Plan a Successful Garden to Reap Homegrown Vitamix Recipes

If you’d like the incalculable pleasure of harvesting a handful of fresh veggies and herbs to use in your meal, now is the time to plan a garden. Whether you’ve got a big yard, a tiny strip of earth beside the back door, or even a good-sized window box, here are some tips to ensure happy results.

Timing is everything. Many, though not all, vegetables must be planted after the danger of frost has passed. Spinach and kale, for example, are impervious to colder temperatures, and some gardeners believe their flavor is enhanced after exposure to frost. Try planting a row of spinach in early spring, followed by lettuces and radishes that can be harvested before hot weather arrives and causes them to “bolt” – a spurt of quick growth that can cause a bitter flavor.

Even when the weather has warmed, control the impulse to dig in wet earth, as this will compact the soil, collapsing all of the tiny passages created by nature for good aeration and drainage, two components crucial to a thriving garden.

Knowing what plants grow best in your region is crucial. Follow guidelines on your nursery tags and consult the USDA’s updated map to learn what growing zone you live in. Keep in mind that every landscape has “micro zones” that allow some leeway in your planting. A southern exposure or placement of plants along a protected wall or corner of your patio, for example, will often provide enough added warmth for more tender plants to survive a frost. Some trial and error is worth the effort.

As jackets are shed and mittens are stored away, fall recipes may not be top of mind. But planting vegetables now that will mature over the summer will offer you a rich bounty in August and chilly weather suppers come autumn.

Nothing tastes fresher than the classic chilled soup brimming with crisp veggies.

Spiked Honeydew Sorbet
An easy seasonal cocktail that celebrates summer’s peak.

Cabbage Soup
Reserve some room for cabbage in your garden so when cool weather returns, you can savor your homegrown harvest in this delicious soup.

Broccoli Cheese Soup
A family favorite made better with broccoli you’ve raised yourself.

Red Cabbage and Beet Beverage
Unexpected ingredients combine to create a healthy flavor sensation.

Potato Cheddar Breakfast Bake
Easy, satisfying and perfect for company.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Popcorn
Adventurous chefs will love this savory recipe from Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli.