If you read my recent article “Backyard Garden Design“, hopefully it convinced you of the importance for you and your family’s overall health and well being, of having a nutrient-dense backyard vegetable, fruit, herb, nuts, and flower garden. Well, we’re going to assume that happened, and you are now in the right frame of mind, and want to learn more about What To Plant In Vegetable Garden, and that means you are looking for suggestions and recommendations.
We like to share our “ideal” nutrient-dense, as described in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2003 “The Target Nutrient Density of a Single Food” study, garden plan, which we designed and implemented in our backyard over 30 years ago. Up up to 2 years ago we decided to sell our property, which was the practical thing to do, our garden had for years and years provided bountiful amounts of fresh, organic, healthy, nutrient-rich, vegetables, herbs, fruits, and edible flower seeds.
Wikipedia describes nutrient-dense this way.
Nutrient-dense foods such as veggies and fruits, are the opposite of energy-dense foods, such as alcohol, and foods high in added sugar or processed cereals. Beyond its use, to distinguish different types of food from each other, nutrient-density allows comparison to be made for different examples for samples of the same kind of food. Nutrient-density is correlated with soil quality and mineralization levels of the soil.
Learn more on nutrient-density from Wikipedia here.
Imagine walking out onto your own raised wooden deck through a pair of French doors, into your backyard. The time is early May. Stepping down and walking on a winding slate-stone path to reach a four-foot wide white arched arbor, and the entrance to your garden. The arbor is flanked and covered by a cascading trumpet creeper vines, a major attraction for hummingbirds with huge, red trumpet-shaped flowers, as hummingbirds dart in and around the trumpet flowers, and also hovering, (1) while they drink the sweet nectar from the trumpet flowers with their long beaks.
At the entrance looking from right to left over a spance of over 18 feet is a one-foot high raised bed to the left, separated by the vine covered entrance, and another 18 feet of raised bed beyond the entrance looking from left to right, with both beds filled with a beautiful array of magnificent flowers.
In both beds, almost to full-bloom, are healthy flowers of every imaginable hue and shade and color of the rainbow, starting with a backdrop of the tallest perennials of foxglove, delphiniums, hollyhocks (edible seeds), sunflowers (edible), and dahlias.
Moving toward the front, are shorter ones of annuals, bachelor buttons, with their unusual deep blue and purple flowers, red oriental poppies, cosmos, cleome, columbine, coreopsis, with the shortest ones in front.
There are also edible flowers and seeds, as per a University of Minnesota Extension review of “Edible Flowers”; high in nutrition value and antioxidant benefits due to the phenolic compounds, of pansies, chamomile, California poppy, snapdragon, marigold, chives (allowed to bloom for seeds), violas, and flax, as discussed in a 2015 International Journal of Molecular Science (NIH) study. The flowers are busy with a mix of different species of butterflies, bees, and bubble bees, flying around and feeding in the blooms, doing their all important work of cross-pollinating. You knew by the research, confirmed in a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “Pollinators” research, how vitally important it was to plant flowers of all types to attract native bees and butterflies, which will also pollinate your vegetables when they first bloom, increasing your yield of produce.
Organic Vegetable, Fruit, and Herbal Garden
Walking through the arched entrance, the vegetable, fruit, and herb garden comes into view and it’s quite a sight and contains the most nutrient-dense plants in the world, and is supported by documentation, as you will see shortly on a few examples. Again looking from left to right, are six 5-foot wide by one-foot high by 12-foot long raised beds, separated by five 2-foot wide slate stone paths running lengthwise between the beds.
Beyond the first row of raised beds, on the back side of the garden, is another row of six 5-foot wide by 12-foot long raised beds, and five 2-foot wide by 12-foot long stone paths running lengthwise, the front and back section of beds separated cross ways, by another 2-foot stone path running width-wise.
You remember, preparing the area for the raised beds and paths, by removing all the grass and weeds, including the roots, using your weeder puller to get all the entire roots, where all the raised beds and paths are located, and placing them in the compost pile to decompose, except for the roots. All the top soil was removed and placed in a separate pile. Raised beds frames were constructed out of non-treated (no chemically-treated lumber) 1-inch by 4-inch lumber, painted in two coats of white, with a high-quality, 15-year warranty, non-toxic exterior latex.
