Image Of Soyabean Plant

Common names: bean, green bean, snap bean, string bean, French bean, wax bean, pole bean, bush bean, stringless bean

Botanical name: Phaseolus vulgaris Origin: South Mexico, Central America

Varieties

The most commonly grown beans are the green or snap bean

Planting Green BeanMccaslan Bean

and the yellow or wax variety. Since 1894, when Burpee introduced the Stringless Green Pod, most of these beans have been stringless. The following are only a few of the varieties available. Ask your Cooperative Extension Service for specific recommendations for your area.

Green bush (green snap bean, bush): Astro (53 days); Blue Lake (56 days); Contender (53 days);

Provider (53 days); Tendergreen (57 days); Tender Crop (53 days) — all resistant to bean mosaic virus. Wax bush (yellow snap bean, bush): Cherokee Way (55 days); Early Wax (50 days) — both resistant to bean mosaic virus. Green pole (green snap bean, pole): Blue Lake (65 days); McCaslan (65 days) — both resistant to bean mosaic virus; Kentucky Wonder (65 days).

Description

Beans are tender annuals that grow either as bushes or vines. Their leaves are usually composed of three leaflets; their flowers are pale yellow, lavender, or white. The size and color of the pods and seeds vary. Snap beans require a short growing season — about 60 days of moderate temperatures from seed to the first crop. They'll grow anywhere in the United States and are an encouraging vegetable for the inexperienced gardener. The immature pod is the part that's eaten. Beans grow as bushes or vines. Bushes are generally easier to handle; they grow only one to two feet tall, and they mature earlier. Pole beans require a trellis for support; they grow more slowly, but produce more beans per plant.

Where and when to grow

Because many varieties have a short growing season, beans do well in most areas, whatever the climate. They require warm soil to germinate and should be planted on the average date of last spring frost. You can plant bush beans every two weeks to extend the harvest, or you can start with bush beans and follow up with pole beans. In some parts of the country — California, for example — you can get two crops by planting in the spring and then planting again in early fall for a winter harvest. Use the length of your growing season and the number of days the variety takes to mature to figure your latest planting date. If you need to sow before your area's average last frost date, start the seed indoors in peat pots and transplant the seedlings when the soil has warmed up. Time your planting so the beans will mature before very hot weather; they will not set pods at temperatures over 80°F.

How to plant

After the last frost is over, choose a bed in full sunlight; beans tolerate partial shade, but partial shade tends to mean a partial yield. Prepare the soil by mixing in a pound of 5-10-10 fertilizer — don't use a high-nitrogen fertilizer, because too much nitrogen will promote growth of foliage but not of the beans. Work the fertilizer into the soil at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet or 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

Bean seeds may crack and germinate poorly when the moisture content of the soil is too high. Don't soak the seeds before planting, and don't overwater immediately afterward.

Plant seeds of all varieties an inch deep. If you're planting bush beans, plant the seeds two inches apart in rows at least 18 to 24 inches apart. Seeds of pole beans should be planted four to six inches apart in rows 30 to 36 inches apart. Or plant them in inverted hills, five or six seeds to a hill, with 30 inches of space around each hill. For pole varieties, set the supports or trellises at the time of planting.

When the seedlings are growing well, thin the plants to four to six inches apart. Cut the seedlings with scissors at ground level; be careful not to disturb the others. Beans don't mind being a little crowded; in fact, they'll use each other for support.

Fertilizing and watering

Beans set up a mutual exchange with soil microorganisms called nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which help them produce their own fertilizer. Some gardeners recommend that if you haven't grown beans in the plot the previous season, you should treat the bean seeds before planting with a nitrogen-fixing bacteria inoculant to help them convert organic nitrogen compounds into usable organic compounds. This is a perfectly acceptable practice but it isn't really necessary; the bacteria in the soil will multiply quickly enough once they've got a growing bean plant to work with.

Fertilize before planting and again at midseason, at the same rate as the rest of the garden. Detailed information on fertilizing is given in "Spadework: The Essential Soil" in Parti.

Keep the soil moist until the beans have pushed through the ground. Water regularly if there is no rain, but remember that water on the flowers can cause the flowers and small pods to fall off. When the soil temperature reaches 60°F you can mulch to conserve moisture.

Special handling

Don't bother bean plants when they're wet or covered with heavy dew; handling or brushing against them when they're wet spreads fungus spores. Cultivate thoroughly but with care, so that you don't disturb the bean plants' shallow root systems. If you're planting pole beans, set the trellis or support in position before you plant or at the same time. If you wait until the plants are established, you risk damaging the roots when you set the supports. Make sure the support will be tall enough for the variety of beans you're growing.

