|Thursday Tips: Baby Vegetables|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Thursday, 16 June 2011|
Prized by both chefs and gourmet food lovers alike, baby vegetables, often referred to as specialty or novelty vegetables, are also becoming popular with gardeners too. You’ve seen them in seed catalogues--miniature versions of carrots, beets, petit peas, and two of my favorites haricots verts (French green beans) and baby bok choy. Maybe you’ve even bought them yourself at a gourmet grocer. Somehow their diminutive size makes baby vegetables more exciting to eat than regular sized vegetables.
The good news for gardeners is that even if you’ve never thought about growing baby vegetables, there’s still time to get started. I just planted several last weekend and they are doing great. My seeds came from Renee's Garden and I'm trying all sorts of things this year including "Baby ball" beets, baby Persian "Green fingers" cucumbers, and "Baby belle" peppers.
For the most part, baby vegetable plants are like any other vegetables except the entire plant is in miniature, not just the vegetables. Some baby vegetables are picked when they are immature, giving them the miniature size (for example, the baby carrots at the supermarket), but most are not. Baby vegetables mature more quickly, which makes them ideal for regions with a shorter growing season or for gardeners in warmer climates that may have decided to grow them at the last minute. Another advantage of growing baby vegetables is that they’re perfect for small spaces like window box gardens.
Besides the usual baby vegetables, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, and baby corn, try growing these more unusual baby vegetables: Baby celery, baby cauliflower, baby avocados, and baby green onions and baby cabbage.
Photo Source: www.williegreensorganicfarm.com