Veggies That Grow Underground | Vegetables & Foods Below Soil
The most common vegetables that grow below the ground are potato, onion, carrot, radish, turnip, cassava, and turmeric, to name a few. Make sure to make a note of their planting date to harvest them at the correct time.
Root vegetables have a distinct flavor and are packed with nutrients. Their roots store all the energy for plants as well as all healthy nutrients.
Vegetables that grow under the ground, such as potatoes, onions, tubers, turnips, and beets, are known as root vegetables. These make for delicious treats that have innumerable health benefits.
The vegetables growing below the earth are primarily rich in carbohydrates, but they can also be a good vitamin, protein, and mineral source.
What Do We Call The Foods That Grow Below Ground?
Vegetables growing underground are called root vegetables. These include ginger, onions, sweet potatoes, radishes, turnips, carrots, beets, garlic, and many others.
Such veggies are vital in our diet and are rich in dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins source. They are versatile, and you can use them in various culinary preparations, like mashing, sauteing, boiling, and roasting.
Veggies That Grow Underground
- Sweet Potato
Here is all you need to know about the popular vegetables growing underground:
Pick a sunny spot with full sun and well-drained soil with pH between 6.0 and 7.5, and plant the beet seeds directly into the soil approximately 1 inch deep and 2 to 4 inches apart. You can grow them in a raised bed or rows.
After the seedlings show and are two to three inches tall, thin them to a distance of three to four inches apart to give them ample space to grow. You can eat the thinned seedlings in sandwiches or salads.
Beets demand regular watering, especially during dry or hot weather, and fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every three to four weeks. You can harvest them when they are about 1.2 inches in diameter.
The growing season for beet plants that grow underground depends on the variety and climate where it is grown. Generally, they prefer cooler weather, but you can grow them in fall and spring too.
Turmeric is a widely cultivated plant in regions of Asia, where it has been used as a medicinal herb, natural dye, and spice. It is a member of the ginger family, and its underground rhizomes are employed to yield a bright yellow-orange powder utilized as a food coloring and a spice.
Turmeric is typically grown from rhizomes. It requires warm, humid conditions and well-drained soil to grow. It is generally planted in the spring and harvested in the fall after the leaves have withered.
Parsnip is an excellent root vegetable closely related to parsley and carrots. It has a creamy-white color and a long-slender shape with a sweetened flavor. They are harvested in winter or fall after frost.
Their nutty and sweet flavor and tender texture make them perfect for adding to stews or soup or mashing and roasting.
These crops that grow underground need well-drained soil and a sunny location. Parsnips thrive in deep, loose, well-drained soil free from obstacles like rocks that may cause the roots to fork. Before planting, prepare the soil by adding organic matter like well-rooted manure and compost to boost the soil’s fertility.
Sow the seeds 2-3 inches apart and ½ inch deep. Thin the seedlings once they grow 2-3 inches tall. Water regularly to keep the soil moist and fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every three to four weeks. With proper care, you can enjoy a tasty harvest.
Also known as yucca or manioc, Cassava is a starchy root vegetable. Native to South America, Cassava is a food source for millions of people in subtropical and tropical regions globally. Cassava has a bark-like, rough exterior, and its fleshy, white interior is rich in carbohydrates.
It is a good source of Vitamin C and B6, dietary fiber, and minerals like manganese and potassium. This hardy crop can grow in poor soils with low rainfall. It is drought tolerant and is planted using stem cuttings.
It takes about 8-12 months for maturity, depending on the growing conditions and the variety. Cassava roots are harvested by digging the entire health, and they can be eaten raw or consumed in various ways.
People enjoy them baked, fried, mashed, or boiled. It is a common addition to soups, dishes, casseroles, and stews.
Turnip is another one of the most popular vegetables that grow below the ground. It belongs to the Brassicaceae family that has other vegetables like kale, cauliflower, and broccoli. People grow and eat it across the world, especially in Asia and Europe.
