Growing your own vegetables can prove to be an extremely beneficial and enjoyable process. The experience of planting, nurturing, and harvesting your own crops can provide a sense of calmness along with a feeling of independence. Let us check out the best vegetables that grow above the ground in detail.
What are the list of vegetables that grow above the ground? 1. Lettuce, 2. Cucumbers, 3. Pumpkins, 4. Tomatoes, 5. Peas, 6. Beans, 7. Red Bell Peppers, 8. Broccoli, 9. Leaf Amaranth, 10. Asparagus, 11. Artichoke, 12. Corn, 13. Ladies finger aka Okra
Home-grown vegetables can add an abundance of freshness to your daily meals and give you the satisfaction of knowing exactly where and how your crops have been grown. You can be sure of the quality and nutritional value of the food that you consume.
There is a variety of crops that can be grown at home, whether in your balcony containers or garden beds. They can differ in size, their growing requirements, benefits, and consumption however one thing remains constant and that is the right conditions and care need to be provided to grow market quality produce.
Vegetables can be grown above or below the ground, depending on the variety. The basic difference that is observed between the two types is that vegetables that grow above the ground are lighter and contain fewer amounts of carbohydrates in comparison to the vegetables that are grown underground.
Vegetables that grow above the ground
Here are a couple of popular varieties of vegetables that grow above the ground. Let us check out the above ground vegetables or vegetables that grow above ground.
Let’s begin with the trusted and most commonly consumed leafy vegetable, lettuce. It is a very popular green, used especially in salads and sandwiches.
Lettuce comes in many forms and varieties. It is essentially a cluster of leaves and almost the entire plant is fit to be consumed.
Lettuce requires particular and special care for its nourishment. It does not like the hot sun and enjoys cool and moist soil. In case your garden is devoid of shade you can create it by planting your lettuce under taller plants.
The lettuce plant can mature in 2 to 3 months and since it grows in a cluster, the outer leaves tend to mature faster than the inner ones. While harvesting, it is best to pick the outer leaves while giving time and room to the inside leaves to grow.
Space is not an issue with this plant hence it can be grown in containers and placed on porches, patios or balconies and can be grown both during the spring and autumn months.
Lettuce is a powerhouse of minerals like Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin C and Folate. Vitamin C present in the Lettuce leaves is especially beneficial for its antioxidant qualities and can boost the immunity of the body. Out of the many varieties of the lettuce plant, the Romaine Lettuce is the most nutritious.
Compared to the other varieties it contains more Potassium, Beta Carotene, and Lutein. Lettuce is well known for aiding weight loss because of its contents of Vitamin C, Fibre, and other minerals.
Caution should be applied towards the quality of lettuce consumed as contaminated lettuce can lead to stomach ailments. To sum it up, growing your own lettuce is a great idea! and this is one of the Vegetables that grow above the ground you should try.
You think cool, you think cucumbers! Whether it’s to refresh your eyes or your water, cucumber is a great addition to your vegetable garden. They generally appear thin and long with the only exception being a variety known as the Lemon Cucumbers, which are as round as their name suggests.
Other popular varieties of cucumbers are The American Cucumber, The Snake Cucumber, Japanese Cucumbers, Curby Cucumbers, and Persian Cucumbers. In most of the United States, there is a species of wild cucumber that is not edible.
Cucumbers grow on vines that tend to climb fences and trellises. This vegetable makes a great choice for an amateur gardener because of its no-fuss attitude. The cucumber plant needs hot weather, moist soil, and plenty of nutrients. You can harvest the cucumbers as and when you like, without any specialized expertise. Cucumbers can grow at an average of 6 to 8 inches long.
Cucumbers need plenty of nutrition hence it is advised to prepare its soil by mixing one part compost with one part quality fertilizer. Cucumbers will not tolerate cold weather hence it is important to ensure that the planting is done at least 2 to 3 weeks after the last frost date.
Since the soil needs to be warm to facilitate successful seed germination, it is important to maintain the right temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, especially in colder zones. This can be achieved through mulching or by covering with a plastic sheet.
