MT: Planting a Successful Home Vegetable Garden

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Planting a Successful Home Vegetable Garden


  • 1.Planting a Successful Home Vegetable Garden by Cheryl Moore-Gough, Extension Horticulture Specialist and R.E. Gough, Professor of Horticulture This guide covers basic garden planning and growing transplants, plus includes a table with days to maturity, planting depth and spacing, projected yields and germination temperatures for 40 common vegetables. MontGuide MT 199502 AG revised 6/07HaVinG a SucceSSful VeGetable Gardena combination of warm and cool white fluorescent bulbs todepends not only upon how you garden but upon plantingprovide supplemental light or grow lights, which provide theenough of the right vegetables at the right time to supply your full spectrum of light waves. Space light bulbs about 2 inchesfamilys needs. apart, center to center, and no higher than 18 inches above the Plant at the right time. This will vary with air temperature,plants. Leave them on from 12 to 16 hours each day after thesoil temperature and the needs of individual crops. Hardy seedlings have emerged.crops like cabbage tolerate frosts and can be planted in earlyGrow peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes in flats andspring; tender crops like peppers dont tolerate frosts and needtransplant them to the garden bare-root. Plant cell packs maymore heat to mature properly, so plant them when the soil has also be used. Cucumber, squash, muskmelon and watermelonwarmed to 60 not transplant well bare-root, so grow them in peat pots or How you organize crops in the garden is also important.jiffy pellets and transplant them to the garden with an intactPlant tall vegetables like corn on the north or northeast side of soil ball. Grow cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli,the garden to reduce shading. Orient all rows in a north-southlettuce, and onion transplants either in flats or in containers.direction to take advantage of the best sunlight distribution.If you use peat pots for transplanting, be sure the entirePlant vegetables that need heavy watering in the fall away from pot is buried to prevent water loss from soil around the plantthose like onions, potatoes, and other root crops, which need tothrough the wick action of the peat pot rim being exposedbe dry to be stored properly. Proper spacing between plants isto the air. You can use Styrofoam cups as growing containersalso important. if you punch drainage holes in their bottoms. Remove these The table on pages 2 and 3 contains information aboutcontainers at planting.average days to maturity, plant spacing, planting depth, averagePurchase a good soilless grow mix in which to raise youryields, and planting dates for common vegetables. transplants or make one yourself by mixing equal parts groundsphagnum moss and horticultural vermiculite or perlite. If theCultivars foliage of your seedlings turns yellow-green, water your plantsNote the number of days to maturity on the seed packet to with a solution of 2 tablespoons of a fertilizer such as 2020be sure the cultivar will have time to mature before the end of 20 in a gallon of water.the season. To determine your frost-free period, contact your Sow seeds of warm season vegetables 1/4 inch deep in rowscounty Extension agent or use MontGuide 199308 AG, Can at the rate of 1 seed per inch of row if in flats, or 1-2 seeds perI Grow That Here? or EB165 - "A Montana Garders Book of container. Wet the planting medium and allow excess water toDays". The dates given for your locality represent average length drain before planting. Dont over-water your seedlings.of growing seasons and the real season length can vary by plusSeeds of warm season crops such as eggplant and peppersor minus two weeks from the length given. germinate fastest at 8090F while those of other vegetablesgerminate better at 6080F. After emergence, reduce theGrowing Transplants growing temperature to 60F at night and 7075F duringMany tender vegetables cant mature in our short seasons; start the day for most warm season crops. Cool season crops andplants indoors or buy transplants from a local nursery or gardentomatoes do well with 68 F day temperatures and 45 to 50 Fcenter. night temperatures. If you grow your own transplants, give them adequate light.The windowsill may appear bright enough but it isnt. Use For More Online MontGuides, Visit C-6