You then screwed the 1 x 4s, stacked 3 high (12 inch overall height), to 4-4-inch square posts cut to 12 inch lengths, anchored with galvanized screws, to make the four corners of each rectangular bed. You decided you wanted deeper 12 inch beds, but you had considered 8 inch high shallower beds (2) like these in this video. The path stones were laid in 2 inches of coarse sand in a jigsaw pattern, then all the cracks between the stones were filled with sand, per a 2019 WikiHow “How To Build a Flagstone Walkway” article.
Equal parts of existing topsoil, river-bottom soil, as explained in a 2012 “Floodplain Farmland is so Fertile Because Rivers Flood” study; which was brought in by pickup truck, compost you prepared three months ago, and fresh, dried cow manure, also brought in by pickup truck, were mixed together and all the raised beds were filled with the soil mixture, to the 12-inch height above ground level. You checked the pH of the mixture, registering a pH of 6, which is almost perfect (range 5.5 to 7), according to Wikipedia “Soil Fertility” study. You have carefully planned the design of your nature garden, and how your garden would be arranged.
You decided where you would locate and plant certain vegetables plants, placing the taller-growing vegetables, such as corn and climbing beans, in the center of the garden, from the front to the rear of your garden, and the shorter growing vegetables, planted left and right of center of the garden, so that the taller-growing ones were not shading the shorter-growing ones, simply because all the plants required direct sunlight of at least 6 to 8 hours a day, as confirmed in a Kansas State Research and Extension “Defining Sun Requirements for Plants” study.
Your plants are presently getting right at 7 hours a day which is great. Now, let’s discuss What To Plant In Vegetable Garden.
Front Extreme Left Raised Bed. This raised bed has carrots planted 3-inches apart that should be pulling size in three weeks, and according to much research such as a study published in Food and Nutrition Science, found that the carotenoids, vitamins, and minerals act as antioxidants, anti-carcinogens, and immune enhancers, promoting anti-diabetes, cholesterol and cardiovascular-lowering, anti-hypertensive, hepato-protective, reno-protective, and wound-healing benefits of carrots, per a 2014 ResearchGate “Nutritional and Health Benefits of Carrots and Their Seed Extracts” study.
Then there’s heart-healthy garlic, per a 2006 Journal of Nutrition “Garlic and Cardiovascular Disease: A Critical Review” study, 3-inches apart, and also ready to start harvesting now, so dig a couple of bulbs if you need them for seasoning, 6 cucumber plants, now with quite a few developing cucumbers that will be table-ready size in one week, and many new blooms on the trailing vines, and 6 watermelon plants and their many health benefits, particularly heart health, per a 2014 EXCLI Journal (NIH) study, with several nice size melons forming closely to the center of each plant, and blooming profusely on the outward-running vines.
In the pathway on the left border of the garden separating the extreme left front and back bed, is a 2-foot by 2-foot bed with the herb chives growing, a relative of onions in the cancer-preventing allium family, per a 2002 Journal of the National Cancer Institute “Allium Vegetables and Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Population-Based Study” research; and a 2-foot by 2-foot bed, with healthy herb oregano growing, per a 2014 International Journal of Molecular Sciences (NIH) study. Both ready for cutting if you need some for a dish.
Incredible Health Benefits Of Cucumbers
Let’s look at the common ordinary pickle, or cucumber, and it’s beneficial effect on your health and well being. In it’s fresh natural state, cucumbers are high in water content (96 percent) helping hydration, low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants, which has shown to lower blood sugar and prevent diabetes, among many other benefits, per a 2016 Nutrients (NIH) study.
It’s advisable to eat raw along with the skin too, for many of the nutrients and fiber are in the skin, per SELF Nutrition Value. At the end of the 30-day study, cucumber powder caused a significant increase in several markers of antioxidant activity and improved antioxidant status in aging, found a study published in the 2015 Journal of Nutritional Health and Aging reviewed by the NIH.
Another 2010 Elsevier Jay Young Pharmacy (NIH) review found that a test-tube study investigated the antioxidant properties of cucumbers and found that they contain flavonoids and tannins, which are two groups of compounds that are especially effective at blocking harmful free radicals and oxidative stress.
You want to loose weight, eat cucumbers, according to another study. One analysis published in a 2016 Nutrients and reviewed by the NIH, looked at 13 studies including 3,628 people and found that eating foods with high water and low calorie contents was associated with a significant decrease in body weight. One animal study examined the effects of various plants on blood sugar. Cucumbers were shown to effectively reduce and control blood sugar levels per an NIH study. In addition, one test-tube study found that cucumbers may be effective at reducing oxidative stress and preventing diabetes-related complications per a 1995 Ethnopharmacology (NIH) study.
