#Gardinspiration
Vegetable & herb facts to get you growing
oregano leaves
Oregano #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Oregano #1

Did you know that one type of Oregano is sometimes referred to as Wild Marjoram (Origanum Heracleoticium)?

mint leaves
Mint #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Mint #1

Did you know that mint comes in multiple “flavors”? From traditional like Spearmint or Peppermint to fruitier flavors like apple, lemon or orange. Select the varieties you find most fit your palate and needs.

marjoram herb leaves
Marjoram #1 1138 853 Eco Garden Systems

Marjoram #1

Did you know that Marjoram means “Joy of the Mountain”? Marjoram is another perennial herb that is often grown as an annual.

garlic cloves and bulbs
Garlic #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Garlic #1

Did you know that garlic is a perennial? Most people grow this as an annual, but you can leave a single clove planted for many years and simply harvest the garlic scapes and greens. They provide a milder flavor than cured bulbs – but perhaps that is what you seek!

fennel seeds close-up
Fennel #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Fennel #1

Did you know that Fennel is a perennial (meaning it grows every year)? This herb provides an interesting anise flavor to soups, sauces and salads.

dill weed close-up
Dill #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Dill #1

Did you know that Dill is a member of the parsley family? It is a biennial typically grown as an annual plant.

chive bunch
Chives #1 980 735 Eco Garden Systems

Chives #1

Did you know that Chives are perennial (meaning they come back year after year) rather than annual?

basil leaves
Basil #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Basil #1

Did you know that Basil exhibits its enticing fragrance at every stage of growth?

anise seed
Anise #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Anise #1

Did you know that Anise plants have umbrella shaped flowers? The seeds are what gives us that licorice flavor we love! Harvest seeds ~100 days after planting while they are still green and immature.

Radish #7 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Radish #7

Did you know that radishes need plenty of moisture – but also well-draining soil (perfect for an Eco Garden)? If water is withheld, the radish can become woody.

pumpkin
Pumpkins #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Pumpkins #5

Did you know that pumpkins have variety names like Spooky, Cinderella, Big Tom and Sugar Pie? Pumpkins come in four sizes:
– Small – four to six pounds, used for cooking and baking
– Intermediate – eight to 15 pounds, cooking and for Halloween décor (Jack-O-Lanterns)
– Large – 15 – 25 pounds, used the same way as Intermediate
– Jumbo – 50 to 100 pounds, used mainly for exhibition and competition

Potatoes #8 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Potatoes #8

Did you know that potatoes, often associated with an Irish heritage, actually originated in Central and South America (Chile, Peru & Mexico)? Spanish explorers introduced them into Europe in the 16th century.

Peas
Peas #8 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peas #8

Did you now that cold cooked peas are great in salads? If you add them to potato salad along with diced carrots, you have made Russian Potato Salad!!

Carrots #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Carrots #6

Did you know your soil consistency will dictate which carrots are right for you? Dense soil = shorter varieties while more loosely packed soil is necessary for longer varieties. Finger varieties are perfect for containers and elevated beds.

Shallot #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Shallot #6

Did you know you should trim the green shallot leaves during growth? Avoid new growth from the central stem and harvest the bulbs when the leaves wither and fall over.

Tomato #12 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tomato #12

Did you know that tomatoes tend to perform best when you plant from starters? Seeds can be started indoors and then transplanted two to three weeks after the last frost. Transplants also tend to bear more fruit than if started directly from seed. Take care when transplanting – plant the root ball a couple of inches below grade as this will help strengthen the stalk.

Lima Beans #9 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Lima Beans #9

Did you know that lima beans grow best in drier soils? Too much moisture can cause the beans to split and crack – this makes an Eco Garden the perfect growing bed for lima beans in wet climates.

Peas
Peas #7 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peas #7

Did you know you should harvest shelling peas as soon as the peas are of good size? Allowing the actual pea to maximize size creates an environment where sugar decreases and starch increases in the pea.

Cucumbers #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Cucumbers #5

Did you know you should harvest cucumbers while still immature? This helps promote additional flower growth as seed maturation in the fruit halts further vine and flower production.

Radish #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Radish #6

Did you know you should cover your radishes in the summer? Radishes thrive on an “eight hour day” and summer days of ~12 hours will cause the plant to bolt – produce flowers and seeds but no radishes.

Peas
Peas #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peas #6

Did you know that peas used to be very difficult for the home gardener to grow? The introduction of edible pod varieties has made home-gardening of peas pretty much a staple! All you need is cool weather and a trellis.

Peppers
Peppers #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peppers #4

Did you know you should always wash your hands after handling (especially cutting or chopping) peppers? If you rub your eye after cutting peppers, you might be in for a pretty uncomfortable time! Milk is more soothing than water should your skin react to cut peppers.

