Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 58

Special Publication 09-01

Replaces SP 04-04

VegetableGardeningin MoapaandVirginValleys

by

Dr.SylvanWittwer, DirectorEmeritusoftheMichiganStateUniversityAgriculturalExperimentStation andProfessorofHorticulture EditedbyAliceM.Crites,ExtensionEducator,and PamelaProctor,ProgramOfficer,Horticulture

SylvanandMaurineWittwerintheirLogandalegarden

AboutDr.Wittwer

Dr. Sylvan H. Wittwer, Director Emeritus of the Michigan State University Agricultural ExperimentStationandProfessorofHorticulture,retiredandmovedtoMoapaValleyin1996.He has traveled all over the world and spent his entire career and most of his life in agriculture research,resourcemanagementandeducation.Hehasexperimentedwithdifferentvegetableand fruit crops in this area and elsewhere. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension encouraged himtosharehisfindingswithlocalresidents.Hisgardenisashowplaceandhehasproventhat with proper planting times, fertilization and watering, many varieties of vegetables grow and produceexceptionallywellinthisarea,especiallyinthefall,winterandspring. Dr.WittwerwaschairmanoftheBoardofAgricultureandRenewableResourcesoftheNational ResearchCounciloftheNationalAcademyofSciencesfrom197377andamemberoftheClimate ResearchBoard197881.HehasservedasaconsultantforallInternationalAgriculturalResearch Centers, all federal agencies relating to agriculture and environment, the United Nations Development Program and the World Food Bank. Dr. Wittwer is the scientific pioneer who conducted the original studies on atmospheric carbon dioxide enhancement of the production of foodcrops,foliarfeedingofplantnutrientsandearlytomatoproductionandistheauthorofmore than750peerreviewedstudies.HeisanauthorofFeedingaBillion:FrontiersofChineseAgriculture andalsoauthorofFood,Climate,andCarbonDioxide,publishedin1995byCRCpress. Dr.WittwerwasbornandrearedinHurricane,Utah.Hereceivedhisundergraduatetrainingin horticultureatUtahStateandaPh.D.fromUniversityofMissouri.Hewaspresentedanhonorary Doctor of Science degree from Utah State University in 1982 and an honorary Doctor of AgriculturedegreefromMichiganStateUniversity in 2002. He received the Distinguished and Meritorious Service Award from the American FarmBureauFederationin1984.In2004,hewas elected to the American Society for Horticultural ScienceHorticultureHallofFame. HeandhiswifeMaurineweremarriedfornearly 70years,untilherpassingatage90inMay2008. Maurine was the recipient of the Silver Beaver Award in 1972, a great honor in Scouting. She wasoneoftheworldslongestsurvivorsofbreast cancer, having been diagnosed in 1947, a testament to the benefits of healthy eating. Dr. Wittwer credits his alertness and good physical condition to healthy eating and the exercise of gardening. From September through June, his garden in Logandale, Nevada is a showplace to behold. SylvanandMaurineWittwer,April2008

Index
Page Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vegetable Gardening Quick Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . Irrigation .............................. Soils and Fertilizers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Planting Schedule ....................... 1 3 5 8 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 47 48

Pest Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Harvest Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Asparagus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beans, green . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beets Broccoli Carrots Melons Peas ................................ .............................. ............................... ............................... .................................

Corn, Sweet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Onions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peppers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Potatoes, Red and White . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Potatoes, Sweet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spinach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tomatoes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Summary Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Introduction

TheMoapaValleyhaslongbeenknownasoneofthegardenspotsoftheSouthwest.Tomato andonionplantswereproducedhereduringthelate40sandearly50sandshippedasfareast asMichigan,NewJerseyandIndiana,whichwerethemajorproducingareas50yearsago. MoapaValleyalsocompetedbrieflywithGeorgiaasasourceofvegetabletransplantsforthe Northernstates.

ThisaccountofvegetablegardeningintheMoapaandVirginValleysisnotintendedasa completetreatiseneitherastocropswhichcanbegrownnorthecultural,soilfertility requirementsandamendmentsorclimaticconditionsunderwhichtheyshouldbegrown.The intenthasbeentoselectsomeofthemajorvegetablecrops,outlinemethodsofculturebothnew andlongstanding,andanswersomeofthemostcommonlyaskedquestions.Whileonly selectedvegetablesthathaveprovenparticularlysuccessfulfortheauthorareincludedherein, thereaderisencouragedtoexperimentwithothervegetablesthatmaybeofinterest.Successful gardenersareencouragedtosellexcessproduceatalocalfarmersmarketorhealthfoodstore.

Sincethefertilizerrequirements,height,flowerset,rateofmaturity,etc.,ofallplants,including weeds,respondtoconditionssuchasphotoperiod(lengthofday)orbasetemperatures, gardeningisnotanexactscience.Itisanartaswellasascience.Allvegetablecropshavea basetemperatureatwhichgrowthbegins.Forbeets,carrots,chard,onions,peas,radish, spinach,etc.,itis40F.Forgreenbeans,peppers,sweetcorn,tomatoes,etc.,itis50F.For melonsitis60Fandforsweetpotatoes70F.Naturally,thetimingofthesetemperature conditionswillvaryfromyeartoyear,andthusthefrostfreeplantingandtransplantingdates.

Whenpreparingthegarden,seedshouldnotbeindirectcontactwithfertilizers.Work fertilizersthoroughlyintosoilbeforeplantingseeds.Mostseedlingsbenefitfromtheuseofa startersolutionhighinphosphorus,addedattherateofoneouncepergallonofwater.There arecommercialstartersolutionsavailablesuchasJ.R.PetersInc.JacksClassicorMiracle Grow,butanallsoluble,andlessexpensive,idealstartersolutionismonoammonium phosphate(12610).

Diseaseresistanceisoftenlistedbyinitialsonstarterplantlabelsandseedpackets,suchas VFNontomatoes,indicatingaresistancetoVerticilliumwilt,Fusariumwiltandnematodes. Ifbulkseedispurchased,buyanduseonlycertifiedseed.

Poor,salty,highalkalisoilsmustbeimprovedandwaterqualityreasonabletogrowvegetables. Poorsoilconditionsmaydictatewhichvegetablewillbemostsuccessful,i.e.,asparagusvs. lettuce.IrrigationisrequiredtogrowvegetablesinNevada.

Selectedvarietiesorcultivars(seeds/plants)ofaparticularvegetablemayperformbetterthan othersinanarea.Productionofseedbyseedcompaniesmaybeandhasbeendiscontinuedfor varietieswelladaptedforthesevalleys,i.e.thePresidenttomato,Earliservegreenbeanand SweetGeorgiaBrownonion.Hybridseedmaygivehigheryieldsorhaveuniquequalities, butdontharvestseedforplantingnextyearasoffspringwillnotcarrythehybridqualities.

Alkaline,inorganic,nutritionallypoorandbiologicallylimitedsoilscommontoNevadaoften needamendmentsandfertilizerstoreachtheirproductivepotential.Wheredrainageispoor caliche,hardpan,compactedornaturallyheavysoiladjustmentsmustbemadetosuccessfully growvegetables.

TakeadvantagebysiteselectionoftheclimaticresourcesoftheMoapaandVirginValleys. Extendthespringseasonbytransplants,rowandplantcoversandvarietyselections.Withrow orientation,takeadvantageofthesunaswellasprotectionfromitbyshadecovers.Plantrows northandsouthforwindprotection.

Takeadvantageoffall,winterandearlyspringproductionforcoolseasoncropstoavoidweeds andmostallinsectdamage,andforreducedwaterrequirements,improvedqualityandthe privilegeofworkingoutdoorsincooltemperaturesratherthantheheatofsummer.The majorityofgardenfreshvegetablesareproducedfromSeptemberthroughJune.

Therearesomevegetablecropssuchasasparagus,beets,broccoli,carrots,garlic,greenbeans, onions,spinachandsweetpotatoesthatareadmirablyadaptedforproductionintheMoapa andVirginValleys.Noseriousdiseasesorinsectpestshavethusfarbeenobservedonthese crops,andtheythriveinouralkalinesoilsandareofexcellentquality. Finally,beevermindfulofthepropermanagementandthemostefficientutilizationofour naturalresourcesofsoil,water,energyandclimate.Climateisaresourcethatshouldbeused wisely,orahazardtobedealtwith. Suggestionswhichfollowwillenablesuccessfulproductionofmajorvegetablecropswithout theuseofchemicalpesticidesthataretoxictopeopleandbeneficialinsectssuchashoneybees andladybirdbeetles.

VegetableGardeningQuickTips
1.

Preparesoilandirrigationsystemwellinadvanceofplanting. Useadripirrigationsystem.Waterthoroughlyandlessfrequently. PLANINADVANCE.Orderseed,fertilizer,transplantsandcompostwellinadvance ofanticipatedneed.Newandimprovedseedvarietiesaregenerallyavailableonly throughmailorInternetorder. Considergrowingasparagus,greenbeans,onions,peas,peppers,spinach,sweet potatoesandtomatoes.Theywilltoleratealkalinesoils,aregenerallypestfreeandare preferredbymostpeople. Avoidtheuseoftoxicpesticidesharmfultopeopleandtobeneficialinsects.Use naturalinsecticidesandbiologicalcontrolsasalternatives. Plantcoolseasoncrops(beets,broccoli,cabbage,carrots,lettuce,onions,peas,radishes, lettuce,spinach,etc.)forfall,winterandearlyspring.Therearefewerweedsand insectpests,qualityissuperb,lesswaterisrequiredanditsacool,pleasant environmentforworkingoutdoors. Growvegetablessuchasred/yellowpeppers,tomatoes,sugarsnappeas,beans(scarlet runner),Swisschard,globeartichokes,pumpkinsandIndiancornforornamentalsas wellasfood. Striveforaweedfreeenvironment.Useculinarywater;irrigationwaterpicksupweed seedsasitmovesdownopenirrigationditches.Avoiduseoflarge(horseorcow) animalmanure,asseedscanstillbeviableafterpassingthroughtheirdigestive systems.Weedsaremucheasiertoremovewhentheyaresmallpullorcutthemout assoonasyoucanseethemtheearlierthebetter. Hardenofftransplants(tomatoes,broccoli,etc.).Placeoutdoorsinfullsunfor10 daystotwoweeksbeforetransplanting;placeinaprotectedareaorbepreparedto bringthemindoorsincaseoffrost.Spreadapartsoleavesdonttouch,keepplantsdry, andwateronlywhenplantsbegintowilt;waterwithanallsolublestartersolutionhigh inphosphorusforstrongrootgrowth,suchassolublemonoammoniumphosphate(12 610).

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10. Usemulchliberallytoconservemoisture,controlweeds,ensurecleanproduce,hasten maturityandincreaseyields.

11. Provideprotectionfromthewindandsun.Plantinnorthsouthrows,adjacentto buildingsorwallsorprovideprotectionwithnaturalorartificialwindbreaks(e.g.,hot caps,low/hightunnels,plastics,strawbales,shrubs).Trellisingandfencingcan increaseproductivity,butcanbemorelaborintensive.

12. Fertilizethroughtheirrigationsystemusingallsolubleformsoffertilizersuchas monoammoniumphosphate(12610),especiallyduringfloweringandfruitsetting.

13. Growfreshvegetablesyearround.Growfourtofivesuccessivecropsofpesticidefree vegetablessuchasbeets,carrots,leaflettuce,spinachandradishinoneyearonthe samegardenareabyconcentratingonfall,winterandspringproduction. 14. ReserveJulyandAugustforpepper,sweetpotatoandmelonproduction. 15. Foliarapplicationofnutrientsissuggestedforimprovementofbothqualityandthe productionofallfruitsandvegetablesandforefficiencyinuseoffertilizer. 16. Longevityofseedsshouldbekeptinmindifyouaregoingtoholdandstorethemformore thanayear.Newseedshouldalwaysbeusedforparsnips,lettuceandsweetcorn.Seed forallothervegetablecropsmaybecarriedoveroneyeartothenext,butnotbeyondthree tofiveyears.Storevegetableseedundercool,dryconditionsandinthedark.

Irrigation WateringGardensintheMoapa&VirginValleys
Whentowater?Howoftentowater?Howmuch?Howlong?Bywhatmethod?Thesearethe continuingquestionsaskedbythoseinterestedoractiveingardening.Evenexperienced gardenersaskthesequestions. Therearenoeasyorquickanswers.Itdependsontheseasonoftheyear,thesoiltype,thecrop orplantsbeinggrown,thestageofplantdevelopment,thetemperature(bothdaytimeand nighttime),andplantexposure(thepresenceorintensityofwind,rainfall,sunshineandslope). Toknowwhentowaterandhowmuchandforhowlongisbothanartandascience.It requiresexperienceandcarefulobservationsofplants. Inthishot,dryclimatethetendencyistooverwater.Theusualsymptomoftoomuchwateris ayellowingofplantleaves.Alackofdrainageandresultantlackofaerationandoxygeninthe rootzonemaybeasimportantastheamountofwatering.Remember,rootsonlygrowwhere thereiswaterandoxygen,wherenothingistoxicandwheretherearenobarriers. StageofPlantDevelopment:Thestageofplantdevelopmentiscrucialastowhentowater. Allannualplantsgothroughprogressivelyincreasingratesofgrowthanddrymatter accumulationwhenflowering,formingpods,producingseedsandsettingfruit.Whenthis occursforsweetcorn,greenbeans,peas,tomatoes,peppers,eggplant,melons,squash, cucumbersandstrawberries,thedemandforwaterandfertilizerincreasesenormously.Thisis alsotruewhenheadformationoccursincabbageandbroccoli.Duringthisperiodthesoil shouldnotdryout;itshouldremainmoist,butnotwet.Dailywateringorevenwateringtwice adayinhot,windyweathermaybenecessary.Followingplantingseedsofsweetcorn,peas, beans,carrots,onionsorbeets,etc.,thesoilmustbeleftmoistuntilseedlingsemerge.Keeping thesoilmoistisamuchbetteralternativethansoakingtheseedbeforeplanting.Ifthesoildries outduringgerminationorearlyseedlinggrowth,theplantswillnotsurvive. PlantType:Fruittreesandmanyornamentaltreesandshrubsdonotrequirethefrequencyof wateringasdovegetablecropsandannualflowers. Waterrequirementsvarygreatlywiththetypeofcropandseasonoftheyear.Thesoilshould bekeptmoistforgreenbeans,peas,peppers,strawberries,sweetcornandtomatoesduringthe flowering,fruitingandharvestperiod.Oneshouldnotdelaywateringuntiltheleavesbeginto wilt.Asparagusrequireslessfrequentbutmorethoroughwateringthanothercrops,coupled withgooddrainage.Manylocalresidentsrecallharvestingasparagusalongditchbanks,which providedbothmoistureanddrainage. Sweetpotatoesthrivebestwithsandyloamsoilslowinbothfertilityandmoisture.They shouldnotbegrownintheclaysoilsfoundinpartsoftheMoapaandVirginValleys.Thereis noplaceonearthtoohottogrowsweetpotatoes,andtheyrequiretheleastwaterandfertilizer

ofanycropsinthesevalleys.Overwateringandtoomuchfertilizerwillresultinheavyvine growthwithsmallornosweetpotatoes.Sweetpotatoesofhighqualitycanbeadelightfulcrop andtheycanusuallyoutgrowtheweeds.Theyareinthesamefamilyaswildmorningglory (fieldbindweed),oneofthenoxiousweedsthatgrowhere. IrrigationTechniques:Plasticpressurecompensatingdriplinesonehalfinchindiameterare recommended.(Thesearenotsoakerhoses!Nosoakerhosewillgiveequaldistributionof water.)Emitters,eachwithbuiltininternalfilters,maybe12,15,18or24inchesapart.Iprefer 12inchspacingwithdeliveryratesofonegallonperhourperemitter,withdriplinesspread threefeetapart.Inthecaseofsweetcorn,cabbageorbroccoli,oneplantisplacedateach emitter;orinthecaseofgreenbeans,peas,carrots,beetsoronions,theequivalentof1015 plantsperrunningfootaresuggestedusingdoublerows,oneoneachsideofthedripline. VariousnetworksofdriplinescanbeadjustedtofitthespaceavailableusingTs,elbowsand extendersorconnectors.Tiethelineinafigureeightoruseanendcaptoterminateorcutoff theendoftherow.Figure8sarecommerciallyavailableandbyfarthemostconvenient. Anadvantageofdriphoseirrigationsystemsisthatthewaterisplacedonlywheretheroots are.Itisbyfarthemostefficientandeconomicaluseofwaterforcropirrigation.Itcanbeonat anytimeduringtheday.Atthesametimeyouareirrigating,youcanharvestandconduct otherculturalpracticessuchastraining,trellising,weeding,cultivatingorspraying.Usingdrip irrigationavoidssoilcompactionandgreatlyreducesweedgrowth.Irecommendusingonly culinarywaterinvegetablegardens.Thishelpspreventsaltbuildupandthedistributionof weedseedsthatcantravelinditchirrigationwater. Upto1,000feetoflinecanbeadaptedtoasinglehoselineusingculinarywater.Equal distributionwillresultovertheentireareabeingirrigated,evenwhenthewaterpressureranges from55to80psi(poundspersquareinch),whichistypicaloftheMoapaValley.Eachemitter ordripperhasabuiltininteriorfilter.After10yearsofexperienceIhavehadnocloggingor pluggingupofemittersandthesamedriplinespurchased10yearsagoarestillfunctionalwith noleakageorplugging.Thepressurecompensatingdriplineisavailablelocallyandcanbe foundatmanyhardwarestoresorirrigationsupplystores.Itcomesin100,250or1,000foot rolls. Itisbesttododaytodayvisualobservationanduseasoilprobetochecksoilmoisture.Also considerthecropbeinggrown,unpredictableweatherconditionsandstageofplant developmenttodecidewhenandhowmuchtowater.Ifastenthedriplinestomyhousehose bibs,whichImanuallycontrol.Ifeelthattherearetoomanyvariablesforuseoftimed irrigationprogramming.Durationoftimingforthedriplinesmayvaryfromhourto overnight,dependingonthecropanditsstageofdevelopment,withafrequencyofwatering varyingfromtwiceadaytomorethantwoweeks.Anallsolublefertilizerhighinphosphorus andadequatenitrogen(12610)canbeappliedbyinsertingafertilizerdispenserorinjector betweenthebibandthehoseline.Topreventbackflowoffertilizerintothedomesticwater supply,installabackflowpreventer.Theseareavailableathardwareandplumbingsupply

stores.Plantsneedbothwaterandfertilizeratthesametime,especiallyduringtheflowering, seedformationandfruitingstages.Addingfertilizertowaterhasbeencalledfertigationand ishighlyrecommendedforallvegetables. Ifyouhaveasmallgardenordonthavetimetomonitoryourgardenasoftenasyoushould,youcanstill usethedripsystemDr.Wittwerusesandoperatesitonatimer.Thekeytosuccessistoreadthe informationprovidedwiththeequipmentyoupurchase.Notewhetherthedriplineamountemittedisin gallonsperhourorinchesofwaterperhalfhour.Runthesystemforhourandnotethewidthand depthofthewaterspread.Basedontheresults,addmoretimetogetthewaterwhereyouwantit;then programyoursystemforthatamountoftimeeachdayinthesummerandeveryotherdayortwiceaweek asthetemperaturechanges.Rememberthatwhenthetemperaturechangesdrasticallyorifwehavealot ofwind,youmightneedtoaddmoretimeorincreasethefrequencyofwatering.Yourgardencangoa fewdayswithoutattentiononanautomaticclock,butyoustillneedtomonitorwhatisgoingonandif possiblelookinoniteverydaytomakesurethesystemisfunctioningproperly.Dontforgettoadd organicmattertothegardenbeforeplantingandtomulchoncethevegetablesareupandgrowing,asthat willimprovewaterholdingcapacity,ensurecleanfruit,controlweeds,increaseyieldsandreduce saltiness.

