Recommendations of Vegetables best grown in Pacific NW maritime climates. With the cooler climate, short summers,
the heat-loving plants don't do so well. Root vegetables seem to like the cooler climate. After 5 years of my
very amateur attempts at growing vegetables, I have learned some things by experience, but I have not learned nearly enough.
I'm happy to listen to recommendations made by more experienced vegetable growers in our particular climate zone.
Tomatoes - Recommended species;
-- Sun Gold (yes, this worked for me)
-- Stupice (an extra early tomato)
-- Persimmon (from the heirloom variety which are typically not great growers in our climate)
-- Oroma (a Roma type tomato)
-- Early Cascade
-- Red Cherry
Part 1 of 4
Cabbages and Onions
The cabbage, or cole, group of vegetables is
noteworthy because of its adaptation to culture in most parts of the country having fertile soil and sufficient moisture and
because of its hardiness to cold.
broccoli is difficult to grow, therefore, only sprouting broccoli is discussed here. Sprouting broccoli forms a loose flower
head (on a tall, green, fleshy, branching stalk) instead of a compact head or curd found on cauliflower or heading broccoli.
It is one of the newer vegetables in American gardens, but has been grown by Europeans for hundreds of years.
broccoli is adapted to winter culture in areas suitable for winter cabbage. It is also tolerant of heat. Spring-set plants
in the latitude of Washington, D.C., have yielded good crops of sprouts until midsummer and later under conditions that caused
cauliflower to fail. In the latitude of Norfolk, VA., the plant has yielded good crops of sprouts from December until spring.
Sprouting broccoli is grown in the same way as cabbage. Plants grown indoors in the early spring and set in the open
about April 1 begin to yield sprouts about 10 weeks later. The fall crop may be handled in the same way as late cabbage, except
that the seed is sown later. The sprouts carrying flower buds are cut about 6 inches long, and other sprouts arise in the
axils of the leaves, so that a continuous harvest may be obtained (fig. 23).
sprouts are somewhat more hardy than cabbage and will live outdoors over winter in all the milder sections of the country.
They may be grown as a winter crop in the South and as early and late as cabbage in the North. The sprouts, or small heads,
are formed in the axils (the angle between the leaf stem and the main stalk) of the leaves. As the heads begin to crowd, break
the lower leaves from the stem of the plant to give them more room. Always leave the top leaves; the plant needs them to supply
nourishment. For winter use in cold areas, take up the plants that are well laden with heads and set them close together in
a pit, a cold-frame, or a cellar, with some soil tamped around the roots. Keep the stored plants as cool as possible without
Cabbage ranks as one of the most important home-garden crops. In the lower South, it can
be grown in all seasons except summer, and in latitudes as far north as Washington, D.C., it is frequently set in the autumn,
as its extreme hardiness enables it to live over winter at relatively low temperatures and thus become one of the first spring
garden crops. Farther north, it can be grown as an early summer crop and as a late fall crop for storage. Cabbage can be grown
throughout practically the entire United States.
Cabbage is adapted to widely different soils as long as they are
fertile, of good texture, and moist. It is a heavy feeder; no vegetable responds better to favorable growing conditions. Quality
in cabbage is closely associated with quick growth. Both compost and commercial fertilizer should be liberally used. In addition
to the applications made at planting time, a side dressing or two of nitrate of soda, sulfate of ammonia, or other quickly
available nitrogenous fertilizer is advisable. These may be applied sparingly to the soil around the plants at intervals of
3 weeks, not more than 1 pound being used to each 200 square feet of space, or in terms of single plants, 1/3 ounce to each
plant. For late cabbage the supplemental feeding with nitrates may be omitted. Good seed is especially important. Only a few
seed is needed for starting enough plants for the home garden, as 2 or 3 dozen heads of early cabbage are as many as the average
family can use.
Where cabbage yellows is a serious disease, resistant varieties should be used.
for spring setting in the North may be grown in hotbeds or greenhouses from seeding made a month to 6 weeks before planting
time, or may be purchased from southern growers who produce them outdoors in winter. The winter-grown, hardened plants sometimes
referred to as frostproof, are hardier than hotbed plants and may be set outdoors in most parts of the North as soon as the
ground can be worked in the spring. Northern gardeners can have cabbage from their gardens much earlier by using healthy southern-grown
plants or well-hardened, well-grown hotbed or greenhouse plants. Late cabbage, prized by northern gardeners for fall use and
for storage, is grown from plants produced in open seedbeds from sowings made about a month ahead of planting. Late cabbage
may well follow early potatoes, peas, beets, spinach, or other early crop. Many gardeners set cabbage plants between potato
rows before the potatoes are ready to dig, thereby gaining time. In protected places, or when plant protectors are used, it
is possible always to advance dates somewhat, especially if the plants are well hardened.
