|Top Twelve Easy To Grow Vegetables!|
|Gardening has become more accessible to different demographics in the last fifteen-twenty years. The old myth that vegetable gardening is a rich man’s hobby due to it being expensive is pure folly.|
Many vegetables are very easy to grow.
Backyard gardening or what was initially called ‘Victory Gardening’ or ‘War Gardens’ in the USA and Canada and ‘Digging for Victory’ in the UK became an essential aspect of motivational gardening during the war years.
Surplus lands, waste grounds, even inside bomb craters were being used and utilised and requisitioned in the case of sports fields, playing parks and grazing areas for growing vegetables. In Britain alone by 1943, allotments had increased to well over 1 million plots.
Radio programmes dedicated to growing vegetables such as potatoes and leeks became regular entertainment. The purpose was to ‘do what you could for the war effort and aid the rationing issues’.
Herb plots were created and maintained always to have medicinal properties on board when the enemy made shortages through sinkings and blockades of merchant shipping.
After the war ended, backyard farming became a popular pastime due to the still ever-present food shortages, and these remained the case till the early to middle years of the fifties.
Homegrown vegetable gardening took a slump from the ’70s to the ’80s. With the arrival of the Millenium and the turn of the century, vegetable gardening enthusiasts and enthusiasm has once again risen to astonishing levels due to the increased awareness of environmental, climatic changes, organic and sustainable healthy food lifestyle and living.
|More people these days understand the importance of growing your own all too well. There are many reasons gardeners decide to take on board the challenge, ranging from making savings to the wallet, especially with the continually rising cost of living.|
The quality of food that we buy from our supermarkets and grocers is much poorer than at the turn of the century. Consumers place enormous demands on commercial growers and so much so that these same growers cut corners and start to try and develop foods that do not even need growing almost!
The result is our bought foods are soiling and spoiling so much quicker than ever before due to bad farming practices and overuse of exploitive chemicals.
|However, if more grounded reasons for growing were needed …|
|Growing your food means more control on your side and no chemicals, more flavours, more taste and more nutrition.|
Gardening is an incredible way to stay healthy and fitter, as well as being involved in the outside environment – soil alone – the very touch of it is a remarkable motivator.
You do save money despite what many think – you DO save money, and once your garden is working and you are maintaining it, we are not talking a few pennies here and there. We are talking a lot of money. Yes, there will always be an initial monetary investment and a physical time element – but over time, your garden will produce its weight in gold.
Organic gardening is helping the environment, and it’s assisting your planet, our planet, the planet full stop. If everyone did something gardening wise, the impact would be astronomical on our planet. Recycling, composting, worm farming, litter collection, upcycling and vegetable gardening are listed among the significant issues that can help our environment help us.
Having your garden – be this wildlife, vegetable or ornamental, herbal or whatever also helps our pollinators thrive and survive.
Grow vegetables and motivate your own self – sustainability independence to boot! Trust me when l say that there is an incredible sense of pride and achievement when you, with your own two hands, have created food for your table, for your family, for your friends or even for sales!
There are many reasons to grow your vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers, and they all far outweigh the myth that gardening is an expensive hobby only.
|Top Twelve Easy To Grow Vegetables!|
|Sow from February [Indoors] to April [Outdoors Greenhouse]and Harvest from July through November.|
Hot peppers, or chillies and sweet peppers, are easy to grow. This plant loves heat – pending where you are in the world, they can be quickly grown outside as well as indoors.
The general rule for growing is ‘the hotter the variety, the hotter the temperature required to ripen’. Sowing seeds now, ready for the seedlings to be hardened off and planted outside in May/June, with fruits available from July through to November.
|2 – Salad Greens|
|Sow from March through to August – some varieties allow for longer sowing. Harvest from April through till September.|
There is an extensive range of products available that fall into this category: spinach varieties, rocket, wild rocket, corn salad, oriental greens, mizuna, mustards, Kale, parsley, nasturtium, marigold and much more pending and reflective upon your idea of a salad. They are easy to grow also … sow seed into a pot and keep well watered.
You could have these on your windowsills in the house or the kitchen and cut as and when you need them. Keep harvesting, and the salads will keep on producing for the season.
So you are not overrun with salad leaves, try succession growing, as in sowing new seeds once every 2 – 3 weeks, so you always have a continuous flow of fresh leaves.
The growing hint here is to prevent crops bolting or running to seed too quickly – water frequently.
|3 – Radish|
|Sow a month after the last frost through to August – some varieties allow for longer sowing. Harvest from April through till September.|
Who doesn’t like these little peppery and spicy vegetables? In addition to the hot fruit, you can also eat their leaves – if young you can use them in salads and if older then cook like spinach!
There are so many varieties of radish available, so you’ll not be hard pushed to find one you like.
The beauty of radish is that you can grow them indoors in a pot equally as outdoors in a larger container or a raised bed or the ground. There are microgreen varieties of radish available now also.