Summer Squash #8 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Summer Squash #8

Did you know you should always harvest summer squash varieties when the fruit is small? As the fruit gets larger, you run the risk of having the plant stop producing flowers and reduce your overall crop.

Celery #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Celery #6

Did you know you can use celery leaves as an herb?

Parsnip
Parsnip #8 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Parsnip #8

Did you know you can store parsnips for up to six months in a cool, dry place (like a root cellar)?

Parsnip
Parsnip #7 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Parsnip #7

Did you know that parsnips are part of the celery, parsley and carrot family? They have a similar flavor to sweet celery hearts.

Carrots #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Carrots #5

Did you know you can store harvested carrots in a cool, dry environment for up to five months? A root cellar could be the perfect environment for storing your carrots.

Endive #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Endive #3

Did you know you can reduce the bitterness of Endive by “blanching” it in the garden? Different from blanching vegetables in the kitchen, garden blanching involves limiting how much sun the plant gets during the growth phase. You can blanch…

Onion #9 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Onion #9

Did you know that onions are perfect as “fill-ins” around other vegetables? They require little room and can maximize the production of your elevated garden.

Beets #10 150 150 Eco Garden Systems

Beets #10

Did you know you can cook whole beets in their skins? The skins will then slip off after cooking!

Tomato #11 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tomato #11

Did you know there is a difference in types of tomato plants? There are “determinate” varieties (bush tomatoes) and indeterminate varieties (more vine like)? The difference is that determinate tomatoes tend to produce one fruit set that ripens all at once while indeterminates produce all year long until the first frost. If you have not seen the Eco Garden Systems late-tomato ripening hack, you can see the video here).

Radish #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Radish #5

Did you know there are Spring and Winter radish varieties? Spring radishes tend to be the red, round radish that are common in product departments. Winter radishes tend to be larger, more oval and can grow to be eight or nine inches long. For Winter radishes, make sure to work the soil a bit to fight any summertime compaction that may have occurred.

Potatoes #7 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Potatoes #7

Did you know there are more than 100 varieties of potato? The fall into four major categories: long whites, round whites, russets and round reds.

Cucumbers #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Cucumbers #4

Did you know there are dozens of cucumber varieties? From slicing varieties to pickling varieties to novelty varieties (many are smaller and perfect for container gardens), there is a variety for almost every home gardener. Cucumbers are also prolific –…

Okra #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Okra #5

Did you know that Okra has a short growing cycle that makes it perfect for any warmer climate? Yield decreases when temperatures fall below 70 degrees.

Peppers
Peppers #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peppers #3

Did you know there are almost too many varieties of peppers you can grow to count? Wikipedia estimates there could be as many as 50,000 varieties. There are 22 levels of the Scoville Scale for measuring heat in peppers. The top “heat” generator is pure Capsaicin. Third is Pepper Spray (Standard US Grade).

Tomato #10 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tomato #10

Did you know the Italian word Pomodoro actually means Golden Apple? This is what tomatoes were originally called in Italy.

Broccoli #7 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Broccoli #7

Did you know the best cooking method for broccoli is to submerge the stems in water and boil – this boils the stem and steams the top making sure that both parts of the broccoli are cooked properly!

Brussels Sprouts #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Brussels Sprouts #5

Did you know that, if you live in a cooler climate, that picking off the terminal bud (top of plant) will encourage all of the sprouts to mature at once? Also, keeping lower leaves to a minimum can help also…

Okra #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Okra #4

Did you know that young Okra pods (~2” long) are less gluey than larger pods? While this is a good thickener (mmmm…Gumbo!!!), it can be unappetizing in Okra that is cooked.

Tomato #9 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tomato #9

Did you know that you should prune stake tomatoes so only one main stalk is left? Prune by removing all suckers that are below the first fruiting cluster. This provides more energy for the plant to produce fruit. This is an especially important tip for beginning gardeners as not pruning can lead to disappointment in the amount of fruit grown. Let suckers that grow above the first fruiting cluster remain – but remove all but two leaves. This will provide shade to the fruit.

Radish #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Radish #4

Did you know that you should introduce children to radishes early? Their spicy flavor can be used to educate young palates on flavors and create a desire to explore more different flavors as children get older. Older children who have had a bland diet often find radishes difficult to eat as the flavor becomes off-putting.

pumpkin
Pumpkins #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Pumpkins #4

Did you know that you should harvest pumpkins before a freeze? The fruit can become very soft when it freezes – so make sure you bring your bounty inside prior to a freeze!

Celery #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Celery #5

Did you know that you should cover your celery prior to harvesting? This protects the plant from the sun and helps produce chlorophyll and turn the plants green – reducing the bitter flavor. Cover during the final two weeks prior…

Summer Squash #7 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Summer Squash #7

Did you know that you should avoid handling squash plants when the leaves are wet? This can cause a powdery mildew to form – and this can then spread disease throughout the plant. Avoid watering the foliage if at all possible.