Soils and Fertilization


Soilsandorganicmatter.Soilstobeusedforvegetableproductioninthesevalleysshould haveorganicmatteradded.Thiscanbedonewithcompost(Iprefercompostproduced fromamixtureofturkeymanureandwoodshavings),withgreenmanurebyplowing undergreencropsorwithwellcompostedanimalmanure(horse,steer,poultry)before planting.Theproblemwithmanureisthatitcanbeasourceofweedseedsandalsoofsalt. Oneshouldcarefullycheckthefeedusedforanimalsthatproducethemanure.Ifturkey compostorothercomparablecompostsareused,arecommendedamountisaboutoneand onehalftothreecubicyardsper100footbyhreefootwidearea(300squarefeet),whichis enoughtoprovideadepthof13inches.A60footby20footgardenwouldrequiresixto 11cubicyardsforthesamecoverage.Thisshouldbeworkedintothesoilbytillingor spading.Organicmatterascompostorcompostedmanureshouldbeaddedannually preferablyduringthefall,winterandearlyspringmonths.Greenmanure(alfalfa,clover, sudangrass)isbestusedinwinterandisgenerallynotausefulsourceoforganicmatterfor smallergardens. Fertilizationpriortoplanting.Ingeneral,vegetablecropsrespondwelltohighlevelsof commercialfertilizer.Therecommendedfertilizeristhesamecommonlyusedforalfalfa production,monoammoniumphosphate.Inthegranulatedformithasacompositionof11 520andintheallsolubleform12610.Thegranulatedformisappliedbybroadcast spreadingbeforeplantingorseeding.Fertilizershouldnotbeplantedwiththeseedor placedincontactwithit.Therecommendedamountoffertilizervariesfromoneto25 poundsper100feetofrow,dependingonthecrop.Thehighestrecommendedlevelisfor asparagusat10to25poundsper100feetofrow.Ahighlevelof10to12poundsper100 feetofrowisrecommendedfortomatoesandsweetcorn.Amoderatelevelofthreetofive poundsper100feetofrowisrecommendedforbeets,broccoli,carrots,cabbage, cauliflower,greenbeans,onions,peas,peppers,potatoesandspinach,whilesweetpotatoes, melons,cucumberandsquashhavealowerrequirementofonetothreepoundsper100feet ofrow.Boththegranulatedandsolubleformscanusuallybepurchasedin50poundbags fromgardencenters.Notethatpotassium(potash)isabsentfromthisfertilizer.Thereisno needforpotashinthesoilsinthesevalleys.Thesoilsarealreadyloadedwithsufficient quantitiestotakecareofallplantneeds.Themostimportantingredientinfertilizersused inthesevalleysisphosphorus.Thisisbaseduponthefactthatphosphorusasaplant nutrientisbiologically,chemicallyandphysicallyfixedwhenaddedtothesoilofthese valleys.Largequantitiesarerequiredtoovercomethesefixationprocessesandtomeet needsforoptimalcropproduction,especiallyofasparagus,beans,potatoes,tomatoes, onionsandsweetcorn.Thesocalledcompletefertilizers,oftenwiththecompositionof20 2020,arenotasusefulasthesimplesaltformulationofmonoammoniumphosphate.In general,thesandyloamsoilsfoundinthesefloodplainvalleyswhensupplementedwith organicmatteraregoodforalmostallvegetablecrops.Mostallvegetables,particularly 8

asparagus,onions,tomatoes,peas,beans,broccoli,cabbage,cauliflower,carrotsandbeets, respondwelltoourlocalsoilshighsaltcontent.Theonlyexceptionwouldpossiblybefor sweetpotatoeswhichperformbestinsoilsofrelativelylowfertilitywithminimalamounts oforganicmatteradded. Useofallsolublefertilizer.Theallsolubleformofmonoammoniumphosphate(12610) isalsorecommendedtobeaddedtotheirrigationsystemduringcropproductionandfor useinwateringpriorto,duringandaftertransplanting.Itisparticularlyimportantthat highlevelsofwater,aswellasfertilizer,beaddedthroughtheirrigationsystemduring periodsofrapidplantgrowth,especiallyatthetimethatfloweringandfruitsettingoccur. Thisistrueofpeas,beans,cucumber,melon,sweetcorn,tomatoesandpeppers.Thisisalso trueduringthebulbingofonions,tuberformationinpotatoes,rootproductioninsweet potatoesandduringheadformationinbroccoli,cabbageandcauliflower.Thedemandfor fertilizerandwaterincreasesprecipitouslyduringtheseperiods,anditisconvenientto supplythemtogetherthroughtheestablishedirrigationsystem.Thismethodof fertilizationissometimescalledfertigation.Theallsolublemonoammoniumphosphate (12610)isalsoveryeffectiveasastartersolutionintransplantingoftomatoes,peppers, cabbage,broccoli,cauliflower,onionsoranyothercropsuitablefortransplanting,including melonsandcucumbers.Thisisusedattherateofaboutoneouncepergallonofwaterand appliedatthetimeoftransplantingtoenabletheplantstogetanearlyandquickstartin theirnewlocation.Thissamefertilizerisveryusefulinwateringyoungplantsbefore transplantingattherateofonehalftooneouncepergallon,especiallyduringthe hardeningoffperiodthatisdesirousfortomatoes,broccoli,cabbage,peppersand eggplant. Thesimplicityoftherecommendedcropfertilizationshouldbeemphasized.Onlyone fertilizer,monoammoniumphosphate,isthemosteffective.Itshouldbeusedinthe granulatedformpriortotransplantingorplanting.Theallsolubleformshouldbeadded throughtheirrigationsystemduringtheperiodsofrapidplantgrowth,signaledbythe fruitingandfloweringperiods.Compost,aswellasfertilizer,shouldbeappliedeachyear thatplantingorcropproductionoccurs. FoliarFeeding.Foliarfeedingofplantsisbecomingacommonpracticeinvegetableand flowergardeningandfruitproduction.Discoveryoffoliarfeedingwasrelatedtooriginal studiesatMichiganStateUniversityconcerningpossiblehazardsofresiduesfromfallout blaststhenoccurringinNevadabeingabsorbedthroughleaves.Inearlyresearchin Michigan,radioisotopesofcarbon,phosphorus,potassium,calciumandotherradionuclids wereusedtofollowthepathofnutrientssprayedontheleavesofbeans,strawberriesand tomatoes.Itwasobservedthroughautoradiogramsthatallfoliarappliednutrientswere trulyabsorbedveryrapidlybyleavesandwithinhourstranslocatedtoallpartsoftheplant, includingtheroots.Itisthereverseofwhathappenswhenweapplyfertilizernutrientsto 9

thesoil.Otherstudiesfollowedinwhichitwasnotedthatmanysubstancesnutrients (bothorganicandinorganic),hormonesandherbicideswereabsorbedbyleavesand distributedveryrapidlythroughouttheplant.Atypicalexamplenowwellknownisthe useoftheherbicideRoundUpwhich,beingabsorbedbyleaves,killsbybeingtranslocated totheroots. Ouroriginalstudiesonfoliarabsorptionofnutrientswereconductedasearlyas1952. Thoughpublishedinreputablescientificandtradejournals,theywerenotacceptedbythe thentraditionalscientificandagronomiccommunities.Therewasgreatresistancetothe ideaoffoliarfeedingwhenoriginallyintroduced,butnowitisanacceptedpracticefor commercialgrowers.Ourresearchresultshavesincebeenvalidatedandconfirmedby manyfieldandgreenhousestudiesandgrowerobservations,andwenowdefinitely recommendfoliarsprayingofnutrientstoenhancethegrowth,productivityandqualityof vegetable,flowerandfruitcrops.Foliarapplicationofnutrientsorganicandinorganic constitutesthemostefficientuseoffertilizersandinsomeinstanceswithtraceelements (iron,zinc,manganese)istheonlywaytocorrectnutrientdeficiencies,aswellasgetquick results.However,thetotalnutrientrequirementforplantscannotbeprovidedbyfoliar feedingalone. Manynutrientformulationsarenowavailableforapplyingtothefoliageofflowers,fruits andvegetables.TheyincludesuchproductsasMiracleGroandPeters.Therearealso allsolubleformulationsofmonoammoniumphosphate(12610),ammoniumsulphate(21 00)andureanitrogen(4200).Sprayconcentrationsfortheleavesofmostplantsareabout onehalftooneouncepergallonofwaterwithweeklyapplications,orfollowthe manufacturersrecommendations. Foliarfeedingmaybeparticularlybeneficialandisrecommendedduringwinterandspring monthswhensoilsarecoldandmoistandoflowfertility.Duringtimesofhigh temperatures,foliarfeedingmayburntheleavesofcertainvegetables.

10

Pest Control
TheMoapaandVirginValleysarenotonlyusedforlivestockandcropproductionbutare wildlifehabitatsforrabbits,quail,gophers,wildturkeysandmanyspeciesofbirds,allofwhich poseproblemsofprotectionforgardengrownproduce.Additionally,thereareweedsandan abundanceofinsectsanddiseases.Manyofthemostnoxiousweedsoftheworldcanbefound inthesevalleys.Ithasbeenobservedthatingeneral,insectpestsanddiseaseandespecially weedsaremuchlessprevalentduringthelatefall,winterandearlyspringthaninthelate spring,summerandearlyautumn.Weedgrowthissubjecttobothtemperatureanddaylength. Shortdaysandlowtemperaturesarenotconducivetogrowthofmostweedspeciesinthe MoapaandVirginValleys. Striveforaweedfreeenvironment.Useculinarywaterforirrigationandavoiduseoflarge animalmanure.Weedsaremucheasiertoremovewhentheyaresmall.Pullorcutthem outassoonasyoucanseethemtheearlierthebetter. Weedcontrol.Theworstweedsofthevalleydonotgrowduringtheshortdaysandcool temperaturesofthefallandwinter,makinggardeningthenmoreenjoyableandlesswork. Manyannualweedswillproduceseedin30daysorlessaftertheygerminate.Thatswhyitis soimportanttocontrolannualweedsassoonasyouseethem.Pullingorusingahoeisan excellentwaytocontrolannualweeds.Ahoethatcutsthestemsofannualweedsjustbelow thesoilssurfaceisveryeffectiveanddoesnotdisturbtherootsofotherplantsgrowinginthe area.Thesecretforcontrollingannualweedsisweeklyhoeingintheareaswheretheyarea problem.Mostweedswillnotsurvivemorethanayearifthegreengrowthiseradicatedas quicklyasitemerges. Mulchesareveryeffectiveonannualweeds.Usingmulchesinplanterbeds,vegetablegardens, underfruittreesandindesertlandscapesisagoodidea.Mulchesactmuchlikeacompeting planttohelpreducethegerminationofannualweeds.Theyalsocanhelptokeepthesoilcool andconservewater.Mulchescanbewoodchipsinplanterbeds,compostinvegetablegardens, milledrockorgravelindesertlandscapes,plastic(insomecaseslikevegetablegardens,but neverunderrock),shreddedpaper,untreated,seedfreegrassclippingsandthelike. Thenonapplicationofwatercanbeaveryeffectiveweedcontroltoolinthedesert.Applying wateronlywhereitisneeded,usingdripirrigationandschedulingitproperly,canbevery effectiveatcontrollingweedsthatmightotherwisegrowifsprayorfloodirrigationisused. Weedseedscanlaydormantformanyyearswaitingfortherightconditionstosprout.Manyof theweedscomingupinouryardsandgardensarefromseedsthatfalloffdriedstemsofplants thatbreakloosefromthesoilandblowaround.Ifyouarethinkingofstartinganewgarden areaandcanwaitoneseasonbeforeplanting,youcanapplywater,lettheweedscomeupand thenmechanicallyremoveorspraythemwithchemicalweedkillers.Thiswillreducethe

11

numberofweedsthatcomeupafteryouplantyourgarden.Repeatingthetillingandsoaking cycleseveraltimesbetweencropswillbringweedseeddeepinthesoiltothesurfaceand eventuallycreateasoillayerseveralinchesdeepnearlyfreeofweedseed.This,andkeeping eachcropweedfree,willgreatlyeliminateweedsinthegarden. Nonselectivekillerslikeglyphosate(Roundup)willkillallplantstheycomeincontactwith includinggrasses.PerennialweedslikeBermudagrassandnutgrassusuallyrepresentavery smallpercentageofourweedproblems,butoncetheygetestablishedtheyarethemostdifficult tocontrolandevenRoundupmaytakeseveralapplicationstokillthem.Chemicalweed killersshouldbeappliedwhenthereisnowindandincoolermorninghours.Whenworking withchemicals,alwaysreadandfollowthelabelrecommendations. InsectandDiseaseControl.Thesevalleysarerelativelyfreeofsomemajorinsectsanddiseases thatareprevalentonvegetableandfruitcropsgrownelsewhere.Therearefewifanyproblems ingrowingonions,garlic,sweetpotatoes,greenorshellbeansandpeas.Aphidswilloccurin abundanceonspringcropsofbroccoli,cabbageandpeas. Insectsanddiseasesprevalentinotherlocationsthathavenotbeenobservedhereincludethe Mexicanbeanbeetle,asparagusbeetle,Coloradopotatobeetle,asparagusrustandanthracnose andverticilliumandfusariumwiltontomatoes.Eventhetomatohornworm,whichalso infestspeppers,isabsentifbirdsarepresent. IntegratedPestManagementistheutilizationofculturalpractices,managementordestruction ofpestinfectedplantresidues,adjustingtochangesinclimateandenvironmentalconditions, useofresistantcropvarietiesanduseofnaturalparasitesandchemicaltreatmentsnontoxicto beneficialinsectssuchashoneybeesandladybirdbeetles.Plantsgrownunderoptimal conditionsarelesssusceptibletotheravagesofinsectsanddiseases.Apossibleexceptionisthe squashbug(aglorifiedstinkbug)whichafflictsallcucurbitsintheorderofcucumbers, watermelons,muskmelonsandcantaloupes.Summerandwintersquasharethemost susceptible.TheotherexampleistheEuropeancornborerwhichmayinfestsweetcornatany stageofvegetativeorreproductivedevelopment. Therearechemicaltreatmentsthatareeffectiveandsafe.Oneispyrethrin,formulatedas Pyola,derivedfromflowersofthepyrethrumplantgrowninKenyaandotherAfrican nations.Pyrethrumisarelativeofthemarigoldandwilleffectivelycontrolaphidsofallkinds. TherearealsobacterialinsecticideswhichwillprovidecontroloftheEuropeancornborer. Timingoftreatmentiscriticalandmustbewiththefirstappearanceofthepest.Thereisno effectivechemicalcontrolofthematuresquashbug.Handorvacuumremovalcoupledwith appropriateculturalpractices,especiallyrelatedtomanagementofsoilmoisture,offersome relief.

12

~Planting Schedule~

Asparagus Beans,greenbush/pole Beets Broccoliseed Broccolitransplants BrusselsSprouts Cabbagetransplants Cauliflowertransplants Carrots Corn,Sweet Cucumber Eggplant Garlic Kale Kohlrabi Lettuce Melons Onionseed Onionsets Onionplants/transplants Peas Peppers* Potato,sweet Potato,whiteorred Radish Spinach/Chard Squashsummer Squashwinter Tomato* Turnip

Jan.

Feb.

March

April

May

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

*Transplants Note:Thesearesuggestedidealplantingdates.Refertoindividualsectionsonspecificvegetablesformoredetailedplantinginformation.

13

HARVESTSCHEDULE

Crop
Asparagus Beans,Green Beets Broccoli(FromTransplants) Cabbage(FromTransplants) Cantaloupe Carrots Cauliflower(FromTransplants) Corn,Sweet Lettuce(Butterhead,Leaf,Romaine) Onion(seeded) Onion(sets) Peas(ShellandSugarSnap) PepperEggplant Potatoes,RedorWhite Potato,Sweet Radishes Spinach SwissChard Squash(summer) Squash(winter) Tomato Watermelon 14

ExpectedHarvestPeriod
March1May15 April20July10 October1November20 November15June30 October15April30 October15May15 July1November15 November20June20 November15May15 May10July1 October1November20 October15May1 May1June30 May15June15 April1May31 June1November20 May15July1 August15September25 October15May15 November1May1 November1July1 May15July15 September15November15 May1June30 August15November1

Asparagus

Asparagusisrarelyconsideredahot,dryweathercrop.However,someuniquegrowing conditionsinwhatatfirstglancemightseemlikearelativelyinhospitablelocationmaychange thatwayofthinking.

