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Contents

Plans and Preparations


Before You Begin .......................................................................3
Planning Your Garden .............................................................3
Choosing a Site . .........................................................................3
Organic Gardening....................................................................3
Preparing the Soil ......................................................................4
Preparing a New Garden Site . ..............................................6
Crop Rotation .............................................................................7
Planting
General Considerations...........................................................8
Transplants....................................................................................8
Growing More with Less Space
Intensive Gardening .............................................................. 11
Container Gardening............................................................. 12
Mini‑Gardens .......................................................................... 13
One Garden Plot: Three Garden Seasons
The Spring Garden . ............................................................... 14
The Summer Garden . ........................................................... 14
The Fall Garden ....................................................................... 15
Extending the Growing Season . ....................................... 15
Caring for Your Vegetables During the Growing Season
Irrigating .................................................................................... 18
Front cover: Eggplant 'Fairy Tale' was a 2005 Mulching . .................................................................................. 20
All-American Selections Vegetable Award Winner.
Perfect for the backyard garden, these plants stay
Fertilizing . ................................................................................. 20
relatively small in size (less than 2 1/2 feet tall) Compost...................................................................................... 20
and produce fruit rather quickly (within 50 days Cover Crops Protect Garden Plots .................................. 21
of transplanting). The attractive fruit is white with
purple stripes throughout development and can be
Diseases, Insects and Weeds
harvest when quite small, or left to mature at about Disease Control . ..................................................................... 23
4 ounces. Insect Control........................................................................... 25
Weed Control .......................................................................... 28
For more information about Eggplant 'Fairy Tale'
visit the AAS Web site at www.all-americaselec- Storing Vegetables .............................................................................. 30
tions.org. What You Should Know about
Asparagus through Watermelons
Photo courtesy of AAS.
Asparagus, Beans . .................................................................. 31
Beets ............................................................................................ 32
Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage . .............................. 33
Carrots, Cauliflower .............................................................. 34
Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Cucumber ......................... 35
Eggplant, Garlic . ..................................................................... 36
Kale, Leeks, Lettuce ............................................................... 37
Muskmelons, Mustard Greens, Okra ............................. 38
Onions, Parsnips ..................................................................... 39
Peas, Peppers ............................................................................ 40
Potatoes . .................................................................................... 41
Pumpkins, Radishes . ............................................................. 42
Rhubarb, Southern Peas, Spinach .................................... 43
Squash, Sweet Corn . ............................................................. 44
Sweet Potatoes . ....................................................................... 45
Swiss Chard, Tomatoes ........................................................ 46
Turnips ....................................................................................... 47
Watermelons . .......................................................................... 48
Acknowledgments
Contributors to this publication:

Richard Durham
Department of Horticulture, Editor
Tim Coolong
R. Terry Jones
Derek Law
Joe Masabni
John Strang
Mark Williams
Department of Horticulture

Ric Bessin
Department of Entomology

John Hartman
Kenneth Seebold
Department of Plant Pathology

For further information on home vegetable gardening, contact


Richard Durham, Department of Horticulture, University of Kentucky.

Mention or display of a trademark, proprietary product or firm in text or figures


does not constitute an endorsement and does not imply approval to the exclu-
sion of other suitable products or firms.
Plans and Preparations
Before You Begin Draw a scale model of your garden • Improve sandy soils by adding large
space when planning where to plant. amounts of organic matter. Adding
Every aspiring gardener should follow
There are also a number of computer organic matter can often solve minor
seven steps to have a successful gardening
programs that can be used to plan your drainage problems; however, if the poor
season:
garden. Plant perennials like asparagus, drainage is caused by underlying layers
1. Plan your garden on paper before you
rhubarb, chives and horseradish along one of rock or hard clay (hardpan), correct‑
begin.
side of the garden since they may pro‑ ing the drainage could involve the labor
2. Select a good gardening site that is:
duce for six to 12 years. Tall plants such and expense of subsoiling with an ex‑
a. in full sun for at least eight hours
as sweet corn, tomatoes and pole beans cavator, laying tile or of building raised
each day,
should be planted on the north or west beds.
b. relatively level,
side of the garden where they will not • Locate your garden away from trees as
c. well‑drained,
shade smaller vegetable crops. However, much as possible. Tree roots can com‑
d. close to a water source,
summer lettuce should be grown in a pete with your vegetables for water and
e. not shaded.
shaded area if possible. nutrients.
3. Prepare the soil properly and add fertil‑
• Look for a site which supports lush veg‑
izer and lime according to soil test rec‑
ommendations.
Choosing a Site etative growth, even if it is dark green,
Your garden site should provide a sunny sturdy weeds. Although you can im‑
4. Plan only as large a garden as you can
exposure, adequate moisture and fertile prove poor soil over a period of years,
easily maintain. Beginning garden‑
soil. Because of your property’s limita‑ you can save much time and work if
ers often overplant, and then they fail
tions, however, you may be forced to you begin with naturally rich soil.
because they cannot keep up with the
select a less than ideal location. As much • Make sure to use contour rows or ter‑
tasks required. Weeds and pests must
as possible, let the following suggestions races for hillside gardens.
be controlled, water applied when
guide you in choosing your garden site: • Avoid windy locations.
needed and harvesting done on time.
Vegetables harvested at their peak are Avoid putting the garden in a low spot, at
the bottom of a hill or at the foot of a slope Finally, the closer the vegetable garden
tasty, but when left on the plants too
bordered by a solid fence. Such areas, where is to your back door, the more you will use it.
long, the flavor is simply not there.
frost settles because of lack of air drain‑ You can see when your crops are at their
5. Grow vegetables that will produce the
age, are slow to warm up in the spring. peaks and can take maximum advantage
maximum amount of food in the space
High ground will enable the vegetables to of their freshness. Also, keeping up with
available.
escape “borderline” freezes for an earlier planting, weeding, watering and pest con‑
6. Plant during the correct season for the
start in the spring and longer harvest in trol will be easier.
crop. Choose varieties recommended
for your area. the fall.
7. Harvest vegetables at their proper stage If possible, choose an area with a southern Organic Gardening
of maturity. Store them promptly and or southeastern exposure which warms up In 1990 Congress passed the Organic
properly if you do not use them imme‑ faster in the spring and receives the maxi‑ Foods Production Act, which mandated
diately. mum amount of sunlight throughout the the creation of the National Organic Pro‑
growing season. Midsummer vegetables, gram (NOP) and the passage of uniform
Planning Your Garden other than lettuce, should not be located organic standards. This action was fol‑
on the north side of a building or on a lowed by over a decade of public input
A garden plan helps you grow the
northern slope of a hillside. and discussion, which resulted in a Na‑
greatest amount of produce with the least
Plant your vegetables away from buildings, tional Organic Program final rule imple‑
amount of effort. To use your plan you
trees and other objects which would shade mented in October 2002. These national
must expect to harvest each crop as soon
them. Your plants need at least eight hours standards set out the methods, practices
as it matures. Then put old plants on the
of direct sunlight each day. You can grow and substances used in producing and
compost pile and plant a new crop. This
lettuce in the shade if you must locate part handling all certified organic crops and
approach is called succession planting.
of your garden in a partially shaded area. livestock. The standards include a national
Grow only those vegetables that your
Your garden needs water, from rainfall or list of approved non-synthetic and pro‑
family will eat. A well‑planned and prop‑
other sources. However, too much water hibited synthetic substances for organic
erly kept garden should produce 600 to
can be just as damaging as too little. production.
700 pounds of produce per 1000 square
• Examine your garden site to see how it Organic production is based on a sys‑
feet and may include many different crops.
drains and avoid areas that stay soggy tem of farming that maintains and replen‑
Consult Vegetable Cultivars for Kentucky
after a rain. ishes soil fertility without the use of toxic
Gardens (ID-133) for the latest recom‑
• Avoid heavy clay soils in favor of loamy and persistent pesticides and fertilizers.
mendations on home vegetable varieties.
soil.

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Figure 1. Garden plan for a family of four—layout and planting dates.
Preparing the Soil
An ideal garden soil has a 10‑ to
12‑inch loamy surface layer overlying
a well‑drained subsoil. This type of soil
can retain large amounts of water but
still drains well after a rain. After spring
preparation, it stays crumbly and work‑
able without becoming hard and crusted.
It should have enough minerals for opti‑
mum growth, and the pH should be be‑
tween 6.2 and 6.8.
Few sites available for the home veg‑
etable garden will match the ideal in all
respects. However, most soils can be
modified to provide more favorable grow‑
ing conditions. Soil improvement is really
a long‑term process, often taking several
years. The poorer the soil, the longer it
will take to get optimum production from
it. However, vegetable crops will tolerate
variable soil conditions and still produce
fairly well.
After a fertile garden is established,
continue amending the soil so that it will
stay fertile and workable. Since most gar‑
dens must be in the same location year af‑
ter year, building up a rich soil is essential.

The Soil Test


After deciding on your garden site, take
a soil sample and have it tested, prefer‑
ably in October or November. Use the
soil test as a guide as you try to establish
a satisfactory fertility level. The standard
test measures soil acidity (pH), available
phosphorus, potassium and, if requested,
calcium, magnesium and zinc. The test
results help determine fertilizer and lime
requirements.
To take a soil sample, push a spade 7
inches into the soil and throw the soil
aside. Take another 1‑inch slice of soil
from the back of the hole the full depth of
Organically produced foods also must be ing “conventional” techniques and inputs the hole. Remove all the soil but the center
produced without the use of antibiotics, once you master some simple manage‑ 1‑ to 2‑inch‑wide core. Place this core of
synthetic hormones, genetic engineer‑ ment practices like scouting your garden soil in a clean bucket.
ing and other excluded practices, sewage often to watch for pest or disease prob‑ Repeat the procedure in different spots
sludge, or irradiation. National organic lems, choosing plant varieties that will to get a representative sample of the
standards require that organic growers thrive under organic management, and whole garden and to get about 1 pint of
and handlers be certified by third-party paying close attention to soil management soil. Mix the composite sample well and
state or private agencies or other organi‑ by adding organic matter to your garden, put it on some paper to dry for about two
zations that are accredited by USDA. using compost, practicing crop rotation, days at room temperature. Then take it to
Home gardeners will have no need to and utilizing cover crops. Throughout this your county Extension office for analysis.
concern themselves with the many rules guide, certified organic alternatives to cer‑ The cost of the soil test, which varies with
and requirements that go along with tain conventional practices or inputs are the number of elements tested, will be re‑
organic certification. However garden‑ included to give gardeners a choice in how turned to you many times over in savings
ing organically in your home garden in they raise vegetables. of fertilizer and in the production of high
Kentucky is just as easy as gardening us‑ yields and quality produce.

4
Soil pH—Why Is It Important? stone or sulfur applications. Also, getting
test results in the fall helps you plan your
The term pH stands for the relationship
fertilizing needs for the coming year’s gar‑
of hydrogen ions (H+) to hydroxyl ions
den. Contact your Cooperative Extension
(OH‑). A soil pH reading indicates on a
office about soil testing.
logarithmic scale the concentration of ions
held to soil particles and organic matter. A
pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with pH 7.0
Adjusting pH
being neutral. Readings below 7.0 indicate If soil test results indicate that your
a soil is “acid,” and readings above 7.0 in‑ soil’s pH falls out of the ideal range of 6.2
dicate “alkaline” soil conditions. Most of to 6.8, you may need to add lime or sul‑
the plants we grow in our home gardens fur, depending on your soil’s pH value.
require a soil which is slightly acid. If the pH is too low, then your soil is too
The soil’s pH is very important because it acid and you should either add calcitic or
directly affects soil nutrient availability (Fig‑ dolomitic limestone (Table 1). If the pH
ure 3). Plant roots can only absorb nutri‑ value is too high, your soil is too alka‑
ents after they have been broken down into line and you need to add sulfur (Table 2).
certain ion forms. Only at certain pH rang‑ Applying lime or sulfur in the fall before
es can sufficient amounts of these nutrients planting is best because you have a longer
be broken into these ion forms. When the soil reaction time. Lime rates shown in
soil’s pH is out of this range, the nutrients Table 1 are in terms of agricultural lime‑
are “tied up in the soil.” By adjusting the pH, stone. By regulation in Kentucky, aglime
we make sure that the plants we grow can must have a purity equivalent to 80% or Figure 3. Effect of change in pH on the avail-
higher pure calcium carbonate. It must ability of plant nutrients.
use the fertilizers and available nutrients in
the soil to their fullest potential. Most veg‑ be ground finely enough so that 90% will
etables in a garden prefer growing in soil pass through a 10‑mesh screen and 35% size of the liming material is an index of
with a pH between 6.2 and 6.8. will pass through a screen size of 50‑mesh. how rapidly the material will dissolve
Autumn is an excellent time to have The purity (% calcium carbonate equiva‑ when mixed with soil. The more finely
your soil tested. You can then make any lent) is an index of the amount of active ground the liming material, the faster it
adjustments of pH needed with lime‑ ingredient per unit weight, while particle dissolves.

Figure 2. Taking a soil sample. Table 1. Rate (lb/1000 sq ft)1 of Agricultural Limestone Needed to Raise Soil pH to 6.4.
Water pH Buffer pH of Sample If Buffer pH
of Sample 5.5 5.7 5.9 6.1 6.3 6.5 6.7 6.9 is Unknown
4.5 320 300 280 250 220 180 150 130 180
4.7 320 300 280 240 200 170 140 120 170
4.9 310 290 260 230 190 150 130 110 160
5.1 310 290 260 220 180 130 100 80 150
5.3 300 280 240 210 160 120 90 70 130
5.5 290 270 230 190 140 100 70 60 120
5.7 280 260 220 170 120 90 60 50 100
5.9 ‑‑‑ 240 200 150 100 80 50 40 80
6.1 ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ 180 120 80 60 40 40 60
6.3 ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ 90 60 40 40 30 40
1 See AGR‑1 for limestone rates needed expressed in Tons/Acre.

Table 2. Suggested Application of Ordinary Powdered Sulfur to Reduce the pH of an 8‑Inch


Layer of Soil, as Indicated in pt/100 sq ft.1
Pints of sulfur for 100 sq ft to reach pH of
Original
pHof 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5
Soil2 Sand Loam Sand Loam Sand Loam Sand Loam Sand Loam
5.0 2/3 2 ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑
5.5 1 1/3 4 2/3 2 ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑
6.0 2 5 1/2 1 1/3 4 2/3 2 ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑
6.5 2 1/2 8 2 5 1/2 1 1/3 4 2/3 2 ‑‑‑ ‑‑‑
7.0 3 10 2 1/2 8 2 5 1/2 1 1/3 4 2/3 2
1 Although aluminum sulfate often is recommended to gardeners for increasing the acidity of the
soil, it has a toxic salt effect on plants if it is used in large amounts. Small amounts are not very effec-
tive. About seven pounds of aluminum sulfate are required to accomplish the same effects as one
pound of sulfur.
2 Based on water pH value.

5
Use of Wood Ashes If you want raised beds, throw the soil Commercial Fertilizers
from the paths into 3‑ to 4‑foot‑wide
Wood ashes have some use as a lim‑ A continuous supply of nutrients is
beds after adding organic matter and the
ing material, although they are relative‑ important for producing high yields of
recommended fertilizer. This extra soil
ly scarce. Their rather low neutralizing quality vegetables. Commercial fertilizers
plus the added organic matter will raise
value ranges from 30% to 70%, expressed are a convenient and economical way of
the beds a few inches higher. If you like,
as calcium carbonate. The ash of hard‑ supplying these nutrients. However, they
boards or stones can hold the soil in place.
woods, such as maple, elm, oak and beech, must be used properly since plants can be
For the last preparation step, rake the soil
contains about one‑third more calcium damaged by their improper application or
surface smooth and lay off rows. Now you
mainly as the oxide, but, on exposure to excessive use.
are ready to plant seeds or set transplants.
moisture, they are largely in the carbonate Any fertilizer’s value can be determined
form by the time they are applied to soil. by its analysis in percentage of nitrogen,
Coal ash has little or no liming value.
Organic Matter phosphorus and potassium. The ideal
Do not use it on garden soils because it Add organic matter to the soil each garden soil should have, or be fortified
contains a fairly high concentration of spring and fall. You can also add it as to provide, approximately 60 pounds of
heavy metals and other toxic compounds mulch during the growing season and as nitrogen, 60 pounds of available phos‑
which may be taken up by the plants. a green manure or cover crop during or phorus and 200 to 300 pounds of avail‑
For certified organic gardeners, only after the growing season. Adding organic able potassium per acre. Different analyses
powdered or prilled elemental sulfur can matter is the most beneficial treatment for are available to correct various nutrient
be used for lowering pH, while aluminum improving and maintaining your garden deficiencies and to supply different crop
sulfate, a synthetic product, is not allowed. soil. It loosens and improves the drain‑ requirements. Applying fertilizer accord‑
Powdered sulfur should take at least one age and aeration of heavy clay soils while ing to soil test results allows less chance of
year to oxidize and reduce soil pH, and increasing the moisture‑holding ability of under‑ or overfertilization (Table 3).
prilled sulfur will take slightly longer. Or‑ very light, sandy soils. Sometimes simple calculations must be
ganic growers should be conservative in Besides helping the soil structurally, made to determine how much fertilizer to
the application of soil sulfur by splitting organic matter favors a buildup of organ‑ add to a garden. Follow these steps:
the total application between the fall and isms which in turn helps make available
nutrients that were previously held in the Step 1: Determine the amount of nitrogen
spring as sulfur has both fungicidal and needed for your garden.
insecticidal action and can detrimentally soil in unusable forms. The organic matter garden size
affect soil biology if overused. itself provides nitrogen and other nutri‑ ÷ 1,000
ents as it decays. x 2
Organic gardeners can use any type = lb actual N needed
of agricultural limestone to increase pH, The type of organic matter you should
however it must be noted it requires sev‑ add will depend on what materials are Example 1a: The size of your garden
eral months to a year to effect changes in most available. Some sources are manure, is 800 sq ft.
composted leaf mold, grass clippings and (800 ÷ 1,000) x 2
pH, and reactive time is highly dependent = 1.6 lb actual N needed
on the fineness of the grind. pine bark humus. Caution: Do not apply
fresh manure with a high nitrogen content Example 1b: The size of your garden
is 1,475 sq ft.
Preparing a New Garden Site in the spring. Rabbit, chicken and sheep
(1,475 ÷ 1,000) x 2
manure should be applied in the fall or = 2.95 lb actual N needed
As soon as the soil is workable in the
composted before they are used on the
spring, turn over the sod of a new garden Step 2: Determine the amount of fertilizer
garden. Fresh manure may also contain
site by plowing, rototilling or hand spad‑ needed to supply the nitrogen calcu-
bacteria that are harmful to humans. lated above.
ing. Prepare the soil at least 8 inches deep.
Use of manure in certified organic sys‑ lb actual N needed
Increase this depth each year until you ÷ % N available in the fertilizer
tems is allowed with major limitations.
reach 10 to 12 inches. Do not work the soil = lb of fertilizer needed
Raw manure must always be incorporated
when it is very wet because you can dam‑
into the soil immediately following ap‑ Example 2a: The size of your garden
age its structure by compacting it. If the
plication and it must be applied prior to is 800 sq ft, so you need to apply 1.6 lb
soil crumbles readily rather than sticking N. The 5-10-10 fertilizer you intend to
120 days before harvest for all crops that
together, you can proceed safely. use contains 5% actual N. Convert 5%
have edible portions in contact with soil. to 0.05, and plug in the numbers:
Continue to work the plot until the
If a crop has no edible portion in contact 1.6 ÷ 0.05
coarse, lumpy texture is replaced with a = 40 lb of 5-10-10 needed
with soil, raw manure can be applied and
fine, granular one suitable for a seedbed.
incorporated no later than 90 days before Example 2b: The size of your garden
Do not overwork the soil to a powdery
harvest. Though the use of raw manure is is 1,475 sq ft, so you need to apply 2.95
fine condition which will cause surface lb N. The 12-12-12 fertilizer you intend
allowed in certified organic systems, it is
crusting. After you have appropriately to use contains 12% actual N. Convert
far preferable to compost the manure be‑ 12% to 0.12, and plug in the numbers:
tilled the soil, add organic material and
fore using it as a soil amendment or fertil‑ 2.95 ÷ 0.12
fertilizer as recommended. = 24.5 lb of 12-12-12 needed
izer source.

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Table 3. Phosphate, potash, and nitrogen. Organic Fertilizers poses due to differing state and federal
Fertilizer regulations relating to the use of the word
(lb/1000 sq ft) Commercial organic fertilizers are just
“organic.” Only fertilizer labels that include
Soil Test Level P205 K 20 as effective as conventional fertilizers
the words “certified organic” or those fer‑
High 0‑1 0‑1 in supplying necessary plant nutrients
tilizers tested and labeled by the Organic
(above 60 P, 300 K) though they are often more expensive,
Materials Review Institute (OMRI) are
Medium 1‑2 1‑2 harder to find and often act more slowly
(60 ‑ 30 P, 300 ‑ 200 K) truly allowed for use on a certified organic
than commercial fertilizers. The preferred
Low 3‑5 3‑5 farm or garden.
(below 30 P, 200 K)
manner for certified organic growers to
address plant nutrition is to start with a
Nitrogen: For a continuously cropped
soil management plan that includes the
Crop Rotation
garden where little or no organic matter has
been added, apply 2 lb of actual N/1000 sq ft extensive use of compost, crop rotation As you continue your vegetable garden
before planting. Following heavy grass sod, and cover cropping (see pages 20-22). from year to year, try to avoid planting the
apply 3 lb of actual N/1000 sq ft before plow- same or closely related crops in exactly
ing. Where heavy applications of barnyard Once the nutrient contributions of ap‑
manure or compost have been added, apply plied compost and turned in cover crops the same spot more than once every three
no nitrogen. are calculated, then commercial organic years. Rotation helps prevent insect and
fertilizers, preferably from a local source, disease buildups. The vegetables listed to‑
could be used to “fill the gap” between gether below are subject to the same dis‑
Apply the recommended amounts of what has been provided and what a future ease and insect problems.
fertilizer in the spring. Spread the fertil‑ crop may need. • chives, garlic, leeks, onions, shallots
izer evenly over the garden area before There are many classes of organic fertil‑ • beets, Swiss chard, spinach
plowing or spading, or after plowing and izers ranging from concentrated plant ma‑ • cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collards,
before rototilling or hoeing in preparation terial (alfalfa meal, soybean meal), animal Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kohlrabi, tur‑
for planting. slaughter by-products (blood meal, bone nips, rutabaga, Chinese cabbage, mus‑
If you did not have your soil tested (i.e., meal), fish by-products (liquid fish emul‑ tard
if you have a very limited garden area sion), fermented plant products (liquid • peas, broad beans, snap beans, lima
or are container growing), the following Omega©), concentrated animal manures beans
amounts may be applied for either 5-10- (bird guano), rock minerals, and many • carrots, parsley, celery, celeriac, parsnip
10 or 6-12-12 fertilizer: micro-nutrient sources. The majority of • potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers
• small garden: 25 lb/1,000 sq ft organic fertilizers are not as soluble in • pumpkins, squash, watermelons, cu‑
• smaller garden: 2.5 lb/100 sq ft water as conventional fertilizers, and thus cumbers, muskmelons
• container garden: 1 oz/bushel (or 2 are not as immediately available for plant • endive, salsify, lettuce
Tbs/bushel) of soil uptake. Instead, microorganisms found in In addition, root and bulb crops are sus‑
This is a modest recommendation and the soil must break down or decompose ceptible to many of the same soil pests so
assumes the presence of some available the organic fertilizer before it becomes try to rotate these every year.
nitrogen in the soil for plant growth. If you completely available to plants. The use
use the same soil or area the next year, you of the word “organic” on a fertilizer label
should have the soil tested to prevent un‑ does not always mean the fertilizer is al‑
der‑ or over-fertilization. lowed for certified organic growing pur‑

7
Planting
General Considerations Thinning
After germination, you’ll need to
Buying Seed thin the seedlings to correct their spac‑
Buy fresh, high quality seed from a lo‑ ing. When your plants have two or three Figure 4. A large tray can be sectioned into
cal seed store, garden center or mail order leaves, pull up the weakest ones or pinch rows using a ruler or similar sharp‑edged
seed catalog for your vegetable garden. off the tops, leaving the rest of the plants instrument. Once seeds are sown in the “fur-
Using seed from the previous year’s plants spaced correctly (see Table 4). rows,” cover the seeds with a growing medium
is generally not recommended for the be‑ using a blunt instrument or your hand.
The soil should be moist when you thin
ginning gardener since such seed may not so you do not injure the remaining plants
germinate well or may not breed true. You in the process. Do not wait for the plants
can refrigerate commercial seed in a glass to become overcrowded before thinning. right size for planting in the garden at just
jar with something to dry it (for instance, With some vegetables, thinning can be at the right time. You can have cool‑weather
powdered milk). The seed can then be harvest. Beet and turnip thinnings make crops like broccoli and kohlrabi to plant
used later. excellent greens. Radishes, onions and let‑ early in the spring and again in midsum‑
tuce can be left to thin until some are big mer for a fall crop. And you can have
Planting enough to eat. warm‑weather crops like tomatoes for
The soil should be moist at planting planting after the danger of frost is past.
time but not overly wet. To test for mois‑ Transplants
ture content, squeeze together a handful Materials
of soil. If it crumbles readily rather than Why Grow Your Own Transplants? You can successfully grow vegetable
sticking together, proceed with planting. Having the varieties you want when you transplants indoors or outdoors if you
Drop vegetable seed into furrows in con‑ want to plant them—that’s the great ad‑ use a suitable growing structure. While
tinuous rows. To make straight rows, drive vantage of growing your own transplants. a greenhouse is not essential, being able
stakes at each end of the garden and pull The flip side of that coin is quality. If you to control temperature, light, moisture
a string taut between them. Then draw can’t provide good growing conditions, and ventilation is crucial. Day tempera‑
a hoe or rake handle along the string to particularly plenty of bright light for grow‑ tures should be between 60° to 65°F for
make a shallow 1/2‑inch furrow for fine ing seedlings, the quality of your home‑ warm‑season crops. Keep the soil moist
seed. Use the corner of the hoe blade to grown plants may not be all you desire. but not soggy.
make a deeper 1‑inch furrow for larger The big advantage of growing transplants You can buy all the materials you need
seed. Measure the distances between rows yourself is the wide choice of varieties avail‑ for starting transplants under different
with a yardstick. able in seed. People who produce trans‑ brand names from local garden supply
Empty seeds into your hand and drop plants commercially tend to concentrate on centers or through seed and garden supply
them from between your fingers. Mix dry, a few popular varieties of each crop. Seed catalogs. Plant starting kits containing all
pulverized soil or sand with very small catalogs offer a much wider selection. the necessary equipment are also avail‑
seeds to make even distribution easier. If you plant the seeds at the appropriate able. Some have the seed already planted;
Plant the seed more thickly than needed time and the seedlings grow well for you, you only need to add water and put them
in case some do not germinate. Cover the you can have transplants that are just the in a suitable growing area.
seeds and firm the soil lightly over them
using the bottom of a hoe blade. Figure 5. Compressed peat pellets make plant growing easy.
Some seeds, like carrot and parsley, take After you add water to the compressed pellet, it will expand
a long time to germinate—often three to up to seven times its original size. Place seed into the open
four weeks. If the seeds dry out during end for germination. The pellet can be placed
directly into the planting hole.
germination the seedlings will die, so be
sure to keep these rows moistened. You
can also put a board or a strip of plastic or
burlap over the row to give the seedlings
a warm, moist greenhouse environment.
Remove this cover just after the seedlings
emerge.

8
Fertilize the plants when the second Table 4. Use this vegetable planting guide to plant vegetables the right way.
true leaves appear. Use a liquid fertilizer, Distance be-
such as 20‑20‑20 or liquid fish emulsion, at Number of tween Plants Distance Planting
Transplants or when Thinned or between Depth
rates recommended on the package. Fer‑ Vegetable Seeds per Foot Transplanted (in) Rows (in) (in)
tilize again in another week or two. Asparagus 1 crown 18 30 6‑8
Pots made of peat are good for grow‑ Beans, bush, lima 6‑8 seeds 4‑5 30 1‑1 ½
ing transplants, because plant roots can Beans, bush, snap 8 seeds 2‑3 30 1‑1 ½
easily grow through the sides. Do not re‑ Beets 10 seeds 2‑3 18 ¼‑½
move the peat pot when you transplant, Broccoli 1 transplant 14-18 30
and it will gradually decompose. Keeping Brussels sprouts 1 transplant per 2 ft 24 36
the plants in the same container reduces Cabbage 1 transplant 9‑18 30
transplant shock and helps produce crops Carrots 15‑20 seeds 2‑3 18 ¼
a few days earlier than scheduled. You Cauliflower 1 transplant 16-18 30
can use egg cartons and paper cups, but Celery 2 transplants 6‑8 30
Chard 8‑10 seeds 6‑8 30 ¼‑½
be sure to punch holes in the bottoms for
Chinese cabbage 4‑6 seeds 12‑15 24‑30 ¼‑½
good water drainage. Also, cut away these
Collards 8‑10 seeds 2‑4 24 ¼‑½
containers before transplanting. Put in‑ Cucumbers 4‑5 seeds 24‑36 30 ½‑1
dividual pots in plastic, metal or wooden Eggplant 1 transplant 18 30
trays for growing and for convenience Endive 4‑6 seeds 9‑12 18‑30 ½
when you water and handle them. Garlic, from cloves 1 clove 6 12‑18 1½
Horseradish 1 root 18 30 2
Growing Transplants Indoors Kale 4‑6 seeds 8‑12 24‑30 ¼‑½
For indoor growing, sow seeds in a Kohlrabi 6‑8 seeds 3‑6 18‑30 ¼‑½
plant tray containing an artificial growing Leeks 10‑15 seeds 3‑4 20 ½
Lettuce, head 1 transplant 12‑18 20 ¼
medium of peat moss and perlite available
Lettuce, leaf 20‑30 seeds ½ 8‑12 ¼
at garden centers. Adding compost to the
Muskmelons 2‑3 seeds 24‑36 60 ½‑¾
potting media at up to 25% of total volume Mustard 20 seeds 3 18 ¼
can reduce the need for fertilizers later New Zealand spinach 4‑6 seeds 12 30 ½
and potentially encourage seed germina‑ Okra 3 seeds 12 30 1
tion. Enclose the seeded trays in a plastic Onions, from seed 10‑15 seeds 4 12‑18 ¼‑½
bag and keep them at room temperature Onions 3‑6 sets 4 12‑18 1‑2
until seedlings begin to emerge. Then, re‑ Parsley 10‑15 seeds 4‑6 12‑18 ¼‑½
move the plastic and transfer the trays to Parsnips 12 seeds 2‑3 18 ½‑¾
suitable growing areas. Peas 15 seeds Do not thin 30‑48 1
The average windowsill is one location Peppers 1 transplant 14‑18 30‑36
for growing plants, but it usually does not Potatoes 1 seed piece 10‑12 36 3‑5
get enough light. So, you have to use arti‑ Pumpkins 1‑2 seeds 4 ft 8‑12 ft 1
ficial light to supplement. Use cool white Radishes, spring 10‑15 seeds 2‑3 12 ¼
Radishes, winter 10‑15 seeds 2‑4 12 ¼
fluorescent lamps alone, a mixture of cool
Rhubarb 1 crown per 2 ft 36 4‑5 ft
white and warm white fluorescent lamps,
Rutabaga 4‑6 seeds 6‑8 18‑30 ½
or a mixture of cool white and plant growth Southern pea 3‑4 seeds 2‑3 30
fluorescent lamps. Locate the lamps 5 to 10 Spinach 6 seeds 4‑6 12‑18 ¼
inches from the foliage and operate them Squash, summer 2‑3 seeds in hill 24 48 1
12 to 18 hours/day. Be sure to keep seed‑ Squash, winter 1‑2 seeds 48 6‑8 ft 1
lings cool enough (60° to 65°F) for strong, Sweet corn 2 seeds 8‑10 30 1‑2
sturdy growth after they germinate. Sweet potatoes 1 slip 15 36
Plants should be “hardened off ” about Tomatoes 1 transplant per 2 ft 24 36
two weeks before planting them in the Turnips (roots) 6‑8 seeds 3‑4 12‑15 ½
garden. That is, you toughen the plants so Turnips (greens) 10‑12 seeds 2‑3 12‑15 ½
that they can withstand the outside envi‑ Watermelons 2‑3 seeds in hill 6‑8 ft 72 1
ronment. To do so, begin exposing them
to lower temperatures. One way is to take
your transplants outside in the daytime Growing Transplants Outdoors structures on the south side of a building.
Cold frames are used for holding or “hard‑
and bring them in at night. However, don’t Structures used for growing transplants
ening off ” transplants.
let them get caught in a frost. Reduce your outdoors may or may not be artificially
The hotbed is a cold frame structure
watering and fertilizing of transplants to heated.
which includes an additional source of
help “hardening off ” about one week be‑ The cold frame for housing transplants
heat. Heat may be supplied from ferment‑
fore transplanting. Do not let them dry receives no artificial heat. Use the sun to
ing horse manure, electric cable or light
out and wilt, however. its greatest advantage by locating these
bulbs. Transplants are usually grown in
9
Table 5. Transplant production data.
Soil Temp. Satisfactory
Weeks from Seed Seed Spacing (°F) Needed Average Growth Temp.
Seeding to Average Depth Seeds/ Rows for Seeds to Days to Night
Crop Transplanting4 Seedling Date (in) Inch Apart (in) Germinate Emerge Day (°F) (°F)
Cool Season1
Broccoli2 5‑7 Feb 5, July 1 ¼ 8 2 80 4‑6 65 60
Brussels Sprouts 5‑7 Feb. 5, July 1 ¼ 8 2 80 4‑6 65 60
Cabbage 5‑7 Jan. 20, July 1 ¼ 10 2 85 3‑5 55 50
Cauliflower2 5‑7 Jan. 25, July 1 ¼ 8 2 80 4‑6 65 60
Lettuce 5‑7 ¼ ‑‑ 2 75 2‑3 60 50
Onion 10‑12 ¼ ‑‑ 2 75 4‑5 65 55
Warm Season
Cucumber3 3‑4 April 1 1 95 3‑6 75 70
Muskmelon3 3‑4 April 1 1 2 seeds 90 4‑6 75 70
Squash3 3‑4 April 1 1 per 4” x 4” pot, 95 5‑7 75 70
Watermelon3 (seeded) 4‑6 Mar. 25 1 thinned to 1 85 4‑6 75 70
Watermelon3 (seedless) 4‑6 Mar. 25 1 90 4‑6 75 70
Tomato 4‑7 Mar. 15 ½ 10 2 80 7‑9 70 60
Eggplant 6‑8 Mar. 10 ¼ 10 3 80 7‑9 75 70
Pepper 6‑8 Mar. 10 ¼ 10 2 80 8‑10 70 65
1 Cool‑season crops are frost tolerant and can be set in the garden before the last frost. Warm‑season crops are susceptible to frost and should not be set
until the danger of the last frost is past.
2 Do not allow broccoli or cauliflower to become deficient in nitrogen or water or exposed to cold temperatures when they are small.
3 Seed into individual containers (peat) that may be placed directly into the soil, because these crops will not tolerate root disturbance.
4 Allow an extra two weeks growing time if grown in plant beds.

5). The stems will be pencil thick and rigid. do not have to be removed. Follow these
Leaves will be dark green, large and up‑ eight steps when transplanting:
right with no tendency to droop. Trans‑ 1. Transplant on a shady day in late af‑
plants that are trying to produce flowers ternoon or in early evening to prevent
or fruit are not as desirable as those which wilting.
are strictly vegetative. Plants trying to pro‑ 2. Soak transplants’ roots thoroughly an
duce fruit are slow to develop good root hour or two before setting them in the
Figure 6. systems to support later fruit production. garden.
Cold frame. Bare root plants will be slower to estab‑ 3. Handle the plants carefully. Avoid dis‑
Scrap lumber can lish than transplants grown in cell packs or turbing the roots.
be used to build the
basic frame. The hinged containers. Sometimes, plants are packed 4. Dig a hole large enough to hold the
top can be made from old windows or a in large bundles and shipped great distanc‑ roots. Set the plants to the lowest leaf
frame covered with clear plastic. es. To save space, these plants are clipped at recommended spacings. Press soil
before shipping to reduce the amount of firmly around the roots.
pots set over a 2‑ to 4‑inch layer of com‑ top growth. This is a poor practice since it 5. Pour 1 cup of starter solution in the hole
posted soil or sand. If horse manure is used not only induces transplant shock and de‑ around the plant. Starter solutions are
or if plants are grown in the bed rather lays fruiting but spreads disease as well. high analysis fertilizer solutions for rapid
than in pots, use a 4‑inch layer of compost When purchasing transplants, be sure transplant root development. To prepare,
as a base. If electricity is the heat source, to ask whether the plants have been hard‑ mix plant food with 15‑30‑15, 10‑53‑17
only a few inches of sand are required for ened off. If not, it is important to place or 20‑20‑20 analysis at the rate of 2 Tbs/
a base, and transplants like cabbage, cau‑ them in a cool spot and reduce water for gallon of water. Any liquid organic fertil‑
liflower, broccoli and lettuce may be sown a couple of days to acclimate the plants to izer, like fish emulsion, can also be used
directly in the composted soil base. outside conditions. as a started solution by following the rec‑
ommendations on the package.
Buying Healthy Transplants— Moving Transplants to the Garden 6. Put more soil around each plant, but
leave a slight depression for water to
A Good Investment Whether you buy plants or grow your
collect. Break off any exposed parts of
Sometimes what appears to be a good own, the time comes to plant them outside.
Transplanting gives a plant more space peat pots so that they will not act as
buy because it’s inexpensive may turn out wicks and pull water out of the soil.
to be a poor investment in transplants. to develop, but it will temporarily check
growth, not stimulate it. Therefore, for 7. Shade the plants for a few days after
Transplants which were seeded at the transplanting on a very hot day by put‑
right time and were grown at the right successful transplanting, try to interrupt
plant growth as little as possible. In doing ting newspapers or cardboard on their
temperature, in abundant light and ad‑ south sides.
equate moisture, will be compact, with the so, peat pots give you an advantage, even
though they are expensive, because they 8. Water the plants once or twice during
distance between leaves very small (Table the next week.
10
Growing More with Less Space
Intensive Gardening Raised Beds • As another example, you can set tomato
transplants between lettuce plants; the
Conventional gardens, planted in rows Raised beds increase production by
lettuce matures and is harvested before
about 3 feet apart, have been popular for conditioning the soil for excellent root
the tomato plants grow very large.
many years because they can be planted development. In an area 3 to 4 feet wide,
• Also, try sowing radish seeds with
and easily cultivated with a farm tractor or you loosen the soil and mix it with organic
carrot seeds. The radishes germinate
a rototiller. However, because of the wide matter and fertilizer (see “Preparing the
quickly, marking the row of slowly
spaces between rows, such gardens are Soil”). Then, once you’ve constructed the
sprouting carrots. Radishes are harvest‑
not very space efficient. Gardeners with raised beds and permanent paths between
ed within a few weeks, long before they
limited land area may want to plan an in‑ the beds, you no longer disturb the soil.
interfere with the carrots.
tensive garden. Combining raised beds with other inten‑
Intensive gardens employ space‑saving sive practices such as wide‑row planting, Many other intercropping ideas will
techniques such as wide‑row planting, intercropping or succession planting gives develop from your own gardening experi‑
raised beds, intercropping, succession the greatest yields in a garden. In addition, ence. Remember, however, that yields of
planting, vertical training and planting the excellent drainage in raised beds often certain vegetables may be reduced when
in stairstep arrangements. Extending the permits early planting, though raised beds crowded.
growing season using plant protectors is also will dry out faster than level ground
another technique of intensive gardening. later in the season. Use mulches to retain Succession Planting
Lettuce, radishes and other cool‑season moisture in your raised beds. In succession planting, another seed or
crops can be grown early in the spring or transplant immediately takes the place of
late in the fall with such protection. Intercropping a harvested plant. For example, when you
Keep in mind that some intensive tech‑ Intercropping involves planting differ‑ harvest a lettuce plant in early summer,
niques may require more time, labor and ent vegetables side by side to take advan‑ a Swiss chard or New Zealand spinach
money than conventional techniques. tage of the different times of maturity, transplant can replace it. After harvesting
Also, closely spaced plants use more water heights, spreads or rooting depths. an early crop of sweet corn, you might fol‑
than widely spaced plants, and competi‑ • A classic example of intercropping in‑ low with a fall crop of broccoli, spinach or
tion for water may reduce yields during volves corn, beans and squash. A few snow peas.
times of drought. weeks after sowing corn seeds, you
In wide‑row planting, vegetables are plant pole beans close to the corn rows
planted in wide rows between nar‑ to use the corn stalks for support.
row pathways as opposed to single rows
with wide spaces between the rows. The
vegetables are spaced so that they will
just touch one another at maturity. This
method of gardening may reduce weed
problems, although hand weeding will be
more difficult. Since less soil remains bare
than in conventional gardens, usually less
erosion occurs.
Be aware that vegetables prone to cer‑
tain diseases should not be planted too
intensively. Tomatoes, for example, will
suffer less from disease if moving air dries
their leaves. When placed too closely,
plant leaves retain moisture longer, and
disease organisms thrive and are easily
spread from plant to plant.

Figure 7. Raised bed.


11
Table 6. Typical container Table 7. Soil mix for container plants. Table 8. Types and sizes of growing containers.
dimensions, and their cor- 1 part composted or sterilized1 garden soil Type Dia. Hgt. Vol.
responding size in gallons.
1 part sphagnum peat moss (Canadian) 2 inch pot 2” 3 1/2” 1 pt
Inches Gallons
1 part perlite 6 inch pot 6” 5 1/2” 3 pt
7 1/4” x 6 1/4” 1
1/2 cup dolomitic limestone/bushel No. 10 can 6” 7” 3 qt
8” x 8” 2
1/4 cup superphosphate/bushel 8 inch planter 8” 8” 1 1/2 gal
10” x 10” 3 1 To sterilize, put moistened soil in a cake pan and 10 inch planter 10” 9” 2 1/2 gal
12” x 11” 4 heat at 200°F for 46 - 60 minutes, or put in a glass 1/2 bushel basket 13” 9 1/2” 4 gal
12” x 12” 5 pan in a microwave oven for 15 - 20 seconds.
5 gal can 11” 12 1/2” 5 gal
13” x 13” 6
1 bushel basket 17 1/2” 11 1/2” 8 gal

Vertical Training Choosing Vegetables for Containers Planting in Containers


Vertical training involves growing plants As a rule nearly all leafy vegetables will Some vegetable seeds are planted di‑
upright rather than horizontally. You can do well in containers. Plant breeders have rectly in the containers where they will be
vertically grow vine crops, tomatoes, peas developed many dwarf or miniature vari‑ growing. Others are set in as transplants.
and beans on wood, wire or string trellises, eties for container production. Use a commercially prepared green‑
or in cages. Besides having more plants per Crops with many fruits per plant such house soil mix, available at local garden
square foot, you will also have cleaner fruit as tomatoes are good choices. Table 9 lists centers or greenhouses, to grow plants in
that will be easier to harvest. some of the vegetables and their require‑ containers. If you’re going to have several
ments for container production. large containers, you may want to mix
Stairstep A 12” x 48” x 8” box makes an excel‑ your own soil. The soil mix (Table 7) is
The stairstep arrangement is a form of lent patio herb garden. Chives, garden good for container gardening because it is
vertical planting that lends itself espe‑ thyme, basil, marjoram and summer sa‑ lightweight and sterile.
cially well to small plants, such as lettuce, vory will all do well in such a planter box.
spinach and onions. Basically, stairsteps The sprawling growth habit of the various Planting Procedure
change a two‑dimensional space into mints, oregano and rosemary make them Moisten the soil mix the day before
a three‑dimensional one, usually with attractive in hanging baskets. Typical con‑ you intend to plant for best results. Many
wooden bins in pyramid shapes. You can tainer sizes are listed in Table 6. mixes contain a high percentage of peat,
also use metal strips, small stone walls, which requires time to soak up water. Peat
bricks or concrete blocks to hold the soil Containers moistens faster with hot water than with
in place. As with raised beds, you will Material—You can use containers made cold water. A drop of dishwashing soap
need to pay careful attention to watering of clay, wood (redwood or cedar), plastic will help wet dry potting mixes.
of plants grown in such arrangements. or metal for growing vegetables. Also con‑ • Fill a clean container to within 1/2 inch
sider using barrels, flower pots or window of the top with the mixture.
Container Gardening boxes. Unusual containers will add inter‑ • Follow the seed package’s instructions
Even if you live in an apartment or con‑ est to your garden. for planting.
dominium with only a balcony, patio or Holes—Each container must have drain‑ • Sow the seed more thickly than needed
walkway available for gardening, you can age holes in the bottom so the plant roots in case some do not germinate.
still enjoy many of the rewards of vegeta‑ will not stand in water. If the container • Put a label with the name and variety of
ble gardening. does not already have holes, make at least the vegetable and the date of planting in
Container gardening can provide you four small nail holes in its sides, 1/2 inch each container.
with fresh vegetables as well as recreation from the bottom. • Water the seed gently with a watering
and exercise. Many container‑grown veg‑ Size—The container should be the can after sowing, being careful not to
etables also have ornamental value and proper size for the plant growing in it (see wash out the seed. Or, put a burlap bag
can enhance your home. Using contain‑ Table 8 for types and sizes of growing con‑ over the container to reduce water im‑
ers allows you to take advantage of the tainers). pact.
various microclimates in your vicinity. • Thin the plants for proper spacing
For example, lettuce can be grown in a when they have two or three leaves.
cool, shaded area while heat‑loving plants,
such as eggplant, can be located in full sun
where reflections from buildings or patio
surfaces add to the heat.
Feeding and watering plants is easier if
you use big containers, since small ones
need more frequent attention. Choose the
container size to match the plant’s growth
requirements.

12
Care Table 9. Container vegetable recommendations.
Days
Pay particular attention to watering Con- until
container vegetables. Container soils can Vegetable Season Light Spacing tainer Varieties Harvest
dry out very quickly, especially on a con‑ Beets Cool Tolerates 2” - 3” 24” x 36” Ruby Queen 52
crete patio in full sun. Daily watering may partial x 8” Red Ace 53
shade
be necessary. Water when the soil feels Broccoli Cool Full sun 15” 12” x 48” Green Comet 55
dry. However, do not go to extremes. The x 8” Emperor 60
soil should not be soggy or have water Cabbage Cool Full sun 12” - 24” 10” deep Fast Vantage 65
standing on top of it. Apply water until it Stonehead 70
runs out the drainage holes. Market Prize 76
Protect plants from very high heat Super Red 80 82
caused by light reflection from pavement Carrots Spring Partial 1½” - 3” 24” x 36” Danvers Half Long 75
or a building. If necessary, move them to a Fall shade x 10” Short ‘n Sweet 68
cooler spot or shade them during the hot‑ Little Fingers 65
test part of the day. Plants may also need Cucumbers Warm Full sun 12” - 16” 12” x 48” Sweet Success 55
x 8” Sweet Burpless Hybrid 55
to be taken to a more sheltered location
during severe rain or wind storms. Eggplant Warm Full sun 1 per 4 5 gal Ichiban (Japanese type) 58
con- Dusky 61
Vegetables grown in containers should tainer Blackbell 70
be fertilized regularly. Make the first ap‑
Kale Cool Partial 6” 12” x 48” Dwarf Blue Curled 55
plication three weeks after the plants have Fall shade x 8” Vates 57
two sets of leaves. Repeat once a week, Lettuce Early Partial 4” - 6” 12” x 48” Kentucky Bibb 54
using a soluble plant food at one‑half spring shade leaf; x 8” Buttercrunch 75
strength (according to label directions). Fall 10” head Royal Oakleaf 50
Keep a close watch for insects and dis‑ Red Sails 45
eases which may attack vegetables. Iden‑ Burpee’s Iceburg 85
tify any problems and take appropriate Onions Early Partial 2” 6” deep Walla Walla Sweet
control measures. (bulb)1 Spring shade
After you harvest spring and early sum‑ Onions Early Full sun White Spanish Bunching
(green) Spring or (early)
mer crops, replant the containers with Sept.
vegetables for the summer or fall garden. Peppers Warm Full sun 14” - 18” 1/2-4 gal King Arthur 59
Gypsy Hybrid 65
Mini‑Gardens Hot Anaheim 77
Another solution to working with lim‑ Hungarian Wax 65
ited space is to plant several mini‑gardens Jalapeno 65
Radishes Early Full sun to 1” Any size, Cherriette 26
in vacant spots around your yard instead Spring light shade 6” deep Cherry Belle 30
of putting all your vegetables in one plot. Fall Icicle 28
Some possible sites are near the kitchen Cherry Bomb 25
door, along the sunny side of the house Spinach Spring Full sun to 5” Any size, Tyee 42
or garage, around the outdoor grill, along Fall light shade 6” deep Melody 43
a walk in a flower bed or along a fence. Bloomsdale Long-Standing 48
Placed this way, vegetables serve a dual Summer Warm Full Sun 1 per 5 gal Black Magic (green zucchini) 44
purpose as both food and landscape Squash Season con- Gold Rush (yellow zucchini) 50
plants. tainer Burpee Hybrid (green zuc- 50
chini)
Sunburst (yellow scallop) 52
Swiss Chard Spring Partial 4” - 5” Any size, Bright Lights 55
Summer shade 6” to 8” Rhubarb Chard 60
Fall deep Fordhook Giant 60
Tomatoes2 Full Full sun, at 1 per 4-5 gal Tumbler 49
Season least 6 hrs/ con- Superb Super Bush 75
day tainer
Turnips Cool Partial 3” - 4” 24” x 36” Tokyo Cross 35
shade x 8” Purpletop Globe 55
Seven Top 42
Zucchini Warm Full sun 1 per 5 gal Black Magic (green) 44
Season con- Gold Rush (yellow) 50
tainer Ambassador (green) 47
1 In spring, plant long day variety; in fall, plant short day variety.
2 Two plantings, one in mid to late April and the other in mid to late June, will extend the tomato har-
vest over a longer season. Transplants should be started four to seven weeks before planting time.
Containers may be moved inside to protect plants from early or late season frosts.

13
One Garden Plot: Three Garden Seasons
The Spring Garden Table 10. Crops for the spring garden. Table 11. Crops for the summer garden.

Frost-resistant
The spring garden contains cool‑season

Transplants

Maturity1

Transplants
crops that are planted and harvested from

Days to

Maturity1
Seeds
late winter to late spring. The seed of some

Days to
Seeds
of these crops can be planted directly in Vegetable
the garden soil, while others will need to Beets x 55‑60 Vegetable
be started in a greenhouse or other suit‑ Bibb lettuce x x 60‑80 Beets x x 55‑60
able growing area and then transplanted Broccoli x 40‑90 Cabbage x x 60‑100
to the garden (Table 10). Brussels sprouts x 80‑90 Carrots x x 60‑80
Spring garden plants grow best with rel‑ Cabbage x 60‑100 Collards x x 75‑90
atively cool air temperatures (50° to 65°F) Carrots x 60‑80 Cucumbers x x 45‑65
Cauliflower x 50‑100 Eggplant x 60‑75
and are raised either for their leaves, stems
Celery x 100‑130 Endive x x x 50‑60
or flower buds. Peas are grown for their Green beans, bush x 50‑60
Chinese cabbage x x 43‑75
immature fruits. These crops produce Green beans, pole x 60‑90
Collards x 75‑90
their vegetative growth during spring’s Endive x x 60‑90 Irish potatoes2 90‑140
short, cool days. If they are planted too Kale x x 50‑60 Kale x x 50‑60
late in the spring, summer heat reduces Kohlrabi x 50‑70 Leaf lettuce x x 40‑502
their quality by forcing some to flower and Leaf lettuce x x 40‑50 Lima beans, bush x 65‑80
form seeds (bolt), and others to develop Mustard greens x 35‑60 Lima beans, pole x 65‑90
off flavors, bitterness, poor texture and Onions2 x x 40‑120 Muskmelons x x 75‑90
low yields. Peas x 60‑80 New Zealand spinach x 70‑80
Avoid these problems by planting Potatoes3 90‑140 Okra x 50‑80
spring vegetables as soon as the soil can Radishes x 20‑30 Onions3 x x x 40‑120
be worked in the spring since light frost Spinach x 40‑70 Parsley x x 70‑90
will not injure them. Plant either seeds Swiss chard x x 55‑60 Parsnips x x 90‑110
Turnips x 40‑60 Peppers x 65‑75
or transplants, allowing the vegetables to
Turnip greens x 30‑50 Pumpkins x 90‑120
reach edible maturity before hot summer 1 Days given are for the early to late varieties. Radishes x x 20‑30
days arrive. 2 Onions are also available in sets.
Southern peas x 60‑70
Plant as soon as the soil is workable and 3 Potatoes are available as seed pieces.
Spinach x x 40‑702
dry enough so it does not form wet clods. Summer squash x 50‑55
Do not work the soil when it is wet. Doing Sweet corn x 60‑100
so can ruin the texture for several years. Your summer garden should have a Sweet potatoes4 x 120‑140
Wait for the best conditions no matter variety of crops, some harvested during Swiss chard x x 55‑60
how much the planting bug is nibbling at the summer months, and others continu‑ Tomatoes x 60‑90
your fingers. ing to bear into fall (Table 11). Generally, Watermelons x x 70‑90
Do not use organic mulches in early Winter squash x 80‑120
summer crops are planted during the cool 1 Days given are for the early to late varieties.
spring. Rather, let as much sunlight as pos‑ days of late spring through the warmer 2 Irish potatoes are available as seed pieces.
sible reach the soil to warm it. After May days when the danger of frost is past. 3 Onions are also available in sets.
1, you can use mulches to conserve soil Summer garden vegetables consist of:
4 Sweet potatoes are available as rooted slips.

moisture and help prevent weeds. Note: Varieties which endure summer heat are
1. Cool‑season crops seeded or trans‑ available. Most of these crops can be seeded or
Plant spring garden crops together so planted before the danger of frost is transplanted during July and August and will
that you can plant fall vegetables in the develop quite well during midsummer’s warm
past, but able to endure hot weather at growing conditions, if you give them extra
same area later. When “double cropping,” harvest times. water and practice good insect pest control. As
do not plant closely related vegetables in 2. Warm‑season crops seeded or trans‑ the crop develops, the cool, short days enable
plants to accumulate sugar and flavor com-
the same rows because of possible disease planted after the frost‑free date. This pounds providing the taste that makes many
and insect carryover from the spring crop. later planting prevents both slow fall‑grown crops so good.
germination from cool conditions
The Summer Garden and frost injury to emerging plants.
As the harvest from your spring garden Warm‑season crops require warm soil Since crops vary in how much time
ends, the summer garden’s crops should and air temperatures for vegetative they need to reach edible maturity, the
begin to produce. With careful planning growth and fruiting. Their quality is summer garden should include short‑,
you should have a continuous harvest of enhanced by long, warm days and mild mid‑ and long‑season crops.
fresh garden vegetables. nights.

14
The Fall Garden Table 12. Crops for the fall garden.

Gardening doesn’t have to end with

Transplants

Maturity1
your summer‑grown crops since some veg‑

Days to
Seeds
etables are suitable for late summer plant‑
ing. Plan to follow your spring and summer Vegetable Date of Planting Date of Harvest
gardens with a fall garden so that you can Beets Jul - mid-Aug x 70 - 75 Oct
have fresh produce well into the winter. Bibb lettuce Jul - Aug x x 50 - 60 Sep - Oct
Plant crops according to your planting Broccoli Jul - Aug x 60 - 80 Sep - Nov
plan, grouping plants to be sure short ones Brussels sprouts Jun - Jul x 70 - 80 Oct - Nov
are not shaded by tall ones. To encourage Cabbage late Jun - early Aug x 60 - 70 Sep - Nov
good germination, fill each seed furrow Carrots Jul - Aug x 80 - 90 Nov
with water and let it soak in. Keep the soil Cauliflower late Jun - early Aug x 70 - 80 Sep - Nov
Chinese cabbage Jul - Aug x x 50 - 70 Sep - Nov
moist until seeds have germinated.
Collards Jul - Aug x 80 - 90 Oct - Nov
Fall vegetables are harvested after early
Endive Jul - Aug x x 70 - 80 Sep - Nov
September. They consist of two types: Green beans, bush Jul - mid-Aug x 60 - 65 Sep
1. the last succession plantings of Kale Jul - Aug x x 70 - 80 Sep - Nov
warm‑season crops, such as corn and Kohlrabi Jul - Aug x 60 - 70 Sep - Nov
bush beans, Leaf lettuce Jul - Aug - Sep x x 40 - 60 Sep - Oct
2. cool‑season crops which grow well Mustard greens Jul - Aug x 50 - 60 Sep - Oct
during the cool fall days and withstand Parsnips June x 90 - 100 Nov
frost. Potatoes mid-Jun x 90 - 100 Oct
Radishes Sep x 30 - 40 Oct
Note that cool nights slow growth, so Rutabaga July - mid-Aug x 80 - 90 Oct - Nov
crops take longer to mature in the fall (and Snow Peas Aug x 50 - 70 Oct
spring) than in the summer. Keep this Spinach Aug - Sep x 50 - 60 Aug - Sep
slower pace in mind when you check seed Sweet corn Jul x 70 - 80 Sep
catalogs for the average days to maturity. Turnips Jul - Aug x 50 - 60 Sep - Nov
Some of the best quality vegetables are Turnip greens Jul - Aug x 50 - 60 Sep - Nov
produced during fall’s warm days and cool 1 Due to cool temperatures in the fall, a long time will be needed for certain crops to mature.

nights. These environmental conditions


add sugar to sweet corn and cole crops,
and crispness to carrots. row covers. During the fall, on the other Gardeners have a choice of self‑ventilat‑
The vegetables in Table 12 can be suc‑ hand, these covers might prove useful to ing (slitted or perforated covers) or float‑
cessfully seeded or transplanted for fall har‑ gardeners wishing to extend the harvest of ing row covers. The slitted and perforated
vest. Often, you will want several seeding frost‑sensitive crops (tomatoes, peppers, types are available in clear and opaque
dates to extend the harvest over a longer cucumbers). The row cover’s objective polyethylene and require wire hoops for
time. This table gives the latest dates for ei‑ is to trap heat and protect the crop from support.
ther seeding or transplanting as indicated. cold night temperatures which might de‑ To construct such tunnels after plant‑
form fruit or kill the plant. Many times in ing, push hoops (made from no. 9 galva‑
Extending the Growing Season Kentucky, a period of mild weather will nized wire) into the ground, 3 to 5 feet
Polyethylene row covers have been follow the first killing frost. If you protect apart (Figure 8). Then when frost is pre‑
used for a long time to help vegetables frost‑sensitive vegetables at critical times dicted, cover them with clear polyethyl‑
grow and ripen early in the spring. How‑ in the fall you could extend the harvest ene. Bury the edges of the plastic in the
ever, Kentucky’s springs are often too season by several weeks. ground.
warm to benefit much from early season

Figure 9. Average date of last killing frost (36°F) in spring, plus aver-
Figure 8. age number of days between last frost in spring and first frost in fall.
Slitted row
cover.

15
Table 13. Vegetable gardener’s calendar for Western Kentucky.1 Table 14. Vegetable yields and amounts to plant per person.
Jan. 15 I Onions Approximate Planting per
Feb. 1 I Brussels sprouts Average Person
Feb. 15 I Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, lettuce, Crop Storage,
Chinese cabbage Expected Canning or
Mar. 1 O Spinach, mustard, beets, peas, edible podded peas Vegetable per 100 Feet Fresh Freezing
Mar. 15 M Cabbage, kohlrabi; Asparagus 30 lb 10‑15 plants 10‑15 plants
O Asparagus and rhubarb (crowns), beets, carrots, Beans, snap bush 120 lb 15‑16 ft 15‑20 ft
collards, kale, mustard, spinach, peas, edible Beans, snap pole 150 lb 5‑6 ft 8‑10 ft
podded peas, early potato seed pieces, radishes, Beans, lima bush 25 lb shelled 10‑15 ft 15‑20 ft
turnips, green onions, onion sets, endive Beans, lima pole 50 lb shelled 5‑6 ft 8‑10 ft
I Peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet potato slips. Beets 150 lb 5‑10 ft 10‑20 ft
Dig and divide any 4‑year‑old rhubarb plants.
Fertilize asparagus and rhubarb with 1 lb 5‑10‑10 Broccoli 100 lb 3‑5 plants 5‑6 plants
per 100 sq ft. Brussels sprouts 75 lb 2‑5 plants 5‑8 plants
Apr. 1 M Broccoli, cauliflower, collards, lettuce, Chinese cab- Cabbage 150 lb 3‑4 plants 5‑10 plants
bage, Swiss chard, onions from seeds; Cabbage, Chinese 80 heads 3‑10 ft ‑‑‑
O Mustard, spinach, radishes, lettuce, Swiss chard Carrots 100 lb 5‑10 ft 10‑15 ft
Apr. 5 I Muskmelons, watermelons, squash; Cauliflower 100 lb 3‑5 plants 8‑12 plants
O Sweet corn, beets, carrots, mustard, spinach, Celeriac 60 lb 5 ft 5 ft
radishes, lettuce Celery 180 stalks 10 stalks ‑‑‑
May 1 O Sweet corn, mustard, radishes, lettuce Chard, Swiss 75 lb 3‑5 plants 8‑12 plants
May 7 O Green beans, lima beans; Collards and Kale 100 lb 5‑10 ft 5‑10 ft
M Tomatoes, muskmelons, watermelons, squash Corn, sweet 10 dozen 10‑15 ft 30‑50 ft
June 1 O Sweet corn, mustard, radishes, lettuce; Cucumbers 120 lb 1‑2 hills 3‑5 hills
M Sweet potatoes Eggplant 100 lb 2‑3 plants 2‑3 plants
June 15 O Sweet corn, late potatoes, summer squash, bush Garlic 40 lb ‑‑‑ 1‑5 ft
beans, lettuce, parsnips, beets, carrots Kohlrabi 75 lb 3‑5 ft 5‑10 ft
July 1 O Sweet corn (early maturing variety), lettuce, car- Lettuce, head 100 heads 10 ft ‑‑‑
rots, beets
Lettuce, leaf 50 lb 10 ft ‑‑‑
July 10 O Sow seeds of fall cole crops in a nursery area
Muskmelons (cantaloupe) 100 fruits 3‑5 hills ‑‑‑
July 15 O Sweet corn (early maturing variety), kale, mustard,
turnips, summer squash Mustard 100 lb 5‑10 ft 10‑15 ft
Aug. 1 M Transplant fall cole crops to permanent location Okra 100 lb 4‑6 ft 6‑10 ft
between now and Aug. 15; Onions (plants or sets) 100 lb 3‑5 ft 30‑50 ft
O Peas, edible podded peas, bush beans, radishes, Onions (seed) 100 lb 3‑5 ft 30‑50 ft
beets, mustard. Divide old rhubarb or plant crowns Parsley 30 lb 1‑3 ft 1‑3 ft
if not done in spring. Parsnips 100 lb 10 ft 10 ft
Aug. 15 O Radishes, spinach, turnips, turnip greens, beets, Peas, English 20 lb 15‑20 ft 40‑60 ft
mustard, lettuce, endive
Peas, Snow 20 lb 10‑15 ft 30‑40 ft
Sept. 1 O Radishes, spinach, mustard
Peas, Southern 40 lb 10‑15 ft 20‑50 ft
Sept. 15 O Radishes, mustard, turnips, turnip greens
Peppers 60 lb 3‑5 plants 3‑5 plants
Oct. 1 O Radishes
Potatoes, Irish 100 lb 50‑100 ft ‑‑‑
Oct. 15 O Sow sets of Egyptian tree or multiplier onions.
Potatoes, Sweet 100 lb 5‑10 plants 10‑20 plants
Harvest carrots before heavy freeze.
Pumpkins 100 lb 1‑2 hills 1‑2 hills
Nov. 1 O Dig parsnips and store at 32‑40°F, or mulch pars-
nips heavily in the ground Radishes 100 bunches 3‑5 ft ‑‑‑
I: Start seeds indoors; M: Move transplants to garden; O: Start seeds Salsify 100 lb 5 ft 5 ft
outdoors Soybeans 20 lb 50 ft 50 ft
1 Add ten days for central Kentucky and 15 days for the eastern
Spinach 40‑50 lb 5‑10 ft 10‑15 ft
mountains of Kentucky to these dates for spring and summer crops.
Subtract ten or 15 days for fall crops Squash, summer 150 lb 2‑3 hills 2‑3 hills
Squash, winter 100 lb 1‑3 hills 1‑3 hills
Tomatoes 100 lb 3‑5 plants 5‑10 plants
Turnip greens 50‑100 lb 5‑10 ft ‑‑‑
Turnip roots 50‑100 lb 5‑10 ft 5‑10 ft
Watermelons 40 fruits 2‑4 hills ‑‑‑

16
Table 15. Earliest and latest planting dates in the garden in Kentucky. (The person producing his
own transplants must begin two to 12 weeks earlier than these listed dates.)
Earliest Safe Planting Date Latest Safe Planting Date1
Eastern Eastern
Crops Western Central Mt. Mt. Central Western
Asparagus (crowns) Mar. 10 Mar. 15 Mar. 20 (Spring
only)
Beans (snap) Apr. 10 Apr. 25 May 1 July 15 July 25 Aug. 1
Beans (lima) Apr. 15 May 1 May 10 June 15 June 20 July 1
Beets Mar. 10 Mar. 15 Mar. 20 July 15 July 20 Aug. 15
Broccoli (plants) Mar. 30 Apr. 5 Apr. 10 July 15 Aug. 1 Aug. 15
B. Sprouts (plants) Mar. 30 Apr. 5 Apr. 10 July 1 July 15 Aug. 1
Cabbage Mar. 15 Mar. 25 Apr. 1 July 1 July 15 Aug. 1
Carrots Mar. 10 Mar. 20 Apr. 1 July 1 July 15 Aug. 1
Cauliflower (plants) Mar. 30 Apr. 5 Apr. 10 July 15 July 20 Aug. 5
Celery Apr. 1 Apr. 5 Apr. 10 June 15 July 1 July 15
Chard Mar. 15 Mar. 20 Apr. 1 June 15 July 15 Aug. 1
Collards Mar. 1 Mar. 10 Mar. 15 July 15 Aug. 1 Aug. 15
Sweet Corn Apr. 10 Apr. 20 May 1 June 15 July 10 July 20
Cucumbers Apr. 20 May 1 May 10 June 15 July 1 July 15
Eggplant (plants) May 1 May 10 May 15 June 1 June 15 July 1
Kale Mar. 10 Mar. 20 Apr. 1 July 15 Aug. 1 Aug. 15
Kohlrabi Mar. 15 Mar. 20 Mar. 25 July 15 Aug. 1 Aug. 15
Lettuce (leaf) Mar. 15 Mar. 25 Apr. 1 Aug. 1 Aug. 15 Sept. 1
Lettuce (bibb plants) Mar. 15 Mar. 25 Apr. 1 July 15 Aug. 1 Aug. 15
Lettuce (head plants) Mar. 15 Mar. 25 Apr. 1 July 1 July 15 Aug. 1
Muskmelons Apr. 20 May 10 May 15 June 15 July 1 July 15
Okra Apr. 20 May 10 May 15 July 1 July 15 Aug. 1
Onions (sets) Mar. 1 Mar. 10 Mar. 15 (Spring
only)
Onions (plants) Mar. 15 Mar. 25 Apr. 1 June 15 July 1 July 15
Onions (seed) Mar. 10 Mar. 20 Apr. 1 June 1 June 15 July 1
Parsley Mar. 10 Mar. 20 Apr. 1 July 15 Aug. 1 Aug. 15
Parsnips Mar. 10 Mar. 20 Apr. 1 June 1 June 15 July 1
Peas Feb. 20 Mar. 1 Mar. 15 (Spring
only)
Peppers (plants) May 1 May 10 May 20 June 15 July 1 July 15
Irish Potatoes Mar. 15 Mar. 15 Mar. 20 June 15 July 1 July 15
Sweet Potatoes May 1 May 10 May 20 June 1 June 10 June 15
Pumpkins Apr. 20 May 5 May 10 June 1 June 15 July 1
Radishes Mar. 1 Mar. 10 Mar. 15 Sept. 1 Sept. 15 Oct. 1
Rhubarb (crowns) Mar. 1 Mar. 10 Mar. 15 (Spring
only)
Rutabaga Mar. 1 Mar. 10 Mar. 15 July 1 July 10 July 15
Southern Peas Apr. 20 May 5 May 10 June 15 July 1 July 15
Snow Peas Feb. 20 Mar. 1 Mar. 15 July 20 Aug. 1 Aug. 8
Spinach Feb. 15 Mar. 1 Mar. 10 Aug. 15 Sept. 1 Sept. 15
Summer Squash Apr. 20 May 10 May 15 July 15 Aug. 1 Aug. 15
Tomatoes (plants) Apr. 20 May 5 May 15 June 1 June 15 July 1
Turnips Mar. 1 Mar. 10 Mar. 15 July 15 Aug. 1 Aug. 15
Watermelons Apr. 20 May 5 May 15 June 15 July 1 July 15
Winter Squash Apr. 20 May 10 May 15 June 15 July 1 July 15
1 Based on average of early maturing varieties. Mid‑season and late‑maturing varieties need to be
planted 15 to 30 days earlier than latest date. Nearly all of the fall‑planted garden crops will require irri-
gation during dry periods. Additional insect controls may be necessary for these tender young plants.

17
Caring for Your Vegetables
During the Growing Season
Once planting is completed, your gar‑
den still requires careful attention. You
need to see that your plants receive the
proper amounts of water and nutrients all
Figure 10. To encourage
season long. deep rooting, thoroughly
water the upper 6 - 8 inches
Irrigating of soil (left). Shallow water-
ing (right) promotes shallow
Vegetable crops need about 1 inch development of roots,
of water per week, as rain water, irriga‑ resulting in poor growth and
tion water or both, from April through increased risk of injury under
severe weather conditions.
September. You should have a rain gauge
near your garden or check with the lo‑
cal weather bureau for rainfall amounts; The total water a garden needs is the Table 16. Critical times to water vegetables.
then supplement rainfall with irrigation if same as the amount of water lost from the Vegetable Critical Period of Water Need
needed. An average garden soil will store plant plus the amount evaporated from Asparagus Fern growth
about 1.5 inches of water/foot of depth. the soil. These two processes are called Bean, lima Pollination and pod develop-
Irrigation aids seedling emergence, evapotranspiration. Evapotranspira‑ ment
improves percent germination and plant tion rates vary and are influenced by day Bean, snap Bloom, pollination and pod
stand, helps maintain uniform growth and enlargement
length, temperature, cloud cover, wind, Broccoli Establishment, head develop-
permits fruit development. Soils often relative humidity, mulching, and type, size Cabbage ment
crust without adequate water, retarding and number of plants growing in a given
the germination of crops like carrots, on‑ Carrot Establishment, root enlarge-
area. ment
ions and beans. Watering areas of the garden not oc‑ Cauliflower Establishment, growth, head
Another use of irrigation is to reduce cupied by vegetable roots only encourages development
the wilting of transplanted crops like weed growth. Corn, sweet Silking, tasseling and ear devel-
tomato, pepper, lettuce, cabbage and opment
eggplant. A good supply of soil mois‑ Watering Equipment Cucumber Flowering and fruit develop-
ment
ture improves the quality and yields of all
crops, increases the fruit size of tomatoes, The home gardener has several choices Eggplant Uniform supply from flowering
of watering equipment, including the gar‑ through harvest
cucumbers and melons, and prevents Melon Fruit set and early develop-
premature ripening in crops such as peas, den hose with a spray or fan nozzle, trickle
ment
sweet corn and beans. The critical periods systems and porous hose systems. This
Onion, dry Bulb enlargement
of water needs for various vegetables are equipment may or may not be semiauto‑ Pea Flowering and seed enlarge-
shown in Table 16. matic. Many portable lawn sprinklers are ment
If overhead irrigation is used, it is a adequate for the garden. Adjust the rate of Pepper Uniform supply from flowering
good idea to irrigate during the day so that water application to about 1/2 inch/hour. through harvest

all the water is evaporated off the plant A faster rate may cause runoff. Potato Tuber set and tuber enlarge-
Oscillating and rotating sprinklers must ment
foliage before dark. This reduces disease Radish Root enlargement
problems. be placed on a platform higher than the
Squash, Bud development, flowering
crop being irrigated to keep the plants summer and fruit development
from distorting the spray pattern and get‑
Water Movement in Soil ting uneven distribution. Rotating sprin‑
Tomato Uniform supply from flowering
through harvest
When water is applied to the soil, it klers deliver circular water patterns with Turnip Root enlargement
seeps down through the root zone gradu‑ more water near the center than on the
ally. Each layer of soil must be saturated outer edges. Oscillating sprinklers deliver
before water will descend to the next layer. rectangular patterns, making it easy to wa‑ the sprinkler often, overlapping about half
This water movement is referred to as the ter along edges of gardens; these systems, of the area already watered each time you
wetting front. If only one‑half the amount however, deliver more water at the edges move it.
of water is applied at a given time, it will than in the center. In any case, sprinklers To check how much water your
penetrate the top half of the root zone; the do not distribute water uniformly like sprinkler has applied, set several small,
area below the point where the wetting rain, though you can even out the water straight‑sided cans on the ground at vary‑
front stops will remain as dry as if no irri‑ by overlapping the patterns. However, ing distances from the operating sprinkler.
gation had been applied at all. such overlapping means you must move If the sprinkler is set to apply 1 inch of wa‑

18
Figure 11. Trickle system for a garden that is too far Figure 12. Trickle system for fa- Figure 13. One trickle line for every
from a water supply. vorite plants (i.e., giant pumpkin, two rows.
early tomatoes, etc.).

ter, operate it until the can with the most Line Emitters (for Trickle Irrigation) Trickle Irrigation and Black Plastic
water has about 1/2 inch in it. Then, shut
off or move the sprinkler to another spot.
Three principal types of line emitters Mulch
are adapted to growing vegetables (see Black plastic mulch can be put over the
Overlap the measured can and run the
Figure 14). line emitter to increase the effectiveness
sprinkler again until the can has a total of
1. Twin‑wall is essentially a tube within a of watering and to control weeds. Further,
1 inch of water in it.
tube. Water from the feeder line fills the the black plastic protects the polyethylene
An excellent irrigation system for the
inside tube. When pressure on the inside emitter tube from sunlight which acceler‑
home garden is the perforated plastic hose
tube builds up, the water flows through ates material break down. The tubes can
or soaker hose. Put the hose, holes down,
holes spaced about 5 feet apart into the be used for several years if cleaned and
along one side of the crop row or under‑
outer tube. Water then trickles through stored in a cool, dark place. Black plastic
neath plastic mulch. Let the water soak
perforations spaced about 12 inches mulch, 0.0015 inches (1 1/2 mil) thick,
or seep slowly into the soil. This method
apart in the outer tube and into the soil. may be purchased at garden supply stores.
requires less water because the water goes
2. Bi‑wall has a main chamber through A 4‑foot width is ideal for most vegetables.
right next to the plant, Also, this way you
which water flows until pressure is the If you use a trickle system with plastic
can water in the evening without encour‑
same throughout the trickle line. Wa‑ mulch, you must put the line emitter 8
aging foliage diseases since no water is
ter then flows into a secondary cham‑ inches to one side of the center of the row.
sprinkled on the plant leaves. You can de‑
ber on top of the main chamber and is This precaution assures that the plastic
termine the time required to apply a given
distributed to the plants through holes emitter hose will not be punctured when
volume of water by putting one of the hole
along the entire secondary chamber. plants are set in the middle of the row. Fig‑
openings over a can and measuring the
3. With a plastic soaker hose water seeps ure 15 shows a line emitter installed under
amount of water collected in a given time
through the tube’s entire length, not at black plastic mulch.
period.
defined openings. The soaker hose is Fertilizer—Although a crop could be
With trickle irrigation you water veg‑
ideal for closely spaced crops. fertilized if you inject soluble fertilizers
etables similarly to the way you sidedress
fertilizer. Water is applied directly on the Although not used for vegetables, point into the supply pipe in a home trickle
row by a special hose or tube at low pres‑ emitters are available to deliver water to watering system, this method involves a
sure. Trickle irrigation uses from 30% to specific locations. They are used to water greater risk of applying the wrong amount
70% of the water required by overhead shrubs and trees. of fertilizer. Since the black plastic sheet
sprinkle irrigation. reduces the loss of fertilizer by eliminating
You do not need to be a plumber to Figure 14. Trickle tubes. downward movement during heavy rain,
construct a trickle irrigation system. For you can reduce the amount of fertilizer by
the first year, you may wish to install about 25%.
trickle irrigation on only a few rows of
vegetables. Figure 15. Installation of trickle irrigation
Trickle irrigation equipment is usually under black plastic mulch.
available from local garden supply stores
and is also listed in many seed and garden
catalogs available to home gardeners.

