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Browse by Category: Specialty Crops

2015 Sod Producers' Report for North Carolina

By: Grady Miller

This publication reports the results of an annual survey of sod growers in North Carolina to determine and track relative inventory levels and project price changes for the year.

Fusarium Root Rot of Sweetpotato

By: Andrew Scruggs, Lina Quesada-Ocampo Vegetable Pathology Fact Sheets

This factsheet discusses the identification and control of Fusarium root rot, a fungus that causes lesions on sweetpotatoes.

Basil Downy Mildew

By: Lina Quesada-Ocampo Vegetable Pathology Fact Sheets

The identification and management of basil downy mildew is discussed in this factsheet.

Hop Downy Mildew

By: Liliana Cano, Lina Quesada-Ocampo Vegetable Pathology Fact Sheets

This factsheet offers information on the identification and control of hop downy mildew, a fungus pathogen that can reduce hop yields.

Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure, Compost, and Grass Clippings

By: Jeanine Davis, Sue Ellen Johnson, Katie Jennings

Many farmers and home gardeners have reported damage to vegetable and flower crops after applying horse or livestock manure, compost, hay, or grass clippings to the soil. The symptoms reported include poor seed germination; death of young plants; twisted, cupped, and elongated leaves; misshapen fruit; and reduced yields. These symptoms can be caused by other factors, including diseases, insects, and herbicide drift. Another possibility for the source of these crop injuries should also be considered: the presence of certain herbicides in the manure, compost, hay, or grass clippings applied to the soil.

Gray Mold / Crown Rot of Strawberry

By: Frank Louws

This factsheet describes the signs and symptoms, as well as control, of Botrytis crown rot in strawberry production.

Anthracnose Crown Rot of Strawberry

By: Frank Louws, Garrett Ridge, Jean Harrison

Anthracnose crown rot is caused by the pathogen Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. This disease can cause significant economic damage to strawberry nursery and fruit production systems, particularly in the southeastern production region. This article highlights the symptoms and signs of the disease, disease cycle, methods for diagnosis and integrated management recommendations.

Black Root Rot of Strawberry

By: Frank Louws

Black root rot is caused by a complex of pathogens. These pathogens cause damage to the root structure reducing the fibrous structure and turning roots black. Dysfunctional roots leads to plant stunting and decreased yields.

Gnomonia Leaf blotch and Stem-End Rot of Strawberry

By: Frank Louws, Garrett Ridge

Gnomonia causes leaf blotch and stem-end rot of strawberry. The pathogen typically is introduced on transplant material and can build up in plug facilities and in fruiting fields. It rarely becomes an economic concern.

Botrytis Fruit Rot / Gray Mold on Strawberry

By: Frank Louws, Garrett Ridge, Jean Harrison

Botrytis rot, or gray mold as it is often called, is a serious disease in all strawberry production areas and is a disease of concern in most years. The disease is a problem not only in the field, but also during storage, transit, and marketing of strawberry fruit, due to onset of severe rot as the fruits begin to ripen. Other parts infected by the fungus include leaves, crown, petals, flower stalks, and fruit caps. Crown rot is discussed elsewhere. Disease is most severe during bloom and harvest in seasons with lengthy periods of cloud and rain complemented by cool temperatures.

Cucurbit Downy Mildew

By: Lina Quesada-Ocampo Vegetable Pathology Fact Sheets

This factsheet covers downy mildew disease in cucurbits, including identification, transmission and disease management and control.

Producing Shiitake Mushrooms: A Guide for Small-Scale Outdoor Cultivation on Logs

By: Jeanine Davis, Jean Harrison

This guide provides techniques for small-scale outdoor cultivation of shiitake mushrooms on logs. Tree selection and log preparation, spawn selection, inoculation, fruiting, pest and disease management and harvesting are covered.

Care and Planting of Ginseng Seed and Roots

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

This factsheet covers propagating (by seed and by transplant) ginseng, which requires a period of stratification before germination.

