Growing Vegetables
Imagining Garden

There is many different kind of vegetables that you can grow in your garden. What vegetables will you growing in your garden? Depending on the region that you are living, and what vegetables you and your family likely to eat to choose the right vegetables foe growing. The vegetables can be categorized by their life cycle: annual, biennial, or perennial. Some vegetables can grow in your garden for many years such as asparagus and rhubarb, but most are annuals. Some vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers usually grown only one season. Cold weather, diseases, or insect pests often thwart these heat lovers, so better starting your new vegetables each spring. The cabbage and carrot produce eat-roots, leaves or stems in the first year. If you need to save their seeds you must grow them for two years, because cabbage and carrot flower and set seeds in the second year.


Vegetables are also group by another two categories, Cool-Season Vegetables and Warm-Season Vegetables. Cool-season plants grow, mature, and taste best in the mild temperatures common in spring and fall. Warm-season vegetables are best growing in summer, because they need heat to produce to their full potential. There are two lists of cool-season and warm-season vegetables on the left of the page, you can choose some favorite kind of vegetables for growing in your garden.

Choosing a Vegetable Variety


When choosing vegetables, you will read carefully mail order catalog, or information printed on the package on the seed racks. You will notice many varieties of each vegetable and some unusual terms, they are "hybrid," "open-pollinated (OP)," and "heirloom". These terms are very important. Read the following paragraph for understand these terms and the concepts behind them before buy the seeds and setting foot in the garden.



"Also known as an F1 variety, a hybrid results from the intentional cross of a selected group of plants. To produce a hybrid, breeders cross promising plants by hand and check the offspring for specific characteristics, such as earliness, disease resistance, and uniformity in the seeds that develop. The time and careful work invested explain why hybrid seeds are expensive-and why the seeds of hybrids aren't worth saving. The resulting offspring will display a mix of the characteristics of all the different parents used to create the variety. Hybrid seed production has blossomed in the last half century, and these seeds are the primary type available for many of our favorite vegetables such as sweet corn and tomatoes."


"These varieties are natural or chance seedlings that gardeners discover. Breeders grow them and save the seeds from the best plants. In general, open pollinated varieties don't have the wide adaptability, vigor, uniformity, and disease resistance of modern hybrids, and the plants often show variability. However, these seeds can be saved and will produce the same variety. Some common vegetables such as peas and beans are primarily open-pollinated."


"Open-pollinated varieties that were popular before the 1940s are called heirlooms. As with open pollinated varieties, heirloom seeds can be saved from year to year, but the plants are unlikely to have the vigor, disease resistance, uniformity, and adaptability of hybrids. However, many gardeners choose to grow heirlooms for their unique fruit shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. Tomatoes are perhaps the most familiar heirloom vegetable, but squashes, peppers, and lettuces also have many popular and widely grown heirloom selections."


Decoding a Seed Packet


The seed packet usually provides much of information for growing grow the plant successfully, though it might take a little decoding to figure out. Following is some information you will find on the seed packet.



Whether a variety is a hybrid, open pollinated, or an heirloom may influence your decision to buy it.


Days to Maturity

This number can be found on the front or back of the packet depending on each manufacture, it tells gardener how many days vegetable needs mature either from seed or transplant. If you sow vegetables directly from the seeds, the days to maturity refer to the typical number of days required from seeding until harvest. If you buy vegetables and transplant into your garden, the days to maturity refer to days from transplant to harvest. It is very important to select the vegetables that mature quickly. If you live in a cold climate that has a short grow season.


The days to maturity listed for the same vegetables may be different by different seed companies. This variability is due to several factors: where the seed was grown, local weather conditions, and the season in which the variety was grown. For example, cool-season vegetables grew in the fall will mature more slowly than same vegetables grew in the spring season. Warm-season vegetables grew in southern regions mature faster than the same varieties grown in northern regions. If you can choose seeds from company that located in your region, the seeds will more likely to be adapted to your local climate, and the days to maturity will be closer to what occurs in your garden.


Growing Description

The growing description may different by different seeds companies, it also may not useful for gardener. However, most packets provide enough information about plant growth, spacing, and how and when to plant that vegetable.


Disease Resistance

Some seed packets listed the word of Disease Resistant or what disease you have aware on the front of the packet. Some other seed packets listed letters such as V, F, and N after the variety name to indicate specific diseases the variety can tolerate or resist. If your garden has the problem with disease in the past, choose the vegetables with specific disease resistance.


Packet Dates

Check the packet date to be sure you're buying this year's seeds. Sometimes garden centers sell last year's leftover seeds at a deep discount. Refer to the chart of seed longevity on Seed or Transplants page.


Treated, Untreated, Organic

The seeds of many vegetables, such as sweet corn, squash, pumpkins, and melons, are often treated with a fungicide or pesticide to prevent rotting or insect attack while the seed is germinating. This protection may be particularly important if you live in a cool-season area where the soil warms slowly in spring, or if you have had problems with soil-dwelling insects attacking your seeds. Wash your hands after handling treated seed and keep young kids away from the seeds. Teach older ones how to use them safely. Certified organic seeds are collected from plants grown organically, and the seed has not been treated with any chemicals. Certified organic gardeners and farmers must use certified organic seeds to grow their crops.


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