One more 2016 Bioimpacts study reviewed by the NIH for good measure. In particular, pectin, the type of soluble fiber found in cucumbers, can help increase bowel movement frequency. The study had 80 participants supplement with pectin. It found that pectin sped up the movement of the intestinal muscles, all while feeding the beneficial bacteria in the gut that improve digestive health. We liked them sliced raw in wine vinegar or in a salad. However, where cucumbers have the greatest nutritional value is when they are naturally fermented and made into pickles.
Fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickles have a beneficial healthy effect on the brain and cognitive function, per a 2016 Preventive Nutrition and Food Service (NIH) study. Jar pickles on grocery shelves are normally “cooked” under high heat and pressure in a vinegar solution and not fermented, so most of the nutrients in the cucumbers are not retained. The true naturally fermented pickles are made with a brine solution, as confirmed in a 2019 Today’s Dietitian research. What do you think about the common cucumber now?
Rear Extreme Left Raised Bed. In the back extreme left raised bed is a 4-foot deep by 5-foot wide asparagus bed with young shoots about half-inch in diameter and 6-inches tall, a 4-foot deep by 5-foot wide area with French red onions with green tops, planted 6-inches apart, well on their way to a maturing size, and a final 4-foot by 5-foot section planted with French shallots 6-inches apart, also with green tops. If you need either for seasoning than go ahead a break the tops or dig what you need of the bulbs. You remember the asparagus bed required special handling.
The asparagus needed to be planted 8 to 12-inches deeper in the ground than normal plant depth. That means your asparagus bed had to be dug deeper (3) than just 12-inches, to a depth of at least 18-inches, the root clumps planted at least 8-inches below ground, and filled with rich compost to the top of the bed. You’re thinking it took two growing seasons for the bed to mature and grow and expand into healthier and larger clumps.
After the clumps enlarged, it began producing one-inch diameter fresh tender shoots for harvest and your table. You’re thinking you could have avoided the wait had you bought 2-year old root crowns instead, when you first planted them. You are planning to cut enough shoots to braise for dinner tonight with the spaghetti sauce you are planning to cook tonight.
Incredible Health Benefits Of Asparagus
Asparagus really is an amazing tasty unusual-looking plant with it’s stems, which is what is edible, and it’s fern-like tops, having no food use. The nutrient-dense value of asparagus is incredible, being low in calories and a great source of nutrients, including fiber, folate and vitamins A, C, E and particularly K, and antioxidants, per a American Institute for Cancer Research 2018 “In the News: Asparagus and Breast Cancer” study. Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient involved in blood clotting and bone health, found a 2015 Open Heart (NIH) study.
Additionally, eating asparagus has a number of potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved digestion, healthy pregnancy outcomes and lower blood pressure. Another 2013 Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease (NIH) study, asparagus (contains the amino acid asparagine) aids the development and function of the human brain. In addition, asparagus is high in folate, a nutrient that is vital for a healthy pregnancy and many important processes in the body, including cell growth and DNA formation according to a 2011 Reviews In Obstetrics and Gynecology (NIH) study. Asparagus is particularly high in the flavonoids antioxidants quercetin, isorhamnetin and kaempferol, per a 2016 Acta Science Poly Technical Aliment (NIH) study.
These substances have been found to have blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer effects in a number of human, test-tube and animal studies according to one study published in a 2016 Nutrients study reviewed by NIH. Purple asparagus contains powerful pigments called anthocyanins, which give the vegetable its vibrant color and have antioxidant effects in the body,, per a 2008 Phytochemistry (NIH) study. In fact, one 2012 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study showed increasing anthocyanin intake reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks and heart disease.
The high soluble fiber feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut aiding proper digestion and increasing the number of these beneficial bacteria, per a 2013 Nutrients (NIH) study; which plays a role in strengthening the immune system and producing essential nutrients like vitamins B12 and K2, found a 2017 Frontiers In Microbiology (NIH) study. Asparagus is also 94 percent natural water and research suggests consuming low-calorie “water-rich” foods is beneficial for weight loss according to a 2016 Journal Nutrients (NIH) study. It’s also rich in fiber which has been linked to power body weight and weight loss too, found a 2013 Journal of Collective Nutrition (NIH) review.
Second From Left Front Raised Bed. First 6-foot by 5-foot section are 12 green pepper plants, with the first earliest peppers at the bottom of the plants gaining size and ready for harvest in less than a week, and full of new blooms higher up the plants. You can pick your first peppers in a week, and that’s exciting.
