Welcome to Tuesday, Team!
A great opportunity arose yesterday in which I had the chance to go to a local garage gym style CrossFit box here in Chandler, AZ. CrossFit Immortals invited me in to give the Regionals Qualifier #2 WOD a go and they sure didn’t disappoint. As you all know, any time with me – even something like a short 15 minute AMRAP – soon turns into a several hour gabfest about food and fitness. We sat there in the driveway chatting away until way too late for me to put together a spectacular post for you today. Thankfully, we have Bonnie to the rescue!
The Definitive Guide to Vegetables
Yea, that's right, I stole the tagline from our favorite online-primal-information-source Mark Sisson. I've given you tons of information now on how to start a garden, but not too much on what to put in your garden! Really, grow whatever you'd like! With some planning, you should be able to grow just about anything.
First, let us review the major varieties of vegetables:
- Beans: warm weather, direct sow, bush or pole, mid harvest
- Beets: warm weather, direct sow, early harvest, double crop possible
- Broccoli: cool weather, start indoor, double crop possible
- Cabbage: cool weather, start indoor, double crop possible
- Carrot: versatile! long harvest
- Cauliflower: cool weather, start indoor, double crop possible
- Cucumber: warm weather, start indoor, late harvest
- Eggplant: warm weather, start indoor, late harvest
- Scallions: warm weather, direct sow, long harvest
- Kohlrabi: cool weather, direct sow, double crop possible
- Lettuce: cool weather, start indoor, long harvest
- Peas: cool weather, direct sow, early harvest
- Pepper: warm weather, start indoor, late harvest
- Potatoes (although to be avoided... they are fun to grow!): fall crop, plant early spring, late harvest
- Radish: cool weather, direct sow, double crop possible
- Spinach: cool weather, direct sow, double crop possible
- Summer Squash/Zucchini: warm weather, start indoor, long harvest possible
- Sweet Potatoes: fall crop, plant early spring, late harvest
- Tomato: warm weather, start indoor, mid/long harvest
- Turnip: cool weather, direct sow, double crop possible
Cool weather: grows best in cooler temperatures, harvests start and end before high heat of summer
Warm weather: grows best in summer months
Direct sow: seed does just fine planted directly into garden
Start indoor: seed does best when started indoor and transplanted into garden
Early Harvest: harvest in late spring/early summer
Mid Harvest: harvest in summer
Late Harvest: harvest in late summer/early fall
Long Harvest: possible to harvest from mid summer through fall
Double Crop Possible: most cool weather crops can be grown in spring and replanted in the fall.
Print out this handy guide to start planning your garden today! Try to pick a mix of cool weather crops and warm weather crops so your garden can provide all season long. Also, use this guide for some additional tips. We are a Zone 6 by USDA Hardiness standards, which still falls into the cool climates.
Okay, now you know what you're going to plant, now lets go over how to care for them. We will focus on watering, feeding, and pest/disease control.
- Watering: Not all vegetables were created equal. While all vegetables love water, some are obsessed with it! Just think of how much "water content" is in the finished product. Example, tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash wants lots and lots, and lots, of water. However, as long as you keep everything moist, you should be fine. Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation for the best results. Water in the morning and early afternoon.
- Feeding: Optimally, you should get your garden soil tested BEFORE you plant anything. Apply the recommended mix and mix it into the soil several weeks before planting. You can get testing done through your local extension, and your garden center may offer it too. They also make home testing kits which are generally cost effective and easy to use. The most important thing though, is to check your pH (acidity of the soil). Generally, anything east of the Mississippi is acidic, so you will need to apply lime. If you soil is too acidic the seeds will have trouble germinating and the plants will struggle to grow.
- Pest/Disease Control: By using fresh soil mix, clean containers and tools, soaker hoses or drip irrigation, and watering early in the day you should not have trouble with diseases. Pests are another issue. However, with a wide variety of plants in a small area you will cut down the chances of losing an entire garden to one bug. But don't let that stop you from check consistently. Outside of lady bugs and honey bees, you need to address bugs right away. Remove as many as possible, take on to your local garden center, and find out what is going to kill it. There are tons of organic options, my favorite being neem oil and spinosad.
Okay, enough facts for one day! For a little decompression check out these garden plans provided by Better Homes & Gardens. Or their guide for vegetable care. Lastly, check out their take on planning your first vegetable garden. These will basically reinforce everything I've told you so far, with pretty pictures :)
To Super Clean Eating:
Workout of the Day:
Warm-up: 2 rounds of 15 – Jumping Jacks, Shoulder Mobility, Push-ups, Sit-ups, Walking Lunge, Samson Stretch, Squat – when finished work on your Paleo Chair (or Grok Sit) for 5 minutes cumulative time.
Work-out: 4 rounds for time of 25 double-unders, 15 push-ups. When finished do a 3 minute AMRAP of Air Squats – can you get to 150?
Sub – 4x singles if you can’t do doubles. Or do 1x tuck jumps.
Duh, we said that months ago: “According to a new study involving young women, just looking at a milkshake activates the same areas of the brain that light up when an addict sees cocaine, .” Craving a Milkshake?
“I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse
To New Friends.