Would you love it if you could harvest fresh leafy greens and herbs right from your windowsill? Everyone loves having fresh food around. You might wonder if it is challenging to grow your food by yourself. It’s easy! Continue reading for tips for growing healthy vegetables.
How Difficult Is It to Grow Your Food?
Everyone loves having fresh vegetables and fruits available. Many people shy away from growing food plants because they believe that gardening is a strenuous and challenging activity. This article shows that growing your own food is as easy as ABC.
In this article, you’ll learn about:
- Easy vegetables you can grow
- Optimum conditions for vegetables
- When you can grow some vegetables
- When you can harvest some vegetables
- Gardening methods that save energy and space
Effortless Gardening Techniques for Small Spaces
Are you looking for gardening methods that don’t require lots of space or effort? The list below will show how you can grow your food easily.
Container gardening (or pot gardening) is the practice of growing plants in pots or other containers. It does not matter where you are; you can grow vegetables in containers. You can place your potted plants:
- On a windowsill
- Indoors (under a grow light)
- At the entrance of your home
- A place with sufficient light for plants
All vegetables can grow in pots. Consider growing dwarf varieties because they grow quickly, they are easier to care for, and they do not take much space. You can reuse many types of containers as pots for your vegetables.
Square Foot Gardening
Square foot gardening, as the name implies, is a gardening method in which you divide your growing area into sections (usually a foot wide and long). A square foot garden is usually a raised bed. With square foot gardening, you can:
- Grow vegetables close together to maximize space
- Have a garden on any surface since it is on a raised bed
- Easily record the location of plants and practice crop rotation
Some tips for your square foot garden are:
- Grow companion plants close together to prevent weed and pests
- Use cages and trellises for vines like tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers
- Always fertilize your plants as they consume more nutrients with this method
Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants in a nutrient-rich solution. This method of gardening is best for people who have no access to soil and have limited space. All vegetable plants, except root vegetables, will grow hydroponically.
Vegetables can be grown with different hydroponic systems. Examples of these systems are:
- Deep Water Culture (DWC): In this system, the roots of your plants are suspended in the nutrient mix. DWC can be passive, but it is recommended to add aerators to supply oxygen to the root of your plants.
- Nutrient Film Technique (NFT): A stream of nutrient mix flows through the roots of your plants in a pipe or tube in this system. NFT requires a water pump to pump nutrients to the root of your plants.
- Wick system (WS): In the wick system, your plants are in a growth medium that is placed above a container with a nutrient mix. A wick is placed between both containers and transfers nutrients from the nutrient mix to the growth medium.
- Ebb and Flow (E&B): E&B is just like a wick system, but a water pump is used to pump water into the growth medium instead of a wick. The excess nutrient mix flows back into the container with nutrients by gravity.
Your plants will grow in every hydroponic system. Make sure to use inorganic fertilizer and check the pH of the nutrient regularly.
Easy Vegetables That You Can Grow
Your choice of what vegetable plants to grow might seem endless. You can harvest some vegetables multiple times during the growing season and others only once. Here are some tips for vegetables that you can grow, how to grow them, and optimum conditions for them.
According to the variety that you are growing, you can harvest tomatoes once or multiple times. Some tomato requirements are:
- pH: 5.5-7.0
- Temperature: 65°-85°F
- Daily sun: more than 6 hours
- Minimum pot depth: 8 inches
- Soil: Well-drained, moist, and fertile
Tomatoes are easy and fun to grow. They can be grown hydroponically, in containers, or a square foot garden. You can grow tomato plants at any time of the year as long as you have (at least) 100 days in your growing season. Start tomato seeds indoors a few weeks before the end of frost.
Leafy greens (or leafy vegetables) are plants that are grown for their edible and nutritious leaves. Some examples of leafy greens, their pH and temperature requirements are:
Each vegetable can be grown with any gardening method you choose, but they have different requirements. You can regrow your greens if you have their stem (or stalk), and you can harvest them continuously.
To regrow these vegetables:
- Place the stem on a glass of water (2-3 inches) and place it on a windowsill
- Change the water regularly (every two days)
- In a week or two, the stem would develop sufficient roots.
- Plant the vegetable in a pot, square foot garden, or hydroponic system.
You should consider regrowing all of your leafy greens.
You can choose to harvest your potatoes once (for maincrop varieties) or multiple times before a final harvest (for early varieties). Some potato requirements are:
- pH: 4.8-6.5
- Temperature: 60°-78°F
- Daily sun: more than 6 hours
- Minimum pot depth: 18 inches
- Soil: Well-drained, moist, and fertile
Potatoes cannot be grown hydroponically but can be grown in a square foot garden and container or a bag. Start your planting in after the final frost in your area. According to the variety, you can harvest your potatoes from May to September.
Growing in a bag is the easiest (and best) method for potatoes. If you follow the step by step process in growing potatoes in a bag, your plants will produce more to eat!
Herbs, as you know, are plants grown for their spicy flavor and aroma. They are used in cooking or for medicinal purposes. When you grow your own food, you should include herbs. Some herbs that you can grow, their requirements (pH and temperature) are listed below:
Like leafy greens, you can harvest herbs multiple times. Herbs can be grown with any gardening method. We recommend growing herbs indoors (on a windowsill with sufficient light) because they can beautify your home and make your room scent nicely.
Herbs can be grown from their stalk or cutting. It is the same process as that of leafy greens.
Mushrooms, though not plants, are among the various foods that you can grow. Growing mushrooms is easy. Some mushroom requirements are:
- pH: 5.5-6.5
- Temperature: 55°-65°F
- Daily sun: Minimum sun or partial shade
- Growth medium: Well-drained, moist, and fertile
Some mushrooms that you can grow easily are:
- Oyster mushrooms
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Portobello mushrooms
- Champignon mushrooms
- White button mushrooms
Mushrooms require attention and care. To grow mushrooms, you need a mushroom spawn (just like plant seedlings).
You do not have to go to a grocery store or market to get fresh herbs and vegetables. Instead of spending so much on food, you should grow your own food.
With container gardening, square foot gardening, or hydroponics methods, you can grow any food plants that you like. Easy vegetables that you can grow include potatoes, tomatoes, herbs, and other leafy greens. You can also grow mushrooms.
What plant will you grow first? Which method will you use? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.