Growing your own vegetables assures you access to healthy and fresh vegetables during most of the year. Among these, you can choose green vegetables, which are relatively easy to grow and maintain, provided you know the conditions best suited to their growth. The main green vegetables, called leaf vegetables by gardeners, are the green beans, carrots, beetroots, tomatoes and courgettes.

Green vegetables are also known as leaf vegetables. It is important to note that “green vegetables” does not necessarily mean that they are all of green colour. For example, green vegetables also include carrots, beets, eggplants or tomatoes. Most green vegetables are relatively easy to grow, all you need to do is to till the ground and choose the garden’s corner that is best suited to these vegetables. A sunny location sheltered from the wind and facing south-east to south-west should do the trick. Given that the harvest of most leaf vegetables is completed by the end of September, you can work the soil in fall or winter by enriching it with compost to prepare the ground for sowing the following spring.

Growing beans

Green beans are leaf vegetables native to South America and they belong to the Fagaceae family. Green beans are very beneficial to the health because they are very rich in vitamins and minerals. It is relatively easy to grow green beans, however, they need a bit of care and maintenance to produce a good harvest. You can start sowing them once the soil begins to warm after winter. You can thus start sowing from the second half of April until the end of July, making it possible to stagger the harvest over two to three months. Place green bean seeds every 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) in 1.2 to 1.5-inch (3 to 4 cm) deep furrows. Afterwards, cover with lightly packed soil. It is important to ensure that the ground remains moist throughout the entire period preceding the emergence of shoots.

Once the young seedlings have reached a height of 8 inches (20 cm), you can start hilling (bringing the earth back around the plant). Watering is a very important step when growing green beans. Waterings are normally performed 8 to 10 weeks after the sowing season. When watering, it is advisable to sprinkle lightly at the foot of the plants to prevent diseases. Some plants will need support and mulching of the ground will help to keep the soil moist. To ensure a good harvest of your green beans, it is advisable to soak the seedlings in cold or lukewarm water for at least 10 hours to facilitate seed germination. It is also important to allow at least 20 inches (50 cm) of space between the rows of seedlings to help the plants breathe better during irrigation. You can also optimize the growing surface area by cultivating your green beans with corn stalks or pumpkins. Furthermore, once the corn seedlings are large enough, they can provide shade to pumpkins and serve as stakes for green bean seedlings.

Growing spinach

Spinach are perennial plants rich in vitamins and trace elements. Spinach plants are very easy to grow and have virtually no specific maintenance needs. With good cultivation and good maintenance, you can harvest spinach all year round. It is advisable to sow spinach by keeping at least 12 inches (30 cm) of space between each seedling. It is important to know that to sow spinach (from February to October), you do not need to have a completely loosened soil. Given that the plants take root easily, slightly scratched land is more than sufficient. If you sow in summer, be sure to cover the ground with a layer of dry grass to prevent evaporation, especially if it is very hot. You can mix the seeds with a little powdered charcoal before sowing them in order to prevent damping-off that could eventually reach the seedlings. You should also provide your plants with a little nitrogen fertilizer to sustain leaf growth. A supply of compost or fertilizer is also recommended to prevent the leaves’ nitrate content from being too high, as this could eventually lead them to become toxic. It is advisable to use a plastic tunnel for sowing, because it is necessary to ensure that the soil temperature is not below 41 ° F (5 ? C). Shoots normally emerge after a maximum period of 6 to 10 days and you must thin the rows by 3 inches (8 cm) at least 10 days after germination. Since spinach grows very quickly, you can harvest them six weeks after having sown them.

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Published in Green vegetables by Alexander on 14 Sep 2011