Seven easy vegetables to grow at home
Rising costs at the supermarket and worries about unhealthy pesticides or preservatives on foods has led many people to start a vegetable garden at home.
Growing vegetables is easier than one would think. Plus, you don't need an expansive plot of land to grow a garden. Many popular varieties can be grown right in containers or in compact spaces.
Perhaps you're wondering what vegetables are the easiest to grow if this is your first attempt at a food-based garden. There are several to try.
*Tomatoes. While commonly considered vegetables, tomatoes are actually fruits. But tomatoes can be an integral part of a vegetable garden. Tomatoes are high in lycopene and other antioxidants. There are also myriad varieties to tempt your palate. Tomatoes can be planted after the soil has thawed and there is no other chance for frost. They'll require plenty of sunlight. Fruit will be available to harvest toward the latter part of the summer.
*Zucchini. Zucchini are an Italian squash variety that appear similar to a cucumber. They can be green or yellow in coloring. This vegetable is full of potassium, folate and manganese, making it a great addition to your menu. Zucchini take about a month to mature and be ready to harvest. They grow on vines and produce large flowers before bearing fruit.
*Beets. Root vegetables like beets and radishes work well in the garden as well. The bright purple color of beets indicates they are full of many essential vitamins and minerals. Toss beets in salads or use them in the traditional soup, borscht.
*Carrots. Another subterranean-growing veggie, carrots require moist soil as they germinate, but as the plants mature need less water. Carrots can be enjoyed in a number of ways and are a staple of cooking year-round.
*Peas. Peas grow inside the pods of legumes. These plants like moist soil that drains well. Water frequently but make sure the soil doesn't become flooded if you want peas to flourish.
*Peppers. Peppers come in so many varieties it's easy to find ones that appeal to your taste in cooking. Generally peppers thrive in soil high in magnesium. Using compost and Epsom salt in the soil can help achieve the environment peppers desire.
*Lettuce. Lettuce is another staple and the basis for many salad dishes. Lettuce also tops sandwiches and can be filled and wrapped for other recipe ideas. Seeds should be planted between eight and 16 inches apart. Water in the morning instead of at night to prevent disease from developing.