Choosing the right vegetable

It may be the middle of winter, but planning for your garden can start now!

These cold winter days are perfect for looking through seed catalogs. But with so many options, how do you choose?

Aside from tradition, one of the reasons to select a particular variety is disease tolerance or resistance. Tolerance is the ability of the plant to endure disease, while still producing some yield. Resistance is the ability to prevent or slow disease development, by way of naturally occurring plant properties. These characteristics are not from GMOs. Varieties have been "improved" through natural breeding methods for these traits. Selection of resistant cultivars can reduce the impact diseases may have on plant vigor and yield, as well as reduce or eliminate the need for other cultural or chemical management practices.

Keep in mind, there are no varieties that have resistance to all diseases. So look for varieties that have resistance to diseases that are the most common in our area. Common diseases of major vegetable garden plants are listed in the table.

Information about which disease(s) a variety is resistant to can be found on seed packets or in catalogs. Disease names may be listed as an abbreviation. For example, the letter 'V' may be listed for tomato, indicating resistance to Verticillium wilt. Seed catalogs and online retailers may detail disease resistance codes on a separate page.

For more information on different varieties of vegetables recommended for Kentucky gardens, go to http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/id/id133/id133.pdf

To learn more about vegetable gardening in Kentucky, go to http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/id/id128/id128.pdf

If you have questions about gardening, feel free to contact me at 859-623-4072 or email me at amanda.sears@uky.edu.

Gardening Class in February

I am offering a gardening class called "I Love Veggies!" on Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Madison County Extension Office at 230 Duncannon Lane in Richmond. Just let us know if you plan to attend by using the contact information above, so we may prepare seating.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

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