Quick Answer: Best Vegetables to Grow in Mississippi
The best vegetables to grow in your Mississippi garden are asparagus, okra, eggplant, pepper, green beans, tomato, roots (radish, sweet potato), and greens (cabbage, lettuce). The best growing seasons are spring and fall for cool-season vegetables and summer for warm-season ones.
Are you an avid gardener looking to plant some vegetables in your Mississippi garden this year?
In this guide post, we’ll discuss the best vegetables to grow in Mississippi and provide some helpful tips for gardening success.
So, if you’re looking for ways to get the most out of your Mississippi garden, read on!
- Quick Answer: Best Vegetables to Grow in Mississippi
- Best Vegetables to Grow in Mississippi
- 1. Asparagus
- 2. Okra
- 3. Eggplant
- 4. Pepper
- 5. Green Beans
- 6. Tomato
- 7. Radish
- 8. Sweet Potato
- 9. Lettuce
- 10. Cabbage
- What is the easiest growing vegetable in Mississippi?
- What is the best time to grow vegetables in Mississippi?
- Quick Recap: Top Vegetables to Grow In Mississippi
Mississippi has a humid subtropical climate with mild short winters, long, hot summers, and rainfall that is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year.
Thunderstorms are more prevalent in Southern regions. The state thus has a long growing season, usually from mid-April to late October.
Mississippi soils are diverse, ranging from sandy coastal soils to dark and heavy high-pH grassland soils to more suitable delta soils.
Let us look at some best vegetables to cultivate in your Mississippi garden.
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is a perennial plant harvested in spring belonging to the onion family.
Edible shoots, spears, and fleshy stems make it an excellent vegetable. The lifespan of Asparagus is 15-20 years.
Asparagus can thrive well in the subtropical climate of Mississippi. It can withstand rains, droughts, and pests.
They are easy to grow. Once established, these plants are fast producers and need little maintenance besides regular watering.
The plant will bear produce in a fixed location for 15 years or more. Furthermore, most of the plant parts are edible.
Here are a few handy facts for growing Asparagus:
- They require well-drained soil with a pH OF 6.5-7 and 8 hours of sunlight.
- They are heavy feeders; apply a thick layer of compost rich in nitrogen and phosphorous to the soil bed after each harvest and in the fall.
- Keep the bed weed-free. Do not rotate the beds.
- Pests and diseases: Cutworms
Here is a complete guide on how to grow Asparagus
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a versatile warm-weather crop prized for its tender, delicious, and nutritious pods.
It originated in the Abyssinian Center, Africa, and has a lifespan of around 4 months.
It grows well in Southern US states like Mississippi as it is suited to Mississippi spring and summer. You can directly sow the seeds into your garden after the risk of frost has passed.
Since Okra is a nitrogen-fixing plant, it helps nourish the soil. Okra’s broad leaves shade the ground and the plant helps reduce weed expansion.
The plant requires less water. Harvest can be reaped after 60-70 days of sowing.
You can prepare a wide variety of dishes using Okra and enjoy its health benefits.
Here are a few handy facts for growing Okra:
- Okra likes well-drained soil with neutral pH.
- The plant needs low watering and full sun but water thoroughly during dry periods.
- Fertilize once a month with natural fertilizers like fish emulsion and seaweed.3
- Harvest okra pods by snapping or cutting them frequently before they harden.
- Pests and diseases: corn earworms, stink bugs, ants, and root-knot nematodes.
Here is a complete growing guide on Okra
Eggplant (Solanum melongena), a tropical, herbaceous plant known for its large egg-shaped fruit, belongs to the tomato family.
Believed to have originated in India, the plant usually lives for a year.
Eggplant has a long growing season and luckily, the growing season in Mississippi is long, and the average spring-summer-fall temperature matches the plant’s required temperature.
The plant is significantly drought tolerant.
Eggplants don’t require external insect pollination, so you can keep the plant covered to protect it from pests. They can also be grown in containers.
Here are a few handy facts for growing Eggplant:
- Direct seeding into the garden is not recommended. Instead, transplants can be planted.
- To reduce heat/ drought stress, the plant can be mulched.