The back 6-foot section has 6 Mexican poblano peppers, with some early formed young peppers and many new blooms, and 6 sweet banana peppers, with young formed peppers and many blooms. You will be able to make stuffed chili rellenes in about a week after you pick your first mess of poblano. And the banana peppers, you think you will go ahead and sample one now, even if it’s small.
Health Benefits of Poblano Peppers
Poblano peppers and other peppers are low in calories and rich in most vitamins, especially vitamin C and vitamin A, as C is needed to produce collagen and their numerous benefits such as reducing pain, weight loss, cancer prevention, and others, are well-documented. Vitamin A is also a very important antioxidant and helps to protect both vision and bone health. Therefore, eating antioxidant-rich poblanos may help prevent illness related to oxidative stress found a 2014 Nutrients (NIH) study.
Poblano peppers contain more vitamin A and vitamin C than a similar-sized serving of oranges. They also contain capsaicin, which is the compound that produces the heat in the peppers, giving it the ability to fight and destroy cancer cells, found a 2015 Open Heart (NIH) study. We’ve only scratched the surface of the incredible health benefits of peppers.
Second From Left Rear Raised Bed. The full 5-foot wide by 12-foot bed is planted with 24 plants of climbing speckled butter beans, with the trailing young vines climbing the trellis you constructed, and full of young seed pods and extensive blooming above on the runners. You will be able to pick your first batch of butter beans for a meal in about a week. Beans, as most people know, are nutrient-rich foods, high in plant protein, folates, antioxidants, and fiber, and may reduce the risk of major diseases such as heart, cancer, diabetes, found a North Dakota State 2019 “All About Beans Nutrition, Health Benefits, Preparation and Use in Menus” study. Only scratched the surface on benefits of beans.
Third From Left Front Raised Bed. The full 5-foot wide by 12-foot long bed planted with 24 bush snap bean plants, with the first young bean pods gracing the bottom of the plants, and full of blooms on the higher branches, as the plants and the snap beans continue to grow larger, and will also be ready for the first picking in about a week.
Green beans, string beans, or snap beans are a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K, and of folic acid and fiber, supporting bone health and reducing depression. They also contain high amount of chlorophyll, which block the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines that are generated when grilling meats at a high temperature, determined a 2016 Journal of Toxicology (NIH) study. Individuals who prefer their grilled foods charred should pair them with green vegetables to decrease the risk of carcinogens.
Third From Left Rear Raised Bed. The full 5-foot wide by 12-foot deep bed planted with 24 plants of Silver Queen white corn, planted early in March after the danger of frost, with young multiple ears tasseling and forming on bottom of stalks of each plant, with younger and smaller ears forming above on each stalk. You estimate you will be able to pick your first corn in ten days, and that’s exciting, too.
More and more scientific evidence, like this 2018 Food Science and Human Wellness “Corn phytochemicals and their health benefits” study, have shown that regular consumption of whole grain white corn lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity and improves digestive health.
Front Fourth From Left Raised Bed. The full 5-foot wide by 12-foot long planted with 24 climbing Italian roma bean plants, with the young shoots upward-climbing the trellis you also constructed, full of young immature seeds pods on the bottom of the plants and full of blooms above on the runners. Your roma beans will be ready for first picking in probably ten days. Man’ some good old cooked Italian beans with some ham seasoning is really something to look forward to!
Rear Fourth From Left Raised Bed. The full 5-foot wide by 12-foot long planted with 24 Silver Queen white corn, planted 3 weeks later to stagger yield over longer period of time over the Summer. Corn is much smaller and shorter and hasn’t started tasseling yet, but will taste really good later in the Summer.
Corn not only provides the necessary calories for healthy, daily metabolism but is also a rich source of vitamin A, B, E, phytochemicals, and many minerals, found a 2018 Food Science and Human Nutrition “Corn Phytochemicals and Their Health Wellness” study. Its high fiber content ensures that it plays a significant role in prevention of digestive ailments. The antioxidants present in it also act as anti-carcinogenic agents and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Corn has numerous other documented health benefits as well.
Front fifth From Left Raised Bed. The full 5-foot wide by 12-foot long bed planted with 24 okra plants, with young stalks about 3-foot tall and loaded with blooms and will grow much quicker and taller from now on, as the days and nights get warmer, producing edible-size okra by mid-June.
