Best Vegetables to Plant in Your Organic Garden

Eat and enjoy these tasty vegetables and herbs from your kitchen garden.

Homegrown vegetables and herbs bring fresh flavors to summertime meals. Got a late start on your garden this year? Many of the following easy-to-grow varieties can be sown throughout the growing season. You can enjoy these herbs and vegetables freshly picked from the garden or cook them up using some of our recipes. Either way you know you’ll be getting an abundance of nutrients to keep you happy and healthy.

Bush Beans

Bush Beans

Why we love them: Green beans are a healthy summer favorite, both for their fresh crunch and flavor. They also add a bright shot of green to your dinner plate.

What you get: Green beans provide a bounty of nutrients: vitamins A, C and K, manganese, potassium, folate and iron, as well as fiber.

In your garden: Plant your bean seeds in well-drained soil where they’ll receive full sun. Sow seeds every few weeks to enjoy a continual harvest through the summer.

Beets

Beets

Why we love them:Beets are an earthy, sweet treat. And don’t forget to eat the beet greens too-baby ones are delicious raw in a salad; cook more mature ones as you would chard or kale.

What you get: 1/2 cup of cooked beets has a mere 29 calories but boasts 2 grams of fiber and provides 19 percent of the daily value for folate, a B vitamin needed for the growth of healthy new cells. Beets’ beautiful color comes from betanin, a phytochemical that’s thought to bolster immunity.

In your garden: You can plant your beets as soon as your soil can be worked in the spring.

Carrots

Carrots

Why we love them: Carrots are a perennial favorite-delicious raw or cooked, and they can be prepared in a variety of ways.

What you get: The pigment that makes carrots orange-beta carotene-is the same compound the body converts to vitamin A, a vitamin essential for vision, healthy skin and the immune system.

In your garden: Plant carrots as soon as the soil can be worked. They thrive in fertile sandy loam.

Cucumbers

Why we love them: Cucumbers are a tasty addition to salads, add crunch to your crudit‚s plate and even taste good cooked.

What you get: While the cucumber isn’t known as a nutrition powerhouse, it does provide refreshment: at 95 percent water content, a cup of cucumber slices is nearly as thirst-quenching as a glass of water.

In your garden: Give your cucumber plants generous amounts of organic matter and good fertilization and they will respond with lots of crunchy cucumbers; harvest them regularly to increase production.

Gourmet Lettuce Mix

Gourmet Lettuce Mix

Why we love them: Lettuce is easy to grow, making it a great choice for container gardening. This mix of greens tastes great in a salad or on a sandwich.

What you get: Although nutrients differ with each variety of lettuce, leafy greens are a great start to any meal, supplying vitamins A, C, K and folate.

In your garden: Lettuce thrives in cooler weather so plant it in the spring and fall, sowing every few weeks for a continuous harvest.

Snap Peas

Snap Peas

Why we love them: These sweet peas with edible pods make a great snack on their own, and are just as welcome cooked up into a satisfying side dish.

What you get: With one-third of your daily value of vitamin C and 3 grams of fiber in every cup, these vegetables are a healthy choice.

In your garden: Snap peas are hardy legumes that germinate in soil temperatures as low as 40øF, but don’t do so well in hot and dry weather. Plant your peas so that they can mature as early as your planting schedule allows and sow more seeds when cooler fall days return.

Radishes

Radishes

Why we love them: These spicy, crunchy globes are packed with flavor. And radishes are more versatile than you may think: add them to a salad or temper their heat by cooking them in your favorite veggie stir-fry.

What you get: Bonus! One radish has just 1 calorie.

In your garden: Even if you don’t have a green thumb, radishes are easy to grow in containers and gardens; spring radish varieties are often ready in just three weeks and are more mild in flavor-hotter summer soil produces spicier radishes.

Mild Mustard Salad Mix

Mild Mustard Salad Mix

Why we love them: Peppery and spicy mustard greens, like mizuna and pac choi, add great zing to salads. Try them when your recipe calls for Asian salad mix.

What you get: Dark leafy greens are particularly rich in vitamins A, C and K. Mustard greens are also an excellent source of folate, important for women of child-bearing age.

In your garden: You can sow salad greens in your garden from early spring to midsummer.