Chinese cabbage, (fig. 24) is more closely related to mustard than to cabbage. It is variously called Crispy Choy,
Chihili, Michili, and Wong Bok. Also, it is popularly known as celery cabbage, although it is unrelated to celery. The nonheading
types deserve greater attention.
Chinese cabbage seems to do best as an autumn crop in the northern tier of States.
When fullgrown, it is an attractive vegetable. It is not especially successful as a spring crop, and gardeners are advised
not to try to grow it at any season other than fall in the North or in winter in the South.
The plant demands a very
rich, well-drained but moist soil. The seeds may be sown and the plants transplanted to the garden, or the seed may be drilled
in the garden rows and the plants thinned to the desired stand.
25) is a hardy vegetable but it will not withstand as much frost as cabbage. Too much warm weather keeps cauliflower from
heading. In the South, its culture is limited to fall, winter, and spring; in the North, to spring and fall. However, in some
areas of high altitude and when conditions are otherwise favorable, cauliflower culture is continuous throughout the summer.
Cauliflower is grown on all types of land from sands to clay and peats. Although the physical character is unimportant,
the land must be fertile and well drained. Manure and commercial fertilizer are essential.
The time required for growing
cauliflower plants is the same as for cabbage. In the North, the main cause of failure with cauliflower in the spring is delay
in sowing the seed and setting the plants. The fall crop must be planted at such a time that it will come to the heading stage
in cool weather.
A necessary precaution in cauliflower culture with all varieties, except Purple Head, is to tie the
leaves together when the heads, or buttons, begin to form. This keeps the heads white. Cauliflower does not keep long after
the heads form; 1 or 2 dozen heads are enough for the average garden in one season.
is grown for its swollen stem. In the North, the early crop may be started like cabbage and transplanted to the garden, but
usually it is sown in place. In the South, kohlrabi may be grown almost any time except midsummer. The seeds may be started
indoors and the plants transplanted in the garden; or the seeds may be drilled in the garden rows and the plants thinned to
the desired stand. Kohlrabi has about the same soil and cultural requirements as cabbage, principally a fertile soil and enough
moisture. It should be harvested while young and tender.
Practically all members
of the onion group are adapted to a wide variety of soils. Some of them can be grown at one time of the year or another in
any part of the country that has fertile soil and ample moisture. They require but little garden space to produce enough for
a family's needs.
Chives are small onionlike plants (fig. 26) that will grow in any
place where onions do well. They are frequently planted as a border, but are equally well adapted to culture in rows. Being
a perennial, chives should be planted where they can be left for more than one season.
Chives may be started from
either seed or clumps of bulbs. Once established, some of the bulbs can be lifted and removed to a new spot. When left in
the same place for several years the plants become too thick; occasionally dividing and resetting is desirable.
Garlic is more exacting in its cultural requirements than are onions, but it may be grown with a fair degree of success
in almost any home garden where good results are obtained with onions.
Garlic is propagated by planting the small
cloves, or bulbs, which make up the large bulbs. Each large bulb contains about 10 small ones. Carefully separate the small
bulbs and plant them singly.
The culture of garlic is practically the same as that of onions. When mature the bulbs
are pulled, dried, and braided into strings or tied in bunches, which are hung in a cool, well-ventilated place.
the South, where the crop matures early, care must be taken to keep the garlic in a cool, dry place; otherwise it spoils.
In the North, where the crop matures later in the season, storage is not so difficult, but care must be taken to prevent freezing.
The leek resembles the onion in its adaptability and cultural requirements. Instead
of forming a bulb it produces a thick, fleshy cylinder like a large green onion (fig. 27). Leeks are started from seeds, like
onions. Usually the seeds are sown in a shallow trench, so that the plants can be more easily hilled up as growth proceeds.
Leeks are ready for use any time after they reach the right size. Under favorable conditions they grow to 1 1/2 inches or
more in diameter, with white parts 6 to 8 inches long. They may be lifted in the autumn and stored like celery in a coldframe
or a cellar.
Onions thrive under a wide variety of climatic and soil conditions, but
do best with an abundance of moisture and a temperate climate, without extremes of heat or cold through the growing season.
In the South, the onion thrives in the fall, winter, and spring. Farther north, winter temperatures may be too severe for
certain types. In the North, onions are primarily a spring, summer, and fall crop.
Any types of soil will grow onions,
but it must be fertile, moist, and in the highest state of tilth. Both compost and commercial fertilizer, especially one high
in phosphorus and potash, should be applied to the onion plot. A pound of compost to each square foot of ground and 4 or 5
pounds of fertilizer to each 100 square feet are about right. The soil should be very fine and free from clods and foreign
Onions may be started in the home garden by the use of sets, seedlings, or seed. Sets, or small dry onions
grown the previous year - preferably not more than 3/4 inch in diameter - are usually employed by home gardeners. Small green
plants grown in an outdoor seedbed in the South or in a hotbed or a greenhouse are also in general use. The home-garden culture
of onions from seed is satisfactory in the North where the summers are comparatively cool.