Okra is an excellent source of fiber to maintain healthy digestion, high in calcium, iron and magnesium, manganese, vitamins A, C , K, flavonoids, and folates. Okra also contains flavonoid myricetin, which in one 2012 Food Science and Human Wellness ” Minireview: Therapeutic Potential of Myricetin in Diabetes Mellitus” study, and good news for diabetics, showed increased sugar absorption in their muscles, consequently lowering their blood sugar. We’ve only scratched the surface of the incredible health benefits of okra.
Rear Fifth From Left Raised Bed. The full 5-foot wide by 12-foot long bed planted with 24 heirloom slicing tomato plants, with many young green immature green fruits on bottom of plants and hundreds of blooms above on the vines. You’ve got at least four or five large enough green tomatoes, that you can take two and slice and roll in cornmeal and Italian breadcrumb mixture and fry up for the first fried green tomatoes of the spring.
The Incredible Health Benefits OF Tomatoes
Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. In particular, tomatoes contain awesome amounts of lycopene, thought to have the highest antioxidant activity of all the carotenoids, as confirmed in a 2017 Penn State University Extension “Health Benefits of Tomatoes” study. Tomatoes are also rich in potassium, a mineral that Americans fall short on in their diet.
Potassium is associated with lowering blood pressure and heart health and proper nerve and muscle function, per a Harvard Health 2014 “Key Minerals to Help Control Blood Pressure” study. Tomatoes are associated with good heart health, strong bones, preventing heart attacks and stroke, per a 2012 European Journal of Public Health (NIH) study; lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), per a 2012 Annals of Nutrition Metabolism (NIH) study; oxidative stress, per a 2016 Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry (NIH) study; blood clotting, per a 2012 Experimental Therapy In Medicine (NIH) study; skin quality, per a 2006 Photochemical Photobiology Science (NIH) study; cancer prevention, per a 1999 Journal of National Cancer Institute (NIH) study; and treating asthma, per a 2017 Nutrients (NIH) study.
Front Six From Left Raised Bed. A 5-foot wide by 12-foot long front section planted with 12 yellow crook-neck summer squash with maturing young squash on lower parts of plants, and new blooms above. You will be able to pick your first squash for the table in a week. Pretty exciting! The back 5-foot wide by 12-foot long back section planted with 12 zucchini squash, with young zucchini on lower parts of each plant and new blooms above.
Your first zucchini, rich in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants, will be ready to pick in a week, too. Pectin, one type of soluble fiber found in zucchini, appears particularly effective at reducing total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, found a 2012 European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH) study . It is rich in potassium which may help reduce high blood pressure by dilating your blood vessels, per a 2017 International Journal of Cardiology (NIH) study.
Healthier blood pressure is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. We’ve only scratched the surface on the incredible health benefits of Zucchini. At the end this bed and the back bed in the pathway is two 2-foot by 2-foot bed with cilantro and basil herbs, which is perfect for taking some cuttings for your spaghetti sauce tonight.
Back Six From Left Raised Bed. A 5-foot wide by 12-foot long front section planted with 18 strawberry plants, which are sending out runners, with young, beginning to ripen berries and covered in new blooms. You will be able to pick and taste your first ripened strawberries of the season in days! Wow!
Packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols or phytochemicals, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food, per a 2016 Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry (NIH) study. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium, and the health benefits include protecting your heart, increases good HDL cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and guards against cancer. Quoting the National Institutes Of Health study:
….the bioavailability and metabolism of major strawberry phytochemicals as well as their actions in combating many pathologies, including cancer, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, neurodegeneration, along with microbial pathogenesis have been reviewed, with a particular attention to human studies.
Strawberries are anthocyanin-rich foods which are associated with numerous health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-carcinogenic activities, and especially regarding heart health, found a 2007 Annals of 1st Super Sanita (NIH) study.
The rear 5-foot wide by 12-foot long back section is planted with 12 cherry tomato plants, with the lower fruit ripe and ready to pick, and full of blooms above. You decide to sample a couple of cherry tomatoes, and bring enough to the table for a salad to eat along with your spaghetti tonight.
Fruit Trees and Bushes. Your eyes look over to the immediate left of your raised beds, and you see your peach tree at the rear of your property, loaded with ripening peaches on the lower branches, and full of blooms at the top of the tree. You are thinking you will be able to break your first peaches in a week or two, and you can’t wait to try your first peach right out in the garden.
Thinking back, you remember planting your tree, which was transplanted from a friend’s yard as a young 6-foot seedling tree, and wondering how long it would take for your tree to mature enough to start bearing fruit. The second season the peach tree produced small fruits, which you removed, along with as many of the blossoms you could remove, according to Gardening Know-How “Peach Tree Thinning” article horticulture recommendations.