Pests

Beans may be attacked by aphids, bean beetles, flea beetles, leafhoppers, and mites. Aphids, leafhoppers, and mites can be controlled chemically by spraying with Malathion or Diazinon. Bean beetles and flea beetles can be controlled chemically by spraying with carbaryl. Beans are almost always attacked by large numbers of pests that cannot be controlled by organic methods. This does not mean the organic gardener can't grow them, but yields may be lower if only organic controls are used. Detailed information on pest control is given in "Keeping Your Garden Healthy" in Part 1.

Diseases

Beans are susceptible to blight, mosaic, and anthracnose. You can cut down on the incidence of disease by planting disease-resistant varieties when they're available, maintaining the general health of your garden, and avoiding handling the plants when they're wet. If a plant does become infected, remove and destroy it so it cannot spread disease to healthy plants. Detailed information on disease prevention is given in "Keeping Your Garden Healthy" in Part 1.

When and how to harvest

Time from planting to harvest is 50 to 60 days for bush beans, 60 to 90 days for pole beans. Harvest the immature pods, and continue removing the pods before they become mature, or the plant will stop producing. Once the seeds mature, the plant dies. Do not harvest when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Storing and preserving

Snap beans are a snap to store. They'll keep up to one week in the refrigerator, but don't wash them until you're ready to cook them. You can also freeze, can, dry, or pickle them. Detailed information on storing and preserving is given in Part 3.

Serving suggestions

Really fresh, tender snap beans are delicious eaten raw; they make an unusual addition to a platter of crudites for dipping. They're also good lightly cooked and tossed with diced potatoes and a little onion and bacon for a delightful hot bean salad. Try them on toast with a light cheese sauce for lunch. And vary everyone's favorite bean dish by replacing the classic Amandine sauce with a Hollandaise or mushroom sauce. Or try tossing them with a few thinly sliced mushrooms and onions that have been lightly sauteed in butter. You can also cut snap beans in lengths and saute them all together with diced potatoes, carrots, and onions for an interesting vegetable dish. Purists will object that this means cooking the beans too long, but you can always add them halfway through the cooking time to preserve their crispness. Well-seasoned, this is a good, filling, vegetable dish for a cold day. On their own, snap beans take well to many spices, including basil, dill, marjoram, and mint.

Bean, lima

Common names: bean, lima bean, butter bean, civit bean Botanical name: Phaseolus lunatus

Origin: South Mexico, Central America

Varieties

Bush lima: Burpee Improved Bush (75 days); Fordhook 242 (75 days) — both resistant to bean mosaic; Allgreen (67 days); Thorogreen (66 days). Pole lima: King of the Garden (90 days); Prizetaker (90 days).

Description

This tender, large-seeded annual bean grows as either a bush or a vine. With this type of bean the mature seed is eaten, not the entire pod. Lima beans need warmer soil than snap beans in order to germinate properly, and they need higher temperatures and a longer growing season for a good crop.

Bush lima beans are generally easier to handle than pole varieties; bushes grow only one to two feet tall, and they mature earlier. Pole beans require a trellis for support; they grow more slowly, but produce more beans per plant.

Where and when to grow

Lima beans require warm soil (five days at a minimum

Soybean Plant Image

temperature of 65°F) to germinate, and should be planted two weeks after the average date of last spring frost. Use the length of your growing season and the number of days the variety takes to mature to figure your latest planting date. If you need to sow before your area's average last frost date, start the seed indoors in peat pots and transplant them when the soil has warmed up. Time your planting so the beans will mature before very hot weather; they will not set pods at temperatures over 80°F.

Plant bush beans every two weeks to extend the harvest, or start with bush beans and follow up with pole beans. Because limas need a long stretch of pleasant weather, the slower-growing pole varieties are difficult to raise successfully where the growing season is short.

How to plant

After the last frost is over, choose a bed in full sunlight; beans tolerate partial shade, but partial shade tends to mean a partial yield. Prepare the soil by mixing in a pound of 5-10-10 fertilizer; don't use a high-nitrogen fertilizer, because too much nitrogen will promote growth of the foliage but not of the beans.

Plant seeds of all varieties an inch deep. If you're planting bush limas, plant the seeds two inches apart in rows at least 18 to 24 inches apart. Seeds of pole beans should be planted four to six inches apart in rows 30 to 36 inches apart, or plant them in inverted hills, five or six seeds to a hill, with 30 inches of space around each hill. For pole varieties, set supports or trellises at the time of planting.

When the seedlings are growing well, thin the plants to four to six inches apart. Cut the seedlings with scissors at ground level; be careful not to disturb the others. Beans don't mind being a little crowded; in fact, they'll use each other for support.

