5 Latin vegetables to grow in your new garden

Between my mom, who's got the best green thumb I know, and one of my best friends, who has been growing her own vegetables for almost three years, I have been inspired to try my hand at gardening this year. Now that my forays into growing cilantro in my very own herb garden have been sprouting into success, I want to tackle growing my very own vegetable garden next. But I know it's going to take a lot of work, so I'm starting out with learning some tips on how to grow my 5 favorite Latin vegetables. With these tips, any vegetable garden is sure to be a big success this summer. 


Read more ¿Qué más? Grow some Latin flavor with fresh cilantro from your herb garden

1. Boniato: This is a particular variety of the sweet potato and can easily grow in even the worst soil, needs very little attention and thrives in the heat. It takes about 120 days for them to reach harvest, so start planting now! Start by making some slips: put a boniato in a half full cup of water with just a third of it submerged. Leave it in warm water on a sunny windowsill, where it will sprout. When the sprouts are six inches long, pull them off and set them in water until they root, then plant them in your garden. This will take about 12 weeks. To plant them, simply set the roots in mounted rows in soil that is evenly moist but not too wet.

2. Tomatillo: These can be started as seeds indoors before you transfer them to your garden outside. They can take about 100 days to harvest and are fans of water. They can survive pretty easily in any kind of container in the beginning but they do need full sun, well-drained soil and frequent watering (about every other day) to thrive. Once they're fully grown, you can of course cook them or even save them by freezing so that you and your family can enjoy them for another six months.

3. Peppers: Peppers are probably the easiest of the veggies that you'll be growing. You can start off with seeds as well, but know that hot peppers will be trickier to grow. You can also buy pre-grown seedlings if you want to speed up the process, since growing them from seeds may take 8-10 weeks. The thing to keep in mind is that they are very thirsty plants but the soil must drain well, same as with the tomatillos. They're light feeders, though, so don't use too much fertilizer. Sweeter peppers mature in about 60-90 days while hot peppers can take up to 150 days. 

4. Beans: Green beans will be the easiest ones for you to grow. Bush beans will start producing pretty quickly and the easiest way to start is to plant the seeds directly into your garden. They need pretty rich soil and you can put down plenty of mulch to keep their shallow roots moist. Make sure you keep the bean plants well watered. They're pretty quick, though, taking about 50 days to grow. 

5. Garlic: Check out the video below!

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Are you planting a vegetable garden this summer? What is your favorite Latin veggie? Share with us in the comments below!

Image via randomduck/flickr

Topics: gardening  kitchen