Introduction: Hello gardeners today we are back with a great information on unique vegetable garden ideas for beginners. A vegetable garden is also called as a vegetable patch or vegetable plot. The vegetable garden is a garden that exists to grow several vegetables for human consumption. Unique vegetable gardening consists of selecting a site, planning the garden, preparing the soil, soil testing, choosing the seeds and plants, planting a crop, and nurturing the plants until they are ready for harvest. Growing your vegetables offers several health benefits. From exercise and mental clarity to fresh air and economic savings, vegetable gardening can be very easy if you know the appropriate dates for planting. What are we waiting for? Let’s start with Unique Vegetable Garden Ideas and Tips.
A step by step guide for unique vegetable garden ideas
Growing unique vegetables in your home or garden are good for you, your neighborhood, and for helping to reduce carbon footprint. Growing unique vegetables can be done in a single pot on your patio or a larger scale depending upon space and time you have obtainable.
Tips and ideas for designing a unique vegetable garden
Exposure to Sunlight – Vegetables thrive in full sunlight and need at least 5 to 6 hours during the middle of the day. Excessive shading effects in spindly plants and very poor yields. Vegetable plants require sunlight to grow well and produce large yields. A good site receives a minimum of 6 hours of full sun each day, with 8 to 10 hours being ideal. Vegetable plants do not compete well with trees or other plants for sunlight, moisture, and nutrients. When selecting a vegetable garden site, avoid the vicinity of large trees, even if the vegetables would not be shaded to any great extent. Sites with southern exposures are normally warmer than those with northern exposures.
Sunny windows do not provide enough light for healthy, stocky plants. The days are just too short, and the light is too low in the sky during the winter season for a vegetable plant’s needs. You might want to use some type of supplemental lighting; either a plant light or a full-spectrum fluorescent light. Don’t place vegetable plants so close to the window that they are subjected to drafts or close to a heat source that could dry them out.
Plant in good soil – Soils for vegetables must be friable and porous for quick water drainage, crop root penetration, and good aeration. A deep, fine sandy loam or silt loam is best for growing vegetables. But the homeowner who has little choice of site can grow many vegetable plants on relatively poor soils if the soils are properly conditioned. Soils are made up of several particles called sand, silt, and clay. Sand makes up the largest of these particles (0.05–2.0 millimeters in diameter) and followed by silt (0.05–0.002 millimeters in diameter), and clay makes up the smallest particles (less than 0.002 millimeters in diameter). Most soils are made up of a combination of sand, silt, and clay, which could affect soil drainage, structure, and fertility.
Pick a site with good drainage – This is very important for promoting good root growth and avoiding plant diseases, particularly root rots. The type of soil affects drainage. Heavy clay soils are slow in drying out and difficult to cultivate and work properly. Extremely sandy soils could lack organic matter and may dry out too rapidly between watering. The exact type of soil, however, is not as very important if it is well-drained, adequately supplied with organic matter, and retains moisture. One strategy for selecting a site for a vegetable garden is to avoid areas where water pools for long periods.
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Soil Testing – Soil is the foundation for growing vegetable plants. Vegetable plants will thrive in good soil and struggle in poor soil. To treat your soil well, you want to learn as much about it as possible. One of the best methods to learn about your soil is by testing it. Soil testing can give information about the soil pH, nutrient levels, ability to hold nutrients, organic matter content, and soluble salt levels.
Adjusting Soil pH – Soil pH level is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a soil is. In general, vegetables grow best with a soil pH level between 6.0 and 6.5. Soil test results may indicate a need for a liming material if the pH level is lower than 6.0. Whenever possible, apply a liming material during fall before planting to give several months for these materials to begin reacting with soil particles.
Water for vegetable plants – Vegetable plants require plenty of water, particularly when they are establishing roots and during dry spells. Locate vegetable garden in an area that is near a water source that is a rain barrel, well tap, or water spicket. You could wish to consider installing an irrigation system if your layout is very large.