Fertitizing and watering

Beans set up a mutual exchange with soil microorganisms called nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which help them produce their own fertilizer. Some gardeners recommend that if you haven't grown beans in the plot before, you should treat the bean seeds before planting with a nitrogen-fixing bacteria inoculant to help them convert organic nitrogen compounds into usable organic compounds. This is a perfectly acceptable practice, but it isn't really necessary; the bacteria in the soil will multiply quickly enough once they've got a growing bean plant to work with.

Fertilize before planting and again at midseason, at the same rate as the rest of the garden. Detailed information on fertilizing is given in "Spadework: The Essential Soil" in Parti.

Bean seeds may crack and germinate poorly when the moisture content of the soil is too high. Don't soak the seeds before planting, and don't water immediately afterward. Keep the soil moist until the beans have pushed through the ground. Water regularly if there is no rain, but avoid getting water on the flowers; this can cause the flowers and small pods to fall off. You can mulch to conserve moisture when the soil temperature reaches 60°F.

Special handling

Don't handle bean plants when they're wet or covered with heavy dew; handling or brushing against them when they're wet spreads fungus spores. Cultivate thoroughly but with care, so you don't disturb the bean plants' shallow root systems.

If you're planting pole beans, set the trellis or support in position before you plant or at the same time. If you wait until the plants are established, you risk damaging the roots when you set the supports. Make sure the support will be tall enough for the variety of beans you're planting.

The large lima bean seed sometimes has trouble pushing through the soil, although this should not happen if the soil is well worked. If your soil tends to cake, you can cover the seeds with sand, vermiculite, or a peat moss/vermiculite mix instead.

Pests

Beans may be attacked by aphids, bean beetles, flea beetles, leafhoppers, and mites. Aphids, leafhoppers, and mites can be controlled chemically by spraying with Malathion or Diazinon. Bean beetles and flea beetles can be controlled chemically by spraying with carbaryl. Beans are almost always attacked by large numbers of pests that cannot be controlled by organic methods. This doesn't mean the organic gardener can't grow them, but yields may be lower if only organic controls are used. Detailed information on pest control is given in "Keeping Your Garden Healthy" in Part 1.

Diseases

Beans are susceptible to blight.

mosaic, and anthracnose. You can cut down on the incidence of disease by planting disease-resistant varieties when they're available, maintaining the general health of your garden, and avoiding handling the plants when they're wet. If a plant does become infected, remove and destroy it so it cannot spread disease to healthy plants. Detailed information on disease prevention is given in "Keeping Your Garden Healthy" in Parti.

When and how to harvest

Time from planting to harvest is about 60 to 75 days for bush limas and 85 to 110 days for pole limas. Harvest when the pods are plump and firm; if you leave them too long the beans will get tough and mealy. If you pick the pods promptly, limas will continue to yield until the first frost. In warmer climates, bush limas should give you two or three pickings.

Storing and preserving

Unshelled lima beans can be kept up to one week in the refrigerator. Shelled lima beans freeze satisfactorily; they can also be canned or dried. Dried shelled limas can be stored in a cool, dry place for 10 to 12 months. Detailed information on storing and preserving is given in Part 3.

Serving suggestions

Try limas raw for an unusual treat. Serve them in a salad with thinly sliced red onion, parsley, and a vinaigrette dressing, or marinate them for 24 hours in oil, lemon juice, and freshly chopped dill. Cook limas just until tender and serve with a creamy sauce. For a tangy treatment, bake them in a casserole with honey, mustard, and yogurt.

Bean, munq

Common name: mung bean Botanical name: Phaseolus aureus

Origin: India, Central Asia

Varieties

Few varieties are available. Grow whichever variety is available in your area, or plant the seeds that are sold for sprouting.

Description

The mung bean is a bushy annual that grows about 21/2 to three feet tall, and has many branches with typical, hairy, beaniike leaves. The flowers are yellowish-green with purple streaks and produce long, thin, hairy pods containing nine to 15 small, yellow seeds. The seeds are used to produce bean sprouts.

Where and when to grow

Mung beans can be grown in any area of the United States that has 90 days of frost-free temperatures. Plant them on the average date of last frost for your area.

How to plant

When you're preparing the soil for planting, dig in a complete, well-balanced fertilizer at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet or 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Because the only seeds you may be able to get are not very reliable in growth, plant

Mung Bean Pod

Mung beans grow best in full sun, in a rich well-drained soil the seeds several at a time. Plant them an inch deep and 18 to 20 inches apart In wide rows 18 to 24 inches apart. When the seedlings are about two inches tall, thin them to leave the strongest of each group growing. Cut off the extra seedlings at ground level to avoid disturbing the survivor's roots.

