10 Best Vegetables to Grow in West Virginia

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Quick Answer: Best Vegetables to Grow in West Virginia

The best vegetables to grow in West Virginia are warm-weather plants like asparagus, peas, carrot, cabbage, kale, and cool-weather plants like cucumber, eggplant, okra, pepper, and tomato. The best seasons to grow cool-weather plants are spring and fall, while that for warm-weather plants is summer.

Are you attempting to grow some vegetables in your garden this year?

Whether you’re a dedicated gardener or just curious about the best vegetables to grow in West Virginia, this article has a well-researched list.

Continue reading to learn more about these vegetables.

Best Vegetables to Grow in West Virginia

West Virginia summers are pleasantly hot and humid, the winters are mild but brisk, and the precipitation is modest throughout the year. All four seasons are of roughly equal durations.

West Virginia’s climate generally is good for growing vegetables. The growing season lasts 160 days on average but can range from 120 to 180 days.

Monongahela is the state soil of West Virginia. This deep and moderately well-drained soil is suitable for growing vegetables. Except for clay-rich soils, most soils in West Virginia are appropriate for gardening.

Below is the list of the best vegetables to grow in West Virginia.

1. Asparagus

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is grown as a spring vegetable for its young shoots and belongs to the onion family.

Native to the East Mediterranean region, the plant is perennial and can live for more than 15 years.

Why Grow Asparagus?

Asparagus can be planted in your West Virginia garden around March 25. West Virginia’s early spring weather is ideal for planting it because it is a cold-tolerant plant.

Asparagus is a perennial plant, meaning it keeps producing in the same place for more than 15 years even if you can only harvest it in the third year after planting.

It is drought and pest-resistant, require little maintenance, and is fast growing.

Maintenance and Care

Here are a few points to note:

  • Asparagus requires around 8 hours of sunlight daily and thrives in well-drained soil with a pH OF 6.5-7.
  • You have to apply a thick layer of compost rich in nitrogen and phosphorous after each harvest and in the fall to sustain these heavy feeders.
  • Pests and diseases: Cutworms

Here is a guide for growing Asparagus

2. Peas

Peas (Pisum sativum), one of the popular pulses grown as a garden plant is native to the Mediterranean region and has a lifespan of 1 year.

Why Grow Peas?                                      

Peas are not just cold hardy, they love cold. So you can plant peas in West Virginia around March 19, just when spring begins. They do not grow well when the weather becomes warm.

They require less space to grow, can be grown into vertical gardens and their roots have nodules that help in nitrogen fixation and enrichment of the soil.

There are many varieties to choose from (like pole and bush varieties) according to your preferences or availability of space.

Maintenance and Care

Here are a few points to note:

  • The pods are to be picked frequently to keep the plants productive.
  • Peas lose their sweetness if they become too mature.
  • Pole beans require some sort of support to grow on. Bush beans can be planted pretty close to each other.
  • Diseases and pests: root rots, mildew; aphids, pea weevils

Here is a guide for growing peas

3. Carrot

Carrots (Daucus carota) are favorites among many people for their crispy texture, flavor, and nutritional value

This biennial root vegetable is native to modern-day Iran and Afghanistan and is frequently called the ‘perfect health food’.

Why Grow Carrots?

Carrots will grow well in West Virginia soil in the spring or fall climate, although it is ideal for planting them around April 20.

The plant can survive hot sun but performs best when planted before it gets warm. Carrots require little care and can be harvested 60-80 days after planting.

Maintenance and Care

Here are a few points to note:

  • The soil type and watering routines must be taken into consideration. Hard compacted soil, and heavy watering can damage these plants.
  • Careful weeding must be done as weeds compete with the young plants.
  • Diseases and pests: carrot weevil.

Here is a guide for growing carrots in containers:

4. Cabbage

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) is a cruciferous vegetable grown for its dense-leaved heads.

The plant is biennial and is ready for harvest 90-120 days after planting. It originated from the Middle East.

Why Grow cabbage?

You can grow cabbage in spring as well as fall in West Virginia. As a spring plant, you can plant it in late April to early May in most areas of West Virginia.

And as a fall plant, you can plant it in August.

Cabbage is pretty easy to grow and high-yielding, you can reap harvest after 60-90 days of planting.

The plant is frost hardy, moreover, exposing it to light frosts improves the flavor.

Maintenance and Care

Here are a few points to note:

  • For best results, cabbage requires at least 6 to 8 hours of sun per day.
  • The plant needs a steady supply of fertilizers rich in nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and boron, and consistent watering for its best growth.
  • Pests and diseases: Aphids and cabbage worms.

Here is a guide for growing cabbages in containers

5. Kale

Kale (Brassica oleracea var. sabellica) or leaf cabbage is a biennial vegetable the origin of which can be traced to the Eastern Mediterranean region.

In addition to their “superfood” properties, these plants are often grown for their ornamental qualities.

Why Grow Kale?

Kale is one of the plants with a fast growth rate that can grow from seed to harvest in just three months.

In West Virginia gardens, It is best planted in the late winter or early spring or planted in the late summer for a fall-to-winter harvest.

It can easily endure cold temperatures and is quite hardy.

This vegetable, with its unique dark green to purple color, can also be cultivated for ornamental purposes and can add beauty to your garden.

Maintenance and Care

Here are a few points to note:

  • Kale requires fertilizer heavy in nitrogen and consistent water supply.
  • The soil can be mulched to retain moisture and control weeds.
  • Diseases and pests: aphids

Here is a guide for growing kale:

6. Cucumber

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus), a warm-season vegetable that is botanically a fruit, is a member of the gourd family.

This creeping plant is native to India, and its lifespan is expected to be 70 days.

