10 Hard to Grow Vegetables and How to Care for Them

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Gardening is one of the most rewarding hobbies anyone can pick up. However, it can be a challenging task, especially if you’re growing difficult vegetables. While some veggies can thrive in any conditions, certain ones require more care, attention, patience, and ideal growing conditions. These finicky vegetables can test even experienced gardeners’ patience. In this article, we’ll discuss ten hard to grow vegetables and tips on how to care for them.

Detailed Discussion on Hard to Grow Vegetables

1. Asparagus

Asparagus is an excellent addition to any garden, but it requires patience as it takes at least two years before you can harvest it. Here are some tips on how to grow asparagus:

  • Choose a sunny site with well-draining soil.
  • Plant asparagus roots at least six to eight inches apart and six inches deep.
  • Water deeply, and keep the soil evenly moist but not wet.
  • Mulch around the plants to control weeds and retain moisture.
  • Fertilize annually with compost or well-rotted manure.

2. Artichokes

Artichokes are delicious, but they are a little difficult to grow. Here’s what you need to do to grow artichokes:

  • Choose a location with full sun and well-drained soil.
  • Sow seeds in early spring or fall and keep them at a temperature between 60-70°F.
  • Once the seedlings are established, transplant them to a larger area at least four feet apart.
  • Artichokes need moist soil, so water them regularly, especially during hot and dry weather.
  • Fertilize with compost or manure once a year.

3. Beets

Beets need a lot of TLC, but the effort is worth it for the delicious and versatile root vegetable. Here’s how to grow successful beets:

  • Plant seeds in a sunny location with well-draining soil in the spring or early summer.
  • Thin the seedlings to two inches apart once they’ve sprouted.
  • Water regularly and keep soil moist if there’s not enough rainfall.
  • Fertilize with natural fertilizers, such as compost or aged manure, one month after planting.

4. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a hardy vegetable, but they are susceptible to pests and diseases. Here’s how to keep them healthy and thriving:

  • Plant them in cooler climates, as they prefer temperatures of between 60-65°F.
  • Choose a sunny location with well-draining soil and add compost to the soil.
  • Water regularly but avoid overwatering the soil.
  • Protect them from pests, such as aphids, by spraying with insecticidal soap.

5. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a favorite in salads but can be challenging to grow. Here’s what to do to grow healthy cucumbers:

  • Plant them in a spot that gets good sun exposure with well-draining soil.
  • Water cucumbers regularly, and ensure the soil is moist at all times.
  • Fertilize with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer regularly.
  • Train them to grow up trellises for better fruit quality and pest control.

6. Eggplants

Eggplants require heat and warm soil to germinate. Here are some tips on how to grow eggplants:

  • Start by growing the seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before planting season.
  • Once the soil is warm enough, transplant the seedlings into a sunny location with rich, well-drained soil.
  • Water thoroughly, but avoid overwatering which can cause root rot.
  • Fertilize regularly with a nitrogen-based fertilizer.

7. Kale

Kale is an excellent source of healthy nutrition, and it’s easy to grow but needs good care to thrive. Here’s how to grow kale:

  • Grow kale from seeds sown directly in the soil and space the seeds three inches apart.
  • Choose a sunny location with well-draining, fertile soil.
  • Water the plants regularly, and don’t let the soil dry out.
  • Fertilize kale with organic material, such as compost or decomposed manure.

8. Okra

Okra is a tropical vegetable that needs full sun and warm temperatures to grow. Here’s how to grow okra:

  • Sow okra seeds directly into warm soil in well-drained soil.
  • Thin seedlings to two feet apart.
  • Water regularly and mulch around the plants to retain moisture.
  • Fertilize weekly with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
  • Harvest regularly to keep the fruits young and tender.

9. Spinach

Spinach is a nutritious and easy to grow vegetable, but it’s also prone to diseases. Here’s how to grow spinach:

  • Plant spinach seeds in early spring or late summer in a well-draining soil with good moisture retention.
  • Thin seedlings to four inches apart and keep the soil consistently moist.
  • Protect spinach from diseases by ensuring good air circulation, keeping the area clean, and sterilizing tools before using them.
  • Fertilize with organic material, such as compost or aged manure.

10. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a well-loved vegetable, but they can be finicky to grow, especially in adverse weather conditions. Here’s how to grow great tasting and healthy tomatoes:

  • Choose the right type of tomato plant for your area, ideally disease-resistant varieties.
  • Plant in well-drained soil with good moisture retention and full sun exposure.
  • Water regularly, avoiding overwatering that can lead to root rot.
  • Support tomato plants with stakes or cages to keep them upright and prevent diseases.
  • Fertilize with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure.

Concluding Thoughts on Hard to Grow Vegetables

Growing your vegetables can be a rewarding hobby, yet it requires effort, patience, and the right knowledge. With these tips on growing ten challenging vegetables, you can overcome the obstacles and enjoy freshly harvested crops.

Remember that hard to grow vegetables are not a lost cause. With the right conditions, proper care, and ongoing effort, you can grow any of these finicky vegetables successfully.

FAQs about Hard to Grow Vegetables

1. How long does it take to grow asparagus?

Asparagus takes at least two years to grow before it’s ready for harvesting. However, once established, the plant can last up to twenty-five years.

2. Why aren’t my beets growing?

Beets require good drainage, so if your soil is not well-draining, it might hinder their growth. Inadequate sunlight or improper fertilizing can also limit their growth.

3. Can I grow eggplants indoors?

Yes, you can grow eggplants indoors, but it’s recommended to start them indoors and transplant them outside once the soil is warm enough for their development.

In conclusion, growing difficult vegetables can be challenging, but not impossible. With the tips in this article, you can be on your way to growing delicious and healthy crops, even with the most stubborn vegetables. Happy gardening!


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