Fertilizing and watering

Beans set up a mutual exchange with soil microorganisms called nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which help them produce their own fertilizer. Some gardeners recommend that if you haven't grown beans in the plot the previous season, you should treat the bean seeds before planting with a nitrogen-fixing bacteria inoculant to help them convert organic nitrogen compounds into usable organic compounds. This is a perfectly acceptable practice but it isn't really necessary; the bacteria in the soil will multiply quickly enough once they've got a growing bean plant to work with.

Fertilize before planting and again at midseason, at the same rate as the rest of the garden. Detailed information on fertilizing is given in "Spadework: The Essential Soil" in Parti.

Mung beans don't like to dry out between waterings. If it doesn't rain, keep them well-watered.

Pests

Mung beans have no serious pest problems.

Diseases

Mung beans have no serious disease problems.

When and how to harvest

It usually takes about 90 to 100 days for mung beans to mature, and you can expect one to two pounds of seeds from a 10-foot row. Harvest them as soon as a few of the pods begin to split. If the pods are picked when they are too young they won't store or sprout. Remove the seeds from pods when you harvest them.

Storing and preserving

Mung beans are usually grown for sprouting. Unshelled beans can be kept up to one week in the refrigerator; shelled beans, naturally dried, can be stored in a cool, dry place for 10 to 12 months. Detailed information on storing and preserving is given in Part 3.

Serving suggestions

Bean sprouts turn up in all sorts of Chinese dishes. They're good in salads and sandwiches — vegetarians love them, and rightly so, because they have a high Vitamin C content.

Bean, aoif

See Soybean

Beet

Common name: beet Botanical name: Beta vulgaris Origin: southern Europe

Varieties

Early Wonder (53 days); Burpee's Golden (55 days); Ruby Green (56 days); Cylindra, also called Formanova or Tendersweet (60 days); Long Season, also called Winter Keeper (80 days).

Description

The beet is grown as an annual, although technically it's a biennial. It originated in the Mediterranean, where it existed first as a leafy plant, without the enlarged root we grow it for these days. Swiss chard, which is a bottomless beet, is an improved version of the early, leafy beets. The modern beet has a round or tapered swollen root — red, yellow, or white — from which sprouts a rosette of large leaves. The leaves as well as the root can be eaten.

Where and when to grow

Beets can tolerate frost and do best in the cooler areas of the country, but they'll go to seed without making roots if the plants get too cold when they're young. Plant beets two to three weeks before the average date of last frost. They're planted as a winter crop in the South. If you live in a hot climate you'll need to pay special attention to watering and mulching to give seedlings a chance to establish themselves. In very hot weather the roots become woody.

How to plant

Beets can tolerate shade and thrive in well-worked, loose soil that is high in organic matter. They don't like a very acid soil, and they need a lot of potassium. Before planting, work a complete.

Pea Seedling

well-balanced fertilizer into the soil at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet or 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Remove stones and other obstacles, and break up any lumps In the soil that might cause the roots to become malformed.

Beets are grown from seed clusters that are slightly smaller than a pea and contain several seeds each. Plant the clusters an inch deep and an inch apart in rows spaced 12 to 18 inches apart. The seedlings may emerge over a period of time so that you've got a group of seedlings of different sizes. Since several seedlings will emerge from each seed cluster, they must be thinned to two to three inches apart when the seedlings develop true leaves. Eat thinned seedlings like spinach; they do not transplant well. Plant all the seed clusters — most seeds store well, but these clusters have only a short period of viability.

Fertilizing and watering

Fertilize before planting and again at midseason, at the same rate as the rest of the garden. Detailed information on fertilizing is given in "Spadework: The Essential Soil" in Parti.

Be sure to provide plenty of water for the tender young roots — lack of moisture will result in stringy, tough vegetables.

Special handling

Cultivate by hand regularly; beets do not like competition from weeds. Take care, because the roots are shallow and easily damaged.

Pests

Beets have no serious pest problems. They are a good crop for the organic gardener.

Diseases

Beets have no serious disease problems.

When and how to harvest

Time from planting to harvest is from 40 to 80 days. It takes about 60 days fo r a beet to reach 11/2 inches in diameter — a popular size for cooking or pickling — although they'll get bigger quickly if they have plenty of water. Pull them up when they're the size you want. Twist the leaves off rather than cutting them off; this prevents "bleeding," which causes less intense color and, some people claim, less flavor.

Storing and preserving

You can store beets in the refrigerator for one to three weeks; store the greens in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to one week.

