This blog recommends Top 10 vegetable plants to grow in your backyard or communal garden which will produce food all year round. For more than 20 years, I have been growing vegetables in my backyard.
In the process, I have learned a lot about which vegetables produce food over a long period of time. The advice in this blog is based on my experiences of growing vegetable plants on the same plot of land. The vegetables I have chosen are suitable for most temperate climate zones.
Why grow your own vegetable plants?
There are many reasons why people choose to grow their vegetable plants! Here are a few of the most common:
1.Freshness and Flavor: Homegrown vegetable plants are typically picked at peak ripeness, leading to superior flavor and a higher nutrient content than store-bought produce that may have traveled long distances or spent time in storage.
2.Health Benefits: By growing your vegetable plants, you have complete control over what goes into them. This means you can avoid chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, resulting in healthier produce for you and your family.
3.Cost Savings: Depending on your location and the types of vegetables you grow, you can save money compared to buying everything at the grocery store. Even if you need to replace your store-bought vegetable plants, supplementing with homegrown options completely can make a difference.
4.Sense of Accomplishment: There’s nothing quite like nurturing a plant from seed to harvest and then enjoying the fruits (or vegetable plants) of your labor. Growing your food can be a rewarding a confidence boosting experience.
5.Environmental Impact: Locally grown vegetable plants have a smaller carbon footprint than those transported long distances. Additionally, home gardens can attract beneficial insects like pollinators and help create a more biodiverse ecosystem.
6.Stress Relief and Connection to Nature: Spending time in nature and caring for plants has been shown to reduce stress and improve mental well-being. Gardening can also be a fun and engaging activity for the whole family, fostering a connection to nature and the food we eat.
7.Variety and Experimentation: With your garden, you’re not limited to what’s available at the store. You can try out new and unusual varieties of vegetable plants that you might not otherwise find, expanding your culinary horizons.
8.Educational Value: Growing your vegetable plants can be a great way to learn about plants, where food comes from, and the importance of sustainable practices. It’s a valuable experience for children and adults alike.
Ultimately, whether or not to grow your own vegetable plants is a personal decision. But it’s worth considering if you’re looking for fresh, healthy, and delicious food, a connection to nature, and a rewarding experience!
What are top 10 vegetable plants to grow ?
The best vegetable plants to achieve self-sufficiency can be broken into three broad groups:
- Green leafy vegetable plants are highly perishable when picked but can last for many months in good condition when left growing in the ground and picking the leaves. This group includes lettuce, Wong Bok, Japanese spinach and mustard lettuce, Pak Choi, silver beet, and kale.
- Ground-stored vegetable plants are those that can be stored either under the ground or in a cupboard for a long period, such as potatoes, onions, spring onions, and garlic.
- Preserved vegetable plants include those that keep their quality and taste after pickling or refrigeration, including tomatoes and zucchini.
The 10 vegetable plants you should grow every year are: Silver beet, Flat-leaf parsley, garlic, spring onions, Asian greens (Chinese cabbage/ Japanese spinach), kale, lettuce, potatoes, zucchini and tomato.
- This vegetable plants adapts to heat and cold, and produce leaves all year round.
- It is tough and resists insect attack but has soft edible leaves for upto 18 months.
- When not picked after several weeks, the leaves grow quickly and die off to make room for new leaves.
- It can overshadow and overwhelm other smaller vegetable plants.
- Planting silver beet in late summer and autumn is essential for a supply of greens over winter, spring, and summer.
2.Flat leaf parsley
- It grows in full sun and shade; each plant can produce leaves for up to two years.
- When the plant reaches the end of its life cycle, it produces hundreds of seeds.
- When the seeds are dry, You should scatter them across the garden.
- The seeds will sit in the ground for months; when the rains come, they burst out and fill your garden with edible life.
- As a result, you will have a continuous supply of parsley all year round.
- Step up your garden game with kale, the all-season veggie MVP!
- Get ready for a continuous harvest of fresh greens, perfect for summer salads and winter soups.
- Feast your eyes on the stunning purple-green leaves of Russian kale.
- Watch Tuscan kale reach for the stars with its towering stalks and graceful, elongated leaves.
4.Asian greens (Wong Bok/Komatsuna)
- Turn your garden into a winter wonderland with the mighty cabbage, ideal for the colder seasons!
- From fresh salads to savory stews, this cabbage is a culinary superstar, enhancing every meal.
- Spice up your garden plot by mixing cabbage with a variety of Asian greens, creating a flavor-packed paradise.
- Keep the harvest going! Gather and store cabbage seeds for a continuous bounty straight from your garden.
- Lettuce flourishes year-round but takes a winter break.
- Enjoy versatile lettuce leaves in salads, soups, and stir-fries.
- Japanese red mustard lettuce excels in winter, boosting garden productivity.
- Experience an abundance of hearty lettuce leaves, especially during winter, akin to silver beets.
- Garlic is a low-maintenance crop, perfect for busy gardeners.
- Its strong scent repels pests, reducing the need for chemical interventions.
- Garlic benefits neighboring plants, improving their health and yield.
- Plant in fall for an early spring harvest, extending your gardening season.
- Beyond flavor, garlic offers antioxidants and immune-boosting properties for you and your garden.
- Potatoes are adaptable vegetable plants that can be grown in various climates and soil types.
- With proper care, potato plants produce a high yield of nutritious tubers, making them a rewarding addition to any garden.
- Potatoes can be grown in small spaces or containers, making them suitable for gardens of all sizes.
- Harvested potatoes can be stored for an extended period, providing a sustainable source of fresh produce.
- Potatoes help improve soil health by breaking up compacted soil and adding organic matter through their root system.
- They grow at an amazing speed, and each plant produces up to 30 zucchini spread over many months.
- They keep their shape and firmness longer when stored outside under shelter rather than stored inside the house.
- Zucchini can be pulped and frozen for later use, the flesh added to pasta dishes and stew.
- We should mainly plant Lebanese zucchini because it grows quickly, sending out vines like pumpkins.
- Tomatoes grow quickly and they will keep producing into early autumn when the cold weather slows down the growing and ripening process.
- Tomatoes are great grazing vegetable plants while wandering around my garden.
- The main varieties I plant are ‘Roma,’ ‘Tiny Tims,’ and ‘Oxheart’.
- Roma is the best for producing a mass of fast growing tons for 4 months.
In conclusion, as we delve into the realm of backyard gardening in 2024, the importance of selecting the right vegetable plants cannot be overstated. With sustainability at the forefront of our minds, it’s crucial to focus on varieties that thrive in our local climate and offer a bountiful harvest year after year. The top 10 vegetable plants for 2024 present a diverse array of options, from robust tomatoes to versatile lettuce varieties and nutrient-rich garlic. By cultivating these carefully chosen plants in our backyards, we not only ensure a fresh and flavorful supply of produce but also contribute to the resilience of our food systems and the health of our planet.