The third year you got your answer, when your tree produced an amazing amount of over 100 large juicy delicious peaches. In fact, even enough to freeze cut-up peaches in brown lunch bags for the long Winter months ahead, to enjoy in pies and ice cream. Now your tree bears so many fruit you end up giving at least half of your peach crop away, supplying family, friends, and neighbors with peaches. Peaches provide 6 percent of your daily vitamin A needs and 15 percent of daily vitamin C needs.
One medium peach also contains 2 percent or more daily value of vitamins E and K, niacin, folate, iron, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and copper. Their health benefits are typical of other fruits and veggies rich in antioxidants, as per a Rutgers 2015 “Health Benefits of Peaches: A Delicious Summer Fruit” study. Peaches have numerous other benefits backed up by research.
In front of your peach tree, is your fig tree, planted the same time you planted your peach tree. Thinking back, you remember planting your tree, which was carefully dug up and transplanted from a friend’s yard as a young fig tree seedling plant. It took into its second year after planting before it started bearing nice full fruit in any descent quanity.
You remember reading a Gardening Know-How “Excess Nitrogen In Soil” article back then, that the one reason fig trees may not ever bear fruit within two to three years, is because of too much nitrogen in the soil, and to offset that, was for you to add more organic phosphorus additive in the soil and sawdust around the perimeter of the tree, which you did.
So, the second year you were rewarded with enough fresh figs for your entire family all Summer long. The third year on, your tree produced such a bounty of fruit, you were able to can 20 quart-size jars of fig preserves, along with supplying your family and friends with fresh figs all Summer long. This years crop is well-on its way with hundreds of fruit on the lower branches ripening and will be ready for picking in a couple of days.
Figs are high in fiber which is beneficial for good digestion, and are a good source of several essential minerals, including magnesium, manganese, calcium, which promotes bone density, and potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, as well as vitamins, principally K and A, as well as folate and choline, per a DovMed 2018 “7 Benefits of Figs” study. As in all the other selected plants, vines, and trees in your garden, figs have many amazing health benefits.
Directly in front of your fig tree, is your constructed 6-foot in diameter by one-foot high raised bed island, made of stacked slate stone, stacked around in a circle. Planted in the raised island are three blueberry bushes equally spaced apart, and full of ripe berries on the lower branches, and younger green berries, as you move up the bush, and hundreds of blooms at the tops of each bush.
It’s time to pick your first batch of ripe berries before the birds get into them, but you understand, they love them as much as you do, and you really don’t mind them getting a few. You are thinking about some vanilla ice cream with fresh blueberries on top, a little later. Blueberries, an antioxidant super food, are packed with antioxidants and phyto-flavinoids, these berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists. Not only can they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory, found a Harvard Health 2013 “Eat Blueberries and Strawberries Three Times Per Week” study.
Once again, we’re only skatching the surface on blueberries health benefits.
You walk around the side of your house to the left side, which happens to be your north wall of your house and a great location for a vining plant, and you see your domestic blackberry vines supported on a 5-foot high by 15-foot wide constructed trellis next to the house.
The four plants are also planted in a 4-foot wide by 12-foot long raised bed, 3-feet apart, and are loaded with deep black, plump, blackberries on the lower canes and vines, green immature berries on higher canes, and full white blooms on the tops of the canes. The blackberries are also ready to pick, and needs to be done today. Time to get busy! Blackberries are very similar to blueberries and strawberries in their antioxidant behavior, but are also an excellent source of vitamin K.
Generally all fruits and veggies are excellent nutrient-dense foods promoting better health and well being, as this 2012 Advances In Nutrition (NCBI) study states….
Fruits and vegetables include a diverse group of plant foods that vary greatly in content of energy and nutrients. Additionally, fruits and vegetables supply dietary fiber, and fiber intake is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity. Fruits and vegetables also supply vitamins and minerals to the diet and are sources of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and anti-inflammatory agents and through other protective mechanisms.
If you are interested in more documented research on the health benefits of any specific fruit, veggie, nut, or seed, leave a comment below and we’ll be glad to assist you.
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Now that you know What To Plant In Vegetable Garden, are you ready to enjoy this whole experience first hand, in your own garden, that you will design, and plant, and enjoy for many years to come? Or, do you still have questions? Or comments? Look for a new article soon on what to plant in your fall garden.
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