#Gardinspiration
Vegetable & herb facts to get you growing
garlic cloves and bulbs
Garlic #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Garlic #4

Did you know that you most folks recommend using only the skinnier bulbs for planting and the plumper cloves for cooking? We have actually seen guidance to do the opposite as the plumper cloves are expected to produce more robust plants for harvest.

fennel seeds close-up
Fennel #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Fennel #4

Did you know that fertilizing fennel may negatively impact its flavor? Like other herbs, fennel enjoys drier, well-draining soil (and it has a taproot like Dill) and needs just enough moisture to get going.

dill weed close-up
Dill #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Dill #4

Did you know that you can plant Dill in more shady spaces? Your plants will not get as tall and bushy allowing you to plant more in a smaller space!

chive bunch
Chives #4 980 735 Eco Garden Systems

Chives #4

Did you know that growing Chives from seeds requires very cool temps and a lot of patience? It is easier (and quicker) to grow from Divisions – small bulbs separated from clumps. The good thing is that after a slow start, chives grow very quickly!

basil leaves
Basil #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Basil #4

Did you know that Basil loves the sun – but can tolerate some shade? We recommend early day sun as the hot afternoon sun can make Basil difficult to keep moist!

anise seed
Anise #4 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Anise #4

Did you know that Anise works wells as a flavoring for fish or veal stew?

thyme herb
Thyme #3 1000 750 Eco Garden Systems

Thyme #3

Did you know that Thyme prefers a mild climate? It can be grown from seed and will survive a freeze but may not survive a harsh Winter – especially if the soil is wet and poorly draining. As with many herbs, Thyme prefers soil with low fertility. Overly rich soil will provide larger plants that are much less fragrant.

tarragon herb
Tarragon #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tarragon #3

Did you know that Tarragon can be grown anywhere in the United States? It is a hardy plant that can survive Winter if given adequate protection – it is less tolerant of cold if the soil is compacted or too wet; Tarragon prefers well drained sandy soil.

savory herb
Savory #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Savory #3

Did you know that Savory has no serious pest or disease issues (either variety)? Summer Savory has a tendency to become top heavy – you may need to stake your plants if this happens.

sage leaves
Sage #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Sage #3

Did you know that Sage is another hearty herb that can survive mild Winters? Make sure you mulch the base to protect the root system.

rosemary herb sprig
Rosemary #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Rosemary #3

Did you know that Rosemary can tolerate cold? It prefers sandy, well-drained soil and less than ideal locations/conditions will improve the fragrance of the leaves.

parsley herb bunch
Parsley #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Parsley #3

Did you know that Parsley (some varieties) grow a large taproot that is edible? It is often treated the same way as a parsnip.

oregano leaves
Oregano #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Oregano #3

Traditional Oregano (Origanum Vulgare) is a very hearty and easier to grow than other strain? Like many herbs, traditional Oregano is a perennial that is often grown as an annual.

mint leaves
Mint #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Mint #3

Did you know that Mint plants can grow as tall as three feet? They produce both fragrant leaves as well as beautiful flowers that tend to have purple hues.

marjoram herb leaves
Marjoram #3 1138 853 Eco Garden Systems

Marjoram #3

Did you know that Marjoram can be grown almost anywhere in the US? Winters, however, are particularly hard on Marjoram and may limit your growing to the annual varieties (or perennials that grow best as annuals).

garlic cloves and bulbs
Garlic #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Garlic #3

Did you know that garlic is one of the few vegetables you plant in the fall for harvest the following summer? Plant individual cloves (broad side down) in the early fall (roots need to develop before Winter sets in) and you should get full garlic plants and cloves in early to mid-summer next year.

fennel seeds close-up
Fennel #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Fennel #3

Did you know that, while fennel is often viewed as a flavor enhancer (soups, sauces, sausage, etc.) the bulb itself can be used in many savory ways? From sliced and sautéed (like onions) to baked with cheese/seasonings and served hot (like an au gratin), this versatile herb can be a staple of your kitchen.

dill weed close-up
Dill #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Dill #3

Did you know that poor, sandy soil is an advantage for growing Dill? This will help increase the flavor intensity – provided the soil drains sufficiently. Once planted, Dill can and will seed itself thus returning year after year.

chive bunch
Chives #3 980 735 Eco Garden Systems

Chives #3

Did you know that Chives are a very hardy plant and can grow anywhere in the US? They prefer cooler weather but can survive warmer extreme temps.

basil leaves
Basil #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Basil #3

Did you know that Basil is an herb that can be grown in almost any state in the US? It loves stable temps but can tolerate heat better than cold.

anise seed
Anise #3 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Anise #3

Did you know that Anise was one of the first European herbs to become popular in America?