AnEgyptianClimate.TheclimatehereiscomparabletothatofEgypt,thelikelyhomeforthe originofasparagus.Inthisareathereisa10monthgrowingseason,andrainfallaverages aroundfourinchesperyear.Precipitationisbothunpredictableandlocalized.Averagedaytime temperaturesduringJulyandAugustusuallypeakabove100F,withreadingsoften110Fto 120Fduringearlyafternoon,andnighttimetemperaturesrangefrom65Fto95F.

Thedifferencesbetweendayandnighttemperaturesatgroundlevelmaybeasmuchas50F. Thesoilisalkalinewithahighsaltcontent,whichisnotadisadvantagebecauseasparagusis verysalttolerant.

Asparagusiscommerciallyproducedinthemild,coolclimatesofNorthwesternEuropeandin theU.S.inMichigan,Wisconsin,NewJersey,Washington,OregonandCalifornia.Itisalsovery productiveinthehotandhumidclimatesofTaiwan,intheFujiianandGuangdongprovincesof ChinaandthehotdesertclimateoftheNileValleyinEgypt.

ObservationsmadeinChina,Taiwan,andEgyptandnowintheMoapaValleysuggestthat asparagusrespondswelltothelong,10monthgrowingseasonandthehotweatheroccurring frommidJunethroughmidSeptember.Infact,thefirstcommercialcropgrownsome80years agointheMoapaValleywasasparagus.Manylocalresidentsrecallharvestingremnantsofthis earlyproductiongrowingwildalongtheirrigationditchbanksintothe1960s.

WinterProduction.Forthepast10years,largeasparagusspearshavebeenharvestedinone yearfromeitheroneortwoyearoldrootsplantedinJanuaryorFebruary.Averysignificant firstharvestcanbeginayearafterplantingtherootsandmayextendfromFebruarytoMay.

Thelongevityofasparagusplantingsinthisareahasnowbeendetermined.Productive plantingsundergoodculturalpracticesandwithgoodweedcontrolhavebeennotedtoextend to10years.Currently,therearenolargescalecommercialplantingsofasparagusintheMoapa orVirginValleys,buttheingredientsforhighproductivityinhomegardensandforlocalsaleare available.Thequalityoftheasparagusthatcanbeproducedisunequalled.

CulturalPractices.Significantharvestscanbeachievedifwelldeveloped,allmale,oneortwo yearoldhybridrootsareused.JerseyKingandJerseyKnightaregoodexamples.Thesevarieties canbepurchasedinJanuaryandFebruaryatsomelocalnurseries,butgenerallynotfrommail orderseedcompanies.MailordercompanieswillseldomsupplyrootsbeforeApril1andthisis toolateforgoodproduction.Therootsshouldbesetindeep(10to14inches)furrowsor trenchesatleastafootwideanddeep.Ahighlevelofgranularmonoammoniumphosphate fertilizer(11520)oranyothercombinationhighinphosphateshouldbeworkedintothetrench areabelowwheretherootsaretobeplaced.Thesuggestedrateis10to25poundsper100feetof row.Coverthecrownsinitiallywithapproximatelytwotofourinchesofsoil.Astheplants

15

grow,thetrenchorfurrowshouldbefilledinwithadditionalsoil.Asandyloamsoilisideal. Afterthefirstyear,addwatersolublefertilizer(12610)throughtheirrigationsystemaboutfour to10timesduringthegrowingseason,orapproximatelyeverytwotofourweeks.

Water,preferablybydriphose,shouldbesuppliedasneeded,withoccasionalmorethorough soakingsthroughoutthegrowingseason.Productionshouldpeakintwotothreeyears.

Harvesting,HandlingandStorage.Anenormousfleshyrootsystemisrapidlydevelopedfrom thefernthatgrowsashighas6feetbymidNovemberduringthefirstyearafterplantingthe roots.Asparagusspearsofsufficientsizeindiameter(3/8to1/2inch)andlength(10to12inches) areproducedthenextspring.Thisiscomparabletocropsgrowninthemilderareasof California,NewJersey,Michigan,WesternEuropeandChina,butwhereatleasttwotothree yearsofferngrowtharerequiredbeforethefirstharvest.Fiberfreeasparagusisachievedby fieldsnapping.Thisisdonebygraspingthe10to12inchspearswiththethumbandindex fingerandgivingaquicksnap,breakingthespearnearthegroundlevel.Thesnaporbreak occurswherethereisnofiber.Youcannottellwherethefiberendsifyouuseaknifetoharvest. Followingharvesttheasparagusspearsshouldbeheldundermoist,refrigeratedconditionsuntil consumed.Storageinarefrigeratedcrisperisideal.Allspearsthatcomeupcanbeharvested normallyuntilaboutMay15.Stoppickingifthespearsbecomesmallerorspindlier.

ADisease/InsectFreeCrop.PlantingsofasparagusintheMoapaValleyhavebeenobservedin homegardenswithnodiseaseorinsectproblems.Noasparagusbeetleshavebeendetectedand thereisnorust.Beetlesmaybequicklyidentifiedbecausetheyattackboththeyoungshoots (spears)aswellasferngrowth.Likewise,rustmaybequicklyidentifiedbythebrowningofthe spearsandstems.Rustisnotlikelytooccurunderthehotdryconditionsthatprevail.

Hazards.Amajorconstraintinthisvalleyforasparagusproductionisweedcontrol.Thebeds shouldbestartedonlyinweedfreesoilintheabsenceofBermudaorsaltgrassandother nuisanceweedssuchasJohnsongrassandfieldbindweed(wildmorningglory).Amajor advantageofthenew,allmalehybridsisthatnoorfewredberriesareproducedwhichproduce asparagusseedlings.Asparagusseedlingshavebeenthemajorweedprobleminthetraditional MaryWashington(heirloom)asparagusplantings.Sincetherootsareverydeepitisdifficultto removethem.

Solarizationoftheplantingbedmaybehelpfulforweedcontrol.Moisttilledsoiliscoveredfor fourtosixweekswith4.06.0milplasticinmidtolatesummer,followedbyagreenmanurecrop untilrootsareplantedinlatewinterorearlyspring.

Afurtherprecautionforhomegardenproductionisthattheluxuriantferngrowth,whenitturns yellow,mustberemovedandthesoilsurfacecleanedupinlatefallorearlywinter.Excessive moistplantresidueonbedsisalikelyharborformealybugswhichcanquicklydevastatethe entireplanting.Keepthesoilsurfacecleananddryduringmidwinter.

Ifmealybugsareaproblem,useultrafinehorticulturaloilforcontrol,followingcleanupand thereafter.Donotusedormantoilsastheywilldamagethebudsinthecrown.

16

GreenBeans

Plantgreenbeanstheepitomeofgoodeatinginbothspringandfall.Theyaretheelixirof kingsandqueens.Thepodsarestraight,greenandtender.Theycanbeeateneitherrawor cookedusingyourfavoriterecipe.

PlantingandHarvesting.GreenbeanscanbeplantedasearlyasthelastweekofFebruaryorthe firstweekinMarch.Theyshouldbeplantedinnorthsouthrowstominimizewinddamageand maximizelightexposure.HarvestingcanbeasearlyasthefirstweekinMay.Someearly varietieswillgerminateinrelativelycoldsoil.Thebasesoiltemperatureforseedgerminationof mostvarietiesis50F.Youngemergingplantsareresistanttofrostandfreezingtemperaturesas longastheyoungseedlingsremaininthecrookorcurlstage.Whatislistedinseedcatalogsas 50daystomaturityrequiresabout60daysfromearlyspringplanting.Laterplantingswill maturein45daysorless.Continuousharvestingofspringplantedgreenbeanscanbeextended fromApril20toJuly10.Successiveplantingsofseedat10dayortwoweekintervalswillmake thispossible.

Greenbeanscanbeequallyassuccessfulasafallcrop;seedcanbesownbeginningaboutJuly20 andcontinuingwithsuccessiveplantingstothefirstweekinSeptember.Harvestswillbefrom aboutOctober1toNovember20.Theshortdaysandcooltemperaturesresultinqualityequalto, orbetterthan,springplantings;yields,however,willbeless.

CulturalPractices.Greenbeanscanbegrownfromeitherbushorpoletypes.Themost successful,earliest,productiveandleastlaborintensivearethebushtypes.Plasticdripirrigation lineswithemittersafootapartaresuggested.Adoublerowbesideeachdriplinewith1015 seedsperrunningfootwillprovideagoodstandofplants.Theseedshouldbeplantedabout oneinchdeep.Soilshouldbekeptmoistuntiltheseedlingsemergefromthecrookstage.

Beanscanbegrowninmostanyrelativelyweedfreesoilinthisarea.Sandyloamsare preferable.Beans,asdomostothervegetablecrops,respondtofertilizershighinphosphorus. Littleelseisneededsincetheytendtobiologicallyfixtheirownnitrogenfromnodulesontheir roots.Agranularfertilizerhighinphosphorussuchas11520shouldbeworkedintothesoil beforeplanting.Beanseedshouldnotbeplacedindirectcontactwithfertilizer.Aboutthreeto fivepoundsoffertilizerper100feetofrowshouldbeusedannually.Supplementalfeedingcan beaccomplishedbyinjectinganallsolublefertilizerhighinphosphorusthroughtheirrigation systemasneededduringthefloweringandpodsettingperiod.Monoammoniumphosphate(12 610)isrecommended.

Wateringiscritical.Whenfloweringandwhenthepodsbegintoset,thesoilshouldbekept moistbutavoidsoakingorpuddling.Thismayrequirewateringdailyortwotothreetimesper week,dependingonsoiltypeandtemperatures.Thisisalsothetimetoaddfertilizerthrough theirrigationsystem.

PestControl.Duringthepast10yearsofgrowinggreenbeansinthisvalley,noseriousinsector diseaseproblemshavebeennoted.However,anabundanceofladybirdbeetleshasalwaysbeen present.NoMexicanbeanbeetleshavebeenobserved.Somefleabeetles,leafhoppers,aphids,

17

thripsandwhiteflyhavebeenobserved.Iftheydooccur,theycaneasilybecontrolledby pyrethrinformulations(Pyola)orbacterialinsecticidesthatleavenoharmfulchemical residues.Neitherwillharmbeneficialinsectssuchasladybirdbeetlesorhoneybees.Beansdo notrequireinsectsforpollinationorpodset.Someoftheusualdiseasesthataffectbeansand plaguemanyothergreenbeangrowingareashavenotbeenobserved.Theseincludemildewor molds,mosaicvirus,anthracnose,haloblightorcommonmosaic.

OtherConsiderations.Greenbeansshouldbeharvestedwhenthepodsarefullydevelopedand stillgreen,withimmaturesoftseeds.Podsharvestedwithdistinct,swollenseedsalongthepod areovermatureforharvestandofpoorquality.Thisisparticularlytruefortheviningpole beans,moresothanforthebushvarietiesthattendtomaturemoreuniformly.Podsinthe clustermatureinpairsfromthestemendfirst.Whenharvesting,removethepodsthatareready verycarefullysothepodsthatareyoungerandfurtheroutintheclusterwillnotbedamaged andwillcontinuetomature.Theywillbereadyinanotherfewdays.Neverjustyankthepods fromtheclusteroryouwillreducethetotalharvest.Harvestingshouldbeintheearlymorning, beforesunriseifpossible,whiletemperaturesarecool.Freshlyharvestedbeansshouldbe refrigerateduntilused.Twotothreeharvests,spreadfivedaystoaweekapart,fromasingle plantingarepossible.Undergoodculturalpractices,totalyieldscanbetheequivalentofone poundofbeansperrunningfootofrow.

Followingharvest,tillinanyplantresidueswhilestillgreen,alongwithanyweedgrowth,and keeptheareacleanuntilafallgardenisplanted.Thisisequivalenttogreenmanuringand shouldbedonebeforeweedssetseed,ifpossible.

Thefollowingvarietiesaresuggestedforeitherearlyspringorlatesummerandfallplantings: Contender(afavorite),Florence,TopCropormanyothersimilarselectionsandbushBlueLake. Ventureisarecentlyintroducedvarietythatisearly,productiveandveryhighquality. Promotionofcertainvarietiesinseedcatalogsisnotreliable;they,forsalepurposes,promoteall varietieslisted.(ContendermayperhapshaveapreferredtastebutVentureisearlier,will germinatebetterincoldsoils,hasahigherharvestindexandamoreconcentratedharvestyou canpickthembythehandfuls!)

PoleBeans.Polebeanscanbeawonderfuladditiontoahomegardenifgrownasafallcrop. SeedshouldbeplantedduringlateJulyandthefirstweekinAugust.Itsacropthatcanfollow tomatoes.MaturitywillbeoverasixtoeightweekperiodbeginninginearlyOctoberand continuingthroughNovember,dependingonthefirstfreezingtemperature.Polebeansrequirea longertime(10daystotwoweeks)toharvestthanbushtypes.Maturitycanbeexpectedtobegin about60daysafterplanting.Therearevarietiesthatarestringlessanddarkgreenincolor.The onlyrequirementisthatthesixtoeightfootvinesneedsupportwithatrellis,fenceorpoles. Thesamesupportsystemfortomatoescanbeusedforpolebeans.SuggestedvarietiesareBlue Lake,KentuckyBlueandthelongtimeheirloomKentuckyWonder.Therearealsopoletype Romanoswiththeirfavoritebeanyflavor.

Theyardlongbean,mungbean,vegetablesoybeanandScarletRunnermayalsogrowwellinthe area.TheScarletRunnercouldbegrownasanornamentalvegetable.

18

Beets
BeetshadtheirorigininEurope.Theyhavebeencultivatedinsomeformsincethethirdcentury, butitwasntuntilthe19thcenturythattheybecameacceptedintheU.S. Unlikemostothervegetables,beetsaretwotastytreatsinone.Freshlyharvestedbeetshavean earthysweetflavorthateventhekidslike.Yougettwiceasmuchforyoureffortsbecausethe tops(greens)aswellastherootsarenutritionaldelicacies.Somepeoplelovethebeetgreens, othersthebeetsfrombabysizetothoseofbaseballdimensions.Somelikeboth. Nutritionallybeets,especiallythegreens,areagoodsourceoffolate,whichboostsimmunityand preventsfatigue,andmanganese,whichimprovescalciumabsorption.Thebrightredcolorof therootsconsistsofanthocyanins,believedtopreventcancer.Inaddition,beetsareagood sourceofvitaminC,ironandphosphorus. ClimaticRequirementsandAdaptability.BecausebeetshadtheirorigininNorthernEurope, theyaregenerallyconsideredacoolseasoncropandadaptedtoacool,moistclimate.Theyare adaptedtoaverywiderangeoftemperatures.Theywilltoleratefrostandthefreezesofthese valleys.BeetscanbeplantedwithsuccessatalmostanytimeoftheyearintheMoapaandVirgin Valleys.Theseedgerminatesreadilyandwithinafewdaysifthesoiliskeptmoist.Youcan havecontinuousproductioneverymonthoftheyearofthishighlynutritious,highquality vegetablefromboththegreensandtheroots,withthepossibleexceptionofJulyandAugust whentheirqualitydeteriorates.Excellentandrapidrootformationwilloccurfromeitherspring orfallplanting.PlantingisrecommendedanytimefromearlyAugustthroughApril.However, beetsplantedinSeptemberandOctoberandevenintoNovemberandallowedtooverwinteras smallbeetswillbyAprilandMaytendtobolt,produceseedstalksandgotoseed.Bolting,or flowering,inbeetsisaresponsetocoldtemperaturesandtheprogressivelylongerdaysin springtime.Oncetheyhavebolted,theirfoodvaluedeterioratesandtheybecomewoody. Culture.Beetspreferawelldrained,sandyloamsoilwithliberalamountsoforganicmatter. Theyaregrowndirectlyfromseedplantedinthesoil.Donotattempttotransplantbeets.Sow seedinrows15to25inchesapartandtoaninchdeep.Adoublerowalongsideadriplineis suggested.Plantingbedstwotothreefeetwidealsoworkwellforbeets,lettuce,onionsand carrotsusingfourtosixdriplinesdowneachbed.Apreplantingfertilizerapplicationofthree tofivepoundsofgranular11520per100runningfeetofrowisrecommended,withadditional allsolublefertilizerapplicationswithirrigationsasneeded.Water,preferablyfromdriplines,is criticalforsuccessfulgrowthofbeets.Thesoilshouldnotbeallowedtodryout.Rateofseeding iscritical.Apacketofseedmaycontainfrom200500seeds;anounceofseed,from1,500to 2,000.About200seedsshouldbeplantedina10footrow.Sowthemthinlyorbepreparedto thinthemoncetheybegintogrow. Pleasenotethatabeetseedisinrealityaclusteroftwotofourseeds.Itisimportanttothinthe seedlingsto12inchesapartafterthefirsttrueleavesdeveloptopreventovercrowding.When

19

smallbeetsdevelop,thinagainto34inchesapart.Youcanusethethinningsforgreenswiththe smallbabybeetsattached.Withsaltandbutter,theyoungplantsaredelicious. Varieties.Therearemanyvarietiesofgardenbeets.ForthisareaIsuggestanimproved selectionofthewellknownDetroitDarkRedissuggested.TheauthorpreferstheDetroitSupreme. Itproduces,fromlatefallorearlywinterplantings,globeshapedbeetswithrootsuptoonehalf poundinsizebymidApril.Thereshouldbenozoning(circularpatterning)whentherootis cutinhalfthroughitsmidsection.SuchbeetsareinaprimeconditionforshowingattheClarkCounty FairinearlyApril.Zonefreerootsarenotwoodyandcanbeusedraworfordicing,canningor pickling.NewsuperbeethybridsarealsoavailablesuchasRedAce,WarriorandRedCloud. Therearevarietiesespeciallysuitedforgreens,babybeets,dicingandstorage.Varietyisa matterofgrowerschoice.Somemayperformbetterthanothersatdifferenttimesoftheyear. Dontbeafraidtotryseveraldifferenttypestoseewhatyoulike.Thisisonetimethatpreference andqualityareuptotheconsumer.Besuretokeepgoodrecordssothatyoucanproducethe excellentvarietiesagainnextyear. Harvesting,HandlingandStorage.Beetscanbeharvestedatalmostanystageofgrowth, dependingonthedesireforgreensorbeetsizebabybeets,salads,slicing,picklingorstorage. Incoolweather,beetrootsthataretoppedcanbeleftinthegrounduntilneeded.Otherwise, theycanbekeptinplasticbagsintherefrigeratorforseveralmonths.Thereishardlyaneedfor storageinthesevalleyssincetheycanbeproducedfreshalmosteverymonthoftheyear.

