Sunday, March 22, 2009

Vegetable Gardening - This Is The Year

From Christy Wilhelmi, the talented founder of

A recent survey showed that more Americans are starting to grow their own food. People all over the country are succumbing to the joys of vegetable gardening. To these folks, there’s nothing more rewarding than walking out into the garden to pick fresh leeks, lettuce, tomatoes and basil. Then into the kitchen they go to create a culinary masterpiece with their harvest. Can you blame them for being so passionate? Surely there is something to this curious hobby.

The environmental benefits of growing your own veggies are great. Planting your own vegetables means you can ensure they are organic and healthy. And getting your food out of your own garden cuts the carbon emissions that would have been required to bring you food from the farm to the store to your table.

If you want to get in on the action, here is a quick-start guide for vegetables that grow best in spring:

+ Asparagus – start once, enjoy for a decade or so
+ Brassicas - cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, turnips, kohlrabi, rapini (Note – if it gets hot early in your area, you may want to have shade cloth handy to keep them from “bolting”, or going to seed too quickly. These veggies grow best in fall in the Southwest because they like to start in warm weather and mature in cooler weather).
+ Carrots and other root crops like parsnips and radishes
+ Cucumbers – start indoors and plant out later in the spring
+ Peppers– both sweet and spicy (start indoors and plant out later in the spring)
+ Eggplant – plant at the same time as peppers
+ Garlic – one of my favorite things to grow at home (can be grown in fall as well)
+ Herbs – basil, cilantro, chives, dill, oregano, parsley, and many others
+ Lettuces and other greens for salads like arugula, spinach and mustard greens
+ Melons – watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, casaba, etc.
+ Onion Sets, leeks, shallots and green onions
+ Peas
+ Potatoes – you haven’t lived until you’ve grown your own potatoes
+ Squash – both summer and winter squash like butternut, yellow crookneck, zucchini
+ Tomatoes – try any of the over 300 varieties available

Read the rest of the article and get lots of gardening info at

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