Brussels sprouts are best planted mid-summer for a fall harvest. These tasty morsels grow on a stalk and can be easily picked once the knobby sprouts are one inch wide, harvesting from the bottom first. Why Brussels sprouts are vilfied is unknown, as they have a similar taste to that of cabbage and are delicious when roasted or carmelized. Keep pests away with insect netting, and watch temperatures so your crop does not bolt. Like most other cole crops, cabbage grows best where there is a cool fall growing season with light frosts.
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Cabbage is a water and nutrient hog, requiring a high nitrogen and potassium fertilizer. Cabbage is ready for harvest when heads are firm. It is common for a second smaller head to form if enough of the stem was left intact from the initial harvest. This versatile crop can be made into cole slaw or sauerkraut, stuffed, braised, added to soup, or sauteed. With some careful planning and attention, carrots are a snap to grow. These Vitamin A-rich veggies require a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen, and high in phosphorus.
They do best when planted from seed rather than transplants, and thinning is imperative to prevent twisted or crooked roots. Carrots grow very well in peat-based growing media; do not require a heavy amount of water, but perform well in consistently moist soils--which make them ideal for growing in the EarthBox gardening system. You're more likely to find four-footed critters rather than buggy pests around this crop--deer, rabbits, and woodchucks can all destroy this delectable crop.
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Once harvested, carrots can be stored for more than a month in the refridgerator. Freezing and canning are also great ways to preserve this sweet harvest for a later consumption. Cauliflower is a cool-season crop, partially hardy to frost and light freezes, and can be grown wherever there are cool growing seasons.
When planting your cauliflower, choose a spot in full sun. If it is an unusually warm day, you can move your container into shade. Water is critical in the beginning of the season while it may still be a bit warm outside. Cauliflower is affected by pests like other members of the cabbage family. Repel flea beetles and root maggots on young seedlings by covering your containers with insect nets immediately after planting. This versatile veggie can be used as a carb substitute for rice or cous cous, and can even be made into gluten-free pizza crust.
Some gardeners will find growing celery difficult, as it has a longer growing season, and can be a bit finicky with a high level of temperature sensitivity. Celery needs ample sun, plenty of water, and balanced nutrients for fast growth. Celery can be started indoors before the season, or sown directly as a summer crop. It may require some additional support to keep the bunches together while growing. While celery is hardy to light freezes, daytime temperaturess should ideally stay moderate.
To prevent pests, use insect netting early in the season. Celery diseases are rarely an issue in home gardens. Once harvested, celery should be used rather quickly. Enjoy as a crunchy snack with veggie dip or sunbutter. To use your harvest at a later time, it is best to incorporate your celery in some broth-based soups which can be frozen or canned. The best environment to grow collard green or mustard greens is in full sun with plentiful, consistent moisture to thrive in your garden. Greens are frost tolerant, so growing them as a late season crop is ideal. Planting greens can also be done in early spring for a summer harvest, but more watering is likely necessary for them to grow successfully during the summer heat.
Use insect netting to help protect from early insect infestations. Collards are best consumed in gumbo, braised, or sauteed. Perhaps one of the sweetest rewards in your garden, sweet corn is a warm-season crop sensitive to frost and light freezes. Remember to plant your seeds with at least 3 months of warm, sunny weather ahead. Choose a location with full sun and remember to keep the water reservoir filled for these heavy drinkers. Corn smut, a disfiguring parasitic fungus that forms large "boils" on stalks, leaves, tassels, or ears can be a major issue for corn.
While delicious, corn has little nutrients to offer, but can be used in any number of ways to eat. Cucumbers are an easy to grow and prolific crop. Ensure the reservoir is kept full, otherwise they may end up being bitter if they don't receive enough moisture. Always wait to plant your cucumber plants until the weather is consistently warm, since they are highly sensitive to cold.
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You can use frost covers to speed warming and protect plants from pests at the same time. Remove the covers before temperatures get too hot in midsummer, and to allow for pollination. Cucumber beetles are the largest problem with this crop. Cucumbers are best when they are picked at a small to moderate size, otherwise larger ones become woody and tasteless.
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Consume your harvest within a few days, or pickle them to enjoy at a later time. Eggplants are a unique fruit that grow best in full sun and hot weather. Like other members of the Nightshade family, eggplants should not be planted until all danger of frost has passed, and daytime temperatures are consistently warm. Be certain to use the black side of the mulch covers to speed soil warming and early growth. These globe-like fruits tend to produce very well in containers, especially if overnight temperatures are warm.
