Products – Vegetables

Veggies Do Like Pots
Many vegetables and herbs adapt well to growing in containers, making it possible to grow vegetables on decks and in balconies of apartments. If your apartment is located on the south or west side of the building, you are in luck. Most veggies require full sun to grow their best. However, with some planning, and a little luck, even apartments on the east and north sides can still produce a limited harvest.
You can use almost any kind of pot; wood, plastic, clay or ceramic. But remember, ‘the bigger the better’ when it comes to pot sizes and vegetables. Small 8″ pots will be adequate for some veggies such as onions, lettuce, radishes, and most herbs. Larger 12″, 14″, or even 16″ pots are needed to grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and yes, even squash.
If space is an issue, or if you just want to go vertical, try using a trellis. Trellises work great for planting pole beans, squash, pumpkins, melons and cucumbers.
Don’t skimp on the soil. Use Gardener’s Gold Organic Potting Soil and buy new potting soil every year. Take the old soil and spread it out in your flower and vegetable gardens, it is still excellent soil for those areas, but start with fresh soil each year in your containers.
Crop Rotation Handout
Crop rotation is the practice of changing the type of crops growing in the same spot of your garden each year. Farmers use crop rotation extensively in the management of their fields. Without crop rotation farmers would suffer heavy loses in their harvest. Home gardeners have a much harder time trying to rotate crops because of the limited amount of space and the types of plants desired. However, it is always a good idea not to plant the same typpease of crop in the same soil year after year. Both insects and diseases multiply in the soil and can greatly affect the productivity of the plants.When planning your crop rotation schedule remember that you must plant different types of plants in the soil. You cannot just plant a different variety of squash in the same soil each year, you must plant something different. Listed below is a partial listing of plant groups. Rotate your crops between these groups and do not plant any of the same group of plants in the same soil year after year.

A: Peas, Beans, Soybean
B. Corn, Popcorn
C. Onion, Garlic, Shallot, Chives
D. Tomato, Potato, Pepper, Eggplant
E. Cabbage, Cauliflowers, Broccoli, Radish, Turnip, Kohlrabi
F. Melons, Cantaloupes, Cucumbers, Squash
G. Carrot, Parsnip, Parsley, Celery
H. Beet, Swiss Chard, Spinach
I. Lettuce, Endive, Jersalem Artichoke
J. Sweet Potato

Flowers have the same problems as vegetables and need to be rotated just the same. Do not plant petunias and geraniums in the same spot year after year or you will notice that the plants do not bloom as nicely, and the plants tend to die prematurely before the summer is over. Try something new and different each year, even if you ‘only like petunias and geraniums’.

For more information about this important subject, please refer to our handout ‘Crop Rotation’

Companion Planting Handout
Many of us have heard that marigolds help keep insects out the vegetable garden; that garlic keeps aphids out of rose gardens, and that nothing will grow near a black walnut tree. Some of these claims hold true, others do not. Just where to these horticultural maxims come from?

For centuries it was common practise to plant two or more crops simultaneously in the same area to help increase the yield of one or more of the crops. American Indians used to plant corn, beans, and squash to their advantage. This method was called the ‘Three Sisters’. Squash leaves would shade the soil and reduce weed growth. Their prickly stems would make raccoons think twice about entering the corn patch. The corn provided shade for the squash in the heat of the summer and didn’t mind if the vines wandered up their stalks. Beans were a nitrogen fixing plant. They provided the corn and squash with extra nutrients. In modern times single crop cultivation has become the most popular way of gardening because it is easier to plan and take care of.

Companion planting is a mixture of folklore and scientific fact; you must experiment to find out what works for you. Even those who use companion planting do not know why some planting combinations work while others do not. You will probably find that the most aromatic plants are the best companion plants for eliminating insects. Many of these aromatic plants are herbs. Herb gardening has become extremely popular in the last few years, try using a few of them as companion crops.

Tomato Care Handout
Centuries ago, long before the white man sailed to these shores, the tomato was a prize crop of the Indians of Mexico and South America; the Aztecs, Mayan and Incas. These ancient people believed the tomato to be a gift of Quetzacoatl, the god of healing. Baskets, heaped high with the jewel-like fruit, were carried on the heads of the temple priests to Quetzacoatl’s altar. After tasting the wonders of the new world, the Spanish conquistadors turned their great galleons toward home.The holds were heavy with gold, but down in the captain’s cabin there was another sort of treasure – a few tomato plants clinging to life in clods of dry Mexican earth, waiting to be transplanted into European soil. Cortez and his men had relished the flavor of the tomato; but somehow, their countrymen were more impressed by the plant’s jewel-like blooms.

The tomato became the pride of the European flower garden, not the vegetable garden! Fortunately, some adventuresome individual took a bite from the bright, shiny fruit a century later and eagerly shared the delight of his discovery with others. Today, the tomato is among the most popular fruits in the world.

Pepper Handout
Peppers are native to the tropical regions of South America. Early explorers discovered these new treasures in South America and took them back to Europe where they were readily accepted and enjoyed. Peppers became so popular that they quickly spread throughout the world. Two kinds of peppers are still popular today: Sweet Peppers and Hot Peppers. Although peppers are closely related to tomato plants, peppers are more demanding than tomatoes. Peppers require warm temperatures, and they need consistent moisture conditions to grow and produce an abundant harvest.

