Roots

Radishes

Another vegetable type is called roots which is a fitting name because the main edible part grows below the ground.  There are some exceptions since some folks eat beet greens, radish microgreens, garlic scapes and onion stalks which grow above the ground.

When I think of root vegetables, I typically include the following: beets, carrots, celeriac (celery root), garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, winter and summer radishes , rutabaga, salsify/scorzonera scallions, shallots, sunchokes, sweet potatoes, turnips and yams.

Potatoes

Some folks break this category further.  For instance, they include garlic, onion, scallions as bulbs and  potatoes and sweet potatoes as tubers.  I really never thought about these two categories but someone else did!  I saw it in the  book titled “Vegetables” by Martha Stewart.

Some root vegetables such as carrots, radishes and scallions can be sown in the spring and again in late summer because they have maturity dates in 60 days or under.  Some root vegetables such as onions, parsnip and rutabaga have long maturity dates so they need to be started in the spring.  Others such as garlic should be planted in the fall so they can be harvested in the following summer.

Not all root vegetables are in the same family.  For instance beets, rutabaga and turnips are in the cabbage family, celeriac, carrot and parsnip are in the carrot family,  and garlic, leeks, onions, scallions and shallots are in the onion family.

I like to plant many of the root veggies in the same bed because you have to dig them up and you don’t want to disturb plants growing above ground when you are harvesting.

So simple and so complicated!