19
After lime and fertilizers are applied • Cover them with soil and proceed an‑ Fertilizing
and raked into the top few inches of soil, other 5 ft until the end of the row.
For vegetables to produce lush, con‑
the trickle system is installed and the plas‑ • Slit the plastic at the end of the row and
tinuous growth throughout the season,
tic mulch is placed on top. Directions for place the edge into a furrow across the
they need a uniform supply of nutrients.
installing plastic mulch are in the section row.
However, many chemical fertilizers are
on mulching. • Insert transplants by cutting holes in
very soluble, so the initial application may
the plastic with a knife or bulb planter.
leach beyond the root zone before the
Mulching • Plastic weed barrier mulches, which
growing season ends. Thus, many garden‑
Mulching can make all the difference are more expensive than other plastic
ers sidedress their crops with an extra ap‑
between a garden that is a joy to work and mulches, allow water to pass through,
plication of fertilizer during the growing
watch and one that is tedious and untidy. can be held down with large wire
season. The usual rate is 5 Tbs of ammo‑
Among mulch’s greatest attributes is its staples, and can be reused numerous
nium nitrate/10 feet of row. Asparagus re‑
ability to help control weeds. times.
quires twice as much, and potatoes should
Mulch also helps conserve soil mois‑ receive about 7 Tbs/10 feet row. Place the
ture by 50% or more by covering the soil to Some soil between the rows will re‑
fertilizer in bands about 6 inches to both
slow down evaporation. UK soil scien‑ main unmulched. Or, you may wish to use
sides of the rows, then rake it in and water.
tists have found that a mulch on the soil newspapers and organic mulch to control
A combination of chemical fertilizer,
surface can conserve about 6 inches of soil weeds between the plastic strips.
organic fertilizer and mulch makes a good
water during the growing season. Most of The major disadvantage of most plastic
sidedressing. The chemical fertilizers give
the water conserved will reduce and/or mulches is that you have to remove them
the initial boost required by young plants;
delay plant water stress. and dispose of them. They cannot be tilled
organic fertilizers provide nutrients uni‑
Mulch reduces erosion by breaking the under or left on the soil, but must be lifted
formly throughout the season; and mulch
impact of rain and wind. and discarded. New biodegradable mulch‑
keeps the soil more evenly moist and the
Nutrients do not leach so readily under es are now available at some garden stores.
nutrients more uniformly available.
plastic and some paper mulches because
less rainwater penetrates. Using Organic Mulches Compost
Vegetables remain cleaner in mulched Organic mulches are materials such as
Compost is easy to make; all you need
gardens because they have less contact lawn clippings or straw. Do not use lawn
is raw organic matter, soil and fertilizer.
with the soil. clippings that come from a lawn recently
Leaves, grass clippings, weeds, garden
Finally, organic mulches can keep soils treated with herbicides. The finer mulches
refuse and manure are excellent organic
cool. will deter weeds if spread over the garden
materials to use. Special additives don’t
at least 2 inches deep. One excellent way
help, though nitrogen fertilizer may speed
Using Plastic Mulch to spread these materials more thinly is to
up composting. A shredder will make the
The most common materials for mulch‑ first lay about six sheets of newspaper on
organic materials finer, further speeding
ing are either plastic or organic matter. the soil, then cover the paper with organic
up decomposition.
Plastic materials are usually 3 or 4 feet matter. In this case the newspaper is really
Compost can be started anytime.
wide and are black, white, brown or clear. the mulch, and the organic matter holds
Choose an area convenient to the garden
The darker plastics are recommended the paper in place and improves appear‑
and backdoor so that garden residue and
because they do not allow weed growth; ances.
kitchen parings can be easily added. The
clear materials act as greenhouses under Soils will remain cool longer in the
best location is a shady spot; however, do
which weeds flourish. White plastic is spring under organic mulches, because
not build directly under a tree, because
used for summer planting, because it is the sun does not strike the soil. If you
the tree’s roots may grow into the pile.
cooler. want your garden to grow rapidly in the
Make two or three open‑ended bins or
Plastic mulches tend to warm the soil spring, do not scatter the mulch until the
boxes to hold the compost. They can be
by about 1 to 5 degrees. This extra warmth soil warms. One precaution needed if
3 to 5 feet wide, 3 to 4 feet high and any
can boost plants such as tomatoes in the you use straw is to be sure it is weed‑ and
length. You can build the boxes of wire
spring and can promote quite vigorous seed‑free. Otherwise, it will be a source of
fencing supported by posts, or they may
growth of heat‑loving vine crops, such as weeds for the growing season.
be constructed of boards or masonry ma‑
melons and squashes, in the summer. Most organic mulches will compact and
terial. They can be made attractive enough
Wait for a calm day to lay plastic mulches. start to decompose by fall. They can be
to be part of the landscape.
• Slip a hoe or rake handle through the tilled under easily, adding valuable organic
To make a compost pile, alternate lay‑
roll of polyethylene. matter to the soil. Some gardeners prefer
ers of raw organic material, fertilizer and
• Place the roll at the beginning of the row. to maintain a permanent mulch, adding
soil (see Figure 16). Start with organic
• Hoe furrows about 4 inches deep on ei‑ organic material as it becomes available.
matter—6 inches deep if the material is
ther side of the roll. In the spring, they simply pull back the
fairly solid, or 12 inches deep if it is loose.
• Roll out the polyethylene this distance. mulch in spots for transplants or in rows
Add water if the material is dry. Next, add
• Tuck the edges into the furrows. for direct‑seeded vegetables. This method
either and organic or synthetic fertilizer.
is a good way to build a rich garden soil.

20
Figure 16. Layers for a compost pile. Table 17. Recommended times for sidedressing vegetables. (General rate for sidedressing is
5 Tbs of ammonium nitrate/10 ft row for all vegetables except asparagus and onions, which
require 10 Tbs/10 ft row, and potatoes, which require 7 Tbs/10 ft row.)
Crop Time of Application
Asparagus Before growth starts in spring.
Beans After heavy blossom and set of pods.
Beets Additional nitrogen might reduce yield or lower quality.
Broccoli 3 weeks after transplanting.
Cabbage 3 weeks after transplanting.
Cauliflower 3 weeks after transplanting.
Carrots Additional nitrogen might reduce yield or lower quality.
Cucumbers Apply 1 week after blossoming begins and same amount 3 weeks later.
Eggplant After first fruit set.
Kale When plants are about one‑third grown.
Lettuce Additional nitrogen might reduce yield or lower quality.
Muskmelons Apply 1 week after blossoming begins and same amount 3 weeks later.
Onions 1 to 2 weeks after bulb formation starts.
Parsnips Additional nitrogen might reduce yield or lower quality.
Peas After heavy bloom and set of pods.
Peppers After first fruit set.
For general use compost, add 10‑10‑10 or Potatoes After tuber formation starts (bloom stage), about 6 weeks after planting.
10‑6‑4 analysis fertilizer at the rate of 1 1/2 Spinach When plants are about one‑third grown.
cups/bushel of compact organic matter, or Squash Additional nitrogen might reduce yield or lower quality.
5‑10‑5 at the rate of 2 1/2 cups/bushel. Sweet corn When plants are 12 inches tall.
After you fertilize, add a 1‑inch layer of Sweet potatoes Additional nitrogen might reduce yield or lower quality.
soil. The soil introduces microorganisms Tomatoes Apply 1 to 2 weeks before first picking and same amount 2 weeks after first
which decompose organic matter. Com‑ picking.
Turnips Additional nitrogen might reduce yield or lower quality.
mercial microbial preparations which
Watermelon Additional nitrogen might reduce yield or lower quality.
claim to enhance composting are un‑
necessary. Continue to alternate layers of
organic matter, fertilizer and soil until the
pile is 3 to 4 feet high, but slightly lower in
Cover Crops Protect Garden Plots Cover crops can do even more than re‑
tain the soil, prevent mineral leaching, re‑
the center for easy watering. Complete the The garden plot—that area of tilled
duce compaction and competitively shade
pile with a layer of soil on the top. ground which offers an abundance of
out weeds. A lush top growth, termed
Keep your compost moist but not high‑quality vegetables—is commonly used
“green manure,” will add organic matter
soggy. With moisture, and a layer of soil on for only six to seven months in Kentucky.
when tilled into the garden soil. But the
the top, no offensive odors should exist. What normally happens to the garden in
cover crop’s root system is much more
Turn or mix your compost pile sev‑ the off‑season can be wasteful and destruc‑
valuable than top growth to the soil qual‑
eral times during the year. For doing so, a tive. Wind and water may carry away the
ity, offering both organic matter and struc‑
second bin and a shredder come in handy. enriched topsoil. Rains will move minerals
tural granulation as its roots grow through
After mixing your pile into the second bin, down through the soil, leaching them away
the soil. The roots improve garden soil’s
you can start a new compost pile in the from the root zone of vegetables. Compac‑
aeration and drainage while the tops inter‑
first one. If you start your compost in the tion of soil occurs because of raindrops’ im‑
cept light energy at times when the garden
fall and turn it several times, it should be pact or footsteps on the bare ground, as well
would not be planted.
ready for use about June 1. as from loss of granular structure due to till‑
Success in growing cover crops requires
age and crop production practices. Weeds
proper crop selection, correct timing and
become established, leaving their seeds or
good management techniques.
perennial roots to plague the garden in fu‑
Grasses are much easier to establish
ture growing seasons. Some insects and dis‑
than legumes, however including a le‑
eases of vegetables overwinter on weeds and
gume in your cover crop mix has many
are right there on site to infect the next crop.
benefits. Legume cover crops have a sym‑
These problems can be reduced or
biotic relationship with certain soil mi‑
eliminated with a cover crop to main‑
croorganisms that allow for nitrogen to be
tain and rejuvenate the garden soil. The
fixed directly from the atmosphere. Nitro‑
benefits of cover crops are reaped in fu‑
gen accumulations by leguminous cover
ture vegetable harvests. Traditional cover
crops range from 40 to 200 lbs. of nitro‑
crops are ryegrass, winter rye, winter
gen per acre which becomes gradually
wheat, oats, white clover, sweet clover,
available throughout the growing season
Austrian winter/field peas, hairy vetch,
after the cover crop is incorporated. Oats
other legumes and buckwheat.
mixed with Austrian winter/field peas and

21
winter rye mixed with hairy vetch have
both proven to be excellent cover crop
mixes in Kentucky.
Small‑seeded crops are slow and more
difficult than large‑seeded types such as
oats. Winter rye and ryegrass grow very
densely and are much more effective at
shading out weeds than oats or small‑seed‑
ed legumes. Availability of seed and its cost
are other important considerations.
When you plant the cover crop will dic‑
tate which crops you can use. By October,
only rye and winter wheat can be success‑
fully started. If land is available in August,
your choice broadens to include ryegrass,
oats and clover. Covers such as annual
ryegrass, oats and buckwheat that do not
overwinter are easiest to work with the
next spring.
Perennial ryegrass and winter rye can
give you problems in the spring. They
produce a massive amount of top growth
and will tangle in a rototiller. Before leaves
grow too large, cut them back once with a
mower, string trimmer or scythe. Peren‑
nial ryegrass makes a tight mass of fibrous
roots which can be hard to manage.
Whatever cover crop you use, when the
time comes to plant your garden you must
remove the cover. You can completely
avoid tilling by mowing the plot, broad‑
casting fertilizer and covering it with black
plastic. The absence of light will kill the
cover crop within two weeks, and trans‑
plants or large‑seeded vegetable crops can
be planted directly through the plastic.
This no‑till technique maintains excellent
soil conditions, controls weeds and usu‑
ally gives high yields.
For Kentucky’s conditions, consider
ryegrass as the best garden cover crop. It is
a vigorous grower with an extensive root
system occupying the same root zone as
the vegetables will. Winter rye is an excel‑
lent second choice and best for late plant‑
ing. It is a biennial, and mowing will stop
its growth in spring.

Figure 17. Vegetable crop timetable.

22
Diseases, Insects and Weeds
Disease Control • Use labeled fungicides only for control occurring soil fungi that are antagonistic
when needed. to disease-causing pathogenic fungi, and
Plants in the garden can be attacked
• Avoid working in the vegetable garden when applied can kill or out compete the
and damaged by fungi, bacteria, nema‑
when leaves are wet to reduce spread of problem fungi. Some other organic fungi‑
todes and viruses. The symptoms of these
bacterial blights. cide products include potassium bicar‑
attacks are called plant diseases. Plant
• Plant to encourage air movement. bonate (baking soda), as these formula‑
diseases can be prevented or controlled
tions can have a strong preventative effect
in a variety of ways. Both urban and rural
home gardeners can often use nonchemi‑
Fungicides against powdery mildew disease.
The number of chemicals labeled for use Chemicals should be applied only in the
cal methods effectively because they are
in home vegetable gardens is limited com‑ prescribed manner as recommended by
willing to bear time and labor costs. When
pared to those available to producers of com‑ the manufacturer. Read the label carefully
chemicals must be used, the home gar‑
mercial vegetables. Gardeners should rely on and follow directions. Note the number of
dener can get by with few chemical appli‑
preventive practices, rather than pesticides, days required between the last fungicide
cations by spraying only when needed.
to manage diseases. Use fungicides to sup‑ application and harvest date. The days
waiting may vary among crops.
Before Planting plement cultural controls—this will greatly
All pesticides listed in Table 18 are
reduce the need for chemicals in the garden.
• Select a site that is sunny and registered and cleared for suggested uses
Seed treatment with fungicides must
well‑drained. according to federal registrations in effect
be applied by commercial seed treaters.
• Remove or plow under old crop debris on November 2007. Listing a fungicide is
Grower application of these products is
well before planting. not a recommendation that pesticides are
prohibited to minimize applicator expo‑
• Select disease‑resistant varieties. the primary control method suggested.
sure. If you desire to use treated seed, buy
• Purchase disease‑free transplants. Recent changes in pesticide registrations
seed pre‑treated with fungicides.
• Practice crop rotation (yes, it can be have significantly reduced the number of
Fungicides available to home garden‑
done in small gardens, but it requires chemicals labeled for use in home vegeta‑
ers are protectants by nature, and will not
that records be kept). ble gardens. Because labels can change at
cure existing infections or symptoms. Pro‑
• Avoid areas with poor air movement. any time, information listed here may not
tectant fungicides need to be applied in a
preventive manner to plant parts ideally be accurate. The user must accept respon‑
At Planting Time before pathogens arrive or when symptoms sibility for safe and legal pesticide use.
• Consider seed commercially treated first appear at the latest. This is very dif‑
with fungicides. ferent from the approach taken with most Measuring Tables for Mixing Small
• Plant seed into warm soils. insecticides. Don’t wait until severe dam‑ Quantities of Pesticide
• Space plants to assure air movement age has occurred before deciding to use a Pesticides that are bought in large packag‑
between plants. fungicide. The majority of plant diseases es or sizes usually do not include instructions
• Use proper fertility. tend to develop quickly under favorable en‑ for mixing smaller amounts of a spray. Table
• Use raised beds to improve drainage. vironmental conditions, and delaying ap‑ 20 compares various measurements that are
• Avoid overlapping plantings to keep plications of fungicides in these situations needed to make smaller amounts of a spray.
diseases from moving from the old crop usually has little effect on the disease. The powdered pesticide table (Table 21)
to the new one. Because fungicides are subject to can be used to mix different amounts of
weathering, they must be reapplied at reg‑ spray of the same mixture when using wet‑
During the Growing Season ular intervals when disease organisms are table powders. Example: If the label specifies
• Regularly inspect plants for disease. active to keep plants adequately protected. that 3 pounds of a wettable powder pesticide
• Remove and destroy badly diseased Growers using certified organic gardening material are to be added to 100 gallons of wa‑
plants. practices can only use certain brands of ter, then 3 T of the pesticide material would
• Control weeds, which harbor insects sulfer or fixed copper from the fungicide make 1 gallon of similar spray mixture.
and disease organisms, in and near the options listed on Table 18, and they should Different amounts of a similar spray can
garden. These weeds include poke‑ be used very sparingly. Other organically be made from the liquid pesticide table,
weed, plantain, Johnsongrass, milk‑ approved fungicides exist though they will when liquid pesticide materials (emulsifiable
weed, wild cucumber, nightshade, be difficult for the home gardener to find concentrates or EC) are used. When reduc‑
ground cherry and clovers. and are most likely only available in some ing the amount of a spray mixture, be sure to
• Control insects which feed on vegetable parts of Kentucky via mail order. Some of stay in the right column and line as indicated
plants or vector disease organisms. these organic fungicides include naturally in Table 22. (T = tablespoon, t = teaspoon)
• Water and mulch to avoid unnecessary
plant stress. Avoid wetting foliage, or ir‑
All spoons, cups or other measuring utensils used to measure any pesticide or other chemi-
rigate early in the day so foliage can dry cals must be clearly marked with red paint and kept in the storage cabinet.
before dark.

23
Table 18. Fungicides for use in the home vegetable garden (as of November, 2007).
Product1
Active Ingredient—Trade Name Vegetables2 Remarks2
Captan—Hi-Yield Captan 50WP Beans, cabbage, corn, melons, peas, squash Apply to seed to control seed rots &
damping-off.
Bordeaux Mixture—Acme Bordeaux Asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, car- Apply to foliage for suppression of many
Mixture, Hi-Yield Bordeaux Mixture rots, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, mustard, melons, onions, foliar diseases. Must be used preventively.
peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, spinach, squash, tomatoes, turnips
Chlorothalonil—Bonide Fung-onil Beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cucum- Apply preventively to foliage, stems, fruit
Multipurpose, Dragon Daconil, Hi-Yield bers, cauliflower, corn, melons, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, to control leaf spots & certain fruit rots.
Home & Garden Fungicide, Ortho Da- squash, watermelons Will suppress powdery mildew.
conil, Ortho Garden Disease Control
Copper fungicides (fixed coppers)— Beans, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cu- Apply preventively to foliage and fruit to
Bonide Copper Spray or Dust, Bonide cumbers, eggplant, greens (collard, mustard, turnip) melons, control bacterial diseases, downy mildew,
Liquid Copper, Hi-Yield Copper Fungi- okra, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, spinach, and powdery mildew. May be phytotoxic
cide, Southern Ag Neutral Copper squash, tomatoes, watermelons under certain weather conditions.
EBDC fungicides (mancozeb, maneb)— Asparagus, beans (dry), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Apply to foliage preventively to control a
Bonide Mancozeb Flo w/zinc, Hi-Yield cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, let- broad range of fungal diseases.
Maneb, Southern Ag Dithane M-45 tuce, melons, onions, peppers, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes,
watermelons
PCNB—Southern Ag Terraclor 75WP, Beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, pep- Apply to soil before planting to control cer-
Turfcide 10G pers, and tomatoes tain root & stem rots (clubroot, Rhizoctonia
damping-off, southern blight, wirestem).
Sulfur—Bonide Sulfur Plant Fungicide, Many—refer to label. Effective against powdery mildew. May
Ferti-Lome Dusting Sulfur cause injury under hot & humid conditions.
1 Partial listing of products; other products with the same active ingredient may be available.
2 Product labels differ between manufacturers. Refer to product labels to ensure that the crop and disease to be controlled are listed.

General Disease Control Table 19. Measuring abbreviations.


WP wettable powder t or tsp teaspoons pt pint
Root Knot (nematode)—Galls and swell‑ EC emulsifiable concentrate T or Tbs tablespoon (level) lb pound
ing on roots; plants grow poorly, may be D dust C cup oz ounce
stunted and wilt; tubers and fleshy roots G granular gal gallon fl fluid
may show lumps and swellings; affects Sol solution qt quart
wide variety of garden vegetables. Rotate
with tall fescue or other grasses for several
years; use resistant tomato varieties. Table 20. Measurement comparisons. cause deformed shape of leaves, fruit or
Southern Blight (Southern Stem Blight) 3 tsp (level) = 1 Tbs (level) growing shoots; can sometimes be con‑
(fungus)—Decay of lower stem near ground 2 Tbs = 1 fluid oz = 6 tsp fused with nutritional or herbicide injury
line, often with heavy, white fungus growth 4 Tbs = 12 tsp = 1/4 cup = 2 fluid oz problems. Use resistant varieties whenever
1 cup (level) = 16 Tbs = 8 fluid oz possible; there are varieties of beans resis‑
on stem; top of plant may wilt and die; af‑
2 cups = 32 Tbs = 1 pt = 16 fluid oz tant to the bean mosaic viruses and cucum‑
fects peppers, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers
2 pt = 64 Tbs = 1 qt = 4 level cups bers resistant to cucumber mosaic; be aware
and related crops. Rotate crops; turn under 4 qt = 8 pt = 1 gal = 16 cups
old plant residue early to allow for decom‑ that some plants have resistance to virus
16 oz = 1 lb
position. Control defoliating diseases to 6 Tbs = approx. 1 oz of dry weight (WP only)
strains not present in your garden; many
prevent dropped leaves from serving as a viruses live in weeds and are carried to the
food source for fungus. Consider creat‑ garden by insects, especially aphids and leaf
ing a physical barrier to infection by the of the above-ground portion are covered. hoppers; control of insects and removal of
southern blight fungus. This can be accom‑ PCNB may be applied to soil before im‑ weeds will decrease the threat of virus in‑
plished by wrapping the lower stems of sus‑ mediately before planting to suppress this fection; use virus‑free seeds and transplants;
ceptible plants like pepper and tomato with disease on beans, peppers, and tomatoes. spacing planting dates often helps prevent
aluminum foil so that the lower (below- Virus and Virus‑Like Diseases (virus)—Symp‑ virus infections. Overlapping of plantings
ground) portion of the stem and 2-3 inches toms vary—may be mottling, mosaic or favors virus buildup in later crops.
yellowing of leaves or fruits; some viruses

Table 21. Powdered pesticide. Table 22. Liquid pesticide.


Water Quantity of Powdered Pesticide Material Needed Water Quantity of Liquid Pesticide Material Needed
100 gal 1 lb 2 lb 3 lb 4 lb 5 lb 6 lb 100 gal 1/2 pt 1 pt 2 pt 3 pt 4 pt 5 pt
25 gal 4 oz 8 oz 12 oz 1 lb 1¼ lb 1½ lb 25 gal 2 fl oz 4 fl oz 8 fl oz 12 fl oz 1 pt 1¼ pt
5 gal 5T 10 T 15 T (1 C) 20 T (1¼ C ) 25 T (1½ C) 1¾ C 5 gal 1 T 2 T (1 fl oz) 4 T (2 fl oz) 6 T (3 fl oz) 8 T (4 fl oz) 10 T (5 fl oz)
1 gal 1T 2T 3T 4T 5T 6T 1 gal 1/2 t 1t 2t 3t 4t 5t
The above measurements of wettable powder are acceptable for For amounts of spray not listed, the tables can be halved, doubled or added to
practical purposes. get any combination needed.

24
Insect Control Figure 18. Cutworm. Figure 19. Root maggot. Figure 20. Wireworm.

Insecticidal Soaps
Insecticidal soaps can be used to con‑
trol aphids, mealy bugs, scale and mites.
The spray must completely coat insects
and plants to be effective. Follow direc‑
tions on the package for dilution and
method of use.

Horticultural Oils
These ultra‑fine oils are used to control
aphids, mites, leafminers, thrips, leafhop‑
pers and whiteflies on certain vegetable Floating Row Covers and cause rot in the injured parts. Adults
crops. These oils may be phytotoxic at resemble house flies in appearance.
The floating row cover material men‑
high temperatures (> 100°F) and are in‑ For onion maggots, spray or dust foli‑
tioned on page 15 is useful for season ex‑
compatible with some other pesticides, so age with malathion when flies are present.
tension also can play a major role in pro‑
read and follow directions on the package You can buy insecticide‑treated bean, pea
tecting plants against insect attack. Use
before use. Complete coverage is neces‑ and corn seeds that will give protection
the thinnest row cover fabric available and
sary for oils to be effective. Do not confuse against seed maggots. Delay planting until
seal the edges after transplanting to ensure
these horticultural oils with dormant oils. soil conditions favor rapid germination of
insects cannot get to their target plant.
Dormant oils are usually toxic to foliage. seeds and avoid sowing seed too deeply
Many crops, like turnip greens and egg‑
to minimize losses to seed‑corn maggots.
plant, can be grown all the way to harvest
Botanical Insecticides Apply diatomaceous earth around the
without ever removing the fabric except
base of the seedlings at planting and fol‑
Some insecticides come from natural to control weeds or apply side dress fertil‑
lowing each rain early in the season. Thin
plant materials and are thus allowed for izers. The fabric is reusable over multiple
floating row covers can prevent infesta‑
certified organic growers. growing seasons and when used properly
tion by root maggot populations when
Pyrethrum is the generic name given to can totally eliminate all insecticidal sprays
placed over transplants or seedlings.
a plant based insecticide derived from the that might be necessary for certain crops.
Sowbugs—Sowbugs are insect relatives
powdered, dried flower heads of the pyre‑ that roll into a ball when disturbed. They
thrum daisy, Chrysanthemum cinerariae- Soil Insects feed mostly on decaying organic mat‑
folium. Pyrethrum is a fast acting contact Cutworms—Cutworms are dull‑colored, ter, but also damage root hairs, or ripe
poison that ‘knocks down’ susceptible smooth caterpillars that cut off plants tomatoes resting on the ground. Heavily
insects. above, at or below ground level. Some mulched gardens and areas near compost
Neem products are derived from the climb plants and feed on leaves, buds or heaps usually have more problems with
neem tree, Azadiracta indica, native to fruit. Underground types are particularly this pest.
southern Asia, and are usually made by destructive to young pepper, tomato, cab‑ Clean up ground litter under which
crushing neem tree seeds, then using wa‑ bage, pea, bean and squash plants. sowbugs hide during the day. Don’t com‑
ter or a solvent such as alcohol to extract Use a 6‑inch diameter cardboard col‑ post next to the garden. Broadcast car‑
the pesticidal constituents. Other prod‑ lar 3 inches high, pushed into the soil 1 baryl (Sevin) 5% bait in infested areas.
ucts are made from cold-pressed neem inch after planting transplants. You can White Grubs—White grubs are C‑shaped
seed oil or from further processed neem also broadcast carbaryl (Sevin) 5% bait or larvae, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long, whitish
oil. Neem is a broad-spectrum insecticide, esfenvalerate over cutworm infested areas. with hard, brown heads. They are found
which works by contact or ingestion, and Prepare beds and eliminate weeds at least most often in high humus soil or gardens
acts mainly as an insect growth regulator, two weeks before planting. Bait formula‑ previously in sod. They feed on roots and
but also has anti-feedant and oviposition tions, sometimes using bran or applying tubers. The adults are May beetles or Japa‑
(egg-laying) deterrent properties. rolled oats with molasses containing Ba- nese bettles.
Rotenone is a pesticidal compound cillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, have been Wireworms—Wireworms are yellowish
found in several subtropical leguminous known to effectively control cutworm to whitish, hard‑bodied worms resem‑
shrubs. It is a slow-acting poison which species when applied to the soil. bling a jointed wire. They puncture and
is toxic to many species of insects in Root Maggots—There are several kinds tunnel roots or tubers of beans, carrots,
many different insect orders (caterpillars, of root maggots, including seed‑corn beets, celery, lettuce, onions, potatoes,
beetles, flies, etc.). Rotenone is quickly maggot, cabbage maggot and onion mag‑ sweet potatoes and turnips. The adults are
degraded in sunlight. No Rotenone prod‑ got. They are whitish, legless, somewhat click beetles.
ucts are currently approved for certified peg‑shaped and without a distinct head. Avoid planting susceptible crops in soil
organic production. They tunnel roots, stems, bulbs or seeds that has been in sod for one to two years.

