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Easy vegetables to grow in Ireland, 3 of the best.


 
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:58 am    Post subject: Easy vegetables to grow in Ireland, 3 of the best. Reply with quote

Easy vegetables to grow in Ireland, 3 of the best.
by GPI

Starting to grow veg for the first time need not be a disappointing experience. It should actually be enjoyable, quite painless, and encouraging enough to spur you on to try more adventurous varieties of vegetables. Read on, and I will show you three of the easiest and most rewarding vegetables to grow during your first year's veg gardening.

These vegetable types are even suitable for growing by children, giving them a idea of how our food arrives on our tables day after day.


Arrow Radishes.
If there were to be an Olympic games for vegetables, then surely the radish would win gold in the sprinting. It is a perfect fast-growing salad crop reaching maturity in about 40 days. This speed combined with the different shapes and sizes of radish available make them a great starter crop to encourage virgin veg growers and children alike.

Radish seeds can be sown in succession, a method where once one row of the vegetables is harvested, and then another new one is sown in quick succession. I have found that rows of radish seeds sown at 7-day intervals will provide a steady supply of radishes right through the growing seasons.

You can begin sowing the seeds outdoors from March through to September, spaced 2-3cm apart in the row and 1cm deep. You get loads of seeds in each packet from your garden centre, averaging 500 seeds a time, enough to keep adding colour and crunch to your salad plate.

High in vitamin C and potassium, radish is well worth sowing as a virtually trouble-free vegetable. Two varieties to try are Sparkler, a medium-sized round red radish whose roots are tipped with white, and French Breakfast, a sweet variety with cylindrical crimson and white roots.



Arrow Lettuce.
Unfairly dubbed by some as limp rabbit food, lettuce actually has a lot to recommend it, especially as a starter vegetable. Aside from being a source of beta-carotene and vitamin A, lettuce can be a "cut and come again" vegetable, meaning you can keep removing leaves from it and the plant continues growing. To harvest in this way this you will need to sow a leaf lettuce rather than a head forming lettuce.

Similar to radishes, lettuce can also be sown in succession, at about two to three week intervals from March to July. Sow the seeds at a rate of 10 seeds per linear foot of drill, in rows 1ft apart if you are sowing more than one row. Once they have germinated, thin out the seedlings to about 6 inches apart.




Looking for Lettuce seed in Ireland, then you should be able to source some here...... Lettuce seed

Looking for Lettuce seed in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, or Australia, then you should be able to source some here......

You will have a good crop of leaves ready for selective picking in a little over 40 days. For a good crop, keep the area around the lettuce plants weed free and watered deeply, preferably each morning.

There are so many delicious varieties to try; a good typical lettuce is Salad Bowl, which produces water-filled fresh green foliage. But my personal favourite is Rocket lettuce, a low-growing form with green, notched leaves containing a mustard or pepper taste. This has exploded in popularity recently, and I have to say I am disappointed if I don't find it included in any salad served up to me.



Arrow Perpetual spinach.
Also known as everlasting spinach or beet spinach, this is not really spinach at all. It is actually a form of beet, whose leaves can be used as a "cut and come again" vegetable with the same edible properties of true (harder to grow) spinach. The baby leaves of perpetual spinach can be used at about the 40-day mark, but if larger leaves are required, you will have to wait 60/80 days.
For that wait you will have spinach leaves that are delicious lightly steamed, creamed, or incorporated into Italian dishes, with the added bonus of being high in vitamins A, C, and antioxidants.

Sow your seeds from March to July straight into the soil at 2cm deep, 10cm apart in rows 35cm apart. These can then be thinned to 30cm apart once the seedlings are up. It's hard to find an actual named variety of this veg, so I suggest you just seek out Spinach Beet 'Perpetual Spinach', which is the variety I have had success with.

So there you have it, 3 easy vegetables to grow in Ireland.
Any queries or comments on Easy vegetables to grow in Ireland, 3 of the best, please post below.

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Last edited by James Kilkelly on Mon May 12, 2008 3:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ian
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:50 am    Post subject: Perpetual Spinach Reply with quote

Hi GPI,
I just wanted to ask about the Beet Spinach, after the leaves are finished are there beets below ground as a bonus?
Regarsd,Ian.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beet Spinach roots are of no real eating value as they tend not to swell.
However this may be because all the ones I had dealings with had their leaves picked continually.
If you grow some this year Ian, leave one or two plants with leaves unpicked to see if the roots swell. Wink
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