Best Vegetables For Seniors
6 Vegetables that will Boost Seniors health
Though there are many gardens which can be planted a vegetable garden should be considered because with a veggie garden, vegetables can be grown to promote good health for the elderly. A garden like this will have seniors buzzing with excitement as they reap and eat the fruits or should I say the veggies they labored for.
Healthy living should be something we should all strive for no matter the age, seniors especially should eat healthy at all times to ensure they’re getting the required nutrients. We will be looking at 6 vegetables the elderly should grow in their garden.
Where to plant carrots?
When planting carrots locate an area that gets plenty of sunlight.
Carrots soil requirements
The soil should be loamy/sandy, sow ¼ inch deep, 2 to 3 inches apart in rows 1 foot apart.
When watering the soil should be kept moist not waterlogged.
When the top of carrots reaches 3 inches tall fertilizer with 5-15-15 or 0-10-10. Read and follow the label for the best results.
Insect pests to watch out for are carrot rust fly, aster leafhopper, and carrot weevils. The use of neem oil, sticky tape, floating row covers, and keeping the garden free of weeds will bring garden pests under control.
Depending on the variety carrots will be ready to harvest in 60-80 days after sowing seeds. The tops of the carrot roots will be about 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter and likely starting to emerge out of the soil.
What are carrots good for?
Carrots are rich in vitamin A and B6, K1, potassium, biotin, and beta carotene. Carrots promote eye health, are a good source of fiber, are believed to boost immunity, promote heart health, improves blood sugar level, protect your liver, and promotes healthy skin.
2. Leafy greens
Where to plant leafy greens?
The ideal location to grow leafy greens is an area that gets about 6 hours of sunlight, although greens can thrive in partial sunlight.
Leafy greens soil requirements
The best soil for leafy greens is a loamy soil that’s rich in organic matter.
Watering leafy greens
The soil should be moist consistently for greens to produce lots of tender leaves.
Fertilizing leafy greens
A 10-10-10 or 5-10-10 fertilizer is ideal for your leafy greens.
Leafy greens pests
Garden pests of leafy greens are seedcorn maggot, seedcorn beetle, dipterous leafminers, aphids, beet, and southern armyworms, cutworms, wireworms, corn earworms, cabbage loppers. These insects can be controlled with biological sprays, keeping the garden area clean, removing and destroying infested crops, and introducing predator wasp.
Harvesting leafy greens
Leafy greens can be harvested early in the spring when the leaves are tender and young, some prefer to wait until the leaves become more mature.
What are leafy greens good for?
Leafy greens are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, iron, calcium, fiber, antioxidants, potassium. Leafy greens aids in weight loss, reduces blood pressure, contain antioxidants, fight against certain cancer, reduce heart disease, etc…
Where to plant tomatoes?
Tomatoes should be planted in a sunny area.
Tomatoes soil requirements
The soil requirements for tomatoes are rich well-drained soil.
Water your tomato plant well, the soil should be moist but not waterlogged.
Tomatoes are heavy feeders and unless your soil is rich a 2-3-1 or 10-10-10 is ideal.
Pests of tomatoes include aphids, tomato hornworms, cutworms, slugs, and snails, flea beetles, and whiteflies. Some insecticides which can be used are Monterey garden insect spray, Monterey Sluggo Plus, Monterey horticultural oil, Bacillus Thuringiensis or Bt, etc…
There are many varieties of tomatoes, harvest time can be anywhere from 40-80 days. Some tomatoes are picked green and ripen indoors.
What are tomatoes good for?
Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B3, B5, B6, B7, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, Vitamin K, potassium, calcium, fiber, and phosphorus. Tomatoes promote healthy skin, fights cancer, promote heart health, antioxidants that free the body of free radicals, boost digestive health, promote eye health, etc…
4. Bell peppers
Where to plant bell peppers?
Bell peppers need the full sunlight to grow and ripen properly.
Bell Peppers soil requirements
Bell peppers prefer a rich soil that’s well-drained.
Watering bell peppers
Keep bell peppers well-watered but don’t saturate the soil.
Fertilizing bell peppers
Bell peppers can be fertilized with 14-14-14, 10-5-15, or 2-5-3.
