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Vegetable Gardening Overview


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  • A good rotation spaces pest susceptible crops at intervals the will hinder the buildup of pests in the field.Rotations can also be used to control weeds. “Cleaning crops” such as potatoes, pumpkins and winter squash eradicate problem weeds through hilling or the extensive crop cover. Herbicides may be used in some crops to control weeds that are problematic to other crops in which the herbicide is not registered. Some crops are more efficient at using less soluble forms of plant nutrients. Less-evolved crops such as cabbage are more efficient at doing this than highly developed crops like lettuce and cucumbers. The variety in rooting depths and the extent of the root system will improve and maintain good soil structure. Sweet corn and squash require deep cultivation and a high level of soil organic matter. Beans and peas are legumes capable of fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere, so they will not need additional fertilizer but still require deep cultivation. Root crops such as radishes, carrots, beets, turnips, and rutabagas also require deep cultivation for proper root development, but the addition of manure and too much organic matter will cause the roots to become disfigured. And cabbage and other cole crops require a firm soil with an alkaline pH to avoid succumbing to clubroot.Also, try to plan the rotation so that successive crops benefit from their predecessor. For example, sweet corn is a heavy feeder so it’s best to plant sweet corn in an area where peas or beans were the previous year because these crops add nitrogen to the soil. Potatoes and vine crops are easy to weed and will “clean” the soil, thereby reducing weed problems in subsequent onion and root crops that are not easily weeded and have a small canopy to shade out weeds.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Vegetable Gardening Overview
    • 2. Karen Delahaut, original author
      Mike Maddox, updates
      Vegetable Gardening Overview
    • 3. Portland, OR
      Community Garden
    • 4. Portland, OR
      Vertical Gardening / Community Garden
    • 5. Kansas City, MO
      Urban Agriculture
    • 6. Madison, WI
      West Madison Agriculture Research Station
    • 7. Janesville, WI
      Rock County Farm / Community Garden
    • 8. Proximity to trees
      Site Selection
    • 9. Proximity to Trees
      Trees and shrubs may compete for the same resources as your garden: light, water, and nutrients.
      Walnut trees may prove extra harmful due to juglone production.
    • 10. Light
      Necessary for photosynthesis
      6+ hours for most vegetable crops
      Flower initiation
      Bulbing & tuber formation
    • 11. Light
      Short day plants
      Sweet potato forms tubers as days grow shorter
    • 12. Light
      Long day plants- flower when light exceeds a certain number of hours.
      Lettuce, spinach, radish
      Some onions form bulbs with long days
      Most N. varieties
    • 13. Light
      Day neutral plants- flowers not related to light
      Cucumber, peas, beans, peppers
    • 14. Light
      Too much light
      Defoliation exposing fruit to hot sun
    • 15. Soil
      Well drained soils are necessary
      Be able to work down to 6 or 7 inches
      Best to till in the fall
      Saves soil structure
      Ground is ready to plant in spring
      Remove large stones, clods, plant debris
      Particularly important with root crops
    • 16. Soil
      Remove grass/ weeds for new gardens
      Amending soil
      Add 2 to 4 inches compost or OM
      Cover crops / green manures
      Raised beds / containers
      If soil isn’t conducive for garden
    • 17. Soil
      Soil test
      Best done in fall
      Repeat every 3 years
      Sample 6-7 inches deep in 5+ areas of garden
      Soil pH (6.0 to 6.8)
      Organic matter (OM)
    • 18. Soil
      Benefits of adding organic matter
      Improves water retention / soil structure
      Increases soil fertility
      Increases Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)
      Ability to hold nutrients
      Reduces fertilization requirements
      Enhances microbial activity
      Pathogen suppression
      Accelerates breakdown of pesticides and other synthetic compounds
    • 19. Soil
      Manure or debris in soil
    • 20. Adding Compost
      Add 2-4 inches of compost
    • 21. Cover Crops & Green Manures
      Rye is used as a green-manure and double-dug into the ground .
    • 22. Raised beds
      Untreated lumber should be used for construction.
      Beds should be at least 12 inches deep for adequate rooting.
      Compost and soil were used as the medium.
    • 23. Mulch
      Mulches can be used to conserve moisture, suppress weeds and diseases, and add organic matter to the garden.
      Straw is used in this picture.
    • 24. To till or not to till?
    • 25. Topography
      Local terrain affects choices on garden positioning.
    • 26. Access
    • 27. Season length
      Season extension
      Cool & warm season crops
      Seasonal Considerations
    • 28. Season Length
      Last killing frost of spring?
      Northern Wisconsin:
      Average May 24 to June 6
      Mid state:
      Average May 9 to May 23
      Southern Wisconsin:
      Average April 26 to May 9
    • 29. Season Length
      First killing frost of autumn?
      Northern Wisconsin:
      Average September 13 to September 27
      Mid state:
      Average September 27 to October 10
      Southern Wisconsin:
      September 27 to October 24
    • 30. Season Length
    • 31. Cool & Warm Season Crops
      • Warm-season seeds may rot in cold soils
      • 32. Cool season seeds may have heat-induced dormancy
    • Cool & Warm Season Crops
      Plants with a long growing season can be started indoors and then transplanted outdoors when the weather is conducive for their growth.
      Pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant
      Transplants of cool season plants can be planted early in the spring and are tolerant to the colder temperatures.
      Cole crops
    • 33. Season Extension
      Black landscape fabric is used to warm the soil in the spring. Tomatoes are planted through the fabric.
    • 34. Season Extension
      Walls-o-Water can be used in the early spring to protect warm-season transplants.
