Growing your own fruits and vegetables at home can save a fair chunk of money in the long run. Some fruits and vegetables can even be grown indoors with great results, so don't let living in an apartment discourage you. Plus, it's super handy when you don't feel like going to the grocery store. Here are seven great fruits and vegetables that are easy to grow at home!
Spinach might conjure up images of slimy, stringy green goop in a can in your head. Don't worry though, we promise fresh spinach is a lot better. If you hate the idea of gardening in the summer heat, spinach is a pretty good choice of plant, since it doesn't grow well in the heat. Typically, they're planted in early spring and are harvested when summer rolls around or planted in late summer and harvested sometime in the fall. Just plant them where they'll get shade if it's going to get hot during their growing period. It's possible to plant spinach in either plant beds or in pots.
Make sure your pots are wide enough if you decide to plant your spinach in pots - about 6" or greater is ideal. And remember – potted plants tend to dry out faster than if you had planted them in plant beds.
Now to the fun part – planting your spinach seeds! If you don't want to venture off outside to get some seeds, online sites like Amazon have them for just a few dollars. In well-draining soil, plant your spinach seeds about 1" deep and between 2" to 5" apart. Water until the soil is damp and in about 40 days, you'll have full grown spinach plants! You can eat the leaves raw in salads or even use it in dips like this one.
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Here's another leafy green you can grow at home! There are two great things about chives right off the bat – they're perennial, meaning they'll grow back every year, and pretty much every part of the plant is edible! You can start planting them around in March or April and they'll take about three months to grow completely.
Make sure you plant them in well-drained soil and about 8" apart. They'll grow in sun or partial shade, so finding a place to plant them shouldn't be too much of a hassle. Again, like with most plants, be sure not to over water. Once they're fully grown, you can cut chive leaves as needed, but remember to leave two to three inches of leaf left so they can grow back.
Chives are particularly good in just about anything that you'd add onion – dumplings, soups, and even sauces. Just be sure you don't overcook them or they'll lose their flavor!
Who doesn't love strawberries? They're good on their own and they're used in so many recipes! However, you might be better off starting these as plants you've bought from a store rather than seeds – seeds seem to be a little hard to grow in this case. Not to worry though, you can find a wide variety of strawberry plants online and in stores to start you off. If you have a friend that grows strawberries, you can ask them for runners to start you off!
The instructions on how to plant these vary depending on each variety, so be sure to follow the instructions that came with the plants/runners you've received. Once they're fully grown, there are lots of easy recipes you can make with strawberries, like jams (which only need strawberries, sugar, and lemon) or slightly fancier desserts, like trifles!
There are a few different types of blueberries you can grow, but what they all have in common is that they're easy to grow. This is also one of those plants where it's better to start off with a bush rather than seeds since the seeds take a long time to germinate. Make sure the soil pH you plant them in is acidic, between four and five on the pH scale. Like most of the other plants on this list, be sure to plant them in well-drained soil and in a sunny place. You can plant it in either a large container or in a plant bed with 20" deep and 18" wide holes.
Blueberries are great for blending into smoothies with strawberries, soy milk, and bananas. Muffins and pancakes are also great foods to use blueberries in.
A staple in many households, carrots are surprisingly easy to grow. Plant them shallowly between April and mid-July and water them often. As they get bigger, make sure to space them further apart so that they don't compete with each other. The best part is, you don't have to wait for carrots to grow to their full size – you can harvest them at just about any size. Fun tip – carrots are sweeter in the winter, it acts as an anti-freezing mechanism for them. Now you won't have to run out to the store to buy carrots for your carrot juices and carrot cakes!
This herb is a favorite of many – not only is it great for adding flavor to dishes, it also repels mosquitoes. If you're short on space or just want to grow basil in a container, spicy globe basil is a perfect match for you. You can grow basil from either cuttings or seeds. Plant them 1/4" into well-drained soil and water often. Now you can harvest basil leaves as needed – they're great for adding to pasta, pesto or even cocktails!
If you're not a fan of blueberries or strawberries, blackberries might be just the thing for you. They grow well in mildly acidic to neutral soil (between five and seven on the pH scale) and again, like most other plants, need well-drained soil and somewhere sunny to grow. Depending on the type of blackberry bush you're growing, you'll have to space them between three and eight feet apart. Water them often and add mulch. Soon enough, you'll have blackberries to use in jams, tarts, and pies. Be sure to refrigerate after picking and take no more than a few days to use – they do expire pretty fast.