Basil

Basil

Why we love it: No other herb epitomizes the taste of summer like basil. Whirl up a batch of pesto or sprinkle basil on your favorite pasta dish.

In your garden: Plant basil in rich, moist soil where it can enjoy full sun. Sow your basil every few weeks for continual harvest.

 

Dill

Dill

Why we love it: With both the leaves and seeds used for seasoning, dill is a very versatile herb. The leaves are soft and sweet, whereas the seeds have a sweet and citrusy taste that is slightly bitter.

In your garden: The herb can be used both fresh and dried. Plant your dill seeds in warmer temperatures: it thrives in soil around 75 to 80øF.

 

Cilantro

Cilantro

Why we love it: Cilantro is a flavorful herb prominent in Mexican and Southeast Asian cookery. Try it as an alternative to basil in pesto to top fish or stir it into your favorite salsa recipe. The stems are as flavorful as the leaves-just discard any that are tough.

In your garden: Plant cilantro early in the season and sow seeds regularly for a continued harvest.

 

Parsley

Parsley

Why we love it: Often parsley is used as a garnish, leaving its delicious flavor underappreciated. Not only does it have a great aromatic quality, but parsley also contains vitamins A and C.

In your garden: Plant parsley in fertile soil with good amounts of organic matter and moisture.

Thyme

Thyme

Why we love it: Best known as a background flavoring for stews and soups, thyme is one of the most versatile herbs. Although typically paired with savory robust foods, such as red meat, poultry and root vegetables, it is also good with apples and pears.

In your garden: Grow thyme in an area that will receive full sunlight.

 

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Article Source: Eating Well

 

woman planting in a small pot

7 Tips to Improve Your Organic Gardening Skills

It’s hard to find good produce in the store these days. Farmers use strip farming techniques to get a lot of tasteless fruit and vegetables, instead of fewer quality products. If this is a problem that affects your life, read on to find out how to make your own organic garden at home!

Tip # 1: Don’t Re-use Water with Chemicals

When watering plants use recycled water, but avoid re-using water from sources such as baths, washing machines, or dishwashing. These water sources may contain harmful chemicals that can be absorbed into your vegetables such as nitrates and phosphates. This water may even contain pathogens that could harm you or your plants.

Tiip # 2: Rotate Your Crops

You will need to rotate the plants on a regular basis when you have an indoor organic garden. Plants need to get light from all directions in order to grow properly. If they are not rotated, plants will bend toward a light source, which can actually cause them to produce less fruits and vegetables, than they would have if they had been rotated.

Tip # 3: Protect Them Seeds

Keep your seeds warm and humid. Most seeds are healthy at a temperature of about seventy degrees. Place your pots next to a heating vent or install an additional heater if needed. You can cover your pots with plastic films so that the seeds can keep their humidity and warmth.

Tip # 4: Train Your Plants

Are you busy with your organic garden? Remember, before you replant your flowers or vegetables outside in cooler weather, you need to get them ready for the change in temperature and light! For a few weeks, move your plants to a colder spot with no light for a few hours. Gradually increase the amount of time you leave your plants in the cold. After a few weeks, your plants should be ready for the cooler outdoors.

Tip # 5: Give Them the Time They Deserve

Tend to your garden a few steps at a time. A garden requires ongoing maintenance, and becomes a big time drain if you let things pile up until the weekend. Stop by the garden for a few minutes each day and deadhead some flowers while you’re waiting for dinner to cook or pull a few weeds while watching the kids play.

Tip # 6: Plant Your Own Food

Plant ornamental, edible plants as part of your regular yard landscaping. Good plants to start with include rosemary, thyme varieties, sages, oregano and basil. These all look great mixed with perennials, and they will supply you with enough that you won’t need to purchase them anymore – herbs are expensive at the supermarket.

Tip # 7: Basket is Your Friend

When it’s harvest time, you should utilize a basket that you put laundry in to carry your veggies. This laundry basket can be used as a type of strainer for all your produce. Doing this allows you to both rinse and drain your fresh produce.

An organic garden right in your home is a great thing to have. You’ll love the fresh, organic produce that you pull right out of your back yard, for free! Apply the tips from this article now, to stop relying on farmers, who are only out to make a quick buck. Start enjoying quality produce, right from your own home.