The Best Plants For a Vegetable Garden

best plants for a vegetable garden

Cucumbers are some of the easiest plants to grow, producing enough for a family of four. If you have space, train them up a sturdy trellis. There are bush cucumber varieties, too, that can be grown in containers or small spaces. It’s also a good idea to start your seeds indoors and get a head start on the growing season. Here are some tips for growing these popular vegetables:

Borage

Borage is a great addition to your vegetable garden, and it’s a plant that will self-sow. It produces blue blossoms, leaves, and stems that taste like cucumbers. Plus, borage is very easy to grow, and you can even save seed from it! Borage is also an excellent companion plant for tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and strawberries, among other plants. Its flowers attract bees and help your crops resist pests and disease. And as a bonus, borage makes an excellent mulch and compost.

Cosmos

Cosmos are one of the easiest vegetables to grow, with their bright daisy-like flowers and fern-like leaves. They are perfect for a vegetable garden because they attract beneficial predatory insects like hoverflies. Hoverflies are also good pollinators and their larvae are voracious eaters of aphids. If you’re unsure of which type of plant to grow, try a Cosmos seedling in a small seed tray filled with compost. Water the seedlings well and cover with a sheet of plastic or glass. You’ll have your first bloom in a week.

Sweet peas

If you’re wondering when to plant sweet peas in your garden, you’re in luck. The annual variety is best sown in early spring, but they also grow well in early fall if they’re transplanted. Once the first frost arrives, sweet peas need warm soil and plenty of early morning and afternoon shade to grow deeply rooted roots. A good tool to use is a pair of nail clippers or a sharp blade.

Kale

One of the most beneficial characteristics of kale is its ability to regenerate its leaves for multiple harvests. This vegetable grows on stems and the oldest leaves on the outside of the plant. The plant then regenerates new leaves to replace the ones that were harvested. Kale’s leaves are very tender and will keep for several days in the fridge. After harvest, kale can be stored in a plastic bag for a few days.

Kale is easy to grow

Once established, kale is relatively low-maintenance, but does benefit from mulch. Mulch keeps the soil cooler in the summer and retains moisture. Generally, kale prefers moist soil. While kale is a cool-season crop, cold-hardy kale should be protected from harsh winters. To reduce winter damage, cover the plant with a protective cloche, or use a plastic row cover supported by hoops.

Kale attracts pollinators

Many plants get along with kale, including chives, onions, garlic, and shallots. Planting these companions around kale will attract pollinators and help your kale plants thrive. Some companion plants can also be beneficial for your vegetables, such as marigolds, which attract hoverflies that feed on aphids. Added benefits of companion plants include increased soil fertility, groundcover, and shade.

Kale is disease-resistant

When growing kale in your vegetable garden, it is important to keep a few things in mind. For starters, it needs at least six hours of sunlight per day, but partial shade can be beneficial in hotter seasons. Watering kale regularly is also important, as it needs one gallon of water per square foot of soil. In addition, kale also needs a good supply of nutrients. If it is prone to disease or pests, make sure to replace it with a new plant. Kale also needs regular fertilization to keep its leaves vibrant and healthy. To avoid these problems, you can add organic fertilizer to the soil before planting.

Kale is easy to grow in containers

When growing kale in a container garden, it is best planted in a pot that is at least 10 inches deep. The pot should also have drainage holes, so that the kale can drain properly. Kale grows best if you choose a variety that is compact and tasty. Choosing a flavourful variety is a good idea, as it will provide you with more leaves. When choosing a cultivar, make sure that it has a good taste, as some varieties are bitter and others are not.