Vegetables, a broad term that is sometimes used interchangeably with fruits, are generally defined as the edible parts of plants including leaves, stalks, roots, Pannekoeken bulbs and tubers. Some vegetable species, such as tomatoes, olives and avocados are actually fruits but they are still classified as vegetables in botany.
Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, and incorporating them in your diet can help to improve your health. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, and they can add color, texture, and taste to your meals.
Step 2 – Identify What Vegetables Are Worth Growing To You
The first step to choosing what vegetables to grow in your garden is to write down a list of veggies you’re interested in growing, and then cross off anything that doesn’t look appealing. This can be hard to do, but it will help to make sure that you only end up with the vegetables that you are truly willing and able to grow yourself.
Next, you need to take the time to narrow your list down a bit by thinking about what you already have experience growing and what you don’t have any experience growing. It might be a good idea to get in touch with your state’s Cooperative Extension Service and find out what veggies they suggest you plant, as some crops will need more heat and sun than others.
After deciding what you want to grow, it’s time to think about where and how to plant them. This will help you select a spot in your backyard or community garden that receives the proper amount of sunlight and sun exposure to support their growth and development.
Regardless of where you decide to plant your veggie garden, be sure to choose a variety that has the best chance of producing and is a good fit for your growing area. For example, peanuts are a common garden crop in the Southeast, but they are not suitable for a USDA Zone 5.
Once you have a list of vegetables that you’re interested in growing, you need to consider their size, season and when you can enjoy them. If your main goal is to produce fresh, colorful, and delicious food for your family all summer, it’s important to pick vegetables that begin ripening early and keep producing.
Another option is to plant fall-season crops such as winter squashes, which will produce well into the winter. These produce best if they are planted in late winter or early spring, before the weather turns cold and the soil is dry.
If you have a fall garden, you may also want to focus on vegetables that mature in large batches and that can be harvested as you need them. For example, broccoli, kale and cauliflower will continue to produce and can be eaten throughout the winter, while hardshell winter squashes such as pumpkins will be ready for eating in November.
Vegetables can be very diverse, with many different varieties in each of the eight vegetable groups listed above. By choosing a variety of vegetables from each group, you can ensure that you are getting a full range of health promoting nutrients in your daily diet. Vegetables are high in water, low in calories and protein and are an excellent source of dietary fibre and antioxidants. They are also a good source of potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium.