«HOME VEGETABLE GARDEN Lassen-Plumas-Sierra Counties Cooperative Extension University of California HOME VEGETABLE GARDENING Your home vegetable ...»
University of California
HOME VEGETABLE GARDENING
Your home vegetable garden can provide fresh vegetables nearly the year round. You'll
find the first pages of this publication devoted to general cultural methods. Following
these, the common garden crops are taken up, one by one giving briefly the culture of
each. With such brief treatment, some questions will remain unanswered. When problems arise, you are invited to contact the Farm Advisor's Office in your area. In Lassen County at 707 Nevada St., Susanville, phone 257-6363. In Plumas-Sierra Counties contact the Farm Advisor's Office in Quincy, located at 208 Fairgrounds Rd., or phone 283-6270.
Home gardens will be most successful if each crop is grown during the period most favorable for it's development. The front page includes a list of the vegetables, an index and a calendar for easy reference for the 4,000 to 4,200 feet elevation areas. The first page also includes a table showing how many growing days can be expected at what elevations. On page two, there is a map of the larger growing areas and the elevation of these areas. You can refer to the elevation- growing days table on page one for quick reference to growing days in your particular area..
Every gardener soon learns that there is no such thing as a normal growing season. A 140 day growing season may be 160 one year and 110 days the next year.
The area that takes in most of Lassen, Plumas and Sierra Counties is an area of extreme variation in elevations and growing seasons. Spring weather can fluctuate from subfreezing at night to the upper 60's and 70's in mid-afternoon. Many areas have a 130 to 140 day growing season.
In the 100 day areas the last frost date is around May 30th. July temperatures average 58In these high elevation areas there's no chance for sweet corn, winter squash, peppers and other frost-sensitive long-season crops.
Most root crops, however, beets, carrots, onion sets, and potatoes produce beautifully if planted early. All cool season leafy vegetables that can be harvested before they are mature can be grown successfully.
In the lower elevation areas where the growing season is 120-140 days and the temperatures reach in the 80's and 90's in mid-July some of the early maturing types of sweet corn, winter squash and other warm season crops can be successful.
Some crops may be planted somewhat earlier, if frost protection is afforded them.
Usually hot caps are used for frost protection.
Cucumber, melon and squash transplants should not be transplanted bare root. They are usually grown in decomposable plant containers and the entire container is placed in the soil at planting, so the soil around the roots is not disturbed. From seeding to transplant size will require 6 to 8 weeks for crops like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Cucumber, melon and squash will reach transplant size in 3 to4 weeks after seeding.
LAYOUT AND SIZE OF GARDENThe amount of time available and the ability and experience of the gardener are important factors in determining the size and type of the garden. Time to care for and harvest of the crops throughout the season should be anticipated before planting.
Gardens ranging from 100 sq. ft. to 900 sq. ft. will furnish part of the average family's needs. With double cropping, an area of 2,000 to 3,000 sq. ft. will supply most of the family's requirements. For small gardens, the number of different crops should be limited rather than trying every crop suggested.
Where ample land is available, the size and shape of the garden should fit the tools and equipment to be used. On a ranch, garden rows may well match the commercial crops grown, so the same cultivators, etc., may be used for the garden crops. Row spacing given for each crop is minimum spacing. There is no hard and fast rule in this regard.
Individual convenience and desire may well be followed. Spacing of plants in the row is, however, definite, and should be followed
LOCATION AND SOILYour garden needs adequate sunshine. Few crops will do well if shaded. The plot should be away from trees, buildings etc., that will shade the garden plants the greater part of the day. However, windbreaks of trees or buildings that will protect the garden are advantageous.
A sandy loam soil is the best garden soil. The clays or heavy soils may produce just as well if managed properly. An adequate water supply near the garden plot is essential.
AMOUNT TO PLANTThe amount suggested for each crop should yield a moderate supply for a family of four.
FERTILIZER The productivity of any soil can be improved with a generous application of manure.
Manure should be spread uniformly and then worked into the soil by spading or plowing.
INORGANIC METHODInorganic fertilizers are available in various combinations of nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, and minor elements and are good sources of plant food and may be used alone or to supplement manures. A complete fertilizer such as 10-10-5, which contains 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 5% potassium by weight, is often used. It may be spread evenly over the soil and spaded in, or it can be spread down a furrow about 3 inches from the seed row and covered over at planting time.
Complete (10-10-5) 3 lbs./100 sq. ft.
