Thinking about what to plant in your home vegetable garden? In my little corner of Canada we are getting close to planting season for most home garden vegetables.
Here are a few suggestions to get your mouth watering for the garden fresh harvest that just might be in your future!
Tomatoes – Although, yes, the tomato is technically a fruit, its delicious, savory taste leads to this little beauty being considered a vegetable by most people.
Tomatoes found in stores are usually picked nearly green and then ripened artificially. This is done to ensure they are tough enough to survive shipping without being smashed, and so they last longer on the shelves.
Unfortunately this means that the tomatoes in the grocery store don’t necessarily have the flavour of those fresh off the vine. A great reason to grow your own.
Lettuce – Growing lettuce in your backyard garden can give you a wonderful opportunity to experiment and try some of the more exotic varieties available.
Lettuce can be tricky, though. A few hot days can cause it to bolt to seed. Lettuce plants are best grown in the cooler spring and fall weather and must be watched carefully and picked early. If your lettuce starts to get a stem, it might already be too late!
Peas – Fresh peas are a wonderful treat. Canned peas are often mushy, and although frozen peas are certainly better than canned, they still pale in comparison to fresh peas.
Tiny baby peas are sweet, delicate, and delicious, making them well worth the effort. They are an excellent snack, especially when you can just stroll out to the garden and grab a handful.
Like lettuce, peas are best grown in the cooler spring weather, rather than the hottest days of summer.
Carrots – Store bought carrots are often woody, tough, and bitter. Even organic carrots often carry a strong bitterness caused by being kept at temperatures that are too cool for too long. Fresh carrots are generally very sweet and delicious.
Radishes – Radishes are cheap and easy to find in stores, but most store bought radishes are already turning pithy. If you’ve ever bitten into a radish that was dry and spongy inside, you’ll understand how bad pithy radishes are.
Fresh radishes are delightful and there are many unique varieties that can be grown at home.
Beets – Beets aren’t necessarily the most popular of vegetables, but they make a delicious and versatile addition to the home garden.
You can begin to harvest the greens as soon as they are big enough. Plant densely and enjoy the thinnings as beet greens.
Later in the season, you can harvest the beets themselves to enjoy in soups, pickles, or just as a side vegetable.
Asparagus – Fresh asparagus is often ridiculously expensive, and canned asparagus is mushy and horrible! The only way to get affordable asparagus that isn’t mushy and bland is to grow it yourself.
It takes an investment to set up your asparagus beds initially, but the payoff is delicious!
Peppers – Peppers in stores are sometimes shriveled and blemished. In addition, peppers can often be very expensive to buy.
Not only can you save money by including peppers in your garden plans, you also get to enjoy the amazing sweetness, or hotness if you prefer, of peppers fresh from your garden.
Cucumbers – Store bought cucumbers are often bitter and dry. If you’ve ever had a dried out, semi-hollow cucumber, you’ll understand the importance of growing your own!
Cucumbers need consistent watering and lots of sunshine.
Corn – Sweet corn is a delight to eat when it’s freshly picked. Corn is extremely sensitive to being off the stalk.
Once it’s been off the stalk for 6 hours, it starts to deteriorate rapidly. Fresh corn in season is one of nature’s sweet treats.
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