Top Crops: Gulf Coast

Collards, okra, and eggplant grow well, but sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes are the top crops along the Gulf Coast.
By Barbara Pleasant
April/May 2009
Add to My MSN

Once started, there's no stopping Gulf Coast sweet peppers. They and cherry tomatoes are the region's top crops.
PHOTO: LIQUID LIBRARY
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

What Are Your Best Tips for Gardening in the Southwest?

Readers familiar with triple-digit temperatures share their best tips for gardening in the southwest...

The Most Important Four Inches In Your Garden

Cam describes "double digging" as a way of creating a new garden without losing precious topsoil.

Fresh Peach Pie Recipe With Bacon-Cornmeal Topping

Bacon-cornmeal topping takes this Fresh Peach Pie Recipe from familiar to outstanding.

Hemp Fiber Could Absorb Oil From Gulf Coast Spill (Too Bad It’s Illegal to Grow Here…)

A naturally absorbent fiber, hemp could help clean up the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast.

My father, who gardened on the Gulf Coast for 70 years, once joked that he could grow bushels of bell peppers without even trying. Plenty of fellow gardeners agree, because sweet peppers tied with super-dependable cherry tomatoes for first place among the region's top crops. The Gulf Coast is also the home territory of short-day onions, which are more sweet than pungent. Remember to plant them in fall, and late spring will find you knee-deep in them.

Beyond the Top 10, mild winter conditions create near-perfect growing conditions for collards, which hold 11th place in the Coastal South. The exuberance for collards is echoed in high performance ratings for mustard, turnips, and other leafy greens grown in fall and winter. In summer gardens in this sultry region, naturally pest-resistant Southern peas are actually more popular than snap beans, and okra and eggplant are easy to grow.


Top 10 Crops

  1. Sweet pepper
  2. Cherry tomato
  3. Bulb onion
  4. Slicing tomato
  5. Garlic
  6. Lettuce
  7. Spinach
  8. Potato
  9. Cucumber
  10. Summer squash

Other Highly Rated Crops

Cabbage family: Broccoli, collards

Cucumber family: Cucumber, pumpkin, watermelon, winter squash

Leafy greens: Arugula, chard, mustard (all types)

Legumes: Lima bean, snap bean (all types), Southern peas

Root crops: Beet, garlic, onion, sweet potato, turnip

Tomato family: Eggplant, hot pepper, tomato (all types)

Miscellaneous: Okra


Read The Best Crops for Your Garden to find top crops for other U.S. gardening regions.


Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant gardens in southwest Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and a few lucky chickens. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on .








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.