A vegetable garden is a simple way to have healthy meals without spending a lot of money. Likewise, who doesn’t like the feeling of consuming freshly harvested veggies right out of your own garden? With so many plants to choose from, we’ve come up with a list of the healthiest vegetables to grow in your garden.
If you are trying to lose weight, you should consider eating lettuce. A hundred grams of this green vegetable only has 15 calories while still packing a lot of nutrients for your body. For one, lettuce leaves can provide more than double the regular amount of vitamin A you need. Thus, you can maintain a clear vision and a healthy skin by eating lettuce.
Furthermore, the fresh lettuce leaves have vitamin K for bone metabolism while the vitamin C helps to eradicate harmful free radicals. In addition, lettuce has flavonoids protecting you from lung cancer and oral cancer. Also, lettuce has iron, magnesium, and potassium to help regulate both your blood pressure and heart rate.
Lettuce can be directly sown at least half an inch deep in a well-prepared soil. Even when winter arrives, you should not worry about the snow. However, you do need to be cautious of strong cold winds. Consequently, you could plant lettuce seeds indoors one month before the late spring frost occurs.
After four to six weeks, the seedlings should be good enough for transplanting to your vegetable garden outside. To protect the lettuce plants from pesky aphids, you could grow chives between them. You should harvest the lettuce once they reach full size but only before maturity. Also, you could still leave the leaves at the center of the lettuce so that the plant will still grow.
Apart from being a low-cholesterol and low-fat vegetable, spinach is brimming with nutrients to keep your body strong. Spinach could help improve your cognitive functions. The high amount of flavonoids in this vegetable will safeguard your colon area from harmful free radicals.
Spinach has protein, fiber, and calcium to aid digestion while strengthening your bones and muscles. Furthermore, spinach has vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K. Other minerals included in spinach are iron, zinc, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and niacin. Magnesium is good for regulating blood pressure while the folate in spinach is beneficial for your cardiovascular system.
The soil pH in your garden should ideally range between 6.5 and 7. This vegetable will grow optimally in well-drained soil. We recommend improving the organic content of the soil through composting and the application of a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. If you want to harvest spinach twice each year, you should grow the first spinach plants a month before the late spring frost.
The next batch of spinach should be sown two months before the first fall frost. Moreover, the spinach plants must have a one-foot gap between each other. This space will allow the spinach to grow to their full size. When the leaves are good enough in size to consume, you should only get the leaves at the outer section. Similar to lettuce, leaving the center leaves will ensure that the spinach plants keep growing.
While broccoli is mostly composed of water, it still contains various nutrients such as carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. The carbohydrates come in the form of sugar and fiber, which is essential for improving your gut health. Each cup of broccoli weighing will give 2.3 grams of fiber.
A serving of broccoli will have three grams of protein, which is good for body growth. Additionally, broccoli has vitamin C for improving the immune system and vitamin K1 for ensuring bone health. Like other vegetables, this has folate, potassium, and manganese. This is a low-calorie and low-fat vegetable with every serving packing only 31 calories.
The ideal soil pH for growing broccoli is 7.0. Also, the soil should have sufficient organic matter through adding composting. During the cold period of the year, you can plant the broccoli seeds indoors. Do this activity six weeks before the last expected frost. After a month, the broccoli should be tall and hard enough to be transplanted outdoors and survive a bit of frost.
At the start of spring, you can plant broccoli seeds in your garden to harvest them by fall. This vegetable does not require significant maintenance. You simply have to provide enough water to help it grow. If you want to accelerate its growth into maturity, you could use fish emulsion or a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
A single cup of cooked Brussels sprouts only has 58 calories and zero grams of fat, which makes it good for your diet. It has 11 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of protein to keep you strong and energized.
With Brussels sprouts, you can get more than 100% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and vitamin. Vitamin C is known to eradicate toxic free radicals, enhance collagen production, and reduce wrinkles. Also, Brussels sprouts have vitamin A, vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium.
When sowing Brussels sprouts, they should be contained in a cold frame from March to April. The seedbed must be at least half an inch deep and the rows should have a six-inch gap between each other. Also, the seedlings must be three inches parts. If you think that clubroot might appear and damage them, you can raise the seedlings by putting them in pots.
By May or June, the Brussels sprouts should already be around five inches tall with seven leaves. At this point, you can transplant them to where they can fully grow. There should be a gap of 2.5 feet between the rows and a gap of two feet between the growing plants. During this period of transplanting, you need to constantly water them. You can harvest time as soon as August arrives.
A cup of raw kale only contains 33 calories but it can give almost three grams of protein. In addition, the fiber contained in kale will help regulate your blood sugar. It can also make you feel full to avoid overeating. Also, the folate in kale is good for cognitive functioning while the alpha-linolenic acid is the beneficial kind of fat.
Moreover, kale has vitamins A, C, and K for vision improvement, resistance to infection, and your bone metabolism. Kale also has many minerals such as calcium, zinc, and potassium. If those weren’t enough, the lutein and zeaxanthin can safeguard you against cataracts.
Ideally, kale should be planted between early spring and early summer. You can also grow the kale seeds in the late period of summer, but the harvest period will be from fall up to winter just before the ground starts to freeze. When planting kale, you must have a 5-10-10 fertilizer to encourage robust growth. The first three inches of soil of each row measuring 25 feet in length must have 1.5 cups of the fertilizer.
Furthermore, the kale seeds must be planted at a depth of 0.5 inches in the well-drained soil. The gap between each of the seedlings after two weeks must be one foot. While kale plants need regular watering, you should not provide too much. When the leaves are as big as your hand, they are ready to be harvested. Just leave the terminal bud intact so that the plant could keep growing.
A medium-sized potato has 103 calories. Aside from this, the root vegetable has 23.6 grams of carbohydrates and 2.3 grams of protein. It barely has any fat, at just 0.2 grams. Moreover, sweet potato has 3.8 grams of dietary fiber to keep you feeling full.
In terms of vitamin content, sweet potato will provide more than 400 percent of the vitamin A you would need to consume every day. This makes it an ideal source for preserving a healthy vision. Likewise, it has a good amount of vitamin C and vitamin B6. Sweet potato can help you lose weight, regular your blood sugar, and improve cognitive functions. It contains potassium, magnesium, manganese, niacin, and thiamine.
Sweet potatoes should be planted in well-drained soil to prevent them from rotting in case of severe rainfall. We recommend adding compost or composted manure to the soil. Every square meter of the soil must have a bucket or two of compost dug into them.
Take note that this is a perennial vine that is propagated through cutting. Thus, you first have to plant in in warm climate conditions and wait for it to have plant shoots. To propagate the vegetable, you should get 20-centimeter long shoots from the plant.
Remember to remove all of the leaves except for the two leaves located at the top. The remaining leaves should appear on the soil surface once the shoots have been planted. After four to six months, the sweet potatoes should be ready for harvest. To harvest them, you just pull the vines back so you can see the base. Next, loosen the soil with a garden fork so you can finally get the tubers.
In conclusion, growing a vegetable garden will allow you to have nutritious meals all throughout the year. Each vegetable will have different vitamins and minerals to offer. Likewise, growing them will take time and effort. Still, the payoff of having fresh vegetables right in your garden is worth it.
We hope that this inspired you to grow new vegetables in your garden. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a comment.
With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...