While the cucumber roots require plenty of water the leaves do not hence while watering the cucumber plants ensure that the water goes directly into the soil and avoid washing the leaves as this will cause the formation of fungal leafy mildew and likely, infest your plant.
Cucumbers are low in calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and while being high in their water content helps with hydration of the body. Cucumbers may also help to regulate blood sugar levels while its rich Vitamin K content helps in maintaining bone health.
Cucumbers are widely used in beauty products as it benefits the skin in many ways. Cucumber juice is recommended by specialists for weight reduction, relieving constipation, boosting immunity, and detoxifying the body. With so many benefits at play, this wonderful and “cool” vegetable has found an important place in our lives.
However, a word of caution for those with a sensitive stomach; the cucumber contains a biochemical compound called cucurbitacin which can cause indigestion. They are popularly used in salads and often pickled or added sandwiches.
So Cucumbers are one of the best vegetables that grow above the ground and it should be there in your above ground vegetables list.
Traditionally perceived as Halloween decoration, pumpkins are widely added to many sumptuous culinary dishes. This plant is Native American and its origination can be traced to over 5000 years ago.
It is a part of the gourd family and loves the warm weather hence planting should be done when the frost has long gone. Pumpkins grow on vines that have a tendency to grow really long therefore while spacing the pumpkin plants in your garden ensure to maintain a distance of 3 to 5 feet between each plant.
The best results are found when pumpkin plants are started using seeds. As we know, pumpkins love the warm sun and sprawling spaces and can thrive in rich and well-drained soil especially if it is enriched with compost and organic aged manure.
Given the right temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the seeds will germinate in less than a week and the saplings will appear between 5 to 10 days following the germination. The plants need to be protected from insects and pests as they have a tendency to get infested.
The pumpkin plant loves water but you must ensure to avoid pouring the water directly on the leaves as consistent dampness can cause the leaves to rot. The best way to protect your pumpkin plant is to add mulch to the soil so that the moisture gets absorbed well and the plant stays protected from weeds and harmful insects.
Pumpkins should be harvested when they turn into deep orange color and reach your desired size. They have a high nutritional value and are relished across America in forms of pies, cookies, soups, and lattes. You can always get innovative and make pumpkin butter, custard, or even pumpkin bread!
The most popular in the list of vegetables that grow above the ground, the tomato is a widely used plant with umpteen varieties. The list goes on ranging from tiny Cherry tomatoes to larger-sized Beefsteak tomatoes. Some varieties have existed for centuries while other hybrids have been developed more recently.
The hybrids are basically improved varieties that are more insect resistant, better tasting, and even juicer looking.
The soil in which you plant tomatoes should be nutrition-rich mixed with high-quality compost and fertilizer. The fertilizer is to be fed on an ongoing basis especially if you notice discoloration of the leaves. Tomatoes need full sun for about 6 to 8 hours a day, so select the sunniest spot of your garden.
Tomatoes can be planted using seeds and by the method of transplanting. Three things that are to be kept in mind are deep planting, regular watering, and using stakes to provide support and stability to the plant. Tomato plants should not be pruned till they are at least 12 inches in height.
The plants are susceptible to tomato hornworm, blight, rot, and fungal diseases so utmost caution has to be applied to keep them safe and healthy.
Tomatoes contain an antioxidant pigment called lycopene which has many health benefits including reduced risks pertaining to heart diseases and cancer. They have a high content of Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin K, and Potassium and are recommended for the maintenance of healthy hair and skin.
The skin of the tomato contains the maximum amount of nutrients and can be consumed raw or cooked into soups, main courses, and condiments.
- What are the best tomatoes to grow in pots
- How to grow tomatoes in Balcony Garden + Caring Tips
Tomato plants should be there in your above ground vegetables list.
Peas are also one the best Vegetables that grow above the ground you should select for your garden.
Growing peas in your garden provide a unique experience. Besides the visual beauty, the freshness of garden-picked peas is incomparable to what you buy off the shelves.
Spring and autumn are the best seasons to grow your pea plant due to its dislike towards extreme temperatures. It can grow fast but has a short lifespan so it is imperative to prepare well in order to get maximum produce.
