Vegetable growing guides for farmers
Extension Fruit and Vegetable Production educators and specialists work with growers to enhance profitability, add value, and maintain food security through local production and marketing of fruit and vegetable crops in Minnesota.
We work with:
- Commercial vegetable producers
- Commercial fruit producers
- The commercial processing industry
- New immigrant farmers
In partnership with other organizations and commodity groups, we conduct research and communicate research-based information to growers throughout Minnesota.
We do this by developing and producing educational programs, field days, grower roundtables, print and web publications, newsletters and radio talks, and through one-on-one consultation.
Specialty crop guides
Asparagus guide (published 2020)
Growing Asparagus in Minnesota (PDF 2020). This 24-page guide provides farmers and advanced gardeners with recommendations for growing asparagus in Minnesota.
Asparagus production guide (PDF 2013). Cultural practices must be considered to produce asparagus successfully.
Non-pest issues in cool-season crops - While fall conditions are optimal for most cool-season vegetables, Minnesota spring conditions are variable, and often lead to problems like bolting, lack of heads, and bitterness.
Flower and fruit set in cucurbits - Cucumbers, melons, zucchini, squash and pumpkins are notorious for their temperamental flowers and fruiting requirements. Every year we hear from growers who have beautiful green plants, but very little fruit. There are a couple of key reasons that this occurs.
Growing garlic in Minnesota (PDF 2016). Guidelines for growing garlic in cold climates include variety selection, soils, cultural practices, pest management, harvesting and storage.
Growing staple vegetables from around the world in Minnesota. Guides for growing traditional vegetables from Africa, Asia and Latin America in the Minnesota climate.
Manuals and guides for beginning commercial growers, high-tunnel growers, nutrient management and soil health.
- Minnesota fruit and vegetable growers manual for the beginning grower
Risk management, business planning and start-up, and marketing. (PDF)
- Minnesota high tunnel production manual for commercial growers, 2nd Edition
Risk management, structures, the high tunnel environment, cultural practices, crop production, crops, and finances for growing in high tunnels in Minnesota. (PDF)
- Foliar nutrient testing
There are 14 plant nutrients from the soil that are considered essential for the growth of all plants. Testing plant leaves for their nutrient content indicates whether the plants have optimal levels of these nutrients, or if fertilizer is needed.
- Maintaining soil fertility in an organic fruit and vegetable crops system
Add amendments based on soil test results, crop requirements, nutrient content, available sources, potential improvements, and cost–benefit analysis.
- Nutrient management for commercial fruit and vegetable crops in Minnesota
Supplemental fertilizer applications become necessary when the soil cannot supply the level of nutrient required.
- Nutrient cycling and maintaining soil fertility in fruit and vegetable crop systems
Understanding nutrient cycles helps to maintain soil fertility and protect water resources.