Having a garden that’s big enough to sustain your family is rad, but is a lot of work and not realistic for many urban and suburban dwellers. That doesn’t mean you can’t grow anything! Growing even one easy plant can be a rewarding and delicious endeavour.
All you need is a yard, balcony, or even a sunny south facing window. These are a few easy plants you can try growing at home:
There’s nothing more satisfying that picking a fresh, juicy, vine ripened tomato, and popping it in your mouth when it’s still warm from the sun. Bonus: tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C and contain the antioxidant lycopene.
- Tomatoes like lots of heat and sun, at least 6 hrs a day is best.
- If you’re growing them in a pot, make sure they get plenty of water. Tomatoes are thirsty!
- Try out a smaller bush variety if you’re just starting out with tomatoes grown in pots. I like the Tumbling Tom variety.
- If you are growing somewhere cooler (i.e. most of Canada) start your tomatoes indoors or buy starts to plant in the garden when it warms up.
2. Bush Beans
Bush beans are great because they take up less room and require less support than pole beans. Plus, they’re easy to grow! (We’re referring to snap beans, where the bean pod is eaten).
- Beans like sunshine! Grow them in full sun.
- Make sure you pick beans frequently so the plants keep producing.
- It’s best to sow beans directly, rather than transplanting.
Strawberries have topped the dirty dozen list again, and while buying organic is definitely a great option, why not try growing some of your own organic strawberries! At home you can grow sweeter varieties that aren’t sold in stores because they don’t store/travel well.
- Strawberry plants can range from one large harvest a year to multiple small harvests. Determine which variety will work best for you.
- Make sure your strawberry soil has good drainage.
- Strawberries prefer a sunnier place.
- If you are growing kale in a pot, make sure it is in partial shade so it doesn’t get too hot.
- Kale prefers cooler weather, however it will tolerate both warm and cold weather.
- After a frost, you kale leaves will be sweeter!
Mint is incredibly easy to grow, and as a perennial plant it should come back again year after year. You’ll always have mint on hand for tea (helps soothe indigestion!), healthy popsicles, or a mojito green juice.
- If you grow mint in your garden bed, the trouble will be keeping it from spreading.
- Growing it in a container can help contain the mint expansion.
- Mint prefers being shaded from the hottest afternoon sun.
Experiment with growing to fit your situation. I moved to a new place this year and lost my balcony and community garden plot. So, despite naysayers, I planted an indoor garden and I’m well on the way to tomatoes, basil, arugula, peppers, kale and more! Don’t let conventional gardening beliefs stop you from trying something different.
There are many factors that go into growing a successful plant, and these are a few tips to get you started!
Do you have any tips or favourite easy plants to grow?