String Beans #8 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

String Beans #8

Did you know that you should avoid handling bean plants when they are wet (dew, rain, etc.) to prevent the spread of disease?

Peppers
Peppers #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peppers #2

Did you know that you should always wear gloves when you harvest peppers? Many people will have a skin reaction to peppers. You should also cut peppers from the plant – peppers have shallow roots so plucking them risk uprooting part of the plant.

Lima Beans #8 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Lima Beans #8

Did you know that you need to harvest lima beans when they begin to get plump and firm? Allowing them to remain on the vine too long creates mealy beans!!

Asparagus #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Asparagus #4

Did you know that you need to harvest Asparagus spears before they feather out? Once feathering occurs, it is too late to eat them!

Kale #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Kale #4

Did you know that kale is a member of the “Cole” family (cabbage-style plants) and, along with collards, is one of the oldest members of the Cole family of plants? Unlike collards, kale does not tolerate heat well. This makes…

Shallot #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Shallot #5

Did you know that you can use the outer leaves of a shallot like green onions?

winter squash
Winter Squash #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Winter Squash #3

Did you know that you can use almost any Winter Squash pulp to make pies? This can make a pleasant change from pumpkin (hmmm…not sure pumpkin pie can be improved upon!!!).

pumpkin
Pumpkins #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Pumpkins #3

Did you know that you can store pumpkins for three to six months – and still make great pies from them? Pumpkins should be cured in a dark, warm and humid space (~85 degrees) for 10 days and then stored in a cool, dry environment (~55 degrees). Stored pumpkins will lose ~20% of their weight when stored – but still make great pies! You can also roast pumpkin seeds and, once they are shelled, use them to make pesto.

Beets #9 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Beets #9

Did you know that you can store fresh beets for five to six months in a cool, moist environment?

Kohlrabi #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Kohlrabi #3

Did you know that you can steam young Kohlrabi in their skins? You can also treat these like patty-pan squash by stuffing them and roasting with the filling inside. Many people prefer Kohlrabi raw – whether as part of a…

Onion #8 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Onion #8

Did you know that you can regularly harvest onion leaves as the bulb matures? These can be used as flavor enhancers in most food preparation.

Asparagus #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Asparagus #3

Did you know that you can plant Asparagus crowns four to six weeks before your area’s average last frost? Always use well-grown, well rooted crowns as starters.

String Beans #7 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

String Beans #7

Did you know that you can crowd your beans a bit? They seem to like being close to other plants and can benefit from the shade as the weather warms up.

Beets #8 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Beets #8

Did you know that you can (and should) treat your thinned beet seedlings (beets grow in clusters so need to be thinned) like spinach and enjoy as an early season treat to enhance your salads?

Brussels Sprouts #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Brussels Sprouts #4

Did you know that you can “late harvest” Brussels Sprouts by removing the plant, removing any leaves and hanging in a cool dry place? This will keep your sprouts fresh for up to a month!

winter squash
Winter Squash #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Winter Squash #2

Did you know that Winter Squash is almost identical to Summer Squash in terms of growing and raising guidance? Most Winter Squash are allowed to mature (and their outer shell or rind to thicken until it becomes unpleasant to consume) before harvesting? This is one of the main differentiators between Winter and Summer varieties.

turnip
Turnip #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Turnip #5

Did you know that while turnips are commonly grown as a root vegetable, the greens are also edible? Cook greens with olive oil, onions and some seasoning (both sweet and spicy work – and work together) to create a compelling side dish that is popular in the South!

Endive #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Endive #2

Did you know that Endive is also called Escarole? It is a cool season crop that can either replace or enhance a lettuce or green salad. Do not confuse Endive with Belgian Endive which is the young, blanched sprout of…

Tomato #8 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tomato #8

Did you know that while tomatoes come in various shapes and sizes, the only real difference in varieties is whether they are best used for eating or best used for canning or preserving? Did you know there are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes – different sizes (grape, cherry, beefsteak), colors (black, red, yellow) and amount of juice (Roma, Plum, SanMarzanos)?

Parsnip
Parsnip #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Parsnip #6

Did you know that when you thin parsnips you should not pull out the thinned seedlings? Cut the leaves instead so as not to disturb the remaining seedlings.

Beets #7 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Beets #7

Did you know that when you harvest your beets you should never cut the leaves off (always twist them off)? This prevents bleeding which some gardeners feel leads to flavor loss and color loss!

Eggplant #7 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Eggplant #7

Did you know that eggplant plants can grow up to six feet tall? The fruit can vary in size from long and slender to round to the more traditional purple bulbous egg-shape?

rhubarb
Rhubarb #3 1024 768 Eco Garden Systems

Rhubarb #3

Did you know that when you grow rhubarb from seed you may get a different variety than expected? Plants do not grow true from seed – you are better off using cuts from existing plants or buy divisions from your local garden center.