The drip irrigation system used with some form of mulch will provide the most efficient use of water and the best growing conditions. Drip irrigation places the water in the root zone without wetting the foliage, which can decrease the incidence of diseases. Once you install drip irrigation you can use fertigation to apply water-soluble fertilizers via drip irrigation.
Ideas and list of unique vegetable garden plants
Cucamelons are the popular veggie in our garden. Everyone loves this quirky little crop that is also called as mouse melon or Mexican Sour Gherkin. Cucamelon grows up to 10-feet long and can yield several hundred fruits per plant. Cucamelon seeds must be planted about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep and take about 7 to 14 days to germinate, depending on temperature. Ideally, they have been germinated with warm soil, somewhere between 70 and 75°F.
Cassava is also known as yucca. It is a root vegetable that looks like a sweet potato but has a milder, nuttier taste. Cassava is similar to other tuber crops such as yam and sweet potato. This vegetable is grown mostly for its tubers. This plant is a woody plant with erect stems and spirally arranged simple lobed leaves with petioles (leaf stems) up to 30 cm in length.
Growing cassava plants successfully relies upon tropical climates and at least 8 months of warm weather. The cassava plant prefers well-drained soil and modest rainfall, but it can survive where soils are wet. Cassava plant roots do not tolerate freezing temperatures and the best growth is in full sun. The cassava plant is a good source of vitamin C, several B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper.
Purslane is an edible weed that produces naturally in fields and lawns. Technically a succulent, it has glossy plant leaves and a lemony flavor. Purslane plants are all too easy to produce. You can find them growing wild in flower and vegetable gardens, as well as in cracks in your sidewalk or driveway. Purslane plant grows in just about any soil, from a rich, fertile soil, to dry, rocky soils. It is drought tolerant. It’s rich in potent antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta carotene, glutathione, and alpha-tocopherol, which help prevent cellular damage and protect against chronic diseases.
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Dragon Tongue Beans
If you can produce typical beans, then you can grow these. Direct sow this bean seeds after all danger of frost has passed to a depth of one inch, 2 inches apart in rows 36 to 48 inches apart in full sun exposure. Harvest the beans between 55 to 60 days.
Rutabaga is also called swedes, snaggers, or neeps. This is a cruciferous vegetable in the same family as kale, cauliflower, and cabbage. Rutabaga plants can be planted in early summer or midsummer. They, which require 10 to 12 weeks of growing time before the first fall frost. To sidestep a hot summer, begin seedlings indoors and setting them out when it’s cloudy. Or direct seed into the ground and think later to good spacing.
Rutabaga plants are low in calories but rich in nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, and magnesium, making them a nutrient-dense veggie that can be enjoyed raw or cooked.
Snake gourd is also known as Cucuzza, and they’re best for eating when the slender fruits are eighteen to twenty-four inches long. However, they do get long and we always let a few grow to maturity so that we have a few 6-foot long gourds that can be used for fall decorations or dried for crafting.
Burr gherkins are also known as West Indian burr gherkins (Cucumis anguria). These plants are one of the old-time favorites among heirloom gardeners because of their productivity and multiple uses in the kitchen and their pest-free maintenance. The Burr gherkins flavor is mild and resembles cucumbers (when young), without the strong “green” bitterness of some common cucumbers. You can eat Burr gherkins raw or pickled, or even cooked like zucchini. The plants form vigorous vines that must be supported on a trellis or given ample space to grow. Harvest the fruits when they’re 2 to 4-inches long. If allowed to produce larger, they turn bitter.
Jicama plant is the edible root of the Pachyrhizus erosus vine. Generally, Jicama planted from seeds, jicama does best in warm climates with a medium amount of rain. The Jicama plant is sensitive to frost. If planted from seed, the roots require about 5 to 9 months of growth before harvest. When started from whole, small roots, only three months are required to produce mature roots. This tuberous vegetable is loaded with vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that’s very important for immune health and acts as an antioxidant. Jicama is packed with fiber, including insulin, a prebiotic that’s good for your gut health.
