FLORIDA COOPLR~~AI IX(tN , IR A
Florida A&M Demonstration Project
Extension Rural Development Specialist
Florida A&M Programs
James M. Stephens
Extension Vegetable Specialist
University of Florida
In recent years, the urgent need for rural
and urban families to plant a home vegetable
garden has been stimulated by increased un-
employment, under-employment, and inflation.
These major economic changes have prompted
the Cooperative Extension Service, USDA, and
other agriculturally related agencies to develop
educational information for and provide techni-
cal assistance to urban and rural home gar-
deners who desire, request, and use this kind of
service. Through such programs a vast number
of urban and rural families are receiving tech-
nical assistance, producing and benefiting from
fresh home-grown vegetables.
One such technical assistance project in Flor-
ida was based on the old saying that "seeing is
believing." A demonstration garden was planted
on the Florida A&M University Campus in a
joint cooperative venture with the University
of Florida to show proper gardening techniques.
The garden was established and planted on
March 18. The public, along with county Ex-
tension workers in Leon and surrounding
Counties, participated in a tour of the demon-
stration garden plots on May 28, 1976.
The following illustrations will show step-by-
step how the garden was established and main-
1. An information sign that describes the
purpose of a project is helpful for the in-
2. Implements such as the push plow with
3. . a seeder with various size plates for
spacing different size seeds. ..
4. . and other common types of hand
tools such as a hoe, shovel, gloves, and con-
tainers are helpful in maintaining the
5. The yardstick is also a useful tool for
measuring distances between rows. Proper
row width is necessary to provide space
for spreading plants, for ease of cultiva-
tion, and to provide plants with enough
sunlight for normal growth.
6. The string is used as a guide to mark-off
each row, to get the exact row width, and
to work the center of the seedbed before
7. Fertilizer must be applied to the vegetable
garden to insure needed nutrients that may
not be available in the soil. It may be ap-
plied either in the row during planting or
spread over the garden area prior to soil
8. Applying the right amount of fertilizer,
spread or placed in each row, is most im-
9. . each row may require a different
amount of fertilizer for the particular
vegetable to be grown there. To avoid
guesswork, this may require some figuring
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10. The right kind of fertilizer with minor nu-
trients (such as 6-8-8, 8-8-8, or 5-10-15) is
an important factor to consider when
planting different kinds of vegetables.
11. The fertilizer should be measured correctly
and spread evenly within each row.
12. It is a good practice for the home gardener
to seek expert advice before and during
planting of the home garden.
13. When fertilizer is applied in the right
amount and at the right place in the seed-
bed, seeds will not be injured when
14. The hoe may be used to do most tasks in
the home garden. It is especially useful
when covering the fertilizer and making
the seedbed. .
15. . however the push plow seems to get
the job done much faster. .
16. . but a rest break for the aged is also
17. When seeds are planted in a firm seedbed
the soil settles around the seed immediately
and protects them until sprouting occurs.
18. Remove all debris, clods of soil and rocks
before planting either by hand or with a
19. A firm seedbed protects seeds immediately
after planting, it holds moisture well, and
it enables the gardener to see desired
plants well in advance of undesirable
20. . a firm seedbed ready for planting
looks like this.
21. The string is centered over the seedbed to
insure that seeds are planted in the center
of the row.
22. The garden hoe handle is a simple tool to
use when opening the seedbed. ..
23. . when the desired depth is reached,
opening of the seedbed should continue
along the entire row. ..
24. . depth and spacing of seeds within the
row are also very important. ..
25. . .proper seed spacing within the row
looks like this for seeds such as lima beans,
corn, or pole beans.
26. . after seeds are planted they should
be covered immediately. .
27. . firming the seedbed
pockets and helps keep
around the seed.
the soil moist
28. Identification tags at the end of each row
are important when different kinds of vege-
tables are planted in the same garden. ..