The pea plant does well with 4 to 6 hours of sunlight and requires moist soil. The Pea plant can be grown in your garden, on in raised beds or containers. The pods are easy to harvest and the morning hours are the best time to pick the pods as the peas are known to have their best flavor and crunch at this time of the day.
Harvesting often will make a place for new pods to appear increasing the produce and growth rate.
Peas can be consumed raw or cooked and added to soups and or eaten as a side dish. Green peas are loaded with Vitamin B1, B6, K1, A, and C, all of which contribute towards maintaining bone health and avoid blood clotting. They are free from fats and cholesterol and contain large quantities of fibre.
You can always purchase your peas at any local store here in America, canned or frozen however nothing beats organic and fresh home-grown produce.
Growing your own beans is a fairly easy task. Edible beans exist in three types; first, the Snap Beans, also known as Green Beans or String Beans are the most common variety. Second, the Shelling Beans, and third, are the Dry Beans. Snap Beans are harvested when the pods are still not completely mature and thus, juicy. They can be cooked, pickled, or consumed raw.
Shelling Beans are harvested when the pods have matured entirely and are just about to start drying. The seeds are removed from the pods and used in soups and side dishes. Dry Beans are harvested when both the pods and the seeds have dried up.
These seeds can be stored for a long time and are full of protein and fiber. Varieties of beans like the Scarlet Runner, Soybeans, Lima beans, and many more are popularly home-grown here in the United States.
The Bean plant is grown directly using seeds, in soil that is warm during the onset of spring. They grow best in slightly acidic soil mixed with compost and manure or a good quality fertilizer.
Avoid using fertilizers that are weed killers as they may cause more harm than good. In parts of Minnesota, United States, beans are excessively grown due to a certain type of soil that contains a kind of bacteria that is good for the bean plant benefitting both the plant’s growth and generating healthy produce.
Once the seeds are planted the soil must remain moist, all while ensuring not to over water. The bean plant is susceptible to an attack by Cutworms and Bean-Leaf Beetles while poor drainage can lead to root rot and powdery mildew. Dry Beans are a storehouse of amino-acids while Green Beans are full of Vitamin C and other minerals that are good for the eyes, heart, bones, digestion.
7# Red Bell Peppers
This variety of peppers is rich in Vitamin A and has outstanding nutritional value. Red Bell Peppers can be grown in the garden as well as in containers. This plant requires time to grow and can take up to 3 months to fully mature. Initially, it starts as a Green Pepper but changes its color to red over time.
Red Bell Peppers thrive in warm soil with an optimal temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant dislikes cold temperatures hence if you are planting them in early spring you can cover the soil with plastic. The Red Bell Peppers need to be fertilized and watered consistently while being protected from Aphids and Flea Beetles.
The consumption of Red Bell Peppers is beneficial for eyesight especially night vision. It is packed with Vitamin C and B6, antioxidants, and magnesium and helps in weight loss.
The Broccoli plant is part of the Cabbage family, native to Europe. It is a cool-weather plant and thrives in colder climates. It is believed that Broccoli grown in colder climates has sweeter tasting produce hence the growing season of Broccoli is an important factor when determining its quality and taste.
The Broccoli plant requires well-drained acidic soil and full sunlight. Harvesting the central head encourages more heads to sprout from the sides giving continuous harvests. It is important to keep a watch for pests and insects that may attack your Broccoli plant.
You can eat the Broccoli raw or cooked. Packed with Vitamin C, A, B6, and K; broccoli also contains magnesium, calcium and iron. However, remember not to overcook your broccoli as that can cause a depletion of its nutrients.
- Growing broccoli in pots or containers
9# Leaf Amaranth
In our list of vegetables that grow above the ground, the Amaranth plant stands out. It is a rare leafy no-fuss vegetable with a sweet and tangy flavor. The younger leaves can be consumed raw in salads while the mature plants need to be cooked in soups and stir-fry.
The seeds of this plant are used as grains for making flour and cereals. These grains are highly nutritious containing minerals and vitamins while the leaves are a powerhouse of calcium.
Amaranth grows upright and is a moderately tall plant with broad leaves. Their flowers are eye-catching and contain edible seeds. Unlike other leafy varieties of vegetables, the Amaranth is quite heat tolerant and thrives well in rich and moist soil.
