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Vegetable Crop Production and Management (HORT 493)
Spring 2013

Vegetable Crop Production and Management (HORT 493)

Course Description
This online course is designed to provide an introduction to vegetable crops and principles and practices of vegetable crop production. We will be spending most of our time learning the elements of successful vegetable production including the what, where, when and how of growing specific crops. Topics will include crop classification; planting methods; crop climatic conditions, physiological growth and development; soil, water, and pest management; owhat you have learned.


  • to prepare students to successfully grow vegetables for commercial vegetable production
  • to describe the climate and soil requirements needed for raising good quality vegetables
  • to learn new and innovative production techniques, plant characteristics, and important pests of major vegetable crops
  • to define specific growth processes of each crop studied that leads to a harvestable product
  • to analyze and interpret data through greenhouse and lab experimentations

Ajay Nair, Assistant Professor Department of Horticulture
145 Horticulture Building; Phone: 515-294-7080; Email: nairajay@iastate.edu

Class schedule:
Online. Two lectures a week; posted online every Monday.

rganic production; cover cropping; crop rotation; season extension strategies; postharvest handling/management and food safety. It is expected that upon completion of the course, you would be able to put into practice

Recommended text:
Producing Vegetable Crops by John M. Swiader & George W. Ware, Interstate Publishers, Inc., Danville, Illinois, 5th edition

Other interesting reads:
Vegetable Crops, Dennis R. Decoteau, Prentice-Hall, Inc., NJ
Knott's Handbook for Vegetable Growers, Donald N. Maynard and George J. Hochmuth, 4th Edition
Online resources with required reading:

Course Outline

  • Introduction to vegetable crops - Vegetable classification, production statistics, and current markets.
  • Location and size of the vegetable industry
  • Production and management
  • Soil management
  • Fertilization practices, composts
  • Tillage, cover cropping, weed management
  • Crop rotation
  • Irrigation practices and techniques
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Postharvest handling/storage
  • Food safety issues and challenges

Specific Crops

  • Asparagus
  • Cole crops (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)
  • Solanaceae crops (eggplant, pepper, potato, tomato)
  • Bulb crops (celery, garlic, onion)
  • Vine crops (cucumber, melon, pumpkin, squashes, zucchini)
  • Salad greens (spinach, lettuce, kale, collard, chard)
  • Root crops (beets, carrots, radish, turnip,)
  • Other: peas, rhubarb, snap beans, sweet corn

Grading: Percent
Quizzes x 4 20%
Exams x 3 45%
Reports/assignments 20%
Independent/group project 15%
Total 100%

Late Assignment Policy.Grades for late assignments will be reduced 5 percentage points for each day late. For example, if you turned in an excellent lab report with a grade of 95% (=4.0) one week late, you'd get a 60% (=1.0)...so, don't be late!!

Academic Honesty and Integrity.Violations of ISU's academic integrity policy such as cheating or plagiarism are grounds for academic action and/or disciplinary sanction as described in the university's student conduct code. Incidents of plagiarism are taken very seriously. Students are strongly cautioned not to copy any text (including website content) verbatim or use someone else's ideas on assignments without using appropriate quotations and source citations.

Independent/group Project. This is an opportunity for you to explore in more detail some aspect of vegetable production of particular interest to you, and to share that information with the class. Details provided.

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