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Vegetable Varieties and Tips

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ARTICHOKE

Varieties and Description:
  • GREEN GLOBE: Large green heads. Most common variety. Days to harvest: 85
Tips and Tricks:
  • Plant artichokes in a sunny location, in deep, rich, loose, and well-drained soil.
  • Water your artichokes daily until they are established (when the leaves stop flagging). Then water during dry spells.
  • Harvest when the top bud is 2-4” in diameter, and is still fairly compact.
  • Cut the bud off leaving 2” of stem attached. Cut the stem to ground level to encourage the growth of new buds.

ASPARAGUS

Varieties and Description:
  • GREEN: Long-lived perennial crop grown for tender stems and spears. Takes two years for a good harvest.
Tips and Tricks:
  • Asparagus is a spring crop, preferring cooler temperatures and full sun. Over the summer it will develop more foliage, but less crop.
  • Water regularly, especially while young.
  • Harvest in the second or third year. Choose spears that are finger-sized and about 8” long. Harvest for 4 weeks the first year. In subsequent years, you can harvest until the weather gets warm.

BEAN

Varieties and Description:
  • KENTUCKY BLUE- 4 PK pod beans that taste great. Days to Harvest: 60
  • ROYAL BURGUNDY – Compact plants, purple pencil thick pods turn green when cooked. Days to Harvest: 60
Tips and Tricks:
  • Plant 8-12” apart at the bases of poles, trellises or fences.
  • Beans cannot handle frost, so plant after all danger of frost has passed, and wait until the soil has warmed.
  • Beans have shallow roots, so mulching can help maintain soil moisture and cut down on weeds.
  • Beans may stop producing at the hottest point of summer, but they will begin again as the weather cools.
  • Beans can be harvested at any size, as long as the pods are firm and crisp.
  • Be sure to harvest beans frequently to encourage further production.

BEETS

Varieties and Description:
  • BULL’S BLOOD – Deep red foliage with delicious baby red fruits. Days to Harvest: 40
Tips and Tricks:
  • Like most root plants, beets prefer cooler weather, but still full sun.
  • Water regularly. Dry soil can produce tough beets.
  • Harvest before the plant goes to seed.
  • Be sure to twist of the tops rather than cutting, to avoid the beets “bleeding”.

BROCCOLI

Varieties and Description:
  • PACKMAN – Mid early green broccoli with large heavy head. Medium size beads with good dome shape. Days to Harvest: 57
Tips and Tricks:
  • Broccoli is a slow-growing, cool season plant that does best in full sun.
  • Broccoli needs lots of water to encourage constant growth. Mulching can help maintain soil moisture, and keep the roots cool.
  • Harvest broccoli when the heads have formed tight, fi rm clusters. Cut leaving about 6” of stem attached to encourage side-shoots for a smaller harvest later

CABBAGE

Varieties and Description:
  • DYNAMO HYBRID: Blue-green, “no waste” variety, small core and 4” round heads. Days to Harvest: 55
  • RUBY PERFECTION: Abundant produce of solid, globe-shaped cabbages. Excellently flavored heads that are slow to burst. Days to Harvest: 85
  • SWELLHEAD: Solid 6 pound heads form early but keep growing. Days to Harvest: 95
Tips and Tricks:
  • Cabbage can tolerate heat, but loves cooler temperatures.
  • Cabbage needs at least 1.5” of water weekly.
  • Harvest heads that are tight and firm. Cut at the base, do not pull. Often, more heads will form at the base.

CARROT

Varieties and Description:
  • KALEIDOSCOPE: Orange, scarlet, purple, and yellow carrots. Days to Harvest: 75-80
  • SCARLET NANTES: 6” roots are uniformly cylindrical and core free. Produces orange and red carrots. Days to Harvest: 65-75
Tips and Tricks:
  • In a 4 PK, each section will probably only grow one carrot. Plant a lot!
  • New carrots can also be planted in the place of your first crop. Carrots grow best in cooler conditions under full sun and in loose, well-drained soil.
  • Make sure your soil is free of obstacles such as rocks and clay clumps, because this can cause the carrots to bend and fork.
  • Carrots can be harvested at almost any time in their growth (baby carrots are literally very young carrots!). However, avoid waiting too long, because very mature carrots are less tasty and may have a woody core.

CAULIFLOWER

Varieties and Description:
  • GRAFFITI: Large purple heads keep their color, even when cooked! Days to Harvest: 80
  • SNOW CROWN: Pure white heads are protected from sun by upright growing leaves. Days to Harvest: 88
Tips and Tricks:
  • White cauliflower may display a light pink blush, but it won’t affect flavor. It’s just a sunburn!
  • Be sure to water and feed young plants to encourage quick growth during the cool season that they prefer.
  • If the plant’s own leaves aren’t shading the head enough, tie some of the loose leaves up and around the head with a rubberband to create shelter.
  • Just check every now and then for rot or for anything eating your cauliflower!

