Discover the easiest vegetables to grow at home
It’s important to have some triumphs on the board as quickly as possible when you’re a beginner to organic farming. To encourage you to give it a try, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 simplest vegetables to cultivate. You’ll be scratching your head wondering why you didn’t try it sooner after you see how simple it is to cultivate your own tasty, healthy vegetables.
So start with them, and once you’ve had success with these, you may look into other vegetables, fruits, and nuts to try. Always keep in mind your climate zone so that you can work in harmony with Mother Nature.
Radishes are possibly the most straightforward vegetable to begin with. They grow in all temperatures, and in temperate zones, they can be found all year. The other amazing thing about them is that they mature quickly, taking only 4 or 5 weeks from seed to eating.
Because they develop so quickly, they rarely suffer insect or disease concerns.
If you’ve previously added organic compost to the soil, all you have to do now is keep the water flowing, especially in hot, dry weather – mulch in the summer, but not in the winter. If you’ve used a lot of seed, you might need to thin them down as they grow. If you wait till they’re a fair size, they’ll grow woody.
Spinach, Swiss Chard, or Silverbeet
This group of vegetables has a lot in common and is also quite easy to grow. Although spinach thrives in chilly regions, silverbeet may be grown all year in temperate zones.
Soak the seeds overnight if you’re starting from scratch. Sow seeds 30cm (12 inches) apart by laying them on the soil surface and poking them to a depth of about 1cm with your finger (half inch). Fill the well with water and cover with earth.
In warmer weather, keep them properly watered and add organic fertiliser once a month, with an organic liquid fertiliser feed every now and then. Mulching with compost or pea-straw will aid in water conservation, weed control, and soil nutrition.
Pick from the exterior when the leaves are large enough to use, leaving at least 5 or 6 stalks in the centre to let the plant to continue developing.
Chilies and Capsicum (peppers)
These plants are related to one another and flourish under similar circumstances. They’re a warm-weather veggie that won’t bear fruit if the temperature drops too low at night. Both capsicum and chillies can be grown in pots.
If you grow capsicum robustly, you may need to stake them for wind protection, since they can grow up to 80cm tall (30inches).
In the spring, sow in seed boxes. When your seedlings are 15cm (6inches) tall, transfer them into compost-filled beds spaced 50cm (20inches) apart.
When they begin to flower, fertilise with organic pellets every 4 to 5 weeks. Make sure you don’t overdo it, otherwise you’ll wind up with plants that are incredibly healthy but produce very little fruit.
Capsicum can be harvested at any time, but the vitamin C content is significantly higher if you wait for the fruit to become red (they all start off green).
Allow chilies to ripen on the plant before harvesting and using them fresh. If you want to dry any, place them in a dark, dry, and airy location for a few weeks. They’ll keep for a long time in glass jars. Always avoid touching your eyes after handling chilies because it is really uncomfortable. Hands should be completely washed.
Tomatoes may be grown in a variety of soils and temperatures, with the exception of the coldest. And because cherry tomatoes are the easiest to plant, they are ideal for beginner gardeners. They’ll also thrive as tub specimens. Staking them isn’t necessary if you don’t mind them sprawling around the place a little.
Because they are frost tender, you can start them indoors if you live in a region where late frosts occur. Transplant your seedlings into their permanent location, whether it’s a tub or the ground, after they reach 15 – 20cm (6-8inches).
If you’re going to stake them, do it beforehand to avoid damaging their delicate root structure. Tomatoes, unlike most other plants, benefit from being planted deeper in the ground than they were in the seedling box. Even the bottom leaves can be buried. This is beneficial to the plant because it allows it to grow roots all the way up to the soil surface, providing it additional stability and access to water and nutrients.
If you’re planting them in the ground, make sure they’re at least 50cm (20inches) apart.
Deep water your plants on a regular basis, and cover them with a thick layer of mulch.
If you plant your tomatoes in compost-rich soil, you’ll only need to apply liquid fertiliser after they begin to fruit. As a foliar spray, use an excellent organic liquid manure like Seasol or Maxicrop.
To encourage more fruit, pick your tomatoes as they ripen.
Zucchini is one of the easiest vegetables to cultivate and produces a lot of fruit. They never stop providing! Zucchini is a member of the cucumber, melon, and pumpkin family with a long growth season.