If a cold spell is expected, use a frost cover to protect plants, or bring them indoors. Check water levels daily, since eggplants are heavy drinkers, and fruit may become bitter of they do not receive adequate water. Flea beetles are the most common pest, leaving tiny holes all over the plants' large leaves. When harvesting, be sure to use pruners, since the stems will not release the fruit without destroying the plant.
Garlic is a relatively easy to grow crop - each clove planted will yield one whole bulb when harvested. Even watering is important, especially during bulbing mid-May through June. Garlic has very few pest issues in the garden and it can actually serve as a natural pest repellent. Like onions, garlic can be added to nearly any dish to add robust flavor, or it can be roasted and used as a savory spread.
Be sure to let garlic bulbs dry after harvesting, and they will keep for several months. Nothing tastes better than a fresh, crisp salad made with lettuce straight from the garden. Head lettuces are lettuce varieties that form together like a cabbage such as Romaine and Iceberg. Home grown lettuce tends to be higher in flavor and nutrients than the store-bought variety, and can be very easy to grow yourself. Lettuce likes a lot of water and prefers cool growing conditions, as it can bolt in higher temperatures. Growing nasturtiums near your lettuce can naturally help keep damaging aphids away.
The many varieties of herbs are easy to grow and very prolific.
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Some are more hearty and shrub-like such as rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano; others are more delicate and prone to wilting or bolting when subjected to extreme heat such as dill, parsley, cilantro, and chives. Growing herbs such as mint or lavender in containers is beneficial because it won't have an opportunity to spread--as these tend to be invasive and difficult to rid your garden of. Herbs keep producing as long as you continue pruning and harvesting. They can be used fresh or dried to add flavor to any number of dishes. Jicama is a delicious, but uncommon root vegetable from Central America.
Like a lot of root vegetables, it takes a full season to grow, over five months. Best grown from seed, Jicama prefers very warm climates with full sun. Support climbing vines with a Staking System. Make sure to cut, or deadhead, the flowers to encourage root growth. Jicama tends to be a pest-free plant, due to the poisonous properties of everything that grows above the soil--only the root is edible, so it is very important that you keep this plant away from children and pets.
Late spring to mid fall. Days to maturity: Average days Potential cash return: Excellent cash return if you grow on a fairly large scale. Water needs: Light water requirement. Pest resistance or potential problems: No major ones. Pistachio Bioregion: Southern basin and Range mesas especially around Almogordo. Origin: Native to Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey. Domesticated 2, years ago. Growing season: Perennial tree. Mid spring- mid fall. Days to maturity: days Flower to Seeds. And has many value added potential products from butter to sweet treats. Water needs: Very drought tolerant. Pest resistance or potential problems: None.
Sesame is a complementary crop to be planted to prevent or stop damaging nematodes and soil born diseases Nutritional highlights: Extremely nutritional and medicinal. Great for the eyes and liver. Bioregion: Southern Rockies above 7, elevation. Origin: Bolivia, Peru. Mid spring to mid fall Days to maturity: Average days.
Water needs: Medium light water at early growth, then drought tolerant when it's at flowering and seed stage. Pest resistance or potential problems: Pest free. Cultural significance: Mother grain of the Andes. Growing season: Annual summer crop. Days to maturity: days Potential cash return: Super cash potential.
Pest resistance or potential problems: Very few but occasionally in wet conditions; lygus can be a pest. Nutritional Highlights: Exceptionally nutritious. Also, with generous amounts of calcium, iron and phosphorus. Domesticated years ago in Egypt. Early spring to mid fall. Days to maturity: 50 to 70 days Potential cash return: Huge potential if one can produce it intensively in the end off season especially in green houses or cold frame or as value added in salad mixes.
Growing season: Depending on the bioregion but the average is mid spring- mid fall Days to maturity: Annual crop. Depends on variety Average 90 days. Potential cash return: The most grown vegetable cash crop in the States, so competition is high so best made into value added products like salsas, chili oil or jams per example.
Water needs: Medium water requirements Pest resistance or potential problems: Since chili is such a commercial crop in NM there are a number of pests that plague the chili, number one the chili weevil as well as a number of fungal and viral diseases to be aware of with your cultural practices. Cultural significance: All cultures in NM use chili in almost every meal or at least once a day, and always served for feast days. Used as a spice, condiment and medicine. Lowers blood pressure, aids digestion and fights infection.
