SO Gardening — Your Vegetable PATCH

Sunday, March 17, 2019

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Growing your own vegetables is one of those activities that balances practicality and indulgence. In addition to the convenience of having the fixings for a salad or light supper right outside your door, but when you grow your own vegetables, you're getting the most nutritional bang for your buck as well. Vegetables start losing nutrients as soon as they're harvested, and quality diminishes as sugars are turned into starches. For the tastiest veggies with the best nutrition, try growing a few of these nutrient-dense foods in your own garden. And don't let the lack of a yard stop you.

If you have very little space eg in an apartment, you can plant in containers, for example, old pots, car tyres, flower pots or metal drums cut in half. A loamy, free-draining soil is best for containers. Otherwise, three parts clay or sandy soil should be mixed with two parts organic matter. Place containers in a fully sunlit area and follow growing practices mentioned above.

Most vegetables are ready for harvest within three months. Callaloo, lettuce, cucumber, radish can be reaped after about six weeks; tomato, pepper, red peas require three months.


Scotch Bonnet Peppers

Scotch bonnets are among the hottest peppers in the world. The name might sound fun and happy, but the pepper itself is anything but. The typical spice rating of a Scotch bonnet pepper is the same as a habanero.

Scotch bonnet pepper is one of the most commonly used hot peppers in the Caribbean islands. It is used in many of the meat dishes on the islands.



Fresh, homegrown tomatoes are the reason many gardeners get into vegetable gardening in the first place. There's just nothing that compares to eating a perfectly ripe tomato, still warm from the sun. Tomatoes are also incredibly good for us, packing plenty of fibre, iron, magnesium, niacin, potassium, and vitamins A, B6 and C. They're also a great source of the antioxidant lycopene.



The callaloo started out as a backyard garden vegetable but over the years has cemented its place in our cuisine. Callaloo grows well in most soil. It needs adequate water and proper drainage. The finest-tasting callaloo is the organic type that normally grows around the backyard without too much human intervention.


Broccoli is high in calcium, iron and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, B6 and C. In fact, one cup of raw broccoli florets provides 130 per cent of your daily vitamin C requirement.

One broccoli plant per pot; pots should be 12 to 16 inches deep.


Brussels sprouts

The bane of many a childhood, Brussels sprouts get a bad rap mostly due to overcooking. When prepared right, Brussels sprouts are sweet, tender and delicious plus, a great source of fibre, magnesium, potassium and riboflavin, as well as high levels of vitamins A, B6 and C.

Grow one plant per 16 inch-deep container.

Information courtesy of: and (Mother Nature Network)

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