Growing the Vegetables - Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide - University of Illinois Extension

Growing the Vegetables

Lettuce

If you are an avid gardener, you will enjoy growing vegetables. Naturally, you should strive for the highest quality produce possible. You should pay special attention to planting dates, the selection of varieties, planting techniques, care during the growing season, controlling pests (such as insects, weeds, and diseases), and harvesting the crops at the proper times.

One important factor in growing quality vegetables is the selection of superior varieties. Selecting F1 hybrids and disease-resistant cultivars cannot be stressed enough; in choosing wisely, you avoid many disease problems in the garden. Hybrid cultivars have more vigor, better quality and yield, and greater disease-resistance than many of the older non-hybrid types. Although F1 hybrids are not perfect, they are generally superior and should be chosen to fit your specific needs.

In addition to having the vegetables at the right stage of maturity for showing, you also need to plant enough of each kind so you can pick and choose from sufficient produce to prepare a top-notch exhibit. For example, you will have a much better chance for a prize-winning entry if you grow ten tomato plants rather than only four.