- Eggplants must be harvested gently so that they do not bruise.
- Pests and diseases: flea beetle; Phomopsis fruit rot.
Here is the growing guide for eggplant
Peppers (Capsicum annuum) come in so many varieties in terms of color, size, and taste. Originating from Mexico, the plant lives for 3-5 years
Peppers will grow well in Mississippi spring temperatures and the slightly acidic Mississippi soil with moderate watering.
All the varieties, hot, tart, and sweet add great flavor to your food and are also rich in potassium, folic acid, iron, and vitamin B6 dietary fiber.
Grows well in containers and hence helps you save space and produces well for the space they’re given.
The seeds of pepper stay viable for 2 years. When stored in clean glass jars, dried peppers keep their flavor for about a year.
Here are a few handy facts for growing Pepper:
- Direct seeding into the garden is not recommended, use transplants.
- Use plastic mulch to grow pepper well.
- Pepper plants are sensitive to excessive nitrogen fertilization and drought.
- Pests and diseases: viruses, and aphids; southern stem blight, sunburn, leaf diseases, and anthracnose.
Here is the growing guide on peppers
5. Green Beans
Green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) belonging to the pea family are native to Peru and are rich in fiber and other nutrients.
Grown commonly as a spring crop, they can be of two types, bush and pole beans.
The lifespan is around 1 year.
You can safely plant your green beans outside in Mississippi once there hasn’t been a frost for two weeks.
If you do not grow beans for their high nutritious value, you can definitely grow them for their ease of cultivation and harvest.
These staple food crops, once established, are fast-growing and produce high yields frequently.
Root nodules of beans help in nitrogen-fixing in soil.
Here are a few handy facts for growing Green beans:
- Beans prefer mildly acidic well-drained soil and 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.
- The soil should be consistently moist during the 7- to 10-day germination period.
- Use a liquid organic fertilizer, like fish emulsion, to fertilize the soil.
- Pests and diseases: bean leaf beetle and Mexican bean beetle.
Here is a video on how to grow green beans
Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) are native to South America.
These plump, juicy berries are everyone’s favorite. It is a popular garden plant, and the berries come in many shapes, sizes, and colors.
The plant usually lives for one growing season.
Apart from tomatoes’ culinary fame, the spring season in Mississippi is ideal for growing them in your garden.
Tomatoes require less space and grow easily. You can train tomato vines to grow them into a vertical garden.
If protected well from pests and diseases, they give a high yield. Homegrown tomatoes are more flavorful and contain more antioxidants than tomatoes from the grocery store.
Seed longevity is 4 years.
Here are a few handy facts for growing tomatoes:
- The plant must be supported off the ground to prevent fruit loss to rot, sunburn, and slugs.
- A liquid organic fertilizer diluted in water should be used to water newly planted plants.
- If soil is less fertile, provide supplemental feedings every two or three weeks.
- Pests and diseases: aphids, thrips, stink bugs, blister beetles, fruit worms, horn worms, leaf miners, and white flies; bacterial wilt, bacterial spot, buckeye rot, early blight, and southern blight.
Here is a simple and easy guide to growing tomatoes
Radish (Raphanus sativus) eaten raw, pickled, or cooked originated from China.
Belonging to the cabbage family, this crunchy root vegetable has a lifespan of 2 years and can be grown in spring and winter.
Long Beach, Mississippi, is known as the Radish capital of America. Hence radishes are well suited to thrive in the climate and loam soil conditions of Mississippi.
Radishes are known for their fast growth and can be harvested within 3 weeks of planting them.
Radishes can withstand freezing temperatures in the mid-to-low-20s. Even if the foliage is damaged from cold, it will easily grow back its roots.
They require less space to grow.
Here are a few handy facts for growing radishes:
- Plant radish seeds directly in the garden for the best results. Transplanting causes root disturbance.
- Row covers applied when the seeds go into the ground will protect them from pests.
- Pests and diseases: Cutworms, Flea beetles, and Aphids; Alternaria Blight, White Rust, Root Rot of Radish, and Radish Mosaic Virus.