20

Broccoli
BroccoliisasuperbvegetableforproductionintheMoapaandVirginValleys.Inthesevalleysit canbeharvestedwithsuperiorqualityfromOctobertoMay.Itisnutritious,deliciousrawor cooked,freezeswellandisrelativelyeasytogrow.Broccoliisamemberofthecabbagefamily andindigenoustothesoutherncountriesofEuropeItalyandFrancethatborderonthe Mediterraneancoast. Broccoliisanutritionalpowerhouse.Itbelongsineveryonesgardenandgrowsinpopularity eachyear.Itisanexcellentsourceforbothbetacarotene(avitaminAprecursor)andvitaminC. Bothareimportantantioxidantsandlinkedtoreducedriskofheartdisease,cancersand cataracts.Broccoliisalsoasourceofphosphorusandiron.Ithasanexcellentdistributionof aminoacidsinahighlydigestibleprotein.Itisarichsourceoffiber,halfofwhichisinsoluble andhalfsoluble.Itsfiberishelpfulinpreventingconstipation,hemorrhoids,diverticulardisease andcoloncanceraswellasdiabetesandobesity.Inadditiontoallofthis,broccoliandkale containsulforaphane,themostsignificantanticanceragentfoundinplants.Ithelpstonullify cancercausingagentsinthebody. ClimaticRequirementsandCulture.Broccoliisacoolweathercrop.Itcanbesownfromseed fromFebruary1throughMarch15andAugust1throughOctober30.Itcanbestartedfrom transplantsfromFebruary15throughMarch31andfromAugust15throughNovember30. Suchascheduleofplantingortransplantingwillprovideacontinuumofharvestoflarge, beautifulheadsfrommidOctoberthroughApril30.Thebestinqualityandproductionis achievediftheheadsmatureincoolweather.Broccoliwillwithstandthefreezingwinter temperaturesofMoapaandVirginValleys.Pestproblemsinsectsandweedsareminimized duringthefall,winterandearlyspring.Muchlesswaterisrequiredforirrigationandthequality ofbroccoliissuperb.Singlecompactheadsinexcessofapoundeacharetypical.Production fromasingleplantinginthefallorwintercanextendforseveralweeksbyfirstharvestingthe largecenterhead,followedbythetendersideshoots. Aneffectiveplantingdesignforbroccoliwouldbeaspacingofonefootforplantsinarow,with rowsthreefeetapart.Thiswouldcallforaplasticdripirrigationlinewithspacingsofonefoot betweentheemitters,withrowsorientednorthtosouth.Aliberalapplicationofaphosphate fertilizer(granular11520)consistingofthreetofivepoundsper100runningfeetofrowshould beworkedintothesoilbeforeplanting.Broccoli,aswithmanyothercrops,growsbestinarich, loamysoilwithorganicmatteradded.Alargevegetativeplantbeforeheadformationisessential forproducinglarge,darkgreen,solidheadsofbroccoli.Waterandfertilizerrequirementsare greatlyincreasedduringheadformationandshouldbeappliedaccordingly.Broccoliisalong dayplantandwilltendtoproduceflowersratherthanedibleheadsunderthelong,hotdaysof latespringandearlysummer. Broccoliplantsin6packsshouldbepurchasedfromanurserybeginninginlateAugustand continuingwithnewplantsatthreeweekintervalsuntilNovember.Suchplantingscontinueto

21

producefromtendersideshootsthroughthewinter.Forspringplantings,beginwithtransplants inFebruaryandcontinuethroughMarch31.Broccoliisaratherhardyplantandwillrespondto thehazardsoftransplantingbetterthanmanyothervegetableplants.Ifbroccoliistobestarted fromseed,itshouldbesownaboutsixweeksbeforefieldtransplantingisanticipated. Varieties.Allcommerciallyavailablevarietiesarehybrids.Therearemanytochoosefrom GreenComet,GreenGoliath,EarlyDividend,Packman,SouthernCometHybridandPremiumCrop.All havevigorous,tendersideshootsandareadaptedforfall,winterandearlyspringplantingsin thesevalleys.TheauthorspreferenceisPremiumCropwithitslarge(lpoundormore),compact greenheads,vigorousgrowthandtendersideshoots.Seedsofthesevarietiesareavailablefrom severalseedcompanies. PestControl.Aphidsandcabbagewormsmayinfestearlyfallandlatespringplantings.They canbekeptfreeofwormsandaphidsbytheuseofderivativesfromBacillusthurengensis(for worms)andpyrethrumformulations(foraphids).Botharenontoxictopeopleandbeneficial insects(honeybeesandladybirdbeetles).Theyleavenoharmfulortoxicresidues. HarvestingandHandling.Broccolishouldbeharvestedwhentheheadsarefirmanddarkgreen (thegreenerthebetter).Maximumsizeofheadsmayexceedonepoundeach.Keepbroccolicool andmoistuntilconsumed.Donotwashbeforestorageinarefrigerator,anduseitassoonas possible.Storeinacrisperinaperforatedplasticbagoraplasticbagthatisnotsealedtightly. Whenpreparingbroccoliforuse,especiallyjustoutofthefield(ifoutoftherefrigeratorletit standafewminutes),douseitinabowlofcool,saltywaterforashortwhile.Thishelpsridthe headofaphids.Rinseitwellafterwards.Theintent,however,istogrowaphidfreebroccoli, whichcanbedonewithaminimumofeffort.Broccoliisnowthemostpopularofallvegetables afterpotatoesandtomatoesandbyfarthemosthealthful.Experiencesinproducingbroccoliin thisvalleyhavebeenverypositive.Yieldshavebeenexcellentandqualitysuperb,withlittleif anyproblemswithinsectsordisease.

22

Carrots
Carrotsandbeetsareoftengrownascompanioncropsinagarden.Bothhavebeencultivatedfor centuriesinEurope.CarrotsprobablydevelopedandoriginatedinCentralAsiaandtheNear EastfromthewildflowerQueenAnnsLace. Carrotscanadapttoawidevarietyofsoilsandclimates.Theyproducestraight,uniformrootsin lightsiltloamandsandysoils.Additionofcoarseorganicmatterimprovesdrainage,water holdingcapacityandtilthofsoil,whichimprovesrootgrowth.Theygrowbestandareof highestqualityduringthecoolweatherthatprevailsintheMoapaandVirginValleysfrom OctoberthroughApril.EatingqualityissuperbfromharvestsextendingfrommidNovember throughMay. Nutritionally,carrotsareextremelyrichinvitaminA(BetaCarotene).Carrotsarealsorichin dietaryfiber,antioxidantsandminerals.Fresh,homegrowncarrotstastebetter,aresweeterand havehighervitaminAandBcontentthantheirstoreboughtcousins.Eatenfreshfromthe gardenraw,cookedorjuicedtheyaddcolor,flavor,varietyandimportantnutrientstoour diets.Thisisespeciallytrueofsomenewhybridvarietiesdevelopedduringthepast30years whicharepackedwith50percentmorevitaminA,haveadeeprichorangeroot,areessentially corelessandhaveextrasweetness. Culture.Astonefree,light,sandysoilisbestforcarrots.Thepreplantingapplicationofthreeto fivepoundsofgranulatedhighphosphatefertilizer(11520)per100feetofrowisrecommended. Inareaswithheavysoils,raisedbedswithminimalcompactionworkbest.Inheavyorstony soils,irregular,oddshapedrootswillform.Wheresoilsaretightandclaylike,shortervarieties suchasNantes,Chantenay,DanversorLittleFingerareadvisable. Carrotsarenoteasytogrow.Theseedsaresmallandveryfineandusuallyoflowgermination. Germinationisslowandoftenoccursonlyaftertwotothreeweeks.Apacketofseeds,1/32ofan ounce,willplantabout2030feetofrow.Thesoilshouldbekeptmoistuntilseedlingsemerge. Itmaybehelpfultodustovertheseedwithsoilorcoverwithlessthan3/16inchoffine vermiculite(insulationgrade)andthensprinkleimmediatelytotackitdown.Planteverytwoto threeweeksforacontinuoussupply.Thinningwillthenneedtobedone.Forbestgermination, seedshouldbecoveredlightlybutdeepenoughtopreventexcessdryingout.Somehave suggestedsoakingtheseedbeforeplanting.Pelletedseedwillreducetheneedforthinningthe seedlings,butpelletedseedisevenmoredifficulttogerminateandmorecostly.Therehasbeen excellentsuccesswithpelletedseedandeliminatedtheneedforthinning. Qualityincarrotsisachievedasadelicatebalancebetweencrispness,sweetnessandwhatcould becalledharshnessorbitterness.SuperqualityincarrotsintheMoapaandVirginValleyscan bestbeachievedifmaturityandharvestingoccurfromNovemberthroughApril.Theverybest qualitywillusuallybewithharvestfromFebruarytomidApril.Duringgrowth,rootsshouldbe keptcoveredwithsoiltopreventgreeningoftheshoulders.

23

Varieties.Therearefourmaintypesofcarrots:(1)Chantenayhasshortandtaperedrootswhich atmaturityareabout61/2incheslongand21/2incheswideattheshoulder;(2)Danvers,or DanversHalfLong,whichistwoincheswideattheshoulder,taperingtoabluntendandsevento eightinchesinlength;(3)Imperator11/2incheswideattheshoulderandtaperingnineto10 inchestoapointedtip;and(4)Nanteshasasmalltopwithcylindricalbluntendedrootssixto eightinchesinlength,isverycrisp,almostcorelessandhasadelicateflavor. Therearenowmanyimprovedhybridcarrotvarietiestypicalofalltheabovetypes.Theyare sweeterandcrisper,withhighernutritionalvalues,especiallyinvitaminA.IncludedareHybrid Sweetness,TendersweetandNantindothatareNantestype.HybridPotofGoldisanImperatortype with50percentmorecarotene.KurodaisanimprovedDanverstypewithsomeheatresistance. TheauthorpreferspelletedseedofHybridSweetness,NantindoandPotofGold.Allaresupremein quality,sweetnessandcolorandhaveahighcarotenecontent. HarvestingandHandling.Carrotsmaybeharvestedatanyacceptablesize.Newlyharvested babycarrotscombinedwithfreshgardenpeasinlateMarchandearlyAprilareadelightfultreat. Forbestquality,size,tasteandnutritionalvalue,theyshouldbeallowedtofullymatureinthe soil.ThoseplantedfromNovembertoFebruaryandharvestedfromFebruarythroughmidMay areofthehighestquality. Forstorage,removeanddiscardthetopsandkeepcarrotsinarefrigeratorcrisperorincold temperaturesrangingbetween35and50.Effectivecoldstoragelifeundermoistconditionscan beuptothreeorfourmonths.

24

SweetCorn
Thereisnovegetablethatisharvestedfromyourowngardenthatismoredelectableorgourmet. Thequalityissomethingsupermarketshavenotduplicated.Sweetcorn,untilrecently,was strictlyanAmericanvegetable.EventodayitisstillararityinChinaandEurope.Manyofyou mayrememberfromyourchildhooddaysroastingearspickedfromimmaturefieldcornrather thansweetcorn.SomewillrecallGoldenCrossBantam,thefirstimprovedandwidelygrown sweetcornhybridthatwasintroducedinthelate1930s. PlantingandGrowing.Thepreplantingapplicationof1012poundsofgranulatedhigh phosphatefertilizer(11520)per100feetofrowisrecommended.Sweetcornmaybe successfullygrownasbothaspringcropandinthefall.Plantsforfallcropsareshorterinheight becausecornisaffectedbydaylightorphotoperiod.Daysinthefallduringmaturationaremuch shorterthaninspringplantings.PlantthefirstseedasearlyasMarch1,withharvestforearly varietiesbyMemorialDay.SuccessiveplantingsmaybecontinuedtoaboutMay1.Fall plantingsshouldcontinuefromJuly15toSeptember25.Varietiesofdifferentmaturitiesmaybe plantedatthesametimeforsuccessiveharvestsoveratwotofourweekperiod.Thealternative istoplantthesamevarietyatsevento10dayintervals. Sweetcornthrivesinfullsunlightwithlightsaturationexceeding10,000footcandles(thatof noondaysun).Problemsoccurwhentemperaturesexceed105F,accompaniedbyhot,dry winds.ThisoccurseachsummerinMoapaandVirginValleys.Theresultisashrivelingand blastingofthetassels.Thetasselthenproducesnopollen.Cornismonoeciousthemale (tassel)andfemale(silk)sexesarelocatedondifferentpartsofthesameplant.Withoutpollen, earswillhavenocornkernelsormaybeonlypartlyfilledout,endingincropfailure.Thismeans thatsweetcornplantings,bothspringandfall,shouldbescheduledtoavoidtheextremelyhigh latespringandmidsummertemperaturesduringthepollensheddingperiod.Accordingly, sweetcornasafallcropshouldnotbeplantedbeforemidJuly. Sweetcorniswindpollinated.Whilehoneybeesmaybefoundfrequentingthepollenbearing tassels,theyarenoteffectiveinpollination.Becauseofwindpollination,isolationofsweetcorn varietiesisnecessaryifyouwanttokeepthemseparate.Onecouldalsoadjustplantingdatesto avoidpollinationoverlap. Foreffectivepollinationofagivenvariety,sweetcornshouldneverbeplantedasasinglerow.It shouldbeplantedinblocksoftwoormorerowssidebyside.Rowsshouldbeaboutthreefeet apartwithsingleplantsafootapartinrowsthatareorientednorthandsouth.Thisisequivalent toabout10,000cornplantsperacre,whichistheoptimumplantpopulation. IthasbeentheauthorsobservationintheMoapaValleyandelsewherethatwhenpeopleplant sweetcorninahomegardenitisplantedtoothickly,inrowstooclosetogetherandinsoilstoo lowinfertility.Cornshouldbeplantedwithapopulationofaboutonetenththatofgreenbeans,

25

infullsunlight,insoilsofhighfertilityandwithextrawaterandfertilizerwhentassellingand silkingoccur. Timeofmaturityforsweetcornisnotafunctionoftimeasgivenbyseedcatalogs.They designateeachcornvarietybydaystomaturity.Forexample,varietiesmaybedesignatedas60, 65,72,74,78,82or90daysfromseedingtomaturity.Timetomaturityisafunctionofheat unitsorheatsums.Thesummationofdegreesoftemperatureabove50F(thebase temperatureforgrowth)isthecriterion.Fortimeofmaturity,theheatunitsforeachvarietyof sweetcornaredetermined.Processingcompaniesthenscheduleplantingstoadjusttospreading outharvestperiods.Asanexample,threevarietiesofsweetcornwereseededonMarch8,2003. The74daysweetcornwasharvestedMay31,orafter84days.Thisisbecausethespringwas relativelycool.Bycontrast,an82daycornvarietyplantedJuly17,2002maturedbySeptember 20,afteronly64days. VarietiesandTypesofSweetCorn.Varietiesofsweetcorndiffergreatlyintheirabilityto germinateinthecoldsoilsoflatewinterandearlyspring,intheirtoleranceofheatandsearing winds,invigorofearlygrowth,insweetness,inearlinessofmaturity,inplantheightandin lodgingbythestrengthofanchorrootstoresistwinddamage.Supersweetandsomelate varietiesaresensitivetothecoldsoilsoflatewinterandearlyspring.Theyshouldbesownonly whensoiltemperaturesareabove55F. Therearemanyvarietieseachofwhite,yelloworbicolorwithdaystomaturityfromplanting varyingfrom60to90days.Cornvariesinsweetnessbeginningwithnormalsugar,thestandard sweetcorngrownformanyyears.Nextthereisthesugarenhanced,containingagenethat increasestheoriginallevelofsugarinthekernels.Therearethenthesupersweetsorextrasweets havingagenethatincreasesthesugarcontenttoevenhigherlevels.Allthreesweetclassesare availableinwhite,yelloworbicolorvarieties.Amajorconsiderationforourareaisfinding varietiesthatwillgerminateinthecoldsoilsoflatewinterorearlyspring.Inthesevalleys, HarrisSeedsbicolorselectionsofSweetRhythm(74days),SweetSymphony(76days)and Delectable(80days)areamongthebest.ThisisespeciallytrueofSweetRhythmwhichalso producesapreponderanceofdoubleearsaccompaniedbyvigorousearlygrowth.SweetRhythm isalsoanabundantpollenproducerandsomewhatresistanttoblastingandproducesearsfull ofkernels.OneoftheearliestsweetcornsisSenecaArrowhead(62days).Thesweetestvarietiesof sweetcornareusuallylateinmaturity(80+days).Here,excellentselectionsareSweetie82,Illini ExtraSweetorCandyStore,an81daybicolor.Thevarietyastocolor,earlinessandsweetnessin sweetcornisthegrowerschoice.Yelloworbicolorsweetcornismorenutritiousthanwhite;the carotenecontentishigher.Selectyoursandenjoyit! TheEuropeanCornBorer.Sweetcorngrowninthisareaisgenerallyfreefrommostofthepests thatfrequentmajorcornproducingareassuchasmosaic,smut,Southerncornleafblightand Stewartsbacterialwilt.ThereisamajorexceptiontheEuropeancornborer.Itisnotaninsect likethehornwormontomatoesthatcanbecontrolledbyhandpickingorkeptincheckbybirds oranaturalparasite.Thedamageoccursbeforeyouseetheinsect.Thelarvaeoverwinterinthe cornstubbleandthemothsarebackinbusinesslayingeggsastheearlysweetcornisemerging 26

