FAQs Home Vegetables (D-P)

Mark Williams, Souvestre, Robert J.  |  9/30/2010 10:58:16 PM

FAQs Home Vegetables Table of Contents

Answers to frequently asked questions about vegetables grown in home gardens available in three parts.  

  • Please click here for vegetables A-C, including:
    • asparagus
    • bean
    • beet
    • broccoli
    • brussels sprouts
    • cabbage
    • cantaloupe (muskmelon)
    • carrot
    • cauliflower
    • celery
    • chive
    • collard
    • corn
    • cucumber
  • Please see below for vegetables D-P, including:
    • dandelion
    • dill
    • eggplant
    • endive
    • horseradish
    • Jerusalem artichoke
    • kohlrabi
    • lettuce
    • mustard
    • okra
    • onion
    • parsnip
    • pea
    • pepper
    • potato
    • pumpkin
  • Please click here for vegetables R-W, including:
    • radish
    • spinach
    • squash
    • sweet potato
    • swiss chard
    • tomato
    • turnip
    • watermelon

Dandelion

Q. Is there any secret to growing dandelion in Louisiana gardens?

A. Dandelion can be grown in gardens and should be treated similar to lettuce. If grown for a fall crop it should be planted in mid-summer. Dandelion is a biennial weed and can become a problem in gardens if allowed to grown unchecked. If you like dandelion, consider also growing Endive or Escarole.


Q. How is dandelion harvested and used?

A. Dandelion is extremely high in iron and vitamin A. The young tender leaves fresh from the garden are used in salads or often served with hot bacon drippings, vinegar and crumpled bacon crisps.

Dill

Q. Are there any particular skills or problems in growing dill in Louisiana?

A. Dill should be spring seeded in full sun and in a well drained soil. The plants will grow extremely large in some areas and should be supported in some manner. Dill is relatively free of problems although an occasional Dillworm may cause problems, but can be easily controlled with general purpose insecticides or hand picking.


Q. When do you harvest dill and how is it used?

A. The leaves should be harvested as soon as the flowers begin to open. If seeds are to be harvested, they should be gathered when ripe which is indicated when they have a flat shape and are brown in color. Both the seed and the leaves of dill are utilized in various ways. The leaves are often used in tartar sauce or butter sauce. It is often found in pickled beets, potato salad and tossed green salads. The seeds have utilization in cheese, breads and rolls. They are also widely used in pickles, sauerkraut and beef dishes.

Eggplant

General

Q. During its early production my eggplant fruit was delicious. Now the fruit we harvest is bitter and has brown areas on it. Is this a fungus?

A. The bitter fruit is caused by plant stress and subsequent slow growth stimulated by hot, dry conditions. The brown area may be caused by sun scalding of the fruit. If the scalding is not too severe, it can be removed and the eggplant eaten. Phomopsis Fruit Rot also causes leathery spots which are darker in color and ringed. Control Phomopsis with Zineb or Maneb plus Zinc.


Q. What causes eggplant fruit to become misshapen and often odd colored?

A. Poor quality eggplant fruit are generally associated with low moisture and high temperature conditions leading to poor pollination. Also, over mature eggplant fruit will become dull in color and often develop a bronze appearance. For maximum production, the eggplant fruit should be removed from the plant before they are fully mature to allow for the development of additional fruit.


Q. I planted my eggplants early but they never grew much from them on.

A. Eggplants are very sensitive to cool temperatures. The soil must be well warmed. They are usually set out a week or so after peppers. Most stunted plants never fully recover.


Diseases

Q. One of my eggplants wilted and died within a matter of several days. On examination, I found a white fungal mat at the base of the plant near the soil line.

A. This is Southern Blight, a soil-borne, warm weather disease. Control is based on rotation and proper decomposition of leaf tissue in the upper soil layer. PCNB can be used at transplanting.


Q. My eggplant fruit develops a rotted area which extends deep down into the fruit.

A. This could be several things but is generally Alternaria Fruit Rot. This is not to be confused with Phomopsis fruit rot which is more of a dish-shaped spot which turns brown and has ring-like structures around the spot. It is controlled with the normal spray program used for Phomopsis fruit rot such as Zineb or Maneb plus Zinc.


Q. As the fruit of my eggplant reaches maturity, it begins to develop brown, ringed, sunken areas and later decays.

A. This most likely is Phomopsis Fruit Rot and can be controlled with the Ziuneb, or Maneb plus Zinc sprays at 7 to 10 day intervals. It will take repeated applications to prevent this disease.


Q. The foliage of my eggplant is developing a yellow appearance.

A. This is eggplant Yellows or virus of eggplant. It is an insect-transmitted virus and can cause severe stunting of the plant and can reduce yields. Infected plants should be destroyed to prevent further spread to surrounding healthy plants. A good insect control program should be carried out during the year.

