Guide to Growing Vegetables

Sowing Growing Harvesting

Below are growing guides for a wide variety of common garden vegetables. Most of these vegetables can be grown outdoors during the warm growing season in USDA hardiness zones 4-9. If growing in cooler climates or locations with shorter growing seasons, or cultivating plants native to tropical or subtropical regions (such as tomatoes and peppers), you may consider starting your plants indoors to ensure a mature crop before the first freeze of the fall or winter.

     
   
 
Guide to Growing Arugula   Guide to Growing Asparagus   Guide to Growing Beets
How to Grow Arugula | Guide to Growing Arugula

This salad green adds a tangy, peppery or mustard-like flavor to salads and mesclun mixes.

  How to Grow Asparagus | Guide to Growing Asparagus

Plantings of this perennial can last for decades, and the foliage makes it a natural for edible landscaping.

  How to Grow Beets | Guide to Growing Beets

Easy-to-grow beets produce tasty roots for baking,
boiling or sautéing and fresh greens to boil or steam.

 
Guide to Growing Bok Choy   Guide to Growing Broccoli   Growing Brussels Sprouts
How to Grow Bok Choy | Guide to Growing Bok Choy

Bok choy's mild flavor is great for stir fries. It is also perfect for edible landscaping.

  How to Grow Broccoli | Guide to Growing Broccoli

Broccoli is grown for its edible, immature flower heads. It contains high levels of antioxidants.

  How to Grow Brussels Sprouts | Guide to Growing Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts look like miniature cabbages & form where the leaves meet the stems.

 
Guide to Growing Cabbage   Guide to Growing Carrots   Guide to Growing Cauliflower
How to Grow Cabbage | Guide to Growing Cabbage

Cabbage is grown for its head of leaves, which are eaten raw, cooked, or processed into sauerkraut.

  How to Grow Carrots | Guide to Growing Carrots

Carrots have been renowned for over 2,000 years for their health properties and high vitamin A content.

  How to Grow Cauliflower | Guide to Growing Cauliflower

The most difficult of the
cole crops to grow, cauliflower flourishes when temps. are moderate.

 
Guide to Growing Celery   Guide to Growing Chard   Guide to Growing Chillies
How to Grow Celery | Guide to Growing Celery

Perhaps the most difficult vegetable to grow in many areas, this long-season crop must be started inside.

  How to Grow Chard | Guide to Growing Chard

Grown for its tasty and nutritious leaves, chard is a good substitute for spinach in most recipes.

  How to Grow Chili | Guide to Growing Chillies

The many varieties of sweet and hot peppers thrive on
full sun, warm weather and well-drained soil.

 
Guide to Growing Collard   Guide to Growing Cress   Guide to Growing Cucumbers
How to Grow Collard | Guide to Growing Collard

Collards are among the most heat tolerant of cole crops and its taste is improved by frost.

  How to Grow Cress | Guide to Growing Cress

It's peppery taste adds zing to salads, but hot weather makes this cool-season crop bitter and inedible.

  How to Grow Cucumbers | Guide to Growing Cucumbers

Whether for pickling or slicing, cucumbers are
easy to grow if you give
them good soil.

 
Guide to Growing Eggplant   Guide to Growing Endive   Guide to Growing Kale
How to Grow Eggplant | Guide to Growing Eggplant

Dramatic foliage and colorful fruits make this a good choice for ornamental beds and vegetable gardens.

  How to Grow Endive | Guide to Growing Endive

Flat-leaved varieties are known as escarole, endives are known for their sharp, bitter taste.

  How to Grow Kale | Guide to Growing Kale

The tender young leaves
from these fast-growing plants can be eaten raw, or cooked for soup & stir fries.

 
Guide to Growing Kohlrabi   Guide to Growing Leek   Guide to Growing Lettuce
How to Grow Kohlrabi | Guide to Growing Kohlrabi

The bizarre from-outer-space appearance makes it an eye-stopper in ornamental plantings.

  How to Grow Leek | Guide to Growing Leek

Milder flavored than most other onion-family crops, you can mulch in fall for winter and spring harvest.

  How to Grow Lettuce | Guide to Growing Lettuce

With the variety of colors, shapes and flavors available, your salads may never be
the same.

 
Guide to Growing Mache   Guide to Growing Mustard   Guide to Growing Okra
How to Grow Mache | Guide to Growing Mache

Mache is a cold-season green with mild flavor with a slightly 'nutty' taste. It is rich in Vitamin C.

  How to Grow Mustard | Guide to Growing Mustard

This green adds a peppery zing to salads, and makes an attractive addition to ornamental plantings.

  How to Grow Okra | Guide to Growing Okra

Okra is grown for its immature pods, which are used for preparing soups or eaten as a cooked vegetable.

 
Guide to Growing Onions   Guide to Growing Parsnip   Guide to Growing Peppers
How to Grow Onions | Guide to Growing Onions

A cool-season biennial, the onion is grown for its edible bulbs and fit well in ornamental plantings.

  How to Grow Parsnip | Guide to Growing Parsnip

Parsnips don't develop their sweet, nutty flavor until after enduring frosts and cold weather in fall.

  How to Grow Peppers | Guide to Growing Peppers

The many varieties of sweet and hot peppers thrive on full sun, warm weather and well-drained soil.

 
Guide to Growing Potatoes   Guide to Growing Radicchio   Guide to Growing Radishes
How to Grow Potatoes | Guide to Growing Potatoes

A nutritional mother lode, potatoes are easy to grow as long as they have full sun & moderate temperatures

  How to Grow Radicchio | Guide to Growing Radicchio

The small red and white heads of this chicory family member form best in cool weather. It is a staple in Italian salads.

  How to Grow Radishes | Guide to Growing Radishes

Easy to grow and ready to harvest in just 3 to 6 weeks. Winter varieties produce large, fall-harvested roots.

 
Guide to Growing Rhubarb   Guide to Growing Rutabaga   Guide to Growing Scallions
How to Grow Rhubarb | Guide to Growing Rhubarb

This tart, easy-to-grow perennial is great for pies & jams, especially when coupled with strawberries.

  How to Grow Rutabaga | Guide to Growing Rutabaga

Easy-to-grow root crop is a favorite for fall and winter soups and dishes, & can also be used raw in salads.

  How to Grow Scallions | Guide to Growing Scallions

A young onion before the development of the bulb. Widely used in Chinese cooking.

 
Guide to Growing Shallots   Guide to Growing Spinach   Guide to Growing Squash
How to Grow Shallots | Guide to Growing Shallots

A gourmet favorite, these perennial onions produce a cluster of smaller bulbs instead of one large bulb.

  How to Grow Spinach | Guide to Growing Spinach

This nutritious, cool-season crop is among the first greens ready to harvest, but it's quick to turn bitter.

  How to Grow Squash | Guide to Growing Squash

Summer squash is an immature fruit eaten immediatly. Winter squash
is a mature fruit stored.

 
Guide to Growing Tomatoes   Guide to Growing Turnips   Guide to Growing Zucchini
How to Grow Tomatoes | Guide to Growing Tomatoes

The most popular garden vegetable crop, tomatoes come in a wide range of
sizes, shapes and colors.

  How to Grow Turnips | Guide to Growing Turnips

Spring turnip crops are best harvested while the weather is still cool. The flavor is improved by light frost.

  How to Grow Zucchini | Guide to Growing Zucchini

A variety of squash having an elongated shape and a smooth, thin, dark green rind.Taste great in salads.


   
 

Some general considerations for growing vegetables:

Sowing Tips

When sowing seeds, a good general rule of thumb is to sow to a depth of approximately twice the thickness of the seed. Some smaller seeds require light to germinate and should not be sown too deep; otherwise they may never germinate or break through the surface of the soil. Conversely, large seeds planted too shallow may not develop properly.

 

Keep seeds well-moistened while awaiting germination and check regularly. Smaller seeds should be watered with care so as not to disturb or displace beneath the soil.

 

Select a light-weight, well-drained medium for sowing to ensure good seed to soil contact. This is how germinating seeds take up water. Once the starts begin to break through the surface of the soil, water can be reduced to encourage development of root structures and discourage root rot or other conditions that can arise from excessive moisture.

 

Growing Tips

Most vegetables will produce better results if sown and grown in a soil-medium that is well-drained, rich in organic matter (fertile), and fairly lightweight.

 

Most vegetables will prefer good quantities of natural, direct sunlight daily. Plan your garden so that plants grown as edible receive at least 6 hours of exposure daily.

 

If direct sowing your vegetables (planting seeds straight into the ground), thin plants to recommended spacing and enjoy culled vegetables in salads, sandwiches or elsewhere vibrant, young greens can be appreciated.


Harvesting and Seed Saving

Many vegetables will be harvested in the fall, especially if grown in lower hardiness zones. Nearly all should be harvest while they are still young and tender and before they have started to dry out on the plant. Generally it should not require much effort to remove from the plant. If a crop is resistant to being removed from the plant, it is likely immature and should be avoided.

 

Saving your seed from season to season helps you to develop a tremendous renewable resource, and can provide additional security by promoting independence and self-reliance. Furthermore, it allows you to carefully choose those plants are best suited to your environment, ensuring stability and viability of future generations.

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