For this month, we have written about some popular vegetables you might want to try growing if you never have. Also, learn more about one of our favorite flowers, the Sunflower!
Nothing says summer more than eating a fresh ear of corn but it used to take a lot of space to grow it. However, there are not corn plants that even grow in containers so there is no reason not to try it in your yard this year. It prefers conditions similar to that of Beans which make a great companion plant. The Corn gets nice and tall and the beans can use the stalks for support. You’ll need a sunny location with rich soil that drains well but during the hot summer months mulch the plants so they don’t dry out. They will need 1 to 2 inches of water a week and you might have to provide that water if Mother Nature doesn’t!
Should Sunflowers be considered a flower or a vegetable? While they are often grown for their impressive flowers they also are cultivated for their edible seeds. Regardless of their classification, this is a fun plant to grow! They got their name as during the day the flowers always turn to face the sun. They are not fussy about soil conditions but do benefit from a mulch and a little extra water in dry spaces. They are relatively pest and disease free and while we’re all probably familiar with the 9-foot tall varieties there are some you can grow in containers too! This is another fun plant to grow with your kids!
Beets’ are believed to have been grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Medieval chefs used them in their pies and Thomas Jefferson planted them at Monticello. Not only are they colorful and full of flavor, they are rich in antioxidants, folic acid, potassium, and fiber. Beets like the cool weather in the spring and fall and are easy to grow, plus they don’t require a lot of room to grow. Beets do best in deep, well-drained soil, but never clay, which is too heavy for large roots to grow. When planting beets, the seeds should be 1 to 2 inches apart in the row. For a continuous supply, plant your beets in several plantings, about three weeks apart from each other.
Zucchini is a member of the Squash family and is related to Cucumbers, Pumpkins, and Melons. I don’t know that I’ve ever grown a plant that produces as much fruit as this plant. It seems like the more you pick the more you get which means you’ll have plenty to share with everybody else! It prefers full sun and well-drained soil and its big leaves can help shade the roots of other plans such as Corn or Sunflowers. It prefers warm soil and air temperatures and will grow quickly once the weather heats up in late spring and summer. The flowers are edible too and can be fried or stuffed with cheese. Yum!