Vegetable Gardening in Mississippi
Vegetable seeds and transplants are available from many sources. After selecting the varieties to plant, check local sources to see if the varieties are available.
It is important to locate seeds early, especially if you are going to grow some of your own transplants for the spring garden. You can order new varieties that are not available locally from mail order seed catalogs. Check the Planting Guide on page 7 for amounts of seed to buy. It is important to a garden’s success that the seed is fresh and packaged for the current year. Home-saved vegetable seeds and those carried over from the previous year may give disappointing results. Since most of the new varieties are hybrids, do not attempt to save seed from one year’s crop to plant the next year. Also, because some diseases are carried on seeds, home-saved seeds may continue to cause a disease problem in your garden. The only vegetable seeds that gardeners should save are those of varieties that have been in the family for many years and have become heirloom varieties.
Once the garden is completely planned on paper, the land prepared, and the seed on hand, the job of planting begins.
Planting is not a “one shot” operation. There are different times for planting different vegetables. Vegetables may be grouped in the garden plan and planted according to their hardiness and temperature requirements. Lettuce and English peas are cool-season vegetables and grow best in cool weather. Okra and southern peas are warm-weather vegetables and need warm temperatures for best growth.
Cool-season vegetables differ from warm-season vegetables in that they are hardy or frost tolerant, seeds germinate at cool soil temperatures, and root systems are shallow and require frequent irrigation. Cool-season plants are smaller, respond more to nitrogen fertilizer, and are generally more tolerant of shade than warm-season vegetable plants.