The Jerusalem artichoke is a kind of sunflower grown for its edible tubers, which are commonly known as sunchokes. This starchy vegetable looks like a ginger root. When cooked, it is tender and tastes slightly nutty.
Sunchokes need loose, well-drained soil, but will tolerate poor soils. Sunchoke plant tubers can be planted in the garden as early as 2 to 3 weeks before the average last frost date in spring. They are best planted in soil that has warmed to temperature 50°F. In warm-winter regions, sunchokes can be planted in winter and sunchokes require 110 to 150 days to reach harvest. A good source of many nutrients, Sunchokes are especially high in iron, which is essential for red blood cell production, and insulin, a type of fiber that can promote digestive health and blood sugar control.
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Daikon is a winter radish often used in Asian dishes. Daikon is a specific kind of radish characterized by its large root. Daikon is a radish that produces edible microgreens. You can grow daikon plants like most root vegetables, in a garden bed outdoors or in a planter or pot indoors. Your daikon seedlings will require lots of suns, water, and protection from pests.
It is very low in calories, offering just 25 per cooked cup (147 grams). It is also packed with many nutrients, including vitamin C, copper, potassium, and folate. Daikon contains high amounts of powerful plant compounds, for example, glucosinolates, which act as antioxidants and could have anti-cancer properties
Taro is a root vegetable that is a popular carb source in Africa and Asia. When cooked, it has a subtly sweet taste and soft texture, making it a good stand-in for potatoes, sweet potatoes, and starchy vegetables. It is also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin E, B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese. Taro root is especially beneficial for digestive health due to its impressive fiber content.
Chayote squash belongs to the same family as pumpkins and zucchini. This bright green, wrinkled squash has tender, edible skin and white, mild flesh that’s normally cooked but can also be eaten raw. Although low in calories, it’s packed with several vitamins and minerals.
Chayote squash is a warm-season, tender perennial. Plant the whole Chayote fruit 3 to 4 weeks after the last average frost date in spring when the weather has warmed. Chayote squash produces best where summer temperatures are warm to hot, in tropical or subtropical regions. Chayote squash requires 120 to 150 frost-free days to reach harvest.
All parts of the dandelion plants are edible, including the leaves, which are called as dandelion greens. They are loaded with an array of vitamins, minerals, and potent plant compounds, including vitamin K, iron, and polyphenol antioxidants.
Dandelion greens can be sown outdoors four to six weeks before the last frost. Sow seed directly, and once they have sprouted above the soil, thin so they are 6 to 8 inches apart. Dandelion greens readily reseed themselves but often in places where you’d rather they didn’t grow.
Delicata squash is a type of summer squash though harvested during the winter season with an oblong shape and creamy color marked by vertical stripes. Delicata has a short growing season and matures within 80 to100 days. These plants can be either direct sown or sown indoors for later transplant. The plants will attain a height of 10 to 12 inches with a 24- to 28-inch spread.
Unlike other squashes, for example, butternut or pumpkin, delicate squash have thin, tender skin and can be eaten without peeling the outer rind. Delicata squash has a sweet, pumpkin-like flavor that pairs well with many foods. It’s low in calories and carbs, making it an excellent lower-carb alternative to starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Celeriac is a peculiar root vegetable that is closely related to celery and parsley. It has a celery-like taste that makes a good low-carb substitute for potatoes in soups and stews, though it can also be enjoyed raw.
Celeriac plant is slow to germinate and is best grown from transplants. Celeriac seeds require light to germinate so cover with no more than 1/8 inch of soil, keep the soil moist, and in a warm area, about 70-75°F (20-21°C). Plant it out in late May to mid-June, spacing them 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm) apart in rows 18 inches (45 cm) apart. Celeriac is likewise a great source of phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin C and vitamin K.
That’s all folks about unique vegetable garden ideas tips and techniques. You may be interested in Oyster Mushroom Farming in India.