How to Grow Your Own Nutritious Vegetables Year Round- Part 2
April is a terrific time to begin to grow your own nutritious vegetables. This can provide your family with a fabulous selection of fresh, crispy, delicious vegetables all year round.
Sow: arugula, broad beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes radish, spinach, swiss chard and turnips
Sow indoors: peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and melons
Grown in your garden, peas taste completely different from what you buy frozen or canned, in a store. Peas are high in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, B6 and C.
Cool spring weather is ideal for growing peas. However, if the soil is too wet or cold the seeds can grow fungus and rot. Peas should be planted when the soil is warm enough for the seed to sprout ( 7.222° C to 23.888° C ). Plant in early spring and late summer/autumn. Above all, peas do not like the extreme heat of summer.
Brussels sprouts are sweet and tender when freshly grown. They provide dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, folic acid and riboflavin. High levels of vitamins A, B6, C and D.
Because they are a slow growing vegetables, it will take five or six months for them to mature. However, this is a rare vegetables that can served fresh from the garden starting in September and through until February. As a result, you will need to use very fertile soil with lots of garden compost and well rotted manure.
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers are high in potassium, riboflavin, and vitamins A, B6, and C. One cup of red bell pepper provides 317% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and 93% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.
It is best to start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last spring frost. The temperature needs to be at least 21.11° C for seed germination. Begin with three seeds to a pot, remove the weakest seedling and let the remaining two pepper plants live as one plant. As a result, the leaves of two plants will help protect peppers against scalding in the sun.
The seedlings will need to gradually become accustomed to strong sunlight and cool nights over a 10 day period. Start with 2-3 hours of sun on a mild day. Above all, protect seedlings from the heat of very strong sunlight, wind, heavy rain and cold temperatures.
Healthy soil is of great importance to a productive year-round garden. Start by finding out the quality of your soil with a do-it-yourself soil testing kit.
Weeds, when composted, help to enhance the quality of your soil. Find out if your soil is acidic or alkaline, sandy or compacted. Correct any deficiencies by adding natural compost, coffee grounds, eggshells and more.
Saving seeds is one of the most important things you can do for your garden. By preserving the best seeds from the most robust plants of each season, you’ll grow future plants perfectly adapted to your growing location.
Seeds from tomatoes, lettuce, peas and beans require little or no isolation. Other vegetables require some distance from plants in the same family, or seeds can cross.
Avoid pesticides and chemical fertilizers because they will wipe out the beneficial insects that contribute to your garden thriving.
Don’t pay any attention to all the photos you’ve seen of tidy rows of vegetables with bare earth in between that you’ve seen in garden magazines. Instead interplant your food crops with diverse plants that will attract the “good” insects that will benefit your garden.
Practice natural pest control and let nature do the work.
Herbs and Wildflowers
Finally, create a garden that maintains itself with natural pest control by including wildlife-attracting herbs, flowers and native plants. Companion herbs and wildflowers attract insects like ladybugs, lacewings and flower flies, which eat crop-damaging aphids and mites. Native plants, and the proximity to a pond or water source, attract frogs and birds that eat slugs. Bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms regenerate the soil. This promotes healthy plants that are able to withstand predatory insects and diseases.
Consequently, if you allow nature to do its work, your year-round garden of nutritious vegetables will develop into an ecosystem that supports healthy plant life and controls pests.