General Vegetable Culture

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Information about General Vegetable Culture

Published on November 15, 2007

Author: Jancis


Growing Vegetables in Wisconsin:  Growing Vegetables in Wisconsin Karen Delahaut Fresh Market Vegetable Outreach Specialist Tomatoes Lycopersicon esculentum:  Tomatoes Lycopersicon esculentum Family Solanaceae Native to the Andes of South America Introduced to Europe in 1500s Believed to be poisonous until 1700s Tomatine in green tissue Lycopene & beta carotene give tomatoes their color Tender, warm season annual Slide3:  2nd most popular vegetable behind potatoes Salsa is the most popular condiment, surpassing ketchup. Red, pink, yellow, orange, white, purple Determinate vs. Indeterminate:  Determinate vs. Indeterminate Determinate 3 to 4 ft tall Plant ends in flower bud Indeterminate 7 to 15 ft tall Plant “never ends”, remains vegetative Forms flowers in leaf axils Cherry and pear tomatoes 1 plant can produce 10-50 lb fruit/season Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Cherry & Pear (L. cerasiforme-cherry & pyriforme-pear) Smaller (½” dia.), sweeter tomatoes Produce about 100 fruit/plant Sweet 100 Yellow Pear Sweet Million Roma Paste or processing tomatoes Roma VF Viva Italia Amish Paste Beefsteak Larger tomatoes for fresh slicing Higher ratio of cell wall to pulp & short, soft core Big Boy Better Boy Early Girl Heirloom Older, open pollinated varieties Brandywine Black Krim Hungarian Heart Tomato Culture:  Tomato Culture Self fertile, wind-pollinated flowers. Starts seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost Plant transplants 18-24 inches apart in rows 3-4 feet apart Night temperature critical: 60 - 70ºF Temps < 50 will cause blossom abortion, poor fruit set & cat-facing Staking or Trellising:  Staking or Trellising Harvesting Tomatoes:  Harvesting Tomatoes Ripe, well-formed, blemish free Heirloom & beefsteak tomatoes will be irregular in shape Never refrigerate tomatoes – won’t fully develop flavor after harvest Ripen unripe fruit in a paper bag out of direct sunlight Freeze, dehydrate, or can to preserve the summer flavor Peppers Capsicum annuum, C. frutescens - Tabasco:  Peppers Capsicum annuum, C. frutescens - Tabasco Family Solanaceae Originated in Central America Came to United States in 1700s Black & white pepper used as seasoning is Piper nigrum. Tender, herbaceous perennials grown as annuals. Lance-shaped leaves & perfect, white flowers. Cultivar Selection-Hot:  Cultivar Selection-Hot Anaheim = 500-2,500 (mild, chile rellenos) Ancho/Poblano = 1,000-1,500 (mild, roasted, stuffed, mole) Cayenne = 30,000-50,000 (medium hot, Cajun & Indian food) Habaňero = 150,000-300,000 (hottest of all, salsas & hot sauces) Jalapeno = 2,500-5,000 (medium hot, salsas & salads) Pequin = 50,000-100,000 Serrano = 10,000-20,000 (fiercely hot, roasted for salsa) Thai = 30,000-100,000 (fiercely hot, Asian stir fry) Cultivar Selection - Sweet:  Cultivar Selection - Sweet Sweet Bell Early Crisp Gypsy Lady Bell Purple Beauty Banana Banana Supreme Bananarama Cherry Cherry Pick Cubanelle Key Largo Hungarian Pimiento Antohi Romanian Round of Hungary Red Ruffled Pimiento Tabasco Pepper Culture:  Pepper Culture Start seed indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost Harden off transplants before setting out. Plant 18-24 inches apart in the row. Warm season Grow best 70-80°F day & 65-70°F night. Blossom abortion, poor fruit set, shortened fruit, lack of color. Capsanthin – chemical that causes peppers to ripen <56°F inhibit capsanthin production. Moist soil - mulch is beneficial. Harvesting Peppers:  Harvesting Peppers Harvest immature or mature. Chili or cayenne peppers can be dried. Avoid harvesting peppers with sunken brown spots. Store fresh peppers in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator. Eggplant Solanum melogena:  Eggplant Solanum melogena A.K.A. Aubergine Family Solanaceae Tender, warm-season perennial grown as an annual Native to India & China – ancient Asian vegetable America: Introduced early as ornamental Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Fruit may be oval, oblong, or round. Color ranges from purple-black, to green, pink, white, red or yellow. Asian Ichiban Orient Express American (oval) Black Beauty Purple Rain Eggplant Culture:  Eggplant Culture Indeterminate, erect