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    Index of Common Vegetables and Growing Conditions

    Beans

    Beans need warm weather, full sun and well-drained soil. Add composted manure or balanced fertilizer to soil before planting. When the soil has warmed in spring and all frost is past, plant 2 seeds every 4 inches in rows 2 ft. apart (for bush types) or 2 seeds every 8 inches in rows 3 ft. apart (for pole types). Thin to one plant every 4 - 8 inches. Provide support for pole types. Plant bush beans at 2-3 week intervals throughout the season for longer harvest. Cultivate and weed regularly but don't work around the plants when they are wet. Pick daily; pods are best when small and tender. For shell beans and cowpeas, usually one planting will be enough. Leave pods on plants until dry before harvesting.

    Beets

    Best in cool weather and rich, well-drained soil. Add composted manure or balanced fertilizer to soil before planting. Beets need full sun. Plant outside as soon as soil can be loosened in spring and again in mid to late summer. Plant at 2-3 week intervals for longer harvest. Seeds 1 in. deep, rows 18 in. apart. Cultivate and weed regularly. Thin plants to 6 in. apart for best-sized beets. When 6 in. high, fertilize again (as above). Harvest when 2-3 in. across. Beet tops are tasty and nutritious. Leaf miners may infest but will not affect crop. To eat leaves, tear off any areas with leaf miner tunnels.

    Broccoli

    Best in cool weather and full sun. Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last hard spring frost. Seeds 1/2 in. deep, rows 3 ft. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before setting plants outside. Set plants at (or thin plants to) 2 ft. apart. Or sow 2-3 seeds together outdoors after last hard spring frost. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. Fertilize again when plants form heads. Plant again in summer for fall. Do not grow in the same place, or where brussel sprouts, cabbage, or cauliflower grew the year before. Harvest before green buds open. May form smaller side shoots if you leave the plant after harvesting central head.

    Brussel Sprouts

    Best in cool weather and full sun. Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last hard spring frost. Seeds 1/4 in. deep, rows 3 ft. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before setting plants outside. Set plants at (or thin plants to) 2 ft. apart. Or sow 2-3 seeds together outdoors after last hard spring frost. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. Fertilize again when plants start to form heads. Plant again in summer for fall. Do not grow in the same place, or where broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower grew the year before. Harvest sprouts from bottom. Remove lower leaves from stalk as you harvest.

    Cabbage

    Best in cool weather and full sun. Start early varieties indoors 6-8 weeks before last hard spring frost. Seeds 1/2 in. deep, rows 3 ft. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before setting plants outside. Set plants at (or thin plants to) 2 ft. apart. Or sow 2-3 seeds together outdoors after last hard spring frost. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. Fertilize again when plants start to form heads. Plant mid to late varieties in summer for fall. Do not grow in the same place, or where broccoli, brussels sprouts, or cauliflower grew the year before. Harvest when heads are large and firm.

    Cantaloupe

    Needs warm weather, full sun, and moist soil. Sow seeds outdoors after soil has warmed in spring and all frost is over. Plant seeds 1/2 in. deep in groups of 6 seeds about 4 ft. apart. Make rows 4 ft. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before planting. Thin plants to 3 plants per group. Mulch or cultivate to keep weeds under control. VERY IMPORTANT: Keep soil evenly moist. To harvest: look for ripening melons; they will have an aroma and when ripe, will slip away from the stem by gentle pressure.

     

    Carrots

    Best in cool weather and rich, well-drained soil. Add composted manure or balanced fertilizer to soil before planting. Carrots grow best in full sun. Plant outside as soon as soil can be loosened in spring. Plant every 2 weeks until July for longer harvest. Sow seeds thickly. Mix with radish seeds to help carrot seedlings break through soil. Seeds 1/4 to 1/2 in. deep, rows 15 in. apart. Cultivate and weed regularly. Mulch to keep even soil moisture. Thin plants to 2 in. apart to allow growth. When 6 in. high, fertilize again (as above). Harvest at expected maturity days. Root maggots common in the North. Leafhoppers may spread yellows. Don’t plant where carrots were grown last year.

    Cauliflower

    Best in cool weather and full sun. Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last hard spring frost. Seeds 1/2 in. deep, rows 3 ft. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before setting plants outside. Set plants at (or thin plants to) 2 ft. apart. Or sow 2-3 seeds together outdoors after last hard spring frost. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. Fertilize again when plants form heads. Plant again in summer for fall. Do not grow in the same place or where brussels sprouts, cabbage, or cauliflower grew the year before. Harvest when heads are 2-3 in. across, tie outer leaves together above head. Cut heads 2-3 weeks later.

