieeder, and you should only need to add a bit oI standard Iertilizer right
at planting. Unless you have very poor soil, you don`t need to Iertilize through the season.
Your plants will likely thrive without additional watering though they can use more water once they
start to bloom, or during any prolonged bout oI hot dry weather. Chamomile grows very well in
containers, though is a little large Ior most window-sill herb gardens. Each plant should have a 12-inch
pot to itselI, and the soil should be well-drained with some added sand. Water the plants occasionally,
maybe once a week. Since chamomile does seed very well, and has a tendency to spread around the
garden, many gardeners keep their chamomile in pots. You can keep your plant a bit more under
control, and grow your chamomile in a location that it can`t spread (such as a patio or deck).In the
garden, it will selI-seed and keep your patch growing. In a container, this isn`t likely to happen. So you
should collect a Iew seeds in order to replant more chamomile the next season iI you want to perpetuate
your plants.
Harvesting:
Your plants can bloom all through the summer, so there isn`t any one speciIic harvest time. Most plants
will start to put out Ilowers about a month aIter planting.
Harvesting your chamomile Ilowers is a tedious task, but worth the eIIort. You only want the blossoms,
not their stems which means you have to pick them quite careIully. OI course, you can always go
through your chamomile aIter picking to remove any extra bits oI stem later. You can use Iresh Ilowers
Ior tea, but it`s more typical to dry them beIore use. Spread them out somewhere warm and well-
ventilated to thoroughly dry. Direct sunlight can harm the chamomile oils, so don`t just leave them out
in the sun to dry. Indoors is usually best. Once dry, you can store chamomile Ilowers in a sealed
container Ior a year. When making tea, you`ll need approximately 1 teaspoon oI dried Ilowers per up.
For brewing with Iresh chamomile blossoms, use almost twice that. Add a little honey Ior sweetness.
Insects and Pests:
Not very many insects will bother your chamomile plants, and they even repel cucumber beetles (so
plant near the veggie garden). You do sometimes Iind clusters oI tiny aphids on chamomile but they are
not much oI a threat. They are easy to spray oII with the regular garden hose, or a little bit oI
insecticide spray can help control the bugs. Only use pesticides intended Ior Iruits or vegetables, and
don`t spray right beIore you intend to pick your Ilowers.
Diseases of Chamomile:
There are Iew known diseases
4"#23*E-9
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Chives are hardy perennials that are attractive, tasty, and easy to grow. These rugged herbs grow in lush
grasslike clumps that rise Irom a cluster oI small bulbs. The snipped leaves add a pleasing touch to
soups, salads, and vegetable dishes, providing both color and a mild onion or garlic Ilavor. In spring
and summer, chives boast globelike Ilowers that are popular as edible garnishes.
Growing Chives In the Landscape Use chives as a perennial edging or border plant in a Ilower bed or
herb garden. Depending on the selection, chives grow 10 to 20 inches tall and have the same tidy
appearance as ornamental liriope.
Chives Species and Selections Common chives (Allium schoenoprasum) have hollow leaves with a
mild onion Ilavor. Plants grow to 10 to 12 inches tall. The leaves disappear in the Iall at Iirst Ireeze and
reappear in early spring. Soon aIter, the plants produce lavender Ilowers that can be used to make a
rose-colored vinegar. The selection ProIusion has long-lasting edible Ilowers that do not Iorm seeds.
Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) are also called Chinese chives. They grow about twice as large as
common chives and Ieature Ilatter, wider leaves. Garlic chives have a mild garlic Ilavor and are popular
in Asian cooking. They are also appreciated in Ilower beds, where they grow to 20 inches tall when in
bloom. Their white umbel oI Ilowers, the Ilat or rounded Ilower cluster that springs Irom the same
point, appears in mid- to late summer when many other perennials have begun to Iade. Garlic chives
are evergreen in areas where winters are mild. II the Ilowers are leIt to go to seed, many seedlings will
sprout the next spring.
Did you know?In late spring and summer, lavender and white blooms will add Iresh color to your
garden. Chives also grow well in containers.
Sowing Chives:
Chives like rich, well-drained soil with a pH oI 6.0 to 7.0. Add a slow-release Iertilizer to the soil
beIore or during planting. Keep Iaded blooms pinched back to promote leaI growth. II you harvest
oIten, Iertilize plants every two weeks with a balanced liquid Iertilizer diluted according to label
directions. About every three to Iour years, divide the clumps in early spring or aIter Ilowering, as the
bulbs can become too crowded.
Did you know?Troubleshooting Chives When harvesting chives, do not cut down the entire clump
because the plant needs some oI its leaves to ensure Iuture growth.
Days to Maturity:
Mature at around 5 weeks
How to Grow Chive:
Plant chives in Iull sun; plants will survive in partial shade, but the mounds will not be as Iull.For
quickest results, start with purchased plants or transplants and set them out in the garden in early
spring. In the lower and GulI South, plant chives in Iall Ior a winter harvest.
You can also grow chives Irom seed, but it will take a year to produce a clump large enough to use.
Sow seeds directly in the garden aIter the last Irost. When seedlings are about 3 inches tall, thin them to
8 inches apart.
Tip:Add chives to dishes at the end oI the cooking process, as their mild Ilavor can be destroyed by
heat. Chives are excellent in egg dishes, potatoes, sauces, and with vegetables. Garnish cold soups and
Harvesting:
You can begin harvesting leaves as soon as they are big enough to clip and use. Cut Irom the outside oI
the clump, about 1/2 inch above soil level, always leaving plenty to restore energy to the plant.
Although Iresh is best, you can store extra Ior winter use by chopping and Ireezing the leaves, or you
can also preserve them in herb butters, oils, and vinegars, where they blend well with parsley and
tarragon. Harvest chives as you need them. In the GulI South, it is especially important to harvest oIten
to encourage new growth. Rather than shearing the entire plant, select leaves Irom the outside oI the
clump and cut each one about 1/2 inch above soil level. Cutting them higher may leave unsightly
brown stubs.
II you have more chives than you can use at the moment, chop Iresh leaves and Ireeze them in water in
ice cube trays. InIuse oils with Iresh chives or preserve the herbs in butters and vinegars.
salads, including garden, pasta, and potato salads, with the leaves and blooms oI garlic chives.
Insects and Pests:
Watch Ior aphids, especially in spring. Spray with neem or insecticidal soap. Spray will bead up on the
waxy leaves, so be sure it comes in contact with the pests, especially down in the crown oI the plant.
Garlic chives reseed generously iI you let the seed mature; this can be a plus, but in the wrong place,
you will Iind yourselI pulling up lots oI seedlings.
Diseases of Chive:
There are Iew known diseases.
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How to grow seeds
Asparagus plants are monoeciouseach individual plant is either male or Iemale. Some varieties oI
asparagus, such as Jersey Knight` and Jersey Giant` produce all male or primarily male plants, so
they`re more productivemale plants yield more harvestable shoots because they don`t have to invest
energy in producing seeds. Choose an all-male variety iI high yield is your primary goal. II you like to
experiment, you may also want to grow an heirloom variety or a purple-stalked variety like Purple
Passion`. With an all-male variety, twenty-Iive plants are usually adequate Ior a household oI Iour;
plant double that amount Ior standard varieties. (Ardent asparagus lovers recommend tripling these
quantities.)
Sowing Asparagus seeds
Select and prepare your asparagus bed with care; this crop will occupy the same spot Ior 20 years or
more. It can tolerate some shade, but Iull sun produces more vigorous plants and helps minimize
disease. Asparagus does best in lighter soils that warm up quickly in spring and drain well; standing
water will quickly rot the roots. Prepare a planting bed about 4 Ieet wide by removing all perennial
weeds and roots and digging in plenty oI aged manure or compost.
Days to Maturity
1-year-old crowns
How to grow Asparagus
Starting asparagus Irom 1-year-old crowns gives you a year`s head start over seed-grown plants. Two-
year-old crowns are usually not a bargain. They tend to suIIer more Irom transplant shock and won`t
produce any Iaster than 1-year-old crowns. Buy crowns Irom a reputable nursery that sells Iresh, Iirm,
disease-Iree roots. Plant them immediately iI possible; otherwise, wrap them in slightly damp
sphagnum moss until you are ready to plant.
To plant asparagus crowns, dig trenches 12 inches wide and 6 inches deep (8 inches in sandy soil)
down the center oI the prepared bed. Soak the crowns in compost tea Ior 20 minutes beIore planting.