Beets will keep for five to six months in a cold, moist place. You can also freeze, dry, and can both the root and the greens, (use the recipe for "greens"). You can even pickle the root. So there's never any problem figuring what to do with the excess crop. Detailed information on storing and preserving is given in Part 3.

Serving suggestions

Beets are more versatile than they're often given credit for. Eat them raw, or serve the tops raw as a salad green — if you don't cook them, you'll retain some of the vitamins normally lost in cooking. If you cook beets in their skins, the skins will slip off readily at the end of the cooking time. Hot, try them dressed with orange juice and topped with a few slivers of green onion, or glaze them with orange marmalade. Or keep the dressing simple: just a little butter, lemon juice, and seasoning. Beets are the basis of the thick, delicious Russian soup called borscht. Serve borscht with a dollop of sour cream.

Belgian endive

See Chicory

Blacfe-cifed pea

See Pea, black-eyed

Snood bean

See Bean, broad

Bnoccoti

Common names: broccoli, Italian broccoli. Calabrese, brocks Botanical name: Brassica oleracea italica Origin: Mediterranean

Varieties

Green Comet (40 days); Premium Crop (60 days); Royal Purple Head (90 days, resistant to disease, yellow virus).

Description

This hardy biennial, grown as an annual, is a member of the cabbage or cole family. It grows 11/2 to 21/2 feet tail and looks a bit like a cauliflower that hasn't quite gotten itself together. The flower stalks are green, purple, or white; when it comes to the white-budded ones, the U.S. government has trouble deciding where a broccoli stops and a cauliflower starts. The flowers of all of them are yellow, but they're usually eaten while they're still in bud, before they bloom. Americans didn't discover

Broccoli Growth Stages

broccoli until the 1920s, even though this vegetable had been an Old World favorite well before that date.

Broccoli has four stages of growth: (1) rapid growth of leaves; (2) formation of the head (which is the part you eat); (3) a resting period while the embryonic blossoms are being formed; and (4) development of the stalk, flowers, and seeds. The head formation stage is essential for the production of the vegetable, but not at all necessary for the survival of the plant. Broccoli that's held in check by severe frost, lack of moisture, or too much heat will bolt, which means it will go directly to seed without bothering to form a head at all.

As with other cole family crops, you can grow broccoli in a container on the patio or indoors — a single broccoli plant in an eight-inch flower pot might make a novel houseplant. You can also grow broccoli as an accent in a flower bed.

Where and when to grow

Broccoli is frost-hardy and can tolerate low 20°F temperatures. It's a cool season crop and does best with day temperatures under 80°F and night temperatures 20°F lower. Weather that's too cold or too warm will cause the plants to bolt without forming a head. Broccoli will grow in most areas of the United States at one season or another but is not a suitable crop for very hot climates. Time planting so that you'll harvest broccoli during cool weather. In cold-winter areas, plant for summer to early fall harvest. In mild climates, plant for late spring or fall harvest; in the South, plant for harvest in late fall or winter.

How to plant

Broccoli likes fertile, well-drained soil with a pH within the 6.5 to 7.5 range — this discourages disease and lets the plant make the most of the nutrients in the soil. Broccoli is usually grown from transplants except where there's a long cool period, in which case you can sow seed directly in the garden in fall for winter harvest.

When you're preparing the soil for planting, work in a complete, well-balanced fertilizer at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet or 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. If you have sandy soil or your area is subject to heavy rains, you'll probably need to supplement the nitrogen content of the soil. Use about a pound of nitrogen fertilizer for a 10-foot row.

Plant transplants that are four to six weeks old with four or five true leaves. If the transplants are leggy or have crooked stems, plant them deeply (up to the first leaves) so they won't grow to be top-heavy. Plant the seedlings 18 to 24 inches apart, in rows 24 to 36 inches apart. Plan for only a few heads at a time, or plant seeds and transplants at the same time for succession crops — you'll get the same result by planting early and midseason varieties at the same time. If you're planting seeds, set them half an inch deep and three inches apart, and thin them when they're big enough to lift by the true leaves. You can transplant the thinned seedlings.

Broccoli seedling

Fertilizing and watering

Fertilize before planting and again at midseason, at the same rate as the rest of the garden. Detailed information on fertilizing is given in "Spadework: The Essential Soil" in Parti.

Broccoli needs abundant soil moisture and cool moist air for the best growth. Cut down on watering as the heads approach maturity.

Pests

The cabbage family's traditional enemies are cutworms and caterpillars. However, cutworms, cabbage loopers, and imported cabbage worms can all be controlled by spraying with bacillus thuringiensis, an organic product also known as Dipel or Thungicide. Detailed information on pest control is given in "Keeping Your Garden Healthy" in Part 1.