Why Grow Cucumber?

For cucumbers to thrive well in West Virginia’s summer heat, you can plant them before summer arrives.

May 7 is an ideal date to plant so that you can receive your first harvest around mid-summer.

The plants proliferate and produce heavily if provided favorable conditions, including an abundance of sunlight.

Like peas, cucumbers also have bush varieties and trellis-grown varieties, both of which help save space. They grow quickly and typically need little care.

Maintenance and Care

Here are a few points to note:

  • In warm soil, you can add straw mulch to keep slugs and beetles away.
  • Regular pruning would be required to maintain an ideal canopy.
  • Diseases and pests: Alternaria leaf blight, powdery mildew; cucumber beetles.

Here is a guide for growing cucumber:

7. Eggplant

Eggplants (Solanum melongena) or aubergines belong to the nightshade family and are also botanically fruits. With roots in India, the plant is annual.

Why Grow Eggplant?

It is a warmth-loving plant that would grow well in the soil of West Virginia in the summer.

As a result, it can be planted just before the onset of summer when the weather has become relatively warm.

The majority of eggplant varieties can withstand drought, and since they self-pollinate, you may also keep pests away by covering the plants.

Maintenance and Care

Here are a few points to note:

  • Water consistently, especially when the plants are young. Overhead watering can damage the plants.
  • Mulching the soil would be good to retain water and warmth, as well as to keep weeds at bay.
  • Diseases and pests: flea beetles and other leaf-feeding insects.

Here is a guide for growing eggplant:

8. Okra

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a popular vegetable grown for its tender, delicious and nutrient-rich pods. It has a lifespan of 4 months and is native to Africa.

Why Grow Okra?

Okra can also be planted just before the arrival of summer in West Virginia and will flourish in the summer climate the state has to offer.

It can be harvested in about 2 months after planting.

Okra’s broad leaves shade the ground and help minimize weed growth. In addition, Okra is a nitrogen fixer that will enrich the soil.

Maintenance and Care

Here are a few points to note:

  • The plant gets by on a low supply of water, but during dry spells, it must be watered thoroughly.
  • Once a month, fertilize using natural fertilizers like fish emulsion or seaweed.
  • Pests and diseases: corn earworms, stink bugs, ants, and root-knot nematodes.

Here is a guide for growing Okra:

9. Pepper

Peppers (Capsicum annuum), a relative of eggplant, are also botanically fruits.

Native to Mexico, pepper comes in a variety of colors, sizes, and flavors- from sweet to hot. It has a lifespan of 3-5 years.

Why Grow Pepper?

In West Virginia, pepper can be planted at the same time as okra. Peppers perform better as the summer gets warmer.

Regarding soil, summer climate, and other conditions, West Virginia ticks almost all the boxes required for peppers to grow well.

Most varieties are insect-hardy and are versatile in the kitchen.

They can be grown in pots or containers and do not take up much space. At the same time, they produce well for the space they’re given.

Maintenance and Care

Here are a few points to note:

  • To prevent blossom end rot, water consistently during dry spells.
  • Be cautious with fertilizers rich in nitrogen as excess nitrogen can harm the plant.
  • Diseases and pests: blossom end rot, tobacco mosaic virus; aphids.

Here is a guide for growing peppers:

10. Tomato

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), related to pepper and eggplant, is a common garden plant grown for its berries.

It has a lifespan of 6-8 months and is native to South America.

Why Grow Tomatoes?

Popular in West Virginia gardens, tomatoes are warm-season plants that require full sun and well-drained soil- both easily available in the state.

Many West Virginia gardeners choose to grow tomatoes because they’re easy to grow, adaptable, require a small space and are abundant producers.

Maintenance and Care

Here are a few points to note:

  • They require fertilizers low in nitrogen, and high in potassium.
  • Staking and pruning improve yield and quality, as well as make harvest easier.
  • Diseases and pests: Beet curly top; beet leaf hopper

Here is a guide for growing tomatoes:

What is the easiest-growing vegetable in West Virginia?

Peas and beans are the easiest to grow, followed by carrots, cucumbers, kale, and pepper.

What is the best time to grow vegetables in West Virginia?

The best time to grow warm-weather plants is mid or late spring through summer, and the best time to grow cool-weather plants is early to late spring and fall. Some of the cold-hardy plants will tolerate light frosts and survive winter.

FAQs

When to plant potatoes in West Virginia?

Potatoes can be planted between April 16 and May 7.

What vegetable gives the best yield in West Virginia?

Pole beans give the best yield, followed by peas, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

What zone is WV for planting vegetables?

Growing zones in WV range from 5a to 7a. A hardiness zone of 5a means the coldest temperatures vary from -20 to -15 °F and for 7a it varies from 0 to 5 °F.

Quick Recap: Top Vegetables to Grow In West Virginia

VegetablesWhy grow?
Asparagus1. Easy to grow and maintain
2. Withstand rains, droughts, and pests
Peas1. Cold hardy, less space
2. Nitrogen-fixing
Carrot1. Need little care
2. Thrive well in cold
Cabbage1. Frost hardy
2. Good yield
Kale1. Cold hardy, grows in containers
2. Ornamental
Cucumber1. Mature quickly
2. Bear lot of produce throughout the growing period
Eggplant1. Drought tolerant
2. Do not require an external pollinator
Okra1. Enriches soil and reduces weed
2. Harvest reaped within 2 months
Pepper1. Require less space
2. Produce well for the space given
Tomato1. Require less space
2. Remarkably productive, variety of uses

Bottomline

I hope this list of the 10 Best Vegetables has been helpful to you as you plan and prepare for your garden.

If you have had success growing other vegetables, feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

Finally, share this article with friends and family to spread the joy of gardening!