Ammonium phosphate (16-20-0) 2 lbs./100 sq. ft.* Ammonium sulfate (21- 0-0) 2 lbs./100 sq. ft.
Ammonium nitrate (33- 0-0) 1 lb. /100 sq. ft.
ORGANIC METHODIf organic gardening is your goal it may be advisable to apply a double rate application of manure or compost 3 to 4 months before the first year's planting. Following the rates of manure suggested on a yearly basis may be sufficient to maintain a reasonable level of fertility, but may not be enough to start the organic gardening project. High nitrogen requiring crops like sweet corn, tomatoes, and potatoes may need additional organic fertilizer to obtain reasonable yields and quality.
Cotton seed meal ( 7-3-2) 4 lbs./100 sq. ft.
Dried blood (13-2-0) 2 lbs./100 sq. ft.
Fish meal (10-6-0) 3 lbs./100 sq. ft.
Tankage ( 7-9-2) 4 lbs./100 sq. ft.
BEDS OR FLAT PLANTINGMost vegetables may be planted either on raised beds or on the flat. Raised beds serve better for winter crops. No hard and fast rule can be set for shape and size of beds.
Suggested are ridges 30 inches from center to center, 15 inches across top. Double row beds will then have about 10 Inches between rows. With plants that are grown one row per ridge, it is usually preferable to plant near on edge of the ridge in order for the young plant to receive ample water.
When flat planting is used, it may be desirable to construct shallow furrows close to and on both sides of the row to insure sufficient water for the young plants. These furrows later may be cultivated in, and a larger permane nt furrow can be made midway between the row.
Where the garden is planted on a slope, the furrows should be run across the slope. On level land, the rows should run north and south, particularly for winter gardens.
IRRIGATION Irrigation water can be applied by sprinkling or by the furrow method. It is important to apply sufficient water and at proper intervals. Definite suggestions for different crops will be found on the following pages. The depth of penetration may be tested by the use of a sharp stick or other probe. Sprinkling may be necessary to germinate seed, particularly in starting early fall gardens. The soil surface should be kept moist until plants appear.
CULTIVATION - WEED CONTROLCultivation is mainly for weed control. The soil should not be allowed to bake around the base of the plants. Hand hoeing is the safest weed control method. Herbicides used in commercial farming are difficult to apply at the recommended rate to small areas. Before using any herbicide, inspect the label for crops that may be safely treated. Herbicide residues may interfere with germination of seeds planted for the next crop season.
INSECT PESTSAn all-purpose vegetable dust may be the simplest insect control treatment. For information on insect control, secure the bulletins entitled: "Insects and Diseases of Vegetables in the Home Garden", and "Controlling Nematodes in the Home Garden", at the Agricultural Extension Service Office.
PRESERVATIONLeaflets on the use of vegetables and home preservation are available at the Agricultural Extension Service, Farm and Home Advisor's Office.
ASPARAGUS HARDINESS Perennial, will withstand freezing.
VARIETIES 500 W, Mary Washington.
WHAT TO PLANT -- Plant 1-year-old crowns or seed.
PLANTING DATES -- March, April (Crowns).
May, June (Seeds).
DEPTH OF PLANTING -- Plant crowns in trench 6-8 Inches deep and cover to a depth of 3 inches.
Seed -- Plant 1 inch deep in the bottom of a furrow 6 inches deep.
DAYS TO MATURITY -- One year from crowns. Two years from seeds.
AMOUNT TO PLANT -- 25 to 30 feet.
ROW SPACING -- 4 feet.
PLANT SPACING IN ROW -- Crowns 12 inches. Seeds 3 inches apart. Is not necessary to thin.
IRRIGATION -- During the cutting and fern seasons, irrigate every two weeks until tops die. Moisten soil to a depth of 5 feet at each irrigation.
CULTURE -- The first year gradually fill in soil around plants as they grow. In the fall after the tops are dead, they should be cut and removed. There should be at least 6 inches of soil over the crowns during the harvest season.
DURATION OF BED -- 15 years.
HARVESTING -- Cut 1-2 inches below surface when the spears are 7-8 inches tall. In warm weather, you may need to harvest once a day. Harvest 1- yearold bed for only 3 weeks. The 2-year and older beds may be harvested until about June 15th.
STORAGE Quality deteriorates rapidly after cutting. Can be stored 24-48 hours in the refrigerator or frozen.
BEANS - SNAP HARDINESS -- Tender, injured by frosts.