thyme herb
Thyme #2 1000 750 Eco Garden Systems

Thyme #2

Did you know that the Greeks and Romans thought that Thyme gave them courage and strength? In the Middle Ages, Thyme was embroidered into scarves and given to knights! The Father of Modern Botany, Carolus Linneaus, recommended Thyme as a hangover cure.

tarragon herb
Tarragon #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tarragon #2

Did you know that the word Tarragon comes from the Arabic word for dragon? The French translation – Estragon – means Little Dragon. It is thought the name comes from either the way the plant is used medicinally (it was used to fight off pestilence during the Middle Ages) or due to the snake-like root system.

savory herb
Savory #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Savory #2

Did you know that Savory does best in full sun? This is one herb that you should probably fertilize – but only when planting. Avoid mid-season fertilization and keep your soil on the dry side for both varieties.

sage leaves
Sage #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Sage #2

Did you know that Sage water is supposed to help improve memory and also help to keep hair from falling out?

rosemary herb sprig
Rosemary #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Rosemary #2

Did you know that Rosemary signals remember in the language of flowers? In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Hamlet gives Ophelia a sprig of Rosemary “for remembrance”. In more modern times, people keep this spirit alive by tying a sprig of Rosemary to gifts.

parsley herb bunch
Parsley #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Parsley #2

Did you know that Parsley is a biennial plant? We treat it as an annual to get the freshness of the leaves. The Romans wore Parsley “wreaths” to keep from becoming intoxicated.

oregano leaves
Oregano #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Oregano #2

Did you know that the name Oregano traces back to an ancient Greek word/phrase that means “Delight of the Mountains”?

mint leaves
Mint #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Mint #2

Did you know that Mint is also a perennial often grown as an annual? If you go the annual route, be forewarned that Mint has a tendency to proliferate and if you do not pay attention you could have an entire garden of one variety of Mint!

marjoram herb leaves
Marjoram #2 1138 853 Eco Garden Systems

Marjoram #2

Did you know that Marjoram leaves and flowering heads can be steeped and made into a tea? The resulting tea is reputed to relieve both headaches and indigestion.

garlic cloves and bulbs
Garlic #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Garlic #2

Did you know that an old wives tale tells that when the Devil walked out of the Garden of Eden after the fall of Adam and Eve that onions sprang up from his right hoofprint and garlic from his left?

fennel seeds close-up
Fennel #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Fennel #2

Did you know that Fennel has a prominent place in folklore? At various times in history is has been credited with improving eyesight, stopping hiccups, assisting with weight loss, and acting as an aphrodisiac.

dill weed close-up
Dill #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Dill #2

Did you know that carrying a bag of dried Dill over your heart is supposed to ward off the evil eye? In earlier times, Dill water was used as a soothing drink for crying babies and also for eliminating intestinal gas!

chive bunch
Chives #2 980 735 Eco Garden Systems

Chives #2

Did you know that chives are part of the onion family (we would guess that you did – based just on the smell!)? The typical hollow stem is common but the flowers (fresh or dried) are often used in Japanese cooking.

basil leaves
Basil #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Basil #2

Did you know that in some countries Basil is a symbol of love (Italy, Romania) or holiness (India)? In others (Greece), it is a symbol of death and hatred.

anise seed
Anise #2 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Anise #2

Did you know that Anise used to be credited with warding off the “evil eye”? Romans used it to flavor cakes on special occasions.

thyme herb
Thyme #1 1000 750 Eco Garden Systems

Thyme #1

Did you know that Thyme is a small, perennial, evergreen shrub? It is a member of the Mint family and grows six to eight-inch stems that often spread out to cover the ground. Thyme will last for years once it gets established – and there are over 200 varieties to choose from!

tarragon herb
Tarragon #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Tarragon #1

Did you know that Tarragon is a perennial plant that grow roughly four feet tall? French Tarragon is a sterile clove – it can’t be grown from seed. To expand your Tarragon plantation you will need to use rooted divisions or stem cuttings.

savory herb
Savory #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Savory #1

Did you know that Savory is part of the Mint family? Winter Savory is a hardy perennial while Summer Savory is a bushy annual. The Winter variety has a sharper flavor to the leaves than Summer.

sage leaves
Sage #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Sage #1

Did you know that Sage (like Rosemary) is actually a shrub that grows as a perennial? The bush itself can become quite woody while the leaves, which are long and oval, come in a variety of colors.

rosemary herb sprig
Rosemary #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Rosemary #1

Did you know that Rosemary is actually a shrub? It is a perennial plant that can grow up to six feet tall and is usually grown as an annual in areas with very cold Winters.

parsley herb bunch
Parsley #1 1280 960 Eco Garden Systems

Parsley #1

Did you know that Chervil is a member of the Parsley family? Chervil is a bit more subtle in flavor and produces flowers that grow in umbrella-like clusters. By soaking Chervil in vinegar, folk medicine says that this can cure the hiccups!

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