Georgia provides an adequate environment for growing vegetables, the varieties just have to be planted at the correct times. Georgia is in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 7, 8 and 6, so planting times are important. When planting, choose vegetables for your garden that have similar growing needs, to make it easier for you. A handful of vegetables thrive in Georgia climates and can benefit your dinner table as well as your landscape and pocketbook.
Although not usually common in home gardens, mustard greens (Brassica juncea) can be used in several ways to benefit a landscape and an avid chef. This plant grows up to 3 feet tall, with bright, large, yellow flowers. The green pods that grow from the plant are curved and resemble pea pods. Depending on the Georgia region, mustard greens can be grown year-round as long as they have full sun and consistently moist soil. In the south, they grow in winter, and in the north, east and west they are grown in spring and summer. Toss fresh or sauteed mustard greens with spinach or kale, or add to meat dishes, especially pork.
This vegetable flourishes in Georgia winters and is ideal for gardens as a butterfly attractor. Parsnips (Pastinaca sativa) need constantly wet soil, full sunshine, and lots of growing room since they plant and roots can grow up to 2 feet. This nutty flavored vegetable is usually mashed up like potatoes, added to mashed potatoes, chopped up raw for salads or veggie platters, baked, or fried into chips. Parsnips can also be made into puree or as a sauce.
The bright color of beets (Beta vulgaris) add an aesthetic beauty to a garden with bright-red and green hues. Although it looks like a landscaping plant with long, broad leaves, it is very beneficial for the kitchen as well since it can be incorporated into many dishes. When planted in ideal conditions like full sun and moist soil, a beet's stalk grows up to 4 feet tall or more with leaves that branch out to almost 2 feet long. Green and red flowers flourish on the plant during the growing season. Beets don't only grow red, they also grow in colors including white, pink, yellow or even striped. In southern Georgia, beets thrive in winter, while in the north, east and west regions they thrive in summer and spring. Beets are usually eaten sliced and raw, or baked. They can be simmered into soups or sauces, pickled, or steamed.
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