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

Kohlrabi is your least favoured vegetable (Gardening Tips ‘n’ Ideas)

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Kohlrabi is your least favoured vegetable

Posted: 20 Sep 2007

We’re creatures of comfort when it comes to growing vegetables in our gardens. The perennial favourites; tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces and cabbage always get a guernsey and the only time we move outside of our preferences is when we experiment with a new variety.

Yet we rarely try a new species. Why is that? Is it because we have no idea what to do with some vegetables? Or, maybe we don’t like eating them and therefore won’t grow them in favour of our taste buds. Perhaps it has more to do with economics – limited space = demand = supply.

Whatever the reason, kohlrabi is one of the least preferred vegetables to take up space in our veggie patch. Over the past week I’ve had a poll asking gardeners: Which vegetable WOULDN’T you grow in your vegie patch? And the big winner is…

Broad Beans – 1; Jerusalem Artichokes – 6; Kohlrabi – 9;
Okra – 3; Chokos – 7; Pumpkin – 2.

In fact, pollsters granted okra a better chance to make it into their veggie patches than the humble kohlrabi. It seems this alien looking vegetable either needs a better PR officer or gardeners just really don’t appreciate it.

What does Kohlrabi have going for it?

Lots, really. Its colour and shape alone set it apart as one of those gourmet type vegetables that could rival the celeriac and multicoloured silverbeet. From a purely aesthetic purpose they should be a welcome addition to any garden.

Apart from kohlrabi’s debonair good looks it’s also a great tasting vegetable. Similar to a turnip its flavour is much milder and sweeter and can be substituted in many recipes that require turnips.

How to grow kohlrabi

While kohlrabi may share some similarities with turnips their growing pattern differs completely. Turnips, although a member of the Brassica family, are a root vegetable while Kohlrabi enjoys the sun and grows above ground.

They prefer a typically well-drained soil so if you’re gardening in areas prone to clay you may want to lift them above ground level and feed with organic matter. While the leaves may attract snails and slugs they’re not the essential part – although can still be eaten as greens – of the vegetable while the ball-shaped fruit is almost pest-resistant.

Kohlrabi are a spring vegetable but they can be sown throughout spring and into early summer and take about 6-8 weeks to harvest.

Vegetables in containers : peas and mangetout (Best Gardening)

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Best Gardening

Vegetables : peas and mangetout

Peas are fun to grow and taste delicious fresh from the garden

Peas in small spaces

Dwarf peas can be planted in a container and grown successfully. Snow peas and sugar snap are fun to try. Remember that peas need a cool, moisture retentive soil and plenty of water for the pods to fill. Although there is quite a lot of work for the size of the crop, peas are fun to grow and taste delicious fresh from the garden. Mange tout and sugar snap peas are best eaten whole, before the pods are swollen. Round peas are hardier than the other, and petit-pois are smaller and sweeter. Continue reading Vegetables in containers : peas and mangetout (Best Gardening)

Small space vegetable gardens (Bestgardening)

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Bestgardening (see my Blogroll)

Small space vegetables 

As city gardens become ever smaller, garden space becomes more and more precious. Once the norm, space for growing vegetables may seem just a dream. Yet salads, tomatoes, and other vegetables are so much better straight from the garden. Young, tender vegetables are prized, and so much better when there are only minutes between the garden and the pot or salad bowl. The process, from garden to table, is enjoyable and one of anticipation. There are lots of ways to introduce vegetables into the garden, especially as we can become more innovative in how we grow our veges.

Tips for Small Space Vegetables
Concentrate on growing only those vegetables that benefit the most from being picked fresh and take up a small space. Don’t grow plants that take up lots of space, have a long growing season or you don’t love to eat!¬† Grow vegetables that are hard to find and not usually on the supermarket shelves, and select varieties for superior taste rather than crop size. Small is definitely beautiful in a tiny vegetable garden. The largest tomatoes are not necessarily the best tasting. Vegetables suitable for small spaces are generally harvested when young and tender. Thus the growing season is shorter and plants can be cycled through faster. Baby cauliflower, finger carrots, cherry tomatoes, spring onions, there are loads of suitable seeds on the market today. Grow fewer vegetables of each type. In a large garden we can grow 20 celery plants, in a small space garden you may want to grow only half a dozen, and in a balcony garden two or three plants will provide fresh stalks for cutting. In courtyards and against a warm wall you can often get planting long before the soil in a traditional garden has warmed enough for planting out and seed sowing.
Continue reading Small space vegetable gardens (Bestgardening)