In late April, or after frosts have passed, sow 2 or 3 seeds straight into a mound of thoroughly composted soil. You can encourage zucchini to climb up a trellis or a fence to avoid powdery mildew. Pull out all but the strongest seedlings when they are around 10cm (4inches) tall.
To feed a family of four to six people, you’ll need roughly three or four mounds (plants). Water them frequently and fertilise them with organic fertiliser every 4 weeks or so. It’s time to select the zucchini when they reach a length of 15 to 20 cm (6-8 inches). Keep a watch on them since they can develop very quickly – literally overnight – so keep an eye on them or you’ll wind up with inedible vegetables. To keep the yields high, select them as soon as they’re ready.
Pumpkins are well-known for their ease of cultivation. They grow in comparable settings to zucchini because they are from the same family. Plant seeds in mounds once more, and save the strongest seedling. Your mounds should be spaced approximately a metre (yard) apart.
In extremely hot and dry conditions, mulch around the mound and keep the water up to them. Feed with well-rotted manure or mature compost every three weeks.
This is where the distinction is made. Pumpkins must be allowed to ripen on the vine. Before harvesting, wait until the vines have perished (somewhere between 14 & 20 weeks). Harvest the pumpkin by cutting the stems at least 5cm (2inches) from the pumpkin before any danger of frost.
Keep it dry until you’re ready to use it.
Spring Onions and Leeks
Spring onions and leeks are both members of the Allium family and grow in comparable environments. You can either cultivate them in seed raising mix or directly seed them where you want them to grow. Seedlings can be transplanted when they are approximately 20cm (8inches) tall into well-prepared beds (they enjoy a little lime if your soil is acidic), about 20cm apart, if you grow seeds in punnets.
Some people prefer to “blanch” leek stems to preserve them white, but I don’t. Giving leeks and spring onions plenty of water, mulching to keep weeds at bay and the soil moist, and using organic fertiliser every few weeks is all they require.
Harvest leeks when they’re about 2cm (an inch) thick, and spring onions when they’re ready.
Beans (bush or dwarf)
Beans come in a variety of colours, shapes, and sizes. Choose shrub or dwarf kinds when you’re first beginning out. Beans don’t like the cold, so grow them in the summer (unless you’re growing broad beans, which is a different situation).
Fertilize the row where your beans will be planted. Allow no direct touch between your bean seeds and your organic fertiliser. Sow your beans immediately into the soil where they will develop, and avoid watering them for the first few days. (Before planting, do not soak the seeds.)
Push seeds about 2cm (an inch) into the soil, 10cm (4inches) apart, in 60cm (24inches) rows. For a family of five, a 3 or 4 metre (yard) row should enough.
Start your next sowing when the first crop has grown their first true leaves to ensure a steady supply of beans. When blossoming begins, feed with a liquid organic fertiliser. Harvest your beans when they are still fresh and delicate. This way, they’ll taste nicer, but more significantly, you’ll get far higher yields.
Leave the healthiest pods on the shrub until they have completely dried if you wish to save your own seeds. Then select and pod them, and store them in a dry place until the following season. Keep in mind to label them.
If you give peas what they require, they will produce abundantly. They’re also quite tasty! The majority of types thrive in similar settings. Plant from late summer to late winter, as long as the soil is still workable. Peas prefer a higher pH than most vegetables, so mix in some lime with mature compost or organic fertiliser in the soil.
Provide them something to climb up to give them support. Plant seeds every 5cm (2inches) in a well-drained soil in a sunny location, then support them with little sticks or other materials until they reach the area where you wish to grow them.
Use organic mulch to keep weeds at bay. Every 3 to 4 weeks, apply an organic liquid fertiliser. In dry conditions, keep moist. To increase yields, pick on a regular basis. Seed should be kept in the same way as beans should be.
Beets are one of my favourite vegetables to raise. It’s simple to cultivate, but be aware that it’s not the same as the canned variety seen in supermarkets.
Throughout the spring and summer, plant. If your soil is slightly acidic, add lime to it a few weeks before planting. Soak your seeds overnight in water. Sow 1cm (half inch) deep and 30cm (12inches) spaced immediately in the soil. Water them in after lightly covering them with soil. Plant your next crop every 2 to 3 weeks if you want a steady supply.
Give them an organic liquid fertiliser feed at around 4 or 5 weeks. When your beets have grown to around 6 to 8 cm (2 to 3 inches) in diameter, about 8 to 10 weeks after planting, you pick them. Allowing them to get large will only make them harsh and woody.
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