Growing Vegetables In The Garden

Fresh vegetables from your own garden not only taste better but also score with many other advantages: They don’t have to be carted in from distant regions, you know what’s “inside” (pesticides aren’t in there) and gardening keeps you fit. Read here about how you can grow your own vegetables.

These vegetables are particularly uncomplicated

If you don’t have a lot of experience growing vegetables, it’s best to use these uncomplicated types of vegetables:

  • Beans: Bush beans, in particular, do not require much care and provide a good yield. Just sow them after the Ice Saints. Since this type of bean is only 40 to 50 centimeters high, supporting structures are also not necessary.
  • Garlic: If you like garlic, simply put a few cloves (with the tip up!) in the bed in spring or autumn. The plant then grows almost by itself. Incidentally, garlic and strawberries can be wonderfully socialized, as the tubers keep many pests away from the strawberry plants.
  • Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi is also very simple: The young plants are placed in the vegetable patch and grow there until the tubers are thick enough to be harvested.
  • Herbs: Herbs such as chives, parsley, etc. should not be missing in any garden. They are indispensable in the kitchen and usually very uncomplicated to cultivate.
  • Swiss chard: Swiss chard is also unknown to many people, but it is very easy to grow, tasty, and healthy. The colorful stalks can be harvested eight to ten weeks after sowing and will always grow back.
  • Radishes: Radishes can be sown almost all year round and can be harvested after just four weeks.
  • Beetroot: Beetroot is also wonderfully easy to cultivate, and you can also leave the tubers in the ground in winter and simply harvest as needed. However, cover the bed with a protective layer of straw.
  • Lettuce: whether cutting lettuce or picking lettuce: almost all types of lettuce are fast-growing and uncomplicated. The plants should be fertilized a little, but need slightly moist soil.
  • Jerusalem artichoke: The healthy tubers of this type of sunflower are still little known in this country, but they are a delicious vegetable that can be prepared in a variety of ways. In addition, large flowers the plants, which are up to three meters high, decorate every garden. But be careful: It is essential to install a root barrier, as Jerusalem artichoke tends to proliferate.
  • Zucchini: Zucchini plants grow huge and need a lot of space. Provided with sufficient water and standing in a sunny and warm location, a family of four can be supplied with delicious fruits all summer long with just one or two plants.
  • Onions: Onions are just as uncomplicated as garlic: simply buy onion sets and stick them in the ground. The plants practically grow by themselves.

The vegetables listed are particularly robust and easily forgive one or the other mistake.  Nevertheless, you can hope for a rich harvest as long as the summer is not too cold and rainy. If you garden together with your (small) children, the best thing is for the little ones to have their own vegetable patch, where they can do as they please. Give preference to fast-growing vegetables that are also great to eat straight from the bed: radishes or mangetout, for example, are ideal.

When can which vegetables go into the bed?

After you have decided which vegetables to put in the vegetable garden, it is now time to prepare the soil. Loosen the garden soil well and as deeply as possible so that the plants can later root deeply. It is best to carry out work such as digging in the autumn so that the ground lies fallow over the winter and the frost can refine the thick crumbs of the earth. Before digging up, you can also sow green manure (e.g. phacelia), let it emerge, and later dig under.

Sowing calendar

The classic way to order your vegetable garden is of course in spring. However, not all types of vegetables are allowed in the bed at the same time, because some do not tolerate frost and should therefore be planted out as late as possible. Others, on the other hand, can also be cultivated later in the year – for example as a so-called subsequent crop – so that the vegetable beds can be used as best as possible from spring to autumn. The following overview shows you when you can sow the most popular types of vegetables.

Caring for vegetables properly

So that the vegetable plants grow well and you can bring in a rich harvest, you should take good care of the beds. A vegetable garden is a lot of work, but it also keeps you fit and rewards you. Pay particular attention to these tips:

  • Watering: Vegetable plants need a lot of water, especially during fruit ripening, and should under no circumstances be subject to drought stress. Water the vegetable patch preferably in the morning, as well as vigorously and penetratingly. On particularly hot days, feed your plants again in the early evening. However, never pour over the leaves, always pour directly onto the ground!
  • Fertilizing: The vegetable patch should already be supplied with compost and rotted manure in the autumn of the previous year so that the nutrients enter the soil and the humus content increases. Plants with a medium to the high nutrient requirement should also be supplied with organic fertilizers during the growing season. Preferably when planting and again in June / July, bring out compost and horn shavings for this purpose.
  • Weeding: Regular weeding is essential so that the vegetables can grow and do not have to compete with other plants for light and nutrients. Unfortunately, there is no way around it. However, suitable tools (e.g. a weed hoe with a long handle) will make your work easier. Take this opportunity to loosen the soil regularly so that water can penetrate better and the surface does not harden.
  • Mulching: Mulching the vegetable bed not only helps to keep moisture in the soil longer and suppresses weeds. Suitable materials – such as green waste – are also ideal as additional fertilizer and rot quickly.
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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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