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Growing your own fruits and veggies at home is great for the environment and can save you a ton of money in groceries. So why are so many not taking advantage of this and starting their own garden?
Most people shy away from growing at home because they fear that it is the process is too difficult and time consuming. It is usually assumed that you require tons of space and that the foods you are growing are fickle. This, for the most part, is untrue. In fact, lots of your favorite foods can be grown in your kitchen windowsill.
We live in a world where even the banana you eat is genetically modified. Foods like this don’t have the same health benefits as naturally grown options. It is becoming more and more appealing to start your own garden. The rising prices of produce makes eating unhealthy easier than ever before. The mixens for a hearty salad simply can’t compete with the price of dinner in a box.
Not only do you get to enjoy your harvest, but it can also bring your family closer together. Make this a family affair and get everyone involved. It will make your garden a social gathering point and allow you to share time with your loved ones.
It is estimated that per square foot of growing space you can yield 0.5 pounds of fresh produce. Adding in the small amount of space that freshly grown herbs take and you can start yourself a home based money saving business.
We have created a list of 10 of the easiest foods you can grow right from your own home. All of the ones on our list are easy to grow and do not require you to have a green thumb.
1. Herb Garden
The look of your herb garden can vary drastically. You can grow many in jars for their entire life, while some people might like to walk down rows of their garden in their yard.
Starting your own herb garden is something everyone should take part in. Herbs such as Cilantro, Basil, Thyme, Chives and Rosemary can easily grow in a mason jar. These are low maintenance herbs that grow and rejuvenate so quickly it allows you can enjoy fresh herbs night after night.
One that is not to be forgotten is peppermint. This herb grows like a weed even in a very small area. It is easy to dry and can be used for many home remedies such as headaches as well as used to make fresh tea or add some flavour to a meal.
Many herbs are great for adding to salads, pastas and stir frys. As a bonus, the herbs you grow can easily be dried and kept for even longer. Throw them in a nice jar and try gifting them to friends over the Christmas season.
Herbs such as basil are great natural pest repellants. Try killing two birds with one stone by planting some in amongst your garden with other vegetables to ensure your food stays looking and tasting great.
Having your own herb garden is an easy way to save some money and have great tasting food on hand.
2. Lettuce and Kale
Lettuce, like many other leafy greens, are incredibly easy to grow. So easy in fact you can even grow it in a large tupperware container or in a deep pot on your patio.
Growing your own heads of lettuce and kale, can even be done in areas that aren’t in full sunlight. Hiding a few bulbs of lettuce mixed in with your favorite flowers will allow your garden to have the look you are going for while feeding the family.
Since this vegetable grows so close to the soil it is prone to slugs and bugs eating it. An easy, and natural, way to combat this is by crunching up some egg shells and making a trail around the stems.
This will detract slugs and other pests from crawling up your stalks and munching on them as the sharp shells doesn’t feel good on their skin. Also, there are no harsh chemicals to worry about keeping your food organic.
This is a great starter plant as they are robust enough to withstand some neglect. If you miss some days watering them, they will still grow strong and give you enough food to last the season.
These are one of the most popular vegetables to grow in a garden. This means that there are many step by step guides and how to’s that you can use if needed. You likely won’t need them though as growing tomatoes is easy to do and takes up less space than you realize.
Tomatoes are versatile. They can be hung in baskets, or in a dedicated garden. The biggest thing that is needed when growing Tomatoes is a support for the stalk to grow on. Hanging baskets are great for this. Adding a stake for them to grow up or investing in a tomato cage can be done in a garden or a small pot.
Planting your crop in an area with lots of sun will ensure you have the most success with growing your tomatoes. For those who would prefer to go the safer route almost every garden centre will have a potted tomato plant that will continue to bloom throughout the season.
Even though tomatoes only grow in the summertime and typically stop come the first frost they are great for canning. Having a few extra stalks, while picking them continuously, will allow you enough fresh foods to last through the winter. This is a great way to save money all year round.
Even if you don’t have space for a garden, or a patio, you can still grow peppers. Simply get some seeds and place them in dirt along a sunny window frame. They will need sun for at least 6 to 8 hours of the day. You’ll see them sprout and grow in no time.
The trick for peppers is to plant them in composted soil and water regularly (but be careful not to overwater them). You should see them grow around 1 – 2 inches per week.
