Fruit and Vegetables

What vegetables to grow


Question: What vegetables in the garden?


We live in the Euganean hills, in the province of Padua, in Lozzo Atestino, on the side of Monte Lozzo. I would very much like to have some suggestions on what to grow in our recently enlarged vegetable garden. That is, which variety of tomatoes is best to choose, which aubergines, courgettes, leeks, sweet onions, shallots, spring onions, carrots, potatoes or any other type of vegetables or fruit are usually grown in the Euganean hills.

What vegetables to grow: Answer: choose vegetables for the garden


Dear Richard,
if we live in an area recently and we have no idea what is best to cultivate in our garden, the first thing to do is "spy" the neighbors; it is not necessary to do night stalking, or enter the garden in secret; simply go to the local market, or even in a garden center that sells vegetable plants: typically in Italy, every seller tends to keep more or less only the vegetables that are grown in that area. On the one hand, because it is not convenient for a merchant to sell us something that will not take hold of the garden, or give fruit; on the other hand because a merchant commonly tends to keep only what he can sell. As for the area where you live, it is located in northern Italy, but this does not mean that it is a cold and inhospitable place; on the contrary, the areas that from the Po valley lie on the Prealps have an excellent climate, not excessively humid, not excessively hot, very suitable for most of the plants that are most commonly cultivated in the garden. To give you an example, the almost total variety of tomatoes that you can find in the market, or even of which you can buy seeds on the internet, can easily be grown in the Euganean hills; which to choose also depends on you, your tastes and how you intend to use them: ribbed tomatoes and beef hearts are usually used raw in salads, the San Marzano are often used to make the pass to be conserved for the winter, there is those who particularly love datterini and cherries, because they have a very sweet pulp, but for example my father would never cultivate them, because he hates the peel of tomatoes, and in his opinion small tomatoes have too much. If you want to try some strange varieties, next year you will have to prepare in advance, because usually only the seeds are found, and the tomatoes should be sown in a warm bed already in February, now you plant the already tall seedlings. The same applies to all other vegetables, carrots, leeks, onions, courgettes: choose the ones you prefer, considering that at the Lozzo Atestino market you will find only vegetables that can be grown in your area. In cool periods you can use the vegetable garden to cultivate the typical winter vegetables, or broccoli and cabbage of all kinds, fennel, radicchio, onions; while in hot periods, from spring to summer, summer vegetables are grown: tomatoes, courgettes, salads, radicchio, radishes, cucumbers, peppers. If you want to try something "exotic", like black tomatoes, yellow zucchini, purple carrots, you can easily try them, there are many online sites that sell seeds for all tastes and fantasies. If you want to try something that will amaze you, with decidedly incredible productions, look for seedlings of tomatoes, aubergines and peppers in the nursery near your home: a single grafted plant produces as 3-4 of those not grafted. Having said that, before going to the market, consider that most vegetables love soils positioned in a sunny place, with at least 4-5 hours of direct sunlight every day; for root vegetables, such as celeriac, carrots and radishes, it is good to have very soft and crumbly earth mixed with sand, so if you have a very compact or clayey soil, first prepare the flowerbed and then think about the variety of sow; among the many vegetables, I only advise against artichokes, which in the area where you live could suffer a little from the winter cold. If you have soil left, you can also plant small fruits such as strawberries, currants, gooseberries; blueberries need a very acid soil.