Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The following varieties (listed in order of maturity) have wrinkled seeds and are resistant to fusarium wilt unless otherwise indicated.
Daybreak (54 days to harvest; 20 to 24 inches tall, good for freezing)
Spring (57 days; 22 inches tall; dark green freezer peas)
Sparkle (60 days to harvest; 18 inches tall; good for freezing)
Little Marvel (63 days; 18 inches tall; holds on the vine well)
Green Arrow (68 days; 28 inches tall; pods in pairs; resistant to fusarium and powdery mildew)
Wando (70 days; 24-30 inches; withstands some heat; best variety for late spring planting)
Snowbird (58 days; 18 inches tall; double or triple pods in clusters)
Dwarf Gray Sugar (65 days; 24 to 30 inches)
Snowflake (72 days; 22 inches to harvest; high yield)
To be continued
Sunday, June 27, 2010
2. Prepare the seed bed. Your turnips will grow best in a light, rich, sandy loam soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. Use your spade and garden rake to cultivate the soil thoroughly, so the turnip roots can develop fully. Form the soil into raised rows about 4 inches high and 12 inches apart.
3. Sow the turnip seeds in early spring, after danger of frost has passed, for a spring harvest, or in early summer for a late summer harvest. Spread the seeds evenly along the top of each row of the seed bed. Ultimately your turnip plants will be 3 to 4 inches apart, but turnip seeds are small and hard to dispense evenly, so spread the turnip seeds more densely; you will thin them later. Cover the seeds with 1/2 inch soil.
4. Water the turnip seeds, keeping the seed bed slightly moist until germination. The seeds will germinate in three to five days.
5. Continue to water the turnip plants evenly, about 1.5 inches of water every seven to ten days. Drip irrigation is ideal for turnip greens in the home garden.
6. Thin the seedlings to 3 to 4 inches apart when they are about 2 inches tall.
7. Cultivate the soil between the turnip rows weekly. Cultivate 2 inches deep as the turnip plants first begin to grow, and then more shallowly as the plants mature. Avoid disturbing the turnip's feeder roots.
8. Harvest the turnip greens when they are small--4 to 6 inches—for the sweetest flavor. Leave the inner; less developed leaf tips so that you can harvest a second round of greens in a few days. If you plan to also use the turnip root, only harvest the greens once before harvesting the root, since harvesting the greens inhibits the growth of the turnip root.
9. Harvest the turnip roots, if you plan to use it, when the roots are 2 to 3 inches in diameter. As the root grows larger, it will become less tender and sweet.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
When summer temperatures warms the soil beans can go from seed to table in about 60 days. Of the many types of beans, the two most frequently grown by home gardeners are snap beans and lima beans. Each of these can be divided into two types. Low growing plants and tall growing plants. The legume family also contains many delicious vegetables that have beanlike seeds but that only remotely resemble the familiar type of beans.
Both the bush and pole types of lima beans have larger and more spreading vines than their snap bean counter parts. Lima beans do best in areas where summers are long and rather warm. Limas are panted like snap beans except they need more space. Plant them 4 to 6 inches apart in a row. In clay soils plant them on edge to improve the chance of germination.
Plant beans from seeds sown in the ground as soon as the soil has warmed up. Beans are frost tender and require a soil temperature of 65 degrees to sprout reliably. Either check the soil temperature with a soil thermometer or wait until late leafing trees (oaks, hickories, and pecans) uncurl new spring foliage. Successive crops can be planted until midsummer. Plant seeds of bush beans 3 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart. Pole bean plants are much larger, requiring 3 feet between rows and 9 to 12 inches between plants. If you want to run the vines up tepee shaped supports, dig holes in the corners of a 3 foot square and plant three pole bean seeds in each. Cover seeds 1 inch deep in clay soils, 1 ½ inches in sandy soils.
To avoid the spread of diseases from plant to plant, cultivate shallowly and only when the foliage is dry. Water frequently by soaking the soil instead of sprinkling. Moist foliage invites bacterial disease in humid areas. High nitrogen fertilizers and heavy application of compost will encourage more foliage growth than vegetable production. Use a fertilizer with a nitrogen phosphorus potassium ratio of 1:2:2, applying it every three to four weeks in a shallow furrow about 6 inches away from the plants. Cover the fertilizer band with soil. If you furrow irrigate apply the fertilizer in the furrows so water can carry it into the root zone of the bean plants.