This exclusive list of Vegetables that Grow Underground is all you need to enjoy the fresh harvest of the best root veggies!For tropical regions, grow it in late fall, winter, and early spring.Deep purple hybrid, little fingers, and lunar white are some of the best varieties you can grow.Depending on the type and climate, it’ll be ready to harvest in 60-100 days.When deeply buried under the soil, the young roots produce a large number of oblong or round tubers.The plant requires a growth period of about 4 months and is therefore preferred not to be grown in cooler climates.The rutabaga takes about four more weeks to mature than the turnip, and so it is preferred to be grown in the fall season.Because it is easy to grow and harvest quickly, it is a popular cool weather crop among gardeners.Being a cool-season crop, the winters help convert its starch into sugars, improving its taste further.The plant is somewhat hard to grow and calls for care and attention, but the results are rewarding!A cold-hardy perennial, horseradish can regenerate from a single root and spreads quickly.You can sow the seeds, plant the transplants, or tiny onion bulbs.Shallot enjoys full sun and gets ready to harvest in 70-90 days.Garlic has a high amount of Vitamin C and B6 and several minerals such as zinc, iron, and calcium.Give it a lot of sunlight, and you will soon harvest the tasty roots with a sweet, nutty flavor.The plant prefers warm seasons, and you can easily grow it from fresh rhizomes year-round if you live in a hot climate.The plant takes 110-120 days to mature and tastes best in salads, soups, and stews.The plant requires abundant moisture for its growth; otherwise, it tends to be pungent smelling and hard.Daikon is mainly valued for its culinary uses as a salad in south Asian countries and is a chief ingredient in several Japanese pickles.If you live in a tropical area, you can sow the seed at any time of the year.Kohlrabi, also known as German turnip, is a biennial crop with a bulbous stem.Taro is a healthy option when you’ll compare it with other starchy veggies.It prefers a warm temperature range and does best in dappled, bright sunlight. .
Spinach: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Spinach Plants
Spinach has similar cool-season growing conditions and requirements as lettuce, but it is more versatile in both its nutrition and its ability to be eaten raw or cooked. .
How to Identify the 27 Most Common Vegetable Plants
In all of the excitement of planting your vegetable garden, you forgot to label the rows of greenery.Now you’re looking at lines of little green seedlings (or a tangled mess of adult plants), and wondering what’s going on in your garden.Once you’ve identified the vegetable plants in your garden, it’s probably time to get them labeled!If you’ve planted four different varieties of carrots, you’ll have to wait until the harvest to figure out which is which.General Structure: Climbing and vinelike or bushy, depending on the variety.They are shaped somewhat like an elephant’s head, with big upright petals and a “keel” protruding out and down.Vegetables: Bean pods are generally visible from mid-summer onwards, helping make this plant easy to identify.General Structure: Beets grow underground, so the plant isn’t much to look at.Vegetables: Beets grow underground, so you’re unlikely to see them unless you swipe away a bit of dirt.Lookalikes: With its long leaves and pink stems, a beet plant can look like colorful swiss chard.Swiss chard tastes similar to beet greens, so there’s little to lose by mixing them up.Leaves: Roundish with highly visible whiteish veins, slightly toothed.Cabbage leaves tend to curl back a bit from the center of the plant.Notable Characteristics: Simply look for the ball of leaves in the center, with prominent veins.Lookalikes: Many other wild plants look similar to carrots, including Queen Anne’s Lace (also edible) and Hemlock (poisonous).General Structure: As cauliflower grows, a big white floret appears in the center of the plant.Cauliflowers grow very low to the ground, with the “head” sitting just off the dirt.Notable Characteristics: Large, white floret in the center of the plant.Notable Characteristics: Look for a climbing, crawling, vine-like plant that produces long, cylindrical, green veggies.Lookalikes: Cucumbers and zucchini are easily confused at the supermarket, but not in the garden!.Vegetables: The eggplant itself is hard to miss – it hangs from the plant and is a deep, rich purple.It doesn’t have much beyond leaves and the stems are short, keeping the plant low to the ground.Leaves: Kale ranges in color from deep green to dusty purple.Lookalikes: While spinach and many lettuce varieties are also quite leafy, they’re nowhere near as curly-leaved and bushy as kale.Wait a few weeks to see how the plant matures, and remember that kohlrabi is much less common than cabbage or cauliflower in most