    Chicory

    Best in cool weather, full sun, and moist soil. Sow seeds outdoors as early as soil can be loosened in spring. Seeds 1/4 in. deep, in rows 18 in. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before planting. Thin plants to 6 in. apart. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. Make several plantings 2 weeks apart in early spring, again in late summer for fall. Excellent fall crop. Harvest whole heads. Goes to Seed (also called Bolting) if planted too late in spring, chicory will send up a flower stalk rather than forming heads.

    Collard Greens

    Best in cool weather and full sun. Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last hard spring frost. Seeds 1/4 to 1/2 in. deep, rows 3 ft. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before setting plants outside. Set plants at (or thin plants to) 2 ft. apart. Or sow 2-3 seeds together outdoors after last hard spring frost. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. Plant again in summer for fall. Do not grow in the same place or where Brussels sprouts, cabbage, or cauliflower grew the year before. Harvest leaves at any size.

    Cucumbers

    Cucumbers need warm weather, full sun, and moist soil. Sow seeds outdoors after soil has warmed in spring and all frost is over. Plant seeds 1/2 in. deep, in groups of 5 seeds about 4 ft. apart. Make rows 6 ft. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before planting. Thin plants to 3 plants per group. Mulch or cultivate to keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. Replant every 3 weeks to provide a longer harvest. Keep fruits picked daily. Best on the small side at 4 - 6 " long.

    Eggplant

    Eggplants need warm weather and full sun. Start seeds indoors about 8 - 10 weeks before last spring frost. Wait until well after last spring frost to transplant outdoors. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before setting plants outside. Plant outdoors, setting plants about 18 in. apart in rows 3 ft. apart. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. To harvest, cut small fruits from plant with a sharp knife. Best at about 6 - 8 in. long.

    Endive

    Endive grows best in cool weather, full sun, and moist soil. Sow seeds outdoors as early as soil can be loosened in spring. Seeds 1/4 in. deep, in rows 18 in. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before planting. Thin plants to 12 in. apart. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. VERY IMPORTANT: Keep soil evenly moist. Make several plantings 2 weeks apart in early spring, again in late summer for fall. Excellent fall crop. Harvest whole heads. Goes to Seed (also called Bolting): if planted too late in spring, will send up a flower stalk rather than form heads.

    Kale

    Best in cool weather and full sun. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before setting plants outside. Sow seeds as early as soil can be loosened in spring, or start indoors 6-8 weeks before. Seeds 1/4 to 1/2 in. deep, rows 12 in. apart. Set plants at (or thin plants to) 1 ft. apart. Or sow 2-3 seeds together outdoors after last hard spring frost. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. Plant again in summer for fall. Do not grow in the same place or where Brussels sprouts, cabbage,or cauliflower grew the year before. Harvest leaves at 6-8 in. long. Pick frequently. Frost improves flavor.

    Kohlrabi

    Best in cool weather and full sun. Sow seeds outdoors as soon as soil can be loosened in spring, or indoors 6-8 weeks before. Seeds 1/4 in. deep, rows 18 in. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before setting plants outside. Set plants at (or thin plants to) 6 in. apart. Or sow 2-3 seeds together outdoors after last hard spring frost. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. Plant again in summer for fall. Do not grow in the same place, or where Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower grew year before. Harvest when 2 to 2 1/2 in. across.

    Lettuce

    Best in cool weather, full sun, and moist soil. Sow seeds outdoors as early as soil can be loosened in spring. Seeds 1/4 in. deep, see packet for row spacing. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before planting. Thin plants as suggested on packet. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. VERY IMPORTANT: Keep soil evenly moist. Make several plantings 2 weeks apart in early spring, again in late summer for fall. Harvest whole heads or outer leaves. Goes to Seed (also called Bolting): if planted too late in spring, lettuce will send up a flower stalk rather than form heads. Cos/Romaine lettuce slightly more heat tolerant.

    Mustard

    Best in cool weather and full sun. Start seeds outdoors as soon as soil can be loosened in spring. Seeds 1/4 to 1/2 in. deep, rows 12 in. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before setting plants outside. Thin plants to 9 in. apart. Or sow 2-3 seeds together outdoors after last hard spring frost. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. Plant again in summer for fall. Do not grow in the same place, or where Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower grew year before. Harvest leaves frequently at any size.

    Okra

    Needs warm weather and full sun. Wait until well after last spring frost to plant seeds outdoors. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before planting. Sow seed 3/4 in. deep, planting 2 seeds every 18 inches in rows 3 ft. apart. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. To harvest, cut pods from plant with a sharp knife. Keep picking daily. Best when small and tender.

    Onions

    Best in cool weather and full sun. Start seeds indoors about 6 weeks before last spring frost. When seedlings are about 4 in. tall, cut back to 2". Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before setting plants outside. Plant outdoors, setting plants about 3 in. apart in rows 18 in. apart. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. Onions are ready to harvest when their tops begin to fall over. Pull up, let dry in sun several days, then store in a cool, dry place.

