Trying new varieties of vegetables can be an adventure. Purple carrots, blue corn, and yellow tomatoes are just some suggestions if you want to start growing heirloom vegetables.
Spring is in the air, and thoughts turn to gardening for many people. In the northern states where the snow may be on the ground until late April, many gardeners begin their garden from seeds grown inside their home. This use of seeds, rather than planting seedlings, provides an opportunity to grow some new and exciting vegetables.
Growing Heirloom Vegetables – Choosing your Veggies
There are many varieties of every vegetable that can be imagined. When considering a new variety, it is important to understand what that particular variety will need in terms of watering, temperature, soil type, and time for germination. Information is available on many different seeds from the retailers and nurseries that sell them.
Some of the most common vegetables have some very interesting alternatives. For example, there are yellow tomatoes, purple carrots, and blue corn. Some vegetables will have types that are specific to a certain purpose, for example, corn. Traditional gardens often have sweet corn, but gardeners can also grow popcorn. This type of corn grows on cobs and is very colorful. The corn is removed from the cob and can be popped in a standard oil popper.
Some tomatoes are specially grown for sauces, while others are as small as grapes and used in salads. Try one or two new items each growing season, rather than all at once. This will provide an opportunity to discover some new favorites and determine what won’t grow in the local climate.
It is important to purchase seeds from a reputable nursery or vendor. The Seed Savers Exchange is one example of an online vendor that has been in business for many years. This non-profit organization sells seeds from around the world to gardeners who are interested in trying something new. When choosing a new variety, it is important to determine what its natural climate is.
If you live in Minnesota, a tomato from Brazil that needs a lot of heat and humidity may not grow as well as one from Germany that has a shorter growing season. The seeds purchased should be stored in a cool, dry place if they are not planted immediately. Some seeds can be stored for several years before being used, but it is best to use at least some during the first growing season.
Enjoy the Bounty
After planting the seeds and growing the vegetables, enjoy the fun of trying new food. Grow your own popcorn, put purple carrots in a salad, grow lettuce with purple leaves, and enjoy the adventure.
Before you start your garden, you may want to learn about pit composting, or which homemade pesticides are safe for your garden. If you’re just starting out, try these easy veggies to grow your first year.