Place the crowns in the trenches 1½ to 2 Ieet apart; top them with 2 to 3 inches oI soil. Two weeks
later, add another inch or two oI soil. Continue adding soil periodically until the soil is slightly
mounded above surIace level to allow Ior settling.
Harvesting:
Don`t harvest any spears during the Iirst 2 years that plants are in the permanent bed. They need to put
all their energy into establishing deep roots. During the third season, pick the spears over a 4-week
period, and by the Iourth year, extend your harvest to 8 weeks. In early spring, harvest spears every
third day or so; as the weather warms, you might have to pick twice a day to keep up with production.
Cut asparagus spears with a sharp kniIe or snap oII the spears at, or right below, ground level with your
Iingers.
Insects and Pests
Healthy asparagus Ioliage is necessary Ior good root and spear production. Asparagus beetles, which
chew on spears in spring and attack summer Ioliage, are the most prevalent problem. The 1/4-inch-
long, metallic blue-black pests have three white or yellow spots on their backs. They lay dark eggs
along the leaves, which hatch into light gray or brown larvae with black heads and Ieet. Control by
hand picking; spray or dust seriously inIested plants with insecticidal soap. These methods also control
the 12-spotted asparagus beetle, which is reddish brown with six black spots on each wing cover.
Asparagus miner is another Ioliage-Ieeding pest; it makes zig-zag tunnels on the stalks. Destroy any
inIested Ierns. Avoid asparagus rust, which produces reddish brown spots on the stems and leaves, by
planting resistant cultivars. Minimize damage Irom Fusarium wilt, which causes spears, leaves, and
stems to be small with large lesions at or below the soil line, by purchasing disease-Iree roots and using
good garden sanitation. Crown rot causes spears to turn brown near the soil line. Prevent crown rot by
planting in raised beds, maintaining good drainage, and keeping soil pH above 6.0.
44#2*)'.$7%
How to grow seeds
Cilantro needs its own space in the garden where you can harvest and then let it go to seed. It grows
Iast in the cool weather oI spring and Iall, creating a rosette oI lacy leaves. When the weather gets
warm, the plant sends up a long, lanky Ilower stalk bearing Ilat umbels oI white or pinkish blossoms
which later produce coriander seeds. Plant cilantro in a bed devoted to herbs where it can reseed, or in a
corner oI the vegetable garden. In mild climates, cilantro makes a handsome winter companion to
pansies. Leaves withstand a light Irost.
Harvest cilantro by cutting the leaIy stems near ground level. Cut only about one-third oI the plant at a
time. One oI the surprises that most gardeners get Irom cilantro is that it moves through its liIe cycle so
quickly, especially in spring. II you are lucky enough to live in a mild winter climate, Iall and winter
give you the longest season to harvest. Once you understand this Iast little plant, it`s easy to manage.
Give it its own patch in the garden where you can harvest, then ignore, then harvest again. Harvest
while it`s low, let it get tall when it wants to, then cut oII the tall plants aIter the seeds drop to get it out
oI the way. This makes room Ior the new plants that start themselves Irom the Iallen seeds. Or, oI
course, you can set out new plants every 3 to 4 weeks Ior as long as we have them in the stores, but the
harvest and ignore technique will get you through the in-between times.
Growing cilantro adds a lot oI healthy, Iresh Ilavor to your kitchen. Freshly chopped cilantro is an
excellent source oI potassium, is low in calories, and is good Ior the digestive system. It is best to use
Iresh cilantro in cooking since it does not dry very well. Add chopped leaves at the last minute Ior
maximum Ilavor. Cilantro blends well with mint, cumin, chives, garlic, and marjoram. Store by
Ireezing the leaves in cubes oI water or oil; you can dry them, too, but they lose a lot oI their Ilavor this
way, which explains why growing your own is Iar better than buying it Irom the spice rack.
Did you know?Store coriander seeds in a cool cabinet or the reIrigerator. Use them in curry, poultry,
relishes, and pickles.
Sowing Cilantro seeds
Grow cilantro in Iull sun and well-drained soil with a pH oI 6.2 to 6.8; it will tolerate light shade in the
South and Southwest where the sun is intense. In the South and Southwest, plant 12 to 18 inches apart
in the Iall or the spring about a month beIore the last Irost. Fall is the ideal time to plant in zones 8, 9,
and 10 because the plants will last through until the weather heats up in late spring. When plants begin
to bloom, the Ioliage becomes scarce; Ior steady harvest, set out plants every 3 to 4 weeks until the
weather gets warm in spring, or until the Iirst Irost oI Iall.
Cilantro Irequently selI sows. As seeds Iall to the ground, little plants oIten come up during the season
and the Iollowing spring.
Days to Maturity
Around 6-8 months to mature.
How to grow Cilantro
TIP:Cilantro will grow tall and wispy as it starts to bloom. The white Ilowers later produce the seeds
we all know as coriander.
Harvesting:
Harvest coriander seeds as they turn dry and brown. They`re a main ingredient in curry spice mixes.
You can harvest cilantro`s Ioliage continually in the cooler months oI spring and Iall and through
winter in areas without hard Ireezes. Harvest by cutting the leaIy stems near ground level; most will be
around 6 to 12 inches long. Avoid cutting more than one-third oI the leaves at one time, or you may
weaken the plant. Fertilize with Iish emulsion aIter 4 or 5 harvests.Harvest the seeds by clipping the
brown, round seed heads; place upside down in a paper bag. In a Iew days, the round husks will dry
and split in two, dropping the edible seed inside. Don`t delay seed harvest, or the weak stems will Iall
over.
Insects and Pests
Cilantro occasionally has problems with aphids and whiteIly, wilt, or mildew. For the insects, use
insecticidal soap. To prevent or control wilt and mildew, make sure you clean up spent cilantro plants at
the end oI the season, and remove any inIected plants as soon as possible.
48#6*.$% ,-'.9
How to grow seeds
Known Ior their essential role in many Latino dishes, pinto beans also oIIer a unique nutritional proIile.
They are drought tolerant and grow well in drier, more arid climates. Here`s how to grow pinto beans at
home. Pinto beans are the most widely grown bean crop plant in the United States. It's probably not
worth your while growing them at home Ior dried beans because you need a lot oI room in your garden
to get enough dry beans to store. But it is worthwhile to grow them Ior the green pods you can pick and
eat as Iresh green beans. It takes about 90 to 100 days Ior pinto beans to produce mature seeds Ior dry
beans. Beans are Irost-tender, so they're grown as annuals planted in gardens aIter the last Irost date Ior
your area. Soaking beans Ior 24 hours beIore planting helps germination. Beans Iix their own nitrogen
with bacteria that live on the roots, so Iertilizing with high-nitrogen Iertilizer isn't needed.
Did you know?WHEN TO GROW Pinto beans should be planted aIter the danger oI Irost has passed.
They will require 80-140 Irost Iree days to mature and need soil temperatures oI about 70° F Ior
successIul germination. Black plastic mulch should be used to warm the soil in order to lengthen the
growing season, as pinto beans do not transplant well. Avoid planting pinto beans too early because
they will not tolerate cool, damp roots. WHERE TO GROW Pinto beans grow well in regions with
long, warm summers. They should be planted in a space where they will receive Iull exposure to the
sun (at least 6 hours oI direct sunlight per day) and where other legumes have not grown Ior at least 3
years.
Sowing Pinto seeds
Soak pinto beans overnight prior to planting. Sow each bean with the eye Iacing down, 1-2 inches deep.
Allow 8-14 days Ior germination when soil temperatures are 70° F 80° F. Thin seedlings to 6 inches
apart once they become established. Allow a little extra space between bush plants Ior good aeration.
Pinto beans should be watered somewhat sparingly. Wait until just beIore the soil dries out beIore
watering. Pinto beans can handle a bit oI drought but not soggy roots. Water at the base oI the plants
and try to keep the Ioliage dry. Wet leaves promote mildew and other Iungal diseases.
Hand weed careIully. Pinto beans have a shallow root system. Use organic mulch to keep down weeds
and maintain moisture in the soil.
Varietes:
Pinto beans come in both determinate (bush) and indeterminate (pole) varieties. Bush pinto beans
require little care but need more space between plants. They produce all their beans at once but won`t
produce as big oI a yield as pinto beans grown on the vine (pole). Pole pinto beans require a stake or
trellis Ior support but can be planted close together and thereby save space.
