If you’ve dreamed of planting your own garden but don’t know where to begin or which veggies to grow start with the basics and begin enjoying the fruits of your labors. Below are ten of the must-have vegetables that every gardener should try growing. As you become more skilled, you’ll likely have your own favorites and want to try something new but you can’t go wrong starting off with these top ten vegetables.
1. Tomatoes – There’s simply nothing that compares to a homegrown tomato. The tomatoes that you buy at the store are picked green and then gassed to turn them red. A fresh, ripe tomato directly off the vine is a treat to behold. Once you’ve tasted your own homegrown tomatoes, you’ll never go back to store bought.
2. Hot peppers – Hot peppers add spice to your garden and can be quite lovely. If you like the heat, go for habañeros. If you’re timid, try Anaheim peppers instead.
3. Bell peppers – Bell peppers are easy to grow and delicious. Pick them green or let them ripen into a gorgeous red. Don’t know what to do with all your peppers? Try roasting them for an unusual treat.
4. Japanese eggplant – Japanese eggplant is a stunning plant with delicate purple flowers that give way to slender, small eggplants that are the perfect size. Slice the eggplant and roast them with zucchini and onions for a delicious, and attractive, side dish.
5. Zucchini – Watch out, zucchini can take over your garden! These plants are prolific and the zucchinis can grow to large sizes if you’re not careful. Pick them while young and enjoy. The blossoms are edible and quite delightful mixed inside quesadillas.
6. Peas – Your children will love eating fresh peas directly out of the peapod. Let’s face it, picking peapods and eating the peas is darned right fun! If you’re concerned about vines, you can get peas that grow on small, bush-like plants.
7. Corn – Plant several rows of corn and enjoy the sweetness of fresh corn on the cob. Make sure to plant enough for cross-pollination to occur.
8. Carrots – Carrots are a classic addition to any vegetable garden. There’s something satisfying about plucking a carrot out of the ground knowing that you worked the earth and are now enjoying its bounty.
9. Cucumbers – Cucumbers are a fun vegetable to plant. Not only will you enjoy cucumber slices in salads and on sandwiches, add pureed cucumber to lemonade for a refreshing drink or make pickles!
10. Onions and garlic – Don’t forget to plant onions and garlic. Whether you go for green onions, sweet onions, chives, or garlic, you’ll love the fact that you grew them.
Growing your own vegetables is a rewarding experience. You’ll eat healthier and discover new ways to add veggies to your diet. In addition, your homegrown vegetables will taste far superior to any that you can buy at the store because they are of higher quality, vine-ripened, and fresh!