The Amaranth enjoys full sunlight and can be grown easily just by scattering the seeds on the ground or container. The seeds can take between 5 to10 days to germinate depending on its variety.
While this plant is largely produced in Asian countries like India and China, it is also widely grown in the United States, especially in the Midwest states and the Great Plains in North America.
Like many green thumbs across the world, try growing this amazing plant in your garden for its rarity and nutritional value.
The Asparagus plant is meant for gardeners with patience even though its health benefits make it worthwhile. The Asparagus plant can pass through many seasons before it fully matures but once it starts, it continues producing for 10 or more years.
Owing to its longevity, the location in your garden must be permanent and undisrupted. The Asparagus plant needs nutritious and well-drained soil with full sunlight. Start the Asparagus in early spring with seedlings or by transplanting as the asparagus plant does not grow directly from seeds.
If you prefer white-colored Asparagus plants compared to the common green ones, you need to keep the plants covered throughout the growing season. Any spear growing flowers from its tip is beyond its harvest period and best avoided.
Asparagus can be consumed cooked, or in the form of juice or powder. It can make a tasty addition to your weight loss diet while it provides you with many nutrients helping in digestion, maintaining blood pressure, and aiding healthy pregnancy.
The Artichoke is an uncommon plant but can be effortlessly grown in your garden. It needs partial sun, compost filled loose and well-drained soil and plenty of fertilization for its growth. These plants are fairly large when fully grown hence they need to be planted at a distance of at least 3 to 5 feet from each other.
The artichoke plant needs minimal care during its growing season except for regular watering, fertilizing once a month, pruning to keep the wild weeds away, and mulching to regulate the soil temperatures.
These classy looking vegetables are added to salads and pizzas and consumed as side dishes. They can be boiled or steamed but are rarely eaten raw. They are filled with vitamins, proteins, and fibre. Their consumption can boost the immune system and in some cases, they can cure allergies and help with repairing body tissues.
Corn is a greedy crop, as farmers will tell you. It requires more fertilizer than any other crop. Corn is perceived solely as a farm-grown vegetable but can easily grow in your garden. To grow Corn you need to sow the seeds directly in well-prepared soil.
Corn cannot survive indoors and owing to its huge appetite, must be well fed with fertilizers every month. It is sensitive to dry soil therefore regular watering is a must. For pollination purposes, Corn should be planted in a cluster and not in a single row.
The Corn’s appearance and texture tell you when it’s ready to be harvested. The ‘silks’ on the corn will turn brown when the crop is ready. Being full of vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, corn helps in producing red blood cells and increases energy levels. It is good for controlling cholesterol and blood sugar while keeping the skin healthy.
Corn is one of the popular vegetables that grow above the ground.
13# Ladies finger aka Okra
Globally popular amongst the vegetables that grow above the ground, the Ladies finger is a staple of the American country-side dinners. It is a summer vegetable and likes the temperatures to be touching 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Okra likes its soil to be slightly acidic with added nutrients. The seeds of this plant are sown at the beginning of the summer season. The soil must be kept moist till the flowers appear, followed by a reduction in the frequency of watering.
This universally consumed vegetable has multiple benefits. Ladies fingers are great to improve vision, relieve constipation, and the maintenance of cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It is known to boosts immunity and aids in weight reduction too!
This is the list vegetables that grow above the ground.
You may like the following gardening blogs:
- Vegetables to grow in October
- Best organic gardening fertilizer
- Best Low maintenance gardening tips
- Raspberry Growing Tips: Detailed Guide
- Growing cabbage in containers
- Growing turnips in pots or containers
- How to Get Rid of Pill Bugs in the Garden
- How to kill ants in vegetable garden
Life takes on a different dimension while taking care of your own plants, watching them grow, and finally cooking with your self-grown produce. A Chinese proverb states that “Life begins the day you start a garden”. With genuine love, commitment, and care you can take great advantage of all that Mother Nature has to offer.
After all, the future of food is homegrown! I hope you will find interesting the list of vegetables that grow above the ground and hope you enjoy the above ground vegetables list.
I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.