Some varieties oI pinto beans grow as halI-runner beans, which means they are midway between a
vining runner bean and a bush bean. They grow to about 3 Ieet tall and can grow with or without
support. Trellising gives higher yields and allows easier picking. The traditional way pinto beans were
grown was along with corn as a companion plant. The corn stalks provided trellises Ior the pinto bean
vines and the pinto beans Iixed nitrogen that could remain in the soil to beneIit corn. Heirloom varieties
oI pinto beans grow as halI-runners that produce pods Irom near the middle toward the top oI the vines.
TIP:To increase the plant`s ability to Iix nitrogen, add pinto bean inoculant to the soil upon planting.
While not completely necessary, this will allow your plants to get oII to a Ilourishing start.
Harvesting:
Pinto beans can be harvested while still green and immature but are best aIter they dry out on the vine.
This usually occurs aIter 90-150 days, depending on the variety. Bush beans mature all at once but pole
beans need to be harvested regularly to encourage continual production.
Insects and Pests
Aphids
Diseases of Pinto
A third growth type pinto beans have is Type III architecture, a prostrate growth Iorm. A drawback to
prostrate growth is that white mold, a Iungal bean pathogen, can develop more easily under the vines in
wet Iall conditions.
4:#6-'9 =7--.
How to grow Pea seeds
Terminology Ior peas can be a bit conIusing, considering there are some varieties where you eat the
pods and some you don`t. In this case, 'green peas¨ is reIerring to the traditional garden pea that you
shell out oI the pods.
Peas hold a special place in most gardeners` hearts because they are usually the very Iirst plant to
produce a harvest, providing those Iirst Iresh vegetables aIter a long winter. They are oIten the Iirst
thing to go into the garden, and are a great kick-oII to the season.
Like many garden plants, you can get varieties oI peas that grow in long vines, or in more compact
bushes. DwarI varieties are ideal Ior small garden spaces. Some vining peas have beautiIul Ilowers and
can be grown Ior their looks as well as their Iruits.
Did you know?Peas that are shelled can be eaten raw, right out oI the pod but are usually cooked Ior
use in meals. Green peas are high in vitamin K, C, B1 and Iolate. For a vegetable, they are Iairly high
in protein too
Sowing Peas seeds
Peas are not grown Irom seedlings because they do not transplant well. You`ll be planting them out
right into the garden as soon as the ground thaws enough to dig. This can be up to 4 to 6 weeks beIore
the last Irost, and it won`t harm the plants at all.
Because you are going to be sowing your seeds into Iairly cold ground, its a good idea to get seed that
has been pre-treated with a Iungicide to prevent rot. II you preIer to use untreated seed, you should
plant more than you need to account Ior the ones that won`t sprout.
Another thing to consider when it comes to seed is inoculant. It`s not necessary, but it can help your
plants thrive by aiding their extraction oI nitrogen Irom the soil. It`s a powder that can be purchased at
most garden stores. Just add the powder into the soil when you plant your seeds. Bonemeal is another
good addition to the soil Ior peas.
How you space your pea seed will depend on whether you are growing bush peas or not. Vining peas
are usually sown in a row without much regard to the speciIic spacing. Bush peas can be grown close
together, about 10 to 12 inches apart. The plants don`t mind being crowded. Your seeds should be in
about an inch deep.
Peas don`t grow well in the hot summer months, but you can usually get a second harvest iI you plant
again once the hottest part oI the season is passed.
Days to Maturity
won`t mature Ior up to 4 months. 60 to 100 days
Did you know?Some varieties oI early peas will start to produce a harvest within 2 months, but you
can also get longer maturing types oI peas that won`t mature Ior up to 4 months. By planting some oI
each type, you can stretch your harvest period out past just the early spring.
Harvesting:
Though you should never let your plants dry out, you don`t need to worry about watering your peas as
much as some other garden vegetables. Give them a good watering about once a week.
Bush peas can be grown in cages, or loosely tied to sturdy stakes to help keep the plants upright.
Otherwise, you will need a trellis or net to keep the vining plants up oII the ground. Letting pea vines
grow along the ground isn`t recommended because the cooler weather makes them susceptible to rot.
II you want to grow peas in containers, look Ior dwarI bush varieties like Little Marvel. You should still
use inoculant when you plant into a container, and the pot should be wider than it is deep because peas
have pretty shallow roots. A container that is around a Ioot deep should be Iine.
The soil in a container will warm up Iaster than soil right in the garden, so be careIul that your
container peas don`t overheat as the weather outside gets warmer. Water more Irequently than garden
peas, and you might even want to move the the pot into a shadier spot during the warmer parts oI the
day.
Your peas are ready to harvest when they have gotten plump and the pods are well Iilled-out. When you
pick the pods, use one hand to grasp the vine near the pod and pull the pod with the other. The plants
are delicate and just yanking on the pods will likely damage the entire plant.
II any pods are missed, the peas will grow large and begin to harden. These can be used in soups or just
discarded. You should still remove them Irom the plant because overripe peas will cause the plant to
stop producing more Ilowers and pods.
Expected yield can vary quite a bit between dwarI, bush or vine varieties. Green peas that you have to
shell out oI the pods do not produce a large harvest per plant, so you can expect maybe a halI pound oI
peas per plant.
Fresh peas can be stored in their pods in the reIrigerator until you are ready to use them. They Ireeze
well aIter a quick blanche in boiling water, and drying peas is still a popular way to store them as well.
Insects and Diseases
A common insect threat to garden peas is the pea moth. The moths lay their eggs in the pea Ilowers in
early summer, then the larvae eat the developing peas as they start to grow. II pea moths are a problem
in your area, you can early varieties oI peas that go to blossom beIore the pea moth is out laying her
eggs.
Powdery mildew can attack peas, just like several other garden vegetables. It looks like white dust on
the leaves. You can prevent mildew problems by not letting the leaves get soaked when you water the
plants, as it thrives in moist conditions. A little bit oI mildew won`t kill the plant, but it can overwhelm
it iI leIt unchecked. Fungicides can help iI you catch it early enough.
As mentioned, cool wet soil can also cause root rot in new seedlings but it can also kill older plants as
well. II your weather is quite cool, don`t let the soil get too soggy. Let it dry out somewhat between
waterings. You can help reduce root rot occurrences by rotating your pea crops to diIIerent parts oI the
garden each year.
4<#9'=-
How to grow Sage seeds
Sage is prized Ior its soIt, textured leaves both in the kitchen and the garden. Young sage starts out in a
tender clump that grows wider and more woody with time.
Common sage takes the Iorm oI a low shrub that is oIten wider than it is tall. The soIt gray-green
Ioliage is great in pots or the garden. Consider planting sage in a container with rosemary, basil, and
other Mediterranean herbs Ior a Iragrant mix. While cooks appreciate the distinctive taste and scent oI
sage, gardeners enjoy its velvety, evergreen Ioliage, and delicate blooms.
Did you know?Sage needs light, well-drained soil, which makes it a good container plant. A clay pot
works well Ior sage because it dries out quickly.
Sowing Sage seeds
II you live in Zone 4 to 7, your sage will grow as a hardy perennial. However, in the humid climes oI
zones 8 and Iarther south, sage is usually an annual, as it does not easily tolerate summer heat and
humidity.Set out transplants in spring or Iall. Choose a sunny spot in well-drained soil with a pH
between 6.5 and 7. For better drainage and lighter soil, add sand and organic matter to clay soil.
Prune plants back in early spring every year, cutting out the oldest growth to promote new growth. You
will begin to see little pink or purple Ilowers in late spring. Even with pruning, plants can get woody
and stop producing lots oI branches aIter 3 to 5 years. At this point, you may want to dig up your
original and plant a new one.
Days to Maturity
4 to 8 weeks depending on Sunlight and timing oI growth as well as watering.
How to grow Sage:
Sage needs to be replaced every Iour or Iive years, when the plant becomes woody and straggly. The
best way to do this is to start new plants Irom cuttings or by layering. Either method will maintain the
characteristics oI the parent plant. Layering is a way oI rooting the upper portion oI a stem while it`s
still attached to the plant. Bend the branch to the ground, and pin it about 4 in. below the tip with some
wire to keep the stem in contact with soil. Leave it until roots Iorm, about Iour weeks, then cut it Irom
the branch and transplant it.