bush Flowers borne singly or in clusters in leaf axils Start seed indoors 10-12 weeks before last frost Very susceptible to chilling 75-85°F day & 65-75°F night Best if planted on black plastic mulch Harvesting Eggplant:  Harvesting Eggplant Harvest eggplant approximately 25-40 days after pollination. Fruit should be glossy and deeply colored and feel heavy for its size. Mature fruit will have a dull skin and flesh will be bitter. No such thing as male and female fruit! Fruit with oval dimples on the blossom end will have fewer seeds and are less meaty but this is not related to gender. Clip fruit from the plant to avoid damage Other Solanaceous Vegetables:  Other Solanaceous Vegetables Potato – Solanum tuberosum Ground Cherry, Husk Tomato, Tomatillo – Physalis ixocarpa Gooseberry – Physalis peruviana Huckleberry – Solanum nigrum var. guineense Tree Tomato – egg-size fruit with tomato-like flavor. Beans Phaseolus vulgaris & P. linensis:  Beans Phaseolus vulgaris & P. linensis Family Fabaceae (Leguminoseae) Native to Central America. Records of use as food date back to 5000 B.C. Self-pollinated. Warm season, herbaceous annual. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Bush Erect plant, usually short season Blue Lake Bush Romano Royal Burgundy (purple) Goldmine (wax) Lima Climbing or bush forms. Heat tolerant Pole Twining type of bean, usually matures later but harvest time is longer Kentucky Blue Kentucky Wonder Wax Scarlet Runner Bean Culture:  Bean Culture Plant beans after the last expected frost in warm soil, 50ºF. Soak seed for an hour before planting to enhance germination. May need inoculum in new gardens. Plant seed 1 to 2 inches deep. Well-drained soils. Replant mid-summer for fall crop. Little or no nitrogen fertilizer required. Pole beans will require staking or some form of support. Harvesting Beans:  Harvesting Beans Harvest beans 14-18 days after full bloom. Should be sweet, tender and uniform size. Store in the refrigerator under high humidity. Peas Pisum sativum:  Peas Pisum sativum Family Fabaceae (Leguminoseae) Native to middle Asia. Field peas are native to Africa. Became popular as a vegetable in the 1700s. Cool season, herbaceous annual. Classified by growth habit, pod appearance, seed color, and starch/sugar content. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Snap or Edible Pod – eaten when immature Sugar Snap Super Sugar Snap Field Peas Black-eyed Clay – grow well in clay soils Crowder – “crowd” the peas in the pod Iron – rusty red Pink-eyed – pink central ring White Acre Zipper – unzip themselves from pod Garden Peas Early Frosty Maestro Wando Garden Sweet Spring Snow Peas – eaten when half mature Mammoth Melting Sugar Oregon Sugar Pod II Snowbird Pea Culture:  Pea Culture Plant as early as April 15th in southern WI. Preparing the planting site the previous fall will prevent planting delays. Sandy, well-drained soils are best. Soak seeds for 1 hour prior to planting to speed germination. Space 1-2 inches apart in the row. Support with a trellis or twine. Harvesting Peas:  Harvesting Peas Harvest peas 3 weeks after full bloom. Plump enough to shell garden peas easily. Don’t allow to get over ripe. Store at 35-40°F under high humidity. Cabbage Brassica oleracea var. capitata, tuba, & sabauda:  Cabbage Brassica oleracea var. capitata, tuba, & sabauda Family Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) Native to Europe & Asia. Hardy, cool season herbaceous biennial First to evolve from wild broccoli. Heads may be pointed, conical, oblong, round, or flattened. Leaves may be smooth or savoy; green, red, or purple. Alaskan-grown kraut cabbage heads may be 60lbs each! Isothiocyanates give cole crops their distinct flavor. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Cultivars based on color and type Savoy Express (savoy) Ruby Perfection (red) Earliana (early green) Salad Delight (red) If available, select cultivars resistant to cabbage yellows. Cabbage Culture:  Cabbage Culture Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Slowly acclimate transplants before setting outside permanently. Sow seed directly for fall crops 10-12 weeks before killing frost. Harvesting Cabbage:  Harvesting Cabbage Harvest when heads are firm and before they split. Cut with a sharp knife just above the root crown. Don’t wash prior to storage. Store in refrigerator with or without a plastic bag. Broccoli Brassica oleracea var italica:  Broccoli Brassica oleracea var italica Family Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) Native to Europe & Asia. Hardy, cool season, herbaceous annual. 