BEST TIME TO GROW -- During moderately warm weather. Beans set pods poorly in hot weather.
VARIETIES -- Bush: Apollo, Tendergreen, Topcrop, Black Wax.
Pole: Kentucky Wonder, Romano, (Pole Italian).
WHAT TO PLANT -- Seed. Seed usually treated with a fungicide.
PLANTING DATES -- May and Early June.
DAYS TO MATURITY -- 50 to 60, bush; 65 to 70 pole.
AMOUNT TO PLANT -- Bush: 25 feet of row.
Pole: 25 feet of row.
Teepee Pole: 12 to 15 hills of 3 plants each.
BEETS HARDINESS -- Hardy, not injured by light freezes.
BEST TIME TO GROW -- Spring and fall.
VARIETIES -- Detroit Dark Red, Early Wonder, Greentop, Bunching, Crosby's Egyptian.
WHAT TO PLANT -- Seed.
PLANTING DATES -- March, April, May, July & August.
DAYS TO MATURITY-- 70 days.
AMOUNT TO PLANT -- 8 feet of bed (16 feet of row).
ROW OR BED SPACING -- Use beds or plant on flat. Plant 2 rows on beds 30 inches center to center. Space rows 10 inches apart on bed.
PLANT SPACING IN ROW -- 1 to 2 inches after thinning; however, sow 2 seeds per inch.
DEPTH OF SEEDING -- 3/4 of an inch.
IRRIGATION -- Keep soil moist around seed until plants are up.
Irrigate every 10 to 14 days. Water to wet soil to a depth of 30 inches at each ir rigation CULTURE -- Thin plants when young, if too thick. Control weeds by shallow cultivation.
HARVESTING -- As with other root crops. Start using beets as soon as the largest reach edible size, (1 inch in diameter). Do as much of the thinning as possible while harvesting. This will lengthen the harvest season. The tops can be used for greens.
STORAGE -- Store in ground.
BROCCOLI - SPROUTINGHARDINESS -- Hardy, resistant to light freezes.
BEST TIME TO GROW -- Late April and May plantings for harvest during the late Fall.
VARIETIES -- Ferry-Morse 4638, Medium 145, Topper 43.
WHAT TO PLANT -- Use transplants or seed and thin to 12 inches.
PLANTING DATES -- Transplants -- Late April to May.
DAYS TO MATURITY -- 100 from set plants. 140 days from seed.
(FM-4638, 80 f rom seed).
AMOUNT TO PLANT -- 12 to 15 plants.
ROW OR BED SPACING -- Use 30-inch beds (1 row per bed), or plant on flat using 2feet spacing between rows.
PLANT SPACING IN ROW -- 12 inches.
IRRIGATION -- Water immediately after transplanting, then once every 10 to 14 days depending on the weather. Moisten soil to a depth of 30 inches at each irrigation.
CULTURE -- Keep weeds down. Cultivate shallow.
INSECTS PESTS -- Aphids, cabbage worms.
HARVESTING -- Cut heads just before buds open. Cut stem 6 inches below bud cluster.
After center bud is cut, side shoots produce edible buds. A several month harvest season is possible during the late summer and fall. Do not let any heads flower; this will shorten the harvest season.
STORAGE -- Can be held as long as 3 weeks in refrigerator, can be frozen.
CABBAGE HARDINESS -- Young plants will stand light freezes. Mature heads may be injured by frosts.
BEST TIME TO GROW -- Early Fall.
VARIETIES -- Early: Copenhagen Market, Golden Acre, Jersey Wakefield.
Late: Slow Bolting Flat Dutch, Greenback, Savor, Late Flat Dutch.
WHAT TO PLANT -- Use transplants, or direct seed and thin.
PLANTING DATES -- Plants: April, May DAYS TO MATURITY -- 80 to 100 for plants, 45 days longer when seeded.
AMOUNT TO PLANT -- At the fall planting, set out 12 to 15 plants each of an early and late variety.
ROW SPACING -- 30 inches. One row per bed or plant flat.
PLANT SPACING IN ROW -- 18 inches.
IRRIGATION -- Water immediately after transplanting, then every 7 to 14 days. At each irrigation, apply sufficient water to moisten soil to a depth of 20 inches.
INSECTS-PESTS -- Aphids, cabbage worms, cutworms and slugs, harlequin cabbage bug.
HARVESTING -- Cut heads when fairly firm and before they burst open.