Water like salads as they can quickly bolt or run to seed or, if left too long, they become very woody and lose all taste. The more water they have encourages healthy growth too.
|4 – Beetroot|
|Sow from March through August and harvest from later April through early October.|
Once more, the gardener is spoilt for choice with beetroot varieties. Sow into moist soil and keep this root crop watered to prevent bolting. The best size for harvesting is when the root is golf ball size, but if not, then, no bigger than a cricket ball for better results and flavour.
This is a great vegetable to enjoy raw in salads or cooked and added to roasts or side serving.
|5 – Runner Beans|
|Growing Runner Beans|
|Sow in soil direct outdoors from April through to June and harvest from July through October. |
Runner Beans are one of the most straightforward bean varieties to grow, they are quicker and, in my opinion, more efficient as a grower to say climbing beans, and they produce a higher yield ratio.
The secret to plentiful harvests is to pick the fruit often, encouraging the plant to produce a crop for you continually. Like many bean varieties, runner beans need to be trained to grow up a support system like perhaps a cane wigwam or a wire or wooden trestle or, indeed, the string method. You can grow in the ground, containers, or raised beds; there is a lot of versatility with runner beans.
Beans drink a LOT of water, so ensure you mulch the growing spot well to retain moisture.
|6 – Peas|
|Sow from February to June and Harvest from June till October.|
Peas don’t mind cooler weather – so whilst you can sow seed indoors earlier, this vegetable can survive being sewn directly to the ground earlier than others.
Like the runner beans, however, they will also need a support system in place and once they have achieved their optimum height – remember to pinch out the tops. This is a continuous harvest cropper, so the more you pick during the growing season, the more harvestable bounty the plants provide.
|7 – Potatoes|
|Sow late February through to March and harvest from July through to September.|
Despite what many growers think, potato is not that hard a crop to grow; it requires a little more preparation than the others already listed.
The best results l think for this particular vegetable are in bags or containers, although other gardeners swear by direct to ground sowing and growing.
The secret to success is covering the shoots to encourage healthier growth, with soil or compost soil and water well. They love water. When the foliage dies off, as it turns yellow and brown, dig out your potatoes or empty your bag and scrabble around for your spuds!
|8 – Broad Beans|
|Growing Broad Beans|
|Sow November through to March and Harvest from June onwards.|
Sow to small pots or containers first indoors around November or sow directly to the ground in February. Stake as required to encourage growth, keep well watered. Pinch out the tops when they are around two and a half to three feet in height. This will ensure continuous development and crop production and reduce pest problems.
|9 – Onions|
|Sow indoors Later February or direct to ground March to April, harvest crop July through to September.|
Mostly an easy maintained vegetable to grow – for best results – plant in sets – quicker than seeds. Onions appreciate well-drained compost-rich soils and some decent sun. Only water if the weather is dry, as in don’t overwater – onions don’t like excess watering.
Harvest the crop when the leaves turn yellow and die off. If the onions start to flower, pick these out to encourage the growth of the bulbs. There are alternative options to conventional onions found in the likes of Spring Onions.
|10 – Garlic|
|Sow from October through to February and harvest between June to August.|
Garlic loves a well-drained soil – they are, as a vegetable crop, low maintenance. Sow the cloves in the autumn months and then leave. Like onions, when the foliages start to yellow off, turn brown and die, this is the time of harvest, which is usually in the summer months from the start to the later part of the season.
|11 – Carrots|
|Sow seed from February through to July and harvest from May through to October/November [pending variety].|
Carrots are easy to grow vegetables.
They need more preparation, and they have a few more requirements due to their potential growth lengths. To avoid stunted and deformed growth, some gardeners often prefer compost soil mixed with sand to ensure that the earth is fluffy and light. I am opting for simply a nicely rich and stone-free compost soil – finely graded.
You could buy your own bagged graded compost and plant direct and mix in perhaps 30% sand with it if you wished to loosen the heaviness up of the compost. Still, a finely graded and sieved compost will do the job just as nicely or ensure you sieve your purchased compost.
Wonky carrots result from the root hitting a solid and then forking or deciding to offshoot in another direction for the remainder of the growth.
Once the carrots start to grow, thin the seedlings – they do not like crowding or sharing with weeds – thinning enables a thicker root crop – balanced watering also ensures pests are kept to a minimum – although you might consider netting during their growing times.
You could try growing in containers, pots, buckets or even grow bags for best results. I have known some gardeners grow them in beer caskets.
|12 – Kale|
|Sow seed from March to June indoors, plant seedlings between April and June, and harvest fruit from September through March.|
It can be grown in pots, containers, raised beds, directly to the ground, and Grow bags. The biggest problem with this vegetable is predatory behaviour, especially from pigeons and blackbirds – so protect with netting.
Young Kale is really sweet, whilst older Kale is quite woody. Sprouting is excellent in salads.
|Thanks for reading – see you next time|
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