Common root vegetables include carrots, beets, onions, turnips and yams. Ginger and garlic are root vegetables often used as food spices. Root vegetables grow underground, but their leaves are usually visible above ground. Root vegetables grow better in loose soil that allows roots to grow downward without obstacles such as rocks.
Carrots take several months to mature, and because most carrots grow thin and elongated, they are a favorite target of pests. Short varieties of carrots are easier to grow, because they mature faster. Beets grow in clusters and produce edible roots and leaves, which are used as salad greens. Beets taste best when harvested young, and they contain phytonutrients that help detoxify the body. Onions begin their growth cycle as seeds; growers must nurture them into seedlings and transplant the seedlings into the ground.
Turnips are small in size and recognizable by their white or golden coloring with red or purple tops. Turnips are another type of root vegetable with edible greens, and they grow to maturity in a couple of months. Yams are among the most popular root vegetables and are grown in over 200 varieties. Wild yam extract is a good source of vitamin B6 and potassium, and some people use it as a hormone replacement treatment.