Okra #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Okra #3

Did you know that when an Okra plant begins to set pods, they are so fast growing that harvest should be every other day? If pods get too large, the plant will stop producing new ones.

String Beans #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

String Beans #6

Did you know that water on a bean flower can cause the flowers and small pods to fall off? Avoid top watering and focus on keeping the soil moist as beans typically have a shallow root system and need regular moisture.

Summer Squash #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Summer Squash #6

Did you know that vining squash can be grown in an elevated garden? Just make sure you train the vines to grow over the side or into a trellis – otherwise you risk the squash plant taking over your entire growing space!!

Cucumbers #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Cucumbers #3

Did you know that cucumbers are very sensitive to frost and cold weather? Their short growing season (55 to 60 days) makes them viable in almost any growing area.

turnip
Turnip #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Turnip #4

Did you know that turnips are related to rutabaga? Turnips originated in the Mediterranean during prehistoric times while the rutabaga (a cross between cabbage and turnip) came along in the Middle Ages.

Tomato #7 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tomato #7

Did you know that tomatoes are the most popular fruit grown by home gardeners? While it is usually consumed as a vegetable, tomatoes are technically a fruit (and were called Love Apples based on their heart shape and the perception that they were an aphrodisiac) – the average consumer eats 18 lbs. of tomatoes each year – this does not include ketchup or other sauce-based products.

Celery #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Celery #4

Did you know that celery seeds are VERY slow to germinate? It is much easier to plant transplants – and being a cool weather plant, you can put your transplants in ~two weeks before average last frost date. To be…

Peas
Peas #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peas #5

Did you know that there is a difference between shelling-type peas and edible pod type peas? Edible pods are a fairly recent development – pick the young pods before the peas fully develop.

Carrots #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Carrots #4

Did you know that carrots are of Mediterranean origin and were brought to America by some of the first settlers? Native Americans were quick to recognize their potential as food crops.

Kale #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Kale #3

Did you know that the Italians steam kale until tender, add olive oil, garlic, breadcrumbs and then sprinkle it with a little grated parm in the last minute of cooking? You can also enjoy a Far East preparation stir-fried with…

Peas
Peas #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peas #4

Did you know that the commercial pea harvest is almost fully complete by the end of June? Ideal growing conditions for peas is temps between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant peas early – as soon as the soil can be worked and about four weeks before the last frost.

Brussels Sprouts #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Brussels Sprouts #3

Did you know that Brussels Sprouts are the most frost-hardy of any of the Cole family of vegetables? Weather that is too cold (80 degrees F) will make the heads bitter in flavor.

Eggplant #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Eggplant #6

Did you know that the best way to prepare eggplant is to make sure you get a lot of the excess moisture out? Two ways to do this is to (1) heavily salt and let sit for 30 minutes; wash…

Beets #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Beets #6

Did you know that Swiss Chard (or bottomless beet) is an improved version of the early, leafy beets? Beet leaves can be eaten as well as the root.

Potatoes #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Potatoes #6

Did you know that potatoes need low acid soil (pH of 5.0 – 5.5)? This makes them different from many other common vegetables which typically need neutral to slightly acidic soil to thrive.

Sweet Potato #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Sweet Potato #6

Did you know that sweet potatoes are versatile enough to use in both savory and sweet preparations? The pair well with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice and are great served deep-fried in a tempura batter.

String Beans #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

String Beans #5

Did you know that string bean varieties mature and produce in less than 60 days? Pole style beans take a bit longer than bush style, but they also produce more beans per plant! In many growing areas, you can get two crops of beans moving from bush style to pole style to maximize production.

Summer Squash #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Summer Squash #5

Did you know that squash are nutrient intensive? This means your spoil will need constant fertilization to make sure you get fruit and not just flowers! Squash also needs well worked soil and good drainage to thrive.

Spinach #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Spinach #6

Did you know that spinach is a wonderful salad ingredient? It pairs well with fruits, nuts and cheeses – and children often prefer raw spinach to the cooked variety. At Eco Garden Systems, we recommend sautéed spinach with a little butter and garlic (Arugula is wonderful served in this style as well).

Celery #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Celery #3

Did you know that soil for good celery growth must have plenty of moisture but also good drainage (making it a perfect plant for an Eco Garden)? Celery can also tolerate partial shade making it a very versatile plant for…

Onion #7 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Onion #7

Did you know that soil and growing conditions impact the overall flavor of an onion? Sort of like the concept of “terroir” with wine, onions can taste different depending on where and how they are grown!

Okra #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Okra #2

Did you know that Okra is a member of the cotton and Hibiscus families? This plant’s flowers resemble yellow Hibiscus flowers.