A guide on how to grow radishes:
8. Sweet Potato
Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) is a tropical, warm-season root vegetable native to South and Central America.
They can grow as perennial (up to 2 years) and annual plants.
Mississippi upholds the 3rd place in sweet potato production in the US. Sweet potato production remains a mainstay in Vardaman, Mississippi.
Hence sweet potatoes are well suited for your Mississippi garden.
The plants improve and conserve soil along with suppressing weeds and reducing insect pests and diseases.
They are also super easy to grow, and a few plants can easily produce a large harvest because the vines root wherever they come into contact with the ground.
The plants are low maintenance, and the potatoes have a shelf life of 3-5 weeks.
Here are a few handy facts for growing sweet potatoes:
- Water the plants sparingly in the 3-4 weeks before harvest to prevent the mature tubers from splitting.
- They can be harvested when the soil is fairly dry and the air is warm.
- Too much nitrogen will reduce yield.
- Pests and diseases: Root-knot nematode; scurf and soil rot.
An easy guide to growing sweet potato slips:
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) annual leaf vegetable of the aster family, is native to the Mediterranean. The plant lives up to 65–130 days.
Lettuce has a wide range of varieties and can be harvested as microgreens, baby greens, half-grown, or full-grown.
In the spring and fall, leaf and head lettuce thrive in Mississippi gardens. Leaf lettuce is more cold, hardy, matures faster, and tolerates more shade.
It is easy to grow and maintain with moderate watering and proper sun.
Harvest can be made 30-40 days after planting.
Here are a few handy facts for growing lettuce:
- They perform well and mature quickly if they have plenty of room to grow.
- The soil must be kept moist and nitrogen-rich for best results.
- Pests and diseases: Field crickets and some varieties of beetles.
Here is a guide to growing lettuce
Cabbage (Brassica oleracea), often considered the twin of lettuce, is a must-have leafy vegetable in your Mississippi garden.
Mississippi’s cool spring and fall climate is ideal for growing cabbage.
Cabbage grows well in Mississippi’s cool spring and fall weather and can be grown in containers.
Cabbage is a cole crop and is frost-hardy. It also stores well during Mississippi winter.
It is easy to grow if you water and weed regularly. It is also high yielding.
Here are a few handy facts for growing cabbage:
- Cabbage requires 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.
- Water is in the morning, at the base of the plant, and without wetting the leaves.
- The plant is a heavy feeder and requires fertilizers rich in nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and boron.
- Pests and diseases: Aphids and cabbage worms.
Here is a guide for growing cabbages in containers
Radishes are the fastest and easiest-growing vegetable in Mississippi.
Other vegetables that can grow easily are asparagus, green peas, lettuce, and pepper.
The best growing season is spring, followed by fall and summer for a large no. of vegetables.
During winter, only a few plants grow well.
From the list, plants like eggplant, cabbage, tomato, pepper, asparagus, and sweet potatoes grow in spring, whereas plants like radishes, lettuce, and beans grow well in fall, and okra grows well in summer.
Vegetables like broccoli, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower should be planted in August because they take longer to mature than leafy fall vegetables.
Cruciferous or cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, cabbages, and Brussels sprouts) grow well in winter.
Lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes are some of them.
Quick Recap: Top Vegetables to Grow In Mississippi
|Asparagus||1. Easy to grow and maintain
2. Withstand rains, droughts, and pests
|Okra||1. Enriches soil and reduces weed
2. very easy to grow from seed
|Eggplant||1. Drought tolerant
2. Do not require an external pollinator
|Pepper||1. Require less space
2. Produce well for the space given
|Green Beans||1. Fast-growing and high yield
|Tomato||1. Require less space
2. Remarkably productive, variety of uses
|Radish||1. Fast growth
2. Requires less space
|Sweet potato||1. Suppress weeds, pests, diseases
2. Improve and conserve soil
|Lettuce||1. Easy to grow and maintain
2. Can be harvested within a month or two
|Cabbage||1. Frost hardy
2. Good yield
We hope this article has helped help you decide which vegetables to grow in your garden.
If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to share them with us. Finally, don’t forget to share this helpful article with your family and friends interested in gardening.