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Vegetable Gardening Home vegetable gardening • Produce value of $14 billion per year (U.S.) • 40% of families have vegetable gardens Why grow vegetables? Planning a garden• Taste • Location• Saves money – Water supply• Health – Full sun – Can be chemical-free – Well drained loam, pH 6-6.5 – Exercise – Away from trees• Attracts wildlife – Away from slopes Planning a garden Garden layout • Rows oriented east to• Size west – Start small (25’ x 25’ or less) • Taller & trellised – Most seed packs plant a 15’ row plants on north side • Shorter plants towards south side • Plant perennials together 1
Planning a vegetable Planning a vegetable garden garden• What uses? • Vegetable characteristics – Fresh, canning, freezing (p. 500) – Days to maturity• Climate assessment – Warm season vs. cool season – Dates of avg. spring & fall killing frosts • Warm season – restricted to frost free • Frost free period = # days from last spring period frost to first fall frost (ranges from 60-250 • Cool season – can tolerate light frost days) – Start indoors & transplant for Spring crop – Plant as seed for late fall crop Planning a vegetable garden • Vegetable characteristics – Harvested crop and light requirements • Fruit > 8 hours • Root > 6 hours • Leaf > 4 hours – Harvested crop and nutrient requirements • Leaf crops – high N • Root crops – High K, lower N IntercroppingPlanning a vegetable garden• Intercropping• Succession planting (double cropping)• Relay planting• Crop rotation• Companion planting• Row to row distance 3
Succession planting Relay planting Crop rotation• Planting at intervals for continuous, extended harvest – Beans, sweet corn, lettuce – Sow when previous crop has emerged (germinated) Companion planting • Some plants do better next to certain types of plants – Some plants have insect repellant properties – Some plants attract beneficial insects – Example: corn/squash canopy disorients squash vine borer 4
Companion planting for pest controlBeneficial Poor plant combinationsinsects • Plant antagonism – some plants secrete growth-suppressing chemicals – Beans do not follow onions well – Tomato/potato do not follow Brassicas well Planting a vegetable Plant spacing garden• Can determine final size of plants • Seed – Viability & storage• Equal access to water, nutrients, light – Direct vs. indirect sowing• Canopy can suppress weeds – Prepared seed types • Seed tapes, primed, pelleted, treated – Pre-germinating seed (p. 493) – Thinning 5
Growing vegetables from Vegetable garden indirect seeding cultivation • Warm for germination • Watering – Seedlings in good light, lower temp. • Fertilizing • Hardening off • Weed control • Transplanting at proper depth • Mulching • Pests Garden watering Garden fertilizing• Heavy & occasionally – Germinating seeds, seedlings, • Vegetable plants vary in N-P-K needs transplants – frequent & light • Annual application of compost (5-• Critical watering periods 11lbs./sq. yd.) or manure (12lb./sq. yd.)• Water in evening • Green manure crops (legumes, rye)• Soaker, drip irrigation overwinter or intercropped • Granular N-fertilizers applied in Spring (one month before planting) Weed control Vegetable garden pests (p. 498) • Hand weeding • Hoe weeding • Animals – Birds, rabbits, deer, voles, insects • Mulch • Insects – Plastic, organic, newspaper – Sucking insects, chewing insects • Proper plant spacing – Moths/caterpillars; beetles/grubs • Microorganisms – Bacteria, fungi, viruses • Virginia Tech – Insect pests of vegetables 6
Training plants • Optimize use of space • Lessen contact of fruit with soilTraining plants CagesHome gardening resources• NCSU Information leaflets 7