There’s a boom in interest regarding organic produce being better for your health, but organic foods don’t come cheaply. If you own a house with a garden, it might be time to consider whether you should start growing your own vegetables.
Here are several suggestions for easy crops most people should be able to grow. Note: Have your soil tested at a local nursery for best results.
Beans can be grown on or off a pole. The pole will save space, since they grow upwards rather than outward. Try Blue Lake and Kentucky Wonder. Pick often to keep the crop growing. Runner beans can grow upwards against any fence. Scarlet runner beans are gorgeous as well as tasty. Try bush beans if you have a lot of space and don’t want to use poles or your fence.
Try Early Wonder or Golden varieties. The tender beet greens can be eaten in salads and the tender young beets can be eaten raw. Allow them to mature fully, and they can be roasted and peeled.
Carrots work well in most soils, and even in container gardens. The Thumbelina variety is sweet, tender and sturdy.
There are many edible greens worth exploring. Some of the most common, which you can grow easily and use in salads or cook, include:
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
There are many varieties of lettuce in different colors and with different growing cycles. Aim for a fluffy-leafed lettuce like New Red Fire or Little Gem. They can even be grown in a container.
Onions are planted as sets, or tiny onions, and grow into the hearty vegetable that is idea for soups, salads and stews.
Snap and snow peas are healthy, tasty, and grow quickly. They like cool weather and start producing a crop within about 2 months.
Peppers come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. They are rich in vitamins (including vitamin C), and are thought to help with a range of health conditions, including arthritis. Use them in Italian or Mexican food.
Easy varieties to try include the Banana pepper or the miniature Jingle Bell pepper, which both have a short growing cycle. Jalapeños grow quickly as well, but be careful - they can burn your hands if you don’t pick them carefully or cut them up correctly.
Pumpkins are delicious, nutritious and fairly easy to grow. Small varieties with a good yield include Baby Boo and Jack Be Little. If the kids want a pumpkin for Halloween, try sugar pumpkins, since they make the best pies.
These red and white salad vegetables are easy to grow in early spring and late summer, and best eaten when young. They grow quickly and are easy to harvest. Varieties to try include Cherry Belle and Easter Egg.
Spinach is a superfood and therefore one of the best crops to grow, alongside your lettuce. It loves cool weather and sandy soil.
Cherry and grape tomatoes are super-simple to grow and lovely to look at.
Try growing some of your favorites from this list. Enjoy your harvest!