25
Borers Figure 21. Corn earworm. Figure 22. Squash vine borer. Figure 23. Aphid.

Corn Earworm—Corn earworms are


also called tomato fruitworms. They are
green, brown or pink caterpillars with
light stripes along the sides and back and
are up to 1 1/4 inches long. They eat holes
in the fruit of tomatoes, peppers, okra
and beans, and they burrow through silk
to feed on kernels of sweet corn. Early in
the season they feed on the central shoot
of corn. They may also attack other crops.
Losses to corn earworm can be mini‑
mized by avoiding late planting of sweet
corn (after June 1). Generally, corn needs Early season sprays of malathion give cabbage and turnips; leaves turn brown as
to be protected from this pest while fresh good control. Organic gardeners can use if scalded. Other stink bugs cause warts on
silks are present. insecticidal soap, neem based products, or bean and okra pods, and tomato fruit may
For earworm control on sweet corn, horticultural oil for aphid control. Yellow- be malformed. Squash bugs are oblong
apply 20 drops of vegetable or mineral colored card traps covered with a sticky and brown, but the young are gray. They
oil mixed with the recommended rate of glue substance are useful against aphid as attack only squash, pumpkins, gourds and
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) with a medicine they are attracted to the color yellow. melons in that order of preference.
dropper to silks inside tip of ear after silks Greenhouse Whitefly—The greenhouse The group of bugs known as plant bugs
have wilted (3 to 7 days after silks first ap‑ whitefly is a tiny, powdery white insect are usually oval and somewhat flattened.
pear). that flutters from foliage when infested The plant bug group includes lygus bugs,
Squash Vine Borers—Squash vine borers plants are disturbed. The immature stages the tarnished plant bug and the four‑lined
attack the vines and fruit of squash and resemble tiny green scales on leaf under‑ plant bug as well as many others. Plant
related plants. The adult moth resembles a sides. Infested plants lack vigor. Leaves bugs feed on pods, stems, blossoms and
wasp and is a daytime flier. wilt, turn yellow and are often covered leaves. Attacked pods often drop, or the
Select an insecticide from those listed with sooty mold growing on whitefly hon‑ seeds are pitted and undesirable for food.
on page 44. Two to three insecticide ap‑ eydew. Tomato, eggplant, squash and cer‑ Leaf feeding may cause dead spots that re‑
plications are needed 7 to 10 days apart tain weeds are favorite hosts in the garden. semble leaf spot disease symptoms.
beginning after the vines begin to run. A The whitefly cannot overwinter outdoors Control weeds that are alternate hosts.
curative method for the squash vine borer at our latitude, so garden infestations be‑ Apply an appropriate insecticide from
in its hosts is to split the vine lengthwise, gin from infested transplants or escapees the table following this general discussion
remove the borer, bind the split stem to‑ from greenhouses. when bugs are present. Destroy crop resi‑
gether again and keep the plant watered. Control garden weeds and buy only dues immediately after harvest.
Destroy crop residues shortly after harvest. clean transplant material. Doubtful trans‑ Mites—Mites are tiny, eight‑legged rela‑
European Corn Borer—The European plants should be watched closely and tives of insects found on leaf undersides
corn borer is best known for its attack on treated with malathion spray at the first and are barely visible to the naked eye.
stalks, but it is also a common pest of pep‑ sign of infestation. If the infestation is well Infested leaves are very finely speckled
per fruits. It bores in near the cap. Water established, four or more sprays at weekly or “bronzed,” giving them a dusty look. If
gets into the fruit through the borer hole, intervals may be needed. Heavy infesta‑ badly infested, the leaves are covered with
and the fruit rots. It is also a common bor‑ tions late in the season are almost impos‑ very fine cobwebs. Beans, cucumbers,
er in potato vines and other plants when sible to control. Yellow-colored card traps melons and tomatoes are most often at‑
populations are high. covered with a sticky glue substance are tacked. Mite outbreaks are more common
useful against whitefly as they are strongly during hot, dry periods.
Sucking Insects attracted to the color yellow. Sprays of in‑ Dust or spray with malathion when
Aphids—Aphids are black, red or green, secticidal soap or horticultural oil are also injury first appears and repeat as needed.
soft‑bodied insects grouped in colonies effective. The webbing may be broken up by strong
on leaves and stems. Most individuals hosing of infested plants with water. This
in a colony are wingless. By sucking the Bugs may provide some reduction of the prob‑
sap, they cause leaves to wilt, curl, pucker, There are many species of bugs in lem. Insecticidal soaps provide effective
stunt or yellow. Aphids produce “honey‑ various sizes, shapes and colors. Stink mite control when used properly and
dew” which falls on leaves, making them bugs, including the harlequin bugs, are complete coverage is obtained.
sticky. Sooty mold may develop on hon‑ shield‑shaped. The harlequin bug is or‑ Thrips—There are several important
eydew deposits. Some aphids transmit vi‑ ange and black. Most of the other stink species of thrips, but only the onion thrip
ruses. Some whitish or bluish aphids also bug pests are solid green or brown. The is apt to be a problem. It is yellowish or
feed on beet roots but do not seem to be a color patterns of young stink bugs differ brown, tiny (only 1/25 inch long), and
serious problem. from that of the adult. Harlequin bugs wilt winged. Young onion thrips are tinier,
white and wingless. Thrips take sap from

26
Figure 24. Mite. Figure 26. Mexican bean beetle. Figure 27. Cucumber beetle.

Figure 25.
Leafhopper.

onion foliage, causing white blotches. Tips er material. Handpicking of beetles is also tomato. There are two generations per year.
of foliage wither and turn brown. useful for small plantings. Neem based bo‑ Hand-picking of the adults in the spring or
Control with esfenvalerate or malathi‑ tanical insecticides have some effect. effective control of the first generation with
on. Insecticidal soap mixed with horticul‑ Cucumber Beetle—There are two species sprays helps to reduce the more troublesome
tural oil and botanical insecticides that of cucumber beetles. They are yellow‑ summer generation. Adding mulch around
include Neem oil have been somewhat ish‑green, with one species having black potato plants before adult beetles arrive has
effective. stripes and the other black spots. Besides shown to limit infestation. Neem based bo‑
Leafhoppers—Leafhoppers are tiny, pale cucumbers, the flowers and leaves of tanical insecticides have some effect.
green, wedge‑shaped, active insects that many other vegetables and flowers may be Bean Leaf Beetle—The bean leaf beetle
are mostly pests of potatoes, beans and attacked. Cucumber beetles spread bacte‑ is reddish to yellow, 1/4 inch long, with
lettuce. Immature leafhoppers resemble rial wilt in cucumbers. The larva of the black spots on its back. Adults eat regu‑
the adults and move sideways when dis‑ spotted species is also a rootworm of corn larly shaped holes in pea, bean and cowpea
turbed. By sucking the sap, they cause and other plants. Early control of cucum‑ leaves, while larvae feed on the plant’s root
bean leaves to curl downward and turn ber beetles on cucumbers and melons system. Use Sevin as necessary for control.
yellow. Plants may be stunted or killed. beginning at plant emergence is neces‑ Bean leaf beetles can be excluded from
On potatoes, the tips and sides of leaves sary to reduce bacterial wilt transmission. small bean plantings using thin floating row
curl upward, turn yellow to brown and get Cucumber beetles can be excluded from cover material. Handpicking of beetles is
brittle. Aster yellows virus is spread to let‑ melon/squash/cucumber plantings using also useful for small plantings. Neem based
tuce by leafhoppers. thin floating row cover material to cover botanical insecticides have some effect.
Plant lettuce near hedges or other shel‑ the plants until harvest. Row covers may Blister Beetle—There are several spe‑
tered areas. Apply malathion or carbaryl have to be opened when the plants are cies of blister beetles. They are black
sprays weekly as needed. Control weeds flowering to ensure pollination. or gray, sometimes with yellow stripes,
that may host leafhoppers and harbor Japanese Beetle—The Japanese beetle is soft‑winged and 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. They
viruses, or treat weeds along with the metallic green with coppery wing covers. It eat foliage of various vegetable crops, in‑
crops for leafhoppers. Botanical insecti‑ is 1/2 inch long. The larvae are white grubs cluding potato, tomato and beets.
cides based on Pyrethrum and Neem have in sod. The adults coarsely skeletonize the Flea Beetles—Flea beetles are tiny jump‑
shown fair control of this pest. foliage of beans and okra, and feed on the ing beetles about 1/10 inch long. There are
foliage and silks of corn. Use Sevin as nec‑ many species. They eat shot holes in pota‑
Chewing Insects essary for control. Thin floating row cover to, tomato, eggplant, pepper, beet, spinach,
Asparagus Beetle—The asparagus beetle can exclude Japanese beetles from plants. turnip, radish, cabbage and other crops.
is 1/4 inch long and black with yellow Botanical insecticides based on Pyrethrum Young transplants are often damaged se‑
markings. The larva is olive green and 1/3 have shown fair control of this pest. verely. Use Sevin as needed for control.
inch long. The eggs look like tiny black pegs Colorado Potato Beetle—The Colorado po‑ Thin floating row cover can exclude flea
on spears and stems. Adults and larvae eat tato beetle is a yellow, black‑striped, robust beetles from plants and can be left in place
asparagus foliage and disfigure spears. beetle, 1/2 inch long. Larvae are brick red, until harvest on most crops. Other botani‑
Mexican Bean Beetle—The Mexican bean humpbacked and up to 3/5 inch long. Adults cally based insecticides that include Pyre‑
beetle is coppery to yellow with 16 black and larvae defoliate eggplant, potato and thrum or Neem allow only fair control.
spots on its back and is 1/4 inch long.
Larvae are yellowish, spiny, up to 1/3 inch
Figure 28. Japanese beetle. Figure 29. Colorado potato beetle. Figure 30. Flea beetle.
long and are found on the undersides of
leaves. Adults and larvae skeletonize bean
foliage and feed on pods. While most lady
beetles feed on other insects, the Mexi‑
can bean beetle is only a plant feeder. Use
Sevin as necessary for control. Mexican
bean beetles can be excluded from small
bean plantings using thin floating row cov‑

27
Figure 31. Imported cabbageworm. Figure 32. Cabbage looper. but particularly cole crops. It also bur‑
rows into cabbage heads. This pest is more
common with fall plantings.
Armyworm—Armyworms are caterpil‑
lars similar to cutworms that feed on a
wide variety of plants, generally grasses.
Figure 33. Hornworm. These may be a problem with early sweet
corn plantings. After defoliating a food
source, they may move in large masses to
new areas.
Hornworm—Hornworms are green cat‑
erpillars up to 4 inches long with diagonal
Grasshoppers—There are a number of Cabbage Looper—The cabbage looper is white lines on the sides and a prominent
species of grasshoppers, and when they are a pale‑green caterpillar with light stripes horn on the rear end. They defoliate toma‑
a problem Sevin can be used for control. down the back. It is up to 1 1/2 inch long to, eggplant, potato, tobacco and related
Imported Cabbageworm—The imported and humps up or loops when it crawls. It weeds. Sprays containing Bacillus thuring-
cabbageworm is a velvety green caterpil‑ eats ragged holes in many kinds of plants, iensis are effective against hornworms.
lar up to 1 1/4 inch long. The adult is a
white butterfly with black markings on the
Table 24. Spray Dilution Chart.
wings. The caterpillar eats ragged holes in Amount
cabbage leaves and bores into the head. per Gallon Notes
Larvae are commonly found near the de‑ Sevin 50% WP 2T See the label for the number of waiting days from the last
veloping bud of the plant. Sprays contain‑ Malathion 57% EC 2t application of insecticide to harvest.
ing Bacillus thuringiensis are effective. Captan 50% WP 2T If different concentrations (% WP or EC) of any of these
Cross‑Striped Cabbageworm—The Benomyl 50% WP 1t fungicides or insecticides are used, be sure to follow label
directions for the amount to use per gallon of water.
cross‑striped cabbageworm is a caterpillar Zineb 75% WP 2T
up to 1/2 inch long with many fine, black, Maneb 80% WP 2T
transverse lines across a bluish‑gray back. It Mancozeb 80% WP 2T
has a yellow stripe along each side and a light Karathane 25% WP 1t
green, mottled underside. It prefers buds and Bravo 75% WP 1T
heads of cabbage, but attacks all cole crops. Bravo 500 2‑3 T
Bacillus thuringiensis sprays are effective. Fixed Copper 1 1/3 T

Weed Control Only when soil and growing conditions consuming and only temporarily effective.
are as ideal as possible and the plants se‑ It must be repeated several times through‑
Weeds are much more than an eyesore.
lected are adapted to the soil conditions out the growing season to assure continu‑
Their presence in the home garden greatly
do garden plants have a competitive ad‑ ous weed control . Weeding also helps the
reduces the total production. Weeds com‑
vantage over weeds. No better way of con‑ gardener regularly check plants for early
pete with desirable garden plants for wa‑
trolling garden weeds exists than having signs of insect and disease problems.
ter, nutrients, sunlight, and space needed
vigorous, desirable plants crowding them If you decide to weed by hand, here are
for growth. Weeds also harbor diseases
out. Studies have shown that if you keep some “do’s and don’ts” to keep in mind.
and insect pests that attack vegetable
the soil weed free for the first 4 weeks of Make sure the hoe blade is clean and
plants. The following measures will help
growth, whether you seed or transplant, sharpened before each use. A sharp hoe
you avoid a weedy garden:
the highest yield potential is achievable. can save a lot of sore arms. Shave off the
• Purchase high-quality vegetable seeds
weeds near the soil surface while they are
free of weed seeds.
• Prevent garden weeds from going to seed.
Controlling Weeds by Hand still small (less than 3 inches) and gently
Weeding the garden by hand is the old‑ break up the crust. Don’t till too deep be‑
• Avoid using manure unless it has been
est form of weed control and is still quite cause you may injure shallowrooted gar‑
sterilized or well composted.
practical in small areas. A major advan‑ den plants and turn up a fresh supply of
• Keep border areas around the garden
tage of hand weeding is that no equip‑ weed seeds which will germinate. Power
free of weeds.
ment, other than a hoe or hand trowel, is equipment such as a rototiller probably
• Clean equipment to prevent weed
needed. Hand weeding is a good exercise cannot be set shallow enough for this
seeds or plant parts from being trans‑
for the heart and a great sense of accom‑ type of weed control. For bigger weeds,
ported into clean areas.
plishment for the soul. However, it is time a rototiller is useful especially in the area
• Avoid using soil infested with weeds.
between rows.
• Avoid buying transplants that are weedy.
• Do not mulch with hay containing grass
or weed seeds.

28
Mulching for Weed Control jure present or subsequent crops. Check Cleaning equipment—Rinse all spray
amounts of the material to be used and equipment thoroughly inside and out
Both organic and inert mulch materi‑
read carefully the application techniques after each application and run plenty of
als may be used to provide season long
on the container label. clean water through the hose and nozzle.
control of garden weeds. Advantages
Apply the herbicide on moist soil—When Never use growth regulator or phenoxy‑
and disadvantages of various mulches
using most preemergence herbicides, type herbicides such as 2,4D in or around
are discussed in “Caring for Your Vegeta‑
about 1/2 inch of rainfall is needed within the home garden. These herbicides can‑
bles During the Growing Season” under
seven days of application for optimum not be cleaned out of sprayers thoroughly
“Mulching.”
weed control. If not enough rain has fallen enough to avoid injury to vegetable crops.
within seven days, apply 1/2 inch of water Do not use sprayers in the garden which
Chemical Weed Control by way of overhead irrigation. Do not use have been used to apply these herbicides
Hand weeding and mulching are more furrow irrigation as it will wash out the to lawns. Be careful of drift onto the gar‑
preferable than herbicide use in the home herbicide and reduce its effectiveness. den when spraying your lawn.
garden, because herbicides which can be A few preemergence herbicides are for‑ Where to purchase—Home garden her‑
safely used with some crops may severely mulated as wettable powders. For a uni‑ bicides can generally be purchased at
damage more sensitive ones. They also form application , these powders must be nurseries, garden centers, or garden sup‑
may remain in the soil and damage future mixed with water. Since wettable powders ply stores. In smaller communities and in
plantings. Herbicides, however, provide form a suspension in water, the spray mix‑ rural areas, the homeowner may be able to
effective weed control where substantial ture should be frequently agitated to keep purchase these materials from farm sup‑
areas of single or related crops are grown. the wettable powder in suspension. Shak‑ ply stores, hardware stores, and drugstores
Even so, their use should be complement‑ ing the sprayer a few times as you spray is or through mail order nursery and seed
ed with hand weeding and/or mulching. usually sufficient. catalogs.
For any seed, including weed seed, to Sprayer types—The simplest and most Use herbicides with caution—Follow the
germinate and grow, three soil factors reliable sprayer for application of home manufacturer’s directions to the letter
must be present in the proper ratio: soil garden herbicides is the 1- or 2-gallon when measuring, mixing, or applying them.
moisture, warm temperature, and oxygen. compressed air sprayer. These sprayers are Read the label carefully for the names of
These factors normally occur in an opti‑ simple to operate, inexpensive and pro‑ plants that product can be safely used.
mum combination near the soil surface vide uniform application of the herbicide. Heed all other warnings and note precau‑
where weed seeds are located. That is, op‑ It is highly recommended that you assign tions. If you have any questions, consult
timum conditions for weed seed germina‑ one sprayer for exclusive herbicide use and your Extension agent for agriculture.
tion and subsequent growth occur in the another for insecticide or fungicide use.
top 1 inch of soil. Because weed seeds are If the label does not specify the water Garden Herbicides
near the soil surface, any hand weeding or volume to use, a general rule of thumb for The following section includes the trade
tilling after herbicides are used should be best distribution over the entire area is to name and formulation of one of the read‑
as shallow as possible. Follow these points use 1 gallon of the herbicidewater mixture ily available garden herbicides. It would
for successful use of herbicides in the per 400 square feet of soil surface. This be impossible to list all the potentially
home garden: volume should be sprayed evenly over the available home garden products as the list
Plan the garden in advance—Group crops 400 square feet. Square footage is figured changes on a yearly basis. Since rates and
according to their herbicide tolerance, i.e., by multiplying the length of the garden methods of herbicide application vary
group in one area all crops for which one by the width of the garden. For example, from one formulation to another, be sure
herbicide is recommended. This grouping a 20 ft x 20 ft garden = 400 square feet; or to read the product label for complete ap‑
lets you treat larger areas with minimum a 10 ft x 40 ft garden = 400 square feet. plication instructions before application.
effort. Do not guess distances and/or areas to be
Apply at the right time—Understand sprayed. Accurately measure or weigh the CHEMICAL NAME: Trifluralin
that most garden herbicides are termed amount of herbicide that is to be added to TRADE NAME: Greenview Preen, 1.47% gran-
“preemergence.” That is, they should be the sprayer. Practice with water only for ules. There are several other formulations that
applied to a clean tilled soil surface be‑ several times if you have not sprayed pes‑ contain trifluralin.
fore weed seeds germinate. They do not ticides previously. PLANT: Asparagus (established beds), Lima
have an effect once weeds have already Granular herbicides—Some garden her‑ and Snap beans, Broccoli (transplants), Brussels
emerged. sprouts (transplants), Cabbage (transplants),
bicides are available as granular materi‑ Cantaloupes, Cucumbers, Carrots, Cauliflower
First prepare the soil—Before applying als in shaker-type containers. These are (transplants), Celery, Collards, Okra, English and
a preemergence herbicide, till the soil to the easiest formulations for most home Snap peas, Southern peas (cowpeas, field peas,
remove existing weeds and work out all blackeyed peas), Peppers (transplants), Pota-
gardeners to apply since they do not need toes, Tomatoes (transplants), and Watermelons.
clods, leaving the soil surface as smooth to be mixed with water for application. As
and level as possible. REMARKS AND LIMITATIONS: For control
with all herbicides, use these exactly as the of annual grasses such as crabgrass, foxtail,
Follow the label directions very carefully— label directs. After sprinkling the granu‑ and goosegrass, and broadleaf weeds such as
Apply preemergence herbicide accurately lar material over the treatment area, use pigweed and lambsquarters. Remove existing
and uniformly. Uneven application may a rake to lightly incorporate the herbicide weeds prior to application. Mix thoroughly into
the top 1 to 2 inches of soil. Read and follow
result in poor weed control or may in‑ into the soil. label directions for use on each crop. Other
crops not listed here may be easily injured.

29
Storing Vegetables
Vegetables do not improve in qual‑ Figure 34. Storing vegetables in the ground. Table 24. Preservation methods for specific
ity after harvest. Therefore, harvesting vegetables.
sound, healthy produce at the proper

Preserve
stage of maturity is important. Produce

Pickle/

Freeze
Store
that will be stored must be harvested

Can
Produce
carefully to avoid bruising and to main‑
Asparagus x
tain quality. Breaks in the skin enable de‑
Beans, Wax or Green x x
cay organisms to enter the produce and Beans, Dry (kidney, navy, x
also increase moisture loss. white marrows, turtles)
Vegetables and fruits can be grouped Beets x1 x x
in four basic storage groups: Broccoli x x1
• The cool‑ and cold‑moist groups may Brussels Sprouts x x
be stored in an old‑fashioned outdoor Cabbage x1 x
pit or underground root cellar. Cauliflower x x
• The cold‑ and cool‑dry groups can be more easily opened and closed than a soil Celery x
stored in a cool area of a basement or mound or trench. Metal cans are more Chard x
garage. rodent proof than plastic. Drill holes Chinese Cabbage x
in the bottom for drainage (Figure 34). Corn x x x
While storage does not require invest‑ Leave 1 to 2 inches of the can above the Greens, Kale x
ment in expensive equipment, it does soil level and use straw to cover the lid. Greens, Swiss Chard x x
demand an awareness of good food char‑ A foam plastic chest also makes a good Greens, Spinach x
acteristics and periodic examination to small produce storage container and can Horseradish x x
remove defective produce. be kept in an unheated garage or build‑ Kohlrabi x
Generally, late‑maturing varieties are ing. Use separate containers for fruits and Parsley2 x x
better suited for storage. Garden crops vegetables. Be sure the storage containers Parsnips x x
held in storage are still living plants that are clean so that they do not impart fla‑ Peas x x
vors or odors to the stored produce. Peppers, Hot2 x
are kept dormant by their environment.
Basement areas near the furnace make Peppers, Sweet x x
If these crops are subjected to adverse
an acceptable storage site for winter Potatoes x1
conditions like lack of oxygen, freez‑
squash and pumpkins. Use a thermome‑ Potatoes, Sweet x x
ing, or excessive moisture, they can die
ter to monitor the temperature in various Pumpkins x1 x
or decay. Produce can tolerate less than
areas of a basement or building to find lo‑ Rutabagas x x
optimum storage conditions, but storage Salsify x
life is shortened. cations adaptable for good food storage.
Basement window wells which open Tomatoes x x1
You can store some produce in the Winter Radishes x
garden right where it grew. It may be pro‑ inward and have exterior wells can be
Winter Squash x1 x x
tected from late fall frosts and freezing converted to small storage areas if the 1 Preferred Method
by insulating materials such as straw, dry well is covered after the weather turns 2 Dried

leaves, sawdust or soil. Root crops such cool and is insulated with bales of hay or
as carrots, turnips and parsnips will store straw.
well this way. When the ground begins
to freeze in late fall, cover them with a Table 25. Produce storage conditions.
heavy mulch of straw or dry leaves to Storage Relative Storage
make midwinter harvesting easier. Produce Category Temp. (°F) Humidity Period
Beets, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cau‑ Cold‑Moist
Broccoli 32 95% 3 weeks
liflower, kale, leeks and onions can also
Cabbage (late) 32 95% 3‑4 months
withstand light frosts. They can be stored
Cool‑Moist
for several weeks under heavy mulch but
Irish potato (late) 40 85‑90% 4‑6 months
usually will not keep through the winter.
Sweet potato (after curing) 55 85‑90% 4‑6 months
Be sure to plant crops to be stored un‑
Tomato (mature green) 60 85‑90% 1‑4 weeks
der mulch in a spot that is easily acces‑ Cold‑Dry
sible for winter removal. Onion 32 ‑ 35 60‑70% 2‑8 months
A 20‑gallon trash container can be Cool‑Dry
buried in the ground for storage and is Pumpkins 50 ‑ 55 60‑70% 2‑4 months
Winter Squash 50 ‑ 55 60‑70% 2‑4 months

30
What You Should Know about
Asparagus through Watermelons
Asparagus Set plants 15 to 18 inches apart in rows Fertilizing
30 inches apart. Place the crown on a Each year in the early spring, sidedress
Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that,
small amount of soil in the trench, allow‑ asparagus with 1 pound of 5‑10‑10/100
once established, may live for 15 to 30
ing it to be slightly higher than the roots. square feet. Following freezing weather in
years. Locate asparagus to one side of the
Spread the roots out and cover the crown the fall, remove the asparagus tops to de‑
garden where it will not be disturbed. It is
with 2 to 3 inches of soil. Firm down well. crease disease problems.
one of the most valuable early vegetables
As plants begin to grow, continue to put
and is well adapted to freezer storage. The Diseases
soil around and over the crowns until the
spears develop daily in early spring with Crown Rot, Wilt (fungus)—Plants gradu‑
trench is filled.
the rate of emergence increasing as tem‑ ally decline and die. Avoid acid soils and
peratures increase. Harvesting poorly drained sites. Maintain good fertil‑
Asparagus shoots or spears should not ity. Avoid excessive harvest.
Planting
You can start asparagus from seed, al‑
be harvested the first year after crowns are Rust (fungus)—Reddish‑black pustules
set. Limit harvests the second year after on leaves and stems. Grow rust‑resistant
though starting from one‑ to two‑year‑old
planting to three to four weeks, then let varieties. Spray with maneb or mancozeb
crowns set in early March is recommend‑
the ferns grow. This procedure is necessary (from harvest until August 15) or sulfur
ed. One‑year‑old crowns or plants are pre‑
so that the root system will develop from fungicides.
ferred. The crowns are actually a combina‑
its limited size and will store food reserves
tion of rhizomes, fleshy roots and fibrous Insects
to produce growth the next year. Plants
roots. The fleshy roots, which may spread See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
harvested too heavily too early after setting
laterally under the soil several feet from insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
may become weakened and spindly. After
the rhizomes, store food reserves that help for treatment options.
the third year, harvests can be continued
develop the tender shoots the next spring.
for eight to ten weeks. Harvest spears daily Insect Treatment
Soil type determines the depth to Aphids................................................................. 1, 10, 11
when they are 5 to 7 inches tall. Break
plant crowns. Usually they are planted in Asparagus Beetles.......................................... 1, 2, 3, 4
them off at the soil level instead of cutting Cucumber Beetles...............................................1, 2, 3
a trench 12 to 15 inches wide and 6 to 8
below the soil surface. Cutting can easily Cutworms.........................................................................9
inches deep. Plant at the shallower depth
injure the crown buds which produce the Grasshoppers........................................................1, 2, 9
if the soil is heavy. Incorporate rotted Sowbugs...........................................................................9
next spears. Harvest in early morning and Thrips................................................................... 1, 10, 11
manure or compost, plus fertilizer, into
use or refrigerate immediately.
the soil before setting the crowns because
little organic matter can be added later.

