Five of the Healthiest Foods your Garden can Produce:
Owning a personal garden can be a rewarding experience. The hobby of gardening is the most popular pastime across the globe. Owning your own garden means that you are in charge of knowing exactly what chemicals, if any, are used in the produce that you and your family eat.
Garden-fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables exceedingly surpass the taste of produce from the grocery store. The juicy, amazing flavors, along with the ranging textures ensure that your taste buds will welcome and enjoy this vibrant experience.
Tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, spinach, kale, lettuce, beets, carrots, broccoli, garlic, and cucumbers are amongst the list of healthy produce which your home garden can yield. However, five of these are healthier than the rest…..
Kale is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. It is rich in nutrients which protect your eyes and it has numerous cancer-fighting properties. Kale is also easily the world’s best source of vitamin K. The benefits do not stop there. Kale is loaded with antioxidants, it can help lower cholesterol and it has very little fat. Kale also gives your body vitamin A, C, B6, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, and magnesium.
Kale is extremely easy to manage and can be planted in containers for smaller home gardens. Additionally, kale can be planted once and harvested all season, as it grows almost all year long. Starting from seed is doable, though harvest time is shortened if you start with pre-started young plants. Allow enough room between plants, as this will give you larger leaves. Harvesting can be done several different ways; the first by plucking the lower leaves, and the second by cutting the stalk itself down to 4”-5”. New leaves will form just above the old leaf stalk. Keep in mind that because it grows for such a long period of time, you need to be sure that you choose a permanent spot.
Garlic contains allicin, an organic compound, which acts as an antibacterial agent to fight illness and food poisoning. Garlic also possesses phytochemicals which can help reduce high blood pressure, lower cancer rates and fight infection. Studies prove how good garlic is for your heart as well. It also holds large amounts of vitamin B6, C, selenium, and manganese. Garlic has been proven to boost the immune system amongst other uses.
Garlic is relatively easy to grow. Start with well-drained soil in your garden with plenty of organic material. Bulbs should be separated into cloves and planted in the fall using any pattern you like, maintaining about 2”-3” spacing between plants. In spring, the green tops begin to grow and a flower like spike may form called a “scape”. Be sure to cut that stalk out so that all the energy formed is going back into the bulb. Harvest time is when the stems begin to turn brown around mid-summer.
Spinach is heavily rich in vitamin K and it would be difficult to find any vegetable with more. Vitamin K is essential to maintaining bone health, eyesight, stronger muscles, and various anti-cancer properties. It is known to aid in restoration of energy loss, increase vitality, and improve blood quality. Spinach is rich in vitamin A, C, B2, iron, potassium and folic acid as well.
Spinach is generally available year round and is relatively easy to manage in a home garden. Begin with organically rich composted soil that is well drained and slightly raised planting rows is beneficial. As this is a leafy veggie, it is a great choice to grow in a pot. Seeding directly into the ground is recommended at 12 seeds per 1 foot. The plant will perform best in sun to partial sun requiring about 6 weeks of cool weather from seedling to harvest. Successive plantings are recommended in spring as it cannot grow in midsummer.
Being rich in fiber, beets help regulate your digestive system. They make your body better at fighting chronic diseases and beets help prevent obesity. Beets are rich in nitrates, which boost endurance and increase stamina. The numerous health-boosting nutrients that beets possess ensure that they should be a part of every diet and a member of every home garden. Beets have high amounts of iron, copper, manganese, potassium, and B vitamins, making beets one of the healthiest garden veggies to include in your garden.
Beets can be seeded in March in our area and are resistant to cold temperatures. Plenty of sunlight, consistent water, and organic material like compost ensure that the beets in your garden will thrive. After plants reach 2”-3” you must thin plants 3” apart to ensure room for the roots to grow.
One dramatic impact broccoli holds is its ability to keep your skin looking rejuvenated. The vitamin C in broccoli helps fight skin damage caused by environmental pollutants, including the sun. Broccoli also helps prevent wrinkles and aids in better skin texture. One cup of your garden fresh broccoli holds more than your entire recommended daily value of vitamin C and K. Broccoli increases energy, helps hair stay healthy, and fights the risk of diabetes. The folate in broccoli is also believed to decrease the risk of breast cancer.
Growing broccoli is a true test of your patience. It grows best in well-draining soil, cooler temperatures and with plenty of organic soil, such as compost, animal manure, or cover plants. Transplant young plants after the last frost date in spring, keeping the soil consistently moist. Allow 55-85 days before harvest and wait for the small floret to grow to about 6”-8” across. You can choose how much of the stalk you want to eat, as it contains many of the nutrients as well.
The installation of your home garden by Surrounds Landscape Architecture and Construction has never been so easy. On one hand, you attain a hobby beloved by the world, and on the other, you are protecting your family’s health by providing essential vitamins and nutrients.
Are you wondering how to bring out the fullest expression in your landscape and gardens? Our eBook: Choosing the Right Kind of Landscape Maintenance Firm, is full of valuable information to help you understand the fundamental differences between landscape maintenance companies.