In an age of genetically modified vegetables, unsafe pesticides and doubtful industrial ethics, it makes sense for people to grow their own organic produce, a process far from complicated and guaranteed to keep your family healthier as well as save money. Herbs such as parsley, oregano or dill are commonly grown, either in patches of soil, pots or other containers, as the process is less demanding and their fresh leaves can be used for cooking at any time, without harvesting the whole plant.
The most common home grown vegetables are:
- Umbelliferous vegetables (carrots, parsley, dill, parsnip)
- Allium vegetables (onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives)
- Brassica vegetables (cabbage, red cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnip)
- Nightshade vegetables (tomato, potato, eggplant)
With regards to fertilisers, the most productive nutrients are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, yet should be added with caution, preferably after having performed a soil test, in order to avoid an excess, which can lead to several plant diseases and underproduction. Compost is excellent as it is completely natural and provides a rich feed of nitrogen, as well as other nutrients, in smaller amounts. However, if used carefully, fertilisers found on the market are said to be effective as well. Potassium and phosphorus should be added before planting; the level of iron should be checked regularly if possible, as a deficiency could indicate an excess of potassium.
Garden vegetables are preyed upon by a range of undesirables, some operating above ground, such as insects or foxes, and some underground, such as moles. A common pest is the Colorado potato beetle, which tackles potato crops in substantial numbers, feeding of potato plant leaves. On the other hand, moles eat potato rhizomes or carrots without even being noticed. Whereas insects require pesticide, a number of non-toxic options are available for larger pests, such as sonic devices which keep them away.