CELERY

Varieties and Description:
  • GOLDEN SELF-BLANCHING: Self blanching stalks are thick and heavy but not stringy. Days to Harvest: 85
Tips and Tricks:
  • Plant celery in rich, loose, well-drained soil in full sun.
  • Harvest when stalks are large enough to use, either by individual stalks, or pull the whole plant and cut off the roots.

CORN

Varieties and Description:
  • EARLY XTRA SWEET: Can be twice as sweet as other varieties. Chill immediately after harvest to keep sweetness. Days to Harvest: 71
  • HONEY ‘N PEARL: Yellow and white kernels. Sweet corn. Days to Harvest: 76
  • JUBILEE: Sweet corn. Smooth, glossy yellow kernels. Days to Harvest: 81
  • SILVER QUEEN: Late season white variety famous for fl avor and quality. Days to Harvest: 92
Tips and Tricks:
  • Plant in rich, well-drained soil in full sun.
  • If plants grow too tall and begin leaning over, cover the new roots with more soil and mound the soil to better support the leaning plant.

CUCUMBER

Varieties and Description:
  • ARMENIAN: Light green-skinned, mildly flavored fruit grows 3-4” diameter and up to 3’ long. Days to Harvest: 70
  • BUSH PICKLE: Deep green with paler striped fruit, 1.5” across. Compact 2” diameter vines that are very productive. Good for pickling. Days to Harvest: 55
  • FANFARE: Monoecious, produces both male & female flowers for higher yield/longer. Dark green fruit avg. 8-9”. Good for slicing. Days to Harvest: 63
  • HOMEMADE PICKLES: Heavy yields of small, green cucumbers. Great flavor. Days to Harvest: 55
  • LEMON: Small, round, yellow fruit. Sweet flavor, good for pickling. Days to Harvest: 60
  • PARKS ALL SEASON BURPLESS: Sets fruit much more freely and sooner than other slicers. Days to Harvest: 48-50
Tips and Tricks:
  • Cucumbers can be left to sprawl, but a good technicque is to plant them at the base of poles, trellises, or fences to train them vertically, which can increase yield.
  • Cucumbers love full sun, heat, and a continuous, deep water supply. Water deeply at least 1 inch per week. Shallow watering produces a lower yield.

EGGPLANT

Varieties and Description:
  • FAIRY TALE: Elongated lavender fruit with white stripes. Days to Harvest: 50
  • ICHIBAN: Japanese type, up to 12” long. Fruits are slender and easily sliced. Skin is dark purple. Days to Harvest: 61
  • PARKS WHOPPER: Highest yielding eggplant of the Black Beauty oval type. Fruits are mild flavored and delicious. Days to Harvest: 62
Tips and Tricks:
  • Wait to plant until night temperatures are consistently 60 degrees or higher.
  • Give your eggplants 24-36” of space to grow.
  • Some varieties become bitter if grown under stressful conditions. So give them plenty of water and nutrients.

KALE

Varieties and Description:
  • DINOSAUR: Blue-green leaves have purple stems & wavy margins.. Days to Harvest: 40
Tips and Tricks:
  • It is common for kale to wilt slightly in the heat of a summer afternoon, but it should perk up with the cooler evening temperatures.
  • Harvest kale at any time, cutting the leaves often to encourage further growth.

KOHLRABI

Varieties and Description:
  • GRAND DUKE HYBRID: Early vigorous grower. Produces 4” smooth, light green semi-globe bulbs. Days to Harvest: 45-50
Tips and Tricks:
  • Use bulbs when they are the size of an apple, before they become hard and woody.
  • During dry weather, water at a high rate: 2 gallons per square yard per week.

LETTUCE

Varieties and Description:
  • BISTRO SALAD BLEND: Many exotic leaf shapes, textures and colors. Days to Harvest: 55
  • ESMERALDA: Butter head type, slow to bolt, bright green. Days to Harvest: 48-55
  • GREEN SALAD BOWL: Early variety produces flavorful leaves. Days to Harvest: 44
  • RED SALAD BOWL: Burgundy red, deeply lobed, oak-like leaves. Slow bolting. Days to Harvest: 50
  • ROMAINE: Exceptional quality and productivity.. Days to Harvest: 65-70
Tips and Tricks:
  • Try planting lettuce around plants that grow taller, such as broccoli or peppers. The lettuce helps the other plant by keeping the soil moist, and as the other plant grows taller, it provides shade for the lettuce in hotter weather.
  • Water lettuce consistently. Water deeply at least once a week.
  • Harvest often to keep plant under control, and to encourage further growth.

MELON

Varieties and Description:
  • BURPEE HYBRID (CANTALOUPE): Slightly oval fruit, heavily netted and ribbed with deep orange flesh. Days to Harvest: 82
  • EARLI-DEW (HONEYDEW): Green fleshed honey dew melon. Oval shaped fruit has smooth pale green skin without netting. Days to Harvest: 78
  • EARLY SHAW (CRENSHAW): Sweet, hybrid, crenshaw melon. Days to Harvest: 85-90
Tips and Tricks:
  • Be sure to plant melons with enough space for their vines to spread. Or train vertically on a sturdy trellis or fence.
  • Melons emit a wonderful fragrance when ripe, and practically slip off the vine when ready.

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