The Living Room
The Best Fruits and Vegetables to Start Your Own Home Garden
Grow your own vegetables and fruits with the right layout - watch this clip from The Living Room to get started!
For those who have backyard space, the decision to grow your fruits and vegetables is not one you’ll regret. Aside from offering beauty once produce begins to grow, you’ll save money, help the environment, and eat more nutritionally. Sounds like a win-win-win!
In this episode of “The Living Room,” you can see a drab backyard transformed into a garden oasis. The homeowners value sustainability, so planting their own fruits and vegetables is a no-brainer. Check out the clip below. We were in awe of the table platter representative of everything growing in their garden. It’s enough for a fruit-and-veggie-filled feast!
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To get started on your own garden, make sure to have loose, well-drained fertile soil. Giving the roots room to grow will lead to greater success. You’ll ideally want to plant in an area that gets good sunlight and isn’t too exposed to high-winds. It varies from plant to plant, but for those that need a consistent watering source, make time in your weekly schedule to tend to your garden. Studies have shown gardening as an effective way to relieve stress so you should welcome this time outside!
Below are five of the easiest items to grow in your garden.
Just as lettuce is the basis of any salad, it’s that simple plant that should start off any garden! There are so many different varieties of lettuce greens to choose from. Lettuce leafs are easy to trim as they grow. If you want full heads of lettuce to grow, leave space, around 10 inches, between plants. Lettuce doesn’t do well in extreme temperatures, so if you live in a warm climate, the crop should be shaded. Otherwise, aim to plant your lettuce seeds in early spring or fall. Lettuce seeds need light to germinate, so barely cover the seed with soil and keep it moist.
Nothing tastes as sweet as your own homegrown strawberries. They are the fasting growing fruit of all crops, so if you like immediate gratification, this is as good as it gets! Depending on the variety of strawberries you chose to grow, you can grow almost any time outside of winter. Remove all weeds from the growing site before planting your strawberry plant, which will come as either a dormant crown (most of the soil is removed from their roots) or an established plant in containers (they’ve already begun actively growing). To avoid infection, keep them separate and away from where you are growing your other produce.
Plant tomatoes in spring or early summer. You can plant them as seeds or get a young plant that already has a vine. Keep in mind you might have to use a wooden stake and tie the vine to it with garden wire to help the plants stay upright. Those who live in warmer climates, where it’s at least 60 degrees fahrenheit most of the time, can plant them in the spring and fall as well. Adding 2-3 layers of compost soil above your gardening soil and tilling it in, can aid in your plant being healthy. Remove the lower leaves on the stem before planting and then plant your tomato stems deep inside the soil. It may help to plant them in pots, but if so, only put one tomato plant in each.
You can plant zucchini seeds straight into your garden. Plant the seeds in the late spring, since zucchini and other summer squash grow best in warm soil. By planting squash seeds every 2-3 weeks until the end of summer, you’ll have enough squash to last you up until winter begins. Zucchini is typically ready in about 2 months from when you first planted the seeds. They’ll require about 1 inch of water per week. Give them space and plant 3-6 feet apart; you’ll be amazed how much bigger they can be than the ones you see in the grocery store.
Don’t be deceived when you visit the nursery; almost all bell peppers start out green but once they mature they’ll change color to reds, greens, yellows, and more. Peppers prefer warmer climates so plant the pepper seedlings once winter frost is no longer an issue. Plant these peppers in an area where other peppers, potatoes, eggplants, and tomatoes are not being planted or have been in the past few years. This will prevent potential disease.
If you’re just getting into gardening, start small, with just one of these plants. As your produce grows, so will your confidence, which will lead to more and more bountiful harvests in your garden!