Sets and seedlings cost
about the same; seeds cost much less. In certainty of results the seedlings are best; practically none form seedstalks. Seed-sown
onions are uncertain unless conditions are extremely favorable.
The shallot is a
small onion of the Multiplier type. Its bulbs have a more delicate flavor than most onions. Its growth requirements are about
the same as those of most other onions. Shallots seldom form seed and are propagated by means of the small cloves or divisions,
into which the plant splits during growth. The plant is hardy and may be left in the ground from year to year, but best results
are had by lifting the clusters of bulbs at the end of the growing season and replanting the smaller ones at the desired time.
Part 1 of 4 ... continued
Part 2 of 4 continued
The fleshy-fruited, warm-season vegetables, of which the tomato is the most important, are closely related and have
about the same cultural requirements. All must have warm weather and fertile, well-drained soil for good results.
Eggplant is extremely sensitive to the conditions under which it is grown. A warm weather plant, it demands a growing
season of from 100 to 140 days with high average day and night temperatures. The soil, also, must be well warmed up before
eggplant can safely be set outdoors.
In the South, eggplants are grown in spring and autumn; in the North, only in
summer. The more northerly areas, where a short growing season and low summer temperatures prevail, are generally unsuitable
for eggplants. In very fertile garden soil, which is best for eggplant, a few plants will yield a large number of fruits (fig.
Sow eggplant seeds in a hotbed or greenhouse, or, in warm areas, outdoors about 8 weeks before the plants are
to be transplanted. It is important that the plants be kept growing without check from low or drying temperatures or other
causes. They may be transplanted like tomatoes. Good plants have stems that are not hard or woody; one with a woody stem rarely
Peppers are more exacting than tomatoes in their requirements,
but may be grown over a wide range in the United States. Being hot-weather plants, peppers cannot be planted in the North
until the soil has warmed up and all danger of frost is over. In the South, planting dates vary with the location, fall planting
being practiced in some locations. Start pepper plants 6 to 8 weeks before needed. The seeds and plants require a somewhat
higher temperature than those of the tomato. Otherwise they are handled in exactly the same way (fig. 29).
Tomatoes grow under a wide variety of conditions and require only a relatively small space for a large production.
Of tropical American origin, the tomato does not thrive in very cool weather. It will, however, grow in winter in home gardens
in the extreme South. Over most of the upper South and the North, it is suited to spring, summer, and autumn culture. In the
more northern areas, the growing season is likely to be too short for heavy yields. It is often desirable to increase early
fruiting and the total length of the growing season by starting the plants indoors. By adopting a few precautions, the home
gardener can grow tomatoes practically everywhere, given fertile soil with sufficient moisture.
A liberal application
of compost and commercial fertilizer in preparing the soil should be sufficient for tomatoes under most conditions. Heavy
applications of fertilizer should be broadcast, not applied in the row; but small quantities may be mixed with the soil in
the row in preparing for planting.
Start early tomato plants from 5 to 7 weeks before they are to be transplanted
to the garden. Enough plants for the home garden may be started in a window box and transplanted to small pots, paper drinking
cups with the bottoms removed, plant bands (round or square), or other soil containers. In boxes, the seedlings are spaced
2 to 3 inches apart. Tomato seeds germinate best at about 70F, or ordinary house temperature. Growing tomato seedlings, after
the first transplanting, at moderate temperatures, with plenty of ventilation, as in a coldframe, gives stocky, hardy growth.
If desired, the plants may be transplanted again to larger containers, such as 4-inch clay pots or quart cans with holes in
Tomato plants for all but the early spring crop are usually grown in outdoor seedbeds. Thin seeding and
careful weed control will give strong, stocky plants for transplanting.
Tomatoes are sensitive to cold. Never plant
them until danger of frost is past. By using plant protectors during cool periods the home gardener can set tomato plants
somewhat earlier than would otherwise be possible. Hot, dry weather, like mid-summer weather in the South is also unfavorable
for planting tomatoes. Planting distances depend on the variety and on whether the plants are to be pruned and staked or not.
If pruned to one stem, trained, and tied to stakes or a trellis, plants may be set 18 inches apart in 3-foot rows. Unpruned
plants grown in 2-foot diameter wire cylinders are planted 2 feet apart, also in 3-foot rows (fig. 30). Otherwise, they may
be planted 3 feet apart in rows 4 to 5 feet apart. Pruning and staking have many advantages for the home gardener. Cultivation
is easier, and the fruits are always clean and easy to find. Staked and pruned tomatoes are, however, more subject to losses
from blossom-end rot than those allowed to grow naturally.
continued to part 3
Part 3 of 4 continued
Florence fennel is related to celery
and celeriac. Its enlarged, flattened leafstalk is the portion used. For a summer crop, sow the seeds in the rows in spring;
for an autumn and winter crop in the South, sow them toward the end of the summer. Thin the plants to stand about 6 inches
apart. When the leafstalks have grown to about 2 inches in diameter, the plants may be slightly mounded up and partially blanched.
