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Ingredients to a Successful Vegetable Garden

Ingredients to a Successful Vegetable Garden

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Ingredients to a Successful Vegetable Garden

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  1. Ingredients to a Successful Vegetable Garden Presented by: Kent Phillips

  2. Maryland Master Gardeners’Mission To educate Maryland residents about safe, effective and sustainable horticultural practices that build healthy gardens, landscapes, and communities.

  3. Grow Your Own Food We Can Show You How Click on Classes Tab And Scroll down to Howard County

  4. Ingredients to a Successful Vegetable Garden • Healthy soil • Full sun • Sufficient soil moisture and air • Maximize the use of garden space • Keeping pests to acceptable levels • IPM • Grow recommended vegetable varieties

  5. Importance Of These Ingredients • Healthy soil grows healthy vegetables which resist insect attack • Vegetables require maximum sun exposure • Vegetables require an inch of water (.62 gallons) per week per square foot of garden area • Plants can withstand some pest damage (10%) but don’t let it get out of hand. • HGIC recommended vegetables grow

  6. What is Healthy Soil • Soil rich in organic matter (OM) with lots of invertebrates • Has lots of pores for air and water • Add OM to garden every year • Build up a reserve of humus • Six inches of OM for new gardens • One inch for established gardens

  7. Healthy soil (cont.) • Soil with proper pH and nutrient levels • Do a soil test • Follow recommendations • Univ. of MD recommends adding .2 lbs. of N/100 sq. ft. • 2 lbs. 10-10-10/100 sq. ft. • 3 lbs. of 7-3-1 (soybean meal) • 1.8 lbs. of 12-0-0 (blood meal) • .2 lbs/% N = lbs. of fertilizer

  8. Healthy soil (cont.) • Online references at • Click on “Information Library”, “Publications” and “Soil, Mulch and Composting” • HG11 - Soil test basics • HG110 - Selecting and using a soil testing laboratory • HG 42 - Soil amendments and fertilizers • HG 35 – Backyard Composting

  9. Sun • Plants do best with full day sun • Minimum requirement for fruiting plants is 8-10 hours • Minimum requirement for leafy greens is 6 hours • Some cool season leafy greens (lettuce) will benefit from shade as temperatures increase

  10. Soil Moisture • On average plants require one inch of water a week • One inch of water equals .62 gal./square foot • On a 4 by 8 foot bed, that’s 20 gallons of water • Moisture needs to be delivered to the plant roots • Most efficient method of delivery is drip irrigation • Search for “Drip Irrigation” • Alternatively, use a soaker hose • Mulching plants helps conserve soil moisture • Search for “Mulchzilla” • Place mulch over soil after soil has warmed

  11. Maximizing Space Using Intensive Planting • Assume a four foot wide bed • In a 2 or 3 foot long area plant 5 broccoli plants in an x pattern • Plant 4 lettuce plants between the broccoli plants B L B L B L B L B L B L B L B

  12. Intensive planting (con’t) • Assume a two by four foot square garden area • Plant three row of green beans (36 plants). Plant twice during the year. Plant legumes after heavy nitrogen feeders. • Plant four rows of beets, carrots or onions (48 beets or carrots, 24 onions) • Side dress (add additional fertilizer to) some vegetables as they grow • Plant peppers and eggplants in the same pattern as broccoli above • Plant tomatoes three feet apart on the north or west side of the garden

  13. Succession Planting • Cool season vegetables grown spring and fall • Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, lettuce, beets, collards, turnips, Swiss chard, carrots, mustard • Warm season vegetables start May 15 • Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash • Use transplants when possible • Rotate crops • Plant beans after broccoli • Don’t plant tomatoes, eggplant or potatoes where they have been before

  14. Start early, end late • Garden from 4/1 to 12/15 • See GE 007 or HG 16 for planting dates • Broccoli, kale, lettuce, beets, carrots, onions, peas, potatoes can all be put into the garden in mid March through April • In June replace with summer crops • Succession plant short days to maturity vegetables • Carrots, beets, every 3 weeks • cucurbits late June, use transplants and row cover • In August, transplant fall broccoli, etc. • In late August, early September, plant spinach, lettuce, turnips, and other fall crops • Fall spinach and kale will winter over for spring crop

