Gardens are the heart of the world – well, gardens and rivers. You will need food to survive, so knowing how to grow your own is an awesome first step! Check out another article here on how to start your very first garden!
While some gardens are extensive and hearty, you may want to wet your feet before taking on something so expansive. Below are a list of 9 awesome vegetables to start growing.
- Beets. Low in calories, but high in fiber, this vegetable is a great addition to any meal. Their color comes from betanin, which can aid your immune system. Beets can be planted in spring and be enjoyed through the late spring and summer. Beets are great for making dressings, pickling, borscht, and salads – along with many other creative uses. Their color can be made into a dye for clothing.
- Carrots. Another root vegetable, carrots are a popular and healthy treat, as they are delicious raw or cooked, cold or hot. Their pigment, known as beta carotene, is the same compound your body uses to make Vitamin A. And why is Vitamin A so great? Well, it is essential for visions, healthy skin, and, again, for a healthy immune system. Carrots go well in salads, dressings, stir-frys, soups, stews, chilies, cakes, and tasty treats!
- Cucumbers. Although many think they are just mostly water, cucumbers are fiber rich and that extra hydration can be extremely helpful and refreshing. Cucumbers go great in salads, seared and a protein, pickles (becoming pickles), soups, and various other great things.
- Lettuce of all colors, shapes and sizes. Probably one of the easiest to grow, lettuce is a great choice for any beginner or advanced gardener. Many people think lettuce is just for salads, but you can add a bunch to any burger, sandwich, or any other dish for added nutrients. Leafy greens supply your body with Vitamin A, C, K, and folate – all things that are needed for a healthy body. Folate is especially good for pregnant women.
- Tomatoes. Tomatoes are great for a garden of any size, as they can grow on the ground, hanging basket, or a terrace of some sort. A good tip for tomatoes, is to grow basil (which is also simple to grow) and it acts like a natural pest repellent.
- Beans, beans, and more beans. Bush beans, pole beans, and runner beans are all excellent, choice additions to your garden. Runner bean vines are great for fences and terraces, giving more ground space for other vegetables. Pole and bush beans are also great choices, are high producers if picked often.
- Corn, also known as gold. A much-appreciated staple in Native American cultures, corn is low in sugar and adds protein and fiber to your diet. It is also a great source of magnesium, potassium, antioxidants, and Vitamin C. You can use corn to make tortillas, polenta, flours, and in soups, sauces, tacos, and pretty much every other meal you can think of.
- Pumpkins, squash, oh my! You can make pumpkins in to a pie, or use them for decoration. Squash and pumpkins are great sources of fiber, potassium, and Vitamin C, and support heart health. You can even dry and toast the seeds for all year nutrition (and for planting a later crop!) Squash is also known for support your immune system, with nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin C, E, B, B6, calcium, and various other nutrients.
- The last staple for this list are potatoes. Potatoes store well when kept at cold temperatures, so keeping them an extended length of time is easy to do. Another awesome, fun fact is that potatoes are the seeds for making potatoes. Did you get that? That’s right. All you need is one spare potato to get started. “Plant” the potato in some straw during early spring, or lightly in dirt, and wait for it to grow!
These are great recommendations for an all-around good garden. Pick a few crops to start out with, and soon you will have a flourishing garden-scape! I buy my seeds almost exclusively from Seeds Now! They sell organic, non-GMO seeds, for fair prices. They have tons of sales and bundles to check out, too. Check them out here!
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