Beets #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Beets #5

Did you know that beets thrive in lower acid/higher potassium soil? This makes them a great companion for lettuces and a poor companion for pole beans.

Potatoes #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Potatoes #5

Did you know that potatoes go with almost any dish? From baked to fried to scalloped to hash to shredded (potato cakes), this versatile tuber can satisfy almost any taste profile or appetite.

Eggplant #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Eggplant #5

Did you know that eggplant takes 150 days from seed to harvest? It also thrives in warmer environments where daytime temps top 80 degrees. Eggplant starter plants should be started about two months before transplanting (transplant two to three weeks…

Shallot #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Shallot #4

Did you know that shallots can be grown almost anywhere in the US? They thrive in every type of soil except for clay. They have very shallow roots so they do not need a lot of soil preparation.

Parsnip
Parsnip #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Parsnip #5

Did you know that parsnips thrive on excess moisture early? As they approach maturity, make sure you cut back on moisture as excess moisture at this stage can cause the root to crack.

rhubarb
Rhubarb #2 1024 768 Eco Garden Systems

Rhubarb #2

Did you know that rhubarb is a perennial? Rhubarb is very hearty and can grow for you year after year. A quick note – first year plants will likely not provide you any harvest. Rhubarb begins to produce in year #2.

Chard #2 150 150 Eco Garden Systems

Chard #2

Did you know that Rhubarb is a member of the chard family?

Radish #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Radish #3

Did you know that radishes can thrive in almost any garden? They are used as row markers for slower germinating crops (since radishes germinate so quickly) and can be grown in pots in windows just as easily as outdoors.

Lima Beans #7 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Lima Beans #7

Did you know that Lima Beans require a rather long growing season of 75-90+ days?

Sweet Potato #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Sweet Potato #5

Did you know that sweet potatoes have a very long growing cycle (~150 days)? They also need warm and moist conditions to thrive and maximize tuber growth. If you plan on growing seedings (from pieces of a mature potato) your sprouting bed should be between 70 degrees and 80 degrees and should not be allowed to dry out.

Cucumbers #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Cucumbers #2

Did you know that cucumbers need help in pollination? If you are rooftop or balcony gardening, you may need to use a small brush to take pollen from male flowers (those without an immature fruit on the stem) and use…

Eggplant #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Eggplant #4

Did you know that eggplant performs best in full sun with rich soil with excellent drainage? They are easily susceptible to root rot in soil that is too moist. This make them perfect for growing in an Eco Garden!

pumpkin
Pumpkins #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Pumpkins #2

Did you know that pumpkin plants are notorious creepers? They can quickly take over a garden if the plant is not trained properly. Pumpkins grow well in an Eco Garden – as long as you control growth and trim back some of the vines.

Brussels Sprouts #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Brussels Sprouts #2

Did you know that Brussels Sprouts – which look like mini-cabbage heads – grow from a heavy, center stalk? Brussels Sprouts are also members of the cabbage (or Cole) family.

Potatoes #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Potatoes #4

Did you know that potatoes are perfect for elevated gardens – and especially an Eco Garden Original Garden? Check out our Facebook page for photos! They need well-draining soil to thrive making them perfect for and Eco Garden.

String Beans #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

String Beans #4

Did you know that sting beans prefer a drier growing environment? Be careful not to overwater either young or mature plants or you can harm total production!

Potatoes #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Potatoes #3

Did you know that potatoes are grown from “seed pieces” or pieces of whole potatoes? Each “seed piece” must have at least one eye to sprout. Don’t use supermarket potatoes as they have been chemically treated to not sprout.

turnip
Turnip #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Turnip #3

Did you know that turnips do not transplant well so are best grown from seed? They are a great winter crop in the south and a spring/fall crop in the north.

Lima Beans #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Lima Beans #6

Did you know that pole lima beans will require a trellis to help them grow and product properly? Alternatively, bush lima beans only grow to only a foot or two tall.

Shallot #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Shallot #3

Did you know that shallots can be stored like onions? You can store the bulbs for up to eight months in a cold, dry environment.

Onion #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Onion #6

Did you know that pickled onions served on bread with cheese is often referred to as a Farmer’s Lunch? Onions are probably the most versatile vegetable in your garden.

Peppers
Peppers #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peppers #1

Did you know that peppers are part of the Holy Trinity in the South? Onions, peppers and celery – they serve as the starting base for many Southern dishes.

Sweet Potato #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Sweet Potato #4

Did you know that sweet potatoes require well-worked sandy soil to grow the perfect tuber? Rocks or compacted soil can cause the roots to grow into interesting shapes!

Peas
Peas #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peas #3

Did you know that peas are an excellent crop for elevated garden? Well drained soil is critical for pea success. To use a trellis in an elevated garden (and still keep plants harvestable) consider angling your trellis down or across.