Endive

Intended Audience

In today’s workplace, non-engineers are increasingly expected to work with chemical engineers on projects, scale-ups and process evaluations. But to do so, they need a solid understanding of basic concepts of chemical engineering analysis, design and calculations. View these videos featuring chemical engineering expert Jack Hipple and gain knowledge of the fundamentals of chemical engineering you need to understand, communicate with and work with chemical engineers. These videos are aimed at conversion of agricultural feedstocks into biofuels and biochemicals, and is intended as an introduction to chemical engineering for engineers working on agricultural feedstock development, production and processing for bioprocesses. This video series is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative competitive grant no. 2011-69005-30515 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Master the fundamentals of chemical engineering

By viewing these videos, you’ll learn how to hold your own in discussions on safety, industrial hygiene and reactive chemicals. You’ll gain an understanding of the basics of fluid flow, heat transfer, heat exchanger design, absorption, stripping, chromatography, membranes, etc., and how to apply them. You’ll also get up to speed on solids handling and tank and vessel design and how use this knowledge to sharpen projects and evaluations. Through case studies, you’ll see the concepts you learn in action so you can apply them in your workplace when collaborating with chemical engineers on projects, chemistry scale-ups, process evaluations and other initiatives.

Instructor

Jack Hipple is a 30-year veteran of the chemical industry, including responsibility for global chemical engineering research at Dow Chemical as well as its Discovery Research New Ventures program. He has also managed chemical material technology projects for the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, new product development for Ansell Edmont in the protective equipment area, and process scale-up for aerogel materials at Cabot Corporation. He is currently principal with Innovation-TRIZ, providing consulting and innovation training.

These videos are password-protected. To get the password for access, contact Krishnaswamy Nandakumar. After you receive the password, click on the links below to register and view the videos.


Videos:

Lesson 1: Chemical Engineering vs. Chemistry

Lesson 2: Stoichiometry and Economics

Lesson 3: Kinetics and Reaction Engineering

Lesson 4: Fluid Flow, Pumps, Viscosity, Laminar vs. Turbulent Flow

Lesson 5: Heat Transfer and Heat Exchanges

Lesson 6: Distillation

Lesson 7: Absorption and Stripping

Lesson 8: Ion Exchange, Chromatography, Membranes, Evaporation, Crystallization
 
Lesson 9: Filtration and Clarification

Lesson 10: Drying and Solids Handling

Lesson 11: Tanks and Vessels

Lesson 12: Process Control and Control Valves

English Pea (Sugarpod)

Q. I found that the pea foliage became covered with a white, powdery type of material. What is this?

A. This was Powdery Mildew and is a serious problem on both English and Sugarpod peas. Currently, there is no chemical control cleared by EPA for the control of this disease other than sulfur. It will take repeated applications to keep the mildew under control.

Garlic

Q. After harvest my garlic often becomes soft and rots. How can I keep this decay from occurring?

A. Garlic should be dried thoroughly after it is harvested and hung up in a well ventilated area to prevent rot from occurring. Do not allow it to be exposed to extreme high or low temperatures after harvest. They should be stored at room temperature, around 75°F.

Horseradish

Q. How is horseradish planted and grown?

A. Horseradish can be grown in North Louisiana and is generally grown from root cuttings. The root cuttings are plated with the small end down and the large end 2 to 3 inches below the soil surface. Planting should be done in the spring and the horseradish will obtain harvestable size in late fall. The quality of the root will not be the same as that grown in the northern states.


Q. How long does it take horseradish to mature?

A. Horseradish is generally planted in the spring for harvesting in late fall. If not harvested yearly it can quickly turn into a weed and take over a garden. Many connoisseurs of horseradish recommend that the plants be dug each fall eliminating the chance for the plants to get out of control. Most agree that the quality of the horseradish will be greatly improved if this technique is followed.

Jerusalem Artichoke

Q. Does Jerusalem artichoke do well in Louisiana?

A. Definitely. The Jerusalem artichoke is a hardy, tuber-bearing member of the sunflower family which grown extremely well in all areas of Louisiana. It is propagated by planting whole or cut pieces of the tubers much like potatoes. Tubers which are left in the soil over winter, if not harvested in the spring will grow new plants. Care should be taken because if left unchecked, Jerusalem artichokes may become undesirable weeds and take over the garden area. When planting, they should be set out in rows 3 feet apart with the final spacing of the plants 15 to 18 inches apart in the row.


Q. When are Jerusalem artichokes ready to be harvested?

A. Jerusalem artichokes planted in the spring are generally ready during the fall. Harvesting often occurs after heavy frost in the fall or before new growth begins in the early spring. The tubers are reportedly crisper and sweeter after fall frost and especially after remaining in the soil until late winter.


Q. Is it true that Jerusalem artichokes are a good source of insulin?

A. Yes. The carbohydrate insulin is found in Jerusalem artichoke tubers. Insulin hydrolyzes or breaks down to fruit sugar “fructose” which is said to be of value in the treatment of diabetes.

Kale

Q. When harvesting kale, should you harvest the whole plant or just the more mature leaves?

A. Harvesting can be performed by harvesting just the older outside leaves or by cutting off the whole “head” at one time. Most gardeners in Louisiana would do best with the method of harvesting the tender, just-matured leaves and allowing the plant to continue producing for an extended period of time. Kale is one of the most cold hardy of the greens.


Q. Is there a difference between kale and collard greens?

A. The question is subject to debate among many horticulturists. Some feel that kale is simply a curly leafed form of collard greens and that no real distinction occurs. Others state that there is a definite difference and that a distinct difference occurs in flavor when cooked. It is safe to say that kale and collards are close kin and for the most part are identical in regard to environmental and cultural requirements as well as problems with diseases and insects. Both are Cruciferae Brassica oleraces (acephala group). Both crops are of best quality after the first front.

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