You can enjoy raw or cook them by steaming, roasting, and boiling them. Turnips are rich in folate, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
These are cool season crops. You can grow them in fall and spring. The optimal temperature to grow turnips is between 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Turnips can tolerate frost and light and elevate their taste in a few days of exposure to cool temperatures.
They thrive in well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.8. Turnips also seek full sun but can tolerate some shade. However, turnips do best in soil rich in organic matter. Hence, you must amend the soil with organic matter or compost before planting.
For spring plantation, turnips should be sown into the ground as soon as you can work the soil, usually 2-3 weeks before the last frost date. For fall plantation, sow the seeds six to eight weeks before the first frost date. Harvest turnips once they reach 2-3 inches in diameter, about 45-60 days from planting.
Yam is a root vegetable commonly cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. They have a bark-like, rough exterior and a fleshy, white interior rich in carbohydrates. Yam is an excellent source of minerals like copper, manganese, copper, Vitamin C, and dietary fiber.
These are grown from tubers or vine cuttings and seek well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Yam likes high temperatures and high humidity. So, water them regularly.
You can bake, roast, boil, or fry them for inclusion in dishes like casseroles, stews, and soaps. They can also be pureed or mashed and used to make desserts like yam pie or pudding.
Radish is another inclusion in the list of plants that grow underground. It belongs to the Brassicaceae family and is planted globally. However, it is popular in Europe and Asia.
You can find radishes in all colors, sizes, and shapes, but they are mostly round or oval-shaped with white or bright red skin. Radish’s flesh is typically white with a crisp texture and a peppery or mildly spicy flavor.
You can enjoy them raw or on their own as a salad ingredient. Radishes can also be cooked by sauteing or roasting. These are low-calorie vegetables rich in potassium, fiber, and Vitamin C. They are easy to grow. You can plant them in the fall or spring.
Radishes thrive in well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. They love the full sun, but you can grow them in the shade. For a spring plantation, sow them directly into the ground as soon as the soil is ready to be worked, typically four to six weeks before the last frost date in your area.
For fall plantation, sow them four to six weeks before the first expected frost. Radishes take 20-30 days to mature from the day of planting.
It is a tropical root vegetable commonly used in baking and cooking as a thickening agent. Native to South America, Arrowroot is cultivated in several parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.
It is a rich source of potassium, dietary fiber, and other minerals and is low in calories and fat. It is gluten-free and a popular alternative to wheat flour for people with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.
These are grown from rhizomes and require well-drained soil and humid and warm conditions. You can harvest 10-12 months after planting when the leaves have died as rhizomes mature.
Potatoes are versatile and starchy plants that grow underground. They are consumed and grown globally and are a staple food in several cuisines. You can grow them in various ways, like roasting, mashing, frying, boiling, and baking.
You can find them in various colors, sizes, and shapes, but the most prevalently consumed varieties are red-skinned, yellow, and white potatoes. The potato’s flesh is yellow or white and has an earthy, mild flavor.
They are a good source of vital nutrients, including Vitamin C and B6, fiber, and potassium. They are also a low-calorie food, and a medium-sized potato has only 100 calories. You can grow potatoes in various soil types, but they prefer well-drained soil that is fertile and loose.
Potatoes love full sun and must be watered daily, especially during dry spells. You can grow them underground from practically disease-free seed potatoes. You can harvest them when the leaves turn yellow as the plants die back.
Also known as neep or swede, Rutabaga is one of the many veggies that grow underground. It belongs to the turnip and cabbage family and resembles the turnip but has tan-yellow skin.
Rutabaga has a nutty and sweet flavor with a dense, firm texture. It is an excellent Vitamin C, fiber, and potassium source and is also rich in nutrients. It is a versatile vegetable. You can eat it raw or cook it in casseroles, stews, and soups.