Specialty Crops in North Carolina: Acreage and Distribution

By: Roger Batts, Jeanine Davis, Gina Fernandez, Chris Gunter, Wayne Mitchem, David Monks, Jonathan Schultheis, Sara Spayd

With the increasing diversity of North Carolina agriculture, it is important to document and assess the presence of the commodities produced in the state. Crop data are publicly maintained on only the top 20 or so specialty crops, yet state and federal decisions impact hundreds of individual crop species. Because little information is available for most specialty crops, it must be gleaned from many different sources.

Commercial Luffa Sponge Gourd Production

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

Luffa sponge products are readily available in the cosmetic and bath section of department stores, discount stores, pharmacies, and specialty shops. This factsheet covers planting, harvesting and processing luffa gourds.

Grafting for Disease Resistance in Heirloom Tomatoes

By: Frank Louws, Cary Rivard

Learn about grafting techniques that growers can use to unite the disease resistance and enhanced vigor of hybrid tomato cultivars with the high fruit quality of heirloom varieties. The authors describe the benefits of grafting and provide a step-by-step guide to grafting tomato transplants, healing and acclimating them to growing conditions and planting them in the field.

Training and Pruning Fruit Trees in North Carolina

By: Michael Parker

With training and pruning, fruit trees will develop the proper shape and form to yield high-quality fruit sooner and will live longer. Learn how to train your trees for productivity and prune to remove dead, diseased or broken limbs. This publication includes descriptions of dormant pruning, summer pruning, types of pruning cuts and different training systems.

Managing Drought on Nursery Crops

By: Anthony LeBude, Ted Bilderback

Drought has always caused nursery crop producers great concern. If irrigation water becomes limiting, growers producing nursery crops in containers may lose their entire crop. Newly planted field-grown crops also sustain heavy losses if they are not irrigated frequently during the first year of production. Although established field-grown nursery stock will survive if not irrigated during periods of drought, they will not grow under these conditions. Adequate moisture during field production will produce field-grown shade trees of marketable size in three to five years. Poorly irrigated plants will take longer to reach marketable size, thus lengthening the time cost of production.

Organic Edamame Production

By: Molly Hamilton CEFS Field Notes for Farmers

This field note for farmers describes organic production of edamame, large-seeded vegetable soybeans. Topics covered include variety selection, planting, pest management, harvesting, and marketing. Included are variety trial results conducted at the Center for Environmental Systems (CEFS) in 2003. Results include germination rates, yield information, and harvest dates for 12 edamame cultivars.

Sources of Shiitake Spawn

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

This publication lists sources of shiitake mushroom spawns for cultivation.

Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa L.)

By: Jeanine Davis, Jackie Greenfield, Karin Cousineau Horticulture Information Leaflet

Black cohosh is a member of the Ranunculaceae family. It is a native medicinal plant found in rich woodlands from as far north as Maine and Ontario, south to Georgia, and west to Missouri and Indiana. In North Carolina it can be found at elevations up to 4,000 feet and is most common in the western part of the state. It is an herbaceous perennial reaching a mature height of over four feet tall and can grow 18 to 22 inches per month during the growing season.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis L.)

By: Jeanine Davis, Jackie Greenfield Horticulture Information Leaflet

This publication discusses growing and harvesting bloodroot, a spring wildflower used to produce natural red, orange, and pink dyes, in North Carolina. It can grow in full sun, but is more often found in semi-shaded, light-wooded areas with moist, acidic soil. The root, consisting of a thickened rhizome covered with fibrous roots, is known for its reddish-orange color.

Kiwifruit

By: Charles Mainland, Connie Fisk Horticulture Information Leaflet

The kiwifruit is a large, woody, deciduous vine native to the Yangtze Valley of China. In the Eastern United States, kiwifruit vines have fruited at Virginia Beach, Virginia, and at several locations in South Carolina, and are part of evaluation programs in Alabama and Georgia. The first commercial shipments began in 1980 from a planting in South Carolina located about 30 miles north of Augusta, Georgia. This publication discuses the history of kiwifruit planting in North Carolina and considers the potential to grow the fruit in the state's climate.

Sources of Goldenseal Seeds, Plants or Roots

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

This publication offers a list of companies and nurseries that carry goldenseal seeds or plants for cultivation.

Organic Sweet Corn Production

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

In most of the south, sweet corn can be produced from early spring until fall. However, sweet corn does have some specific environmental and cultural needs that must be met for the plant to produce high-marketable yields. Corn is a warm-season crop that requires high temperatures for optimum germination and rapid growth. In general, sweet corn does not tolerate cold weather, and frost will injure sweet corn at any stage of growth. Other stressful climatic conditions, such as drought or flooding, can reduce yields and cause small, deformed ears.

Pole Bean Production

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

Pole beans are grown commercially in the mountain counties and, on a limited scale, in a few of the eastern counties. They are produced in home gardens throughout the state. Pole beans are grown for their distinctive flavor, long pods, high yield, long harvesting season, and high price.

Summer Squash Production

By: Jonathan Schultheis Horticulture Information Leaflet

Summer squash are grown throughout North Carolina in both the spring and fall. A major portion of the state's production is located in Sampson and Henderson counties and adjoining areas. Summer squash are harvested as immature fruit, have soft skin, and are very perishable (1- to 2-week shelf life).

Community Supported Agriculture In North Carolina

By: Jeanine Davis, Melissa Ann Brown Horticulture Information Leaflet

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a form of direct marketing in which a community of individuals pledges to support a farm. At the beginning of the growing season, CSA members pay for a subscription to the CSA. In return, farmers provide the members with a weekly share of the harvest. Both growers and consumers have found this relationship to be mutually beneficial. Members receive a variety of fresh, local produce and have the satisfaction of knowing where their food comes from and how it is produced. Farmers, in turn, benefit by receiving funds upfront to buy seeds and inputs. They also are relieved of most of the task of marketing by having a guaranteed market and price for what they will produce.

Seed and Plant Sources for Medicinal Herbs and Botanicals

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

This publication lists some of the companies that supply medicinal herbs and botanicals by mail order in the United States.

Suppliers of Culinary and Ornamental Herb Seeds and/or Plants

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

This publication lists some of the companies that supply herb seeds and/or plants by mail order in the United States.

Good Agricultural Practices for the Production and Handling of Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, and Blueberry

By: Dennis Osborne, Douglas Sanders, Donn Ward

Maintaining good sanitation throughout production and handling of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries is important. It is vital that growers and, in turn, their employees understand just how critical any food poisoning outbreak could be to their livelihoods. Pathogens harmful to humans can be transmitted by direct contact (infected employees or animals) or through contaminated water or soil. Once a fruit is infected, pathogens are difficult or impossible to remove. Only thorough cooking (or other similar treatment, such as pasteurization) will reliably neutralize pathogens. Fruits that are field-packed without washing have a higher likelihood of reaching consumers with field contamination. This document focuses on how to best reduce contamination.

Cultivation of Ramps (Allium tricoccum and A. burdickii)

By: Jeanine Davis, Jackie Greenfield Horticulture Information Leaflet

Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are native to the eastern North American mountains. They can be found growing in patches in rich, moist, deciduous forests and bottoms from as far north as Canada, west to Missouri and Minnesota, and south to North Carolina and Tennessee. In early spring, ramps send up smooth, broad, lily-of-the-valley-like leaves that disappear by summer before the white flowers appear. The bulbs have the pleasant taste of sweet spring onions with a strong garlic-like aroma.

Celery

By: William McCarth, Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

This factsheet covers celery, which could be a very profitable crop in North Carolina. A harvest period in late June or early July, and one in October, would fill market voids when other major celery producing areas are not harvesting. Celery, however, is not an easy crop to grow. Although it is a cool season crop, exposure of juvenile plants to temperatures below 40 to 50ºF for more than 5 to 10 days can cause premature bolting, making the crop unsalable. Special attention must be given to maintaining a steady water supply and providing the proper amount of nutrients to allow for constant growth.

Fresh Market Tomato Production Piedmont and Coastal Plain of North Carolina

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

The tomato is a warm season crop. With special production practices you can produce your first tomatoes in 60 days. This crop can be grown for production from June through November by choosing the right varieties and production practices. Generally, tomatoes require a large investment in time and labor, but increase in intensity of management is repaid by increased yields and profits.

Tomatoes for Processing in Eastern North Carolina

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

The per-capita consumption of processed tomatoes has increased steadily in recent years. This has been due to changes in eating habits and development of new and better products. Over 8 million tons of processed tomatoes are produced in the United States annually. Average yields for the United States are 25 tons per acre while the range is 9 to 40 tons per acre. North Carolina growers can produce high yields of processing tomatoes. Satisfactory color, pH, sugar and acid content needed to produce a fine quality canned product can be attained if tomatoes are grown according to recommended practices.

Turnips and Rutabagas

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Turnips and rutabagas are among the most commonly grown and widely adapted root crops. They are members of the Cruciferae or mustard family and belong to the genus Brassica. The two are similar in plant size and general characteristics. Turnip leaves are usually light green, thin and hairy, while the rutabagas are bluish-green, thick and smooth. The roots of turnips generally have little or no neck and a distinct taproot, while rutabaga roots are often more elongated and have a thick, leafy neck and roots originating from the underside of the edible root as well as from the taproot.

Drip or Trickle Irrigation Systems: An Outline of Components

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

This checklist is provided to help growers recognize components of a drip or trickle irrigation system and to assist in planning and installing such a system. A grower should always consult an irrigation specialist or irrigation company that designs and installs drip or trickle systems to ensure the system is properly engineered and designed for his water source and field topography.

Drip or Trickle Irrigation Systems: An Operations and Troubleshooting Checklist

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

This leaflet is intended to assist growers in troubleshooting drip or trickle irrigation systems. For major problems consult an irrigation specialist or irrigation company that designs and installs drip or trickle irrigation systems.

Using Plastic Mulches and Drip Irrigation for Vegetables

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Muskmelons, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, watermelons and okra are vegetable crops that have shown significant increases in earliness, yield, and fruit quality when grown on plastic mulch. Some less valuable crops such as sweet corn, snap beans, southern peas and pumpkins have shown similar responses. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of using plastic mulches are outlined in this publication.

Vegetable Crop Irrigation

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Vegetables are 80 to 95 percent water. Because they contain so much water, their yield and quality suffer very quickly from drought. When vegetables are sold, a "sack of water" with a small amount of flavoring and some vitamins is being sold. Thus, for good yields and high quality, irrigation is essential to the production of most vegetables. If water shortages occur early in the crop's development, maturity may be delayed and yields are often reduced. If a moisture shortage occurs later in the growing season, quality is often reduced even though total yields are not affected.

Commercial Asparagus Production

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Asparagus has been grown for many years. The Ancient Greeks and Romans relished this crop. It originated in Asia Minor and is a member of the lily family. California, Michigan, and Washington are the major producing states, but there is some commercial production in many of the northern and western states. Warm regions such as Northern Mexico and Southern California also grow it. This publication covers recent research that has shown that asparagus can be grown at a profit in North Carolina.

Asparagus Crown Production

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Producing asparagus crowns for sale or use is simple and profitable. Careful attention to details described here is important so that all requirements for certified plant production can be met. Certified plants are most saleable and bring a premium price. One-year-old crowns will produce a healthy asparagus planting.

Beets

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Beets have been cultivated for centuries. Though grown mostly for the roots, beet greens are also popular in many areas. Beets are a common item in vegetable gardens, but few are produced in North Carolina. This publication covers how to grow and harvest beets.

Broccoli Production

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Broccoli is a cool-season crop, closely related to cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and mustard. It can be grown as either a spring or a fall crop. Broccoli is a high-quality vegetable for fresh use and is one of the more popular frozen vegetables. This publication covers growing and harvesting this highly nutritious vegetable.

Broccoli Raab

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Broccoli-raab (also known as rapa, rapine, rappone, fall and spring raab or turnip broccoli) is a rapidly growing annual when grown in spring, but a biennial in fall plantings. The leaves with the seed-stalks, before blooming, are cut for greens and are sold to ethnic markets (primarily Italian).

Brussels Sprouts

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

This publication discusses the Brussels sprout, a cool season crop, belonging to the cabbage family, and closely related to cauliflower, broccoli, kale, collards, etc. Like cauliflower, it thrives best in a cool humid climate, thus commercial production of this crop is concentrated in the "fog-belt" of California with limited production in the Long Island, New York area. The edible portion of this crop is the "bud" or small cabbage-like head which grows in the axils of each leaf. Occasionally the tops are used as greens.

Cabbage

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Cabbage is grown commercially in eastern North Carolina as both a spring and fall crop, and in the mountains as an early summer and fall crop. Cabbage acreage in North Carolina averages 10,000 to 12,000 acres. The biggest problem in growing this crop is insect control.

Cauliflower

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Cauliflower is a cool season crop, closely related to broccoli, cabbage, kale, turnips, and mustard. It is more exacting in its climatic requirements than most other crops in this family. It grows best in a comparatively cool temperature with a moist atmosphere. With proper management cauliflower can be grown in North Carolina as either a spring or fall crop, although the fall crop will generally produce better quality.

Collards

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

The collard is a cool season crop that should be grown during early spring or fall. The mature plant will withstand frosts and light to medium freezes. It is one of the most popular garden vegetables in the south and is rapidly becoming a delicacy in northern states as well.

Upland Cress

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

This factsheet offers information on growing and harvesting upland cress, a green often eaten like spinach or kale; however, in some areas, it is frequently eaten raw as a salad or garnish.

Trellised Cucumbers

By: Jeanine Davis, Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Fresh market (slicer) cucumbers have been produced commercially in North Carolina for many years. The average yield from commercial fields has been 850 to 950 bushels per acre or 2 to 3 times the average yield from non-trellised fields. This publication covers growing and harvesting fresh market cucumbers.

Eggplant

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

This publication covers growing and harvesting eggplant in North Carolina. Eggplant is a warm season plant that is very susceptible to frost. It requires a relatively long growing season to produce profitable yields. Growth is checked by cool weather. Proper cultural practices can yield 500 bushels per acre.

Greens

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Leafy greens, such as turnips, mustard, collards, kale, and spinach are cool season crops. They should be grown during early spring or fall for maximum yields and quality, but this season can be extended if markets warrant. Kale and spinach can withstand temperature into the upper teens and are often harvested through winter in the east. The other greens may withstand medium frosts.

Lettuce

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

This publication discusses growing and harvesting head lettuce, the most important salad vegetable grown in the United States. Per-capita consumption exceeds 25 pounds annually. In North Carolina, the crop can be grown as both a spring and fall crop in eastern North Carolina and even during midsummer in western North Carolina at elevations over 3,000 feet.

Green Bunch Onions

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

When onions are harvested in the green or immature stage they are called "green bunch onions." These onions are sold in bunches tied with a rubber band. This is a popular crop for home and market gardeners in the fall, winter and early spring. Acreages are usually small because of the amount of hand labor required for planting and preparation for market.

Okra

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Okra is grown throughout North Carolina in home gardens and for commercial markets. It is a warm season crop that belongs to the cotton (Mallow) family and should not be planted until the soil has thoroughly warmed in the spring. Okra is referred to as 'Gumbo' in some areas.

Spinach

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Spinach is a cool-season crop and belongs to the goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae) as do beets and Swiss chard. This crop is becoming more popular as evidenced by increases in consumption of both fresh (salads) and processed spinach. Spinach reaches edible maturity quickly (37 to 45 days) and thrives best during the cool, moist seasons of the year.

Greenhouse Vegetable List of References

By: Mary Peet Horticulture Information Leaflet

This factsheet offers a list of materials available from libraries, publishers, institutions or on the web regarding growing greenhouse vegetables. Superscripts indicate a source for ordering from the address list at the end of the publication.

Success with Container Production of Twelve Herb Species

By: Brian Whipker, James Gibson, Raymond Cloyd

Interest in growing herbs for the retail and wholesale market has increased greatly over the past few years. Growers who have had success in the production of bedding plants have found another profitable avenue in herb production. Herbs have cultural requirements similar to bedding plants and it should be easy for greenhouse growers to add herbs to their production schedule. The majority of herbs discussed in this article can be sown, transplanted, and finished by the grower. This publication will focus on the production of the “top twelve” herbs and provides general guidelines for seed propagation.

