Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.
So you want to try your hand at gardening and want to start with the easy ones. What would those be? Here are my top 10 easy crops to grow. All can be grown in pots or the garden.
Basil. This herb is great in salads, sauces, and pesto. Just plant it in a sunny location and forget it. Basil thrives on neglect. Only thing it doesn't like is the cold. Put out after all danger of frost has passed. Basil basics-harvesting, preserving, growing basil.
Chives. Another care free herb. Wonderful in salads and on potatoes. A perennial that comes back year after year with pretty lavender blooms in late spring that are pretty adds to home grown salads.
Dandelions. A super nutrition green that was brought over by European immigrants. New leaves are great in salads, mature leaves are tasty wilted, and roots are great dried and used as a coffee replacement. 7 Ways Dandelion Tea Can Be Good for Your Health Just make sure you only use dandelions that have not been sprayed with chemicals. There are also cultivated dandelions with larger leaves and sweeter taste available.
Egyptian walking onions. My favorite onion to grow. These guys are perennials. They continue to multiply underground or by the bulbets they sprout in early summer. With their curly tops, they remind me of Medusa! The bottoms get the size of leeks and have the taste of white onions. The tops I use as chives. Egyptian walking onions.
Garlic. Typically planted in the fall. They can also be planted in the spring; the bulb just won't grow as large as when planted in the fall. Garlic has not only wonderful taste, but a plethera of health benefits. For more on garlic, see Time to plant garlic! With growing tips......
Green beans. Come in either bush or vine form. Personally, I like the vining beans, called pole beans. Simply provide a trellis for them to climb up and pick frequently to keep them producing. They have pretty flowers to boot. For more on beans and peas, Legumes-peas for spring, beans for summer.
Lettuce. I love fresh lettuce from the garden. Spring is prime time for the sweetest lettuce ever. You can grow lettuce even in the summer if you plant the right varieties. Bolt-free, sweet summer lettuces The best advice for lettuce is to keep the soil moist and when the temp's rise, give it some sun. Everything you need to know about growing lettuce By harvesting the bottom leaves, you can get a continuous harvest for weeks. Let the plant go to flower and keep their seeds to replant. Never ending salad from one packet of seeds
Mustard. A super easy, spicy green to grow. I love adding new leaves to salads. My favorite, and self-seeding, mustard, is Giant Red mustard. It is one of the first to come up in the spring and self-seeds so you get new plants year after year. What’s growing in the garden in February?
Peas. Another easy to grow veggie in the legume family. I prefer to grow snow peas. You get a lot more from each plant. Sweet, tastiness for spring salads. Peas are planted as soon as the soil can be worked. Time to plant peas!
Sprouting broccoli. If you love the taste of broccoli, this is one you should try. You begin getting bite size broccoli florets in summer and continues until fall. If your lettuce bolts in the heat of the summer, use sprouting broccoli leaves; they taste just like the florets! Sprouting broccoli- a year round fav
These are my top 10 easiest to grow veggie recommendations. Try one or two or all ten for your first garden!
To help guide her family's gardening efforts and to keep track of what was happening in her own garden, Melodie Metje started her blog, Victory Garden on the Golf Course. She named it after the victory gardens grown to help the WWII effort. Melodie thinks we are in a similar situation today: Our country needs our help in battling the war on ill health. Read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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