    • 35. Season Extension
    • 36. Season Extension
      Summer planting of radish seeds; screen provides shade to cool soil and avoid heat-induced dormancy.
    • 37. Season Extension
      Floating row covers can protect crops from frost.
    • 38. Season Extension
      Cold frame used to harden off plants in the spring.
    • 39. Size of mature plant
      Days to harvest
      Heirlooms and hybrids
      Disease resistance
      Seed saving
      Variety Selection
    • 40. Variety Selection
      Size of mature plant
      Bush vs Pole bean
      Bush vs Vine
      Determinate vs Indeterminate
      Fruit size?
    • 41. Days to Harvest
      Pay particular attention to long season plants
    • 42. Heirloom
      Old-fashioned varieties
      Selected for flavor
      Not selected for disease resistance, uniformity or storage
      In-bred seeds, may be appropriate for seed saving
    • 43. Hybrids
      Grown for:
      Pest resistance
      Seeds may not be appropriate for saving
      Progeny of F1 may not be true-to-type or uniform.
      AA x aa = Aa (F1)
      Aa x Aa = Aa, AA, aa (F2)
    • 44. Hybrids
    • 45. Disease Resistance
      Select resistant varieties if practical
      No one variety is resistant to all diseases of that vegetable
      Seed catalogs will indicate varieties are resistant
    • 46. Seed Saving
      Some diseases are carried on or in the seed
      Don’t save seed from cross pollinated plants
      Especially vine crops!
      Self pollinated crops include
      Beans, eggplant, peas, pepper, tomato
    • 47. Timing
      Direct seeding & transplants
      Spacing & thinning
      Succession planting
      Crop rotation
    • 48. Timing
      Succession planting
      Make the most of our short growing season!
      Days to harvest important
      Plant late season crops after early season crops are harvested
      Multiple plantings of a single crop
      Multiple cultivars with different days to maturity
    • 49. Timing
      Early Season Crops
      Long Season Crops
      Late Season Crops
      Early Beets
      Early Cabbage
      Onion Sets
      Early Spinach
      Sweet Corn
      Swiss Chard
      Bush Beans
      Chinese Cabbage
    • 50. Timing
      … summer…
      … fall
      Plant in spring…
    • 51. Timing
      Plant Week 1
      Plant Week 6
      Plant Week 4
    • 52. Timing
      Plant all at same time
    • 53. Transplants vs Direct Seeding
      Direct Seed
    • 54. Transplants vs Direct Seeding
      Direct Seed
      Necessary for long season and some cool season crops
      Basil, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, chives, collards, eggplant, endive, escarole, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, mustard, okra, onions, parsley, peppers, tomatoes
      Useful for crops that do not transplant well and crops that will mature within the growing season
      Beans, beets, carrots, corn, cucumbers, garlic, lettuce, micro greens, muskmelons, okra, parsnips, peas, pumpkins, radishes, rutabaga, salsify, squash, turnips, watermelon
    • 55. Transplanting
      Transplant on cloudy days to minimize sun scald.
      Water well after transplanting.
      Plant at the same depth as in the pot. (exception: tomatoes)
    • 56. Direct Seeding
      Space seeds as recommended on the packet.
      Dense planting will promote disease.
      Small-seeded crops will need thinning:CarrotsRadishesBeetsLettuce
    • 57. Spacing & Thinning
    • 58. Maintenance
      Crop rotation
      Pest Control
    • 59. Crop Rotation
    • 60. Crop Rotation
      Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are all members of the solanaceous family.
      Beans and peas are legumes.
      Cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and squash are all cucurbits.
      Radishes, rutabagas, and turnips are all cole crops just like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
      Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives are alliums.
      Crop rotations of at least 4 years are recommended.
    • 61. Crop Rotation
      Insect & disease management
      Weed management
      Nutrient demands
      Increased soil nitrogen
      Benefits of the preceding crops
      Improved physical condition of the soil
      Increased microbial activity
      Increased release of CO2
      Excretion of beneficial substances
    • 62. Crop Rotation
      Group crops according to which diseases they are susceptible to
      Alternate root vegetables and vegetables with shallow roots: this will improve the soil structure
      If you use interplanting (planting different vegetables together in the same bed), use the main crop in your rotation plan
      Remember tomatoes and potatoes are both members of the nightshade family: don’t plant one to follow the other
      Plant brassicas and leafy greens to follow legumes: they like the added nitrogen
      Beware of planting carrots or beetroot in direct succession to a legume
    • 63. Interplanting
      Potatoes and cabbage rows
    • 64. Watering
    • 65. Watering
      Matching water application to plant needs.
      Based on
      Soil type
      Crop requirements
      Growth stage
      Experience and soil examination are best measures.
      Rain gauge
      Don’t base watering on crop appearance.
    • 66. Watering
      Vegetables may need 1 to 2 inches per week, depending on the weather. Overhead watering may promote diseases.
    • 67. Mulching
      Mulching with an organic material can suppress weeds and conserve moisture in the garden.
    • 68. Insects
      Colorado Potato Beetle
    • 69. Insects
    • 70. Diseases
      Early Blight (left)
      Late Blight(right)
    • 71. Diseases
    • 72. Weeds
    • 73. Harvesting
      Harvest early in the day
      Prevent wounds
      Discard culls
      Cool the vegetables quickly & thoroughly
    • 74. Harvesting
      Submerging vegetables for 15 to 20 minutes in water can remove unwanted field heat.
    • 75. Preserving
      UWEX Publications (
      Harvesting Vegetables from the Home Garden
      Freezing fruits and vegetables
      Canning vegetables safely