THE HONEST BROKER: EASY & INEXPENSIVE HOME VEGETABLE GARDENS
BY: DIANE LOTT, BROKER PARADISE FOUND REALTY, INC.
Inflation has continued to to “eat” away at our grocery budgets, no pun intended. We find that the produce in our markets is costing more and more money and the flex budget for going out to eat in restaurants has vanished. So, can we feed our families more efficiently, cheaply and add color to our yards? The answer to that is “yes”. Gardening experts have identified fool proof vegetables that are easy to grow for beginners and do not require much time or effort.
Gardening veggies can be done in limited space such as on balconies, terraces, as well as yards. They can be grown vertically as well as horizontally by using ladder containers for limited space. Various containers and/or pre-constructed elevated beds can be easily found at your local “big box” garden store for incredibly affordable prices. Creating home gardens are fun for the whole family, and if like-minded neighbors and friends join in, can be fruitful for many, as each person/family can grow different varieties and the harvests shared. The sooner you start your garden, the quicker you’ll see relief in your family budget. Now is the time to begin planting.
One of the most basic, quickest, and easy to grow vegetable plants to grow are salad greens. Believe it or not, with little care they are ready to use in about 3 to 4 weeks. It doesn’t require a lot of space, can grow well in partially shady areas and little sprouts of lettuce can be seen in about 10 days and begin plucking leaves when your plant is 3 to 4 inches tall.
Container gardens and cucumbers are a match made in heaven. When you grow cucumber vines in pots, it becomes easier to train the vines and ensure they get enough water. Given plenty of sunshine and water they will thrive, and you will probably have fresh cucumbers for your table all season long
Bush or Green Beans
Bush beans are one of those vegetables that grow in the blink of an eye and love being grown in warm soil, rarely need any additional fertilizer as they obtain nitrogen from the atmosphere and have deep roots that mine the soil for minerals. For an extended harvest of bush beans sow your beans successively, about 1 sowing every 2 weeks over the whole season. Bush beans are ready in about 50 days after sowing seeds.
Although carrots love full sun they can also grow well in partial shade. Deep, well-drained soil and a raised bed are perfect for growing. These easy to grow vegetables enjoy a deep cool soil, generous amount of water.
Summer Squash and Zucchini
Zucchini, which is also a type of summer squash, is a refreshing vegetable that is packed with vitamins and minerals. They grow well in containers and do not require much space and harvesting the plant regularly to make room for new growth as one plant can pump out dozens.
This is possibly the most popular crop among gardeners because it is easy to grow and produces big harvests. You can grow it in garden soil as well as containers and hanging baskets. Tomatoes need a good amount of sunlight and decent support when the fruit begins to form. They grow best directly from seeds.
Basil/ Oregano/ Thyme
These are such fragrant herbs and gives a good flavor to soups, salads and just about any dish that it is added to. You can grow them in pots or directly into the soil easily and only requires warm soil and occasional water to thrive. These herb gardens can be grown inside by a window.
Spinach is also a quick and easy to grow crop. The leaves grow very quickly in cool weather and adds color and flavor and is a powerhouse of nutrition and very high in minerals! Spinach is heat sensitive so choose a nice shady place for planting it.
The average American eats about 114 pounds of potatoes every year. It can be grown with little effort you will have fresh potatoes from your own garden all year long! Potatoes are perfect for growing in containers and the containers make harvesting much easier by inverting the pot and find the tubers. When growing in a container make sure that your pot is at least 2.5 gallons, and the plant is not overwatered.
Bell peppers can be grown in open spaces as well as containers. To get different colored peppers such as green, yellow, and orange all you need to do is let the fruits ripen for different periods. All fruits start off as green and ripe to either red, orange, or yellow.
Enjoy creating your own colorful gardens of vegetables and herbs. Bon Appetit!!
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