inthespring.Theyattackatallstagesofgrowth,firstinthewhorlsoftheleafoftheyoung plants.Thisisaccompaniedbybrownandgrayingblotchesontheleavesandshotgunlikeholes inthewhorl.Aresidueofwormsawdustaccumulatesaroundtheborerholes.Ifnot controlledearly,thetasselsareeatenoffand/ordisintegrate,eliminatingpollination.Assoonas silkingoftheearsoccurs,theeggsaredeposited.Hatchingseemstooccurwithinhourswith wormsthatburrowintothetipsoftheear,thenintoolderpartsoftheear,oftendevastatingthe entireearofcornbeforefullmaturity.Thereisrarelyaplantingofsweetcornspringorfallin thisvalleythatisnotaffected.Wormycornisthesadconsequence. ControlofEuropeanCornBorercanbeeffectivelymaintainedbyvigorousspraying,attwoto threedayintervals,ofbacterialinsecticidescoupledwithsummeroil*overtheentireplant, beginningwithearlygrowththroughharvest.Someeffectivepesticideformulationshavebeen derivedfromBacillusthurengensissuchasDipelandespeciallyfromabacterialproductcalled BullsEye.Thesematerialsleavenotoxicresidueharmfultopeople,andbeneficialinsectssuch ashoneybeesandladybirdbeetlesarenotinjured.Thesesprayscanalsobeappliedrightupto harvest.Neemoilandultrafinehorticulturaloilarealsoeffectiveandrecommended.Check productlabelsassomeoilsarenotrecommendedforuseinhightemperatures.Theinevitable difficultyisthattheEuropeanCornBorerwill,withtime,becomeresistanttoallcontrolsyet devised. SweetcornisnotaneasycroptogrowintheMoapaandVirginValleys.Thisisasidefromthe devastationoftheEuropeancornborer.Itisoftenplantedtoothicklyandinsinglerows, improperlyirrigatedandunderfertilized.Overwateringresultsinyellow,stuntedandpoorly rootedplants.Thereareverysmallwindowsoftime,bothforspringandfallcrops,when temperaturesareoptimalforgrowth,pollinationandeardevelopment. PostHarvestHandlingandStorage.Sweetcornisthemostperishableofallvegetables.Its qualitywilldeteriorateveryrapidlyafterharvest,especiallyduringhightemperatures.Forthe bestinsweetcorn,harvestjustbeforeeating.Storesweetcornintherefrigerator. ______________ *Summeroilspraysconsistofplantbasedoilssuchascottonseedoil.Thesecanbeapplied duringthegrowingseasonoratanyseasonwithoutharmtosensitivefoliage,beneficialinsects, peopleortheenvironment.Theydonotkillbypoisoningbutbysuffocatingtheinsectsandtheir eggs.

27

MelonsMuskmelons,CantaloupesandWatermelons
Itishardtodistinguishbetweenmuskmelonsandcantaloupes.Thenamesareused interchangeably.Thenamecantaloupeisofmorerecentorigin,datingbacktothemiddleofthe 18thcentury.ItisusuallyassignedtomuskmelonswithdeeplygroovedrindssuchasRockyFord orHalesBest.MelonculturedatesbacktoveryancienttimesinAsia(probablyIndia),Africaand theNileValleyinEgypt.TheygrewthemduringthetimesofthePharaohs.Currently,the worldslargestconsumersofwatermelonsaretheChinese,withoverfivebillionkilogramsper yearequivalenttoover12poundsperperson!TheChineselovewatermelons. Watermelonfleshmaybered,pinkoryellow.Cantaloupescanrangefromgreentowhite, yellowororange.Melonsarerefreshingandadelighttoeat,especiallyduringthehotsummer andearlyfallmonthsinourValleys.Theyarealsoverynutritious,beingasourceofvitaminC andthecarotenoidsandahighconcentrationofthelycopenes.Thesearecoupledwithmany otherhealthfulphytochemicals.Watermelonwithredfleshisasignificantsourceofthesame cancerprotectivelycopenescharacterizedbyripetomatoesandbothsweetandhotredpeppers. Cantaloupeareagoodsourceofpotassium,vitaminAandfolate. Culture.MelonsareadmirablyadaptedtogrowingintheMoapaandVirginValleys. HistoricallytheyweregrownextensivelyandcommerciallyintheMoapaValleysome50to60 yearsago.Currently,manypeoplearefamiliarwiththeBundyMelonsgrowninthe Bunkervillearea.TheyareselectionsoftheCasabaandCrenshawmelons.Theyareawarm weathercropandneedtohaveaminimumofatleast60Fwithinthetopfourinchesofsoilfor goodgerminationandgrowth.Watermelonsarewelladaptedtohightemperatures.Seedingor transplantingofmelonsshouldnotoccurbeforethemiddleofApril.Melonscanbeseededat anytimebetweenApril15anduptothefirstofAugustforsummerandlatefallharvests. Melonsshouldbeplantedinhillsoronridgesspacedfivetosixfeetapartandrunningnorthand south,withplantsorhillstwotofourfeetapartintherow.Northsouthorientationisimportant sinceallvinecropsareverysensitivetowinddamageandrequireasmuchlightaspossibleto producefruitabundantly.Thesoilshouldbeawelldrained,sandyloamcommontotheMoapa andVirginValleys.Bothverysandyandheavysoilsshouldbeavoided.Toalleviatedisease, pestandotherresiduerelatedproblems,donotplantwheremelonsweregrown previouslywithinthepastthreetofouryears.Applyonlymoderatelevelsofagranulated 11520fertilizerrangingfromonetothreepoundsper100feetofrow.Thesoilshouldbe thoroughlywateredtoagooddepthbeforeplanting.Irrigatethereafterwithdriplineshaving emittersone,twoorthreefeetapartspacedeightto12inchesawayfromeachsideoftheplant row.Avoidwateringneartheplantstems.Thiswillreducelaterproblemswithsquashbugs. Duringearlygrowthandfruitsetting,waterthoroughlybutasinfrequentlyaspossible,attwo weekormoreintervals.Driplinesshouldbespacedprogressivelyfurtherawayfromtheplant stems.Discontinuewateringafterthemelonsreachamaturesizetypicalforthevarietybeing grown.Abeepopulationisessentialforgoodpollinationandfruitset,asisalsotrueforsquash andcucumbers.

28

Varieties.Everyonehastheirfavorite.Therearemanyvarietiestochoosefrom.Amongthe muskmelons,theauthorprefersHalesBest,RockyFord,HeartsofGoldandAmbrosia.Thereare manyothersofbothopenpollinatedandhybridvarieties.TheCrenshawisthemostdelicious andthestandardforqualityforallmelons,butittendstosunscaldintheseValleys.Thereare manyexcellentvarietiesofwatermelons.SugarBabyisthefavoriteinChinaandperforms adequatelyinthisarea.CrimsonSweetisanexcellent,locallygrownvariety.Otherwellknown varietiesareCharlestonGrey,TomWatson,NavajoSweetandKlondike.Therearealsotheseedless ortriploidwatermelons.Fortheaverageconsumerthemostreadilyacceptablewatermelons haveadarkredfleshandblackseeds.Worldwide,themagnitudeofwatermelonconsumptionis directlyrelatedtotemperature. Pests.Squashbugs(atypeofstinkbug)areamenaceingrowingmelons,squashorcucumbers intheMoapaandVirginValleys.Allmembersofthecucurbitfamilyareattacked,beginning withalltypesofsquash,thenmuskmelonsandfinallywatermelonsandcucumbers.Irrigation techniquesareimportantintheircontrol.Keepwaterawayfromtheplantstemsasmelonsbegin toform.Thereisnoway,exceptmechanically,tocontrolorkilltheadultsquashbugs.Many localmethodshavebeendevised,allofwhichareratherinadequate.Oneadultwillproduce hundredsofnymphs.Thenymphscanbecontrolledbyrigoroussprayingordustingwith pyrethrumandpossiblysomeotherplantderivedorbacterialinsecticides.Thetimeofyear, season,location,soiltype,irrigationtechniquesandweatherappeartohavemuchtodowiththe prevalenceofsquashbugs.Nonativeparasitesthatcanbesuccessfullycultivatedhavebeen identifiedthatareeffective.However,theassassinbughasbeenobservedasapossiblenatural predator. HarvestingandStorage.Asmuskmelons,cantaloupeandwatermelonsmature,theychangein size,color,ribbing,netting(skinsurface)andrateofgrowth.Maturityinmanymuskmelonsand cantaloupesisevidentwhenthestemslips(separates)fromthemeloncompletely.Aripeodor withayellowundercoverbeneaththenettingwillbeevidentwithmanymuskmelons.The blossomendwillfirstbegintosoftenasthefruitripens.Theseripeningcharacteristicsmaybe evidentforthewellknownRockyFord,HoneyRock,HalesBest,Ambrosia,andHeartsofGold varieties.OthervarietiesortypessuchastheCrenshaw(thegourmetofallmelons),Casaba,Honey DewandtheChineseHamimelonareharvestedbysize,colororseasonoftheyear.Watermelons areharvestedbytheappearanceofayellowgroundcolor(wherethemelonhasrestedonthe ground),size,thumping(whenthumped,thesoundisclear,ringingnotdull),dryingofthe spoonandcurl(wherethestemmeetsthemelon)orprescribeddaystomaturity.Melonsshould beharvestedonlywhenripeandshouldbeconsumedshortlythereafterorkeptrefrigerated. Theycanbeheldinarefrigeratorforseveraldaysintheripecondition.

29

Onions
Thereisnoplaceonearthmoreclimaticallysuitedastodaylength(photoperiod)forgrowth,bulbsize, overallappearance,sweetnessandproductivityofonionsthantheMoapaandVirginValleysofNevada. Thisisprovidingtheappropriateplantingdates,varietyselection,culturalpracticesandpostharvest proceduresarefollowed.

WinterproductionofonionsplantedasseedinNovemberandsoldasplantsfortransplantinginearly springwasathrivingindustryinMoapaValleysome5070yearsago.However,aswithtomatoplant production,marketinganddistributionfromsuchanisolatedarea,coupledwithlimitationsinvolume ofproduction,restricteddevelopment.Theopportunityisstillhereforhomeproductionandforlimited commercialoutput.

Itishardtothinkofadaywithoutonions.Theyareessentialingredientsofmanysalads,soups,and stews,beingpackedwithflavorandfiber.Onionsandothermembersoftheonionfamilyleeks,chives andgarliccontainsulphidecompoundsandotherphytochemicals.Theyarereportedtoreducehigh bloodpressureandtheriskofstrokeandheartdisease.Theymayhaveothermicrobialeffects.They alsocontainquercitinthathasantiinflammatoryproperties.Clinicaltrialsarebeingconductedon specifichealthclaimsmadefortheeffectivenessofonionsforspecificconditions.

ClimaticAdaptationandPlantCharacteristics.Therearealmostinnumerabletypesandvarietiesof onions.Theycanbegrownfromseed,setsorplantsineverystateintheU.S.andalmostallcountries. Theyrespondinbothgrowthandbulbingtotemperatureandlengthofday(photoperiod).Some varieties,suchastheWallaWalla,bulbbestwhengrownduringthelongsummerdaysofNorthern states.OthersperformbetterwhengrownduringtheshortersummerdaysoftheSouthwest.Yetothers arelessinfluencedbydaylength.Hybridonions,whichwereintroducedabout70yearsago,aremore uniformandproductivethantheiropenpollinatedcounterparts.Bothhybridandtheopenpollinated onionsaregrownextensivelyintheU.S.andelsewherearoundtheworld.

Culture,SoilType,Fertilizer,Irrigation.Onionsshouldbegrowninfullsunandinfertile,well drained,loose,sandyorsandyloamsoils.Aloosesoilisessentialforgoodbulbformation.Onionsare alsobigfeedersofwater(uniformlyandfrequentlyapplied)alongwithnitrogenandphosphorus fertilizer.Isuggesttheuseofmonoammoniumphosphategranulated(11520)withapplicationofthree tofivepoundsper100feetofrowbeforeplanting.Fertilizeclosetothebulbasonionshaveacoarse, smallrootsystem.Applysupplementalfertilizer(sevento10dayintervals)duringgrowtheitherby foliarfeeding(spraying)orthroughtheirrigationsystemtoencourageearlytopgrowth.Topgrowth meanslargerbulbswillform.Discontinuefertilizingwhentopgrowthreachesmaximumandbulbing begins.Whenthetopsbegintoturnyellowandtendtofallover,discontinuewatering.Matureonions canlieinthesunorremaininthegroundforseveraldaysanduptotwotothreeweeksaslongasthe weatherisaridthroughthenights.Thisisusuallynoproblemforourarea.

OnionTypesandVarieties.Onionscanbegrownfromsets,plantsorseed.Theycomeaswhite,redor yellow,withwhitespreferredforslicing,redsforsaladsandyellowforcookingandstorage.Onionsets arecoldhardyanddiseaseresistantandemergeinalmostanytypeofgrowingenvironment.Onions fromsetsquicklyproducemild,pungenttastinggreenonionsintwotothreeweeks.Onionsetsmaybe plantedasearlyasFebruary15orwiththefirstsemblanceofspring.Plantonepoundof3/4inchsets per50feetofrowinlatewinterorearlyspring.

30

Onionplantsortransplantsproducegreenonionsinjustthreetofourweeksiftransplantedinearly spring(March115).OnionseedsforgrowingyourowntransplantsshouldbesownOctoberthrough November.Whenplantingtransplants,spacethemthreetofourinchesapartinrowsthreefeetapart. Large,maturebulbswillbeproducedbyMay25toJune10.

Toproduceonionsfromseed,plantseedfromtypesthatareadaptedtoSouthwestconditionsfrom October1toNovember30.Thintheplantstothreetofourinchesapartforbulbsthatwillweighoneto twopoundsforeachonionharvestedMay1toJune10.Ifthebulbsofonionplantsbecometoolarge duringthecoldofwinter,seedstalkswillforminthespring.Iftheydoappear,breakthemofforbend themovertopreventseedformation.Onionswillhaveahollowareawherethestalkgrew.

Inadditiontopropagatingonionsbysets,plantsorseeds,therearetheperennialmultiplieronions. TheyareheirloomtypeonionsknownasEgyptianTreeorWalkingonions.Clustersofverysmall bulbetsorsetsareproducedonthetopoftheleafstalks.Theycanbeharvestedassweet,pungent scallionsinthespringorassmallpicklingoniontopsetsinsummer,leavingtherootstockforahardy perennialscallionbed.

ThepreferredvarietiesofonionsforgrowinginthisareaaretheyellowTexasGranexHybridgrownand marketedasVidaliasinGeorgiaandtheWhiteGranexHybridwhichisthewhiteversionoftheyellow Vidalia.BoththeyellowandthewhiteTexasGranexhaveattractivecolor,areshortdayinphotoperiod andaredeliciouslymildandsweet.Theyarebothlargeinsize,globeshapedanddiseaseresistantwith goodstoragequality.Onionsweighingapoundeachormorecaneasilybeproduced.Themildtasting WallaWallaoniongrownandpreferredbysomeinMoapaValleyisalongdayvariety,failstobulb properlyinthespringinthisclimateandhaspoorstoragecapacity,makingitaveryshortkeeper.The LindaVista,arecentlyintroducedwhitesweethybridonion,issuperiortoanyonionvarietyobserved.It isadmirablyadaptedtothesevalleysastotemperatureanddaylength.Itisglobeshapedwithlight brownskins.Itislarger,sweeterandwillkeeplongerinstorage.Bulbsharvestedwillaverageoneto 2poundseachandwillkeepinacoolventilatedroom(temperature6075F)untilaslateasFebruary orMarch.

PestControl.Onionsgrowninthesevalleysareremarkablyfreeofanyinsectpestordisease.Theusual problemsinotheroniongrowingareas,suchastheonionmaggotandthrips,donotprevailhere.There isnoneedorjustificationfortheuseofanypesticideononions.

Harvesting,PostHarvestHandling,Storage.Whenthetopsofonionsbegintodieback,turnyellow anddropover,finishthejobbyrollingtopsoverorlightlysteppingthemdown.Thisexpeditesthe processandmakesharvestingeasierandmoreuniform.Whentheonionsaredry,harvestbysimply cuttingorclippingofftheyellowingordeadtopsandroots.Placeinwellventilatedmeshbagsorwell ventilatedboxesandstoreatroomtemperatureorinanycool,dryenvironment.

Forthosewhodonthaveshelfspace,tryhangingonionstostore.Youcanleavethetopson,braidthem togetherandthenhangthebunchestostorethem.Anotherwaytohangthemistocutthelegoffanold pairofpantyhose.Placeanonioninthetoe,tieaknot,placeanotheronioninandtieanotherknotand continuetothetop.Hangtheminacool,ventilatedareaandjustcutunderthebottomknotasyouuse theonions.

