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Parsnips Parsnips are available as a fresh vegetable throughout the winter, actually improving as the winter progresses and especially if a frost gets to the roots.
They can be baked, boiled or fried and the leaves can also be eaten as a green vegetable, getting double value from the crop.
The problem with growing parsnips is that they have a very long growing season. They are among the first crop to be sown and probably the last crop to be harvested.
Peat In the past peat was recommended for improving soils and for potting composts.
However we are now aware that the extraction of peat threatens valuable wildlife habitats and gardeners are encouraged to use alternative products.
Peppers The mild peppers include Bell, Banana, Pimiento and Sweet Cherry while the hot peppers include the Cayenne, Celestial, Large Cherry, and Tabasco.
Set out transplants after soil has thoroughly warmed in the spring. Start seed indoors 6 to 8 weeks prior to this date.
Peppers generally have a long growing season and suffer slow growth during cool periods.
Pesticides Instead of using pesticides you can:
Help plants to withstand attack from pests and diseases by providing the conditions required for healthy growth.
Create the conditions for natural predators to control pests.
Learn about the life cycle of the pest or disease so that preventive action can be taken at the right time.
For example, use a physical barrier to deter a pest, put out a slug trap, pick off the caterpillars by hand or prune diseased and damaged stems.
Potatoes Both white-skinned and red-skinned potatoes can be grown as an early crop for new potatoes and as a late crop for storage.
Potatoes prefer cool springs and moisture throughout the growing season. Dig early potatoes when tubers are large enough to eat.
Common diseases are: Early blight, scab, blackleg, soft rot, rhizoctonia, ring rot, tuber rots, virus complex, fusarium, verticillium, bacterial wilts.
Pulses Peas, beans and lentils are known as pulses. They are the seeds of plants belonging to the family Leguminosae, which gets its name from the characteristic pod or legume that protects the seeds while they are forming.
Different kinds of legumes provide us with food, medicines, oils, chemicals, timber, dyes and ornamental garden plants. Legume products include carob, senna, gum arabic, balsam, indigo and licorice.
Pulses are valuable because they contain a higher percentage of protein than most other plant foods.
Many whole pulses (e.g. aduki, chickpeas, whole lentils, marrowfat peas, mung and soya beans) can be sprouted which increases their nutritional value.

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