Cucumbers are prone to attacks from cucumber beetles, which transmit bacterial wilt. Choose resistant varieties whenever possible. Protect young plants with floating row covers but remove covers when plants come into flower to ensure ample pollination.
Butternut squash is a winter squash that is more resistant to vine borers than other squash varieties due to its thicker stem. The flesh is yellow with a sweet, nutty taste. It makes a great winter storage crop.
This spicy green is delicious in stir-fries and soups or simply sautéed in olive oil with a bit of garlic. If flea beetles are a problem, cover the plants with a floating row cover until harvest. Mustard greens prefer cool temperatures, and most varieties will bolt (or flower) when summer brings warm weather and longer days.
Swiss chard is easy to grow, highly productive, beautiful, tasty and totally underappreciated. Plants may bolt (or flower) during hot summer weather. Use leaves as a spinach substitute in any recipe or sautéed in olive oil with a bit of garlic.
Kale thrives in cool weather and is very frost tolerant, making it a great veggie for four-season gardens. Most varieties sweeten after a hard frost, so late-season harvests are often most flavorful. It’ a beautiful and nutritious vegetable that can be used in soups or stir-fries. It’s also delicious braised and sautéed.
Cabbage is an easy-to-grow, dependable vegetable that is useful for soups, slaws, stirfries and many ethnic dishes. Many different cabbage types and colors are available, making this vegetable as diverse as it is nutritious. Cover plants with floating row cover to deter cabbage worms, loopers and aphids.
Broccoli is an easy-to-grow, nutritious plant. Protect plants from aphids, cabbage worms and loopers by covering with a floating row cover until harvest. For an added splash of garden interest, grow purple or chartreuse varieties.
Cauliflower gets a purple tinge when the blanching process is delayed. It’s harmless and doesn’t affect the taste, but it will turn an unappetizing grayish cast when cooked. Orange and purple varieties (like Cheddar and Graffiti) are delicious show-stoppers that retain their beautiful colors when cooked.