31

Peas
Peasareoneoftheoldestcultivatedvegetables.TheyhadtheiroriginintheMediterranean countries.Sweetandtender,freshpeasaremorelikeadessertthanavegetable.Theirdelicately sweetflavorandtendertexturemakethemafavoriteforeatingfresh,canningandfreezing.Peas areonecropinwhichIhavegreatdifficultykeepingguestsandvisitorsonmywalkways.They freely,andoftenwithoutpermission,helpthemselvestothisappetizinggeminearlyspring. Theyseemirresistibleinflavorandsweetnesswheneatenrawdirectlyoffthevine.Peasarenot onlygood,butalsogoodforyou. Culture.Allrecommendationsfoundinofficialtextbooks,bulletinsorseedcatalogsastowhen toplantpeasandunderwhatclimaticconditionsdonotapplytotheMoapaorVirginValleys. Theusualrecommendationisthatsincepeasareahardycoolweathercrop,theyshouldbe plantedinthespringassoonasthesoilisdryenoughandcanbeworked.Further,ifafallcrop isdesired,somesourcessuggestitshouldbeplantedinSeptemberorearlyOctober.Such plantingdatesforeitherspringorfallcropsdonotfittheclimaticconditionsofourValleys. PeasgrownintheMoapaandVirginValleysaremoresuccessfulifplantedinthefalloftheyear. TherecommendedplantingdatesliebetweenNovember1andNovember20.Earlierplanting resultsinlargevinesandfloweringduringthelatefallandwinter,withnopeasdeveloping.In otherwords,thepodsarehollow.Freezingtemperatures,whilenotkillingthevines,killthe ovulesintheflowersandpreventdevelopmentofthefruit(seeds)intheirpods.Thebase temperatureforthevegetativegrowthofpeasis40F,andtheyrespondingrowthtothe lengtheningdaysofspring.Ifthereisno,orverylittle,rainfallduringthewintermonths, irrigationisnecessary.Asquicklyaswintertimefreezingtemperaturescease,peaswillbeginto forminthepod,withthefirstharvestbeginninginearlyApril.Freshlyharvested,locallygrown gardenorsugarsnappeasaretheidealcropfordisplayattheannualClarkCountyFairheld eachyearinLogandalethesecondweekinApril. Peasplantedinthefallwillcontinuetogrowandmayflowerthroughthewintermonths.In earlyspring,theflowersbegintoproducethemostdelectableofallgardenvegetables. Productioncanbeequaltoorhigherthanthespringplantedcropsinthemajorpeaproducing areasofthePacificNorthwest(thePugetSoundarea)andtheeasternandnorthcentralstates. ThefinestpeacropwasintheMatanuskaValleynearPalmer,Alaska.Peasrespondtocool temperaturesandlongdays.Aswithothercrops(greenbeans,sweetcorn),extrawateringand supplementaryfertilizeraresuggestedduringfloweringandduringdevelopmentofthepods andseed. Isuggestthatpeasbeplantedindoublerowseightto10inchesapartthatrunnorthandsouth, withdriplineforirrigationinbetweenthetworows,andfourtofivefeetbetweeneachsetof doublerows.Evendwarfvarietiesofpeaswilldeveloplarge,spreadingvinesundergood culturalconditions.Onepoundofseedshouldsowbetween50and100feetofadoublerow, dependingonthevariety.Seedsshouldbeplantedaboutoneinchapartandaninchdeepand

32

thesoilkeptmoistuntilseedlingsemerge.Donotpresoakpeaseedsforplantingastheywillnot germinate.Thepreplantingapplicationofthreetofivepoundsofgranulatedhighphosphate fertilizer(11520)per100feetofrowisrecommended. Itisimportanttoorderorpurchasepeaseedbyearlyormidsummer.Manyseedcompaniesdo nothavepeaseedsforsaleinlatesummer,fallandearlywinter,andseedforthenewcropmay notbeavailableuntilspringtheusualpeaplantingseasonoftheyearforotherlocales. TypesandSuggestedVarieties.Therearetwomajortypesofpeas.Thesearetheoldtime gardenorEnglishpeathepeasareshelledtoremovethemfromthepodwhichhasastringand isgenerallytoughandinedibleandthesnaporsugarpoddedpeawhichproducestender, ediblepodsthatareusuallyharvestedwhenthepeasaresmallorundeveloped.Thesnappods andpeaswillstaytenderandsweetwhenfullydeveloped.Bothtypesofpeascanbeeatenfresh andrawrightoffthevineorshelledorsnappedandcookedbriefly(aboutthreetofiveminutes). Therearemanyvarietiesandtypesofboth,includingbush(needingnonettingorstaking)and pole(whichneedsupport).Therearealsobothearlyandlatematuringvarieties.Theearly bushtypeofboththegarden(shelled)andthesugarsnappeasarepreferred.GreaterProgress, LaxtonProgressorProgressNo.9dowellinthisarea,butKnightisafavoriteearlyshellpea.The varietyLincolnalsoshowspromise.Thesearedwarf,ofaboutequalmaturity,andperformwell fromNovemberplantings.Therearemanysugarsnappeastochoosefromofbothdwarf(bush) typesandtallorpoletypesthatwillvaryinmaturity.Cascadiaisbyfarafavorite.Theimportant considerationisthatearlyvarieties,shelledorsnap,shouldbeselectedtomatureunderthecool conditionsofearlyspring(MarchandApril)andbeforetheonsetofwarmorevenhot temperaturesthatcanbeginasearlyaslateAprilorearlyMay.Peaflowersoftenabortordonot setwhentemperaturesarehigh,particularlynighttimetemperatures. PestControl.DuringtheyearsofgrowingNovemberplantedpeas,therehavebeennodisease orinsectproblemsintheMoapaValley.Itappearsthataphidshavebeennoproblembecauseof theeverpresentladybirdbeetle.Whilewhitefly,leafhoppers,fleabeetlesandthripshavebeen observed,theyhavenotbeendestructive.Thereareexceptions.Becauseoftheunusualweather patternsinthespringof2008withcooltemperaturesfollowedbyveryhotdays,asevere outbreakofpeaaphidsoccurred.Goodcontrolwasachievedbypyrethrumspraysandthe invasionofhoardsofladybirdbeetles. Harvesting,HandlingandStorage.Peasshouldbeharvestedatthegrowersdiscretionasto maturity.Somelikethemtenderandsweet,otherspreferpodswellfilledout.Thisappliesto boththegardenpeaandthesugarsnaptypes.Manyprefertopickandeatthemonthespot,or theycanbeharvested,shelledandthencooked,cannedorfrozen.Freshlyharvestedpeasare veryperishablejustlikesweetcorn.Ifnotconsumeddirectly,pickthemearlyduringthecool morningandrefrigerateimmediatelyuntileatenorprocessed.

33

Peppers
Peppers,liketomatoes,areindigenoustoCentralandSouthAmerica.Theyareamongour greatestfoodtreasuresanddisplayanamazingdiversityofcolors,sizes,shapes,flavors, spiciness,plantarchitectureandespeciallyhotness.Theyarestaplesinworldcuisinesfrom Thailand,Japan,IndiaandChinatotheSouthwesternU.S.andthechiliandjalapenodishesof Mexico. Sweetpeppersofthefamiliararchitecturalbellshaped,blockyCaliforniaWondertypesarethe mostwidelygrownintheU.S.,CanadaandNorthernEurope.Theyarecrisp,sweetandjuicy whenservedrawinsaladsandmellowandmeatywhenstuffedandroasted.Harvestingcan occurwhengreenorripenedintocolorsofyellow,orangeorred.Sweetpeppersaremore flavorful,sweeterandmorenutritiouswhenfullymature.Thecolorofpeppersdevelops adequatelyonlywhentheyareripenedontheplant. HotpeppersarepopularinMexican,AsianandMediterraneancuisines.Theyalsocomeina varietyofflavors,colors,sizesandshapesandrangefromverymildtoscorchinginheatlevel. Redhotpeppers,liketomatoesandsweetpeppers,areloadedwithvitaminCandlycopene.Hot pepperscontainasubstancecalledcapsicumthatmakesthemhot.Itisfoundinallpeppers butindifferentamounts.Thedegreeofhotnessrelatestotheamountofcapsicumcontainedin thefruit,particularlytheseeds.Riperedpepperscontainthemostcapsicum.Herbalhealth sourcescreditcapsicumwithmanyhealthbenefits. Climate,AdaptationandCulture.Following10yearsofexperienceintryingtogrowvegetables inMoapaValley,sweetpeppersareoneofthegreatestchallenges.Yettheopportunityfor successisthere,coupledwithadeliciouscropinreturn.Peppers,especiallythehottypes,are reallymoreadaptedtotherigorsofourclimate(hotdry)thaneithertomatoesorsweetcorn. Theyrespondbesttofrequentirrigationandhighlevelsofsoilfertility.Duringthehotsummer daysandnights,peppers,especiallythehotones,willtoleratelimitedwateringandfertilizing. ThisvalleyhasaclimatecomparabletothehotdryregionsoftheMediterranean,India,China andMexicowhicharethemostfamousforpepperproduction. Peppersaremostproductiveinrich(highlyfertile),loamysoils,highinorganicmatterthatare keptmoist.Thepreplantingapplicationofthreetofivepoundsofgranularhighphosphate fertilizer(11520)per100feetofrowisrecommended.Plantinrowsorientednorthandsouth withplantsafootapartandrowsthreefeetapart.Peppers,bothsweetandhot,maybesetoutas transplantsinthegardenshortlyfollowingtomatoes(oraboutMarch15toApril1)and continuedthroughMayorevenlater.Temperaturesforidealgrowthareslightlyhigherthanfor tomatoesandcomparabletoeggplant,whichareofthesamefamily.Unliketomatoes,sweet pepperswillsetfruitcontinuouslyrightthroughthespringandtheheatofbothdaysandnights ofsummer.Beesandotherinsectsarenotnecessarytosetthefruit.Hotpeppersareevenmore tolerantofhot,dryweatherthanthesweetcultivars.Furthermore,thefruitfrombothpeppers,if

34

leftonthevine,willcontinuetoripenanddevelopgoodcolorandqualityuntilfrostorfreezing temperaturesoccur. Agoodfoliagecoveroverthedevelopingfruitisessentialtoprevent,oratleastminimize,sun scaldingofthefruit;adry,grayishbrownspotdevelopsonthesurfacemostexposedtothesun. Particularlythesweet,butalsohotpeppers,willsunscald.Aswithothersummergrown vegetablecrops,bothsoilfertilityandmoistureshouldbemaintainedatoptimallevelsduring thefruitingperiod.Iftheplantsbecomeunwieldyandtallandfalloverorbreakoffinlate summerorearlyfall,theycanbecutbackandnewgrowthwilldevelopforalatefallcrop.This isabonuscropoffruitthatisfarbetterthancanbeachievedwithtomatoes.Fallpeppersthat developinthecoolofautumnareoftenthebest.Becauseofthewidespreadhomeprocessingof salsaanduseofmanypeppersinotherSpanishAmericanandMexicancuisinessopopularin thisareaandourexceptionallygoodclimate,thevalleyshouldbegrowingitsownjalapenosand chilies. Varieties.Varietiesareinnumerable.Sweetpepperscomeasbothopenpollinatedandhybrids. Heartshapedpimentoscomebothashotandsweetandofdifferentsizes.TheYoloandCalifornia Wonderarecommonsweetvarietiesgrownastransplantsandprovidedbylocalnurseries.All canbegrowninthisarea.TheauthorprefersRedBeautyorCrispyBellforearlyspringplanting. Theymatureearly.Theplantsarestockyandsturdybutuprightandprovideexcellentfoliage coverforthedevelopingfruit.Jalapenos,oralmostanyvarietyofchilipepperthatyouprefer, willdowell. Small,sweetornamentalpeppersmaybegrownasbordersaroundthehome.Thisparadeof green,yellow,orangeandredprevailsfromlatespringuntilNovemberfrosts.Theyaresweet, mildandconsideredbysomeasedible. PestControl.Aswithtomatoes,thereareveryfewinsectpestsordiseasesonpeppersinour valleys.Theunsightlytomatohornwormwillattackanddevastatepeppervinesandfruit. Controlwormsbyhandpicking.Ifhornwormsareinhighnumbers,Bacillusthurengensis(BT) maybeusedasabiologicalcontrol.PepperscanalsogetvirusdiseaseslikeTobaccoMosaic Virus(TMV)andPotatoVirusYSTIP.Theyareusuallyseedborne.Youmaytoleratethevirus oryoucanplantresistantvarieties.Thetomatohornwormhasbeennoproblemtheauthors plants,presumablybecauseofthehighbirdpopulation. HarvestingandPostHarvestStorage.Peppersareharvestedastothegrowerspreferencefor havingthemgreenorleavingonthevinetillripe.Ripe(red)sweetpeppers,aswithtomatoes, aremoreflavorful,sweeter,colorfulandhigherinvitaminC,lycopeneandotherhealth promotingphytochemicalsthanthegreen.Hotpeppersbecomehotterandmoreflavorfulas theyripenanddeveloptheirred,orangeoryellowcolor,especiallyduringlong,hotdays. Peppersarebeststoredintherefrigeratorcrisper.Alwaysharvestpepperswithashort,1/41/2 inchstem(clippingworksbest)toprolongtheirstoragelife.

35

PotatoesRedandWhite
Thepotatoranksfourthastheworldsmostimportantfoodcropbehindrice,wheatandcorn.It maybeproducedcommerciallyandinhomegardensineverystateintheU.S.includingAlaska. PotatoesareastaplefoodinChina,IndiaandespeciallyinGermany,Poland,Russiaandother NorthernEuropeancountries.Potatoblightinthemiddleofthe19thcenturyresultedinamajor famineinIreland.PotatoesoriginatedinthehighlandsoftheAndesofCentralandSouth America.ThepotatoisacomplimentaryfoodintheU.S.,preparedaschips,fries,baked,fried, boiled,mashedanddumplings.Potatoesareagoodsourceofcalories.Forthosewhoare overweighttheycouldtaketheplaceofbread.Anequalamountofbakedorboiledpotatohas onethirdthecalories.Potatoesarealsoasourceoffiber,potassium,Bvitaminsandiron(with theskin)andalsohavesomevitaminCevenwhencooked.Theyarealsogrownforforage, extractionofstarchesandtheproductionofalcohol. Climate,AdaptationandCulture.PotatoescanbesuccessfullygrownintheMoapaandVirgin Valleysifplantedinlatewinterorveryearlyspring.Certifiedseedintheformofsmalltubersof abouteggsizemaybeplantedwhole.Cutlargertubersintopiecessothateachpiececontains twoormoreeyes(buds)andweighsbetweenoneandfourounces.Piecesshouldbecutwith plentyofflesharoundtheeyestoprovidetheirgrowingfoodsource.Seedpiecescanbeplanted immediatelyordriedforadayortwobeforeplanting.Anevenbetterprocedureistogreen sprouttheseedpiecesbeforeplanting.Thisisdonebyspreadingtheseedpiecesintoaflator boxonelayerdeepandkeepingitatroomtemperaturefortwotothreeweeks.Thiswill stimulatethegrowthofstrongsprouts,thatinthepresenceofsubduedlightremainshortand stubby,greenincolorandarenoteasilybrokenoff.Suchgreensproutedseedpiecesorsmall tuberswillgiveabetterstand,earliermaturityandheavieryieldsforahomegarden.Onepound ofseedeitheraswholesmalltubersorcutpieceswillplanteightto10feetofrowat12inch spacings.Rowsshouldbethreefeetapartandorientednorthandsouth.Plantingshouldbein lateFebruaryorearlyMarchandatadepthoftwotofourinches.Afterthegreenleavesemerge andthestemsareaboutsixtoeightincheshigh,gentlyhillabouttheshootswithahoeorrake, bringingsoiluponbothsidesoftheplant.Coverallbutthelastinchortwooftheshoots. Hillingcoolsthesoilandprovidesspacefortuberdevelopment.Thepotatotubersformbetween theseedorseedpiecesandthesurfaceofthesoil.Laterhillingsshouldbedoneattwotothree weekintervals.Hillingiscrucialforagoodcrop.Ifakillingfrostoccursafterthegreenleaves emerge,littleharmisdonebecausenewsproutsorleaveswillsoonemerge.Leavescanbe coveredtemporarilywithsoilifafrostispredicted.Wedonotrecommendtheuseofpotatosets consistingofonlytheeyeorbudwithasmallamountofflesharoundtheeye.Manyseed companieswillnotprovideseedpiecesuntillateAprilorMay;thisistoolate. Agoodsoilforpotatoesmustbeofhighfertility,welldrainedandatthesametimeretain moisture.Asandyloamsoil,asforanyotherrootortubercrop,isideal.Thepreplanting applicationofthreetofivepoundsofgranularhighphosphatefertilizer(11520)per100feetof rowisrecommended.Potatoeswillrotinwaterloggedsoil.Raisedbedsmaybenecessaryin

36

somelocations.Forsoilsthatareshallow,rockyorcompact,orifspaceislimited,potatoescan begrowninmulch. Weedingisessentialduringtheearlypartoftheseason,asitiswithallvegetablecrops.Checkor killtheweedswhiletheyareseedlings.Later,thepotatoplantcanopyshadesthesoilandweed problemsareslight.Irrigationisimportant.Itcanbebydriplineswithemittersspreadafoot apart.Thesoilshouldbekeptevenlymoistfromthetimeofemergenceuntilblossomingandfor twotothreeweeksthereafteruntilthetubersmature.Overwateringwillresultinknobby tubers,splitsandhollowheart.Harvestingindrysoilispreferredasthepotatoesaremoreeasily cured(thetuberskinisthickenedandhardenedbydrying)whichisbetterforstorage.Donot storerotted,damagedordiseasedtubers. Varieties.TheRedPontiaciswelladaptedtothearea.Ithasaredskinwithwhitefleshandis earlytomidseasoninmaturity.Itisveryproductive.Ihaveproducedabushelper10feetof runningrowwithgreensproutedseedplantedinmidFebruaryandharvestedJune20.Other varietiesthathavebeensuggestedforourValleysareYukonGold,whichisalsoearlyandhas yellowflesh,andtheRedLaSota,whichisredskinnedandprovidesalmosthalfoftheredmarket intheU.S.Ithasaroundtuber,smoothskinanddeepeyes.Thereareliterallyhundredsof potatovarietiesranginginmaturityfromearlytomidseasontolateseason.Therearethosethat areredandwhitewithtubersofvariousshapes,whitefleshedandyellowandthereare fingerlings.TherearealsohundredsofwildtypesstillfoundintheAndesofSouthAmericaand Peruwherepotatoeshadtheirorigin.Itishighlyrecommendedthatgrowers(gardeners) purchasecertifiedseedpotatoesratherthanusingcuttingsfromthosepurchasedinamarket. Thosesoldinthemarketforfoodmayhavebeentreatedwithasproutretardant.Consequently, theyareveryslowtosproutaftertheyareplanted.Certificationofseedpotatoesmeanstheyare certifiedagainstseveralseriousviraldiseases. PestControl.NoseriouspestsonpotatoeshavebeenobservedintheMoapaorVirginValleys. TheColoradopotatobeetleseemstobenonexistent.Leafhoppersandfleabeetlesaboundbut seemtodolittledamage.Majorleafandtuberdiseases(lateblight,earlyblight,scab)andvirus diseaseshavenotbeenobserved.Rotatepotatoplantingstonewlocationseachseasontoavoid contaminatingthesoilwithsoilbornediseases. Harvesting/Storage.PotatoesshouldbeharvestedbeforeJulytoavoidthehotsummer temperaturesthatexceed100F.Idealstorageshouldbeatabout40F.Ifpotatoesarestored above40F,theytendtosprout.Ifbelow40F,thestarchwillturntosugarandtheywillturn unpleasantlysweet.