1st crop to evolve from wild cabbage. Head comprised of functional flower buds. Sprouting & heading varieties. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Calabrese or Italian Green Packman Green Goliath Purple Sprouting Romanesco forms spiral-shaped heads Minaret Broccoli Culture:  Broccoli Culture Relatively tolerant to environmental stress. Temperatures below 40°F will cause chilling injury. Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Sow seed directly for fall crops 10-12 weeks before killing frost. Browning of florets due to boron deficiency. Button heads due to temperature extremes or nitrogen deficiency. Harvesting Broccoli:  Harvesting Broccoli Harvest when heads are firm and florets haven’t begun to open. Retain 2-4 inches of stem when cutting. Cut sprouting broccoli just below the floret to stimulate new shoots. Cool immediately after harvest. Don’t wash prior to refrigeration. Cauliflower Brassica oleracea var. botrytis:  Cauliflower Brassica oleracea var. botrytis Family Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) Native to Europe & Asia Hardy, cool season herbaceous biennial. Evolved from sprouting broccoli. Winter and late-season types have curds consisting of functional flower buds. Purple cauliflower is a type of broccoli. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Snowball types most common Snow Queen Early White First White Snow Crown Specialty Violet Queen Cauliflower Culture:  Cauliflower Culture Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Needs a long, cool growing season. Sow seed directly for fall crops 10-12 weeks before killing frost. Prolonged temperatures below 50°F will induce bolting. Hot summer temps will cause poor curd quality. Tie cauliflower leaves together to blanch the curds when heads are 2-3”. Heads develop in 3-14 days after tying depending on the temperature so check every other day. Cauliflower Problems:  Cauliflower Problems Browning of the curds is caused by boron deficiency or unavailability in high pH soils. Ricing is when curds become velvety and is caused by high nitrogen and temperatures that result in rapid head formation. Blindness is when no curd is formed due to poor fertility, insect damage, disease, heredity, or cold. Stressed plants may form small, “button” heads. Harvesting Cauliflower:  Harvesting Cauliflower Harvest when curds are compact and surrounded by leaves. Retain enough wrapper leaves to hold heads intact. Wrap in a damp cloth and refrigerate immediately. Brussels Sprouts - B. oleracae var. gemmifera:  Brussels Sprouts - B. oleracae var. gemmifera Family Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) Native to Europe & Asia Hardy, cool season herbaceous biennial. Believed to be derived from savoy cabbage. Sprouts form in the leaf axils beginning at the bottom of the plant. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection F1 Hybrids have good uniformity, vigor and disease resistance. Bubbles Tasty Nuggets Content Diablo Brussels Sprouts Culture:  Brussels Sprouts Culture Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Needs a long, cool growing season: 90-100 days. Sow seed directly for fall crops 10-12 weeks before killing frost. Bitter sprouts caused by heat or drought. Harvesting Brussels Sprouts:  Harvesting Brussels Sprouts Best flavor develops after frost. Sprouts harvested before frost are loose and bitter. Top 3 weeks before harvest. Don’t have to remove lower leaves. Other Cole Crops:  Other Cole Crops Kale— B. oleracae var. acephala Kohlrabi— B. oleracea var. gongyloides Chinese Cabbage— B. oleracea var. pekinensis Bok Choy— B. rapa var. chinensis Carrots Daucus carota var. sativus:  Carrots Daucus carota var. sativus Family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) Originated in Afghanistan & possibly northern Iran & Pakistan. Introduced in America in the 1700s. Biennial, grown as an annual. White, purple, yellow, orange, and red varieties. Carrot Pigments:  Carrot Pigments Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Imperator More slender and slightly longer than Danvers type Deep orange cortex with lighter