    Parship

    Best in cool weather and rich, well-drained soil. Add composted manure or balanced fertilizer to soil before planting. full sun. Plant outside as soon as soil can be loosened in spring. Excellent for summer planting/fall crop. Sow seeds thickly. Mix with radish seeds to help seedlings break through soil. Seeds 1/2 in. deep, rows 24 in. apart. Cultivate and weed regularly. Mulch to keep even soil moisture. Thin plants to 4 in. apart to allow growth. When 6 in. high, fertilize again (as above). Harvest at expected maturity days. Frost improves flavor. Root maggots common in North.

    Peas

    Must have cool weather, full sun. First crop to plant in spring. Sow seeds outdoors as early as soil can be loosened in spring. Seeds 1 1/2 in. deep, 2 in. apart, in rows 2 ft. apart. DO NOT THIN. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before planting. TALL TYPES: Can plant a double row 6 in. apart, then place support (trellis). Dwarf Types don’t need support. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. Make several plantings 2 weeks apart in early spring, again in late summer for fall. To Harvest: cut pods off with scissors or knife. Pods are ready when you can see the seeds inside just beginning to round out. For snow peas, pick before you can see seeds developing inside pod.

    Peppers

    Needs warm weather and full sun. Start seeds indoors about 8 weeks before last spring frost. Wait until well after last spring frost to transplant outdoors. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before setting plants outside. Plant outdoors, setting plants about 18 in. apart in rows 3 ft. apart. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. Keep soil evenly moist. To harvest, cut fruits from plant with a sharp knife. Keep picking daily. Peppers can be left on the plant to ripen to mature color (yellow or red) if you wish.

    Pumpkins

    Needs warm weather, full sun, moist soil. Sow seeds outdoors after soil has warmed in spring and all frost is over. Plant seeds 1 in. deep, in groups of 5 seeds 5 ft. apart for bush types and 8 ft. apart for normal vining types. Make rows seeds 5 ft. apart for bush types and 8 ft. apart for normal vining types. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before planting. Thin plants to 2 plants per group. Mulch or cultivate to keep weeds under control. VERY IMPORTANT: Keep soil evenly moist. Pumpkins have a long maturity period. Pick before fall frost can damage the fruits.

    Radishes

    Best in cool weather and well-drained soil. full sun. Plant outside as soon as soil can be loosened in spring. Plant every 10 days for longer harvest. Sow seeds thickly. Seeds 1/2 in. deep, rows 12 in. apart. Cultivate and weed regularly. Mulch to keep even soil moisture. Thin plants to 1 in. apart to allow growth. Harvest promptly. Young radishes are the most tender. If there are No Roots, Only Leaves: probably soil is too rich with fertilizer. Avoid fertilizing (especially with nitrogen) for root crops. Root maggots common in North. When weather is hot or growth is slow, roots have a hotter flavor and woody texture.

    Spinach

    Best in cool weather, full sun, well-drained soil. Sow seeds outdoors as early as soil can be loosened in spring. Seeds 1/2 in. deep, in rows 12 in. apart. Add high-nitrogen fertilizer (10-5-5) or composted manure to soil before planting. Thin plants to 6 in. apart. Cultivate and keep weeds under control. VERY IMPORTANT: Keep soil evenly moist. Make several plantings 2 weeks apart in early spring, again in late summer for fall. Harvest whole plants or leaves. Avoid wetting leaves, use correct plant spacing so air can circulate, plant varieties which tolerate mildew. Goes to Seed (also called Bolting): if planted too late in spring, will send up a flower stalk rather than form heads.

    Turnip

    Best in cool weather and rich, well-drained soil. Add composted manure or balanced fertilizer to soil before planting. full sun. Plant outside as soon as soil can be loosened in spring. Plant again in 2-3 weeks. In midsummer, plant every 2 weeks for fall harvest (excellent fall crop). Seeds 1/2 in. deep, rows 18 in. apart. Cultivate and weed regularly. Mulch to keep even soil moisture. Thin plants to 4 in. apart to allow growth. When 6 in. high, fertilize again (as above). Harvest at expected maturity days. Root maggots, Flea beetles can be a problem.

    Watermelon

    Needs warm weather, full sun, moist soil. Sow seeds outdoors after soil has warmed in spring and all frost is over. Plant seeds 1/2 in. deep, in groups of 5 seeds about 5 ft. apart. Make rows 6 ft. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before planting. Thin plants to 3 plants per group. Mulch or cultivate to keep weeds under control. VERY IMPORTANT: Keep soil evenly moist. To harvest: the thump test is not always reliable. Use the days to maturity as a guide. When ground spot turns from white to yellow and tendrils near the fruit dry up, the melon is ready.