5 useful vegetables in my garden
I want to grow a lot of vegetables in my garden so I try to fill any empty spaces that show up in my beds as soon as I can. These are my favorite useful vegetables for this purpose.
I always notice a few empty spots in my beds at some point during the season. A sowing could have gone wrong, a vegetable might have bolted early and had to be removed. Any change of plan where I needed to move plants will have created new empty spaces. In any of those cases, I need a plan.
These 5 useful vegetables are perfect for the empty spots in my garden. I can't get enough of them! I sow them all in June.
Can you ever get enough of snow peas? There are plenty of low-growing varieties you can grow in the outer edge of a bed, or use as ground cover wherever there's enough space. Direct-sow them or put them in a pot and replant them later.
More about snow peas: Growing snow peas in pots
Chard takes some time to grow, but it's well worth the wait! The chard grows really nicely in fall and you can freeze the leaves if you want to. There are plenty of lovely little low-growing varieties that produce spinach-sized leaves. Sow in a pot and plant the chard later, this is the best method since the chard takes some time to germinate. The top variety is called Bright Lights and the stalks are either red, orange, yellow or pink. It's so beautiful!
Read more about chard here: Growing the Lucullus Swiss chard
I grow a lot of Little Gem and other small lettuce varieties. We eat plenty of these delicious lettuce heads and even pan-fry them at times. The fact that I can cook the lettuce really makes it one of my favorites. Sow the lettuce in little troughs in the shade and plant them outside when they are large enough. Lettuce grows better in cool temperatures and they might have a hard time in a sunny and dry garden.
More about lettuce: Lettuce from winter sowings
This is what the Little Gem lettuce variety looks like. Grow it in half-shade in summer and don't forget to water it, or it will start to bolt!
The fluffy pillows of parsley are as tasty as they are cute. I just love making parsley butter or parsley salads with tomatoes and onions. You can't go wrong with parsley! The seeds germinate slowly so the best method this time of year is to sow in troughs and plant the parsley outside later. If you have the time and energy to water a parsley sowing outside, it might be simpler of course.
This somewhat exotic bean is sown in May/June and I'm planning on sowing a big bunch that I can plant outside later. Soybeans grow nicely in a warm and sunny space and you can harvest both ripe and unripe pods. Pre-growing the soybeans is perfect since they germinate in warm soil, they grow quickly after that and you can put them outside.
More about beans: How to grow a lot of fava beans
I usually pick a certain vegetable that I want to grow more of, and I put these plants in the empty spaces in my beds. This year, I realized much too late that I had forgotten to make plans for my luxurious south-facing hugel bed. But now I have plenty of little soybean plants that I can start planting in it. I'm going to write more about soybeans later, it's so fun to grow!
So, my best tip is to do a few sowings now that you can use for any empty spots in your beds. It's always good to have a batch of useful vegetables for later!