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Growing Vegetable Crops in Mississippi

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Growing Vegetable Crops in Mississippi

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Overview

The state of Mississippi possesses a humid and subtropical climate, making it an ideal place to grow a wide variety of vegetable crops. The summers are long and the winters are short and mild in temperature, giving the state a long, desirable growing season. The heavily wooded state also possesses rich, humus-enriched soil that is packed with nutrients that keep crops thriving. Whether you're a novice or an expert gardener, growing vegetables in Mississippi is easy to do.

Step 1

Choose a spot in your yard that receives adequate sunlight as well as shade. The spot should also be adequately protected from the strong winds that can come during Mississippi's storm season from midspring to early summer. During these times, the state can experience severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and even hurricanes. Vegetable crops such as tomatoes, which have delicate flowers, should be shielded during this time.

Step 2

Prepare your garden soil with a mixture of sand, peat or sphagnum moss and kitchen compost. Mississippi's soil is very rich and dark, so many plants require that the soil be lightened with the sand mixture. Because of the density of the state's soil, moss is used to improve the drainage. For an 8' by 5' plot of garden soil in Mississippi, equal amounts of 10 pounds each of the sand, compost and moss is ideal.

Step 3

Mix the ground soil with the compost, sand and moss thoroughly using a garden hoe or trowel by chopping at the ground and turning it with the pile of sand, moss and compost.

Step 4

Spread the enriched and treated ground soil evenly over the area of the plot of land in which you will be planting the vegetables. Smooth it out using the shovel, to get it ready for sowing.

Step 5

Plant the seeds of the tallest plants, such as corn, poke salad or pole beans, along the borders of your gardening area. Tall plants along the borders will help shade other plants from direct sunlight as well as shield them from wind and rain. Corn can grow without any support because it produces a thick and sturdy stalk, however, planting pole beans, Brussels sprouts or peas may require a support stick to be inserted into the ground near the seeds.

Step 6

Plant seeds of low-growing but sun-tolerant plants in the direct center of the plot of land in which you are gardening. These plants include a variety of squashes, tomatoes and potatoes. The tall plants bordering these plants will allow sunlight to reach them while shading their blossoms during the fruiting stages of growth.

Step 7

Fill the parts of the garden that are most shaded with plants such as broccoli, cabbage and Swiss chard. These plants require more shade but have more frost-tolerant root structures that can keep the crops harvestable throughout part of the winter season.

Step 8

Water the garden area with the spray attachment set to a fine mist, twice a week. During the rainy season in Mississippi, you will not need to water the plants. However, you will need to weed the garden frequently and check for pests such as aphids and white flies. Ladybugs can be purchased online, or from a trusted garden source in the area, and are used to eliminate insect problems in gardens without disturbing the vegetable crops.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening tools (shovel, rake, hoe)
  • Garden hose with spray attachment
  • Sand
  • Kitchen compost
  • Sphagnum or peat moss
  • Vegetable seeds

References

  • Official State Site of Mississippi
  • Mississippi State University: Gardening in Mississippi
  • Mississippi Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association
Keywords: growing vegetables in the South, Mississippi vegetable gardening, vegetable crops in Mississippi

About this Author

Chelsea Hoffman is a professional freelance writer with works published both on the Web and in print. She currently resides in Las Vegas. The author of the new series of horror novellas, titled "Fear Chronicles," Hoffman's work can also be found on environmental websites like Dobegreen.com, where she helps spread environmental awareness with her mighty pen.