Diseases

Such cabbage family vegetables as broccoli are susceptible to yellows, clubroot, and downy mildew. Planting resistant varieties, rotating crops from year to year, and maintaining the general health of your garden will cut down on the incidence of disease. If a plant does become infected, remove it before it can spread disease to healthy plants. Detailed information on disease prevention is given in "Keeping Your Garden Healthy" in Part 1.

When and how to harvest

Broccoli grown from seed will take 100 to 150 days to mature, and some transplants can be harvested in 40 to 80 days. Harvesting can continue over a relatively long period. Cut the central head vAith five to six inches of stem, when the head is well developed and before it begins to loosen and separate — if the small yellow flowers have started to show, it's past the good-eating stage. Leave the base of the plant and some outer leaves to encourage new growth. In many varieties small clusters will grow in the angles of the leaves and can be harvested later.

Storing and preserving

Broccoli can be stored in the refrigerator up to one week, or in a cold, moist place for two to three weeks. Detailed information on storing and preserving is given in Part 3.

Serving suggestions

The good taste of broccoli has been appreciated since way back. Pliny the Elder wrote in the second century that it was much in favor with the Romans. The classically American way to serve broccoli is with a cheese or Hollandaise sauce, au gratin, or in casseroles. It's also delicious raw, broken into flowerets and used in a salad or with a dipping sauce; the small flowerets are decorative on a platter of raw vegetables. If you've got stalks left over after using the head for salads, parboil them and then saute them in oil with a little onion and garlic. To make sure the stems cook adequately without overcooking the tender tops, cook, broccoli like asparagus — upright in a tall pot so that the stems boil and the tops steam.

B funneUi

■ir WMMUnMi apnout

Common names: Brussels sprouts, sprouts Botanical name: Brawsica oleracea gemmifera Origin: Europe, Mediterranean

Varieties jade Cross (90 days) is resistant to yellows virus.

Description

If you've never seen Brussels sprouts outside of a store, you may be quite impressed by the actual plant. Miniature cabbagelike heads, an inch or two in diameter, sprout from a tall, heavy main stem, nestled in among large green leaves. Brussels sprouts belong to the cabbage or cole family and are similar to cabbage in their growing habits and requirements. They're hardy and grow well in fertile soils, and they're easy to grow in the home garden if you follow correct pest control procedures. Don't try growing the Brussels sprout as a houseplant — it's too big to domesticate.

Brussels sprouts have four stages of growth: (1) rapid growth of leaves; (2) formation of the heads (which is the part you eat); (3) a resting period while the embryonic blossoms are being formed; and (4) development of the stalk, flowers, and seeds. The head formation stage is essential for the production of the vegetable, but not at all necessary for the survival of the plant. Brussels sprouts that are held in check by severe frost, lack of moisture, or too much heat will bolt, which means that they'll go directly to seed without bothering to form a head at all.

Where and when to grow

Brussels sprouts are frost-hardy— in fact, they're the most cold-tolerant of the cole family vegetables — and can tolerate low 20°F temperatures. Brussels sprouts do best in a cool growing season with day temperatures under 80°F and night temperatures 20°F lower. Weather that's too cold for too long or too warm will make them taste bitter; if the sprouts develop in hot weather, they may not form compact heads, but will remain loose tufts of leaves. Brussels sprouts are not a suitable crop for very hot climates, although they will grow in most areas of the United States in one season or another. Time planting so that you harvest Brussels sprouts during cool weather. If your area has cold winters, plant for summer to early fall harvest. In mild climates, plant for late spring or fall harvest. In the South, plant for harvest in late fall or winter.

How to plant

Brussels sprouts like fertile, well-drained soil with a pH within the 6.5 to 7.5 range — this discourages disease and lets the plant make the most of the nutrients in the soil. They're usually grown from transplants, except where there's a long cool period, in which case seeds are sown directly in the garden in fall for winter harvest.

When you're preparing the

Leggey Vegetable Plants

soil for planting, work in a complete, well-balanced fertilizer at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet or 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. If you have sandy soil or your area is subject to heavy rains, you'll probably need to supplement the nitrogen content of the soil. Use about a pound of nitrogen fertilizer for a 10-foot row.

Plant transplants that are four to six weeks old, with four to five true leaves. If the transplants are leggy or have crooked stems, plant them deeply (up to the first leaves) so they won't grow to be top-heavy. Seedlings should be thinned to 24 inches apart when they're three inches tall. If you're planting seeds, set them a half inch deep, three inches apart in rows 24 to 36 inches apart. Thin them when they're big enough to lift by the true leaves and transplant the thinned seedlings.

