What are the best tips for growing your own garden? I can tell you there is NOTHING like new potatoes straight from the ground to your plate, smothered in butter with a bit of garlic salt. The hunter(s) in your family are already going above and beyond to put ethically harvested, organic meat on your plate, so let’s take it a step further by providing some home-grown vegetables too! Not only will you be providing a nutrition-packed meal for your family, but the learning experience that comes along with it is invaluable.
When you think of growing a garden, you’re likely thinking rows upon rows of garden greens, spending hours tilling up the land and pulling weeds. Well, let me tell you, that sounds like a dream to me, but if it doesn’t to you, rest assured that it only has to be as complicated as you make it.
My tips for growing your own garden is to start small.
From the suburbs to the middle of nowhere, there is always the opportunity to grow a few vegetables. Many varieties can be grown in pots on the porch and require very little maintenance. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the gardening world and the benefits are extraordinary. I am encouraging you to dip your toes in this spring and give it a try.
Here’s my list of “beginner” vegetables and why.
Lettuce – Are you a salad lover? Start by growing a few types of lettuce. You would be amazed at how many varieties there are. Every dinner can use a side salad and once that lettuce is ready for harvest, trust me, you will never want to buy lettuce from a store again. A fast-growing vegetable, lettuce is ready to harvest in as little as 45 days. It is also a vegetable that keeps on giving. You can harvest the outer leaves and leave the center to grow and keep on enjoying. Generally, a few lettuce stalks will more than feed a large family.
Tomatoes -Tomatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables. They grow in pots on the deck or in a garden. My suggestion for first-time gardeners is to purchase seedlings from a local greenhouse or farmers market. They are inexpensive and will pay for themselves. Once the plant starts producing fruit, there is so much that can be done with them. Eat them fresh, cooked or preserved to last you through winter.
Herbs– I had no idea what I was missing until I started growing my own herbs. They are simple, do not need much space and the flavor and nutrients they provide are unbelievable. If you haven’t experienced fresh herbs in your meals, I am encouraging you to try them.
Potatoes – Potatoes are another easy variety to grow. They do require more space, however, there are so many clever ideas online to use your space wisely. For each seed potato, you plant you can expect to get about 5-10 potatoes!
Bush Beans– Usually when you think of beans you picture an overbearing vine. Well, there a variety of beans that grow in a “bush” instead. They require little space and are easy to sprout from seed, directly sown into the ground. Generally, I plant a couple of varieties to enjoy fresh all season, as well as freeze to enjoy through the winter.