Commercial Goldenseal Cultivation

By: Jeanine Davis, Joe-Ann McCoy Horticulture Information Leaflet

This factsheet covers commercial goldenseal production in North Carolina, a highly valued medicinal herb which has been collected from the forests in North America for hundreds of years. The historical range for goldenseal in the United States was very broad, ranging from as far north as Vermont and Wisconsin, south to Alabama and Georgia, and west to Kansas. It can still be found growing in patches in moist, rich, hardwood forests in much of this area.

Fresh Market Production Cucumbers

By: Jonathan Schultheis Horticulture Information Leaflet

The slicing cucumber is an important crop to North Carolina, with yearly production fluctuating between 5,000 to 8,000 acres, depending on season and market conditions. North Carolina slicing production accounts for approximately 10% of the U.S. production acreage.

Growing Vegetable Transplants

By: Larry Bass Horticulture Information Leaflet

The growing media chosen to grow vegetable transplants should be sterilized to prevent seedlings from being killed by the fungi that causes damping-off disease. A growing mix well suited for growing transplants can be prepared by using one part loamy garden soil, one part shredded peat moss, and one part sand. Sterilize this soil-peat-sand mix by baking it in an oven for about one hour at 210°F.

Ginseng Disease Control - Phytophthora and Alternaria

By: Jeanine Davis, Paul Shoemaker Horticulture Information Leaflet

Phytophthora leaf blight and root rot is a devastating disease which causes a leaf blight and root rot on ginseng. The disease is caused by a fungus, Phytophthora cactorum, which produces spores that are spread by wind, rain, splashing water, and surface water runoff. Root rot is the most serious form of the disease. Therefore, if foliar symptoms are present, preventing spread of the disease from foliage to roots is essential.

Winterizing the Herb Garden

By: Linda Blue, Jeanine Davis, Ervin Evans Horticulture Information Leaflet

If treated properly, many herb plants will survive in the garden for a number of years. Others are sensitive to frost or severe cold weather and must be brought indoors, protected, or replanted each year. Annual herbs will be killed with the first hard frost in the fall. Remove dead plants in order to minimize overwintering insects and disease problems. Some frost sensitive herbs, such as basil and geranium, can be brought indoors for the winter. Take cuttings to root or pot the entire plant.

Growing Jerusalem Artichokes

By: Jonathan Schultheis Horticulture Information Leaflet

This publication offers information on the Jerusalem artichoke, (Helianthus tuberosus L.), also known as sunchoke, which can be produced throughout the United States. However, the plant is better adapted to the northern two-thirds of the country than the southern third. Most areas of North Carolina are satisfactory for producing the crop although yields are not as good as in cooler climates where the crop is better adapted. Jerusalem artichokes are also often used for pickling purposes.

Presprouting Sweetpotatoes

By: Jonathan Schultheis, George Wilson Horticulture Information Leaflet

Sweetpotato seed roots should be pre-sprouted for maximum transplant production. Presprouting is the process by which sweetpotato seed stock is conditioned to produce sprouts (transplants) prior to bedding. Some refer to this as "waking up" the sweetpotatoes after they have been asleep in storage during the winter. This reinforces the often overlooked fact that sweetpotatoes are still alive.

Radish

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Radish is a cool-season crop which grows best in spring and fall. It requires 3 to 6 weeks from seeding to harvest. This factsheet covers growing and harvesting radishes in North Carolina.

Commercial Carrot Production

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Carrots can be produced almost year-round in parts of North Carolina. Both fresh market and processing types hold potential. This publication will assist commercial farmers with growing and harvesting carrots.

Guide to Deciding When to Start snd Stop Irrigation for Frost Protection of Fruit Crops

By: Katharine Perry Horticulture Information Leaflet

The decisions of when to turn an irrigation system on and off for frost protection are complex and difficult. This guide presents a procedure to follow in making these decisions. This guide is based on the assumption that you have completed certain tasks prior to the night of the decision making. These tasks encompass important planning decisions that are made well ahead of the frost season.