Fertilizing and watering

Fertilize before planting and again at midseason, at the same rate as the rest of the garden. Detailed information on fertilizing is given in "Spadework: The Essential Soil" in Parti.

Brussels sprouts need abundant soil moisture and cool moist air for the best growth. Cut down on watering as they approach maturity.

Special handling

If you live in an area with cold winters, pick off the top terminal bud when the plant is 15 to 20 inches tall. This encourages all of the sprouts to mature at once. Some gardeners believe that Brussels sprouts develop better'

If the lower leaves are removed from the sides of the stalk as the sprouts develop. A few more leaves can be removed each week, but the top leaves should be left intact.

When and how to harvest

Time from planting to harvest is 85 to 95 days for Brussels sprouts grown from seed, 75 to 90 days from transplants. The sprouts mature from the bottom of the stem upward, so start from the bottom and remove the leaves and sprouts as the season progresses. Harvesting can continue until all the sprouts are gone. The leaves can be cooked like collards or cabbage.

Pests

The cabbage family's traditional enemies are cutworms and caterpillars. Cutworms, cabbage loopers, and imported cabbage worms can all be controlled by spraying with bacillus thuringiensis, an organic product also known as Dipel or Thungicide. It's especially important to control insects on Brussels sprouts; if they insinuate themselves into the tightly curled sprouts, you'll have a lot of trouble dislodging them. Detailed information on pest control is given in "Keeping Your Garden Healthy" in Part 1.

Diseases

Cabbage family vegetables may develop yellows, clubroot, or downy mildew. Lessen the incidence of disease by planting disease-resistant varieties when they're available, maintaining the general health of your garden, and avoiding handling the plants when they're wet. If a plant does become infected, remove and destroy it so it cannot spread disease to healthy plants. Detailed information on disease prevention is given in "Keeping Your Garden Healthy" in Parti.

Storing and preserving

If you have sprouts still on the stem in late fall, remove all the leaves from the plant, and hang the plant in a cool dry place; it will give you a late harvest. The plant can be kept up to one month in a cold, moist place. Sprouts will keep for about a week in the refrigerator. Remove loose or discolored outer leaves before you store them, but don't wash them until you're ready to use them. You can also freeze or dry sprouts. Detailed information on storing and preserving is given in Parts.

Serving suggestions

Sprouts are traditionally served with turkey at an English Christmas dinner. They're also good lightly steamed and served with a lemon-butter sauce. Don't overcook them; young sprouts should be slightly crunchy, and light cooking preserves their delicate flavor. Older sprouts have a stronger taste. Brussels sprouts can also be french fried, baked, or pureed. When you trim them for cooking, cut an X in each stem so that the sprouts cook evenly; be careful not to trim the stem ends too closely or the outer leaves will fall off when you cook them. A walnut in the pot when you cook Brussels sprouts should cut down on the cabbagey smell.

Cabbaqe

Common name: cabbage Botanical name: Brassica oleracea capitata Origin: South Europe

Varieties

Green: Stovehead (60 days); Jersey Wakefield (63 days); Golden Acre (65 days); Market Prize (73 days); Badger Ban Head (98 days); Flat Dutch (105 days). Savoy: Savoy Ace (80 days); Savoy King (85 days). Red: Red Acre (76 days); Red Ball (70 days).

Description

Cabbage, a hardy biennial grown as an annual, has an enlarged terminal bud made of crowded and expanded overlapping leaves shaped into a head. The leaves are smooth or crinkled in shades of green or purple, and the head can be round, flat, or pointed. The stem is short and stubby, although it may grow to 20 inches if the plant is left to go to seed. Cabbage is a hardy vegetable that grows well in fertile soils, and it's easy to grow in the home garden if you choose suitable varieties and follow correct pest control procedures. Like other members of the cabbage or cole family (broccoli and kale are among them), cabbage is a cool-weather crop that can tolerate frosl but not heat.

Cabbages have four stages of growth: (1) rapid growth of leaves; (2) formation of the head (which is the part you eat); (3) a resting period while the embryonic blossoms are being formed; and (4) development of the stalk, flowers, and seeds. The head formation stage is essential for the production of the vegetable, but not at all necessary for the survival of the plant. Cabbages thai are held in check by severe frost, lack of moisture, or too much heat will bolt, which means that they will go directly to seed without bothering to form a head at all. And even if the cabbage does make a head, if the weather gets too hot once it reaches that stage, the head can split.