Spring and summer are the best times to root cuttings. Take 3-in. cuttings Irom the tip oI the branch.
Strip away the lower leaves careIully. II you Iind that you`re tearing parts oI the stem, trim the leaves
with scissors. Then dip the cut end in rooting hormone and stick it in sterile sand or vermiculite. We use
bottom heat, but in the summer it may not be necessary. Roots should Iorm in Iour to six weeks.
Cuttings with at least six roots are ready to move into 4-in. pots. Later, when they`ve got a good root
ball, move them to the garden. Full sun, good drainage keep sage happy Sage is an easy herb to grow,
putting up with conditions Iar Irom optimum. However, the closer you can imitate its native habitat, the
happier it will be. Ideal conditions are Iull sun, good drainage, a soil pH oI 5 to 8, and moderate
Iertility.
Good drainage is key. Our sage garden got along Ior Iive years in heavy soil until we had a year oI
record rainIall, when many oI our plants died. In our previous garden, our sages were planted on a
steep hillside. In the eight years we had that garden, those plants survived all sorts oI nasty weather. So
we knew we had to improve the drainage beIore replanting last summer. We constructed a 3-It.-high
mound oI sandy soil, boulders, and small rocks. Then we replanted with all new stock, and the plants
are doing beautiIully.
I prune the stems by at least a third in early spring, aIter the danger oI Ireezing is past but beIore new
growth really gets started. Through summer, the light pruning that results Irom harvesting sprigs Ior the
kitchen helps plants stay bushy.
TIP:Dried sage is an essential ingredient in poultry seasoning and holiday Iavorites such as turkey and
dressing.
Use Iresh or dried sage in your holiday recipes and to accent pork, poultry dishes, sausages, game,
stuIIing, and vegetables.
Harvesting:
AIter the Iirst year, you can harvest as much sage as you need year-round.
The Iirst year, harvest sage only lightly. In subsequent years, harvest sage as you need it, year-round.
Cut an entire stem iI you need it, or just pinch a leaI at a time. To give new Ioliage time to Iully mature,
leave 2 months between your last big harvest and the Iirst Irost oI the season.Dry harvested sage by
hanging bunches oI stems upside-down. Strip the dry leaves Irom the stem and store in an airtight
container. Keep the Ilowers on the stems to cultivate a pretty pod useIul in arrangements oI dried herbs.
Insects Pests & Diseases
Diseases and pests normally aren`t a big problem with sage. Good drainage will, in most cases, prevent
root rot, a disease encouraged by too much moisture Ior too long around the roots. In humid, poorly
ventilated conditions, sage is susceptible to powdery and downy mildews. Here again, prevention is the
best control; plant sage where it gets plenty oI air circulation, and leave ample space between plants. In
cases where mildew does appear, we use SunSpray horticultural oil or a sulIur spray. Spider mites,
thrips, and spittlebugs have a taste Ior sage. We use organic insecticides like pyrethrum or insecticidal
soap or oil to keep these pests under control.
Hardiness
Mildew is a problem Ior sage, so thin plants regularly to encourage air circulation. Watch careIully on
the hottest, most humid summer days. You can also mulch with pebbles to help keep the area
immediately around the leaves dry. The moisture Irom pebbles evaporates quickly compared to organic
mulches.
4>#@%3)7',*
How to grow Kohlrabi seeds
Kohlrabi looks like a turnip growing above-ground. It`s a cabbage-Iamily member, so it`s no surprise
that the edible white, green, or purple 'bulbs¨ (which are actually swollen stems) have a cabbage-turnip
taste. Kohlrabi is, however, milder and sweeter than either oI those vegetables.
Did you know?
Kohlrabi is an odd-looking member oI the cabbage Iamily grown Ior its bulb-like stem that tastes like a
mild, sweet turnip. You can also eat the leaves. High in Iiber and vitamin C. It is a Iast-growing, crop
Ior both spring and Iall, with plants ready to harvest just a Iew weeks aIter planting.
Sowing Kohlrabi seeds
Set out spring plants about 4 weeks beIore the last Iorest so they mature in cool weather. Plants just out
oI a greenhouse need initial protection Irom Ireezes. Set out Iall plants about 6 weeks beIore the Iirst
Irost. In Iall, plants 'hardened¨ by gradual exposure to cool weather are tolerant oI Irost. Kohlrabi that
matures in cool weather is deliciously sweet.
Kohlrabi needs at least 6 hours oI Iull sun each day; more is better. Give it Iertile, well-drained, moist
soil with plenty oI rich organic matter. A Soil PH between 6.5 and 6.8 discourages clubroot disease. To
check pH, test the soil with a purchased kit, or get a soil test through your regional Cooperative
Extension oIIice. Fertilize and lime according to test recommendations. Kohlrabi needs plenty oI water
to Iorm solid bulbs. Mulch around plants to help retain moisture.
Without a soil test, add nitrogen-rich amendments such as blood meal, cottonseed meal, or composted
manure to the soil. Or, work a timed-release vegetable Iood such as 14-14-14 into the soil according to
label directions. Fertilize with a liquid Iertilizer again aIter plants begin to develop new leaves and
when they start Iorming heads. Space plants 9 to 12 inches apart.
Kohlrabi needs an even supply oI moisture to produce good bulbs. Mulch with compost, Iinely ground
leaves, or Iinely ground bark to keep the soil cool and moist and to keep down weeds. Apply 1 to 1.5
inches oI water per week iI it doesn`t rain.
Days to Maturity
About 4-8 weeks until mature.
How to grow Kohlrabi:
Kohlrabi grows in loose, average soil. For a spring crop, direct-sow seeds 4 to 6 weeks beIore the last
average Irost; plant / inch deep, 10 seeds per Ioot. Or start seedlings Ior a Iall crop indoors 6 to 8
weeks beIore the last average Irost. When seedlings are around 4 inches tall, thin plants to (or set out
transplants at) 5 inches apart in rows 1 Ioot apart.
Keep plants well watered and Iree oI weeds; put down a mulch to help accomplish both tasks. Cultivate
careIully to keep Irom damaging the delicate, shallow roots.
Use young leaves in salads and stir-Iries. Harvest immature 'bulbs¨ when they are no more than 2
inches in diameter, cutting the stems 1 inch below the swollen stem. Remove the leaI stems and leaves,
and use the remaining stem as you would turnips.
TIP:Kohlrabi will keep Ior several weeks in the reIrigerator and Ior several months in a cold, moist,
cellar.
Harvesting Kohlrabi:
Harvest kohlrabi stems when they are still young and tender, usually about 2 1/2 to 4 inches in
diameter. Harvest by cutting them Irom the base oI the plant. You can trim the leaves Irom the stem and
save them to cook separately. Kohlrabi keeps Ior 2 to 3 weeks in the Iridge. You can peel and slice
kohlrabi tubers to eat them raw with dips or in salads, or you can cook them like turnips.
Insects Pests & Diseases
Although the same pests that like cabbage can also attack kohlrabi, it is generally less troubled by
aphids, root maggots, cabbageworms, and other caterpillars. Clubroot and black rot diseases in the soil
can be a problem.
4?#@*A.-C ,-'.9
How to grow Kidney seeds
These large red beans are popular in chili, particularly in the American south. They are in the same
Iamily oI beans as black beans, pinto beans and navy beans.
Like most other dry beans, kidney beans are only eaten cooked. In Iact, raw kidney beans (and their
sprouts) are actually poisonous. It only takes a Iew minutes oI cooking at high heat to neutralize the
toxins, which is much less than any standard cooking time Ior these beans.
Kidney beans are excellent sources oI protein, which makes them popular as a meat-substitute Ior
vegetarians. They also have high levels oI iron, calcium and magnesium.
Did you know?As long as you can keep any insects or rodents out oI your dried beans, they will last
up to a year iI kept in a dark place.
Sowing Kidney seeds
UnIortunately, kidney beans don`t transplant well so it`s best to just plant your seeds into the garden
when the time is right rather than try to start early with indoor seedlings.
Choose a spot in the garden that will get Iull sun, and where the soil is loose enough to allow Ior good
drainage. II you Iind the water pools up when it rains, it won`t be a good spot Ior your kidney bean
plants. When you are digging the soil beIore planting, mix in a powdered product called an inoculant.
