Having your own garden can sometimes sound like a dream from the past. We are so used to buy everything from the supermarket by now, that most of us don’t even think about the benefits of growing your own food. And there are plenty of benefits. Having your own food garden can save you money, you’ll know that the food is fresh, healthy and without pesticides, and gardening is a good exercise for the body and mind. Let’s check out which are one of the easiest foods you can grow in your beautiful garden:
Carrots are one of the most mainstream vegetables you can grow, but they are an easy and healthy choice. Having to deal with root vegetables can be a little overwhelming at first but taking care of it is not as hard as it seems. Pulling them out of the soil can also be a very satisfying activity.
In order to grow carrots, you need to cover the seeds with approximately ¼ to ½ inches of soil and place them about 2 to 3 inches apart. Plant the seeds 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost day. After planting, make sure you keep the soil moist. Sprouting will start after about 3 weeks after planting, and typically you can harvest them after 46 to 65 days. The main pests you should worry about with carrots are flies. However, if you plant onions next to the carrots, the onions will repel the flies.
Cucumbers are also pretty popular in people’s gardens. They like warm conditions, so plant the seeds at least one week after the last frost day. Put the seeds 1 to 2 inches deep in small hills of soil that are also a few inches high. Place the seeds 2 feet apart from each other. Because cucumbers need to grow upwards, use a trellis which will help the plant to grow on it. You can harvest them once they reach full size. Once you start growing your own cucumbers, you’ll never go back to the store ones!
If you have cucumbers, why not plant tomatoes as well! They don’t need a lot of space, so they are perfect for small gardens and even balconies.
When it comes to growing tomatoes, you can either buy seeds for planting, or buy a young plant that already has a vine. There are plenty of tomato bush varieties. The Cherry Cascade one can be placed in hanging baskets and window boxes and require less work. Usually other types of tomatoes need to grow upwards just like cucumbers. You can again use trellis, or special kinds for hanging baskets, or wooden stake and tie the vine to it with garden wire. Harvest the tomatoes 12 weeks after planting. Generally, once they start turning red, they are ready to be picked up. Even if they still have a little bit of a green color, place them on your windowsill until they completely ripen. It’s interesting that one plant can also keep yielding fresh tomatoes every day for up to 6 years. This will save you many trips to the grocery store and money!
Onions and garlic are a base ingredient for almost every dish you want to cook. Growing those in your garden, will save you a lot of money and they are extremely easy to grow. Moreover, if stored in the right way, onions can last up to 8 months. And, you can put your garlic for months in the freezer and just pick up cloves as you need them.
In order to grow onions, buy green shoots of onions and plant them as whole onion bulbs. When it comes to garlic, plant them in single garlic cloves. Both plants need well-drained and dry soil and need to be planted in spring or autumn. They only need watering, but generally leave them grow by themselves as they are maintenance-free plants. When late summer arrives, and the foliage turns yellow and dies back, you can pick them up and dry them in the sun before it’s time for storage.
Herbs can come in handy with every meal, but they do cost a lot when both regularly from the store. So, why not grow them at your home – at the windowsill, in pots or in hanging baskets.
If you want to grow any herbs you can either buy seeds or buy already potted herb plants, which you can easily replant. Parsley, basil, sage and chives thrive well on the windowsill under the sun since they like warm temperatures. While thyme, mint, oregano and rosemary can be grown both outdoors and indoors. Basil, cilantro, chives, parsley, thyme and dill are one of the easiest to grow herbs, so everyone can start with those. And they are great herbs for pretty much every meal. If you decide to buy seeds, plant them 1 to 2 weeks after the last spring frost day and place them 1/8 inches deep into the soil, at least 10 inches apart from each other.
Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables to grow, full on iron. Plant spinach early spring, while the temperatures are still colder. Place the seeds about 2 inches apart from each other and ½ inch deep in the soil. Your spinach will need both sun and shade, so pick a place in your garden that gets both. After 3 to 5 weeks you can start cutting the leaves from the spinach. The plants will continue to grow, so don’t worry – you’ll have plenty of spinach for your salads and cooking endeavours. Be wary of caterpillars since they like eating the leaves of the kale. If you have both tomatoes and kale, grow them together. Tomatoes repel the caterpillars.
Kale has become more popular in recent years as a healthy, low in calories and a handy cooking ingredient. A packet of kale seeds cost only £1, which compared to supermarket costs, will save you tons of money. Kale can grow during any season. The plant can tolerate sun, but also cold temperatures. The best way to plant the seeds, however, is about 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost day. Place the seeds ¼ inches deep into the soil. Kale takes only 6 weeks to grow. Harvest the leaves by snipping them near the bottom of the plant. If you want the smaller baby leaves, cut them from near the crown of the plant. Caterpillars also go on kale, so make sure you watch for them.
Beetroot is another easy root vegetable to grow. It’s a great veggie to have fresh for salads and boiled or grilled for cooked dishes.
Beetroot seeds can be planted in moist ground from March to July. As they grow, you are going to need to move the seedlings to about 5 cm apart. Harvesting can happen between May or September, depending on when you planted the seeds. Beetroot usually needs 55-65 days to mature. There are few popular varieties of beetroots you can use – “Boltardy” as the most common one, and “Boldor”, which turns vibrant orange and has a sweet favour.
There you have them, some of the most popular food plants you can grow in your garden without even having much gardening experience. If you do, require some help however, with preparing the soil, or garden maintenance, you can always get in touch with a professional gardener.
Name: Dimo Koev
Dimo has 10+ years of experience in landscaping services, garden design and maintenance, lawn care, turfing, hedge trimming, weeding, fencing, decking, patio and driveway laying, planting, garden clearance, and more. He is the president of Professional Gardening Services, which delivers the bespoke gardening services in London. Dimo believes in constantly adapting, innovating and learning about his industry in order to deliver the best service to his clients. That’s why he is so enthusiastic and eager to share his knowledge and skills with everyone who needs gardening advice. Dimo’s photo: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UX5yeqv_DaeY_zwZrwYf36wgtMR416Jg/view