Cabbages are decorative in the flower garden; purple cabbages and savoys look good in a mixed border. Flowering cabbages look like enormous variegated blossoms. In small spaces, grow cabbages as an accent in each corner of a flower bed or as a border. Decorative cabbages can be grown in containers on the patio or even indoors. Try growing a single cabbage in an eight-inch flowerpot; choose a flowering cabbage or a small early variety.

Where and when to grow

Cabbages are frost-hardy and can tolerate low20°F temperatures. They do best in a cool growing season with day temperatures under 80°F and night temperatures 20°F lower. If the plants are cold for too long a period or if the weather is warm, they will bolt without forming a head. If the head has already formed, it will split in hot weather — splitting happens when the plant takes up water so fast that the excess cannot escape through the tightly overlapped leaves, and the head bursts. The cabbage is not a suitable crop for very hot climates, although it will grow in most areas of the United States at one season or another. Time planting so that you harvest cabbage during cool weather. If your areas have cold winters, plant for summer to early fall harvest, in mild climates, plant for late spring or fall harvest. In the South, plant for harvest in late fall or winter.

How to plant

Cabbages like fertile, well-drained soil with a pH within the 6.5 to 7.5 range — this discourages disease and lets the plant make the most of the nutrients in the soil. When you're preparing the soil for planting, work in a complete, well-balanced , fertilizer at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet or 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. If you have sandy soil or your area is subject to heavy rains, you'll probably need to supplement the nitrogen content of the soil. Use about a pound of nitrogen fertilizer for a 10-foot row. Cabbages are usually grown from transplants except where there's a long cool period, in which case you can sow seed directly in the garden in fall for winter harvest. Plant transplants that are four to six weeks old with four or five true leaves. If the transplants are leggy or have crooked stems, plant them

Savoy Cabbage
Cabbage

deeply (up to the first leaves) so they won't grow to be top-heavy. Plant the seedlings 18 to 24 inches apart in rows 24 to 36 inches apart. Plan for only a few heads at a time, or plant seeds and transplants at the same time for succession crops; you'll get the same result by planting early and midseason varieties at the same time. If you're planting seeds, set them an inch deep and space them three inches apart. Thin them to 18 to 24 inches apart when they're big enough to lift by the true leaves, and transplant the thinned seedlings.

Fertilizing and watering

Fertilize before planting and again at midseason, at the same rate as the rest of the garden. Detailed information on fertilizing is given in "Spadework: The Essential Soil" in Parti.

Cabbages need abundant soil moisture and cool air for best growth. Cut down the watering as the heads approach maturity to prevent splitting.

Pests

The cabbage family's traditional enemies are cutworms and caterpillars. Cutworms, cabbage loopers, and imported cabbage worms can all be controlled by spraying with bacillus thuringiensis, an organic product also known as Dipel or Thungicide. Detailed information on pest control is given in "Keeping Your Garden Healthy" in Parti.

Diseases

Yellows virus, clubroot fungus, and black rot may attack cabbage. Cut down on the incidence of

Cabbage seedling disease by planting disease-resistant varieties when they're available, maintaining the general health of your garden, and avoiding handling the plants when they're wet. If a plant does become infected, remove and destroy it so it cannot spread disease to healthy plants. Detailed information on disease prevention is given in "Keeping Your Garden Healthy" in Parti.

When and how to harvest

Cabbages mature in 80 to 180 days from seed, depending on the variety, or in 60 to 105 days from transplants. A 10-foot row should give you five to eight heads. Start harvesting before the winter gets too warm, when the head is firm. To harvest, cut off the head, leaving the outer leaves on the stem. Often a few small heads will grow on the stalk, and you can harvest them later.

Storing and preserving

Cabbage stores well in the refrigerator for one to two weeks, and can be kept for three to four months in a cold, moist place. Cabbage can also be dried, and freezes fairly well; it can be canned as sauerkraut. Cabbage seeds can also be sprouted. Detailed information on storing and preserving is given in Part 3.

Serving suggestions

Soggy cabbage is a staple of English childhood reminiscences. Actually, steamed or boiled cabbage is an excellent dish — the secret is to cut it into small pieces before you cook it so that it cooks fast and evenly. Or try braising it in a heavy-bottomed pan with butter and just a little water; toss a few caraway seeds over it before serving. Sweet and sour red cabbage is an interesting dish. Stuffed cabbage leaves are delicious, and cabbage makes a good addition to soup — the leaves add an additional texture to a hearty, rib-sticking winter soup. The Irish traditionally serve cabbage with corned beef, and a British combination of cooked cabbage and mashed potatoes sauteed together is known as "bubble-and-squeak." French country cooks stuff a whole cabbage with sausage, then simmer it with vegetables — aversion known as chou farci. One way or another, there's a lot more to cabbage than coleslaw.

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See Muskmelon

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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