It`s a natural bacterium that helps beans and peas get their nitrogen out oI the soil.
Put your seeds out aIter your last Irost date, and cover any sprouted seedlings iI you do get an
unexpected Irost.
Space your seeds by about 4 inches iI you have a vining variety oI bean, and a bit Iarther to 8 inches iI
you are growing a more compact bush type. Bean seeds should be about an inch to an inch and a halI
under the soil when you plant.
Days to Maturity
100-120 days
How to grow Kidney:
Kidney bean plants hate to have 'wet Ieet¨, so don`t water too oIten unless the weather has been really
dry. You should only water your plants iI the soil has dried out, rather than water to keep it constantly
moist.
Because kidney beans can produce their own nitrogen in their roots, they don`t really need any extra
nutrients oI Iertilizer. II you are Ieeding your plants, don`t use any high-nitrogen mixtures around the
beans or you will eIIect their growth. They may seem to thrive with more leaves, but at harvest time
you`ll end up with a lot oI empty pods.
Shallow roots make it diIIicult to hoe around a bean plant without harming the plant. You should pull
weeds by hand, or use a good layer oI mulch to keep out the weeds.
Kidney beans grow Iine in pots, and usually do better iI you are growing bush-type beans such as the
Montcalm variety. They don`t vine as much and do well in smaller spaces. A 12-inch pot is suitable Ior
a single plant, and you will need to add some support iI you are growing a vining bean.
You do need several plants in order to get enough beans Ior anything other than occasional usage,
which may make container gardening impractical Ior kidney beans. On average, it will take 6 to 10
plants to supply enough beans Ior one person`s regular use.
Add extra gravel or stones to your pot to help the water drain away, and only water your potted beans
when the soil is actually dry.
TIP:
Harvesting Kidney:
Kidney beans are not picked though the season, but only collected aIter they have completely matured
and dried out. The pods will be dry to the touch, and the beans themselves will be as hard as stone.
High humidity can make it hard to dry the beans out on the vine, so you may have to collect the pods to
let them Iinish drying and curing indoors. lay them out in a warm location where there is plenty oI air
ventilation.
The traditional way to see iI your beans are 'done¨, is to bite down on one. They shouldn`t be marked
or dented by your teeth. Once dry, you just shell them out oI their pods and either cook them or store
them Ior later.
II you just have a Iew plants, you can easily break the pods apart by hand to get the beans out. For
larger harvests, gather all the pods together in a pillow case or even on the Iloor between two sheets.
Step all over them, and siIt out the beans Irom the pieces oI broken seed pods.
Insects Pests & Diseases
Kidney beans have nice large leaves that oIten Iall prey to any number oI beetles and grubs in the
garden. Various species oI bean beetle are the biggest threat, though slugs, cutworms and leaIhoppers
can all be Iound in your bean patch. II you check your plants daily, and pick oII any pests you Iind, you
may not need to spray at all.
You will also need to keep oII the aphids, which are a bit harder to see than the larger beetles. Thy
usually don`t do much harm on their own but they can spread bean mosaic virus, which will kill any
plants that are not resistant (many varieties are).
Aside Irom the bugs, your bean plants can also get rust or mildew on the leaves. Bean rust is a Iungus
that shows up as rusty reddish-brown patches on the leaves and can be treated with Iungicide, provided
you start to treat the plants beIore it spreads through all the leaves.
Powdery mildew is less oI a danger, but can kill your plants iI you don`t keep it in check. It just looks
like a Iine white powder on the leaves that doesn`t wipe oII. Again, treat with Iungicide and keep your
plants Irom being too moist. Humid air helps mildew thrive, so only water your plants at the soil level,
not over the leaves.
8!#'71=')'
How to grow Arugula seeds
Long popular in France and Italy, the leaves oI the arugula provide a spicy zap when added to a salad.
This is the same plant sold in cellophane bags in the grocery store and usually labelled baby arugula.`
However, we think that home grown has more Ilavor. You decide! You can also saute or steam the
leaves like spinach or other leaIy greens. Plants look a little like a dandelion, but are bigger and more
open. Leaves grow best in cool weather. LeaIy plants grow 6 to 12 inches tall while in the harvest
stage.
Arugula (Eruca vesicaria) is a green with zip. Sometimes called rocket or roquette, arugula should be
planted in the garden in early spring or Iall. It will grow in a rosette about a Ioot wide and equally tall.
You can pull it up when plant start to send up a bloom stalk Irom the center, or you can continue
harvesting the leaves until they taste too strong. Some gardeners cut the plants back to get another
harvest as it tries to grow back. The bloom stalks may grow 24 to 36 inches tall and have little white
Ilowers on top. These are edible and look pretty in a salad. Flowering signals that the season is ending
Ior arugula and you can replace it with a warm weather crop, unless you want to try cutting it back and
eating it just a little longer.
Did you know?Arugula stretches skyward in hot weather, blooming and setting seeds. Harvest arugula
leaves oIten to add peppery Ilavor to salads.
Sowing Arugula seeds
Arugula grows Iast. Set plants in the sunny garden in early spring Ior spring harvest or late summer Ior
Iall harvest. Plants preIer the cooler days oI spring or Iall. Like any leaIy green, arugula requires a rich
soil to make its best growth. BeIore planting, add compost to the soil. Then apply a timed-release
Iertilizer at the rate directed on the label Ior lettuce or other leaIy greens. Space transplants 12 to 18
inches apart.
Days to Maturity
100-120 days Ior maturity.
How to grow Arugula:
TIP:Arugula is considered a vegetable when it is cooked and eaten like spinach, or it can be used more
sparingly as an herb to Ilavor a salad, meat, or pasta sauce. It is not Ior those who preIer mild Ilavor
like that oI an iceberg lettuce salad; it calls Ior an adventuresome palate. Try the leaves in some oI our
arugula recipes. Add arugula Ilowers to salads in late spring or summer as the plants grow a tall bloom.
At this point the leaves may be more pungent than you like, but try them just in case.
Harvesting Arugula:
As arugula plants grow larger, their taste gets stronger, more peppery.
Pick only the outer leaves, so the plant remains intact and usable Ior weeks to come. This cut-and-come
again harvest keeps the plant yielding lots oI leaves until the plants Ilower. Harvest oIten to encourage
new growth.
Insects Pests & Diseases
Not many pests, occasional Aphids.
Hardiness
As arugula plants grow larger, their taste gets stronger, more peppery.
Pick only the outer leaves, so the plant remains intact and usable Ior weeks to come. This cut-and-come
again harvest keeps the plant yielding lots oI leaves until the plants Ilower. Harvest oIten to encourage
new growth.
8"#2%; 6-'9
How to grow Cow Pea seeds
Cowpeas, also called Black Eyed Peas, are a Iavorite southern bean. Although the young
leaves are edible, most gardeners grow them Ior the bean inside. Cowpeas are native to
AIrica, where it is an important Iood crop. The plant thrives in warmer climates. There
are vining and non-vining varieties.
Cowpeas grow in a slender pod which looks like a green bean. Six to ten inch pods
contain tan colored beans.
Did you know?
"Black Eyed Peas" have a black circle on it with a beige spot in the middle oI the circle. Can you guess
the color oI the circle on the "Pink Eye" variety?
Sowing Cow Pea seeds
Plant outdoors aIter the last Irost date, and when the soil has warmed. Sow seeds
directly into the garden. They germinate best at a soil temperature oI 65 degrees or
higher.
Follow the spacing directions on the packet. Seeds germinate in 7-10 days.
Days to Maturity
Ranges Irom 80 to 90 days depending on variety.
How to grow Cow Pea:
Growing Cowpeas is easy. Grow cowpeas in Iull sun. They preIer rich, well draining
soil. Add compost prior to planting. Apply a side dressing oI Iertilizer to give these
plants a Iast start as soon as they germinate.
Thin seedling to proper distance, as noted on the seed packet. II there are no directions,
space plants three inches apart in rows three Ieet apart.
Cowpea plants are tolerant oI heat and dry weather conditions. However, Ior maximum
growth and harvest, water Irequently, especially during dry periods. Try to keep the
leaves dry as you water. This will help avoid Iungus diseases.
TIP:Apply a general purpose Iertilizer once a month during the season.
