The Best Vegetables to Grow in a Garden

The Center for Science in the Public Interest publishes the Nutrition Action Newsletter, which names six vegetables in its "Top 10 Best Foods" list. These vegetables can easily be grown in a home garden. Their nutritional value is high and can be enhanced by organic gardening practices. The six top best vegetables are sweet potatoes, grape tomatoes, broccoli, chard, kale and butternut squash.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Georgia and Beauregard are two popular sweet potato varieties to grow at home. They prefer rich, loose soil that has had compost fertilizer added at the time of planting. They are traditionally grown on a small ridge so the vines can sprawl. They are ready to harvest in 90 to 100 days.

Grape Tomatoes

Grape tomatoes are bite-sized and firmer than bigger ones. They have antioxidants, vitamins C and A, and minerals. They are rewarding to grow because the flavor is more intense than market tomatoes. Gardeners often choose heirloom variety tomato seeds that are not genetically altered. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and thrive in well--composted soil.


Broccoli is flavorful and has high levels of vitamins and antioxidants. There are several varieties that do well in home gardens, including belstar and broccoli rabe. Broccoli is a cool-season crop that should be started in late summer or early spring.


Chard is one of the easiest vegetables to grow and it is almost disease free. fordhook giant has dark-green, savoyed leaves. It can be harvested in 50 to 55 days. Individual leaves can be harvested as the plant grows and it comes to maturity in 50 days. Chard is high in minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals.

Butternut Squash

Plant butternut squash in late spring for a fall harvest. Allow plenty of room for the vines to sprawl in a sunny location. Squash need frequent deep watering and compost fertilizer every month. This vegetable is light orange with a bright pumpkin orange interior. It is high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.


The kale variety lacinato blue is a biennial hardy vegetable that grows to 2 to 3 feet. Individual leaves can be harvested as the plant grows and it comes to maturity in 50 days. Kale is high in minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals.

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About this Author

Joan Norton, M.A., is a licensed psychotherapist and professional writer in the field of women's spirituality. She blogs and has two published books on the subject of Mary Magdalene; "14 Steps To Awaken The Sacred Feminine:Women in the Circle of Mary Magdalene," and "The Mary Magdalene Within."