Kohlrabi #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Kohlrabi #2

Did you know that Kohlrabi is also called a “turnip cabbage” as it is part of the Cole family and has flavor characteristics of both those plants? The name comes from the German “kohl” meaning cabbage and “rabi” meaning turnip.…

Parsnip
Parsnip #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Parsnip #4

Did you know that parsnip roots are not harmed by the ground freezing? Your garden is the best storage space for mature parsnips – some people even think this enhances flavor (the low temps convert the root’s starch to sugar). Make sure you harvest before the ground becomes unworkable.

Beets #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Beets #4

Did you know you can plant beets very early in the spring and still get a successful grow? Beets are frost resistance and make a great winter crop in the south.

Tomato #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tomato #6

Did you know that tomatoes stop growing when the temperature reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit? Best performance is achieved between 65 degrees and 85 degrees. If evening temperatures do not fall below 85 degrees, the fruit will not ripen properly.

Onion #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Onion #5

Did you know that onions are frost hardy? Bulbs can be planted over the fall and winter in the south for spring harvest.

Spinach #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Spinach #5

Did you know that New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonoides) is not actually spinach? It is a member of the Marigold family that, when cooked, is a ready replacement for spinach. New Zealand spinach is heat tolerant and can be grown all summer – regular spinach enjoys cooler weather.

Broccoli #6 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Broccoli #6

Did you know that once the main head is harvested, smaller clusters or heads will grow from the cut point – meaning you can get mini-broccoli after the main head is harvested!

Okra #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Okra #1

Did you know that Okra grows best in well-draining soils and gardens? Too much moisture causes stem rot. While Okra is not recommended for traditional container gardens, it will grow well in a properly maintained Eco Garden.

Lima Beans #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Lima Beans #5

Did you know that lima beans are a perfect salad component when they are raw? Let them marinate in a vinaigrette dressing for 24 hours and you will have a real flavor and texture enhancement for your salad.

Eggplant #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Eggplant #3

Did you know that eggplant originates in India and the East Indies and is sometimes referred to as Guinea squash?

Sweet Potato #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Sweet Potato #3

Did you know that once you cure sweet potatoes (store in a dark, humid place at 80-85 degrees for ~10 days to cure your potatoes) they can be stored for up to six months in a traditional root cellar?

String Beans #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

String Beans #3

Did you know that most string bean varieties will not set pods when the temperature rises above 80 degrees?

Spinach #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Spinach #4

Did you know that spinach’s growing cycle is ~50 days? Each foot of planting should yield about a half-pound of spinach.

pumpkin
Pumpkins #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Pumpkins #1

Did you know that make and female flowers grow on the same pumpkin vine? Male flowers typically appear a week or two before the female flowers and you can identify female flowers by the baby pumpkin bulge between the flower and the vine. Even with flower proximity, pumpkins perform best when nature’s pollinators (mainly bees) do their job well.

Celery #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Celery #2

Did you know that magnesium rich and calcium rich soil can help protect celery from common disease (Pink rot, black heart, blights, etc.)?

rhubarb
Rhubarb #1 1024 768 Eco Garden Systems

Rhubarb #1

Did you know that rhubarb leaves contain a toxic substance? Only the stalks are good for eating. Do not allow your rhubarb to reach flowering stage – remove the flower stalk when it first appears.

Lima Beans #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Lima Beans #4

Did you know that lima beans interact with nitrogen-fixing bacteria to create their own fertilizer? For this reason, you should not plant lima beans near plants like green peppers that require more nitrogen as you will get healthy plants but…

Tomato #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tomato #5

Did you know that tomatoes require significant moisture? Elevated gardens – especially ones with a water reservoir, like the Eco Garden, allow tomatoes to thrive as their tap-root will grow into the reservoir keeping the plants hydrated.

Kohlrabi #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Kohlrabi #1

Did you know that Kohlrabi is a cold weather crop and can tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F? This plant can handle heat better than some others in the Cole family and produces better when there is a 10° to…

Tomato #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tomato #4

Did you know that cherry tomatoes (and other similar size varieties) grow very well in a hanging basket? This can help you maximize production in a limited space garden.

Summer Squash #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Summer Squash #4

Did you know that Summer Squash is part of the cucumber family? While Summer Squash is technically a “squash”, we typically consume the immature fruit as a “summer” variety – where the skin and the flesh are considered edible.

Spinach #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Spinach #3

Did you know that spinach was brought to America by early colonists? Spinach dates back to the sixth century in China and it was used in Spain as early as the 11th century.

Kale #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Kale #2

Did you know that kale has a very short growth period – ~55 days from transplants? Kale comes in many colorful varieties some for eating and some simply for their colors and “curly nature” of their leaves. If you live…

Asparagus #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Asparagus #2

Did you know that it can take more than three years to establish an Asparagus bed?

