The climate in the state of Missouri is continental, with a great variation between the local and regional areas. The average annual temperature in the state is 50 degrees in the northwest areas and about 60 degrees in the southeast. The Missouri boot heel area, considered the best in the state for vegetable production, offers good quality light or sandy soil.
A number of varieties of tomatoes do well in Missouri, including Avalanche, Better Boy, Conquest, Jet Star, Pink Delight and Show Me. All these tomatoes mature in about 70 days. The soil used for growing tomatoes should be amended with 2.5 percent organic matter, which helps to improve soil tilth and moisture retention. When choosing tomatoes for Missouri, the University of Missouri Extension suggests avoiding the varieties with large fruit, green shoulders, tomatoes with a known tendency to crack, late maturing tomatoes or with a low resistance to disease.
Rhubarb thrives in areas with moist, cool summers and winters just cold enough to freeze the ground several inches. Rhubarb does not do well in southern Missouri but grows well in higher elevations. Use well-drained, fertile soil for planting rhubarb and amend soil with rotted manure, sod, leaf mold or other organic matter. Rhubarb can be grown easily from seed or transplanted. The vegetable is best harvested in early spring and should be divided every 7 to 8 years.
Potatoes grow well in Missouri. The University of Missouri Extension site lists several varieties that do well in the state. Irish Cobbler and Kennebec are the recommended white skin varieties. Kennebec is late maturing, skins easily and is highly resistant to late blight. The red skin varieties include Red Norland, a smooth, early variety which is scab resistant and has shallow eyes; Dark Red Norland, also an early variety with scab resistance and smooth, dark red skin; and Red Pontiac, a good quality, late maturing variety. The recommended russet skin potatoes for Missouri include russet Burbank, Norgold Russet, considered the best russet, and Russet Norkotah, an early variety that is also a good baking potato.
Irum Sarfaraz is a freelance writer with over 20 years of nonfiction writing experience in newspaper op-eds and magazine writing, book editing, translating and research writing. Sarfaraz is originally from Pakistan and has been published in both American and Pakistani newspapers and magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature, and diplomas in nonfiction writing.