Rutabaga grows in cool temperatures but is planted in early summer or spring for a fall harvest. It prefers a pH between 5.5 and 6.8 and well-drained soil. It is a low-maintenance veggie and does not need a lot of attention.
Plant the Rutabaga seeds about 1/2-inch deep in rows, spaced about 12-18 inches apart. Sow the seeds in moist soil and keep them well-watered across the growing season. You can harvest them when they are about 3-5 inches in diameter. Rutabaga takes about 90-120 days from planting.
Ginger is a plant cultivated for its edible rhizome. It is one of the most popular spices and a home remedy for several illnesses. This flowering plant is native to Southeast Asia and cultivated in many parts of the world, including India, China, and Jamaica.
It has a pungent and spicy flavor and aroma. Ginger is a rich source of several bioactive compounds, including gingerols and shogaols, known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger is also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, and minerals, including manganese and magnesium.
Ginger is typically grown from rhizomes. It requires warm, humid conditions and well-drained soil to grow. It is generally planted in the spring and harvested in the fall after the leaves have withered.
Shallots are a kind of onion related to garlic and other alliums. They have a subtle and more delicate flavor than onions, with a slightly nutty and sweet taste. The shallots have reddish-brown or brown skin and are smaller than the regular onions.
These foods that grow below ground are employed as a flavoring or a seasoning agent in cooking and are a tasty inclusion in European and French cuisines. You can cook them or eat them raw. People mostly use shallot in marinades, dressings, or sauces.
It is easy to grow shallows in a variety of climates. They thrive in soil rich in organic matter in a sunny location with some shade during the hotter temperatures. The plant prefers well-drained soil and is grown from bulbs.
Plant them in early spring or fall. You can plant the bulbs 1 inch deep and 4-6 inches apart. Shallots demand consistent moisture. So, water them regularly. You can harvest them when the leaves turn yellow and start drying. Typically, it takes 90-120 days from planting.
Garlic is a popular herb from the Allium family. It is a root vegetable famous for its rich aroma and flavor. Garlic has several health benefits and is known for its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.
Grow them underground through their cloves in the fall, about four to six weeks from the first frost date. They yield new bulbs in summer. Garlic loves well-drained soil, rich in organic matter. Grow them in full sun.
Garlic is a low-maintenance crop. Thus, it does not need a lot of attention once planted. Water them regularly, particularly during dry spells. Garlic also needs feeding with a balanced fertilizer once or twice during the growing season. You can harvest them in summer when the leaves turn yellow and dry.
N. Sweet Potato
Native to South and Central America, Sweet Potato is one of the root vegetable plants that grow underground. It is a member of the morning glory family and is often confused with the yam, a completely different plant species. You can find it in different colors, from pale yellow to deep orange.
They have a slightly nutty and sweet flavor. Sweet potato is an excellent source of Vitamin C and A. It is also rich in dietary fiber and minerals like copper, manganese, and potassium. You can eat them fried, mashed, roasted, baked, or boiled.
It is employed in savory and sweet dishes and is a popular ingredient in cuisines globally, such as Southeast Asian, Caribbean, and African. Besides being delicious and versatile, sweet potatoes are also a superfood because of their many health benefits.
It is a warm weather crop that thrives in humid and hot weather. Sweet potatoes thrive in well-drained, loose soil rich in organic matter. They need abundant water and sun to grow. The ideal temperature for them is between 21 to 29 degrees, and they need at least 90-120 frost-free days to attain maturity.
These vegetables that grow under the soil must be planted in the spring after the last frost date and harvested in the fall before the first frost date. Their soil pH should be between 5.0 to 6.5, and the soil must be tilled deeply for proper root development.
Onion is one of the bulbous veggies that grow underground and consumed widely around the world. It is a member of the allium family comprising chives, shallots, and garlic. You can find onions in various colors, including red, yellow, and white.
They have a distinctive flavor and a pungent smell that adds character to several dishes. Onions are a source of several minerals, vitamin c, and dietary fiber.