From bell to habaneros there are many different types of peppers. Some will grow better and require less maintenance than others. It is worthwhile to can the peppers to last you through the winter. Try pickling them to create a delicious jalapeño pepper. As a bonus, a well made marinade can for pickling can double as a delicious sauce for seasoning meat or even tofu.
Cucumbers are a great fruit to grow under cover, say on a patio. They grow vertically and thus don’t take up very much room. This growth means that they require additional support for climbing such as a spike or a cage.
Cucumbers require a lot of sunlight as well as warmer temperatures. Putting them in an area such as under a patio will provide additional warmth that will allow your fruits to flourish.
The beauty of cucumbers is that with plenty of water, they grow to abundance. You will likely have far more than you need for the summer. Try pickling your cucumbers and canning them to last you all through the wintertime. This will go over well with the family as well as save you money and have you eating delicious food the whole year.
These little vegetables are one of the best for inside growers. Many garden and home improvement stores have prepackaged containers for you to start with. These usually come with a cardboard (biodegradable) box, soil, and seeds already mixed and ready to go. All you need to do is follow the instructions and you’ll have mushrooms in a couple weeks.
Mushrooms are organisms that like cool, dark places. Attics and cupboards are a perfect home. The best part is that they need almost no maintenance. Simply water them once and they are all set. An ideal temperature range is between 50 – 65℉ (10 – 18℃). The only thing you’ll have to do is crop the mushrooms. This means cutting pieces off so that it has room to grow.
Canning is a popular choice for mushrooms. This will allow you to enjoy your crop all year long saving you money even throughout the wintertime. Alternatively, as this plant is largely grown indoor, you can have mushrooms growing fresh all year. There are countless dishes you can add mushrooms to. From pasta to salad you will learn to add this delicious vegetable to everything.
Carrots are root plants and therefore need deeper ground to grow in. Keep in mind that carrots are a bit trickier than others on this list because they require a bit more room and it isn’t as obvious when they are fully sprouted. With that, they are among the easiest to grow as they are resilient against weather and neglect.
Typically sprouting between 21-25 days, carrots grow anytime between the end of winter and mid-fall. Although this crop does need more depth to prosper you can grow a few species, such as round carrots, in boxes or planters.
Eggplant is another plant that is incredibly easy to grow and expensive to buy. That makes it a no brainer to grow at home. Eggplant is a great filler food and is incredibly versatile. It can be added to stews, curries, or even made as a main course.
The great part about this vegetable is that it can easily be grown in pots for those who lack garden space. This plant does require some ground depth, at least five inches, so that your eggplants grow to full size. With larger planters you can easily grow a few per box.
Eggplant, while not requiring as much as tomatoes, does require some support that can be found from a stake or pole. This plant needs a lot of warmth and therefore can prosper indoors in a sun room or windowsill during the wintertime.
As a bonus, try planting this crop in a clay pot. This will act as a conductor adding heat to your crop and allowing it to grow well.
Everybody loves this sweet fruit. Growing them is actually quite easy. Contrary to common thought strawberries actually like smaller spaces making them perfect for growing inside. Much like other fruit and vegetables, strawberries need lots of sunlight. Strawberries are so versatile that you can use imitation sunlight. This is simply a special light bulb you can screw into a lamp allowing you to grow this tasty fruit year round.
You will be amazed with how different these taste when they come straight from the garden. They cannot be matched by storebought crates. With the high prices of this fruit, growing them at home is sure to save you a ton of money.
Many people don’t use Zucchinis in their everyday meals, but that will change once you taste your harvest. They are easy to grow and require little to no maintenance. All you need to do is keep an eye on it and pick the zucchini when it fully matures.
Expect up to three sticks a week, a good return for such a low cost and effort plant. They need moisture and prefer warm soil. Throw these plans on your patio or window sill and forget about them.
If you want to completely forget about these little plants you can get a watering bulb. Essentially this is a ball you fill with water and stick into the soil. The water will slowly flow down the stem and keep your plants at the perfect moisture point.
Growing your own food at home is a great way to save money as well as reduce your environmental footprint. You do not require a lot of space in order to start your own garden. In fact you should have no problem doing so from a fifth story apartment building. While lots of plants just require a windowsill, some may need the fresh air and direct sunlight of a balcony.
Starting your own garden and learning to can your favourite foods go hand in hand. This easy process allows you to reap the benefits of your new garden all year long. This will not only save you money but it will make your family much healthier.
Have you ever wanted to start your own garden? Try any one of these easy to grow produce and let us know how it worked in the comment section below.