Harvesting Cow Pea:
Young, tender leaves are edible. Pick as needed Ior salads. Or, cook them like
spinach.Many gardeners who are new to cowpeas, do not know that the young pods are
edible, too. Pick when very young, as the pods get tough and stringy early. Most people
harvest Cowpeas Ior the bean inside. II harvesting "green" pick, when young. For dried
shell beans, pick aIter the pods have dried. The beans can be allowed to dry right on the
vine.
Insects Pests & Diseases
A variety oI insects enjoy cowpeas. Use insecticides or repellents as needed.
Deer and rabbits like this vegetable,too. They will eat the young plants, and nip tender
leaves. Deer will Iorage Ior the young beans. II you have wild turkeys in your area, you
may Iind them munching on your Cowpeas.They eat the young plants and enjoy the
insects that the plant attracts.
Bacterial and wilt diseases are common among the Bean Iamily. This plant disease
arrives with summer heat and humidity. This oIten occurs just beIore, or during, the
ripening oI the crop. Fungicides are recommended in areas oI high heat and humidity.
8(#B-.1=7--@
How to grow Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum) is an annual indigenous to the Mediterranean and grown
widely in Europe and Asia. It has a long medicinal history, and is recommended Ior cleansing the chest
and lungs in Culpepper's Herbal oI 1649.
Did you know?Fenugreek can be taken internally or used topically. It is most oIten used to treat
coughs and sore throat, although current research suggests that it may be eIIective in the treatment oI
Type 2 diabetes, can help lower blood cholesterol levels and increase circulation. It is also oIten
recommended as an herbal treatment Ior tinnitus.
Fenugreek seed makes a reIreshing and very IlavorIul tea. You'll enjoy it. It really does have a maple
Iragrance.
Sowing Fenugreek:
Fenugreek grows to about two Ieet (60cm), with yellow/white Ilowers and long yellow seedpods. It
likes Iull sun and well-drained, neutral to slightly acid soil. It doesn't like to be transplanted. In spring,
aIter the threat oI Irost has passed, sow seeds to a depth oI a little less than a quarter inch. The seeds
sprout quickly. Unlike many other herbs that thrive on neglect, Ienugreek likes Iertile soil, so be
generous with the compost. Space plants Iive to six inches apart.
In New York City a while back, the aroma oI Ienugreek created a cloud oI mysterious maple Iragrance
that was traced to a nearby manuIacturing plant. Your garden can smell like maple when you plant
Ienugreek.
Days to Maturity
120-140 days to mature.
How to grow Fenugreek:
Fenugreek seeds have a tough outer coat that needs to be soItened beIore planting. Soak the seeds Ior
12 hours in warm -- not hot -- water. Drain and replace the water with warm water every 2 hours.
Create rows 4 inches apart with 1/4-inch deep trenches in the prepared soil. Spread the seeds in the
trench and cover with soil. Keep the soil moist while the seeds germinate, which occurs in 7 to 10 days.
Thin the seedlings to 4 inches apart when the plants are 2 to 3 inches tall. The extra Ienugreek seedlings
do not survive transplanting, but can be tossed in a salad Ior consumption. Sow Ienugreek seeds every
three weeks to have a supply oI greens throughout the summer. This allows you to harvest the tender
young plants while growing replacement plants. It commonly takes a growing season oI Iour to Iive
months to produce mature seeds. Look Ior varieties that ripen in three months Ior a quicker harvest oI
Ienugreek seeds.
TIP:Fenugreek usually makes the short list oI sexual stimulant herbs, and has been used with some
success in treating male impotence. It's thought that Fenugreek's ability to help improve circulation is
the reason it's eIIective.
Harvesting:
Harvest and dry seedpods in early to mid Iall, and store them in an airtight container in a dry, dark spot.
Insects Pests & Diseases
Not many pests, occasional Aphids.
8/#-23*.'2-'
How to grow Echinacea seeds
A Common Name: Purple coneIlower. The large daisylike Ilowers with mounded heads and showy rose
or pink rays (petals) are usually borne singly on stout stems, well above the Ioliage. ConeIlowers are
erect perennials with coarse lanceolate to ovate, oIten toothed leaves. Plants grow Irom thick taproots
that are quite deep on mature plants. ConeIlowers are used as medicinal plants Ior alleviating skin
rashes and internally Ior stimulating the immune system.
Did you know? Echinacea are comIortable additions to Iormal and inIormal landscapes alike. Plant
them in borders with catmints (Nepeta), garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), blazingstars (Liatris),
yarrows (Achillea), and Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum maximum). Create a pastel combination with
lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina), verbenas, pink bee balms (Monarda), calamints (Calamintha), and
cranesbills (Geranium) backed with ornamental grasses. In meadow and prairie gardens, plant
coneIlowers with native grasses, gray-headed coneIlower (Ratibida pinnata), goldenrods (Solidago),
butterIly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), and black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia). They respond well to pot
culture iI planted in a deep container.
Sowing Echinacea seeds
Loosen the soil in your garden using a garden Iork or tiller to 12 to 15 inches deep, then mix in a 2 to
4inch layer oI compost.
Plant the seeds in the spring in humus-rich, well-drained soil about 1 to 3 Ieet apart, depending on the
type, in Iull sun. ConeIlowers can tolerate some shade.
II you are moving a potted plant outside Irom inside, dig a hole about twice the pot's diameter and
careIully place the plant in the soil. Bury the plant to the top oI the root ball, but make sure the root ball
is level with the soil surIace. Water it thoroughly.
Days to Maturity
50 to 100 days reaching maturity.
How to grow Echinacea:
Echinacea are plants oI prairies and open woods. Give them average, loamy soil in Iull sun or light
shade. Plants grow best with adequate moisture but are quite tolerant oI extended drought. These tough
plants have deep taproots that enable them to store some water Ior lean times. Plants increase to Iorm
broad clumps. They Ilower throughout summer, and the rayless seedheads are attractive throughout Iall
and winter. Division is seldom necessary and not recommended. Once divided, plants tend to become
bushy with compromised Ilower production. Propagate by root cuttings in Iall.
TIP:Sow seed outdoors in Iall or indoors in winter. Give seeds 4 to 6 weeks oI cold, moist stratiIication
to promote uniIorm germination.
Harvesting Echinacea:
In the spring, put a thin layer oI compost around the plants, then a 2inch layer oI mulch to help keep
the plants moist and prevent weeds.
II you receive less than an inch oI rain a week, water your plants regularly during the summer.
II your plants are Iloppy, cut them to the ground aIter they Ilower.
Remember to cut oII the dead/Iaded Ilowers to prolong to blooming season and prevent excessive selI-
seeding. To attract birds, keep the late-season Ilowers on the plants to mature.
Divide your plants into clumps every 3 to 4 years in spring or autumn, although coneIlowers do not like
excessive disturbance.
Insects Pests & Diseases
Powdery Mildew, Bacterial spots, Grey moleVine weevils
84#%7-='.% *$')*'.
How to grow Oregano Italian seeds
Oregano, an herb with a robust scent and Ilavor, loves to grow in pots where it can spill over an edge oI
a pot or low wall. However, its trailing growth also makes it a good seasonal ground cover, or it can
serve as a nice edging along a path. In late summer, enjoy Greek or Italian oregano`s white Ilowers
against its bright-green leaves. Grow oregano in an herb garden or in containers.
Did you know?
The 'secret¨ ingredient in Aunt Bee`s spaghetti sauce, oregano adds deep Ilavor to Italian or Greek
dishes, meat, Iish, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, and vegetables such as beans and zucchini. A light sprinkling
over a green salad beIore dressing it is a tasty enhancement. Oregano does not hold up well to
prolonged cooking when used Iresh, so add Iresh leaves at the end oI the cooking process or use dried
leaves Ior sauces or anything that requires lengthy simmering. Dried oregano Ilower stalks may be used
in craIt-making
Sowing Oregano seeds
Culinary members oI Origanum are easy-to-grow perrinials that tolerate a variety oI soils, as long as
those soils are well drained. Like most Mediterranean-type herbs, they need only moderate h2o and
grow best in a gravelly loam in Iull sun. II your soil retains too much moisture, grow oregano in raised
beds or containers. Water. As easy as oregano is to grow, it has one deIinite dislike: too much moisture.
Humidity, periods oI excessive rain, or overwatering leads to root rot, which eventually kills the plant.
To avoid it, ammend your soil with plenty oI organic matter to ensure better drainage. II too much
humidity is a problem, encourage good air circulation by giving your plants plenty oI room to spread.
