Gentle Gardens for Greater Nutrition!

Now is great timing to get those vegetables into your garden plans.  Sweet Potatoes are high in vitamins C and D and the minerals calcium and potassiu.  They have a low glycemic index for avoiding insulin resistance. If you eat the skin you’ve added much needed natural fiber.

 

Here’s an idea for adding sweet potatoes to your garden. Create a ridge of soil between a row of cutting tulips and allums, and tuck the sweet potatoes slips in the ridge.  Slips are single plants with small roots that sprouted on the sweet potato root. Because they are vining plants, the adjacent rows of bulbs will go dormant and when it’s time to harvest the potatoes the bulbs won’t be disturbed.

 

Black Beans is a versatile bean for soups, salads, or main dishes.  They are high in folate and higher in antioxidant than most other legumes.  Eat them often, they’re a fiber-packed, heart-healthy staple in many ethnic dishes and can help lower cholesterol.

If you want an easy veggie to grow, try black beans, sometimes known as black turtle beans. Green beans, pole beans and white Northern beans are all familiar to home gardeners, but these legumes are very easy to grow in a well-prepared garden. Like other beans, they’re large seeds, and they benefit from soaking for two or three hours before planting to rehydrate them and encourage germination. Black beans grow best when planted later in spring. Warm weather helps these beans grow faster, and the rains of early summer strengthen the plant. And as summer builds, the hot, dry conditions are great for drying black beans in their pods on the plant.

Another great food to grow in the garden that is heart healthy is Spinach.  This leafy green is rich in beta carotene and lutein, carotenoids that benefit the eyes. It also contains more folate than most other vegetables. And it is Popeye’s best food!

Spinach is grown for its dark green leaves. There are many different spinach varieties but all grow well in cool weather.  Usually thought of as being packed with iron, spinach is even higher in vitamins A and C, thiamin, potassium and folic acid (one of the B complex vitamins). Oh, and it tastes great eaten fresh or cooked.  Space your spinach plants so they get good air circulation and try to keep water off the leaves in the evening. Plant disease resistant varieties, like: ‘Melody,’ ‘Nordic IV,’ ‘Olympia,’ ‘Tyee’ and ‘Wolter’. Monitor for aphids regularly and hose them off immediately.

Beward of the 4-legged wildlife friend or foe – rabbits chief among them, that will raid your spinach patch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on Monday, March 21st, 2011 at 12:07 am and is filed under Annuals, Gardening Tips, Healthy Hearts at Gentle Gardens, Wild Life. You can leave a comment and follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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