gardens.Notable Characteristics: Lettuce is a varied group of plants, which can make it confusing to identify at first.General Structure: Leek plants quickly grow into something quite different from an onion.Then, you will see a long stalk with a ball of tiny white or purple flowers on top.Lookalikes: Young leeks may closely resemble onions or chives, but quickly grow into a more robust plant with thicker leaves.Leek plants may also closely resemble some lilies, but they won’t have the pretty flowers!General Structure: This is a very tall plant, easily growing to taller than a person.Notable Characteristics: Okra plants are very sticky, especially if stems are broken.There are several common weeds that resemble okra, so be sure to be vigilant with identification and removal of imposters.Seedling: Baby onion plants look a bit like grass, with just a few stalk-like leaves poking up.Lookalikes: Onions can look quite a bit like leeks, shallots, or even chives at various stages of their lives.General Structure: Parsnip is a short plant with many stems originating from the ground and no central stalk.The veggie itself is long and white, generally a bit thicker and longer than your average carrot.Seedling: Look for thin, long leaves that closely resemble grass, onions, or leeks.General Structure: Shallots, like their relatives, look like a bunch of grass-like leaves poking from a bundle in the ground.Seedling: Distinguishable by their arrow-shaped leaves with prominent points near the stem, often have slightly purple undersides.Vegetables: Sweet potatoes are large reddish tubers that protrude slightly above the ground.General Structure: Tomato plants grow to be quite bushy, and often need to be staked or caged to keep them upright.Tomato fruit vary greatly based on the variety of plant in your garden.Seedling: Almost immediately, pea plants will grow little tendrils that reach out, looking for something to climb on.Leaves: One type of leaf encircles the stem of the plant, similar to a lion’s mane.Pea plants also sport oval shaped leaves that grow opposite each other on the outer branches.The pea pod may be quite plump or rather flat, depending on the variety in your garden.Lookalikes: Pea plants broadly resemble beans, but have quite different leaves.General Structure: Pepper plants are relatively tall, growing up to roughly knee or hip height in some cases.Vegetables: Potatoes grow below ground, with multiple tubers per plant.Notable Characteristics: Look for the simple, slightly wrinkled leaves on a low-growing bushy plant.You might also find the true fruit of a potato plant at times, which looks slightly like a tomato.General Structure: A long, trailing vine that quickly takes over the garden if not planted carefully.Vegetables: Pumpkins start out green, growing on the ground from the vine.Notable Characteristics: The plant is so rough and spiny, most people work with it wearing gloves.Vegetables: The radish itself grows under the dirt, though its reddish top may poke up above ground as it matures.They have roundish leaves with slight teeth but are relatively similar to many other seedling plants.General Structure: With kale-like curly leaves and an underground vegetable, rutabaga isn’t much to look at.Vegetables: The rutabaga itself grows below ground, but may protrude slightly above the dirt.Seedling: The initial pair of leaves from a spinach plant is thin and grass-like, but quickly the seedling produces rounded leaves that look just like the baby spinach you purchase in a grocery store!You harvest them as soon as the leaves are big enough to eat, so there’s not much time to lose track of the plant.The central vein is often a bit indented, giving the tips of the leaf a slightly backward curl.Lookalikes: Spinach is relatively familiar and easy to identify since it looks exactly like what you’d buy at the store!Seedling: Young squash quickly start to produce the puckered, toothed leaves characteristic of the adult plant.General Structure: Squash is notorious for “taking over” gardens.Identifying squash by its gourd is probably your best bet if you’ve forgotten which variety you planted where.Notable Characteristics: Squash is nearly unmistakeable thanks to its huge, hairy leaves and tendency to dominate a corner of the garden patch.General Structure: Turnip plants have long, slightly curly leaves that closely resemble rutabaga.Rutabaga grows larger and has less bright leaves, but otherwise, it can be a bit tricky to tell these plants apart.Turnip leaves are toothed and significantly longer than they are wide, with prominent stems.Lookalikes: Very similar to rutabaga, but a bit smaller and brighter colored with less waxy leaves.Seedling: Young zucchini quickly starts to produce the puckered, toothed leaves characteristic of the adult plant.General Structure: Zucchini grows as a large-leaved bushy plant that quickly takes over parts of your garden. .