Fertilizing: Oregano's Iertilizer needs are minimal and oIten nonexistent, especially iI you amend the
soil with compost or other organic matter. Keep in mind that container-grown plants need to be watered
and Iertilized more oIten than plants grown in the ground. I usually Iertilize my container herbs every 6
to 10 weeks during the growing season. Mulch. A stone mulch or light-colored gravel spread around the
base oI plants helps keep the soil surIace dry.
Days to Maturity
Every 6-12 weeks Ior Iull maturing.
How to grow Oregano:
Pinch or trim the stems oI oregano regularly to keep the plant bushy and tender. Oregano preIers a
sunny spot; however, in zone 7 and Iarther south, it beneIits Irom a little aIternoon shade. Set plants in
well-drained soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.0. Most herbs don`t like much Iertilizer; Ieed
occasionally throughout the growing season and always in early spring as the new season begins.
Oregano spreads easily; in late spring, cut it back to one-third oI its size in order to make the plant
bushier. In milder climates (zone 8 and southward), oregano is evergreen. In zone 7 and northward,
protect plants with mulch through the winter, or cover them with a cold Irame. Small plants in
containers can be moved indoors Ior the winter. Cut out dead stems in the spring beIore the plants
begin new growth.
TIP:Depending on the type oI oregano, the Ilavor can be pretty strong, so start with a small amounta
little goes a long way. Taste as you go and add more iI needed.
Harvesting Oregano:
Both Greek and Italian oregano produce white blooms in summer. This plant stretches tall as it gets
ready to bloom.
Harvest plants oIten Ior continued new growth. Begin by snipping sprigs oI oregano as soon as the
plant is several inches tall. The Ilavor oI oregano is most intense in mid-summer, just beIore it blooms,
making this the best time to harvest leaves Ior drying. This herb is stronger dried than Iresh. For a big
harvest, cut the stems just above the plant`s lowest set oI leaves; this encourages new growth Ior the
next cutting in late summer. Oregano leaves may be dried, Irozen, or reIrigerated.
Insects Pests & Diseases
Sometimes aphids, Powdery Mildew, Bacterial spots.
Hardiness
Your oregano plant will take oII in a sunny spot with good growing conditions.
Root rot, spider mites, and aphids can all attack oregano. Be sure oregano is well drained to prevent
disease, and pick oII any browning or spotted Ioliage. In the garden it is easy to mistake an oregano
plant Ior look-alike sweet marjoram, although the two are easily distinguished by their Ilavors and
scents.
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How to grow Mustard Greens seeds
Mustard Greens are Iast growing, nutritious leaIy greens. They`re perIect Ior gardens and containers in
both spring and Iall. Although not quite as cold hardy as their cousins, collards and Kale, mustard
greens do tolerate a light Irost, which makes their leaves sweeter. In areas where there are no killing
Ireezes, gardeners enjoy these easy, piquant greens all winter long. The mustard patch is a pretty sight
in the cool season garden. The leaIy plants are good companions to Iall Ilowers such as pansies.
Mustard greens grow in a rosette oI leaves up to about a Ioot-and-a-halI tall. You can simmer the big
peppery greens or pick smaller, young leaves to eat raw in salads and sandwiches.
BeIore you plant the seedlings Irom our pots, separate them into a Iew clumps to get stronger plants
Iaster.
Did you know? Optimum growth and Ilavor depends on moist soil. When plants grow under stressIul
conditions such as drought or heat, the leaves can become unpleasantly spicy Ior most tastes. Keep the
soil evenly moist.
Sowing Mustard seeds
Mustard leaves grow Iast and most tender in moist, rich soil. Sun is ideal, but because they make only
leaves and not Iruit, they are a little more tolerant oI shade than Iruiting vegetables like tomatoes.
Enrich the soil by spreading 3 to 6 inches oI compost over the area you plan to plant. Then turn it into
the ground or raised bed with a digging Iork. For pots, use a premium quality potting mix. It always
seems early when it`s time to plant mustard, but it pays to plan ahead. For Fall harvest, set plants in the
garden 4 to 6 weeks beIore the Iirst expected Irost. In spring, you can start about 4 weeks ahead oI the
last Irost date and continue planting a little aIter.
Our plants are thickly seeded in their pot. You may set them out as they are, but they will grow Iaster
and give you more iI you take a little time to separate the seedlings. Gently tease the seedlings apart
into 3 to 6 clumps. Be careIul not to tear up the roots. II they don`t tease apart gently, you can cut the
clump in halI with a kniIe and in halI again. Space clumps 12 inches apart Ior traditional mustard
greens, 12 to 18 inches apart Ior Japanese Giant Red Mustard.
In colder climates, you can grow mustard greens under a hoop house covered in row cover or plastic to
protect them Irom hard Ireezes. These greens are grown towards the back with kale in Iront.
Mulch with wheat straw to keep plants moist. It takes about 10 to 12 plants to supply two people with
Iresh greens plus extra to Ireeze and use during warmer weather.
Mustard grows Iast, so you can begin picking leaves in about 4 weeks, when the leaves are 6 to 8
inches long. LeIt alone, leaves reach their Iull size oI 15 to 18 inches long in about 6 weeks. To
maintain the rapid leaIy growth, the plant needs Iertilizer. II your Iamily enjoys mustard greens,
consider planting every 2 to 3 weeks Ior successive waves oI young IlavorIul greens growing into
prime size.
Days to Maturity
6 to 9 weeks to mature.
How to grow Mustard:
TIP:Mustard greens are not as cold hardy as kale and collards. II you expect a hard Ireeze, pick your
mustard greens and reIrigerate. A large harvest will cook down to a good-sized nutritious side dish.
Harvesting:
There are two ways to harvest greens. You may pick only the large, outer leaves leaving the center to
continue growing and producing more greens. Or you can treat the plant in a cut-and-come again
Iashion, cutting all the leaves to 3 to 4 inches Irom the ground and leaving the stub to re-grow.
Remember, young leaves have a milder Ilavor Ior salads. Mustard greens tolerate Irosts and brieI
temperature dips into the 20's, but succumb to harvest. Like other greens, cold sweetens their Ilavor.
Insects Pests & Diseases
Sometimes aphids, Powdery Mildew, Bacterial spots.
Hardiness
When the weather warms in summer, mustard greens will send up a Ilower stalk and produce yellow
Ilowers. The plants should be pulled up at this point, but the Ilowers will make a beautiIul arrangement.
Although mustard greens don`t have many problems, you will need to protect them Irom cabbage
loopers and imported cabbageworms. Flea beetles can also Ieed on leaves. Floating row covers are a
great way to protect the greens without pesticides, or you can spray them with product containing 'Bt¨
(Bacillus thuringiensis), Ior the caterpillars, or insecticidal soap or a pyrethrin-based spray Ior the
beetles. Clubroot is a disease that plagues mustard and other members oI the cabbage Iamily. Have
your soil tested and apply the lime necessary to maintain a soil PH oI 6.5 to 6.8 to discourage clubroot.
Also, change the layout oI your garden each season so members oI the cabbage Iamily don`t grow in an
area but once every 3 years.
4.Harvesting Your Seed
SEED TYPES
When you Iirst purchase seeds you should avoid 'Hybrid Seeds.¨ Instead you should
buy 'Heirloom Seeds¨ or 'Open Pollinated Seeds.¨ Hybrid seeds are 'man-made seeds¨
and they are only good Ior ONE planting. (Note: II you plant hybrid seeds and then save
the seeds Irom the hybrid plants that are produced, and then plant those seeds the
Iollowing spring, the results will be unpredictable. The plant that grows will usually
resemble one oI its parents or grandparents or something in-between. It is also possible
that it may produce NO Iruit at all.) Heirloom seeds, on the other hand, will produce
crops that yield seeds that will reproduce the same plant year aIter year aIter year as God
originally intended. (Genesis 1:11 Then God said, 'Let the earth bring Iorth grass, the
herb that yields seed, and the Iruit tree that yields Iruit according to its kind, whose seed
is in itselI, on the earth;¨ and it was so.) When you purchase a package oI seeds, you
should NOT plant ALL the seeds Irom the original package the Iirst year. Instead you
should save some oI them or planting in Iuture years in the event your Iirst year`s
planting eIIorts are not successIul. You should also clearly mark exactly where you plant
each type oI seed with the name and variety oI that seed so you can keep track oI which
varieties oI seed do best in your climate and in your soil.