Sweet potato Handout

Sweet Potato, Ipomoea batatas, is a tender, warm-weather vegetable that requires a long, frost-free growing season to produce large, edible roots. Sweet potato is native to Central and South America. It is one of the most important food crops in tropical and subtropical countries, where both the roots and tender shoots are eaten as a vital source of nutrients. Commercial production in the United States is mainly in the southern states. However, home production is nationwide.Though orange-fleshed varieties are the most common today, white or very light yellowfleshed types were once considered the finest varieties and widely grown. A few white-fleshed varieties are still available for home growing.We only have Sweet Potato ‘Slips’ (plants) available for a very short time in the spring. We only have them available from about May 8 through Memorial Day. Sweet potato plants cannot tolerate any temperature below 45 degrees. This plant is one of the few that is best to plant a ‘Week Too Late’ than a ‘Day Too Early’!


Potato Handout
Potato, a cousin of the tomato, are native to South America. Potatoes were so well liked by the early spanish explorers that they were taken back to Europe where they became very popular and became an important food crop for the entire continent. Potatoes were so important that when Ireland’s potato crop was destroyed by Late Blight, thousands of people starved to death. Later, potatoes were introduced back into the United States where they have become a very popular and important vegetable crop. Potatoes can be an easy and rewarding vegetable crop in your home garden.

We sell many different varieties of peas, beans and corn. We have more information about specific varieties of Peas, Beans, and Corn, to help you choose which variety you would like to try this year in your garden 

Vegetable Fact Sheets – We have provided a link directly to the USU Website concerning Vegetables. This website has excellent information about specific issues concerning many different types of vegetables. – Click here for more details

Herb Gardening Handout

We all know, use, and love herbs. Chances are that you’ve already used a product today that has an herbal ingredient. The soap you showered with this morning may have used lavender for its scent. The wool sweater that you’re wearing may have been dyed using herbs. The aspirin you took after lunch is derived from a plant, and some experts say that more than 25 percent of drugs currently on the market contain plant extracts.

Tonight, when you sit down to your roast beef dinner, your plate will be garnished with parsley, your meat will be spiced with pepper, your carrots will be graced by tarragon, and your potatoes adorned with rosemary. Herbs can make everything smell, taste or feel better. Grow herbs to use them in your kitchen, crafts, and for healing purposes. There is a difference between herbs and spices. Herbs are usually fresh or dried leaves. Spices are usually the seeds, roots, fruits, flowers or bark of plants. Herbs tend to have a mild flavor, while spices tend to be stronger and more pungent.

Indoor Herb Gardens

Tired of eating bland dishes during the winter, or walking all the way to the garden to snip a few herbs for dinner? Growing herbs indoors year round can be easy and fun, if you know which plants will grow inside, and how to plant them for best results. Choose your favorite herbs, get some good potting soil, and select decorative pots to show off your new indoor herb garden. The taste and convenience will be worth the effort. Locate a good space in your home for the herbs. A window with southern exposure is ideal. Most herbs need at least four to six hours of direct sunlight each day.

You can supplement the natural light with a grow light if desired, especially during the winter when sunlight is weaker and less frequent. Basil plants, for example, will likely need additional light, as they do best with 12 to 16 hours of light per day.

Keep your indoor herbs growing vigorously by fertilizing regularly during the growing season with a good houseplant fertilizer. Since you’ll probably want to eat these herbs, be careful controlling insects and diseases. You probably won’t need to worry about many pests on your indoor herbs, but if they appear, try hand-picking them off the plants, or using a gentle insecticidal soap. Put your indoor pots outside on your deck or patio during the summer months, but be sure to bring them back inside before the weather gets too cold.

Outdoor Herb Gardens

If you have room, you can make herbs part of your vegetable garden. However, you may prefer to grow some herbs in your flower garden, or in a completely separate ‘herb garden’ area. You might even like to grow some of the more colorful and frequently used herbs, such as parsley and purple basil, as border plants. A few herbs, such as mints, need to be contained or they will overtake the entire garden.

Plant them in a pot, a can, or in a bucket. Herbs can also be grown in patio containers, window boxes, or hanging baskets. Container gardening methods will require a little more care, especially watering.

Protect Your Plants from the ‘Early’ and ‘Late’ Frosts
Mother Nature does have a way of ruining your best gardening plans. We seem to get ‘One Last Frost’ just after we get the garden planted for the year. Or, we get “One Early Frost’ with another 6 weeks of gardening left in the fall.Many frost prevention products are available: Wall of Water, Frost Blankets, and Hotcaps. You can also use blankets, sheets, burlap bags, and plastic (be careful so the plastic does’t touch the plants or frost damage may still occur). A new product – ‘Freeze Pruf’ – is now available for use on both Vegetables and Flowers. It is manufactured by the Liquid Fence Company and shows real potential in preventing damage from the ‘Early’ and ‘Late’ frosts.

Raised Bed Gardening Handout
Raised beds can make gardening much easier. The basic idea of a raised bed is that instead of battling against poor soil conditions, you build above ground, where you have absolute control over the soil texture and the ingredients. Watering, fertilizing, harvesting are all much easier.
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Raised Bed Gardening Pictures
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The ‘Frame It All System’ is an easy to assemble, all-season durable, warp-resistant landscaping solution that is ideal for building raised bed flower and vegetable gardens, sandboxes, playground borders, water gardens and landscape edging. Designed to look attractive and offer endless creative design options, Frame It All has set a new standard in do-it-yourself landscape design delivering professional quality at an affordable price.

Square Foot Gardening is easy to get started with your own square foot garden at home. As easy as 1, 2, 3 and you’ll be harvesting in no time! Requiring no tools, less work and no weeding, square foot gardening has become one of the most efficient and popular ways to grow large crops of fresh produce without wasting valuable resources or space.

Earth Box Gardening is a revolutionary new container gardening system — It is such a drastic improvement over any previous product that it can not only make that claim, it can prove it, and it has, time and time again. EarthBox is a patented system in use around the world. It allows you to simply add sunlight and watch magic — and incredibly large and healthy plants — bloom before your very eyes.