The Ultimate Spinach Growing Guide
Spinach is one of the most satisfying cool-weather crops to grow, producing large yields of vitamin-rich, dark green leaves that are excellent for salads and for cooking.Since both hot weather and long days trigger spinach to bolt (send up a seed stalk) quickly, the secret to success with this crop is to start sowing seeds as soon as possible in spring; to make small, frequent plantings during late spring and summer; and to concentrate on fall as the season for the main crop.Prepare the soil the previous autumn, and you'll be able to drop the seeds in barely thawed ground come spring.In warm climates, plant spinach in the shade of tall crops such as corn or beans.Using cold frames or heavyweight row covers, you can grow spinach all winter in many parts of the country.Downy mildew, which appears as yellow spots on leaf surfaces and mold on the undersides, occurs during very wet weather.Harvest the entire crop at the first sign of bolting by using a sharp knife to cut through the main stem just below the soil surface.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. .
This Land Is Your Land
Tweak the variables—less light, different dirt—and you can grow anything from feathery lettuce that’s lighter than air to a beefy jackfruit, the world’s densest fruit, which can weigh more than a hundred pounds.The facility is a hundred feet below the streets of London, 179 steps down, in an old air-raid shelter built in 1944 for protection from German bombs.They’re prodded to grow by a simple aquaponics system where water circulates through a series of trays that hold the crops.Dring, along with his business partner, Richard Ballard, came up with the idea last year to build a farm underground, away from a natural source of water and far removed from the sun.It also makes for good PR and fund-raising: Virtually every tech-news outlet has come asking for a tour, hoping to provoke its readers with a shocking headline about whether growing underground is the future of global agriculture.News of an underground farm in London isn’t enough to make corn farmers in Nebraska and rice growers in Indonesia lay down their hoes in defeat.Even earth powered by the most highly phosphorous fertilizer and the brightest lightbulb couldn’t compete with the rich soil of a Napa Valley or the well-watered farmland of Congo or Argentina.Instead the notion is a gesture of ingenuity, a token approach very much outside the box to how our species might grow more food for an increasing population on a planet of limited size.The rest of the apple (one-eighth of the planet) represents land where food could grow—except that three-fourths of it has been paved over by cities and roads and other human civilization.“Hunger is caused by poverty and inequality, not scarcity,” Eric Holt Giménez, director of the Institute for Food and Development Policy, wrote last year.“For the past two decades, the rate of global food production has increased faster than the rate of global population growth.” Instead, feeding the poor corners of the world as well as the 70 million new mouths being born every year will mean farming smarter and on less land—even occasionally in dark tunnels.One of the most pressing concerns, laments Berkeley economist David Zilberman, is that one billion people currently “eat like Westerners,” meaning they have diets high in meat and dairy that take longer and are costlier to produce.“It’s a heck of a big problem,” says Andrew McElwaine, president of American Farmland Trust, the advocacy group that pioneered the imagine-the-apple-as-the-Earth metaphor.The introduction of nitrogen fertilizer, genetically optimized seeds, and mechanical plowing methods has produced yields that would make a Neanderthal’s head explode in envy.Last December a modest farmer in Charles City, Virginia, named Dave Hula won an agricultural award that demonstrated the leaps made by modern humans.Using seeds engineered to produce voluminous yields with minimal input of fertilizer and water, Hula grew 454 bushels of corn on one acre.Learning how far tomatoes or frozen chicken need to travel to reach supermarket shelves brings awareness about environmental impact.From California, which grows more than three-quarters of most of America’s fruits and vegetables, to a supermarket in Washington, D.C., produce trucks carry spinach, garlic, and blueberries the width of the entire continent in usually less than a week.Like the men in London with the tunnel idea, Leschke is part of a two-man team of entrepreneurs—not farmers—trying to imagine the future of urban farming.The container farm runs an aquaponics loop, where fish swim on the first level, and fresh vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes grow in the greenhouse above.When the farm expands later this year, the developers expect it to produce 6,000 tons of fresh fish—raised locally and with minimal input.In theory a hundred years from now, every family’s roof could have a farm to grow vegetables, fruits, fish, and even meat from just a few cells in a petri dish.Eating tomatoes you grew yourself is worthwhile, but it isn’t scalable for the planet, says Jesse Ausubel, an ecologist and food analyst at Rockefeller University in New York.In front of me was a turkey sandwich made with meat produced on a factory farm, accompanied by a bottle of juice squeezed from oranges grown in both Brazil and Florida.As much as I think and write about food, I was eating one of the most generic American lunches, created by farmers who have demands to keep up with rising appetites—and who, based on how easy it was for me to buy each item, seemed to be succeeding. .