DISEASE AVOIDANCE
AIter you have planted your seeds and the plants appear, do NOT collect seeds Irom a
diseased plant because the disease will have inIected that speciIic plant`s genes and all
Iuture plants grown Irom those seeds will be easily susceptible to that same disease.
SEED SELECTION
Use the very best looking, strongest, and most productive plants in your garden Ior
seeds. Generally, you are NOT looking Ior that ONE special Iruit on the vine. Instead
the characteristics you should look Ior are: early bearing oI Iruit, total Iruit yield, Iruit
size and Ilavor and aroma, and disease resistance. Also, iI applicable, late bolting to
seed. Resist the urge to eat your most delectable looking vegetables. Those are the ones
you want to duplicate every year in the Iuture. AIter you have selected the Iruits you
want to keep Ior seed, identiIy them with a special marker such as a wooden stake
beside the plant, or a ribbon or string loosely tied to the plant or vine. In
most cases (but not all) it is important to save seeds Irom at least three diIIerent plants oI
the same variety to provide good pollination opportunities the Iollowing spring.
SEED RIPENESS
Allow seeds to Iully ripen beIore harvesting to achieve the best germination yield the
Iollowing spring. The seed must be given time to store enough nourishment so it can
germinate the Iollowing spring and grow into a healthy seedling.
DRYING
Seeds must be dried beIore they are stored (between 5° to 13° moisture content, with
an average oI 8°). Individual seeds should be separated Irom one another so they can
dry more evenly. Larger seeds will require more time to air dry whereas smaller seeds
will require less time. Do NOT try to dry the seeds too quickly or they may shrink and
crack. And do NOT dry at a temperature higher than 100°F. Indoor air drying is usually
the best. However, iI you live in an extremely humid area,
then you may dry your seeds by placing them in the sun in Iront oI a southern Iacing
window Ior about two days. Since there is no easy inexpensive method Ior measuring
the exact moisture content oI your seeds, you will need to use your own judgment based
on your personal experience. Generally the drier the seed (but NOT below 5°), the
longer the seed will remain alive in storage.
Based on Dr. James Harrington`s research, each additional 1° decrease in the dryness oI
a vegetable seed Irom 13° down to 5° will double its storage liIe, However, below 5°
will normally kill the seed and above 13° will usually result in the seed not surviving
the Iirst winter. Since the home gardener does not have the expensive equipment to
accurately measure the exact moisture content oI a batch oI seeds, the home gardener
may wish to use a trial and error approach. When you Iirst suspect that your seeds are
dry enough, put halI oI them into paper envelopes and label the envelopes with the
variety oI seed and indicate how many days the seeds were dried. Continue drying the
remainder oI the seeds Ior a Iew more days. Then put halI oI those seeds into paper
envelopes and label them as your second drying with the total number oI drying days.
AIter a Iew more days oI drying put the remainder oI the seeds into a paper envelope
and label them as your third drying with the total number oI drying days. When you test
each envelope oI seeds in Iuture years, you can use this trial and error method to
estimate the optimal number oI drying days
Ior each type oI seed based on your climate, and your humidity, and your average
normal drying conditions.
STORAGE
AIter your seeds are dry, store your seeds in a standard small paper envelope, or a paper
bag, or a cloth bag in a dry, cool area. Do not allow the seeds to remain in direct contact
with the air or they will gradually absorb moisture Irom the humidity in the air with the
passage oI time. AIter placing the seeds in a standard small paper envelope or cloth bag,
you can store that envelope or bag inside a standard plastic Ireezer bag. Freezer bags are
more expensive and oI a higher quality than regular plastic bags. Do not seal your seeds
inside a vacuum plastic bag without air because seeds are living organisms and they
need a minimum amount oI air to continue their liIe cycle. The best place to store seeds
is in a plastic Ireezer bag inside a reIrigerator at a temperature between 33°F to 40°F.
This will more than double the storage liIe oI your seeds.
LABELING
Clearly label each oI your seed envelopes or bags using permanent ink to identiIy the
exact variety oI seed and the year the seed was harvested. Also include the number oI
days the seed was allowed to dry, along with any unusual weather conditions during the
drying process, such as unusually humid weather or unusually warm or cold weather
during the drying process.
SEED BANK
Most seeds can successIully germinate Ior three to Iive years aIter harvesting, even iI
they are NOT stored in a reIrigerator. ThereIore, it is prudent to have your own 'Seed
Bank¨ into which you deposit approximately 10° oI the seeds you harvest each year. II
an unexpected disease attacks your crops one year then you will NOT be able to harvest
any seeds Irom that year`s crops, even though you may be able to eat some or most oI
that year`s poor quality marginal vegetables. In this type oI situation your 'Seed Bank¨
will permit the re-establishment oI the quality oI your crops in
Iuture years. The seeds in your 'Seed Bank¨ are your insurance against unpredictable
Iuture diseases that may sweep through your geographical area. They are also good
insurance against an unexpected cross-pollination that produces a seed that is diIIerent
than you expected. Once again, your 'Seed Bank¨ will allow you to re- establish this
variety the Iollowing spring using seeds saved Irom previous years beIore the problem
appeared.
EMERGENCY SEED RESERVE
Each spring you should gradually plant each variety oI seed over an extended period oI
several weeks. You should NOT plant all your seeds oI one variety at the same time.
This reduces your risk oI loss to late Irosts and it provides a longer harvest period Ior
Iresh vegetables Ior the table. II you have seeds that are more than one year old which
are NOT part oI your 'Seed Bank¨, then your Iirst planting the Iollowing spring should
be one-halI oI those older seeds. II you do NOT have any two or three year old seeds,
then do NOT plant more than halI your previous year`s seed the
Iollowing spring. Save at least halI oI the previous year`s seed as an 'Emergency Seed
Reserve¨ (in addition to your 'Seed Bank¨). Occasional late snows or an unexpected late
Irost can kill everything you plant at the beginning oI spring. Your 'Emergency Seed
Reserve¨ will allow you to plant a second time that same year. Later during the spring or
summer other problems may arise, such as heavy rains or no rains or insect damage or
tornados or hurricanes, and these disasters could result in no crops to harvest in the Iall.
In disaster situations like these, it provides some comIort to know that you still have a
reasonable amount oI seed reserved Ior planting the Iollowing year. II you are Iorced to
use your 'Emergency Seed Reserve,¨ then only plant halI oI them and keep the rest oI
the seeds in reserve. Always keep at least halI oI your remaining seed as an 'Emergency
Seed Reserve¨ Ior really hard times. This means each Iuture planting will be much
smaller, but that is much better than having NOTHING to plant at all. Because oI
unpredictable situations such as the above, each year it would be wise to harvest at least
twice the amount oI seed you think you will need the Iollowing year. This strategy will
also provide you with seed to share, sell, or trade and it will bring you one step closer to
being an independent, resourceIul human being in God`s natural order oI things.
PREPARING SEEDS FOR PLANTING
(Note: These suggestions are optional.) Place the seeds you wish to plant in the Ireezer
compartment oI your reIrigerator Ior three hours. When you remove the seed Irom the
Ireezer the rush oI warm air will help to break its winter dormancy. Then place the
individual seeds between two damp paper towels Ior one day in a warm area. The seed is
now in an optimal condition Ior immediate planting.
SPRING GERMINATION TEST
(Note: This step is optional.) You can test the viability oI your seeds BEFORE you plant
them in the ground in the spring. Use a medium-tip permanent marker to write the name
oI the seed and the year it was harvested on a DRY paper towel. Then dampen the paper
towel and place ten seeds on one-halI oI the towel. Fold the towel
in halI so the seeds are between the two halves oI the damp paper towel. Place the damp
paper towel inside a plastic trash bag and put it in a warm place. You can put several
damp paper towels containing diIIerent seed varieties in the same plastic trash bag. Keep
the paper towels slightly damp but NOT soaking wet. Periodically check the seeds based
on the average germination time Ior each type oI seed. You can determine the
'approximate¨ germination rate by counting the number oI seeds that sprout and
dividing by the original number oI seeds tested. For example, iI you tested 10 seeds and
8 oI them sprouted, then the germination rate is 80° (8/10 x 100). You can then plant
these sprouted seeds in a peat pot indoors iI the outdoor weather is too cold, or you can
plant them in the ground iI warm weather has arrived.