Gardening

The organic cultivation of flower, leaf and stem vegetables

The vegetables of leaf, flower and stem are always present in the organic garden . Among leaf, flower or stem vegetables we find artichoke , chicory, endive, lettuce , cabbages , turnip greens , spinach , chard , fennel , celery or asparagus .

The general characteristics of these vegetables can vary greatly from one to another. Its classification could be based on the edible part of the vegetable.

In flower vegetables we have cauliflower, turnips or broccoli, of which, in addition to their inflorescence, their leaves are also consumed. The artichoke is considered a flower vegetable, but in reality we also consume its fleshy leaves, called bracts, which surround the central bud.

Asparagus is included in the group of stem vegetables, although only a small part of it is used that ends in a tender foliar shoot, called a shoot. Fennel and celery are also included in this same group, the edible part of which is made up of the broad, fleshy leaf petioles, to the point that they form a type of bulb in the fennel. Also included in this group is the broad stalk chard, a vegetable grown for the well developed ribbing of its large leaves. The leek would be another stem vegetable that is also often included in the group of false bulb vegetables.

Organic cultivation of flower, leaf and stem vegetables

Crop requirements

Vegetables in this group are quite adaptable to different climatic conditions and bear the cold very well, although some, such as fennel and celery, offer higher quality in warm and temperate climates.

Soil, compost and irrigation

These plants need a light, fresh soil, where puddles do not occur. Many of them require an underlay made with soft and lumpy substrate, which does not cake with moisture.

Both for the leafy vegetables themselves and for those with the stem, it is necessary to apply a cultivation technique that favors a rapid and abundant development of the vegetative part, which must also have a tender consistency.

The cauliflower head and broccoli inflorescences are made up of young flower buds. It is necessary to keep the vegetative phase alive by delaying the production of the flower petiole which, with the production of the seed, marks the end of the biological cycle.

So-called stem vegetables contain a lot of cellulose and tend to become quite fibrous over time.

Leafy vegetables do not require recent organic fertilizers, which also weaken the organoleptic characteristics and favor pathological forms.

The supply of potassium fertilizers in the second phase of the cycle, when a certain vegetative development has already been reached, benefits the accumulation of reserve substances in celery, fennel and chard, in asparagus and in artichoke.

Compatibility

Lettuces can be combined with other crops such as asparagus, carrots, radishes and fennel; Short-cycle vegetables are grown in artichokes, so for example, endives can also be planted between the rows of asparagus.

Rotation

Because they require a lot of nitrogen, vegetables in this group do best when grown after a harvest of beans, peas, or other nitrogen-fixing plants .

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