Beans Pole type snapbeans require stakes, a There are both pole and bush type lima
trellis, a fence or some other type of sup‑ beans, which are sometimes called “but‑
Beans grown for the pod, such as green
port. They also require a few more days terbeans.” Several types of pole lima beans
snap beans, are the most common type of
to mature their pods and they continue to exist. In general, the pole types take longer
bean growing in the home garden, though
bear over a longer period than the bush for the pods to mature than do bush types.
some green beans are grown primarily
type varieties. They require about 65 days Lima beans often drop their blossoms
for the bean itself and not the pod. Lima
from seed to harvest. during excessively hot or rainy weather.
beans and edible soybeans are also popu‑
Snap beans reach their best stage of ed‑ Edible soybeans are grown like bush
lar. Beans are sensitive to cold tempera‑
ible maturity when the seed within the snap beans. They require a longer growing
tures and should not be planted until after
pod is about one‑third developed. season, usually 80 to 100 days. Pick them
the danger of frost is past in the spring.
Varieties of shell beans are more suit‑ when the pods are nearly full‑grown but
The bush type is the most popular of
able for shelling than for use in the pod. before they begin to turn yellow. Shell‑
the snap beans because it matures earlier
Varieties such as “Dwarf Horticultural” ing is easier if you drop the pods in a pot
and requires less space. Most varieties of
and “French Horticultural” are examples of boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes. The
bush snapbeans will have pods ready for
of good shell beans. They mature in 65 to length of time they should be left in the
harvest 50 to 60 days from seeding.
70 days and have a bush habit. boiling water depends on how tender you
like them. After draining the water from

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
31
Everything You Should Know about Beans—continued.

the pods, sprinkle them with salt. You can Bacterial Blights (bacteria)—Brown or Bean Mosaic (virus: may include several
then squeeze the beans from the pods and tan dead areas on the leaves as spots or different aphid‑carried viruses)—Yellowing,
eat them. Soybeans also can be grown for blotches, often with a yellow border; pods crinkling, downward cupping of leaves;
dry beans. may also show brick‑red or brown sunken mosaic yellow and green patterns on
blotches. Use disease‑free seed; avoid sav‑ leaves; dead areas along veins; on vine and
Plant Spacing ing seed from one growing season to the runner types, dieback of the growing tip;
Plant bush snap beans in rows 24 to next since bacteria can be carried to the disease carried to beans by aphids from
30 inches apart. Plant seeds 2 to 3 inches seed; in severe cases, fixed copper fungi‑ clovers. Avoid planting beans near white
apart in the row and 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep cides applied at seven‑day intervals at first or red clover or other legumes; plant bush
in a well‑prepared seedbed. It will usu‑ sign of disease will assist in control. beans or other resistant varieties; destroy
ally take 1 pound of bush snap bean seed Damping‑Off and Seed Decay (fungi)— legumes and other weeds near the garden;
to plant 100 feet of row. Seed lima beans Failure of seeds to grow; death of young plant successive crops of beans; increased
about 4 to 5 inches apart in the row. They plants; poor stands. Buy seed treated with plant seeding density may also help.
do not produce well when they are crowd‑ fungicides; plant seed in warm soil. PCNB
ed. Plant soybeans the same as bush snap may be applied to soil immediately before Insects
beans. Plant pole beans 4 to 6 inches apart planting to suppress diseases caused by See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
in rows 36 to 48 inches apart. You can have Rhizoctonia solani. insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
a continuous supply of beans by planting Root and Stem Rots (fungi)—Brown, for treatment options.
every two weeks until mid‑August. decayed areas on lower stem and de‑ Insect Treatment
cayed roots, resulting in wilting, poor top Aphids.............................................................1, 3, 10, 11
Diseases (Snap and Lima Beans) Bean Leaf Beetles...............................................2, 4, 11
Anthracnose (fungus)—Pod spots are growth, and death of plants. See “Damp‑ Corn Earworms..............................................................2
dark, sunken, circular or oval areas with ing‑Off ” above; rotate beans to another Cutworms.................................................................... 2, 9
part of the garden from year to year so Flea Beetles..............................................................2, 11
brown borders and salmon‑colored ooze Grasshoppers........................................................1, 2, 9
in center; disease also occurs on leaves that root decay fungi won’t build up in the Japanese Beetles...................................................... 1, 2
and stems. Do not save seed from dis‑ soil. PCNB may be applied to soil immedi‑ Leafhoppers............................................. 1, 2, 3, 10, 11
ately before planting to suppress diseases Lygus Bugs.......................................................................1
eased beans; use disease‑free seed; rotate Mexican Bean Beetles......................................2, 3, 11
crops; plow under bean residue. Apply caused by Rhizoctonia solani. Mites..................................................................................1
chlorothalonil at seven‑ to ten‑day inter‑ Rust (fungus)—Small, rusty‑brown spots Seed Maggots................................................................1
vals starting at first sign of disease. Sulfur (pustules) on leaves; mainly a late‑season Sowbugs...........................................................................9
or fall garden problem. Use resistant variet‑ Stink Bugs........................................................................2
spray or dust can be used for disease con‑ Tarnished Plant Bugs...................................................2
trol. Guard against phytotoxicity under ies; chlorothalonil spray or sulfur dust will Whiteflies.........................................................................3
certain weather conditions. Do not work help prevent the disease; do not use chlo‑
wet plants. rothalonil within seven days of harvest.

Beets Problems eral months if packed in moist sand and


Boron deficiency in the soil can placed in a basement or garage. Do not let
Beets are easy to grow and are rich in
cause hard or corky black spots scat‑ them freeze. Before storing, trim off all but
iron and vitamins A and C. The tops may
tered throughout the root in light-col‑ 1/4 inch of the tops.
be harvested as greens. Beets are sensitive
ored zones. To alleviate this problem in
to acid soil, so add lime before planting if a
subsequent years, sprinkle 1/4 pound of Insects
soil test so indicates. See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
borax/1000 square feet where beets are to
insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
Planting be grown. Do not plant beans or soybeans
for treatment options.
Sow successively at about three‑ to in the same area for a year or two, since
four‑week intervals from early spring to these vegetables are sensitive to boron Insect Treatment
toxicity. Aphids........................................................................ 1, 11
mid‑August for a continuous supply of Blister Beetles.................................................................3
young, tender beets. Also, close planting or failure to thin Cutworms.........................................................................9
Plant seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in rows can cause undersized roots to form. Flea Beetles..............................................................2, 11
Harlequin Bugs..............................................................2
18 inches apart or wider if you use a me‑
chanical cultivator. Beet seeds are actually Harvesting Imported Cabbageworms.................................... 5, 7
Leafhoppers.............................................................2, 11
fruits containing several seeds. Thin the Harvest for greens when the tops are Root Maggots & Seed Maggots...............................1
seedlings when well established to stand 2 large enough for cooking. For good quality Sowbugs...........................................................................9
roots, harvest when they are 1 1/2 inches Stink Bugs........................................................................2
to 3 inches apart in the row. Tarnished Plant Bugs...................................................2
or less in diameter. Beets will keep for sev‑
Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
32
Broccoli Harvesting Damping‑Off, Wirestem (fungi)—See
The heads of broccoli are a mass of flow‑ “Damping‑Off ” discussion for beans;
There are different types of broccoli—an‑
er buds which must be harvested before the wirestem describes condition of seedling
nual green or, more rarely, purple broccoli;
flowers open to show yellow. When ma‑ stem following stem decay. Use fungi‑
“romanesco,” which has yellowish green,
ture, the central head measures 6 to 9 inch‑ cide‑treated seed or buy disease‑free
conical groups of buds arranged in spirals;
es across. Lateral heads are smaller. When transplants. Plant shallowly, in warm soils.
and sprouting broccoli, an overwintering
harvesting, cut 5 to 6 inches of the stem and Avoid transplant shock. PCNB may be ap‑
annual or perennial, rarely grown in this
accompanying leaves with the head. Use or plied to soil immediately before planting
country. Varieties differ in compactness and
freeze broccoli soon after harvesting. to suppress wirestem.
number of sprouting lateral heads. Broccoli
is an excellent home garden vegetable, if the Diseases Insects
wormy insects can be controlled. Black Rot (bacterium)—Yellow or tan‑col‑ See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
ored V‑shaped areas on leaf edges; leaf insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
Planting for treatment options.
Buy transplants locally or produce your veins and vascular ring in stem may be
own and set out April 1 to 15 or by August black; head may decay; young plants may Insect Treatment
1. Transplants for a fall setting can be pro‑ be dwarfed or one‑sided with yellow or Aphids............................................................... 1, 3, 6, 11
brown shriveled leaves. Select tolerant Cabbage Loopers.....................................................6, 7
duced along with cabbage and cauliflower Cutworms....................................................................6, 9
transplants, taking about four to six weeks varieties; use commercially grown, dis‑ Diamondbacked Moths.........................................6, 7
from seeding to setting. Broccoli does ease‑free seed or transplants; rotate broc‑ Flea Beetles.....................................................2, 3, 6, 11
coli with other crops from year to year. Harlequin Bugs.....................................................2, 3, 6
much better as a fall crop. Set plants 14 Imported Cabbageworms.......................1, 2, 3, 6, 7
to18 inches apart in rows 30 inches apart. Sowbugs...........................................................................9
Use starter fertilizer for transplants.

Brussels Sprouts For a fall crop, sow seeds in open plant Diseases: see “Broccoli”
beds from June 15 to July 1. Transplants will
The Brussels sprout is closely related Insects
usually be ready in four to six weeks. Space
to cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. The See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
plants 24 inches apart in the row. Harvest
plant’s edible portions are the buds or insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
will then occur the first part of October. Fall
small heads that grow in the axils of the for treatment options.
harvest is the most practical and rewarding.
leaves. The heads, about 1 inch in diam‑
Insect Treatment
eter, can be prepared like cabbage. Harvesting Aphids........................................................ 1, 3, 6, 10, 11
Sprouts are produced earliest in the ax‑ Cabbage Loopers............................................ 1, 3, 6, 7
Planting ils of the lower leaves of the plant. Harvest Cross-Striped Cabbageworms................... 1, 3, 6, 7
Brussels sprouts do best as an early Cutworms....................................................................6, 9
the sprouts when they are about 1 to 1 1/2 Diamondbacked Moths................................ 1, 3, 6, 7
spring crop or as a fall crop in a cool, moist
inch in diameter. The plant’s lower leaves Flea Beetles.....................................................2, 3, 6, 11
climate. For an early spring crop, start the Harlequin Bugs.....................................................2, 3, 6
should be broken away and the sprouts
seed about eight weeks before the plants Imported Cabbageworms.......................1, 2, 3, 6, 7
twisted or cut off close to the stem with Sowbugs...........................................................................9
are to be transplanted to the garden.
a sharp knife. Make successive harvests
Well‑grown transplants can be transplanted
from the base upwards as the sprouts de‑
to the garden by March 15 in most areas of
velop.
Kentucky, allowing for harvest in mid‑June.

Cabbage sauerkraut because it releases its red color Plants take about three weeks from
to the juices. Generally, late cabbage is seeding to setting during the summer
Cabbage grows in cool temperatures
made into sauerkraut. months. Plant only the earliest‑maturing
but is well‑adapted for home gardens from
varieties after July 5.
March to December. It will withstand Planting Plant spacing affects head size; close
temperatures down to 20°F. Buy locally grown transplants or start spacing (9 to 12 inches apart in the row)
Cabbage heads differ in sizes, hardiness, your own in growing structures four to six produces small heads. The average spacing
shape, color and leaf type. Cabbage can be weeks before the planting date. A few seeds is 14 to 16 inches apart in rows spaced 30
used fresh or made into sauerkraut. Red can be sown in the cold frame or garden inches apart. Varieties for sauerkraut are
cabbage can be pickled and adds color to every month up to July 15 to have cabbage planted at the wider spacing.
slaw, but it is not adapted to cooking or for plants to set at intervals during the season.

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
33
Everything You Should Know about Cabbage—continued.

Harvesting and Storage Long-term Storage Insects


Harvest cabbage when it reaches ad‑ Harvest late fall or winter cabbage once See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
equate size, depending on variety and the weather is cool by pulling up the plant insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
growing conditions. Firm heads are pre‑ with the root still attached. Discard the for treatment options.
ferred to soft heads, especially for storage. loose outer leaves and check for possible Insect Treatment
Heads can be left on the plant in the gar‑ insect problems. Cabbage has a strong Aphids........................................................ 1, 3, 6, 10, 11
den for about two weeks in the summer odor which may contaminate other vege‑ Cabbage Loopers............................................ 1, 3, 6, 7
Cutworms....................................................................6, 9
but longer in the fall after they are ready tables. Hang plants by roots or wrap them Diamondbacked Moths.....................................1, 6, 7
to harvest. Cabbage can be stored in the in several sheets of newspaper tied with Flea Beetles......................................................... 3, 6, 11
refrigerator for a month or two. string. See “Storing Vegetables” on page 30. Harlequin Bugs.....................................................2, 3, 6
Imported Cabbageworms.......................1, 2, 3, 6, 7
Diseases: see “Broccoli” Root Maggots.................................................................1
Sowbugs...........................................................................9

Carrots mixed with it. The radishes will mark the the same room as apples. Apples give off eth‑
row and break the soil crust, making it ylene, which causes carrots to become bitter.
Carrots are rich in vitamin A, thiamine
easier for the carrots to emerge. Thin car‑
and riboflavin. They may be cooked or eat‑
rots to 2 to 3 inches between plants after Insects
en raw. Varieties with extremely long roots See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
the seedlings are 1 to 2 inches tall.
are not recommended for home gardens. insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
Harvesting and Storage for treatment options.
Planting Carrots may be harvested when they
You can plant carrots from March 15 Insect Treatment
reach the desired size. Harvest fall‑planted Aphids........................................................ 1, 3, 6, 10, 11
until the first of July. Sowing at three‑week Cutworms................................................................5, 6, 9
carrots before freezing weather. Wash the
intervals will assure a continuous supply. Flea Beetles.....................................................2, 5, 6, 11
roots, trim tops to 1/2 inch and store in per‑ Root Maggots & Seed Maggots.................................
Plant seed 1/4 inch deep in rows 18
forated plastic bags in the refrigerator, a cold, Sowbugs...........................................................................9
inches or more apart. Since carrot seed
moist cellar or pit. Carrots will keep from
is slow to germinate, radish seed is often
two to four months. Do not store carrots in

Cauliflower Any interruption in growth (cold, heat, age for several weeks is required, leave a
drought) can cause the plant to button. portion of the stalk and leaves to protect
To develop the white center head, or
Cauliflower does much better as a fall crop. the delicate curd.
curd, cauliflower plants probably require
more exact growing conditions than any Blanching Diseases: see “Broccoli”
other vegetable crop. Cauliflower plants Exposing the young curd to sunlight
need a cool, humid climate. Very cold discolors the curd and produces off fla‑ Insects
temperatures or other conditions that in‑ vors. Gather the long leaves over the See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
terrupt growth cause stunting and prema‑ small, white curd and tie them together or insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
ture heading, or “buttoning.” break and band them over the heads. This for treatment options.
Varieties differ in plant size, curd size must be done as soon as the curd begins Insect Treatment
and days to maturity, ranging from 50 to to show. Aphids........................................................ 1, 3, 6, 10, 11
100 days. Cabbage Loopers.................................................1, 3, 7
Cross-Striped Cabbageworms.............1, 3, 6, 7, 10
Harvesting Cutworms....................................................................6, 9
Planting Curds will mature one or two weeks Diamondbacked Moths................................ 1, 3, 6, 7
Buy good quality transplants or start your after tying, reaching about 6 to 9 inches in Flea Beetles.................................................2, 3, 5, 6, 11
own about four to six weeks before trans‑ diameter. Heads will turn from clear white Harlequin Bugs.....................................................2, 3, 6
Imported Cabbageworms.......................1, 2, 3, 6, 7
planting. Set plants 16 inches apart in rows at peak of maturity to yellowish‑brown Sowbugs...........................................................................9
2 1/2 feet apart about March 10 to 25 for when overly mature. Cool immediately
the spring crop and July 15 for the fall crop. after harvest and keep refrigerated. If stor‑

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
34
Chinese Cabbage Planting Harvesting
Chinese cabbage is one of the oldest Chinese cabbage can be more success‑ Harvest heads after the first moderate
vegetable crops, but it is seldom grown by fully grown as a fall rather than a spring frost in the fall. Store Chinese cabbage in
Kentuckians. It is more closely related to crop. Plant seeds in 24‑inch or wider rows perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator,
mustard than to cabbage and is sometimes in late July. Irrigation and mulch will aid cellar or outdoor pit for up to two months.
called Crispy Choy, Chihili, Michili and germination and growth. Plants should be
Wong Bok. The leaves are folded together thinned to 12 to 15 inches in the row. Fer‑
into a conical head more or less open at tilize when half grown.
the top. It is eaten raw or stir‑fried.

Collards Harvesting Insects


Collards are a member of the cabbage Harvest when the leaves reach a suit‑ See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
family used as greens. They are highly nu‑ able size. The entire plant or the lower, insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
tritious and rather easy to grow. larger leaves may be picked. If the lower for treatment options.
leaves are harvested, upper leaves will de‑ Insect Treatment
Planting velop for later use. Collards do not store Aphids........................................................ 1, 3, 6, 10, 11
Sow seed in mid‑March or start plants well, but may be kept in plastic bags in the Cabbage Loopers............................................ 1, 3, 6, 7
Corn Earworms................................................ 1, 2, 6, 7
indoors three weeks before outdoor plant‑ refrigerator for up to 14 days. The surplus Cross-Striped Cabbageworms........................1, 6, 7
ing time. Additional plantings can be can be frozen. Cutworms....................................................................6, 9
made until mid‑August. Plants should be Diamondbacked Moths................................ 1, 3, 6, 7
set or thinned to 2 to 4 inches apart within Diseases: see “Broccoli” Flea Beetles......................................................... 2, 6, 11
Harlequin Bugs.....................................................1, 2, 6
the row. Rows should be 24 inches or wid‑ Imported Cabbageworms.......................1, 2, 3, 6, 7
er if you use mechanical cultivators. Leafhoppers..................................................2, 6, 10, 11
Sowbugs...........................................................................9

Cucumber Pollination Diseases


Cucumber is a warm‑season vegetable. For the flower to develop into a fruit, Anthracnose, Leaf Spots (fungi)—Sunken
Varieties differ in fruit types and uses; both bees must carry pollen from male flow‑ circular or irregular spots with dark mar‑
the slicer, or fresh salad type, and the pickle ers on the same plant or different plants gins and salmon pink centers on fruits and
type are available. The pickle type can also to the female flower, the one with the tiny stems; leaves with brown spots 1/4‑1/2
be used fresh. Varieties differ in flowering “pickle” at the base. Poor cucumber set is inch across; spots may join together and
habit and amount of fruit set. The newer common during rainy weather when bees leaves shrivel and die; other leaf spots vary
gynoecious or all‑female‑flower hybrids are are inactive. Spray insecticides late in the in size and shape of yellow or dead areas on
well adapted to home gardens and produce day to avoid harming the bee population. leaves. Spray with chlorothalonil, maneb, or
high yields. Cucumbers are multiple‑har‑ mancozeb. Start at first sign of disease and
Harvesting continue as needed. Plant disease‑free seed.
vest plants, providing fruits for four to eight Fruits may be used when 1 1/2 to 2 inch‑
weeks. A second planting in mid- to late Bacterial Wilt (bacterium)—Wilting and
es long up to any size before they begin to drying of vines; bacterial ooze can some‑
June will provide quality fruit for late sum‑ turn yellow. The length of this period is ap‑
mer‑early fall harvesting. Only a few plants times be drawn out into fine strands from
proximately 15 days for any one fruit. The cut ends of stems. Use insecticides or
are needed to provide an adequate supply. harvesting period for all fruits extends for other means to control cucumber beetles,
Planting about six to eight weeks before plants begin which transmit the disease‑causing bac‑
Cucumber vines ramble and spread to grow old. It is important to remove fruits teria. Use wilt‑resistant cucumbers. Use a
from row to row. Training on a trellis or before they turn yellow so plants continue very thin floating row cover over trans‑
fence along the edge of the garden will to produce. If fruits are picked early, small plants, sealed at the edges until flowering,
correct this and also lift fruit off soil. If trel‑ plants can bear 35 to 50 cucumbers, but if as a barrier to cucumber beetles.
lised, plant four to five seeds/foot in rows fruits are picked at a large size, only five to Fruit Rot (fungus)—Soft, mushy decay at
spaced 30 inches apart. Untrellised rows 12 cucumbers will form on each plant. Old blossom end of squash fruit; gray, moldy
may need to be spaced 4 feet apart. When cucumbers prevent plant food from going growth resembling a pin‑cushion on rot‑
plants are 4 to 5 inches high, thin them to into the production of new fruit. ted fruit. See Cucumber “Anthracnose;”
stand 2 to 3 feet apart in the row. Cucum‑ spray as young fruits develop.
ber plants are shallow rooted and require Mosaic (virus)(may include several different
ample moisture at all growth stages. aphid‑carried viruses)—Mosaic and mal‑

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
35
Everything You Should Know about Cucumber—continued.

formed leaves. Discolored, lumpy, mal‑ when available. Spray chlorothalonil, cop‑ Insects
formed fruits. Use resistant varieties when per fungicides, sulfur spray or dust at first See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
available. Destroy weeds near the garden. signs of disease and at weekly intervals. insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
Plant crops early or raise transplants in Guard against copper or sulfur phytotox‑ for treatment options.
cold frame or greenhouse and set out as icity under certain weather conditions. Insect Treatment
weather allows. Seed Rot and Damping‑Off (fungi)—Stand Aphids.............................................................1, 6, 10, 11
Powdery mildew (fungus)—White, pow‑ failure due to seed rot or seedling death. Cucumber Beetles...............................................1, 2, 6
dery growth on leaves, yellowing and Plant seed in warm soils or raised beds. Cutworms....................................................................6, 9
Leafhoppers..................................................2, 6, 10, 11
blighting of foliage. Use resistant varieties Use commercially treated seed. Mites...........................................................................1, 10
Sowbugs...........................................................................9

Eggplant Harvesting Insects


Eggplant is a subtropical vegetable, very Fruits are edible from the time they are See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
susceptible to cold soils and frost. Hybrid one‑third grown until they are ripe and insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
varieties are popular. remain edible after achieving full color. for treatment options.
Remove mature fruits so new ones can Insect Treatment
Planting develop. Aphids........................................................ 1, 3, 6, 10, 11
Buy transplants locally or grow your Cut fruits from the plant so that the Colorado Potato Beetles................................ 8, 6, 11
Corn Earworms......................................................... 2, 6
own in pots in growing structures. Trans‑ branches will not be broken, and handle Cutworms....................................................................6, 9
plants require about eight to ten weeks to the easily bruised fruits carefully. Store Flea Beetles.....................................................2, 3, 6, 11
develop when grown from seed. Set plants them in a refrigerator. Grasshoppers........................................................2, 6, 9
Hornworms................................................................ 2, 6
after late frost, about May 15. Maintain as Leafhoppers..................................................2, 6, 10, 11
much of the root system as possible at set‑ Diseases Mites..................................................................................1
ting and fertilize with a liquid starter solu‑ The only serious disease of eggplant Sowbugs...........................................................................9
tion. Eggplant is more susceptible to cold that we see in Kentucky is Verticillium Stink Bugs................................................................... 2, 6
injury than tomato. Fruit should be avail‑ wilt. See “Tomatoes.”
able 50 to 80 days after transplanting.