Bell pepper pests
Garden insect pests of bell peppers include Pepper weevil, leafminers, broad mites, melon thrips, aphids, two-spotted mites, whiteflies, cutworms, hornworms, flea beetles, fruit worm, armyworms, and corn borers. Chemical control of bell pepper insect pests includes neem oil, soapy water, releasing parasitoids or predators which are natural enemies of listed garden insect pests which is biological control, handpicking some of the listed insect pests, will work also.
Harvesting bell peppers
The time to harvest bell peppers is when peppers reach the desired size, one thing to consider is the longer bell peppers are allowed to remain on the plant the sweeter they will become.
What are bell peppers good for?
Bell peppers are a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B1 B2, B3 B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, iron, folate, fiber, potassium, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, antioxidants, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, and pantothenic acid. Bell peppers aids, in weight loss, aids the body in its fight against heart disease, helps boost the immune system, aids in blood sugar level and helps fight against cancer.
Where to plant beans?
Beans should be located in an area that gets lots and lots of sunlight.
Beans soil requirements
A well-drained soil that’s rich in organic matter will encourage healthy growth.
Beans need about 1 inch of water a week to keep them growing healthy.
A 3-inch layer of compost or 5-10-10, etc…. is ideal for keeping your beans well fed.
Garden insect pests of beans include caterpillars, aphids, thrips, Japanese, and Mexican beetles. The use of insecticidal soap will control aphids, insecticidal soap will also control trips, the use of aluminum foil placed on the soil around beans will repel them also. Bacillus thuringiensis will control caterpillars, handpicking, and throwing beetles in soap water will eliminate them.
Beans can be harvested 50-60 days after sowing seeds, some varieties like pool beans will be ready after 90 days. A sign also that beans are ready to harvest is once the pods reach 3 inches or when seeds grow plump with a bulge.
What are beans good for?
Beans are rich in protein, B-Vitamins, zinc, iron, folate, calcium, fiber potassium, and phosphorus, folic acid, thiamin, copper, molybdenum, magnesium, manganese, and antioxidants. Beans promote heart health, helps to promote weight loss, aids in controlling blood sugar levels, helps to prevent cancer, kidney beans have been known to be an energy booster, helps to boost the immune system, is an excellent choice for diabetics, can keep your skin healthy, aids in good bowel movement and help with cholesterol level.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Where to plant sweet potatoes?
Sweet potato requires full sunlight to perform their best.
Sweet potato soil requirements
The soil of sweet potatoes should be fine sand loamy soil with good drainage.
Watering sweet potatoes
Sweet potato can tolerate growing in dry soils, however, keeping the soil evenly moist with an inch of water once a week is ideal.
Fertilizing sweet potatoes
An 8-24-24 or 5-10-10 will give good results, you can begin fertilizing your sweet potatoes 2-2 1/2 weeks after transplanting. During the growing season fertilize every 4-6 weeks.
Sweet potato pests
Keep an eye out for aphids, mites, wireworms, crickets, white grubs, flea beetles. To bring mites under control use neem oil and insecticidal soaps or predatory mites. For aphid control use insecticidal soap, or soapy water in a spray bottle, to control wireworm drench soil with pyrethrin, applying beneficial nematodes, crop rotation, or treating with sns 203 will give good results. White grubs can be controlled with the use of beneficial nematodes, control flea beetles by using white sticky traps, 70% neem oil, or diatomaceous earth have proven to give good results.
Harvesting sweet potato
The harvest time for sweet potatoes takes between 90-170 days depending on the variety. Once the leaves turn yellow is another indication that your sweet potatoes are ready to harvest. But if you are patient and wait a little longer by withholding harvesting the bigger they will become with more vitamins.
What are sweet potatoes good for?
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin b5, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K potassium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, iron calcium, protein, carotene, and fiber. Sweet potato promotes good vision, promotes brain health, aid in weight control, supports the immune system, may help to fight cancer, improves the digestive system and reduce inflammation
The final word on vegetables that will boost seniors health
Seniors growing these veggies in their home gardens will promote good health, what better way to reward yourself than by growing and harvesting edible foods. Vegetables are filled with vitamins and have so many health benefits, constructing a garden of this sort is worth the investment as you reap the rewards by growing and eating healthy.