37

PotatoesSweet
Thereisnocropthatiseasiertogrow,requireslessinsoil,fertilizerandwaterandislessafflicted byanyinsectordiseasethansweetpotatoes.Theyareadmirablyadaptedforgrowinginthe MoapaandVirginValleys.TheiroriginisuncertainastoAmericanorAsiatic.Theyarewidely growninChinaforpreventionoffamine.Nevertheless,thereisnoplaceonearthtoohotortoo humidtogrowsweetpotatoes.TheirsuccessfulcultureintheU.S.islimitedtothesouthernand midAtlanticstatesandtheSouthwest. Theythriveinlightsandyorloamysoils.Infact,theirqualityandresistancetocrackingseemto beimprovedunderconditionsoflowsoilfertilityandmoisture.Oneshouldnotattempttogrow sweetpotatoesinheavyclayorwet,poorlydrainedsoils.Sweetpotatoesareahighyieldinghot weathercrop.Theircultureshouldnotbeattempteduntildayandnighttemperaturesexceed 70F.ThisisusuallybymidMay. Sweetpotatoesbelongtothemorninggloryfamilyandareacloserelativeofwildmorningglory. However,itisveryseldomthatyouwillseethemorningglorylikeflowersonsweetpotatoes.It isonecropthatcansuccessfullycompetewiththemajornuisanceweedsofourvalleys,including wildmorningglory(fieldbindweed). (Pleasenote:Sweetpotatoeswithdeeporangefleshandoflargesizeareoftencalledyams.The trueyam,however,isgrownonlyinthetropicsandislightyellow,almostwhite,incolorandof muchlowernutritivevalue.)Thereareliterallyhundredsofselectionsofsweetpotatoesgrown inChina,Taiwan,IndochinaandthroughoutthetropicsofAsia,Africa,andSouthandCentral America.Theythriveunderagreatvarietyofsoil,moistureandclimaticconditions.Youseldom seetheminEurope.Nevertheless,onaglobalscalethesweetpotatoisoneofthe20cropsthat standbetweenpeopleandstarvation.Nutritionally,itisagoodsubstituteforthecommon potatowithwhichitsharessomeproperties. Harvestoftheediblerootscanbeginwithin60days.Sweetpotatoesaregrownsuccessfullyin China,theworldstopproducer.Theretheyareagreatpreventativeoffamine.Freshlybaked sweetpotatoesaresoldasadelicacyonthestreetsofthemajorcitiesinChina.Rootscanbe harvestedwhiletheplantsarestillgrowing.Whenthericecropfails,theChineseturntosweet potatoes.Historically,theyservedasimilarfunctionintheseValleys.Sweetpotatoesareagreat sourceofedibleenergy.Withthenewvarietiesnowavailable,theyarealsoanexcellentsource ofthevisionenhancingvitaminA.Asingleservingwillprovidemorethanthreefourthsofthe recommendeddailyamount. Culture.Botanically,thesweetpotatoisanundergroundrootcoveredwithadventitiousbuds thatunderwarm,moistconditionswillproduceanabundanceofshootsorslipsthatrootat everynode.Thiscanbeobservedifasweetpotatoisplacedinaglassofwaterandkeptatroom temperatureforafewweeks.Sweetpotatoes,likeotherroots,havebasal(endattachedtothe plant)andapicalends.Theapicalendproducesthemostbuds.Itsthebudsthatformtheslips

38

orshoots.Afterrootsareformedontheslips,theyaresuitablefortransplanting.Theseslips,or shoots,areavailablefromlocalnurseriesorseedhousespackedandsoldinbundles.Onemay propagateonesownslipsbyplacingsweetpotatoesinamoistbedofcompostorpeatmossand keepingthetemperatureat70Foraboveforafewweeks.Transplantingoftheslipsshould beginaboutMay15inrowsfourtosixfeetapartwithplantsspacedintherowtwotothreefeet apart.Plantinridgesorientednorthandsouth.Driplinesforirrigationalongsideeachroware suggested,orfieldwaterruninfurrowsbetweentherows.Loosesandyloamsoilsthatarelow infertilityaretoleratedandevenrecommended.Thepreplantingapplicationofonlyoneto threepoundsofgranulatedhighphosphatefertilizer(11520)per100feetofrowis recommended.Excesssoilfertilityorwaterwillresultinwildvegetativegrowthwithfew,if any,potatoes.Overwateringshouldbeavoided.HarvestcanbeginbyearlyAugustand continuethroughSeptember. Varieties.CentennialisAmericasleadingsweetpotato.Itismoderatelyearly,hasanorange coloredfleshandcoppercoloredskinandexcellentcookingqualities.Itswhatyouoftenseefor saleinsupermarkets.SimilarvarietiesareGeorgiaJetandBeauregard.Alltheseproducevigorous vegetativegrowthandstrongrunnersrequiringmuchspace.VerdamanandPuertoRicoby contrastarebushtypeswithweakrunners.Theyalsohaveadeeporangeflesh. HarvestandHandling.Sweetpotatoesmaybeharvestedatanystagewhentherootsarelarge enoughforeating.Likebananas,theyshouldnotbestoredintherefrigeratorbutkeptdryandat roomtemperatureforatleast10daysortwoweeksafterharvestbeforeeating.Thisisessential forthestarchtoturntosugar.Storagemaybetwotothreemonthsorlongerundercool,dry conditions.TheeatingqualityofsweetpotatoesgrownintheMoapaorVirginValleysmaybe equaltothoseproducedanyplaceonearth.

39

Spinach
SpinachistheidealcropforwinterproductionintheMoapaandVirginValleys.Itshouldbea partofeveryoneswintergarden.Thetenderleavescanbeharvestedcrisp,deliciousand nutritiouseverydayfromOctobertoMayusingsuccessivetwotofourweekplantings.Itisa greenleafyvegetableofsuchqualitythatyouwillnottireineatingitraworcooked,anditis excellentasamajorcomponentingreensalads.Spinachisknownasarichsourceofiron, calcium,magnesium,vitaminsA,C,E,andKandseveralvitalantioxidants.Thereisnoneedto spraywithanypesticidessinceithasalwaysbeenobservedasfreeofanydamagefrominsectsor diseaseinawintergarden. ThecapitaloftheworldforspinachproductionisCrystalCity,Texas,withitsstatueofPopeye theSailorMan.Somemayrememberthisfamouscartooncharacterofsome5075yearsago,and thegreatmuscularburstsofenergyhederivedfollowingtheconsumptionofacanofspinach. Therewasamessagethen,asthereisnow,thatspinachisgoodforyou. Culture.Spinachisacoolseasoncropthatdevelopssuperiorqualityduringcooltemperatures andshortdays.Undertheincreasinglengthofdaysoccurringinspringandearlysummer,it willbolttoseed.Spinachisalongdayplantforflowering,whichyoudontwant,andashort dayplantforabundantvegetablegrowth.Mostweedswillnotgrowinwintertimebecausethe daysaretooshortandtemperaturestoocold.Spinachontheotherhandwillgrowverywell undertheseconditions,makingitanidealcropforwintertimeproduction. Spinach,unlikemostothervegetables,isdioecious,producingbothmaleandfemaleplants.This canbenotedwhentheplantsboltorgotoseedunderlongdaysandhightemperatures. Spinachinthisareacanbeplantedinboththefallandspringandanytimeinbetween.Fall plantingswilloverwinterandcontinuetoproducethroughthewinterandspring.Iwould suggestacontinuuminfall,winterandspringproduction.BeginseedingaboutAugust20and continuewithsuccessiveplantingsuntilApril1.Newhybridvarietieshavebeenselectedfor slownessofbolting. Spinachprefersarich,welldrainedsoil.Itrespondstofrequentirrigation,eveninwintertimeif thereislittleornorainfall,and,aswithothervegetables,afertilizerhighinphosphorous.Apre plantingfertilizerapplicationofthreetofivepoundsofgranular11520per100runningfeetof rowisrecommended,withadditionalallsolublefertilizerapplicationswithirrigationsasmaybe needed.Adripirrigationsystemisrecommendedwithemittersspacedonefootapart.Plant seedtoinchdeepandabouttwotothreeinchesapartintwodoublerowsoneachsideofthe dripirrigationlineinanorthsouthorientation.Leave1totwofeetofspacebetweeneachset ofdoublerows.Seedshouldbekeptmoistuntilgerminationoccurs,usuallyaftersevento14 days. Varieties.Therearetwomaintypesofspinachthosewithsavoy(crinkledorcrumpled)leaves andthosewithsmoothleaves.Bothhaveexcellentquality,areaboutequallyproductiveand

40

haveequivalentharvesttimesandnutritionalvalue.Mosttraditionalspinachhasthesavoyleaf, thetypicalexamplebeingLongstandingBloomsdale.OthersavoyleafedvarietiesareMelodyand Avonhybrids.MelodyHybridispreferred,buttheLongstandingBloomsdaleisagoodstandbyand easytoharvest.Smoothleafedhybridvarietiesaregaininginpopularity,especiallyin restaurantsandsaladbars.TheyincludeOlympiaHybrid,HybridTyee,Medania,andSpaceHybrid. TheOlympiaHybridisanexcellent,smoothleafedvarietywithleaveseasytowash. HarvestingandHandling.Harvestingofspinachshouldbeginwithitslargestplants.Merely cutofftheentireplantatthegroundlevel.Theharvestmaybeinrowsectionsorprogressively selectingthelargerplantsintherow.Themoreuprighttheleavesare,theeasiertheharvest.For thosewhohaveasmallgardenorwanttoharvestearly,youcanharvestbycuttingoffthelarger leavesofseveralplants,leavingtherestoftheplanttocontinuegrowing. Spinachshouldbeharvestedfreshasneeded.Otherwise,afterwashingstoreinacrisperina refrigeratorforafewdays.Donotkeepatroomtemperature.

41

Tomatoes
Tomatoesaretheworldsmostwidelygrownandpopularvegetable.Inreality,itisafruitanda perennial.However,wegrowthetomatoasanannualvegetable.Itiscultivatedthroughout Europe,theMediterraneancountries,theMiddleEastandthesouthernhemisphere,eitherin greenhouses,thecountrysideorincitygardens.ItisabasisforspecialtydishesinItalyand Spain.TomatoesthrivethroughouttheMiddleEastandhadtheirorigininthehighlandsofPeru inSouthAmerica.Methodsofcultivationmayvaryfromthosegrownhydroponicallyin greenhousesovera12monthperiodtothoseinopenfieldsintheU.S.withmechanicalonetime harvest,toraisedbedsinthedesertSouthwest,toextensiveplantingsinopenfieldsinChina, Russia,India,Spain,FranceandItaly.Theymaybestaked,caged,trellisedorallowedtospread orrunontheground.Socalledfreshtomatoesareavailableinsupermarkets,specialty,and healthfoodstoresandatfarmersmarkets.Theyaresoldashydroponic,stem,cherry,grape, Romaorvineripenedslicers.Processed,theycomeintheformofwholetomatoes,sauces, soups,juices,catsupsorsalsa.Theycanbedried,frozen,cannedoreatenfresh.Specifichealth anddiseasepreventivefeatureshavebeenascribedtothem.TheyarehighinvitaminCandan excellentsourceoflycopene,specificallyprescribedasbeingpreventiveofprostatecancer. PlantGrowing.Youmayeithergrowyourownplantsfromseed,purchasestartsfromalocal nursery,orifyouneedalargenumberofplants,youcancontractwithlocalnurseriestogrow themforyou.Successfulplantgrowingisbothanartandascienceofitsown.Special equipmentandfacilitiesarerequired.Forearlytomatoes,whicharealwaysapremiuminthis valleyandelsewhere,seedshouldbestartedthelastweekofDecemberorthefirstofJanuary. Seedlingsarethentransplantedintoeithersixpacksorthreeorfourinchpotsorcontainers.If youaregrowingyourownplants(orcanpersuadethenurseryyouarecontractingwith),lower thenighttemperaturetoabout50Ffor710daysjustafterthefirsttrueleaveshaveformed; moreabundantearlyfloweringandfruitsettingwillresult.Thisisknownasthecold treatment.Amorerobustseedlingwillalsoresult. PlantinginthegardenorfieldshouldbeaboutMarch1.(TheaveragelastfrostdateforMoapa ValleyisaboutMarch20,sobepreparedtoprotect/covertomatoplantsiffrostispredicted.) Purchasetransplantsabout10daysortwoweeksbeforetransplantingoutdoors.Takethepots outofthetraytospreadouttheplantsthatareusuallycompactedinthetraybythenurseryand allowenoughspacebetweenplantsthattheyhaveroomtospreadoutsotheirleavesdonttouch planttoplant.Holdtheminaprotected,sunnyareafor10daystotwoweekstohardenoffor toughenupbeforepermanentlysettingintheopenfield.Keeponthedrysideandwateronly withanallsolublefertilizer(oneouncepergallonofwater),highinphosphorusandwithsome nitrogen(12610).Thisshouldbedonedailyorasoftenasneeded. Atomatoplantbeforefieldtransplantingshouldbeaswideasitistall.Theyshouldbe transplantedjustbeforeorwiththeappearanceofthefirstflowerbuds.Iffloweringistoofar advanced,oneortwosmallfruitwillripenearlybuttheplantswillbedwarfedandproduce

42

littlethereafter.Pickoffanyfruitswhensettingthem outortransplanting.Itisbettertotransplantjustbefore flowersform.Apreferredmethodforgardenplantings istosetthetransplantsafootapartinnorthsouthrows ontheeastornortheastsideofahouse,barnorwall, usingclotheslinestretchedbetweenironstakesspaced 10feetapartforsupport[seephoto].Addadditional linehigherupthepostsastheplantsgrowtaller.The vinesaretrellised,withnopruning,inrowsspread threefeetapart.Analternativewouldbeindividual wiresupportfortheplanttogrowupthrough,called wirecages.Soldatgardencenterseverywhere,they keepthefruitoffthegroundandcanbereusedin subsequentyears.Whentransplanting,thetomato plantshouldbesetaboutaninchortwobelowthesoil levelforwindprotectionandwateredwiththeall solublestartersolutionhighinphosphorus,oneounce pergallonofwater.Thegreatestclimatichazardsfor newlytransplantedtomatoplantsarethewindanduntimelyfrostorfreezingtemperatures.Use hotcapsforanearlierstartandprotectionfrombothwindandfrost.Also,WallsofWaterare effectiveforthesamereasonsbutareexpensiveandlaborintensive.However,theycanbeused yearafteryear. CulturalPracticesWatering,Fertilization,Mulching,WeedControl,Cultivation.When tomatoplantsoranyotherfruitorvegetableplantsbegintosetfruit,thewaterandfertilizer requirementsaregreatlyincreased. Irrigatebyusinganetworkofrowsofinchplasticdriplineswithemittersafootapart(onefor eachplant).Eachemitterordripperdeliversaboutonegallonperhour.Twogallonperhour emittersmayplugless.Severalaremadethatcanbeindividuallysetatone,twoorfivegal./hr. Theyarealittlemoreexpensivebutveryaccommodative.Theextentandfrequencyofwatering dependsonthesoiltype,thetemperature,windvelocity,seasonoftheyearandthestageofplant development.Whenfruitsettingbegins,increasethefrequencyandamountofwaterand fertilizer.Keepthesoilmoistbutnotwaterlogged.Tomatoesrespondtogooddrainage. Blossomendrotandcracking,commonproblemsintheseValleys,usuallyarearesultof inadequateorirregularwateringduringtheearlystagesoffruitdevelopment,immediately followingfruitset. Itissuggestedthat1012poundsofagranularfertilizerhighinphosphorus(11520)per100feet ofrowbetilledintothesoilbeforeplantingortransplanting.Duringfruitsettingandfruit development,periodicallyaddtheallsolublefertilizer(12610)throughtheirrigationsystem. Whenandhowmuchisaccordingtovisualobservationofthevigoroftheplants.Theartand scienceoftomatogrowingistocreateabalancebetweenfruitingandvegetativegrowthto maintaincontinuousgrowthandfruitsettingduringthatnarrownicheoftimeinAprilandMay 43

whennighttemperaturesrangebetween60and70F.Thesocalledheattoleranttomatovarieties thatareadvertisedtosetfruitduringhighsummertemperaturesinthisvalleyhavenotbeen provenproductive. Tomatoesthrivebestinarich,welldrainedsoilhighinorganicmatter.Thebasictopsoilofthe floodplainofthisvalleyisagoodsoiltobeginwith.Variousorganicmulchesorcomposts shouldbeadded.Variousgreenmanurecropscanbeusedwhereplentyofwaterisavailable. Theauthorusesliberalapplications(1to3inchesayear)ofwhatisdesignatedasNutri MulchorPremiumLandscapeMulch,aturkeymanurecompost.Itiscommerciallyavailablein bulkatabout$1.50percubicfootincubicyardquantities.Thiscompareswithabout$4.00per cubicfootformulchessoldbythebagandavailablefromlocalnurseriesandgardenstores. Weedcontrolisseldomaproblem,andcultivationisoflittlevaluewhenusingthedripirrigation system. Varieties.Thereareliterallyhundredsofvarietiestochoosefrom.Selectyourfavoritesand growthem.Somelikethemlarge,somesmall;somewanttheRoma,cherry,pearorgrapetypes. Somewantthemred,green,pink,orangeoryellow.Somewantthemacid,otherssweet.Some preferbush(determinate),otherspoletype(indeterminate)andsomewantthemhalfway between. Theauthorgrowsthosethataredeterminateorsemideterminate,redandlarge(twotothree tomatoesperpound).PreferenceisforthevarietiesCelebrity,Champion,EarlyGirlandtheso calledheattolerantSunbeam,SunLeaperandSunBrightgreenhousetypes.Allarered,large sized,globeshaped(round),havesmallgreencoreswithaminimumofcrackingandarefree fromblossomendrot. FruitSettingandRipening.Successfultomatoproductioninourvalleyisconfinedtoavery narrowwindowoftimedeterminedbynighttemperatures.Themosteffectivenighttemperature rangesbetween60and70F.ThiswillusuallybefromaboutmidApriltomidMay.Thismay alsooccuragaininthefallfrommidSeptembertomidOctober.Whilefruitsettingwilloccurin thefall,thefruitwillseldomripenbeforefrostandbeforetemperaturesaretoolowforthefruit toripen(color)properly.Beeshavenothingtodowithpollinationorfruitsetting.Tomatoesare windpollinated.Pleasenotethespecialreportwhichfollowsonfruitsettingoftomatoes. Theidealaveragedailytemperatureforfruitripening(redcolordevelopmentorlycopene synthesis)rangesbetween60and75F.Thisexplainswhytomatoesfailtodevelopgoodcolor andflavorwhenitiseithertoohotortoocold.Italsomeansthatthebeststoragetemperature forgreenorpartlyripetomatoesisroomtemperature,andonlyfullyripetomatoesshouldbeput incoldstorageorrefrigerated.Therearelocationalmicroclimatesrelativetodayandnight temperatures.NighttemperaturesareusuallyafewdegreeslowerintheMoapaandVirgin ValleysthaninLasVegas,anddaytimetemperaturesusuallyhigher.

