Four "No Fail" Starter Vegetables To Grow At Home
by Richard Adams
Whilst many of us have dreams of growing our own fruit and vegetables at home the sad reality is that producing all your own food takes not just time and effort but also a lot of knowledge.
Each variety has it's own preferences in terms of watering, soil conditions and sunlight requirements as well as it's own specific problems and learning and applying all these tips takes time.
Such is the case that it can take some years of trial and error before you're successfully growing all the food your heart desires.
Fortunately there are a small number of vegetables that can be grown at home with virtually no effort at all, that tend to suffer from minimal problems and that taste great. Therefore if you're just starting down the route to eco friendly living - or just fancy having some fun with a bare patch of ground in your yard - then you could do a lot worse than to try out the following vegetables as a gentle, low-maintenance (and tasty!) introduction to the fine art of vegetable growing.
Courgettes are one of the easiest vegetables of all to grow. They like moist, nutrient-rich soil in an ideal world but are capable of getting established virtually anywhere. Even better they crop heavily and just a handful of plants can provide you with more vegetables than you know what to do with!
Courgettes can be planted in pots or even directly into the soil for ease. Try planting two or three seeds in each hole to maximize the chances of them germinating and then if two or more seedlings appear simply transplant or remove the smaller of the seedlings.
With a sunny position and an occasional watering you should soon be enjoying your own delicious, home-grown courgettes. As a side note, courgette plants grow to a decent size and so can be handy for planting as ground cover to help "choke out" weeds that would otherwise have got established in your vegetable garden so they're a great way to cut down on your weeding *and* end up with some fresh vegetables.
Due to their small size almost anyone can find space for a few rows of radishes. Unlike many other salad crops like lettuces or tomatoes, radishes suffer from virtually no pest problems making them easy to grow from seed to plate!
Simply use a trowel to dig a shallow trench in your garden and gently sprinkle in the seeds before covering them over with a little soil and giving them a good water. Soon enough you'll see the seedlings rearing their heads.
A useful tip for harvesting radishes is rather than starting at one end of your rows and slowly eating your way along them, pick out the odd radish plant along your rows to eat and by doing so you'll leave more space for the remaining vegetables to grow leading to bigger and more impressive radishes.
Onions are not only very easy to grow but will also store very well in a cool, dry place so even after the harvest is complete you can have supplies of these vegetables for months to come and it can be very satisfying during the colder months to know you have a stash of these versatile vegetables in your garage or shed.
The only real work some once per season when the outside of the onion needs to be properly dried in the sun to prevent them rotting in storage but as this is a job you can carry out on your whole crop at the same time it's still simple enough to do.
Pumpkins are related to courgettes and have similar benefits in terms of ground cover though typically a pumpkin will become an even larger plant. However pumpkins also have a number of additional benefits over courgettes including the large number of different varieties that can be grown both for taste as well as appearance and the fact that pumpkins will store far better than courgettes which must be eaten far sooner.
For best results dig a big hole, fill it with well rotten manure or rich garden compost, pop in your seedlings and water them thoroughly. Then sit back and wait for the fun to begin!
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