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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.
This comprehensive factsheet for farmers describes recommended practices for producing pickling and slicing cucumbers.
Field corn was grown in North America before 200 BC. 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.
This publication has been prepared to acquaint growers, shippers and processors with energy-efficient handling and cooling methods useful in preserving the quality of fresh green beans and field peas.
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).
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 United States 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.
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.
Intensive Vegetable Production refers to a system of marketing and producing vegetable crops in which great attention is placed on detail and optimization of resources such as land, capital, labor, equipment, transportation to market and management time. The objective of such a system is maximum profit for the farm. The system you choose should take into account your location, availability of markets, production seasons and personal interest. This publication covers irrigation, plastic mulch, pest management, precision seeding, market preparation and many other facets of intensive vegetable production.
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.
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.
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.
This publication offers fertilizer suggestions for a variety of crops, including field, pasture and hay crops, tree fruit, small fruit, ornamental plants and vegetable crops.
How to manage pesticides to control insects, diseases, weeds, and other crop pests in watermelons in North Carolina is covered in detail.
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.
How to manage pesticides to control insects, diseases, weeds, and other crop pests in sweetpotatoes in North Carolina is covered in detail; this is part of the Crop Profiles for North Carolina Agriculture series.
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.
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.
This publication offers a list of vegetable varieties that grow well in parts of North Carolina, as well as possible sources of seed.
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.
A good source of water is a necessity for producing quality vegetables. During periods of drought, crop diversification and mulches can be used to cope with drought situations, but nothing will substitute for the timely application of water. This publication covers some guidelines for irrigation systems to help offset periods of drought in the Southeast United States.