Carrots #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Carrots #3

Did you know that in cooler climates you should start carrots indoors and then transplant? If you start carrots outside too early, some varieties will simply give up and not produce.

Lima Beans #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Lima Beans #3

Did you know that if your growing season is shorter you can start lima beans indoors and replant when the soil temperature warms up?

Beets #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Beets #3

Did you know that if you live in a warmer climate you can still grow beets – but you need to mulch them and keep them moist to help them survive the warmer weather?

String Beans #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

String Beans #2

Did you know that high Nitrogen soil will provide great foliage growth at the expense of bean growth? This would not be a good plant to be near Asparagus!

Broccoli #5 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Broccoli #5

Did you know that broccoli was a favorite of the Romans? Pliny the Elder wrote about this in the second century AD.

Lima Beans #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Lima Beans #2

Did you know that lima beans originated in Sothern Mexico and Central America?

Onion #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Onion #4

Did you know that harvested onions should be air dried outside for about a week? Properly dried, onions can be stored for up to six or seven months (store in a cool, dry environment).

winter squash
Winter Squash #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Winter Squash #1

Did you know that gourds are closely related to squash? They are used mainly for decorative purposes but were also used in trade around revolutionary times. Haitian currency is still called the gourde which is also Louisiana slang for a dollar.

Peas
Peas #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peas #2

Did you know that finding a pea pod with nine or more peas is so unusual, it is a custom to make a wish if you find one?

Parsnip
Parsnip #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Parsnip #3

Did you know that excess manure in soil will cause root crops – including parsnips – to fork when they grow?

Radish #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Radish #2

Did you know that radishes are the “gateway” vegetable for many young gardeners? There quick speed to maturity fits the fascination level of younger children – and unlocks the mystery of growing things for many.

Endive #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Endive #1

Did you know that Endive is a cool weather plant with a relatively long growing cycle? You can either start early indoors for a quick plant and harvest or plant seeds four to six weeks before the last frost to…

Eggplant #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Eggplant #2

Did you know that eggplant plants are very susceptible to pests? The list of normal pests is a traditional who’s who of the pest world: aphids, cutworms, potato bugs, spider mites, etc. This makes eggplant a difficult organic product to…

Broccoli #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Broccoli #4

Did you know that broccoli takes about 150 days to mature form seed? If you want to grow broccoli in your garden, you had better start growing indoors!!

Parsnip
Parsnip #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Parsnip #2

Did you know that parsnips were the potato of Medieval and Renaissance Europe?

Sweet Potato #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Sweet Potato #2

Did you know that sweet potatoes can be damaged by freezing or cold soils? You should harvest your potatoes earlier rather than later – and definitely before the first frost. Sweet potatoes are very thin skinned and can bruise easily – be cautious when you harvest!

Eggplant #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Eggplant #1

Did you know that eggplant is related to tomatoes, peppers and potatoes?

turnip
Turnip #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Turnip #2

Did you know that turnips do not require as much nitrogen as other plants? Too much nitrogen encourages leaf growth but not fruit development. This makes them a poor companion for peppers which need nitrogen to produce fruit.

Cucumbers #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Cucumbers #1

Did you know that cucumbers are not necessarily easy to digest? For that reason, several “burpless” varieties have been developed that are easier on the human digestive system.

Beets #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Beets #2

Did you know that beets thrive the most in loose soil? Make sure your soil is thoroughly worked before planting and you have created the best soil for them to thrive.

Potatoes #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Potatoes #2

Did you know that covering potato plant leaves and stems as the plant grows will encourage more/new tuber growth? Typically, each plant will produce between three and six “regular” sized potatoes and multiple smaller ones. Harvest potatoes when the plant blooms or when leaves begin to turn yellow.

Parsnip
Parsnip #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Parsnip #1

Did you know that cooking parsnips is similar to cooking carrots? Cooking them with a beef roast and allowing them to cook in the meat juices will add a richness to their flavor.

Shallot #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Shallot #2

Did you know that shallots originated in Asia? It is believed that French knights introduced them to Europe when they returned from the Crusades. They are a member of the onion family. It is also believed that Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto introduced them to America in 1532.

Tomato #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tomato #3

Did you know that tomatoes go with almost any savory dish? Serve raw with fresh mozzarella for an amazing salad, stuff raw tomatoes with tuna or chicken for a healthy main dish alternative, cook down into sauces or serve broiled with bacon and sausages for a hearty breakfast.

Chard #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Chard #1

Did you know that chard varieties thrive in low acid soil (just like beets!!)?

Broccoli #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Broccoli #3

Did you know that broccoli is a member of the cabbage (Cole) family?

Celery #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Celery #1

Did you know that celery is a member of the parsley family?