29. . an identification tag at the end of
each row should indicate the name and
variety of vegetable, and the date of
30. . a group of identification tags in a
typical 1500 sq. ft. home garden gives the
name of the vegetable planted, variety, and
31. While vegetables are growing, they require
care on a regular basis.
32. Care and cultivation of the home garden
are continuous tasks until vegetables are
ready to be harvested.
33. Stakes are required to support heavy
fruited plants such as tomatoes and egg-
34. When pole beans are planted in the home
garden, a support such as a trellis with
twine has to be made so that running vines
may be supported.
35. The trellis supports the pole
throughout the growing stage.
36. For tomatoes, a heavy-duty stake may be
driven beside each plant for support . .
such as tomatoes. ..
37. . or peppers as explained here by the
38. Nutritious, leafy green vegetables should
be grown by every home gardener.
39. Sweet corn grows best if it is planted in
2 or 3 short rows instead of 1 long row.
This makes it easier for the corn plants to
pollinate. And good pollination means that
your ears of corn will be filled with plump,
40. A commercial vegetable garden can supply
enough vegetables for home use and for
marketing through curb markets, roadside
stands, and pick-your-own type opera-
41. . tomatoes are vegetables that can be
easily marketed or used in many different
ways by the consumer.
42. Vegetables for home use or for market
should be harvested on a regularly sched-
uled basis. ..
43. squash should be harvested every two or
three days for best results-they are more
nutritious at this stage of maturity.
44. Eggplants in the home garden provide
both protein and other nutrients-they
also may be used as a meat substitute.
45. Snap beans, fresh, canned or frozen are
normally grown and liked by most con-
46. . a partial view of snap beans shortly
after harvest. ..
47. . tomatoes nearly ripe are ready to be
48. The cushaw pumpkin is one vegetable that
should be grown in a commercial vegetable
garden because of the tremendous space
they require. ..
49. . cushaww pumpkins at maturity. ..
50. Intermediate growth of sweet potatoes
during the summer season; a long period
of hot weather is required for good
51. The appearance of the tassel at the top of
the corn stalk (the male part of the corn)
and silk protruding from the ear (the fe-
male part of the corn) shows visible evi-
dence of corn maturity. ..
52. Intermediate growth of a watermelon in
the commercial garden. ..
53. . and a jack-o-lantern pumpkin at ma-
turity also planted in the commercial gar-
den because of the tremendous space they
require for growth.
54. Pole beans on a trellis will grow contin-
uously until they reach maturity. They
may reach a height of 10 to 15 feet if the
trellis is extended to that height.
55. In the commercial spring vegetable garden,
the soil should be prepared again immedi-
ately after harvest is completed to allow
matured vegetation, grass, etc., to decay
prior to planting fall vegetables. ..
56. . eggplants and hot peppers may con-
tinue to produce from the spring through
the fall seasons. .
57. . bell peppers and sweet potatoes may
continue to grow from one season to the
58. Sweet potatoes are normally planted during
the months of April and May, and should
be harvested during the months of Septem-
ber and October, depending on planting
date-cracking of the soil around the root
is evidence that the potato roots are near
59. The home vegetable garden helps to keep
both rural and urban families well fed.
60. For the urban family, in particular, it pro-
vides wholesome recreation. The garden
also affords an opportunity to teach young
people a sense of responsibility, and a gar-
den which exceeds family requirements
can be a source of income.
61. People who live in the State of Florida are
fortunate in that they are able to grow
different kinds of vegetables throughout
62. Finally, for a successful garden:
-Locate it near the house in full sunlight
-Plan it carefully
-Use recommended varieties
-Prepare the soil thoroughly
-Fertilize according to recommendations
-Plant on schedule
-Control weeds, insects and diseases
-Water thoroughly when needed
-Can, freeze or store some produce for ..,.
X63. For more information, contact your local
County Extension Office.
This publication was promulgated at an annual cost of
$2,018.74 or 40 1/3 cents per copy to help consumers im-
prove their gardening skills.
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Cooperative Extension Service, IFAS, University of Florida
and United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
K. R. Tefertiller, Director