Growing Herbs for the Home Gardener

By: Ervin Evans, Larry Bass Horticulture Information Leaflet

An herb is any plant used whole or in part as an ingredient for health, flavor, or fragrance. Herbs can be used to make teas; perk up cooked foods such as meats, vegetables, sauces, and soups; or to add flavor to vinegars, butters, dips, or mustards. Many herbs are grown for their fragrance and are used in potpourris, sachets, and nosegays; or to scent bath water, candles, oils, or perfumes. More than 25% of our modern drugs contain plant extracts as active ingredients, and researchers continue to isolate valuable new medicines from plants and confirm the benefits of those used in traditional folk medicine.

Growing Gourds

By: Jonathan Schultheis Horticulture Information Leaflet

Gourds are very closely related to cucumbers, squash and melons. They have been grown for both ornamental and utility purposes for many years. Several societies have been established to bring together people who are fascinated by the uniqueness of these plants.

Growing Pumpkins and Winter Squash

By: Jonathan Schultheis Horticulture Information Leaflet

Pumpkins were used by American Indians long before Columbus visited our shores, and pumpkins readily found their way to the first Thanksgiving table. Pumpkins were used by early settlers much as we use them today – for food and decoration. This factsheet covers growing and harvesting pumpkins in North Carolina.

Storing Winter Squash and Pumpkins

By: Jonathan Schultheis, Charles Averre Horticulture Information Leaflet

Harvested squash and pumpkins are still very much alive even though they are mature and have been removed from the vine. The objective of curing and storing is to prolong the storage life of the fruit by slowing the rate of respiration and protecting against storage rots.

What is the Difference Between a Sweetpotato and a Yam?

By: Jonathan Schultheis Horticulture Information Leaflet

Several decades ago, when orange-fleshed sweet potatoes were introduced in the southern United States, producers and shippers desired to distinguish them from the more traditional, white-fleshed types. The African word nyami, referring to the starchy, edible root of the Dioscorea genus of plants, was adopted in its English form, yam. Yams in the U.S. are actually sweetpotatoes with relatively moist texture and orange flesh. Although the terms are generally used interchangeably, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that the label "yam" always be accompanied by "sweetpotato." The following information outlines several differences between sweetpotatoes and yams.

Muskmelons (Cantaloupes)

By: Jonathan Schultheis Horticulture Information Leaflet

Muskmelon is commonly known in the trade as a cantaloupe. However, no cantaloupes are actually grown commercially in the United States, only muskmelons. Cantaloupes are a rough warty fruit while muskmelon have the characteristic netting on the fruit rind. This publication covers the growing and harvesting of muskmelons in North Carolina.

Sweet Corn Production

By: Jonathan Schultheis Horticulture Information Leaflet

Field corn was grown in North America before 200 B.C. Field corn is produced primarily for animal feed and industrial uses such as ethanol, cooking oil, etc. In contrast, sweet corn is produced for human consumption as either a fresh or processed product.

Harvesting Vegetables

By: Ervin Evans, Larry Bass Horticulture Information Leaflet

The nutritional content, freshness, and flavor that vegetables possess depend upon the stage of maturity and the time of day at which they are harvested. Overly mature vegetables will be stringy and coarse. When possible, harvest vegetables during the cool part of the morning, and process or store them as soon as possible. If for some reason processing must be delayed, cool the vegetables in ice water or crushed ice, and store them in the refrigerator to preserve flavor and quality. The following guidelines can be used for harvesting vegetable crops.

Southern Peas

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Southern peas originated in India in prehistoric times and moved to Africa, then to America. In India Southern peas are known by 50 common names and in the United States are called "Field peas," "Crowder peas," "Cowpeas" and "blackeyes," but Southern peas is the preferred name. This publication covers growing and harvesting Southern peas in North Carolina.