Sweet pepper Bioregion: All except far north of NM. Depends on the Bioregion but the average mid spring- mid fall. Days to maturity: Average 80 days Potential cash return: Huge untapped market as most growers grow chili, so, way less competition in growing sweet peppers especially colored bell or Pimiento sweet pepper types. Water needs: Medium Pest resistance or potential problems: There are a number of pests that plague sweet peppers, number one the chili weevil as well as a number of fungal and viral diseases to be aware of with your cultural practices.
Cultural significance: Not nearly as cultural significance as chili. Depending on the Bioregion but generally tomatoes are transplanted after last frost, usually end of May- October. Days to maturity: Depends on variety but average is 85 days. Potential cash return: Fantastic cash return if sold in the off season and producing in late fall, winter and spring by growing in green houses, especially heirloom types or made into salsas and pastes. Water needs: Light to medium water requirements Pest resistance or potential problems: In NM rarely susceptible to several fungal and bacterial diseases usually due to excessive water at blossom time.
Cultural significance: Bio-cultural crop that all cultures enjoy. About 7, years ago. Growing season: Mid spring to mid fall. Days to maturity: days Potential cash return: Good potential if one grows the heirloom colored types and supplies the early market or stores them to supply in the off season being in late fall, winter and early spring.
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Water needs: Medium to High Pest resistance or potential problems: Good cultural practices usually prevent the various fungal and viral problems that potatoes are prone to. They need rich well drained soil and don't like excess water. Cultural significance: Not considered cultural important in NM but it is the most consumed vegetable in NM.
So, a wide open potential awaits for sustainable local food supply. South America, about 7, years ago. Growing season: Late spring- mid fall Days to maturity: days Potential cash return: Fantastic, mostly all imported, no competition in NM and can be stored. Origin: Sub-tropic southern Africa, domesticated 1, years ago. Growing season: Annual Crop. Summer, plant after last frost. Days to maturity: Depends on variety, average 90 days. Potential cash return: If one grows small heirlooms yellow or orange. Water needs: Light Pest resistance or potential problems: Very few problems but occasionally susceptible to fusarium wilt and fungal problems usually due to over watering as the fruit is developing.
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Cultural significance: Used in ceremonial events with indigenous tribes as well as served in feast days. Summer and plant after last frost Days to maturity: Depends on variety. Average 85 days. Potential cash return: If one grows the extra early types to get first market or the green or white fleshed late season varieties that keep for several months into late fall. Water needs: Medium Pest resistance or potential problems: Cucumber beetles and several fungal diseases.
Nutritional Highlights: Rich in Vitamin A and potassium. One of the oldest crops to be domesticated; 10, years ago. Summer, after danger of last frost has passed.
Days to maturity: 55 days. Potential cash return: Pretty good if one grows the heirloom varieties that no one else does. Water needs: Medium Pest resistance or potential problems: The only major problem in NM is the squash beetle. Cultural significance: Nutritional highlights: Seeds 'pepitas' rich in zinc. Bio-cultural crop Bioregion: All. Some species and varieties due better in the southern areas while others due best in the Northern regions. Paradoxically, this happens at a time when the variety of plants and hybrids has never been wider.
The wise small gardener avoids the temptations of this banquet. Some of the most attractive miniature schemes, such as those seen in Japan or in some Western patio gardens, are effectively based on an austere simplicity of design and content, with a handful of plants given room to find their proper identities. Because most gardens are mixed, the resulting style is a matter of emphasis rather than exclusive concentration on one aspect. It may be useful to review briefly the main garden types. Though flower gardens in different countries may vary in the types of plants that are grown, the basic planning and principles are nearly the same, whether the gardens are formal or informal.
Trees and shrubs are the mainstay of a well-designed flower garden. These permanent features are usually planned first, and the spaces for herbaceous plants, annuals, and bulbs are arranged around them. The range of flowering trees and shrubs is enormous. It is important, however, that such plants be appropriate to the areas they will occupy when mature.
Thus it is of little use to plant a forest tree that will grow feet 30 metres high and 50 feet across in a small suburban front garden 30 feet square, but a narrow flowering cherry or redbud tree would be quite suitable. Blending and contrast of colour as well as of forms are important aspects to consider in planning a garden. The older type of herbaceous border was designed to give a maximum display of colour in summer, but many gardeners now prefer to have flowers during the early spring as well, at the expense of some bare patches later.
This is often done by planting early-flowering bulbs in groups toward the front.