They should be harvested and used before they become tough and stringy.
or gumbo, has about the same degree of hardiness as cucumbers and tomatoes and may be grown under the same conditions. It
thrives on any fertile, well-drained soil. An abundance of quickly available plant food will stimulate growth and insure a
good yield of tender, high-quality pods.
As okra is a warm-weather vegetable, the seeds should not be sown until the
soil is warm. The rows should be from 3 to 3 1/2 feet apart, depending on whether the variety is dwarf or large growing. Sow
the seeds every few inches and thin the plants to stand 18 inches to 2 feet apart in the rows. The pods should be picked young
and tender, and none allowed to ripen. Old pods are unfit for use and soon exhaust the plant.
Physalis known also as groundcherry and husk tomato, is closely related to the tomato and
can be grown wherever tomatoes do well. The kind ordinarily grown in gardens produces a yellow fruit about the size of a cherry.
The seeds may be started indoors or sown in rows in the garden.
Sweet Corn requires
plenty of space and is adapted only to the larger gardens. Although a warm-weather plant, it may be grown in practically all
parts of the United States. It needs a fertile, well-drained, moist soil. With these requirements met, the type of the soil
does not seem to be especially important, but a clay loam is almost ideal for sweet corn.
In the South, sweet corn
is planted from early spring until autumn, but the corn earworm, drought, and heat make it difficult to obtain worthwhile
results in midsummer. The ears pass the edible stage very quickly, and succession plantings are necessary to insure a constant
supply. In the North, sweet corn cannot be safely planted until the ground has thoroughly warmed up. Here, too, succession
plantings need to be made to insure a steady supply. Sweet corn is frequently planted to good advantage after early potatoes,
peas, beets, lettuce, or other early, short-season crops. Sometimes, to gain time, it may be planted before the early crop
Sweet corn may be grown in either hills or drills, in rows at least 3 feet apart. It is well to plant
the seed rather thickly and thin to single stalks 14 to 16 inches apart or three plants to each 3-foot hill. Experiments have
shown that in the eastern part of the country there is no advantage in removing suckers from sweet corn. Cultivation sufficient
to control weeds is all that is needed.
Hybrid sweet corn varieties, both white and yellow, are usually more productive
than the open-pollinated sorts. As a rule, they need a more fertile soil and heavier feeding. They should be fertilized with
5-10-5 fertilizer about every 3 weeks until they start to silk. Many are resistant to disease, particularly bacterial wilt.
There are some sugar-enhanced varieties now in the market which retain their sweetness for a longer period of time than regular
sweet corn. Never save seed from a hybrid crop for planting. Such seed does not come true to the form of the plants from which
it was harvested.
continued to part 4
Part 4 of 4
While many home gardeners rely on
the careful use of chemicals to prevent losses from insects, diseases, weeds, and other pests, others prefer to deal with
such problems organically. Organic gardening excludes the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, with emphasis placed
on the following measures:
.The use of mulches, composts, and manures to build up the soil. The return of organic
material to the land is an excellent practice, provided no disease organisms or weed seeds are returned in the process.
and mechanical control measures against pests, such as destroying insect egg masses by hand, handpicking potato beetles and
tomato hornworms as they appear, and removing diseased plants as soon as the first symptoms appear.
involving the use of ordinary farming practices before insect or disease damage becomes apparent. Often these may consist
merely of variations of routine operations necessary to produce the crop, including rotation of land and crops between seasons.
.Biological control measures in which natural enemies of pests are used. Some insects do not damage plants and are
beneficial to man because they destroy injurious insects. Important beneficial insects include the ant lion (doodlebug), aphid
lion (lacewing), assassin bugs, damsel bugs, ground beetles, lady beetles, praying mantids, spiders and certain predaceous
mites, and syrphid flies (wasps). Use resistant varieties. Check seed catalogs for this information. Many new varieties are
disease and insect resistant. Use wood ashes around plants where slugs are a problem.
Two natural insecticides commonly
used by organic gardeners are rotenone and pyrethrum. Both insecticides are plant products and have low toxicity. They should
be used in strict accordance with directions on the container label.
Many State agricultural experiment stations are
publishing information geared specifically to the needs and problems of organic gardeners and farmers. Your State Extension
office or county Extension agent can advise you about the availability of such information within your State.
county Extension offices are listed in your local phone directory. State Extension offices are located in the following land-grant
colleges and universities.