High fiber veggies are very good for your health and your “gut microbiome” so here we go with a few ideas on what to grow in 2021. Much will depend on the space you have but not the gardening experience. Home gardening is a super fun and easy hobby for those with absolutely no training. Hoping you find a vegetable or two, or more, to try in your home garden this year. Here we go :
My High Fiber Veggie List
Here is a short list of some of my favourite higher fiber veggies, with information on those I simply love to grow, preserve and serve to family and friends:
1. Greens such as : Collards, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce; add parsley and chives to this healthy list
2. Squash family ie Acorn & Butternut (winter storage) and zucchini; and
3. Turnips and beets (greens) Note – for Low Carb Lifestyle, beets generally have high sugar and carb, as do most other “root” crop foods
Tip: There is simply not enough room to “grow it all” but have fun trying!
Kale needs no introduction I know, but it can be grown almost 12 months of the year where we live, depending on how cold the winter weather is, and if you have a greenhouse. This will be one of the first seeds planted inside in February to plant out in the greenhouse or “hoop” covered gardens. It is very versatile and great in a stirfy, etc. Curly kale is my first choice as just an all round, healthy food. “How to Grow Kale – a Garden Winner”
#2 Squash & Gourds
Growing squash can be great fun, with kids especially when they find gourds hiding under the leaves. This is also a popular vegetable to grow in a home garden, especially a zucchini, as they do not take a lot of work, nor a lot of space and produce a bounty of nutritious food during summer and into the Fall. Now we have a “zoodle” slicer zucchini is a favourite.
A few growing tips:
- Winter squash (Buttercup, Table Queen Acorn, Butternut) usually take 80 to 100 days to produce ripe gourds so I start them inside in March to move to the greenhouse in 6 to 8 weeks, depending on weather
- Water seeds, cover with lid (or loose plastic) and in a few days they will have sprouted. Leave lid off.
- Once growing inside under lights keep plants close to light source (4″)
- These seeds all seem to grow very fast and you may have to repot the growing plants into larger pots several times
- Grow in normal potting soil until moving outside. Then I mulch heavily with well rotted compost
- Note: Most large seed companies today have an abundance of information on their seed packets plus a large local seed company has an excellent catalogue with an encyclopedia of plant growing information for our area
This delicious fruit has been a constant provider in our home gardens, every year along with kale and garlic For a beginning garden start with a hardy, short growing tomato variety that provides a medium sized fruit such as Earliana (harvest 65 days after transplant) and Starfire Improved (harvest 42 days after transplant). Tomatoes are a warm loving plant so should not be planted out until all signs of frost are over.
I usually, start tomato seeds inside 4 to 6 weeks before taking out to the greenhouse for another month before planting outside. Because of the uncertainty of our weather I always have frost protection for tomatoes in Spring (and Fall).
Tip: For beginners buying transplants is always a simple option.
A Few Notes:
- It is important to buy seeds and transplants for your area and growing conditions and climate
- My personal choice is to buy Heirloom variety seeds and Non-GMO / non hybrid
- Most vegetables do not like our Spring frosts or heavy rains in the Pacific NorthWest. I make my own (moveable) temporary hoop frames and cover with plastic sheeting – a great way to protect plants if you don’t have a greenhouse or cold frame
In Closing :
This is not an “How To” article but merely an encouragement for you to start a vegetable garden. Choose easy to grow veggies you enjoy eating or preserving; try container gardening if you need more space; visit your local Farmers Market for organic produce grown where you live. Start small … and grow! Check out the many Caramel and Parsley links below and in the Gardening category.
Gardening has been a Lifetime hobby for me. My childhood family home, although in a large city, Mum devoted more than half our back yard space to a bountiful vegetable garden and the remainder to 13 or more fruit trees and vines. A legacy from my mother which I believe I have passed on to my own adult children. It is a never ending subject and I hope it gives you joy in the growing; pleasure and health in the eating. Happy Gardening ~ Liz
PS : Photo above : Here is an article on a “First Year” Veggie garden (not mine!) A huge success and tons of fun for the whole family. Enjoy…
Links & References :
- Simple beginning : Raised Bed Gardens this Spring (2020)
- Many Reasons to Start a Veggie Garden (2019)
- 5 More Reasons to Start a Vegetable Garden (2017)
- More hints, tips and ideas on your Spring Vegetable garden (2017)
- Strawberries are Good for Your Health (2018)
- There is always room to grow herbs such as thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, lemon balm and mint (always in a container) and my all time favourite parsley (2010)
- Tons of great gardening information from University Minnesota on a wide variety of topics (2020)