Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables, ” mom why do I habroad bean flowersve to eat vegetables” and mom’s usual reply:- “so you can grow up strong just like your dad”. I think you may have heard those words before, so now we are as big and strong as dad ( probably a lot more wiser) we understand the vitamins and health giving minerals in the vegetables we were told to eat and probably enjoy most if not all of them. Although a few years ago I had an uncle aged around 70 who did not like cabbage, so when it arrived on his plate, he would sprinkle mint-sauce over it to hide the tasteBroad beans in the pod.
We do know the health giving properties of most of the vegetables and the fact that if we grow them ourselves, (in the garden that is) we can have a fresh better tasting vegetable, than those bought in our shopping basket.
So at this stage, as I stated in my pages of Lasagna fresh peas in the pod Gardening , think in terms of asking your children if they would like to help you choose and plant vegetables ( remember they are the gardeners of the future). Also remember that vegetables do grow relatively fast, and if they have their own vegetable plot (or perhaps a corner of yours), they will see fast growth on vegetables and understand the growing habits, (even allowing you to grow closer).
First you need to decide which vegetables to grow!! and I list some of the ideas for choosing:-
1) A vegetable that is the most popular in your family.
2) A vegetable that you do not buy a lot of as they are expensive.
3) Dependant on the size of your plot, the size of the vegetable you wish to grow, for instance you could grow a lot of lettuce/cabbage or raddish, in an area that would only take a few potato or bush type plants.
4) Early potatoesConsider the planting times of the various vegetables, and when they are ready for gathering, those with a short period, of plant to grow may allow you to put in a further selection of vegetables, as an instance I grow “early” potatoes, and when they are dug up I plant “main crop” or “late” potatoes, and of course before planting the second crop, the ground is thoroughly prepared with mulch added.
5) Another thing to consider is that crops for salads can be picked and a further set of seeds added, giving you a continous supply of vegetables for the table.
6) Brassicas (cabbages) are a vegetable that will grow over a winter period.
RaddicchioThese are some of the considerations to be made, if however you are buying the seeds to plant, usually the packet will give you (on the back) some of the information you are seeking, such as when to plant out or if they should be grown in seed trays prior to planting out, how deep to set the vegetable seeds and so on. however if like me you cheat at times, by buying the young vegetables from your horticultural centre, you will know that they are practically ready to plant out immediately.
My following pages list the various types of vegetables, some you will know already, and others you have never heard of, don’t be frightened to try them or ask about them, for at little cost you can find out yourself if it is a vegetable you woul like.
In closing this page I thought you might like to know tFresh raddishhat many of the vegetables can produce the next season’s seeds. For example peas and beans grow their seeds in the pods (yes I really mean the parts you eat), similarly save one of the tomatoes you grow and save the seeds/pips for the following year’s plants.
I hope this insight to vegetables will help you grow that fresher, better tasting vegetable so you become the envy of your neighbours, and you realise the actual saving on costs.