The best meals are made from the freshest ingredients, but it's all too true that the freshest, organic veggies are the most expensive ... until summer comes along! Once the sun is high, you can create the most flavorful meals imaginable at an affordable price because you can grow all your own leafy greens, vegetables, and herbs right at home. That being said, we know not everyone was blessed with a green thumb, so here are seven versatile, tasty veggies that anyone can grow.
Carrots aren't as tough to grow as some might have you believe. If you have soil that's composed of sand, silt, and clay, then you're going to grow some delicious carrots. But if your land is rocky, it's best to stick with baby carrots. Wait for the tops to sprout about 2 inches, thin out the smaller plants, and before you know it you'll have a full crop of carrots that are yummy raw as well as cooked.
6. Green Beans
Sow your seeds a few weeks apart and you'll have a harvest of fresh, crunchy green beans that last all summer long! Large green bush bean seeds are fun to plant and grow best in well-drained soil that receives plenty of sunlight. No support and relatively little space is required for these veggies to flourish. Just remember to pick 'em while they're tender.
Not only is lettuce easy to grow, but there are a wide variety of lettuces to choose from. Try French heirloom lettuce, Merveille des Quatre Saisons, or any of the Romaines you find. If you feel like getting creative with your greens, plant some Mild Mustard Salad Mix along with your lettuce and you'll make a far more colorful and flavorful salad that's peppery and full of vitamins. Plant your seeds anywhere from early spring to midsummer in a nice shaded spot like the shadows cast by tall plants like tomatoes.
Zucchini can be planted as soon as the last frost has passed. Plant in well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine, and then make little hills of dirt. Poke holes at the summit of your dirt mountains and place the seeds within, making a veggie volcano. One or two plants will be plenty! Zucchini makes it on our list not only for its easy upkeep, but because once it sprouts, they constantly bear fruit. Keeping delicious zucchini coming is only a matter of keeping the soil regularly fertilized.
Half a cup of cooked beets is loaded with folate and vitamin B, amounts to only 29 calories, and is perfect for salad. But best of all, beets are foolproof. If you have soil, you can grow a beet!
Even if your thumb is beet red, it'd be tough to fail at growing radishes. As long as there's dirt and a bit of water, the radishes will grow and grow fast. We're talking fully grown radishes in 20 days with absolutely minimal effort on your part. Even in the dog days of summer you'll still sprout radishes and the heat will have only made them spicier. Perhaps even more amazing: one radish equals one calorie.
How to grow a potato in 2 easy steps. Step #1 - buy a potato. Step #2 - bury the potato. That's it. You're done! Plant the potato in a raised bed with plenty of nutrient-rich soil.