People usually grow them underground from sets, seeds, or transplants. They prefer well-drained soil and rich organic matter. Onions demand ample sun and regular watering to develop well. You can plant them in spring or harvest them in fall.
Onions can be eaten raw or cooked. They are a popular ingredient in several cuisines globally. They can be minced, chopped, diced, sliced, and added to salads, sauces, stews, and soups.
It is one of the tropical vegetables that grow under the ground. Taro is consumed and planted in several parts of the world, including the Pacific Islands, Africa, and Asia. It is known by several names: cocoyam, eddo, dasheen, and taro.
Taro has a nutty, starchy flavor, and its texture is like sweet potato or potato. It is a good source of Vitamin E, dietary fiber, and several minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium. It is low in calories and is an excellent addition to meals.
You can grow it from corms, which are underground stem structures. It requires humid, warm conditions and well-drained soil to thrive. You can harvest it after 8-12 months when the leaves and the corms are mature.
How To Know When To Harvest The Underground Veggies?
The harvest time for underground vegetables will vary depending on the growing conditions and the plant grown. Here are some general guidelines that can help.
1. Look for visual cues – You might notice that the veggies start to appear above the soil when they are almost ready. For several root vegetables, the stems and the leaves will start to die back or change color to yellow when the crop matures. It is all an indication that it is time for harvest.
2. Check the soil – In underground crops, you can gently dig around the plant’s base to assess the condition and size of the vegetable. If the soil is dry and they are the desired size, you can harvest them.
3. Check days to maturity – When planting the grows, note the number of days to maturity for the specific variety you are growing. It will give you a general idea of when you must expect the crop to be ready for harvest.
4. Check the veggie size – The vegetable’s size can also indicate its maturity. For instance, sweet potatoes are harvested when they acquire the size apt for the variety grown.
Typically, you can harvest the undergrown vegetables before the season’s first frost. If you do not harvest them, the frost may damage the crop and reduce its shelf life.
Underground Root Vegetable Information (FAQs)
Ques 1. Which are the green vegetables that grow underground?
Ans. You won’t find ant green vegetables that grow under the ground. But some green vegetables have edible parts, which develop below the soil surface. These include:
1. Scallions or green onions: The green and white part grows above the ground, whereas the root end grows below the soil.
2. Kohlrabi: A member of the cabbage family, Kohlrabi’s edible part is a swollen stem that grows just above or below the soil surface.
3. Leeks: They have a cylindrical, long white base, which grows below the soil surface, whereas green leaves grow above the ground.
4. Celery root: It is a celery variety cultivated for its bulbous root, which grows below the soil surface.
While these are not typically green vegetables, they are nutritious and an excellent addition to meals.
Ques 2. What is a round white vegetable that grows underground?
Ans. Several round white vegetables grow underground. These include:
- Jerusalem Artichokes
Ques 3. Do onions grow underground?
Ans. Yes, onions grow underground. They are one of the most widely used veggies in sorts of cuisines.
Ques 4. Do cucumbers grow underground
Ans. No, cucumbers grow above the ground.
Ques 5. Where does carrot growing underground grow best?
Ans. Carrots thrive in well-drained, loose soil, free of debris and rocks. They prefer loamy or sandy soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8.
They love the full sun but can also tolerate some shade. Carrots demand constant moisture, but excessive water can cause the roots to split. This cool-season crop prefers temperatures between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ques 6. When to grow potato plant underground?
Ans. You can plant these crops that grow underground from spring to early summer, depending on the climate and the specific variety of the potato variety grown. They like cool weather and must be planted when the soil temperature is 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The exact timing of growing them will depend on your location and the climate in your area. Generally, spring is the best time to plant them.
Ques 7. What fruits grow below ground?
Ans. Fruits usually do not grow underground as they are produced by trees or plants planted over the ground. However, some fruits have edible parts that grow underground. These include:
- Tuberous fruits
- Ground cherries