Carrots #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Carrots #2

Did you know that there are almost as many varieties of carrots as days in the year? From short to finger to Half-long to Cylindrical to Standard. What we typically buy at the supermarket just happen to be one of…

Spinach #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Spinach #2

Did you know that spinach can have either a traditional flat leaf or a crinkly leaf (a “savoy leaf”)? Spinach is related to both beets and chard.

Brussels Sprouts #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Brussels Sprouts #1

Did you know that Brussels Sprouts are heavy nitrogen users? If you have sandy soil or get a lot of rain, you will need to supplement some form of nitrogen to encourage head growth and formation.

Onion #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Onion #3

Did you know that onions come in seed form, transplant form and set form? Sets are onions where development has been halted. The smaller the set (think fingernail size or smaller) the better.

Peas
Peas #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peas #2

Did you know that finding a pea pod with nine or more peas is so unusual, it is a custom to make a wish if you find one?

Summer Squash #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Summer Squash #3

Did you know that, while squash blossoms can be either male or female, they need pollinators to help achieve full pollination? If you are an apartment deck gardener, you may need to employ a soft-bristled brush to pollinate your female…

Kale #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Kale #1

Did you know that kale requires a slightly higher pH than many other plants and is a bit of a nitrogen hog? If you have sandy soil, plan on supplementing nitrogen for your kale to maximize performance.

Peas
Peas #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Peas #1

Did you know that freezing peas for longer periods decreases the overall flavor? Edible pods hold their flavor better during the freezing process.

Sweet Potato #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Sweet Potato #1

Did you know that sweet potatoes come in both dry and moist varieties? This describes their texture while being consumed. Moist varieties are often called yams, but yams are actually a different species grown in more tropical climates and countries.

Lima Beans #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Lima Beans #1

Did you know that like traditional string beans, lima beans do better in full sun?

Broccoli #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Broccoli #2

Did you know that broccoli can survive temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit? This makes it an ideal northern crop – temps outside of this range can cause broccoli to “bolt” or go directly to seed without ever forming…

Radish #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Radish #1

Did you know that radishes are cool season crops? It is possible to get two or three crops in the springtime alone!

Onion #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Onion #2

Did you know that Bermuda onions require the shortest “day” period to grow? Onion tops require cooler weather but the bulbs themselves require warmer weather to mature.

Summer Squash #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Summer Squash #2

Did you know that summer squash is a warm weather crop? These plants enjoy night temperatures above 60 degrees and should not be planted until two to three weeks after the last frost. In Minnesota, we recommend using starter plants…

Potatoes #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Potatoes #1

Did you know that potatoes are related to tomatoes, eggplant and peppers? Potatoes originated in higher altitudes and prefer cooler evening/nighttime temperatures.

Beets #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Beets #1

Did you know that beets do not have a lot of natural pests that impact them (watch for Leaf Miners on the leaves) making them ideal for an organic garden?

Shallot #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Shallot #1

Did you know that shallots do not suffer from any serious pest or disease problems? This makes them ideal for first time gardeners.

String Beans #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

String Beans #1

Did you know that bean plants excite bacteria in the soil to as they work with these bacteria to create their own fertilizer?

Tomato #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tomato #2

Did you know that at one point in time in US history tomatoes were labelled as poisonous? Tomatoes originated in South America and made their way to the US through Central America, Mexico and into Spain – then into other…

Asparagus #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Asparagus #1

Did you know that Asparagus requires a high Nitrogen environment? A totally separate bed is the best approach for Asparagus to avoid Nitrogen overload for other vegetables.

Broccoli #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Broccoli #1

Did you know that Americans did not consume broccoli until the 1920’s even though it was a favorite in Europe long before that?

Onion #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Onion #1

Did you know that all varieties of onions can be used as “green onions”? There are some varieties that are grown specifically for this (spring onions, scallions, bunching onions) – but all varieties can fill in for this role.

Spinach #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Spinach #1

Did you know that spinach grows best in seed clusters (like chard and beets)? Spinach should be thinned when seedlings appear. Like beets, leafminers are a common spinach pest. New Zealand spinach, however, has no serious pest problems and is…

turnip
Turnip #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Turnip #1

Did you know that a turnip is not really a root? It is actually a swelling at the base of the stem.

Carrots #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Carrots #1

Did you know that carrots are easy to grow and relatively pest free – making them a favorite for home and community gardeners!

Tomato #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tomato #1

Did you know that a single tomato plant can produce five to 10 lbs. of tomatoes? This of course depends on variety and growing season but tomatoes can be very prolific if managed properly.

Summer Squash #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Summer Squash #1

Did you know that “Summer Squash” is made up of many varieties? From Zucchini to pattypan, crookneck, scallop and straightneck – all of these varieties are considered part of the “Summer” family.