Growing your own food is better than buying it at the market for a number of reasons. First, it’s cheaper. It’s also healthier, since you have control over what goes into the soil and what comes out.
There’s a lot of satisfaction in growing what you eat; and it doesn’t require acres of farmland. A simple backyard garden can produce an impressive haul of seasonal fruits and vegetables. If you’re not sure where to start, consider one of these 10 edible plants you can grow in your backyard.
Start your salads with a lettuce plant that’s bursting with vitamins, minerals, and taste. There are many different varieties of lettuce you can grow in your backyard. Try red leaf or green leaf or butter lettuce. Start with seeds and plant during cooler temperatures. Spring and fall are the best times to grow lettuce. You can trim back the plants once they get going to continue harvesting your lettuce.
Tomatoes have a lot of health benefits, and they’re used in a lot of different foods too, from spaghetti sauce to salad, soup, and salsa. Grow your own tomato plants in a container or dedicated plot in your yard. Choose a spot that gets a lot of sun and check on them consistently so you pick them when they’re at the height of ripeness. You’ll be amazed at how superior your own tomato plants are to store-bought tomatoes.
Pepper plants come in many shapes and sizes. Grow bell peppers or jalapenos. Peppers like warmth and water, so make sure you plant them late in spring or in the summer months and water them right away. When small peppers first show up on your plant, remove them. This may seem counter-productive, but it will allow more space on your plant for larger, better peppers to grow. Let the peppers completely mature before you harvest them, and use a pair of pruners or good scissors to remove them so you don’t ruin the plant with your hands.
Squash is abundant in the late summer and early fall, and there’s nothing better than growing it in your backyard because you’ll have plenty to share with friends and neighbors. Imagine making zucchini bread and squash soup. It’s a very low-maintenance plant, and you’ll probably forget it’s there until you see the gorgeous vegetables waiting to be claimed.
High in antioxidants and super sweet, strawberries are a favorite for smoothies, shortcakes, and fruit salads. The batch you find in the grocery store can often look wilted and dull, however. Grow your own strawberry plant at home. The plants grow well in large buckets or planters.
Melons like a vine, so prepare your plants with trellises and give them plenty of room to spread out. The extra work will be well worth it; your results will be ripe, juicy melons that smell and taste amazing. Try honeydew or cantaloupe or both.
When it comes to herbs, there’s nothing fresher and more fantastic than basil. Chop it up for pizzas, add it to your salad, or spin it into a fresh bruschetta. It’s one of the most common backyard plants and a staple in herb gardens everywhere. Plant it with your other vegetables or in a large pot. Some people enjoy the companion gardening method, where they plant basil with tomato plants.
Grow a mint plant in your backyard to bring something fresh and pretty to your herb garden. You will love picking it because it leaves your fingers smelling wonderful. This is an easy plant to take care of; just give it enough space and sunlight.
You’ll love the scent of your rosemary plant. This herb grows quickly and aggressively, so don’t be afraid to use it every day. It will grow back, and it doesn’t require a lot of water or sunlight.
Perhaps you did not know that aloe is an edible plant, but it is. This super-salve that soothes sunburns and other wounds is also a super-food. It’s especially useful for digestive and intestinal issues. When you eat it, take it in small doses. It’s great in a smoothie. This plant will look great in your garden and give a tropical feel to your backyard plants.
These are 10 edible plans you can grow in your backyard, but there are many more to add to the list. Give these a try and get comfortable with their patterns and behaviors. Once you know how they grow and what you can expect, you can begin experimenting with other plants and different types of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even spices. Growing your own plants will help you lead a healthier lifestyle, and you might even find that this type of gardening is fun.