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The first requirement to start your vegetable project is to select the best crop to plant. Survey the market what kind of vegetables the market wants.
Be sure to discover the common problems the customers are looking in the market place.
The market might be flooded with the vegetable you’re planning to plant. This will affect your production cost such as; your capital, time, efforts and other resources incurred during your initial operation.
But if your purpose is only for home consumption, you need not have to do a survey. You can plant anything that you need for your daily needs.
Select the Right Variety
Selecting the right variety is essential when trying to go into vegetable growing.
Select the best one which will give you the highest possible returns.
Does your area fits to the crops, say; upland or lowland?
Do you want a hybrid or open pollinated variety?
The location of your land is a critical factor.
Is your land rolling or level or slightly rolling?
Some crops grow will in upland areas and some in lowland soils. Try to figure out the location of your land.
If your land is hilly or upland, there are crops that suit to the kind of land you desire. You can now decide which crop variety is suited to your area.
Most vegetables are tolerant in upland soils such as; legumes, brassicas, solanaceous, and cucurbits except water spinach (kangkong). But there is a variety of water spinach that grows in upland – the upland kangkong.
Another consideration is whether you need to plant a hybrid or open pollinated crops.
Hybrid varieties produces higher yield and matures early as compared to open varieties.
But hybrid costs high than open pollinated. Your decision again lies as to the intention or purpose you want in your garden. If your purpose is for commercial gardening, hybrid varieties will give you a better return.
But if you intend to provide only for your home daily consumption, you don’t need a hybrid variety.
Try to make all you can to maximize what is available in your locality to minimize extra expenses in your gardening project. Open pollinated varieties could be your choice just for home use purposes.
The decision is yours as to what kind of varieties you wish to consider. But the bottom line here is you aim to have a profitable business.
Some crops also grows well in cold and warm areas. These factors are also important in your vegetable ventures.
Consider the Following Factors…
- Type of Soil. Vegetable crops have a different soil
requirements. Some grows in sand, silt(Alluvial soils) or clay type of soils.
For best result, vegetables must be planted in sandy loam to clay loam soil. But for shallow rooted crops, it is advisable not to plant them in sandy soil.
The reason is moisture easily percolates in this type of soil which makes the plants easily wilt due to water starvation.
Another thing you should consider is the introduction of organic matter to your garden to increase soil fertility, invites friendly micro-organisms.
Once your garden is rich with organic matter other living organisms abounds especially worms.
Did you know that worms exudes excreta which is rich in Nitrogen?
And besides, worms has twelve functions to the growth and development of plants.
Experts have proven that a soil with plenty of worms are considered fertile that are ideal for vegetable growing.
- Soil pH. Soil is measured by the level of its acidity and alkalinity. pH level below 7 is considered acidic and alkaline soil is above 7 pH level .
Almost all vegetable crops tolerates at a pH of 5.5 – 6.8 level. To make certain that you’ll get the right pH level in your garden, have your soil tested with a pH meter instrument.
This instrument will measure the level of your soil whether it is acidic or alkaline.
Don’t ever attempt to plant your crop without having your soil tested.
Soil testing determines what kind of soil you have. This is vital if you want your gardening to succeed.
Acidic soil can be neutralize by applying lime three weeks to one month before planting, while in alkaline soil apply basally Ammonium Sulfate ( NH4SO4).
- Water. Water is critical for all kinds of vegetable crops.
Lacking or over supply of water to your plants would greatly affects their growth.
It is a wise decision for you to determine the availability of water in your area before venturing into vegetable production.
Could it be that your area is flooded during rainy days or totally dry during summer. Is the area along a river bank where the water increases into capacity when heavy rain occurs?. All of these should be taken into serious consideration when you engage in vegetable business.
- Temperature. Vegetables are sensitive to high or low
temperature. Cucurbits grows successfully in high temperature while solanaceous, brassicas and other crops thrives best in low temperature.
- Sunlight. Limited amount of solar radiation reduces
the production capacity of vegetables. It aids for the maximum production of photosynthesis that will supply the plant in its food manufacture process needed in their growth and development.
Consider the supply of sunlight to be available at least 6 – 7 hours a day. This is ideal for most leafy and fruit vegetable.
1) Fungus. It attack the plant by sucking plant sap from the leaves, stem and other parts.
Their mode of attack starts at the bottom going upward and from older plant parts. This could be easily controlled by applying local biological methods and in serious cases by fungicides as the last recourse.
By all means don’t use chemicals to avoid chemical hazards to the environment especially to human and animals.
2) Bacteria. This is a serious diseases that affects the
vegetable industry. In fact, there is no chemical yet invented to control this disease.
It multiplies every 10 minutes at maximum speed once inside the plant. Plant affected with the disease smells a bad odor. The only remedy to control bacteria is to uproot affected plant and burn to kill the bacteria.
Don’t bury affected plants in the soil, since the disease will just be there in the soil and might transfer again to other plants.
3) Virus. Like bacteria, this is the most serious disease especially to solanaceous crops.
Plants affected by the disease becomes stunted with curly and rosetting leaves. No known chemicals have been discovered yet to control virus.
Affected plants should be uprooted and burned to avoid the spread of the disease to other plants. Planting varieties resistant to virus is also advisable to get higher returns.
Tobacco mosaic virus are most common disease to all solanaceous crops like tomato, eggplant and pepper.
4) Nematode. Microscopic worms that attack the root systems of plants, nematode is not serious as the other diseases.
While inside the roots, nematode clogged the passage of foods from the root up to the other plants parts causing the root to form swelling depriving the foods to pass through the xylem and phloem and vise versa.
But once the disease presence is visible, proper control measure should be applied to avoid further damage to the plants.
5) Insects. There are millions of insect species that destroys all types of plants.
However, not all insect pests are destructive. Some are friendly or other terms it as beneficial insects.
You’ll be guided how to identify some friendly or an enemy insect pests as we go along in the succeeding chapter on controlling insect pests and diseases. Your knowledge in the identification of these insect pests would guide you which one is detrimental or friendly to the plants.
6) Animals. In this scenario, public relation plays a vital role with your neighbors and surrounding gardeners.
You should be a good friend with everybody in your community.
If you can make it to help them when they need your assistance or any services you can provide, in return they will pay you back in terms of respect and trust.
If they have some astray animals that may destroy your plants inform them what happen in a cordial manner. Don’t act like a commander in the military, instead act like talking to a brother or sister.
There is no other way you can win their trust by being always friendly and helpful.
7) Human. Like the previous one, humans are most destructive than animals.
A single blink of your eyes, you will lost everything if you’ll not keep in good terms with your neighbors.
Again, public relation is vital here to make your gardening a success. Failure to have a good relation with the people in your community will lead you waste your time, money and labor.
8) Rodents. This small animal is very destructive especially to fruit vegetables and cereals.
Their presence in your farm should be given your utmost attention to minimize attack to your plants. You can control them by giving some anti-rodent chemicals.
There are vast supply of chemicals to control rodents (e.g. Racumin, Ratoxin, etc.).
With inside the information about How to Select the Right Vegetable Variety, Hope you are satisfied and please looking on another article contains Garden pest control Products that fit with your needs.