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)