Keto friendly vegetables are just as easy to grow as any other vegetables.
So, why not include them in your backyard garden.
Vegetables are fun and easy to grow. The whole family will be getting out in the fresh air and sunshine.
Make it a family project. Grow some keto veggies for your dinner table.
The keto diet is so popular today and with good reason. It is healthy and nutritious for everyone.
What vegetables are used in the keto diet?
You can grow the little cherry tomatoes for snacks and salads all summer long. They are fun for the children to grow and pick.
Also, easy to grow are big delicious tomatoes good for slicing and eating. The Roma tomatoes are great for cooking and making tomato sauce. It’s your choice, they all are grown pretty much the same way.
You may start seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost. Plant your young plants or plants from the local garden store into the garden, 3 to 4 feet apart in rows 3 or 4 feet apart.
If you are going to stake your tomatoes or use tomato cages, then plant them 18 to 36 inches apart.
When you plant the tomato, plant it a little deeper into the soil, then the level the young plant was growing. The extra stem you are placing below the soil level will grow new roots and help make a stronger, sturdier plant.
Tomatoes are ready to harvest when they are easy to pull off the vine. You will have tomatoes to harvest all summer long.
In the fall when it’s getting close to
frost time, pinch the tips of the tomato plants and the flowers. The young
fruit that are on the branch will hurry up and mature.
Green tomatoes can be harvested and then you can have fried green tomatoes.
You may wrap green tomatoes in newspaper and put them in a cool place until they turn red. Or even leave them unwrapped on the kitchen countertop and they will ripen.
There are two types of cucumbers, the ones used for eating and the type used for pickling. But even the eating cucumber may be pickled.
Plant them in hills 6 feet apart. Put plenty of compost in the hill and plant several seeds in the hill. After they have germinated, thin to the three strongest plants in the hill.
Cucumbers may also be grown upright on a fence, a trellis, staked or grown on tomato cages. In that case plant them about 3 feet apart.
There are also bush varieties available that or more compact. They won’t vine and take up so much space.
cucumbers harvested. Check your plants daily.
Harvest the cucumbers while they are still young and tasty.
At the end of the season when frost is threatening, pinch the end of the vines off. Any cucumbers on the vine will ripen faster.
Eggplants are a beautiful tasty keto friendly vegetable. The plants are so attractive, they could be grown in your flower garden. This handsome plant is originally from the Middle East.
They have large dusty green leaves and pretty violet flowers that produce the eggplants. You may start eggplant seeds 8 to 10 weeks ahead of the last frost. Or wait and purchase young plants at the garden store.
There are two main types of eggplant, the large hefty ones you see in the grocery stores.
The Japanese style is a long slender eggplant. There are also white eggplants and many different colored ones.
Pull the weeds that are close to the plant, so you don’t damage the roots of the eggplant. Actually a better solution is to apply mulch to keep the weeds down and maintain even moisture.
The eggplants will produce beautiful violet flowers and then the shiny purple fruits. If you want very large fruit, pinch off the terminal growths and possibly even some of the flowers.
If you like to eat smaller eggplants, let them all grow. Then harvest them while the fruit is still small.
The eggplants will keep producing all summer, when it gets close to the end of the season, cut off the small fruit. Pinch off all the flowers and the terminal growth on the plants.
This will encourage the plant to put all of its energy into growing the remaining fruit to harvest size.
As you know,
spinach is a keto friendly vegetable that can be used in salads or cooked. And
it’s delicious. Popeye liked it.
Hot weather will cause the spinach to bolt and go to seed.
Plant the seeds in the garden in rows about a foot and half apart. Plant more spinach seeds about a week apart to extend the harvest time.
Harvest the outer leaves and leave the center leaves to grow. When they are big, harvest the entire plant.
If it is still
cool weather plant more seeds in their place. And then plant again in the fall.
When the warm weather makes your spinach go to seed, don't despair.
Kale likes the warm weather. Give it regular watering and fertilizer for an abundant harvest.
Bulb onions are a bit high in carbs for a strict keto diet.
Start the seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost. The seeds may be sown directly into the garden after the threat of frost is past. If you wish, you may mix them in with any of your other vegetables in the garden.
They have shallow roots and need even moisture, but don't keep them soggy.
Turnip greens and radishes are cool season, keto friendly vegetables. Plant their seeds in the garden early in the spring, 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost.
Plant them again in the late summer and fall for a fall harvest.
My favorite heirloom variety for turnip greens is 'Seven Top'. They grow only the green
tops with no large turnip root.
I can always find the 'Seven Top' seeds at the stores, but last year during the pandemic, I couldn’t find any. Then I found them on Amazon from an independent grower. I got a package that had a lot of seeds. And I couldn’t use all the seeds in one season.
You will have radishes to harvest in about three weeks. They are so much fun for the kids to grow. Just pull the radishes when you can see the top of the radish ball sticking out of the soil.
Both radishes and turnips will bolt and go to seed in the hot weather. But you can plant them again in the fall for another crop.
There are two types of squash, summer squash and winter squash. The summer squashes are keto friendly vegetables. Unfortunately winter squashes have more carbohydrates than allowed on a keto diet.
There are different varieties of summer squash; crookneck and straight-neck yellow squash, the zucchini, also called Italian squash and white summer squash or scalloped squash.
The squash plants produce two types of flowers male and female. The male flowers will start to bloom before the female flowers produce the fruit. So don’t be discouraged, if you start to see flowers, but no fruit. The fruit will soon be on its way.
Once they start producing, you need to check them daily. Harvest them as soon as ready. The young squashes grow very fast. Sometimes they will surprise you at how fast they grew, even overnight.
They must be picked, if you leave them on the plant, the plant will stop producing.
As you know squash can be eaten raw in salads or cooked for a tasty vegetable. They are also good for snacking, a crunchy fresh treat.
The flowers of the squash plants are also edible. You can use them in salads or dip them in a batter and fry them for a tasty treat.
Broccoli the king of vegetables is a member of the cabbage family.
Broccoli is a cool season plant, so plant it in the spring, as soon as you see the young plants in the garden stores.
You may grow your own young plants from seed by planting the seed about 4 to 6 weeks before it is their garden time.
plants about 18 to 24 inches apart and rows 3 feet apart.
Harvest the broccoli from the main stem while the head is still tight. After you harvest the center broccoli, more will form on the side branches. You will have more broccoli to harvest throughout the season.
Hot weather will cause a broccoli plant to bolt and go to seed.
In mild climates, you may set out the plants in the late summer or fall for a harvest during the winter and early spring.