2. 2Table 1. Garden vegetable planting guideCropDays to maturitySeeds/plants PlantingSpacingSpacing between Average yield perGermination temperature(range)per 100 ft. row depth in row rows10 ft. row* (inches)(inches) (inches)Minimum F.Optimum F VERY HARDY TO HARDYAsparagusPerennial65 plantsplants, 1018 4048 6 plants2 year old crownsBeet60651 oz. 1 23184 lb. greens40 508510 lb. rootsCabbage 6070 50 plants 2024 308 lb. Transplants 11Carrot6570/2 oz./22318 10 lb. 40 4585 1Chard, Swiss50 /2 oz.1 12 243010 plants40 5085Chives Perennial121881010 plants Plant division 11Endive65 /2 oz./2 8 188 heads 35 4080HorseradishPerennial 18 18 variesPlant divisionJerusalem ArtichokePerennial Plants, 65 2318 24 varies Plant tubers 11Kale5055 /4 oz. /218 24 7 lbs. 40 4585 11Lettuce, Leaf 4045 /4 oz. /23612185 lbs. 35 4080 11Lettuce, Head 7080 /4 oz. /212 18 10 heads 45 4080Onion, bulb 100300 transplants4 18 10 lbs. Sets or plants 1Onion, Bunching 6080/2 oz. 1 12 10 lbs.Plants 11Parsnip 85120 /2 oz./23418 7 lbs. 35 5070 1 1Peas (fresh)5065/2 oz. 1 /22 18302 lbs. 40 4075RhubarbPerennial30 plants30 4048 4 plants Crown division 11Rutabaga90/4 oz. /2 6 18 15 lbs.40 5580 11Turnip5060/2 oz./2 3 18 5 lb. roots40 60105 HAlF HARDYBroccoli7050 plants18 30 7 lbs. TransplantsBrussels Sprouts9010050 plants 1824 24305 lbs. TransplantsCauliflower 5055 50 plants18 30 8 lbs. TransplantsCelery85-100 200 plants4-830-3610 plantsTransplants 3. CropDays toSeeds/plantsPlanting Spacing SpacingAverage yield perGermination temperaturematurityper 100 ft. rowdepth in rowbetween rows10 ft. row*(range)(inches) (inches)(inches)Minimum F. Optimum F. 1 3Chinese Cabbage70 /4 oz. /41012 24366 headsTransplants 1Kohlrabi 55 /2 oz. 1 46 18 5 lbs. 40 4585 1 3Parsley70 /2 oz. /4 618 varies 40 5084Potato80120 12 lbs. 4 1020 3640varies Seed pieces from tubers 1Radish 20301 oz./2 1121810 bunches 40 4590WARM SEASOn 1Beans, Bush4550 /2 lb.2418248 lbs. 60 60851Beans, Pole6065 /2 lb 241824 15 lbs. 60 6085 1Corn, Sweet6580 /4 lb.2 1236 3610 ears 50 5095 1 3Cucumber 5060/2 oz. /43648 4048 12 lbs. 60 6095 1Eggplant 6080 65 plants /2 18 25 7 lbs. TransplantsMuskmelon or 185120/2 oz.1236 488410 fruits60 7595Cantaloupe 1 1Okra 5565 /4 oz /21215 36 varies 60 7095 1Pepper 7080 80 plants /2 15 24 5 lbs. TransplantsPumpkin1001 oz.148 4860 25 lbs. 60 7090Squash, Summer 55651 oz.1 4050 4860 20 lbs. 60 7095Squash, Winter551051 oz.1 4050 4872 15 lbs. 60 7095Tomato 6085 40 plants30 3640 15 lbs. Transplants 3Watermelon100130 /4 oz.127296 7296 7 fruits60 70951These vegetables survive hard frosts and can be planted 23 weeks before the average date of the last 32 degree temperature in spring.2These vegetables withstand light frosts and their seeds germinate at low soil temperatures. Plant them 2 weeks before the average date of the last 32 degree temperature in spring.3These vegetables do not withstand frost and their seeds will not germinate in cold soil. Plant them at about the average date of the last 32 degree temperature.*Yields will vary with local conditions.3 4. Transplant bare-root seedlings into cube trays or individuallevels. Placing plants outside during favorable weather for twoplanting pots when theyve reached an inch in height. Moistento three weeks before transplanting is a good way to hardenthe medium and, with a pencil, punch a hole in the mediumthem to outside conditions. Bring plants indoors each nightdeep enough to accommodate the root system without when frost is expected.crowding. Lift the seedling from the original container with aFor warm season crops such as cucumber, tomato, pepperpencil, set it into the hole, and firm the medium around it with and eggplant, plastic mulch or the newer geotextile fabricthe pencil.mulches help warm the soil and reduce weed competition. Set Sow large-seeded vegetables like cucumber and pumpkin plants through flaps cut in the plastic sheeting or fabric. Youinto individual containers by pushing the seeds into the mix can seed cucumber and squash directly into the soil beneathwith a pencil eraser.flaps that you cut into the material. Water the transplants until water exits through the drainholes or through the peat pot. Then dont water again untilPest Controlplants just begin to wilt. Test the need to water by squeezing a You can eliminate many pest problems if you use artificialsmall amount of medium from the upper half of the containersoil mixes or sterilize garden soil prior to seeding. Buy diseasebetween your fingers. If no water appears, its time to water. For resistant cultivars, space the plants properly to allow circulatingsoilless mixes such as peat moss, perlite or vermiculite, dontair to dry the foliage and never water at night.water if water drips from the mix. Rotate vegetable crops each year and clean up debris at the Harden transplants before setting them to the garden. Slowlyend of each season.reduce the temperature, reduce watering, and increase light 2007 MSU ExtensionWe encourage the use of this document for nonprofit educational purposes. This document may be reprinted for nonprofit educational purposes if no endorsementof a commercial product, service or company is stated or implied, and if appropriate credit is given to the author and the MSU Extension. To use these documents inelectronic formats, permission must be sought from the Extension Communications Coordinator, Communications and Public Affairs, 416 Culbertson Hall, Montana StateUniversityBozeman, Bozeman MT 59717; E-mail: To order additional publications, please contact your county or reservation MSU Extensionoffice, visit our online catalog a