Bulb Onions

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

The onion is a cool season crop that will withstand moderate freezes. It may be grown either by seeding directly in the field, or by setting transplants. North Carolina growers have an excellent market opportunity in June and July when very few onions are available. Yield will range from 400 to 800 (50-pound) sacks per acre depending on the year and cultural practices. A premium is paid for large onions during our harvest season.

Lemon Balm

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

This publication covers growing and harvesting lemon balm, a lemon-scented member of the mint family. A native to southern Europe, it is a perennial which will over-winter in hardiness zones 4 to 5. The plant develops many branches and grows to a height of about two feet. The leaves are 2 to 3 inches long, oval to almost heart shaped, shiny and wrinkled with scalloped edges. Small light blue to white flowers appear in late spring through midsummer.

Caraway

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

This factsheet covers the planting, harvesting and uses of carraway, a hardy, biennial herb which is native to Europe and Western Asia. First year plants resemble carrots, growing to about 8 inches tall with finely divided leaves and long taproots. By the second year, two to three foot stalks develop topped by umbels of white or pink flowers, which appear from May to August.

Chives

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

Chives belong to the same family as onions, leeks, and garlic. Although they are native to Asia and Eastern Europe, by the sixteenth century chives were common plants in herb gardens throughout Europe. Chives are hardy, draught tolerant, perennials, eight to twenty inches tall, that grow in clumps from underground bulbs.

Basil

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

Basil is a popular herb known for its flavorful foliage. The fresh or dried leaves add a distinctive flavor to many foods, such as Italian style tomato sauces, pesto sauce and salad dressing. The essential oils and oleo-resins may be extracted from leaves and flowers and used for flavoring in liqueurs and for fragrance in perfumes and soaps. This factsheet discusses growing and harvesting basil in North Carolina.

Ginseng Production Guide for North Carolina

By: Jeanine Davis

This publication discusses the best techniques for growing quality ginseng. It includes descriptions and stages of growth, and information on general culture, site preparation and mulching.

North Carolina Basil Production Guide

By: Jeanine Davis

This publication specifically discusses fresh-market basil, examining the selection, production, harvesting and marketing of the product.

Precision Seeding for Vegetable Crops

By: Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Precision seeding is defined as the placing of desired numbers of seeds at a precise depth and spacing. Precision seeding has many advantages for the vegetable grower over conventional dribble (Planet Jr.) or multiseed drop-plate seeding systems (most corn planters). However, the seeding accuracy is not a substitute for proper land preparation, irrigation, and other crop management practices necessary to obtain a good stand of a vegetable crop. Precision seeding simply allows the vegetable grower to reduce cost and increase reliability of his crop production.

Broccoli Production Guide for Western North Carolina

By: Jeanine Davis Horticulture Information Leaflet

Broccoli is a popular vegetable for use both fresh and frozen. The edible portion of the broccoli plant consists of the upper stem and the unopened flower buds. Broccoli is a cool-season crop that is closely related to cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard, and turnips. It can be grown in western North Carolina as either an early (spring) or a late season (fall) crop at the lower elevations (below 2,500 feet) or during mid-summer at elevations above 2,500 feet.

Diagnosis of Strawberry Diseases

By: Charles Averre, Bill Cline, Ronald K. Jones, Robert Milholland

This publication contains color photos and detailed descriptions used to help growers identify and control strawberry diseases.

Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden

By: Larry Bass, Douglas Sanders Horticulture Information Leaflet

Much success in growing tomatoes can be attributed to use of a few proven techniques. Choosing a variety that has proven to be a true performer should be at the top of every gardener's list. Better Boy, Whopper, Celebrity, and Mountain Pride are among some of the best selections. Better Boy, Celebrity, and Whopper are VFN, which means they carry resistance to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, and root-knot nematodes. It is best to experiment with several varieties in order to find the ideal tomato for your taste buds.

Guidelines for Sweetpotato Seed Stock and Transplant Production

By: Jonathan Schultheis Horticulture Information Leaflet

Sweetpotato production should be planned as a part of your total annual farm management scheme. Sweetpotatoes should not be grown just "once in a while" or just in those years you think you'll be able to "get rich quick." Commitment to an ongoing production program is required in order for you to be a successful grower.

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