Choosing veg for your garden.
There’s something so satisfying about growing your own vegetables and eating them, fresh from the garden. Obviously, we all have different time and space constraints, which may practically affect your choices, but here is a round-up of some popular and hopefully not too difficult to grow veg, that might tempt you into exercising your green fingers.
Not always the easiest thing to grow, cauliflower needs plenty of moisture, cool temperatures and soil rich in organic matter. If you’re keen however, check out the, green, purple, and orange varieties, as well as the more common white.
A staple of Italian sauces, celery can be grown from seed or cutting, using the cut-off base (just put it in water to root, and then plant into soil). Homegrown celery has a nice, strong flavour and is versatile both cooked and raw.
Similar to kale and cabbage, collard greens can stand a wider temperature range, making them quite hardy and resilient when they’re growing. High in calcium and vitamin K, these greens are popular in recipes from the southern states of America.
Tuscan kale, curly kale or Russian kale? They can all be grown in containers or in the ground and are more than happy in our cooler climes. If you can, plant them in a moist, sunny spot. Like most other greens, this dark green veg is highly nutritious.
Leeks, part of the alium family like onion, garlic and chives, can be eaten raw when very young but benefit from cooking as they mature. They grow best in full sun but will tolerate light shade. If you leave them to flower, you’ll have enough seeds for crop after crop.
Who doesn’t love home-grown lettuce salads in the summer? Exactly. Unfortunately, so does the local wildlife, furry or otherwise. However, if you’re having a go, plant lettuces in the ground in rows, blended in with other vegetables, or even in a mixed border with flowers. You could also plant them in containers – just remember to get in quickly when they’re ready!
Very much a favourite in the UK, peas grow well in cooler weather. Give them a simple cane frame and they’re off – and you can even eat the shoots as well as the peas themselves. Likewise, peppery radishes are fast growers and are great in salads.
If you leave a little time between planting batches of spinach, you can avoid a glut and extend your harvest as spinach is quite tolerant of the cold. Harvest either the whole plant, or just take leaves as and when.
Colourful like cauliflower, Swiss chard is available in varieties with orange, pink, red, yellow, or white ribs making a colourful display – though the white-stemmed varieties generally perform better as a crop. Either way, it’s a nutritious and tasty veg.
All you’ve got to do now is choose and give them a go.
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