Garlic Planting Harvesting


There is only one species of true garlic. Planting and culture of garlic differ little Many gardeners enjoy eating the green
Allium sativum, an herbaceous biennial from onions, but many gardeners believe shoots and leaves of garlic plants. How‑
which belongs to the lily family. It is usu‑ garlic is more exacting in its requirements. ever, cutting them continuously inhib‑
ally divided into two subspecies ophios- No one cultivar or cultural practice is best its bulb formation. By early June, flower
cordon (hardneck or top set garlic) and suited for every situation. An open, sunny stalks may appear and should be cut back
sativum (softneck garlic). Hardneck garlic location, with a fertile well drained soil that and discarded so the plant’s energies can
produces flower stalks called scapes and is high in organic matter is desirable. Fertil‑ be directed toward root and bulb forma‑
bulbils at the top of the stalk. Soft-neck izer is usual applied beginning in the spring tion. Some people eat the flower stalk.
garlic usually does not produce bulbils but as side-dressings every two weeks until Bulbs begin to mature or ripen in mid-July
produces larger bulbs with more cloves bulbs begin to form. Garlic is day length sen‑ and early August, and the leaves become
per bulb. The cloves which make up the sitive and begins to bulb around the sum‑ yellow and the leaf tips turn brown. When
mature garlic bulb are used for propaga‑ mer solstice. In Kentucky, it is best to plant the leaves have yellowed, lift the plants
tion. Propagation from bulbils is more dif‑ garlic in October and early November. Plant and dry the bulbs in a partly shaded stor‑
ficult and requires two years to produce individual cloves root end down and cover age area for about 2 weeks. After drying
mature bulbs. Hardneck garlic cultivars with two to three inches of well-drained soil. the tops may be removed, braided or tied
usually do better in colder climates and Allow six inches between sets. Mulch helps and then hung in a cool, well-ventilated
produce larger cloves that are easier to provide winter protection and conserves spot. Dampness invites rotting. Properly
peel. moisture during the summer. On hardneck dried garlic should last for 6-7 months at
garlic remove any flowering stalk that forms 32F and 70% RH.
to increase bulb size. During the growing
season garlic needs 1 in. of water/week.
Stop watering about 2 weeks before harvest.

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
36
Kale Planting Diseases: see “Broccoli”
Kale is related to cabbage, collards, Seeds may be sown in the spring or in
late summer where the plants are to stand, Insects
cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
Kale is especially valuable nutritionally or they may be sown in seedbeds in the
greenhouse or hotbed and transplanted to insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
since it supplies important amounts of vi‑ for treatment options.
tamin A, ascorbic acid and iron. Pound for the garden. Plant a spring crop as early as
pound, greens such as kale contain many the soil can be prepared. Insect Treatment
Space plants 8 to 12 inches apart; rows Aphids........................................................................ 1, 11
times more vitamin A than snap beans, Armyworms.....................................................................1
sweet corn or green peppers. Varieties are should be 24 to 30 inches apart. Tall‑grow‑ Cabbage Loopers..........................................................7
widely diverse, being tall or short, erect or ing types need the wider spacing. Cutworms.........................................................................9
Plant seed for the fall crop in late July Flea Beetles..............................................................2, 11
flattened. Harlequin Bugs..............................................................2
and August.

Leeks Planting Harvesting


The leek resembles the onion in adapt‑ Sow seed in early spring in rows 20 Leeks are ready to use after they reach
ability and cultural requirements. Instead inches or wider apart. Thin plants to 3 to 4 a suitable size. Under favorable condi‑
of a bulb, leeks produce a thick, fleshy cyl‑ inches apart within the row. Soil should be tions they grow to 1 1/2 inches or more
inder like a large green onion. The flavor hilled around leeks as they grow to blanch in diameter, with white parts 6 to 8 inches
is milder than an onion’s. They are used in them once they have the diameter of a long. They may be dug in autumn and
soups, sauces and as a pot herb. pencil. stored like celery.

Lettuce ticed, especially in the fall garden. Border is mature when leaves overlap to form a
planting along the edges of the garden or head similar to that available in the stores.
Lettuce is an important cool‑season
flower bed is excellent. Make succession Crisphead lettuce will store about two
vegetable crop for salads and one of the
plantings so that lettuce will be available weeks in the crisper drawer of the refrig‑
easiest to grow. It tolerates light frost, but
from May through November. Lettuce, es‑ erator before russetting begins. Leaf and
intense sunlight and high summer tem‑
pecially leaf and bibb, does well in hotbeds bibb will store as long as four weeks if the
peratures cause seedstalk formation and
during the winter months and in cold leaves are dry when bagged. If lettuce is to
bitter flavors, especially in bibb types.
frames in the spring and late fall. be stored, harvest when dry. Do not wash;
Slow‑bolting or heat‑resistant varieties are
place in a plastic bag, and store in the
available. Problems crisper drawer. Wash before use.
There are four types of lettuce: crisp‑ “Tipburn” is a physiological problem
head, the most common fresh market where the tips or edges of the lettuce Diseases
type; butterhead or bibb, most commonly leaves turn brown during a dry, hot period Damping-off—Use fungicide-treated
grown in forcing structures; romaine or that has followed moist weather. No dis‑ seed and plant into well-drained soils.
cos, a very nutritious lettuce that forms an ease organism is associated, so chemical Bottom rot—Cultural practices and crop
upright head; and leaf, the most common sprays will not correct the problem. Plants rotation are important tools to manage
home garden lettuce. The color of the leaf grown in shady areas are less affected than this disease. Do not plant lettuce after
varieties differ from shades of green to red. those grown in full sun and dry areas. beans, and turn under grass and other
crops early to ensure thorough rotting be‑
Planting Harvesting fore planting. Avoid wet, poorly drained
Seeds of leaf varieties are generally You can pick leaf lettuce as soon as the sites.
sown in rows, 20 to 30 seeds/foot, with plants reach a suitable size. The older,
rows 8 to 12 inches apart. For early and outer leaves contain high levels of calcium Insects
late planting, cos and head types should and can be used first. Also, thinning the See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
be started as transplants and spaced 12 to rows prevents crowding, so you may wish insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
18 inches apart in rows 20 inches apart. to harvest every other plant or the very for treatment options.
Plant lettuce on the shady side of largest plants first. Insect Treatment
tall‑growing crops such as sweet corn, Bibb lettuce is mature when leaves be‑ Aphids................................................................. 1, 10, 11
staked tomatoes and pole beans, or in gin to cup inward to form a loose head. Corn Earworms..............................................................2
other cool areas of the garden. Interplant‑ Cutworms.........................................................................9
Cos or romaine is ready to use when leaves Grasshoppers........................................................1, 2, 9
ing (planting between rows or plants of have elongated and overlapped to form Imported Cabbageworms.........................................1
later‑maturing crops like tomatoes, broc‑ a fairly tight head about 4 inches wide at Leafhoppers.........................................................1, 2, 11
coli and Brussels sprouts) can be prac‑ the base and 6 to 8 inches tall. Crisphead Sowbugs...........................................................................9

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
37
Muskmelons out‑of‑doors. Cantaloupes grown from ily. Care should be taken when walking
transplants can be harvested as much as through the garden to avoid injury to
Muskmelons, commonly called can‑
two weeks earlier than those grown di‑ plants. Plants can be trained during the
taloupes, are a warm‑season crop. They
rectly from seed. Be careful not to injure early stages of development to grow in
require a relatively long growing season
the roots of seedlings when transplant‑ rows for easier harvesting. Growing on a
of 80 to 100 days from seed to marketable
ing cantaloupes. Use starter fertilizer for trellis allows for closer spacing (3 feet be‑
fruit. Some cultivars are not well suited to
transplants. tween rows) than is possible when plants
small gardens because of space required
Cantaloupes should receive a nitrogen lie on the ground. Spraying to control
for growing the large vines. Cantaloupe
sidedressing when they begin to vine. beetles, aphids and fungal diseases is nec‑
grows quite well on black plastic mulch.
essary.
Pollination
Planting and Transplanting Male and female flowers are separate Diseases: see “Cucumber”
Cantaloupes can be produced from
on the same plant. Bees must carry pollen
transplants, or they can be direct‑seed‑
from the male flower to the female flower Insects
ed. Rows should be 5 feet apart with See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
to ensure good fruit set and development.
hills spaced 2 to 3 feet apart in the rows. insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
Delay insecticide applications until late in
Plant two or three seeds per hill. The seed for treatment options.
the day to prevent killing bees.
should be placed 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep af‑ Insect Treatment
ter danger of frost is past. Harvesting and Handling Aphids.............................................................1, 6, 10, 11
To produce transplants, plant seed in Melons should be harvested at full slip Cucumber Beetles................................................... 1, 6
individual containers three to four weeks Cutworms....................................................................6, 9
stage. The term “full slip” indicates that Leafhoppers..................................................1, 6, 10, 11
before the plants are to be transplanted fruit will pull away from the vine eas‑

Mustard Greens from late July to early September as a fall Harvesting


crop. Successive plantings during these Pick leaves as they become large
Mustard greens are easy to grow, and
periods will assure a continuous supply. enough to use. Greens mature quickly and
they reach maturity quickly. They can be
Seed may be broadcast or sown in rows do not store well, so several plantings may
cooked or used in salads.
and thinned to 3 inches apart. Thinned be desired. Mustard greens can be stored
Planting plants may be cooked or eaten fresh. in plastic bags in the refrigerator for one to
Mustard tends to bolt or go to seed Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in rows 18 two weeks.
quickly in hot weather. Plant in early inches or farther apart. Remove plants
March to late May as a spring crop and which bolt.

Okra Planting Insects


Okra is a warm‑season crop. Varieties Soak seeds for 6 hours in warm water See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
differ in plant size, pod type and color, and and sow about 12 inches apart in rows 30 insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
number of spines. Dwarf plants without inches apart. for treatment options.
spines and with smooth, green pods are Insect Treatment
Harvesting Aphids........................................................................ 1, 11
best for home gardens. Fruits are used as Break off pods when they are about 2 to Blister Beetles.................................................................2
flavoring in soups, such as gumbo, and 4 inches long. Once harvesting starts, con‑ Japanese Beetles...................................................... 1, 2
they can be fried. tinue to harvest every two to three days un‑
til frost. Store pods in plastic bags in the re‑
frigerator for a week, or blanche and freeze
them for later use. They pickle nicely also.

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
38
Onions Sets of Egyptian tree or multiplier on‑ are thorough ventilation, uniform temper‑
ions should be harvested in late October or atures of 35° to 40°F, dry atmosphere, and
The two main types of onions are Ameri‑
early November. Fall‑planted sets should protection against actual freezing.
can (pungent) and foreign (mild). Each type
be spaced 4 inches apart in rows 1 to 2 feet
has three distinct colors: yellow, white and
apart. (Distance between rows is deter‑ Long-term Storage
red. In general, the American onion pro‑ The best varieties for storage are grown
mined by available space and cultivating
duces bulbs of smaller size, denser texture, from seeds rather than sets. Harvest them
equipment). Onions are shallow‑rooted and
stronger flavor and better keeping quality. when tops have turned brown and died or
compete poorly with weeds and grasses.
For green or bunching onions, use sets, in late fall before the ground freezes. Re‑
seeds or transplants for spring planting. Harvesting and Storage move bruised onions or onions with thick
For fall planting, use Egyptian or perennial Pull green onions whenever the tops are “bull necks” and use them first because
tree and the yellow multiplier or potato 6 inches high. Bulb onions should be har‑ they will not store well. Onions must be al‑
onion sets. vested when about two‑thirds of the tops lowed to dry for several weeks before stor‑
Onions that keep well in storage are globe have fallen over. Careful handling to avoid age. Spread them no more than two layers
types. Globe varieties are yellow, red and bruising will pay big dividends in control‑ deep on newspaper. Put them out of the
white. They should be grown from seeds. ling storage rots. Onions may be pulled and direct sun in a well‑ventilated area until the
left to dry. Place them so bulbs are partly skins are papery and the roots shrivelled.
Planting covered with tops to avoid sunscald. If When they are dry, hang them in braids
Spring‑planted sets are popular and may
space is available, onions may be placed in‑ or put them in mesh bags. Braid them
be placed 1 to 2 inches apart and 1 to 2
side a building for curing. Tops may be left soon after digging while the stalks are still
inches deep in the row. Thin them to 4‑inch
on or cut off. When curing inside, spread pliable. Store in a well‑ventilated, cool,
spacing by pulling and using the thinned
onions out. Onions may be hung up to dry dry, dark area. See “Storing Vegetables” on
plants as green onions. Rows should be 12
in small bunches. Before storing, remove page 30.
to 18 inches apart. Avoid large sets in spring
most of the top from each onion, leaving
plantings. Sets more than 7/8 inch in diam‑
about 3/4 inch. Put onions in mesh bags, Insects
eter are likely to produce seed stalks. Divide See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
ventilated wooden crates or a well‑ventilat‑
the onion sets into two sizes before planting. insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
ed storage space after they have thoroughly
Large sets (bigger than a dime) are best used for treatment options.
cured. Curing usually takes three to four
for green onions. The smaller sets produce
weeks. Immature, soft and thick‑necked Insect Treatment
the best bulbs for large, dry onions. Early Root Maggots & Seed Maggots...............................1
bulbs should not be stored with other on‑
planting and/or exposure to cold tempera‑ Thrips......................................................................1, 6, 11
ions. The essentials for successful storage
tures may also cause seed stalk development.

Parsnips be difficult to get a good stand if soils are Harvesting and Storage
heavy and moisture is low. Hasten germi‑ Parsnip roots may be dug in late fall,
Parsnips are a hardy, full‑season, winter
nation and emergence by (1) sowing a few topped and stored at 32° to 40°F in a root
vegetable. Their high food value and eat‑
radish seeds along with the parsnip—they cellar or in an outdoor pit. They may be
ing quality are greatly improved by storing
will help break soil crust and allow pars‑ left in the ground through winter. Parsnips
at near‑freezing temperatures, which in‑
nip seedlings to emerge and also provide will tolerate alternate freezing and thaw‑
creases the sugar content. This crop stores
a double crop; (2) covering the seed with ing in soil but will be damaged if frozen af‑
well and is therefore available for eating
leaf mold, ashes or sandy soil; (3) firm‑ ter harvest. A heavy mulch over the pars‑
from late fall to late winter.
ing the covering material over the row nips will delay freezing of the soil; mulch
Parsnips require a long growing time,
and watering with a watering can or spray can be pulled aside, and parsnips can be
from 100 to 60 days. One 20‑ to 25‑foot
nozzle. harvested late into the winter. See “Storing
row of parsnips is usually ample for a fam‑
The seed should be planted 1/2 to 3/4 Vegetables” on page 30.
ily’s needs.
inch deep from June 15 to July 1 in rows
Planting spaced 18 inches apart, with seeds 2 to Insects
Parsnip seed retains its vitality for only 3 inches apart in the row. When plants See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
about one year, so never plant old seed. are grown too far apart the roots become insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
The seed is slow to germinate, and it may large and the edible portion has a woody, for treatment options.
fibrous texture. Insect Treatment
Cutworms.........................................................................9
Sowbugs...........................................................................9

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
39
Peas will tolerate light freezes. A few successive Harvesting
plantings can be made at one‑ to two‑week Harvest peas when pods have filled.
Peas are a cool‑season crop and should
intervals. A single planting of early‑, mid‑ For tender peas, harvest a bit immature.
only be planted in early spring or late sum‑
season‑ and late‑maturing varieties will Use peas as soon after harvest as possible.
mer. Peas are legumes and may benefit
also extend the supply. Plant a fall crop of They will stay fresh longer if left in the
from inoculation with the proper Rhizo‑
snow or snap peas around the first week of pods until they are to be cooked. They will
bium bacterial culture, available from gar‑
August. These plants will require irrigation. keep up to a week in plastic bags in the
den supply stores. This culture enables the
Sow about 15 seeds/foot of row and refrigerator. Some varieties are superior to
plants to use nitrogen in the atmosphere so
cover about 1 inch deep. Rows of dwarf others for freezing.
that nitrogen fertilizer need not be applied.
varieties should be planted 2 1/2 to 3
Podded peas (snow or sugar peas and Insects
feet apart, and tall varieties 3 1/2 to 4 feet
snap peas) are usually eaten cooked or See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
apart. Tall varieties of peas will benefit
raw, pod and all. They possess the tender‑ insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
from some support for the vines. Branches
ness and pod qualities of snap beans and for treatment options.
may be placed in the row, or seeds may be
the flavor and sweetness of fresh English
planted along a fence or string trellis. Insect Treatment
peas. Seeds may be shelled and eaten like Aphids........................................................................ 1, 11
Dwarf pea varieties seldom need sup‑
regular peas if pods develop too fast. Cutworms.........................................................................9
port. Many gardeners plant twin rows of Sowbugs...........................................................................9
Planting dwarf varieties 6 to 10 inches apart and al‑
Plant peas in spring as soon as soil is low them to support themselves. The peas
workable. Early planting normally produc‑ may also be scattered about 4 inches apart
es larger yields than later plantings. They in all directions in rows about 2 feet wide.

Peppers mechanical cultivators are used. Set plants household bleach (1/2 cup/pint of water);
14 to 18 inches apart within the row. air dry promptly, then plant. Use disease‑free
A number of pepper types are avail‑
transplants; spray with fixed copper at first
able to the home gardener. These include Harvesting sign of disease and thereafter as needed.
bell or green, banana, pimento, cherry, Harvest peppers when they are firm. If Fruit Soft Rot (bacteria)—Smelly, soft de‑
cayenne or red or green chili peppers, ser‑ red fruits are desired, allow the green fruit cay of fruit. Control fruit‑feeding insects
rano, yellow wax, habanero, and other hot to remain on the plant until the red color and bacterial leaf spot.
types. All are grown similarly. develops. Cut peppers from the plant to
prevent injuring the plant and remain‑ Insects
Planting ing fruit. Leaving a short piece of stem See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
Begin transplants indoors eight to ten
will allow the pepper to store longer. Store insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
weeks before planting time. Set plants af‑
peppers in the refrigerator in plastic bags. for treatment options.
ter all danger of frost has past. Direct seed‑
They will keep two to three weeks. Gather Insect Treatment
ing of peppers in the garden may be done,
remaining peppers before a hard frost. Aphids....................................................................1, 6, 11
but transplants are generally more satisfac‑ Cutworms................................................................5, 6, 9
tory and will provide heavier yields. Use a Diseases European Corn Borers........................................2, 5, 6
starter fertilizer when transplanting. Apply Bacterial Spot (bacterium)—Dark brown Flea Beetles..........................................................5, 6, 11
Sowbugs...........................................................................9
supplemental fertilizer cautiously and only to tan irregular spots on leaves; leaves turn
after a good crop of peppers is set. Rows yellow and drop from the plant. Treat seed
should be 30 to 36 inches apart or wider if by washing for 40 minutes in a solution of

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
40
Potatoes Cultivation minimizes losses due to skinning. Potatoes
At planting, pull a ridge of soil over should be quickly removed from the field
In Kentucky, potatoes can be grown as
each row. Dragging across the ridges just or shaded during periods of bright sunlight
an early crop for fresh use in early summer
before the sprouts break through helps and high temperature to avoid the danger
and as a late crop for table use in winter.
eliminate any weeds and grasses and al‑ of sunscald. Be careful to avoid bruising
Both white‑skinned and red‑skinned va‑
lows the sprouts to break through more the tubers at all times. Dig late potato crop
rieties are excellent for planting. Choose
easily. Later cultivation should be shallow when first frost has nipped the vines.
an early‑maturing variety and a medium‑
and far enough from rows to make certain
to late‑maturing variety. The planting
no roots are pruned. Storage
time for early potatoes is from March 1 to With proper care, potatoes can be stored
April 10; for the late crop, June 15. The late When tops have made sufficient growth
that cultivation must stop, a finishing cul‑ for four to six months. The most important
planting will generally give a lower yield factor is storage temperature, 40°F being
than the spring planting. tivation, sometimes called “laying by,” is
given. “Laying by” throws soil over the po‑ ideal. Sprouting in storage is a serious prob‑
Recently turned‑under sod may have lem at high temperatures. Other impor‑
populations of grub worms and/or wire‑ tatoes to help prevent exposure to the sun,
which can cause greening and “scalding.” tant factors include maintenance of high
worms which can cause serious damage to humidity (80% to 90%), proper ventilation,
developing potato tubers unless soil insec‑ Problems and having tubers which are free of disease
ticides are used. The yield of potato tubers Virus diseases such as mosaic and leaf when placed in storage. Clean your storage
is influenced by season, variety, moisture roll can be carried in the seed piece and room thoroughly before storing potatoes.
availability and the amount of nutrient ele‑ transmitted from one plant to another by
ments available to the plant. Highest yields insects. Use certified seed, which is rela‑ Long-term Storage
are obtained in years with cool springs and tively free of viruses. Good insect control Late maturing potatoes will store bet‑
adequate moisture throughout the season. will also help prevent infection. ter than early ones. Harvest after the vines
Rhizoctonia “scurf ” appears on mature die completely and when the ground is
Fertilizers damp but not wet. Remove the withered
Potatoes require large amounts of fertiliz‑ tubers as small, black specks, known as
“the dirt that can’t be washed off.” Using vines before digging. Dig carefully to avoid
er. A soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5 is considered most bruising and let tubers surface dry before
desirable; however, scab disease will usually clean seed and rotation will help prevent
occurrence of this disease. storing. Potatoes need to be cured for ten
be less when pH is between 5.0 and 5.2. to 14 days at 50° to 55°F in the dark with
In addition to the base application of “Hollow heart,” a condition where large
potatoes have a hollow center, is caused high relative humidity before storing.
fertilizer worked into the garden soil, add They will turn green and become bitter
about 1/4 pound of 10‑20‑10 for each 75 by the potato growing too rapidly or get‑
ting too large. Closer spacing of plants if exposed to light. If tubers in the garden
feet of row. Work this into the bottom of are set shallow and are turning green, they
the furrow and mix with soil before put‑ will cause tubers to grow slower and be
smaller. High temperatures (above 95°F) should be hilled (covered with soil) for
ting down the seed piece. two to three weeks. Most will be normal
may cause black discoloration inside po‑
when dug. Pack them unwashed in bas‑
Seed Selection and Planting tato tubers due to lack of oxygen during
kets, boxes or open mesh bags. Sprouting
Purchase certified seed stock. The rapid respiration.
Knobby tubers are caused when the of potatoes indicates they were stored in
“certified” means that stock has been
potato stops growing, due to drought, and too warm a place. Sweet‑tasting potatoes
inspected for diseases which cause low
then starts growing again when moisture indicate that they were stored in too cool a
yields. Seed potatoes should be firm and
is supplied. place. See “Storing Vegetables” on page 30.
unsprouted. Wilted and sprouted pota‑
toes usually have lost vigor from being too Fine, black strands or necrosis inside the Diseases: White or Irish Potatoes
warm in storage. potato’s vascular tissue may be due to freeze Black Leg (bacterium) and other seedborne
Cut seed pieces to about 2 ounces for damage in handling or storage or to heat diseases (fungi, nematodes)—Stems decay
planting. Each seed piece should have two damage in the garden or storage. Irrigation and blacken at or below ground line; tops
to three eyes. Potatoes weighing about 6 and mulching will help keep the soil cool. grow poorly, may turn yellow, wilt and die;
ounces will cut into three pieces nicely. soft rot on tubers in storage. Seed tubers
Potatoes planted in early March should Harvesting
The early crop of potatoes can be dug decay; poor stands or low yields result.
be planted in furrows 3 to 5 inches deep, Plant only certified disease‑free tubers;
and the late crop should be planted 5 to 6 before the skins are mature and while they
are still somewhat small. For mature po‑ plant cut seed immediately or allow to
inches deep. Seed pieces should be spaced cork over before planting; allow tubers to
10 to 12 inches apart, and furrows about tatoes, wait and harvest after vines have
been dead for two weeks so skins of po‑ warm up several days before planting; do
36 inches apart. not plant cold potatoes in cold soil.
tatoes will have toughened. This method

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
41
Everything You Should Know about Potatoes—continued.

Early Blight (fungus)—See Tomato “Early sides during cool, moist weather; whole Insects
Blight” for description. See Potato “Late plant can become blighted; tuber infection See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
Blight” for control suggestions. Maintain causes discoloration under skin and decay insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
adequate nitrogen fertility to reduce early in field or storage. Use varieties with par‑ for treatment options.
blight susceptibility. tial resistance; plant disease‑free tubers. Insect Treatment
Late Blight (fungus)—Nationally, the Use chlorothalonil, copper fungicides, Aphids................................................................. 6, 10, 11
potential for late blight has increased maneb, or mancozeb as needed. Blister Beetles.................................................................2
greatly, but this disease is relatively rare Scab (bacterium)—Rough, scabby lesions Colorado Potato Beetles............................2, 6, 8, 11
Cutworms................................................................2, 6, 9
in Kentucky. Dead areas on leaves, brown on tubers. Plant resistant varieties; do not Leafhoppers..................................................1, 6, 10, 11
or dark purple color, variable in size with apply manure within 2 months of plant‑ Sowbugs...........................................................................9
white or gray moldy growth on leaf under‑ ing; maintain acid soil for potato culture.