  15. Integrated Pest Management • 95% of insects aren’t vegetable pests • Use simple steps and common sense • Study – know your pest • Beans – Mexican bean beetle • Cucurbits – squash bug, vine bore and cucumber beetle • Brassica– imported cabbage moth/looper, harlequin bug • Solanaceous plants –Colorado potato beetle, flea beetle • Spy – look for pest and eggs under leaves • Squish large bugs– don’t use insecticide when fingers will work • An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure

  16. Common Vegetable Pests Mexican Bean Beetle Eggs & larvae Adult • Row cover • Crush • Pyrethrum, neem, spinosad spray top and bottom of leaves

  17. Common Vegetable Pests Squash Bug Adult Eggs & nymphs • No organic pesticide for homeowners • Floating row cover • Hand pick tear out section of leaf with eggs • Kill nymphs with neem, horticultural oil or insecticidal soap

  18. Common Vegetable Pests Squash Vine Bore Larvae • Floating row cover • Cut out borer and mound soil over wound

  19. Common Vegetable Pests Cucumber Beetle Spotted Stripped Floating row cover Pyrethrum, neem oil, spinosad

  20. Common Vegetable Pests Imported Cabbage Looper Larvae Adult • Floating row cover • Bacillus Thuringensis (BT), insecticidal soap • Pyrethrum, neem, spinosad – use with sticker spreader

  21. Common Vegetable Pests Harlequin bug Adult Eggs & nymphs • Row cover • Crush • Insecticidal soap alone or with pyrethrum or neem

  22. Common Vegetable Pests Colorado Potato Beetle Adults Floating row cover over hoops Surround (kaolin clay) – reapply after rain B.t. var. tenebrionis and spinosad

  23. Common Vegetable Pests Flea Beetle Adults Floating row cover over hoops Surround (kaolin clay) – reapply after rain Pyrethrum, neem, spinosad

  24. Common Vegetable Pests Stink Bugs BMSB Adult Southern Green Stink Bug Brown • True hard shell bugs like squash and stink bugs are hard to kill • Use row cover where possible • Hand pick and destroy adults and eggs • Insecticidal soap and botanicals can be used on 1st and 2nd instars (nymphs) • No organic pesticide available for homeowners to kill adults

  25. Beneficials v. Pests • Attract predators and parasites with flowers • Plant open faced flowers and herbs • Mint (anise hyssop, thyme) • Carrot (dill, yarrow) • Aster (tansy, marigold, zinnia) • Brassica (alyssum, dames rocket, Asian greens) • Ultimately, predators will increase as prey is available • Purchasing predators tends not to be effective • Ducks, chickens and toads • Make a toad house

  26. Physical Controls & Barriers • Hand pick and destroy • Easy with large pests • Squash or drop in soapy water • Apply a barrier on the plant (Surround) • Kaolin clay • Use label rates • Cover the bed with a barrier (row cover) • .5 or .6 oz. per square foot • Can use 9 gauge galvanized wire to support row cover or simply lay over plants

  27. Targeted Applications for Specific Pests • Bacillus Thuringiensis • Imported cabbage looper and other caterpillars • Horticultural oils • Insecticidal soap

  28. Broad Spectrum Killers • With all pesticides • Always read the label • Follow label instructions • Pyrethrums – contact killer nerve toxin • Pyganic • Spinosad– ingestion, nerve/stomach poison • Low toxicity to beneficial insects • Neem oil – azadirachtin growth regulator • Works on contact and by ingestion

  29. Resources • Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) • 800-342-2507 • • Click on “Information Library” and “Publications” • Grow-It-Eat-It website • • Click on “Vegetables”, “Common Vegetable Problems” and “Insect Pests” • YouTube - Search subject

  30. This program was brought to you by Maryland Master Gardener Program Howard County University of Maryland Extension