core Fresh Market Danvers Medium to long with broad shoulders and sharp taper Orange tinged with green Processed into baby food Nantes Short, cylindrical with no taper, and a blunt, rounded base Bright orange Primary home garden carrot Chantenay Medium to short with a slight taper and blunt end Grown for storage or processing Medium to light orange Carrot Culture:  Carrot Culture Sow ¼ inch deep in loose soil free of debris & rocks. Thin to 1-3 inches apart in the row. Well-drained soil. Replant mid-summer for extra sweet fall carrots. Will produce a flower stalk if exposed to temps of 50°F for 6-8 weeks particularly under long days. Harvesting Carrots:  Harvesting Carrots Harvest when they are sweet and before they become woody. Carrots with large shoulders are often woody. Wash well before storing in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Sugar content increases while in cold storage. Ethylene will cause bitterness – don’t store with apples, melons, or bananas. Radishes Raphanus sativus:  Radishes Raphanus sativus Family Brassicaceae Native to China. Leaves deeply pinnate arising from a basal rosette. Edible. Roots can be round, oval, cylindrical, or icicle-shaped. Bolt under long day conditions. Insect pollinated. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Bred for taste, bolt resistance, disease resistance, & appearance. Cultivars are based on season grown: Spring-type Cherry Belle Early Scarlet Globe Summer French Breakfast Snow Belle (white) White Icicle (white) Red Meat Winter (var. longipinnatus) April Cross Round Black Spanish Daikons Chinese White China Rose Radish Culture:  Radish Culture Plant before the last frost in spring and sow every 10-14 days to extend the harvest. Plant 1 inch apart in the row with rows 1 foot apart for spring radishes and 2 inches apart in the row for winter radishes. Raised beds will promote rapid development of spring radishes Consider interplanting spring radishes with other, later maturing crops. Harvesting Radishes:  Harvesting Radishes Spring radishes are harvested 20-25 days after seeding when <¾ inch diameter. Winter radishes are harvested 50-60 days after planting. Beets Beta vulgaris:  Beets Beta vulgaris Family Chenopodiaceae (goosefoot family). Grown for their roots and edible greens. Native to western Europe & north Africa. Selected from ancient European species. Originally fed to livestock - mangels. Biennial grown as an annual. Contain betacyanin and betaxanthin. High in carbohydrates. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Based on color, shape & use: Red, yellow, purple, white, striped. Top-shaped, globe-shaped, flattened, elongated. Slicing, bunching, storage. Big Red Burpee Golden Chioggia (striped) Cylindra Detroit Dark Red Detroit Supreme Lutz - greens Ruby Queen (bunching type) Beet Culture:  Beet Culture Temperatures of 55-70°F produce rapid growth and good flavor. Zoning comes from temperature fluctuations. Space seed 2-4 inches apart in double rows with rows 15-30 inches apart. Sow every 2-3 weeks apart to extend the season. Harvesting Beets:  Harvesting Beets Harvest when beets are round, tender, & 2” diameter. Old, large roots can be fibrous. 50-60 days after planting. May store for up to 6 months in the refrigerator. Other Root Crops:  Other Root Crops Turnip – Brassica rapa subsp. rapifera Rutabaga – Brassica napus var. napobrassica Parsnip – Pastinaca sativa Celariac – Apium graveolens var. rapaceum Garlic Allium sativum:  Garlic Allium sativum Family Alliaceae Native to Middle Asia. 1st cultivated 5,000 years ago. Introduced to America in the 1700s. Herbaceous, cool-season, perennial. Comprised of multiple cloves. Only hardneck varieties produce flowers. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Hardneck – Rocambole German Red Killarney Red Russian Red Spanish Roja Purple Stripe Bogatyr Brown Rose Brown Tempest Chesnok Red Giant Siberian Persian Star Porcelain Music German Extra Hardy Georgial Crystal Georgian Fire Northern White Polish Hardneck Softneck – Artichoke California White Inchelium Red Polish White Silverskin Silver Rose Silver White Elephant garlic is not a garlic but a form of leek! Allium ampeloprasum Garlic Culture:  Garlic Culture Plant cloves in early fall – 6 weeks before the ground freezes Larger cloves produce larger bulbs Well-drained soil Mulch with straw after the ground freezes Remove the flower stalk of hardneck garlic when it forms a circle Harvesting Garlic:  Harvesting Garlic Harvest garlic when 2/3 of the tops turn brown - 9 months after planting. Cure for 30 days in a warm, dry place. Hardneck garlic will last for 3-6 months. Softneck garlic lasts for 6-9 months. Onions Allium cepa:  Onions Allium cepa Family Alliaceae Native to Southern Asia Introduced to America in the 1400s Herbaceous biennial grown as an annual. Bulb is comprised of fleshy basal leaves. Contains glucose, fructose, & sucrose – no starch Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Green onions (A. cepa) immature true onions harvested before bulbs form. Scallions or bunching onions (A. cepa) never form a bulb. Multiplier onions form 4-5 bulbs enclosed in a single leaf sheath. Shallots (A. cepa) develop a small cluster of bulbs and are more subtle in flavor. Pearl onions (A. ampeloprasum) form only one storage leaf. Like leeks but form small bulbs like garlic. Cipollini onions are small, sweet, early onions. Onion Culture:  Onion Culture Plant seeds, sets, or transplants. Sets may flower if summer is cool. Transplant once frost is out of the ground – about 4 weeks before the last spring frost. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Weeds can be a problem in onions and garlic. Harvesting Onions:  Harvesting Onions Harvest green onions when the tops are > 6” and ½-1” in diameter. Harvest bulb onions when 50-75% of the tops fall over. Cure bulb onions at 85-90°F for 10 days Store at 35-40F for 3-4 months. Leeks Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum:  Leeks Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum Family Alliaceae Native to the Mediterranean. Herbaceous, cool-season biennial grown as an annual. Non-bulbing unless daylength exceeds 19 hours. Milder flavor than onions. 2nd year they will form underground bulbs like Elephant garlic Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Bred for size and shape of the stalk, hardiness, disease resistance, and early maturity American Flag Giant Musselburg King Richard Otina Pancho Leek Culture:  Leek Culture Plant leek seed indoors around Feb. 15. Transplant in mid-April or 4 weeks before the last frost date. Plant in holes 5-6 inches deep and fill in holes to blanch. Long season: require 120-150 days to harvest. Harvesting Leeks:  Harvesting Leeks Harvest when1 ¼ -3 inches thick. May mulch heavily and harvest into winter. Trim roots, green leaves and wash before storing in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Melon Cucumis melo & Citrullus lanatus:  Melon Cucumis melo & Citrullus lanatus Family Cucurbitaceae Native to Africa Introduced to America in 1400s. Warm season, herbaceous annual. May be determinate or indeterminate. Melon leaves are oval to kidney-shaped with 5-7 lobes. Melons can only cross-pollinate with members of the same species. Watermelon leaves are heart-shaped with 3-7 lobes. Plants are monoecious & can be self or cross pollinated. Sex in the Garden:  Sex in the Garden Cucurbit flowers may be perfect (have male and female parts) or imperfect (have only one or the other). Male flowers produced early in the season (daylength >14 hrs.) Female flowers begin to show up along with the males around the summer solstice And male flowers predominate in August until frost Genetics, day length, and temperature determine what gender of flowers are produced Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Muskmelon – Reticulatus group Magnifisweet Athena Super Sun Sweet & Early Honeydew – Inodorus group Super Dew Early Crisp Venus Watermelon Yellow Doll Crimson Sweet Bush Sugar Baby Moon & Stars Melon Culture:  Melon Culture Require 90-125 days to produce a crop. Seed at ½ to 1 inch depth, 5 ft centers. Don’t transplant well. Chilling sensitive. Require warm, sunny weather to produce sweet fruit. Moist, well-drained soil. Best grown on plastic mulch. Bees essential for good fruit set. Only allow 1-2 fruits to develop per plant. Harvesting Melons:  Harvesting Melons Harvest muskmelons at full-slip. 30-35 days after pollination. Cool immediately to prevent deterioration. Observe the “ground patch” on watermelon to determine when to harvest – it will become white to creamy yellow. Wipe watermelon clean with a damp cloth and store in a cool location. Cucumber Cucumis sativus:  Cucumber Cucumis sativus Family Cucurbitaceae Native to India Warm season, herbaceous annual. May be determinate or indeterminate. Leaves and stems are spiny. Leaves are triangular with rounded lobes with the middle lobe longer. Self-pollinated. Cucurbitacin is what causes people to have difficulty digesting cucumbers. Gynoecious – all female. Need ≥ 1 male plant to pollinate. Parthenocarpic – self-fertile & doesn’t require pollination. Requires isolation from other fruit to avoid pollination to provide seedless fruit. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Slicing (long and tapered with smooth, glossy green skin and few spines) Dasher II Marketmore Orient Express Sweet Success Tasty Green Salad Bush Spacemaster Pickling (blunt, angular, warty, light green, spiny) Homemade Pickles Pickalot Gherkin (small, oval, prickly) Cucumber Culture:  Cucumber Culture Plant seeds 1-1½ inches deep and 8-12 inches apart. Require soil temperatures of 60°F. Don’t transplant well. Trellis on strong wire mesh to save space. Harvesting Cucumbers:  Harvesting Cucumbers Harvest slicing cucumbers when they are 6-8 inches long (typically 12 days after pollination). Oversized (yellow) fruit left on the plant will prevent subsequent fruit from developing & will have large seeds. Wipe clean with a damp cloth and store uncut in the refrigerator. Summer Squash Cucurbita pepo:  Summer Squash Cucurbita pepo Family Cucurbitaceae Native to the Americas Warm season, frost tender, herbaceous annual. May be determinate or indeterminate. Leaves are 3-lobed or entire. Plants are monoecious. Thin-skinned, eaten when immature. Blossoms are edible. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Zucchini Aristocrat Spineless Beauty Roly Poly Straightneck Butterstick Gold Bar Sunray Saffron Crookneck Horn of Plenty Pic-n-Pic Early Golden Crookneck Scallop or Patty Pan Scallopini Butter Scallop Peter Pan Winter Squash Cucurbita maxima, pepo, moschata:  Winter Squash Cucurbita maxima, pepo, moschata Family Cucurbitaceae Native to Americas Warm season, herbaceous annual. May be determinate or indeterminate. Leaves are 3-lobed or entire. Plants are monoecious. Can cross pollinate with other cultivars of the same species. Hard rinds make them good for storage. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Acorn (C. pepo) Green or gold & deeply ribbed. Cream of the Crop Ebony Sweet Acorn Table Ace Table Queen Buttercup (C. maxima) Medium-dark green splotched with grey. Autumn Cup Butternut (C. moschata) Orange flesh, tan skin, bulbous base. Autumn Glow Early Butternut Waltham Delicata (C. pepo) Cornell’s Bush Delicata Hubbard (C. maxima) Medium, blue-gray with bumpy skin. Blue Hubbard Kabocha (C. maxima) Ambercup Sweet Mama Spaghetti (C. maxima) Oval with golden yellow skin. Pasta Hybrid Vegetable Spaghetti Turk’s Turban (C. maxima) Green, turban-shaped, striped with red, white, & orange. Squash Culture:  Squash Culture Seed early and plant 1 inch deep 4 feet apart. Moist soil Warm season 65-75°F. Mulch. Reflective mulch may repel insects. Bees essential. Bush-type or vining plants. Shallow roots – irrigate. Harvesting Squash:  Harvesting Squash Harvest the first summer squash 7-8 weeks after seeding when fruit are 2-3 inches in diameter and 7 inches long. Handle summer squash gently as it bruises easily. Refrigerate for up to 1 week. Winter squash is harvested 3-4 months after planting. Harvest winter squash before a hard frost. Outer skin of winter squash should resist fingernail pressure. Cure winter squash by exposing them to 80°F temps for 7-10 days. Store at 40-45°F for up to 2-3 months. Cucurbit Taxonomy:  Cucurbit Taxonomy Cucurbita pepo Acorn Delicata Jack-o-lantern Pie pumpkins Patty pan squash Small gourds Summer squash Zucchini Cucurbita maxima Banana Buttercup Hubbard Kabocha Large gourds Turk’s turban Huge pumpkins Cucurbita moschata ButterNUT Pumpkins Cucurbita pepo (Jack-O-Lantern & pie), maxima (giants):  Pumpkins Cucurbita pepo (Jack-O-Lantern & pie), maxima (giants) Family Cucurbitaceae Native to Americas Warm season, frost-tender, herbaceous annual. May be determinate or indeterminate. Leaves are 3-lobed and may be deeply indented. Plants are monoecious. Can cross pollinate with other cultivars of the same species. Mammoth pumpkins are related to Hubbard squash and are pinkish-orange in color. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Based on Shape Size Color Flesh quality (pie) Pumpkin Cultivars:  Pumpkin Cultivars Miniature Baby Bear Baby Boo Jack-Be-Little Munchkin Spooktacular Small Mystic Plus New England Pie Schooltime Touch of Autumn Medium Autumn Gold Casper Gold Standard Ghostrider Lumina Magic Lantern Rouge Vif d’Etampes Small Sugar Spirit Trick or Treat Large Atlantic Giant Connecticut Field Howden Prizewinner Pumpkin Culture:  Pumpkin Culture Don’t plant before May 20 in southern WI and up to 2 weeks later in the north. Plant 1-1 ½inches deep 3-5 feet apart in the row with rows 4-6 feet apart . Moist soil. Warm season 65-75°F. Mulch. Bees essential. Shallow roots – irrigate. Hand pollinate giant pumpkins so they set fruit early. Only allow 2 fruit per plant to develop. Harvesting Pumpkins:  Harvesting Pumpkins Harvest 3-4 months after planting. Outer skin should resist fingernail pressure. Leave a 3” handle. Cure by exposing them to temps of 80°F for 7-10 days. Store at 40-45°F for up to 2-3 months. Store better if not exposed to hard frost. Lettuce Lactuca sativa:  Lettuce Lactuca sativa Family Asteraceae Native to the Mediterranean Basin. Herbaceous annual. Cool season, long day plant. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Crisphead (var. capitata) Large, heavy, brittle Latest to mature Ithaca Summertime Butterhead (Bibb) (var. capitata) Small, loosely filled head with creamy interior. Boston is day neutral Bibb is short-day Batavia is intermediate between crisphead & bibb Buttercrunch Esmeralda Four Seasons Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Looseleaf (var. crispa) Easiest to grow & 1st to mature Salad Bowl Green Ice Prizehead Simpson Elite Royal Oakleaf Romaine (Cos) (var. longifolia) Torpedo-shaped heads Matures later than butterhead and leaf varieties Cimmaron Giant Caesar Parris Island Cos Athena Rouge d’ Hiver Lettuce Culture:  Lettuce Culture Seed at ¼ inch depth or use transplants. Cool season – temps above 70° with long days cause lettuce to bolt. Moist, well-drained soil—shallow rooted and drought susceptible. Bitterness comes from high temperatures & mature plants. Harvest in ~50 days Harvesting Lettuce:  Harvesting Lettuce Harvest individual leaves or bunches of leaves by cutting them with a sharp knife or shears. Harvest lettuce heads by cutting them with a sharp knife below the lowest leaf and remove any damaged leaves. Harvest Romaine lettuce when heads are smaller to avoid bitterness. Place in a perforated plastic bag and refrigerate immediately. Don’t wash until just prior to use. Spinach Spinacia oleracea:  Spinach Spinacia oleracea Family Chenopodiaceae (goosefoot family) Native to Iran Spina means “spiny” in Latin to describe prickly seed. Hardy, cool-season annual. High in vitamins A & C, calcium, iron, & potassium. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Based on leaf texture Savoy Avon Bloomsdale Long-Standing Melody Smooth Baby Leaf Giant Nobel New Zealand Olympia Space Tyee Viroflay Whale Spinach Culture:  Spinach Culture Temps of 55-65°F. Spring and fall crop. Can sow seeds late in fall for fall & spring crop. Direct seed in rows or broadcast. ¾ apart in rows 2-4 inches wide Plant ½-¾ inches deep Slow to emerge – up to 3 weeks Clip to thin to 1 inch apart Harvesting Spinach:  Harvesting Spinach 35-50 days after planting. 5-7 leaves per plant. Remove outer leaves first. Continued harvest until seed stalk forms. Store at 32°F. Asparagus Asparagus officinalis:  Asparagus Asparagus officinalis Family Liliaceae Native to the eastern Mediterranean. Cultivated for over 2000 years. Hardy, cool season perennial. Dioecious or all-male. Cultivar Selection:  Cultivar Selection Select rust resistant varieties Mary Washington (OP) Martha Washington (OP) All-male varieties Jersey Giant (male) Jersey Knight (male) Jersey Supreme (male) Purple Passion (male) Asparagus Culture:  Asparagus Culture Plant crowns 12-36” apart in a trench 8” deep. Gradually fill in as spears grow. Don’t harvest the 1st or 2nd years. Fertilize at the end of the harvest season. Harvesting Asparagus:  Harvesting Asparagus Harvest season is about 8 weeks. Spears should be 8-10” long with tightly closed tips. ½-⅜” diameter. Snap or cut at the soil line. Stop harvest when spears smaller than a pencil.

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