44

Thenighttimetemperatureeffectonfruitsettingisdemonstratedwhenthenighttime temperaturesexceed70F.Theresultisthatthereisverylittlefruitsettingthoughflowersare abundant.ThisfurthermeanstomatoharvestwillterminateaboutmidJulyunlesstemperatures changedramatically.Ittakesabout45daysduringhotweatherforfruittoripenafteritsets. PestControl.Tomatoesinthevalleyaresurprisinglyfreeofinsectanddiseaseproblems. Duringsomeyears,theymaybefrequentedbythetomatohornwormwhichwillquickly devastatebothfruitandfoliageifallowedtomultiply.Whileunsightly,theycanbecontrolled byhandpickingintheearlymorningwhentheycanbeseenorwiththeuseofthenontoxic Bacillusthurengensis(BT)formulationssuchasDipelorwithotherbacterialinsecticides,one knownasBullsEye.Whiteflycan,onoccasion,becomeaproblembecausetheythriveunder hotdryconditions.Aphidsseldomgainafootholdbecauseofthepresenceofladybirdbeetles. Theusualproblemsthatoccurinothertomatoproducingareassuchasanthracnose,earlyblight, lateblight,FusariumandVerticilliumwiltsandbacterialcankerhavenotbeenobservedinthis Valley.Themajordisordersoftomatoesinthisareaareblossomendrot,sunscaldandfruit cracking.Allcanbeeasilyidentifiedandcanbecorrectedortheeffectsminimizedbycareful managementofirrigationandfertilizationschedules,roworientation,plantspacingand appropriatetrellisingortrainingtoprovidegoodfoliagecoveringofthefruit. HarvestandStorage.ThequalityoftomatoessoldintheU.S.insupermarketsasaripened commodityisasadcommentary.Theyareeitherpickedgreenandripenedartificiallywith ethyleneoritsderivative,ortheyaresprayedwithethyleneoritsderivativeinthefieldbefore harvest.Thesocalledvineripenedtomatoisatomatopickedgreen.Theresultantquality,color, flavorandtexturearepoor.Eventhesocalledhothouseorhydroponictomatoispickedgreenor withthefirstblushofcoloranddoesnotreachitsqualitypotential.Thefruitssoldthatare nearesttobeingvineripearethestemtomatoes,somecherrytomatoesandthegrapetomato. Withthesocalledvineripenedtomatotheredcoloriscosmeticonly;thequality,flavorand healthcomponentsandphytochemicalsassociatedwithtomatoesripenedonthevinearenot there.Onlytomatoesthatareripenedonthevineandgrownlocallyorinyourownbackyard gardenuntiltheyarefullyripewillhavethecolor,taste,textureandhealthcomponentsyouare lookingfor.Locallygrowntomatoescanbeleftonthevineuntilfullyripeandthenharvested, marketedandconsumedasdesired.Fullyripetomatoescanberefrigerateduntilused.Green tomatoesortomatoesbeginningtocolorshouldnotberefrigerated. TohaveearlytomatoesisnotsomuchselectinganearlyvarietysuchasEarlyGirl,coupledwith earlyplantingandprovisionforfrostprotection,butitistohavetomatoplantsofthevarietyof yourchoosingattheproperstature,stageofdevelopmentandvigortotakefulladvantageofthe firstnighttemperaturesapproaching60Finearlyspringthatwillenablethefruittoset.Itis mostimportanttousethescienceandartdescribedhereinasASpecialReportonFruitSetting ofTomatoes. Byfollowingtheaboveguidelinesyoushouldpickyourfirstripetomatoesbythefirstweekof May.

45

ASpecialReportonFruitSettingofTomatoes
Thereareliterallyhundredsofchemicalsthatstimulatefruitsettingoftomatoesandtosome extentpeppersandstrawberries.Manyofthemoccurnaturallyindevelopingseeds,fruitsand flowerssuchastheauxinsandgibberellins.Othersareanalogoustothosenaturallyoccurring. Duringtheearly1940sand1950sitwasestablishedbyDr.F.W.WentattheCaliforniaInstitute ofTechnologyinPasadenathatfruitsettingintomatoesoccurredonlyatnighttemperatures rangingbetween59and68Forfrom15to20C.Concurrently,throughoriginalresearch conductedattheUniversityofMissouriintheearly1940sandatMichiganStateUniversityinthe 1950s,naturallyoccurringextractsofplantgrowthregulatingchemicalsisolatedfrom reproductiveplantpartssuchasimmaturefruitsandseedswereused.Immaturecornkernels wereanexcellentsourcefromwhichwasisolatedindole3aceticacid.Anotherwasgibberellic acid.Theyhadfruitsettingpropertiesfortomatoes,peppers,strawberriesandseedlesstable grapessuchastheThompsonSeedlessvariety.Fromthesenaturallyoccurringplantgrowth hormones,othersweresynthesizedandarenowbeingusedonavarietyofcrops.Good examplesarethelargeseedlessgrapesofmanyvarietieswhicharenowbeingmarketedand widelyconsumedinthiscountryandabroad. Someoftheseplanthormoneandhormonelikematerialscanalsobeusedtogreatlyimprove fruitsettingintomatoeswhennighttemperaturesaretoocoldfornormalfruitsetting.This almostalwaysoccursduringMarchandearlyAprilintheMoapaandVirginValleys.Wallsof Waterjacketsorothertypesofplantprotectivecoversdonotsolvetheproblem.Thetomato plantsmaybeprotectedfromfrostandfreezingtemperaturesbythesestructures,buttheflowers donotsetfruit.Theresultsarelarge,lengthytomatoplantsbutnofruit.Specialapplication techniquesandeffectivetiminganduseoftherighthormonalcombinationsandconcentrations willsolvetheproblemoffruitsettingwhennighttemperaturesareotherwisetoocoldfornormal fruitsetting.Somefarmandgardensupplyhousesandnurseriesaremarketingsuchproducts. Onesuchproductconsistsofacombinationofindoleaceticacidandgibberellicacid,two naturallyoccurringplantgrowthregulators.Anothertypeofblossomsetcontainstheactive ingredientbetanapthoxyaceticacid.Hormonalspraysarenoteffectiveforsettingfruitifnight temperaturesareexcessivelyhigh,astheyarethroughJuly,AugustandmidSeptember.Only whentheybecome70Forlowerdoesthisoccur.Thisseldomhappensintimeforfruittoripen inthefallbeforethefirstfrost. Theeffectivecontrolandmanagementoffruitsettinginthetomato,andfoliarapplicationsof nutrientstoimproveyields,qualityandproductivityinallvegetablecrops,suggestthat successfulgardeningisnotonlyasciencebutanartandisworthstrivingfor.

46

Conclusion
ThosewhohaveobservedthegardenbeginninginlateAugustofoneyearextendingtoJuly1of thenextyearhavebeenamazedatthehighproductivityandqualityobtainedinsmallareas whentherecommendationsinthisvolumearefollowed.Thesevalleyshaveanaturally occurringsemitropicaldesertclimatewheretemperature,daylength,soils,sunlight,water resourcesandgrowingseasonmakethispossible.Thepotentialproductivityiscomparableto theNileValleyofEgyptduringitsmostprosperousera.Thechallengeistomanagethenatural resourcesofland,water,energyandclimate.Climateisbotharesourcetobeusedwiselyanda hazardtobedealtwith.Cropscanbelargelypestandpesticidefreethroughthefall,winterand springmonths.Thisistrueofasparagus,tomatoes,greenbeans,broccoli,cabbage,onions,sweet corn,carrots,beetsandspinach.Theycanbefreshlyharvestedonadailybasiswiththebonus thattheywillbefreefromtoxiccontaminantsshippedinfromdistantplacessuchasthose recentlyreportedforspinachandhotpeppers. Thisbookhasbroughttogetherthebestpracticesobservedineverymajorvegetableproducing areaonearthincludingalloftheUnitedStates,thePeoplesRepublicofChina,Taiwan,Japan, NewZealand,northernEurope,Israel,theMediterraneancountries,India,Canada,Mexicoand CentralandSouthAmerica.Gardeningistheworldsmostimportanthobby.Thedividendsare neededphysicalexerciseinanoutdoorenvironmentandthepotentialofagreatlyimproveddiet.

47

Summary of Recommendations for Vegetable Gardening in Moapa and Virgin Valleys


Recommended Varieties Jersey King Jersey Knight Planting Times January or February Fertilizer Before Planting 11-52-0 10 to 25 lbs. per 100 foot row Plant Spacing 1 foot apart Space Between Rows 4 to 5 foot Planting Depth 10 to 14 inches Fertilizer Afooter Planting 12-61-0 in irrigation system every 24 weeks 12-61-0 in irrigation system during flowering and pod setting Days to Harvest Or Harvest Dates Spring next year after planting thru 5/15 4/20 7/10 10/1 11/20

Crop Asparagus

Green Beans

Beets

Broccoli

Bush varieties Contender, Florence, Top Crop, Blue Lake, Venture Pole varieties Blue Lake, Kentucky Blue, Kentucky Wonder Detroit Dark Red, Detroit Supreme, Red Ace, Warrior, Red Cloud Green Comet, Green Goliath, Early Dividend, Packman, Southern Comet Hybrid, Premium Crop

3/1 4/30

11-52-0 3 to 5 lbs. per 7/20 9/10 100 foot row

10 to 15 seeds per running foot

Double rows 1 inch on each side of drip line 1 foot apart with 3 to 4 feet between double rows

8/1 3/31

11-52-0 3 to 5 lbs. per 100 foot row

200 seeds per 10 foot row 1 foot apart

15 to 25 inches to 1 apart inch

Seeds planted in ground 2/1 3/15 & 8/1 10/31 Transplants 2/15 3/31 & 8/15 11/30

11-52-0 3 to 5 lbs. per 100 foot row 12-61-0 at 1 oz. per gallon when planting

Rows 3 to 4 feet apart

Seeds inch Plants, 1 inch deeper than container soil level

12-61-0 in irrigation system every 4 6 weeks after emergence 12-61-0 in irrigation system at 3 week intervals until harvest

11/15 6/30

10/15 4/30

48

Crop Carrots

Recommended Varieties

Planting Times

Fertilizer Before Planting 11-52-0 3 to 5 lbs. per 100 foot row

Plant Spacing 1 packet 1/32 oz. per 2030 foot row. Thin to 1 inch apart

Space Between Rows

Planting Depth

Sweet Corn

Short Varieties: 8/15 3/15 Nantes, Chantenay, Danvers, Little Finger Hybrid Sweetness, Tendersweet, Nantindo, Pot of Gold, Karoda Sweet Rhythm, 2/15 4/30
Sweet Symphony, Delectable, Seneca Arrowhead, Sweetie 82, Illini Extra Sweet, Candy Store

Double rows 3/16 inch on each side of drip line 6 8 inches apart with 3 feet between double rows

Fertilizer Afooter Planting 12-61-0 in irrigation system every 2 to 4 weeks

Days to Harvest or Harvest Dates 11/20 5/31

11-52-0 10 to 12 lbs. per 7/15 9/15 100 foot row

1 foot apart

Two or more rows 3 feet apart side by side in blocks

to 1 inch

12-61-0 in irrigation system during tasselling and silking

60 90 days from planting

Melons

Cantaloupe:
Hales Best, Rocky Ford, Hearts of Gold, Ambrosia Crenshaw

4/15 7/31 11-52-0 1 to 3 lbs. per 100 foot row

2 feet to 4 feet apart

5 feet to 6 feet

inch

none

Cantaloupe 7/1 11/15

Watermelon:
Sugar Baby, Crimson Sweet, Charleston Grey, Tom Watson, Navajo Sweet, Klondike

Watermelon 8/15 11/1

49

Crop Onion

Recommended Varieties Texas Granex Hybrid, White Granex Hybrid, Linda Vista,

Planting Times Seeds 10/1 11/30 Sets 2/15 3/31

Fertilizer Before Planting 11-52-0 3 to 5 lbs. per 100 foot row

Plant Spacing Seeds:


Sew sparsely then thin to 3 to 4 inches apart.

Space Between Rows 3 feet apart

Planting Depth Seeds: - inch Sets: 1 inch

Fertilizer Afooter Planting 12-61-0 in irrigation system till bulbing begins

Days to Harvest or Harvest Dates Seeds: 5/1 6/30

Sets: 5/15 6/15

Sets:
1 lb inch sets per 50 foot row 3 to 4 inches apart

Peas

Peppers

Potatoes

Cascadia, Greater Progress, Laxton Progress, Progress No. 9, Knight, Lincoln Red Beauty, Crispy Bell, Yolo or California Wonder Red Pontiac, Yukon Gold, Red LaSota

11/1 11/20

11-52-0 3 to 5 lbs. per 100 foot row

1 inch apart

Double rows 8 to 10 inches apart with 4 to 5 feet between double rows

1 inch

12-61-0 in irrigation system during flowering and pod formation

4/1 5/31

3/15 5/31 11-52-0 3 to 5 lbs. per 100 foot row

1 foot

3 feet apart

2/15 3/15 11-52-0 3 to 5 lbs. per 100 foot row

1 foot apart. 1 lb cut pieces to 8 - 10 foot row

3 feet

1 inch deeper than container soil level 2 to 4 inches

12-61-0 in 6/1 11/20 irrigation system during fruit setting and development 12-61-0 in 5/15 7/1 irrigation system every week to 10 days when tubers begin to form

50

Crop Sweet Potatoes

Recommended Varieties Centennial, Georgia Jet Beauregard, Verdaman, Puerto Rico Long Standing Bloomsdale, Melody, Avon, Olympia Hybrid, Hybrid Tyee, Medania, Space Hybrid Celebrity, Champion, Super Fantastic, Early Girl, Sun Leaper

Planting Times 5/1 5/30

Fertilizer Before Planting 11-52-0 1 to 3 lbs. per 100 foot row

Plant Spacing 2 to 3 feet apart

Space Between Rows 4 to 6 feet

Planting Depth

Spinach

8/20 3/31 11-52-0 3 to 5 lbs. per 100 foot row

2 to 3 inches apart

Tomatoes

3/1 4/15

11-52-0 10 12 lbs. per 100 foot row 12-61-0, 1 oz. per gallon when planting

1 foot apart

1 inch deeper than where roots stop on stem Double rows to on each side of inch drip line 8 10 inches apart with 3 feet between double rows 3 feet 2 inches deeper than container soil level or past first set of leaves

Fertilizer Afooter Planting none

Days to Harvest or Harvest Dates 8/15 9/25

12-61-0 in irrigation system every 2 4 weeks

11/1 5/1

12-61-0 in irrigation system during fruit setting and development

5/1 6/30

51

Gardening Notes

UniversityofNevadaCooperativeExtension 1897N.MoapaValleyBlvd.,P.O.Box126 Logandale,NV890210126 (702) 397-2604 or 346-7215 Copyright 2009, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Mention of company or product names throughout this document does not signify endorsement and no discrimination is intended.
The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is an outreach arm of the University that extends unbiased, research-based knowledge from the University of Nevadaand other land-grant universitiesto local communities. Educational programs are developed based on local needs, often in partnership with other agencies and volunteers. Mention of company or product names throughout this document does not signify endorsement and no discrimination is intended. For more information about the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, please visit the website at www.unce.unr.edu.
The University of Nevada, Reno is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, creed, national origin, veteran status, physical or mental disability and sexual orientation in any program or activity it operates. The University of Nevada employs only United States citizens and aliens lawfully authorized to work in the United States.

52

Dec. 5

Chard June 19

May 9

Dec. 5

Fruit trees to the northwest will shade the garden in late afternoon

May 9

Allphotos:PamProctor

Dec. 5

March 31 East side of house tomatoes against house get afternoon shade.

May 9

April 8

Vegetables and fruit trees as landscaping