The Joys of Vegetable Gardening
Humans are natural nurturers and cultivators, with gardening and farming being a part of our history in some capacity since the beginning. We not only get many of our vitamins and minerals from the gardens that we can grow, but we also get boosts of happy hormones as we dig our hands into the soil, as we water, and see life spring up from the earth that we have cultivated. As society transformed to living in cities and suburbs more often than rural or countryside areas, more people began shopping exclusively at grocery stores for quicker meals, rather than feeding their family through what they planted and farmed themselves. However, during the pandemic, more people endeavored to go back to their roots and try their hand at gardening once again, and since, many people have begun to transition entirely to a life of homesteading. Gardening vegetables may sound like a complicated thing to begin and succeed at, but it does not have to be. Here are some of the easier, more low-maintenance vegetables that you can start with.
Vegetable Plants for Hot Areas with Little Water
Some areas may be hot and dry, or maybe you want a vegetable plant that requires less watering for those days that you may forget, or when you go on vacation. There are many vegetables that can be drought-tolerant and hardy. Here are just a few that you may want to grow in your garden.
- Swiss Chard: this leafy green vegetable contains vitamins A, K, and C, and does not require as much watering as many other vegetable plants. This plant requires 1 inch of water a week, either through rainfall or manual watering.
- Sweet Potatoes: this deliciously sweet potato variety can also be drought tolerant, requiring water just once a week after they are established. When first planted, it is beneficial to water daily for the first week, and every other day the second week.
- Peppers: this popular vegetable has many varieties, from spicy to sweet, and they are drought tolerant. The spicy variety of peppers need more sun to produce more heat, and all peppers require a longer season of hot weather to grow properly. They still need to be watered, but they will survive with less amounts of water than most plants.
- Okra: this vegetable is great fried, and is seen in the south quite often. This may be attributed to its ability to tolerate hot conditions with little water. Make sure they get an inch of water a week, and they can be ready to harvest and eat soon.
Vegetable Plants for Beginners
You may live in an area where the summer season is shorter, or you know that you will have time to water your plants properly and often, but want to start off growing vegetables that may not need as much upkeep, or that can endure over-watering. Here are some vegetable plants that are great for beginning gardeners.
- Green Beans: green beans are great to start out with, even if your soil quality is not great, as they can fix the nitrogen levels in the soil for proper growth. These can grow relatively fast, and there are different varieties for different climates. Plant these after the last frost, and keep the soil moist.
- Radishes: this crisp vegetable is very rich in antioxidants, and great in salads. These can be planted as the soil thaws and you can work with it, even before the last frost. They are a quick-growing vegetable, and can be harvested in less than a month.
- Kale: this vegetable is great to grow at home where you can make sure it remains organic, as much of the store-bought kale is covered in pesticides. It can be planted in spring or fall, and is great in place of spinach in many recipes.
- Summer Squash: squash can grow extremely well if planted correctly, and you may end up with more squash than you know what to do with. Keep it watered well, watch the big blooms turn into delicious squash, and find some neighbors to share with.
- Cucumbers: most everyone loves cucumbers, so growing them yourself is a great way to ensure that you have a surplus of them for salads, to dip in hummus, or for pickling. They do climb, and as such, need something that they can grow up, like climbing stalks. Keep them well-watered, give them ample sunlight and shade, and you can have cucumbers in no time.
Gardening Made Simple
Starting a vegetable garden all on your own can be a daunting, but worthwhile task that will pay off in the long-run. Growing your own vegetables used to be the norm everywhere – supermarkets were the rarity. Now we have plenty of vegetables at our disposal, but many of them are not organic and covered in toxic pesticides, and you do not get the amazing satisfaction of growing them yourself when you purchase them at the grocery store. There are many vegetables that can grow relatively easy, even for a beginning gardener, but don’t just stop there! As you grow and learn, try out new vegetables each season to expand your knowledge and growing capabilities. No one is just magically born with a green-thumb, and if you generally kill every plant you buy, you can learn to grow your own garden. It takes practice and knowledge, things that no one can just know when they start out. Certain plants require different sunlight, different watering patterns, and different soil makeup in order to grow. Once you establish your garden and what you want to have a steady surplus of, stick with it and eventually you can get it down. Your family will immensely benefit from your journey to becoming a gardener, and so will the earth as you cultivate organically and with lots of care. Take heart, gardening can be difficult, but so worth it in the end. If you have any questions about starting your own garden you can contact us here.