If you’ve been in search of a healthy hobby you can take up, you might have decided on gardening. However, in case you’re still not sure whether this is the right choice, you might want to take into account the fact that taking care of a garden is not only good for your physical and mental health but it also provides you with fresh produce on a regular basis, which can lead to you eating a healthier diet. Moreover, it comes with multiple environmental benefits. With all that in mind, you might be wondering which veggies and fruits you should grow. While picking those you like to eat the most is important, you should also decide based on the conditions available. Without further ado, here are some varieties that you should consider.
If you like lettuce, you’ll be glad to hear that you can easily grow it at home. It is a great source of iron, folate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium as well as vitamins A, C, and K. You can choose from a wide variety of lettuce, including Romaine, iceberg, butterhead, and endive. Lettuce grows best in spring and fall. Keep in mind that the seeds germinate in 2-12 days and the crops will mature in 45-55 days. Moreover, if you keep geese or ducks in your yard, you want to fence off your lettuce as these birds will eat it before you get a chance to.
Learning more about gardening means that you will soon realize that there are some practices that will help you make the most of the space at your disposal. One such practice is crop rotation. With that in mind, after you’re done with lettuce, you can start growing carrots. Carrots are amazing as they have a wide variety of use, from soups and stews to salads and standalone snacks. A good source of antioxidants, manganese, copper, iron, fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B6, B9, C, and K, carrots can be slow to sprout so be patient as the wait can be anywhere from five days to three weeks. Additionally, you can also use the green parts of the plant.
Another plant that is rich in iron, calcium, folate, vitamins A, C, and K as well as antioxidants and fiber, kale is a food that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Whether you prefer salads, smoothies, or sautés, opting for this superfood is a great move. Kale is best grown in full sun but it will also tolerate partial shade. This plant is biennial, meaning that it produces plenty of edible leaves one year, while the next you can expect flowers and seeds. Plus, it is very hardy and can remain green even during winter.
Companion planting is another practice that is beneficial for gardeners. With that in mind, you can think about planting garlic next to your kale, as it will keep mites, moths, aphids, and flea beetles away from your crops. Moreover, you will also have delicious garlic for your meals. While you can plant it in the spring, doing it in the fall will give you bigger and better crops. The tiny bulb can provide you with vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, sodium, zinc, and phosphorus.
On the other hand, we cannot forget about all the tasty fruits you can also grow in your yard. For example, strawberries don’t require a lot of maintenance and they are great if you are a beginner. Although strawberries can grow all year round in the right conditions, you want to plant them in the fall. In case your winters are a bit colder, you can even plant them at the beginning of spring. It should take around 16 weeks before you can harvest your strawberries and snack on them or use them in smoothies and salads. They are a great source of potassium and vitamin C as well as antioxidants, in addition to many other nutrients.
Blackberries and Raspberries
Whether you have a spacious yard or a tiny balcony, rest assured that you can also grow blackberries and raspberries. While they are a bit more difficult to grow, they are perennials, meaning that you will have produce year after year. If you take proper care of them, they can last you a few decades. You want to plant them in the spring, once there is no threat of frost. Moreover, you will need to prune these varieties regularly. If their tastiness is not reason enough, remember that they are loaded with antioxidants, high in fiber, and provide you with nutrients such as folate, copper, manganese, and vitamins C and K1.
The variety of fruits and vegetables that you can choose from truly abounds. Start with those that are great for beginners and expand your garden as your skills grow. No matter what you opt for, having fresh food at home is always a plus, for you and the family.