Pumpkins Harvesting soon decay around the stem scar. Han‑


Harvest pumpkins whenever they are a dle pumpkins and squash carefully to
Pumpkins should only be grown if
deep, solid color and the rind has hard‑ avoid bruising. All winter pumpkins and
a great deal of space is available. Many
ened but before they are injured by hard squashes should be cured in a warm, dry
people plant pumpkins among early corn.
frost. When cutting pumpkins from the place for ten days at 75° to 85°F before
Pumpkins are one of the few vegetables
vine, leave a portion of the stem attached. storage at 50° to 55°F in a dry area. Exam‑
which thrive under partial shade, and
Pumpkins keep best in a well‑ventilated ine the fruit every few weeks for mold and
sweet corn will be harvested before they
place where the temperature is 55° to 60°F. discard any contaminated produce. See
require a great deal of room. For extra
“Storing Vegetables” on page 30.
large pumpkins, remove all but one or two Long-term Storage
fruits from a vine. Winter squash and pumpkins must Diseases: see “Cucumber”
Planting stay on the plants until fully mature. Fruit
maturity can be roughly estimated by Insects
Plant pumpkins for Halloween around See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
mid‑June. If pumpkins are planted too pressure from the thumbnail on the fruit
skin. If the skin is hard and impervious to insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
early they may rot before Halloween. Seed for treatment options.
pumpkins in hills spaced 8 to 12 feet apart scratching, then it is mature.
Harvest before a hard frost with a sharp Insect Treatment
in each direction. Do not plant until all Aphids.............................................................1, 6, 10, 11
danger of frost is past. knife, leaving at least 1 inch of stem at‑ Cucumber Beetles...............................................1, 2, 6
tached. Fruit picked without a stem will Squash Bugs............................................................... 2, 6

Radishes seven‑ to ten‑day intervals since radish‑ Diseases


Radishes are easy and quick to grow.
es are in prime condition for only a few Damping off—Use fungicide-treated
days. Plant in early spring or as a fall crop seed and plant into well-drained soils.
Cool weather is essential for highest rad‑
around the first of August.
ish quality since they become “hot” and Insects
woody in hot weather. Small, round vari‑ Harvesting See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
eties mature more quickly than long types. Harvest radishes when roots are 1/2 to insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
1 inch in diameter. Radishes remain in ed‑ for treatment options.
Planting ible condition for only a short time before
Sow seed 1/4 inch deep in rows 12 Insect Treatment
they become pithy and hot. Wash roots, Cutworms................................................................5, 6, 9
inches or wider. Radishes should be
trim both tap root and tops and store in Fleabeetles........................................................ 1, 2, 5, 6
thinned to allow 2 to 3 inches between Root Maggots & Seed Maggots...............................1
plastic bags in refrigerator. They will keep Sowbugs...........................................................................9
plants. Make several small plantings at
up to a month.

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
42
Rhubarb Crown pieces are usually transplant‑ Special Note
ed in rows 4 to 5 feet apart, with plants To promote and maintain vigorous
Rhubarb is propagated by planting
spaced along the row 3 feet apart. Crown growth, rhubarb should not be allowed to
pieces of rhubarb crown. These pieces can
pieces should be planted with 2 to 3 flower. Remove flower stalks as soon as
be purchased commercially or obtained
inches of soil above the pieces. Since this they appear by cutting or pinching them
from old plants. If you have an old plant,
planting is intended to stay in place for off near the crown of the plant.
cut through the crown between the buds,
more than one season, it should be at the
leaving as large a piece of storage root as Diseases
edge of the garden or along a fence.
possible with each large bud. Plant crown Crown Rot (bacteria and fungi)—Brown,
Each year, soon after the ground is fro‑
in early spring (March). If you must hold soft, decayed areas at base of leaf stalk;
zen, cover the rows with straw or similar
the crown for a week or longer before decay spreads to crown and other stalks;
mulch material. Rake it off the row in early
planting, store it in a cool, dark place. leaves wilt and plant dies. Carefully re‑
spring so new growth can get started.
Divide crowns and make new plantings move and destroy decayed plants; spray
when plants have borne for about four Harvesting crowns of nearby healthy plants with fixed
years, or whenever the production of nu‑ Rhubarb may be harvested for a short copper fungicide; start a planting in a
merous small stalks indicates that crowns period during the second year and for full new location using disease‑free plants on
are becoming crowded. harvest (eight to ten weeks) during the raised or well‑drained beds.
Propagation by seed is not recom‑ third growing season and thereafter. Pull
mended because rhubarb seedlings do not stalks from the base instead of cutting Insects
“come true to type” from parent plants. them. If seedstalks develop, cut them from Eliminate curly doc weeds that may
the base of the plant as soon as they appear. serve as host for rhubarb curculio.

Southern Peas Planting they can be left to further mature the seed.
Sow seeds 2 to 3 inches apart in rows 30 Shell before pods turn yellow. For dry use, let
The southern pea, a warm‑season crop,
inches apart. pods turn brown or yellow and then shell.
is sometimes referred to as cow pea, yard‑
long bean, asparagus bean, crowder pea, Harvesting Diseases and Insects: see “Beans”
field pea and black‑eyed pea. It is not a Vegetable can be used fresh, canned,
true pea but a bean with high protein con‑ frozen or as dry shelled beans.
tent that is commonly grown in the South. Both seeds and pods are eaten in the
This crop should be included in every green, immature stage like snap beans, or
Kentucky home garden.

Spinach Planting Diseases


Spinach is a quick‑maturing, cool‑sea‑ Sow seeds around March 1 in rows Damping-off may be biggest problem
son crop of high nutritional value. It can spaced 12 to 18 inches apart. Start fall seed‑ for home garden. Use fungicide-treated
be grown early in spring and from late fall ing between August 15 and September 1. seed and plant into well-drained soils.
into winter. Hot summer days cause it to Thin plants to stand 4 to 6 inches apart in
rows. It is important to firm soil over the Insects
bolt. Some varieties will mature as early as See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
20 to 40 days after sowing under favorable rows so there is good contact with seed for
high germination. Spinach grows best with insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
weather conditions. Spinach is well‑adapt‑ for treatment options.
ed to winter production in cold frames. ample moisture and fertile, well‑drained soil.
Insect Treatment
Varieties differ in seed type (smooth Harvesting Aphids........................................................................ 1, 11
or round vs. prickly seeded) and in leaf Cut whole plants at soil surface when Armyworms............................................................2, 7, 9
type (smooth vs. savoy‑leaves). The Cabbage Loopers..........................................................7
they reach 4 to 6 inches in diameter. Making Cutworms.........................................................................9
round‑seeded types are most popular. successive plantings is better than remov‑ Sowbugs...........................................................................9
ing only outer leaves, allowing inner leaves
to make additional growth. Use or place in
refrigerator immediately after harvest.

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
43
Squash Planting keeping quality. Leave a portion of stems
Seed summer squash in the garden and handle carefully to avoid bruising.
Squash may be divided into two class‑
after danger of frost is past, in hills 4 feet Keep in a well‑ventilated place for several
es—summer and winter.
apart with two to three seeds/hill. Bush weeks and examine frequently for decay.
Summer squash are bush‑type plants
types of winter squash use the same spac‑ Remaining sound fruit should be placed in
and are well suited for small gardens.
ing, but separate vining types by at least 6 a clean area with a temperature of around
Fruits are eaten in immature stages, when
to 8 feet between hills. 55°F and with 60% relative humidity.
the rind can be easily penetrated by the
For extra early fruit, plant seeds in Acorn squash do not store longer than a
thumbnail. Under favorable conditions,
peat pots in greenhouses or hotbeds and month or so. See “Storing Vegetables” on
most summer varieties produce their first
transplant them to the garden about three page 30.
usable fruits seven to eight weeks after
weeks later. Squashes are warm‑season
planting and continue to bear several
plants and do not do well until soil and air Long-term Storage: see “Pumpkins”
weeks afterward.
Winter squash include varieties such as temperatures are above 60°F. Soil pH can Diseases: see “Cucumber”
butternut, hubbard and acorn and require be between 5.5 and 7.5.
more room than summer types. Bush type Black plastic can be put on soil, and Insects
winter squash such as ‘Table King’ and seed or transplants can be planted See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
‘Gold Nugget’ are available, so this veg‑ through the plastic. Seed should be cov‑ insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
etable could be part of smaller gardens. ered 1 inch deep with soil. for treatment options.
The division between winter squash and Insect Treatment
Storage Aphids....................................................................1, 6, 11
pumpkins is not absolute. Winter squash Summer squash will store up to a week Cucumber Beetles.......................................... 1, 2, 5, 6
have flesh that is dark orange, sweeter, if kept in a perforated plastic bag in the Cutworms....................................................................6, 9
less fibrous, and higher in dry matter than refrigerator. Take care in harvesting not to Sowbugs...........................................................................9
pumpkins and summer squash. Winter Squash Bugs............................................................... 2, 6
bruise or injure fruits. Squash Vine Borers.................................................. 5, 6
squash have hard rinds and are well adapt‑ Harvest winter squash for storage when
ed for storage. Harvest for storage only the rind is quite hard. Do not leave them
when the rind is hard enough to resist exposed to frost, which reduces their
denting by a thumbnail.

Sweet Corn If both these cultivars are desired in the For early‑maturing varieties that pro‑
same growing season and you do not want duce small plants, plant at row spacings of
Sweet corn varieties differ a great deal
mixed kernels, stagger the planting of one 30 inches with plants 8 to 9 inches apart
in quality and time of maturity. Weath‑
of them by two weeks. No cross pollina‑ in the row. For medium to large plant
er is also an important influence on the
tion should occur if planting times are varieties, use a 36‑inch to 40‑inch row
number of days required to reach matu‑
scheduled accordingly. spacing with plants 12 inches apart in the
rity from seeding date. Maturation may be
row. Plant at least three or four rows of the
increased under high temperature condi‑ Fertilization same variety in a block for good pollina‑
tions or delayed under cool ones. An additional sidedressing of ammo‑ tion and ear fill.
To keep sugar content high in su‑ nium nitrate when corn is knee‑high, us‑
per‑sweet cultivars and to avoid mixtures ing about 1/4 pound per 25 feet of row, Harvesting and Handling
of white and yellow kernels, prevent cross should adequately supplement the regular The harvest season for sweet corn is
pollination by providing a certain amount garden fertilization program. brief because of texture changes and en‑
of isolation. When planting at different zymatic conversion of starch to sugar.
times, a minimum of 14 days difference Planting Harvesting should be done in early morn‑
in maturity dates of cultivars is required. Gardeners interested in having sweet ing while air temperature is still cool. If
For example, ‘Saturn’ is a super‑sweet corn early may plant just a few days before temperature is high when corn is harvest‑
cultivar with 75 days to maturity. It could the average date of the last killing frost. The ed, the field heat should be removed from
be planted at the same time as ‘Silver harvest period for sweet corn can be ex‑ corn by either plunging ears in cold water
Queen,’ which is a standard cultivar and tended by planting early‑, midseason‑ and or placing them in the refrigerator. This
matures in 95 days. If you prefer to plant late‑maturing varieties or by making suc‑ will help maintain fresh‑from‑the‑garden
‘Sundance,’ a standard (67 days maturity) cessive plantings. Make successive plant‑ quality of corn. Normally, sweet corn is
cultivar first, plant it a minimum of 6 days ings every two weeks throughout the sea‑ ready for harvest about 20 days after the
earlier than ‘Saturn’ (75 days maturity). son until July 15. Use only earliest maturing first silk appears on the ear. Harvest is best
An example of preventing a mix of yel‑ varieties for July plantings. The fall‑matur‑ when silk first browns and kernel juice is
low and white kernels would be the plant‑ ing sweet corn will give high quality be‑ milky.
ing of ‘Silver Queen’ and ‘Golden Queen.’ cause of cool nights in September.

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
44
Everything You Should Know about Sweet Corn—continued.

Diseases ue to enlarge, turn black and break open, Insects


Bacterial Wilt (bacterium)—Leaves show exposing a black, dusty spore mass. Rotate See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
long, pale green or tan dead streaks; corn in garden; take care to prevent inju‑ insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
symptoms can be confused with other ries to plants; remove and destroy galls as for treatment options.
leaf blight diseases; early infection may they occur and before they break open. Insect Treatment
result in stunting, wilting and death of Corn Stunting Diseases (viruses)—Yellow‑ Aphids.............................................................1, 6, 10, 11
plants. Use resistant varieties; use ap‑ ing, mosaic on leaves; stunting of plants; Armyworms...................................................1, 2, 5, 6, 7
often no ears produced; plant may show Corn Earworms............................................1, 2, 5, 6, 7
proved insecticides on corn seedlings to Cucumber Beetles.......................................... 1, 2, 5, 6
control corn flea beetles that carry the purple color; disease carried to corn by Cutworms................................................................5, 6, 9
disease‑causing bacteria. aphids and leafhoppers from nearby John‑ European Corn Borers................................... 2, 5, 6, 7
Smut (fungus)—Swellings or galls on son grass. Destroy Johnson grass; use re‑ Flea Beetles.....................................................2, 6, 5, 11
Grasshoppers...............................................1, 2, 5, 6, 9
leaves, stems, ears or tassels that are shiny, sistant corn varieties. Japanese Beetles . ...............................................1, 2, 6
greenish‑white color at first; galls contin‑ Leafhoppers........................................................ 2, 6, 11
Seed Maggots..................................................................
Sowbugs...........................................................................9

Sweet Potatoes feet apart, and place plants in the row every Long-term Storage
15 inches. Soil pH should be 5.2 to 6.7. Tem‑ Sweet potatoes require moist air at 80°
Sweet potatoes need a long grow‑
peratures below 55°F can be detrimental. to 85°F for about ten days. The area under
ing time and medium to light sandy soils
A starter solution is recommended af‑ your furnace can provide these condi‑
which are well‑drained and relatively low
ter plants are set. Add 1/4 pound of 20% tions if you cover the storage crates with
in nitrogen. Excess nitrogen and heavy ap‑
nitrogen fertilizer to 5 gallons of water and a heavy cloth. Extend the curing period to
plications of fresh animal manures cause
use about 1 cup of this solution per plant. two or three weeks if the temperature is
long, spindly roots of low quality. Heavy,
under 75°F. Then move the potatoes to a
tight soils cause misshaped roots. Harvesting relatively warm, dry location. See “Storing
There are two types of sweet potatoes— Sweet potatoes can be harvested any
moist‑ and dry‑flesh types. Moist‑flesh Vegetables” on page 30.
time they reach a usable size. Sweet pota‑
or “yam” type is most popular. Root skin toes continue to grow until vines are killed Diseases
color varies from yellow to white for dry‑ by frost. You should harvest the crop when Scurf (fungus)—Irregular purple‑brown
or firm‑flesh varieties, to bronze, red, pink the greatest number of 6‑ to 8‑ounce po‑ discolored areas on roots; color only skin
and orange for moist types. tatoes are found in the hill. Sample dig‑ deep but affects keeping quality of stored
ging will provide this information. A good roots. Use only disease‑free potato roots
Plant Source practice is to clip vines before frost occurs.
Most home gardeners buy transplants for bedding; cut plants above soil line and
The crop can then be harvested easily with reroot plant cuttings into new soil. Dip
or “slips” from a local plant grower. If you
less damage to potatoes. Plow or spade transplants in a dilute bleach (1:5) solution
are producing transplants, the potatoes
one row at a time and pick up potatoes. To before planting.
should be bedded in a greenhouse or
reduce rotting in storage, be sure potatoes
hotbed (75° to 80°F preferred) about five Insects
are clean, dry and free of injury.
to six weeks before field setting date. Use See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
only disease‑free potatoes. Curing Storage insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
Ordinarily, 1/2 bushel will cover 8 to Stack crates or baskets in storage space. for treatment options.
10 square feet of bed surface and produce Place them 6 to 8 inches off the floor and Insect Treatment
about 1000 transplants. The roots should 12 to 15 inches from the walls to allow for Flea Beetles....................................................... 3, 10, 11
be covered with 3 to 4 inches of sand and adequate ventilation. Curing requires 7 to
then watered down. 10 days if temperature can be maintained
at 80° to 85°F with 70% to 90% relative
Planting humidity. After curing is complete, keep
Shape rows into ridges about 10 inches
potatoes in a place as near 55°F as possible
high before planting. Space rows about 3
with relative humidity of 85%.

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
45
Swiss Chard Space rows about 18 inches apart for point or bud in the center of the plant so
hand cultivation and 30 to 36 inches apart new leaves can continue to develop.
Swiss chard can be grown either for
for mechanical cultivators. Sow seeds 3/4
greens or its large, fleshy leaf stalks. A har‑
inch deep and thin plants eventually to 10 Insects
dy plant, Swiss chard will withstand hot See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
to 12 inches apart in the row.
weather from spring to late fall better than insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
most greens. Harvesting for treatment options.
Several harvests can be made from the Insect Treatment
Planting and Care same plants through the growing season. Aphids................................................................. 1, 10, 11
Plants may be started in the greenhouse Blister Beetles.................................................................3
Outer leaves should be removed near
or hotbed and transplanted in the open Colorado Potato Beetles.....................................8, 11
ground level with a sharp knife, leaving Cutworms.........................................................................9
after danger of hard frost is past, or seed
smaller leaves near the center of the plant. Flea Beetles..........................................................2, 4, 11
may be sown in the garden where plants
It is important not to cut into the growing
are to grow.

Tomatoes Staking One material suggested for cage use is


Staking makes the job of caring for concrete reinforcing wire (6‑inch mesh)
Tomatoes grow under a wide range of
tomatoes easier and aids in reducing which gives good support and allows you
conditions with minimum effort. They
fruit rots. Drive stakes in soil about 4 to to reach through to pick tomatoes. How‑
require relatively little space for large pro‑
6 inches from plant, 1 foot deep, soon ever, this wire will rust, so after making
duction. Each tomato plant, if properly
after transplants are set in the garden. cages, it’s a good idea to paint them with
cared for, can be expected to yield 10 to 15
Use wooden stakes 6 feet long and 1 1/2 rust‑resistant paint.
pounds of fruit.
to 2 inches wide. Attach heavy twine at Galvanized fence wire lasts many sea‑
The tomato is a warm‑season plant and
10‑inch intervals to stakes. As tomatoes sons without painting. Be sure to get 4‑ to
should not be set outside until danger of
grow, pull them up alongside stakes and 6‑inch mesh so your hand will fit through
frost is past. This date varies from April 20
tie loosely. Tomatoes may also be set along for harvesting. Galvanized fence wire
in western Kentucky to May 15 in north‑
a fence or trellis and tied there. comes either welded or woven. Since
ern Kentucky.
welded joints occasionally break, woven is
Fruits vary from small cherry sizes to Pruning the best type to use.
large baseball sizes. Shapes range from If tomatoes are staked, they need to be
plum to round to pear, and colors vary from pruned to either one or two main stems. Long-term Storage
greenish white through yellow, orange, pink At the junction of each leaf and first main Mature green or slightly pink toma‑
and red. Growth habits also vary, but those stem, a new shoot will develop. If plants toes can be stored for one to two months.
which have indeterminate growth habit are trained to two stems, choose one of Spread them on a rack covered with news‑
and produce fruit over a long period of these shoots, normally at the first or sec‑ paper and sort them according to ripeness.
time are most desirable for the home gar‑ ond leaf stem junction, for your second Then store them in the dark, covered with
den. Select a variety with resistance to plant main stem. Once each week, remove all paper to retain moisture. Tomatoes put in
diseases, especially to fusarium wilt. other shoots to hold the plant to these two sunlight become bitter. Check them every
stems. Remove shoots by pinching them week and remove ripe or damaged ones.
Planting Matured green tomatoes will be ripe
Select stocky transplants about 6 to off with your fingers.
enough to eat in about two weeks if kept
10 inches tall. Set tomato transplants in Caging at 65° to 70°F. The ripening period can
the garden a little deeper than the pot in Large‑vined tomatoes benefit from be slowed to three or four weeks if the
which they were grown. Starter fertilizer being grown in wire cages, show fewer temperature is 55°F. (Don’t let it get below
should be used around transplants. cracks and sunburn, ripen more uni‑ 50°F.) The immature ones will take longer
Since plants should be pruned and formly, show fewer green shoulders and at either temperature.
staked, space them 24 inches apart in rows produce fewer cull fruits than tomatoes Another way to ripen tomatoes is to
3 feet apart. which are pruned and tied to stakes or al‑ pull the vines just before a freeze and hang
Fertilization lowed to sprawl on the ground. them upside down in your garage or base‑
Tomato plants benefit from additional Erect cages soon after plants have been ment. The fruits will ripen gradually and
fertilizer after fruit has set. When first set out. Otherwise, breakage often occurs may be picked as needed. See “Storing
fruits reach golf ball size, scatter 1 Tbs am‑ when you try to train stems which have Vegetables” on page 30.
monium nitrate in a 6‑ to 10‑inch circle grown too long.
around each plant. Water thoroughly and
repeat about every two weeks.

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
46
Everything You Should Know about Tomatoes—continued.

Diseases Fusarium and Verticillium Wilt (fungi)— Southern Stem Blight—See “General Dis‑
Blossom End Rot (environmental)—Black Leaves wilt, turn yellow and fall, often on ease Control” on page 24.
or brown leathery decay on blossom end one side of plant before the other; plants Virus Diseases—See “General Disease
of fruit; dark area often sunken and fruits may be stunted or killed; inner “bark” or Control” on page 24.
practically worthless. Irrigate to maintain vascular tissue may be yellow, brown or Walnut Wilt (environmental)—Grown
uniform soil moisture levels; mulch plants have dark discoloration that can be seen plants which set fruit suddenly wilt and die;
to conserve moisture; avoid deep cultiva‑ when lower stem is cut open; Verticillium internal vascular browning in lower stem;
tion and root pruning; lime soil as needed more likely under cool growing conditions, strictly associated with plants growing near
according to soil test results. Fusarium when warm. Use resistant to‑ walnut trees or in soil with decaying wal‑
Early Blight (fungus)—Leaves have dark mato varieties; varieties labeled “V,” “F” or nut roots. Do not plant tomatoes, eggplant
brown spots with concentric rings or “N” are resistant to Verticillium, Fusarium or peppers near walnut (Juglans spp.) trees.
target board pattern in the spots; disease or root knot nematodes; “VFN” varieties
begins on lower foliage and works up with are resistant to all three; use recommended Insects
severely affected leaves shriveling and dy‑ varieties; rotate with other garden crops. See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
ing; similar spots can occur on stems and Late Blight (fungus)—See “Potato” for insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
fruits; can be confused with other leaf description of foliar symptoms; fruits may for treatment options.
spots, but this is most common. Maintain develop dark brown or greenish blemish‑ Insect Treatment
proper fertility. Spray foliage with fungi‑ es, usually on stem and during cool, moist Aphids.............................................................1, 6, 10, 11
Blister Beetles.................................................................2
cide at first sign of disease and as need‑ weather. See “Tomato Early Blight” for Cabbage Loopers.................................................5, 6, 7
ed (weekly during hot, humid weather) fungicides. Use disease‑free transplants Colorado Potato Beetles............................5, 6, 8, 11
thereafter; use chlorothalonil, maneb, and control late blight in potatoes. Corn Earworms (tomato fruitworms)...... 2, 5, 6, 7
Cutworms........................................................... 2, 5, 6, 9
mancozeb or fixed copper. (Good cover‑ Septoria Leaf Spot (fungus)—Small, Flea Beetles.....................................................2, 5, 6, 11
age is needed.) Make second planting brown, circular spots on leaves. Similar to Hornworms....................................................... 2, 5, 6, 7
in midsummer for fall crop. A few early early blight, but often develops earlier in Mites...........................................................................1, 10
the season. See “Early Blight.” Sowbugs...........................................................................9
blight tolerant varieties are now available. Whiteflies............................................................. 1, 6, 10

Turnips It is a common practice to broadcast Insects


turnip seed. However, drilling seed 1/2 See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
Turnips are a rapidly maturing, cool‑sea‑
inch deep in rows 12 to 15 inches apart insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
son crop which can be planted for late
results in more uniform growth. for treatment options.
spring or late fall harvest in Kentucky. Some
When plants have become established, Insect Treatment
cultivars are grown only for their leaves or
thin them to 3 to 4 inches apart in the row. Aphids........................................................................ 1, 11
“greens,” while others are grown for their Cabbage Loopers..........................................................7
fleshy roots. Turnip greens are rich in calci‑ Harvesting and Storage Cutworms.........................................................................9
um, iron and vitamin A. The white‑fleshed Harvest turnips when they reach 2 to Flea Beetles..............................................................2, 11
group of turnips is recommended for roots. Garden Webworms......................................................1
3 inches in diameter. Large turnips tend Root Maggots & Seed Maggots...............................1
to become woody. After growth stops in Sowbugs...........................................................................9
Planting the fall, turnips can be left in the garden, if
For spring turnips, seed should be
protected from freezing. They may also be
planted around March 15 or as soon as
kept in the refrigerator for several months.
ground can be worked in spring. For a late
fall turnip crop, seed should be sown the
latter part of July or first of August.

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
47
Watermelons Direct seeding has been the most com‑ able method is to examine the ground side
mon way of planting watermelons. Plant of the watermelon. A consistent yellow‑
Watermelons are a warm‑season,
two to three seeds per hill about 1 inch ish cream color means that the melon is
frost‑sensitive vine crop and require a
deep after danger of frost is past. Space just right. If the patch is bright yellow, the
lot of garden area for growing because of
hills 6 to 8 feet apart in the row with rows melon may be overripe.
large vines. Therefore, they are generally
6 feet apart. If spaced too closely, bees can‑
not grown in small gardens. Types range
not get into plants to pollinate them prop‑ Diseases: see “Cucumber”
from large, 30‑pound fruits to small, round,
erly and weed control is nearly impossible. Insects
“icebox types” weighing between 5 and 10
pounds. There are also yellow‑fleshed types, Pollination See pages 25-28 for descriptions of the
but red‑fleshed types are most popular. Since male and female flowers are sepa‑ insects listed. Refer to the footnote below
Seedless watermelons are a triploid rate on the same plant, bees must carry for treatment options.
type first created in Japan. They require a pollen from flower to flower to ensure good Insect Treatment
diploid (regular seeded) watermelon for fruit set and development. Apply insecti‑ Aphids....................................................................1, 6, 11
pollination. Cabbage Looper........................................................7, 6
cides late in the day to avoid killing bees. Cucumber Beetles................................................... 1, 6
Cutworms.........................................................................6
Planting or Transplanting Harvesting Leafhoppers.........................................................1, 6, 11
For early harvest, grow seed in peat Watermelons should be harvested Mites...........................................................................1, 10
pots or similar containers in a greenhouse when fully ripe. This stage is difficult to
or hotbed three to four weeks before last determine. Immature fruit give a metallic
frost, then transplant to the garden. Water‑ ring when thumped and a more muffled,
melons grow well on black plastic mulch. dead sound when mature. The most reli‑

Insect Treatments
1. Malathion 57% EC, 2. Carbaryl 50% WP, (Sevin), 3. Pyrethrins, 4. Rotenone 1% D, 5. Cyfluthrin (Multi-Insect Killer), 6. Esfenvalerate 0425% EC (Bug-B-Gon),
7. Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, 8. Bacillus thuringiensis var san diego, 9. Carbaryl 5% B (Sevin), 10. Insecticidal soap, 11. Neem
48