5 Exotic (SuperFood) Root Vegetables and Herbs For Containers

in GENERAL GARDENING/PLANTS

If you’re planning to grow something unusual and exotic, try one of these SUPER HEALTHY root vegetables and herbs for containers!

1. Beet Root

After years of being relegated to the recesses of the salad bar buffet next to the shredded cheese and buttered croutons, beets are enjoying their much-deserved place at the center stage of a healthy diet. They’re not only chock-full of essential everyday nutrients like B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium, these ruby gems also are a goldmine of health-boosting nutrients that you may not get anywhere else.

How to grow beet root 

If you’ve been wondering when to plant beets, remember that they can be grown all winter long in many southern states. In northern soils, beets shouldn’t be planted until the temperature of the soil is at least 40 F. (4 C.). Beets like cool weather. If you want to know when to plant beets, it’s best to plant them during cool weather. They grow well in cool temperatures in spring and fall and do poorly in hot weather.

When growing beets, plant the seeds 1 to 2 inches apart in the row. Cover the seeds lightly with loose soil, and then sprinkle it with water. You should see the plants sprouting in seven to 14 days. If you want a continuous supply, plant your beets in several plantings, about three weeks apart from each other. You can plant beets in partial shade, but when growing beets, you want their roots to reach a depth of at least 3-6 inches, so don’t plant them under a tree where they might run into tree roots.

2. Ginger

Ginger is a warm climate spice or herb, like garlic or turmeric, it’s termed as a superfood and has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. It’s ability to expedite the digestion power is also well-known.

How to grow ginger

Prepare a deep pot with a drainage hole in the bottom. Keep in mind that the thumb-size chunk may grow into a 36-inch (91 cm.) plant at maturity, so look for a large container. Fill the pot with a loose, rich, well-drained potting medium. Soak the ginger root in a bowl of warm water for several hours or overnight. Then plant the ginger root with the bud pointing up and cover the root with 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm.) of soil. Water lightly. Be patient, as growing ginger in a container takes time. You should see sprouts emerging from the root in two to three weeks.

Place the container in a warm room where the ginger root is exposed to indirect sunlight. Outdoors, place the ginger plant in a spot that receives morning sun but stays shady during hot afternoons. Water as needed to keep the potting mix moist, but don’t water to the point of sogginess. Fertilize the ginger plant every six to eight weeks, using fish emulsion, seaweed extract or other organic fertilizer. Harvest ginger when the leaves begin turning yellow – usually about eight to 10 months. Bring container-grown ginger plants indoors when temperatures drop to about 50 F. (10 C.).

3. Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa), the main spice in the Indian dish curry, is argued by many to be the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. Turmeric benefits are incredibly vast and very thoroughly researched; currently, there are over 10,000 peer-reviewed articles published proving turmeric benefits, especially one of its renowned healing compounds, curcumin.

This puts turmeric on top of the list as one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs in all of science.

How to grow turmeric 

You may experience difficulties finding a good planting material, since turmeric is usually available in its dried form. But, try to find a few rhizomes, and have them multiplied every year. This will provide you an endless supply of this mighty spice.

Fill your pot with well-draining potting mix, and stick turmeric rhizomes in. Make sure they are covered with an inch of soil, and water them well. Keep in mind that your plant needs plenty of sun, and its leaves have a healthy, green look.

Turmeric grows well outdoors in USDA zones 9 and above. Let the rhizomes grow until they root well. Pay special attention to the drainage system. Take out your turmeric in fall, once you notice the leaves wilting.

Boil your turmeric rhizomes for 35-45 minutes, and let them dry. This will boost their color and make them last for longer. Store your dried stems whole, or grind them into fine powder.

Turmeric boosts the color of mustard and delicious, homemade sauces and healthy batters for deep frying. A pinch of turmeric can heal mouth ulcers in short time.

4. Parsnip

If you consider white colored food nutritionless, parsnip can change your mind. This carrot lookalike root vegetable is full of micro and macronutrients and has a sweet and earthy flavor. You can eat it cooked or raw (internet is full of parsnip recipes).

How to grow parsnip

It takes from 120 to 180 days for a parsnip to go from seeds to roots. When planting parsnips, plant the seeds ½-inch apart and ½-inch deep in rows at least 12 inches apart. This gives the growing parsnips room to develop good roots.

Growing parsnips takes 18 days for germination. After seedlings appear, wait a couple of weeks and thin the plants to about 3 to 4 inches apart in rows. Water parsnips well when growing parsnips or the roots will be flavorless and tough. Fertilization of the soil is also helpful, and you can fertilize your growing parsnips the same way you would your carrots. Side dress with fertilizer around June to keep the soil healthy enough for growing parsnips.

After 120 to 180 days, you’ll know when to harvest parsnips because the leafy tops reach to 3 feet tall.

5. Peanut

Peanut, which is also called groundnut is not a nut but a legume and opposed to how other legumes grow; it grows underground. It contains many trace elements like copper, zinc, manganese and vitamin B and is very nutritious.

How to grow peanut

To grow groundnuts in pots, you’ll need warmth and humidity. Also note, this exotic plant requires 100 frost-free days to mature, so adjust your planting time according to it.
Choose a medium-sized pot that is 1 feet deep and wide similarly. You can grow 3 plants in such a pot.

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