The 13 Healthiest Root Vegetables
Defined as an edible plant that grows underground, potatoes, carrots and onions are a few common examples that most are familiar with.For instance, one study found that eating 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw onions per day significantly reduced blood sugar levels in people with diabetes ( 4 ).Onions work well in a variety of meals and can easily be added to salads, soups, scrambled eggs, casseroles, rice or pasta dishes and many more.A review of three studies showed that eating 4 grams of white sweet potato extract each day for 12 weeks improved blood sugar control in people with diabetes ( 10 ).Due to their vitamin A content, some studies suggest that this root vegetable may also improve immune function, protect against vision loss and support skin health ( 11 , 12 , 13 ).Sweet potatoes can be baked, boiled, roasted or sautéed and enjoyed as a delicious side dish or added to everything from sandwiches to salads to breakfast bowls.Additionally, studies show that consuming more cruciferous vegetables, such as turnips, may be associated with a lower risk of stomach, breast, colorectal and lung cancer ( 16 , 17 , 18 , 19 ).Ginger makes a great addition to tea, soups, smoothies and stews and can bring a zesty zing to just about any dish.Studies also show that eating beets may improve exercise performance and increase blood flow to your brain ( 27 , 28 , 29 ).Additionally, animal studies have found that beetroot extract may have anticancer properties and may slow the growth and spread of cancer cells ( 30 , 31 ).To take advantage of the unique health benefits of beets, try roasting, juicing, pickling, boiling or steaming this delicious root vegetable.Plus, it’s well-known for its medicinal properties, which are mostly attributed to the compound allicin, which is released when cloves of garlic are crushed, chewed or chopped ( 33 ).Studies have found that garlic can promote heart health by lowering blood pressure and levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides ( 34 , 35 , 36 ).It may also boost immune function, as research shows that it can decrease symptom severity and help prevent infections, such as the common cold ( 37 , 38 ).Best of all, garlic is highly versatile and can be used to amplify the flavor of your favorite savory soups, sauces, side dishes and main courses.One rat study showed that anethole was able to modify some of the enzymes involved in the metabolism of carbs to help reduce blood sugar levels ( 44 ).Fennel can be enjoyed fresh, roasted or sautéed, as well as mixed into salads, soups, sauces and pasta dishes.Eating carrots has been linked to improved antioxidant status and lower cholesterol levels in both humans and animals ( 49 , 50 ).Carrots make a great snack when eaten raw or dipped in hummus, but they can also be cooked and used in stir-fries, stews or side dishes.The rhizomes, or root, of the plant are often ground into a spice, which is used to add a splash of color, flavor and health benefits to many dishes.Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to prevent blood clot formation, lower cholesterol levels and reduce markers of inflammation in both test-tube and animal studies ( 59 , 60 , 61 ).Research in humans also suggests that curcumin may alleviate joint pain, stabilize blood sugar levels and decrease symptoms of depression ( 62 , 63 , 64 ).To reap its benefits, be sure to pair turmeric with black pepper, as the latter contains a compound that can significantly boost the absorption of curcumin in your gut ( 65 ).Not to mention, boiled potatoes are an incredibly filling food, keeping you feeling fuller for longer, which may promote weight loss ( 71 , 72 ).Rutabagas are also a good source of fiber, which can help support your digestive health and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels ( 75 ).They also provide glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds that are commonly found in cruciferous vegetables that may help protect against cancer cell development and growth and prevent oxidative stress ( 76 , 77 ). .
Vegetables: Foods from Roots, Stems, Bark, and Leaves
Many native North American tap-rooted plants have served as a main staple for existence.Native Americans from the western portions of North America used one such species, Lewis’ bitterroot.Roots were also used for medicinal purposes including sore throat aid, poison ivy rashes, and heart pain.This important plant was introduced to Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition in the early 1800s.Named in honor of Lewis and its apparent ability to come back to life, this plants scientific name is Lewisia rediviva (rediviva is Latin for “brought back to life”).The tuberous potato ranks fourth as a major food staple globally, following only wheat, corn, and rice (grains) respectively.It is interesting to note that potatoes did not leave the Americas until just a few hundred years ago.It was not until the 1800s that Ireland began growing potatoes, where the entire country became dependent upon them.Both plant species originated in the new world and have been widely cultivated for their important storage roots.True yams belong to a different genus, Dioscorea, and are grown primarily in Africa.How the Potato Changed the World An article from the Smithsonian magazine (November 2011) describes how the potato, brought to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers, gave rise to modern industrial agriculture.The genus Allium, which includes the onion and its relatives, has been providing important food sources since before recorded time.Besides providing an aromatic food flavoring, most of the members of the genus have medicinal properties as well.The pungent quality common to the Alliums is tied to the volatile sulfur compounds that are released when the cells of an onion are ruptured.Early settlers or pioneers to the area were starving due to a large infestation of crop eating crickets. .
Plant Biology - Primary Growth and Secondary Growth
Primary growth extends the length of a plant both aboveground and belowground.That means if you carve your name into the trunk of a tree, it will still be there many years later (but don’t do that, it hurts the tree like a tattoo hurts human skin; watch this clip from Fern Gully if you don’t believe us).In between the leaf primordia, where new leaves form, and the stem below, are the axillary buds.Most of the parts named above are visible as they originate on the shoot apical meristem.Potatoes are enlarged ends of rhizomes, storing sugars and acting as storage organs for the plant.This acts in much the same way as the shoot apical meristem, causing extension growth.Roots have really important jobs, and they don’t get a lot of credit for their hard work because they are underground all the time.As roots grow, they travel downward through the soil, dodging rocks and other obstacles that might be in their way.Branch roots don’t grow as long as taproots, but they expand the plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients from the ground.Monocots don’t have taproots but instead have shallow, fibrous root systems that trap lots of soil.When seeds first start to germinate, the most important thing for the young plant is to get a good hold in the ground.Even a big tree with an enormous trunk starts out as a puny seedling.The width of a plant, or its girth, is called secondary growth and it arises from the lateral meristems in stems and roots.Eudicots use lateral meristems to add to their width; monocots, however, do not experience secondary growth.The vascular cambium is only one cell thick and forms a ring around the stem of a plant.If you look at a cross section of a stem, the width of the wood gets bigger over time but the bark always remains a narrow band.However, it does not actually contribute to keeping the tree alive—trees can live with their heartwood completely decayed!In this cross section of a stem, the stuff in the middle, labeled Pi, is called the pith.The pith is made up of primary cells (originating from an apical meristem).The outer dark region labeled C is the cortex, which surrounds the vascular tissue.In temperate areas with a distinct summer and winter, the vascular cambium takes a nice long rest during the winter, kicking its feet up and watching marathons of Friday Night Lights for a few months.The parts of the wood with wider cells made in the spring are called springwood.Wood made later in the season is called summerwood and is often composed of thinner cells.This cycle of growth in the spring and summer and Friday Night Lights in the winter, repeats every year and forms annual tree rings.The cork layer also protects the plant from insects and pathogens such as fungi and bacteria, and can insulate the tree from fire.When palms shed their leaves, they don’t lose the entire leaf. .