Vegetables to grow in your garden veggie patch (Gardening Tips ‘n’ Ideas)

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A list of vegetables to grow in your garden veggie patch

Posted: 07 Apr 2008

Some of the excuses I often catch myself using, when it comes to growing vegetables in my garden, is that (1) I haven’t prepared my veggie patch yet, and (2) there doesn’t seem to be that many vegetables to grow. Well the first lame-duck excuse can be overcome by getting my gluteus maximus into gear and tilling some soil. For those who struggle with physical labour you still don’t have an excuse for you could easily start a no-dig garden or even begin straw bale gardening. There are quite a few options available to those who are unable to create traditional soil vegetable gardens. However, it was the second one that got me beat. Perusing the seed packet aisles is an exercise in regressive optimism. One could easily conclude that the Vegetable Growers Association were conspiring against the home gardener and in bed with the large box stores. Their options for the DIY vegetable grower are ordinary, at best. So, I decided to remedy the situation and create my own list of vegetables that I could grow in my garden. And here’s the list according to their families.

1. Alliums

Alliums are great for home gardeners because they range from those that require basic gardening skills up to those with a little more patience. Most of them can be grown year-round or if not, they can be interchanged with others than can.

* Chinese Chives
* Chives
* Garlic
* Italian Red Onion
* Japanese Bunching Onions
* Leeks
* Pickling Onions
* Shallots
* Spanish Red Onion
* Spring Onions/ Scallions
* White Salad Onion

12. Brassicas
Brassicas is the family of vegetables that kids hate. There’s an old joke that goes, “What’s the difference between broccoli and snot?” A: It’s harder to get kids to eat broccoli. Yet while they may not have the greatest publicity campaign surrounding them, they are essentially the great bulk veggies.

* Aburana
* Bok choy
* Broccoli / Calabrese
* Brussel Sprouts
* Cabbage – White/ Green/ Red/ Roundhead
* Cauliflower – Romanesque
* Chinese Cabbage
* Collards
* Flowering Cabbage
* Globe Artichokes
* Kale
* Kohlrabi – Green & Purple
* Napa Cabbage
* Pak-Choi
* Pe-Tsai
* Savoy Cabbage
* Spring Greens
* Tatsoi

19. Cucurbits
Cucurbits are the squashes, gourds and cucumbers that grow well in our summer veggie patches. They all grow on vines which can meander through our gardens tempting the pollinators with their bright blooms. If you’re looking to grow vegetables that can take up a large amount of room in a short space of time, then cucurbits are your answer.

* Acorn Squash
* Bottle Gourd
* Butternut Pumpkin
* Champagne Melon
* Courgette
* Custard Squash
* Dill Pickle
* Golden Nugget Squash
* Honey Dew Melon
* Hot-House Cucumber
* Ironbark Pumpkin
* Japanese Pumpkin
* Lebanese Cucumber
* Luffa
* Marrow
* Minikin Pumpkin
* Ridge Cucumber
* Rockmelon
* Snake Squash
* Spaghetti Squash
* Striped Marrow
* Watermelon
* West Indian Pumpkin
* Zucchini

25. Legumes
The vegan’s staple, legumes are great veggies for adding height in your garden. From corn and maize with their tall trunks to those that need trellising, legumes can add more than just their edibility.

* Bean Sprouts
* Borlotti Beans
* Butter Beans
* Chick Peas
* Fava Bean/ Broad Bean
* French Bean
* Garden Pea
* Haricot Beans
* Lentils
* Maize
* Monguete
* Mung Beans
* Okra
* Red Kidney Beans
* Runner Bean
* Snake Beans
* Snow Peas/ Mange Tout
* Soybeans
* Sugarsnap Peas
* Sweetcorn

21. Mescluns
Looking for some salad that looks fresher than the supermarket’s wares. Try growing your own. There are so many easy to grow lettuces, and leaf vegetables that you can easily become addicted to producing these ready-to-eat delicacies.

* Bulls Blood
* Butterhead Lettuce
* Chicory/ Endive
* Coral Lettuce – Green/ Red
* Cos/ Romaine Lettuce
* Frizzmo
* Iceberg Lettuce
* Krispy
* Mizuna
* Naples Cos
* Oakleaf Lettuce
* Radiccio
* Rainbow Chard
* Rocket
* Silverbeet
* Snow Pea Sprouts
* Sorrel
* Spinach
* Watercress
* Witlof

21. Solanaceae
The summer vegetables always make a great addition to the garden when the seasons warm up. If you haven’t grown tomatoes yet (one of the most common and easiest vegetables/fruits to grow) then your title as a gardener is seriously in doubt. Every season there seems to be a new variety making its mark so finding one that suits your needs should be easier than herding a hungry dog into a meat truck.

* Aubergines/ Eggplant
* Capsicum/ Peppers
* Cherry Tomatoes
* Chilies
* Tomatillos
* Tomatoes – Hundreds of varietals
* Uchuva
* White Egpplant

9. Umbellifers
Preferring to do their growing business underground, umbellifers are another staple to your veggie patch. This list of tuber vegetables is another great reason to get into the veggie patch and most can be grown year-round.

* Beetroot
* Carrots
* Celeriac
* Jerusalem Artichoke
* Navette
* Parsnips
* Potatoes – Hundreds of varietals
* Radish
* Salsify
* Scorzonera
* Swedes/ Rutabagas
* Sweet Potato
* Turnips
* White Radish (Daikon)
* Yam


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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