Park’s Vegetable Growing Tips (D-P)

Eggplant

 

Easily damaged by cold temperatures. Fertilize at planting time and when fruits start to form. Harvest when relatively young and skins are very shiny.

 

Kale

 

See Collards. Kale does not tolerate summer heat, but is extremely cold-tolerant.

 

Lettuce, Head

 

Sow directly in the garden, or indoors for transplants. When transplanting, minimize shock by pinching or removing larger leaves. Fertilize at planting time, and again 4 weeks later. Harvest when centers are firm.

 

Lettuce, Leaf

 

 Fertilize at planting time and again 4 weeks later. Harvest entire plant or pick outside leaves when ready; new ones will form from the center.

 

Melon

 

See Cucumber. Keep well-watered when growing, but on the dry side when ripening. Cantaloupes (Muskmelons) are ready when the stem slips easily from the melon with slight pressure. Honeydews and some Cantaloupes turn pale yellow or tan when ripe.

 

Okra

 

Likes a long, warm growing season. May need to sow indoors 4 to 6 weeks before planting outdoors for northern areas. Fertilize at planting time, and again when 12 inches tall. Harvest pods when young and tender (3 to 4 inches long). Do not allow pods to mature or plants will cease production.

 

Onion

 

Can also be planted from sets or transplants. Fertilize at sowing time. Use thinnings for green onions. When tops fall, pull onions and allow to dry before storing. In Zone 8 and further south, may be sown outdoors in fall for spring harvest.

 

Pea, Garden

 

Dust with Legume-Aid before sowing. Plant taller varieties in a double row flanking a trellis, with 30 inches between each double row. Peas fresh from the garden have exceptional flavor. Harvest edible-podded types when young, before seeds form fully. Fertilize at planting time.

 

Pepper

 

Fertilize lightly at planting time and again lightly after 6 weeks. Avoid heavy applications of fertilizer. Peppers can be harvested when mature and red or yellow, but are most often picked when green, as soon as the fruit is firm.

 

Pumpkin

 

See Cucumber. Allow more space for pumpkins than for cucumbers or melons. When the desired number of fruit has set, end of vine can be pinched off to prevent additional fruit production and encourage large fruit size. Harvest when rind is hard enough it can’t be penetrated with a fingernail.

 

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