Nothing beats the mouth-watering taste of a cherry tomato freshly picked and popped right into your mouth. Summer in one bite. You can have that by growing your own vegetables in your backyard.
Save Money with 5 Easy to Grow Vegetables
These 5 vegetables are a good choice for beginning gardeners and kids. With the exception of the zucchini, they don’t require a lot of space. In fact, you could grow them in containers if your soil is not healthy enough for growing vegetables.
All 5 vegetables are good producers, giving you several pounds of vegetables in return for a $1.00 seed packet. If you have too much harvest at one time, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and green beans are easy to freeze for the winter. This reference guide from the Colorado State University Extension Office explains how to prepare each vegetable for freezing.
Lettuce and Spinach
Sow a little bit of lettuce every few weeks through the beginning of August to have salad makings all summer long. Black Seeded Simpson is one variety that is less likely to bolt, or turn bitter when the temperatures get hot during the summer. Or, grow a mesclun mix which can be harvested daily and last for several weeks.
- Easy Salad Recipes
- Salad Dressing 101
- Salads, a Healthy, Quick, and Easy Summer Dinner
- Spinach Salad with Raspberry Dressing
In my opinion, cherry tomatoes and container tomatoes are the best choices for new gardeners. Cherry tomatoes are prolific plants, producing tomatoes from early July until the first frost. They will need some support as they grow since they can be leggy. You can use a tomato cage or tie them to a stake with bits of old t-shirts or stockings.
Container tomatoes are perfect for gardeners with limited space. Even if they’re grown in the ground, their more contained growth makes them easier to care for throughout the growing season. I don’t recommend bringing the pots in during the winter; it’s very easy to bring in unwanted visitors like ants.
- Roasted Roma Tomatoes
- Grilled Tomato Tart
- Fresh Tomato and Asparagus Salad
- Open Face Chicken Caprese Sandwiches
Bush beans are perfect edging plants. Plant them along the edge of a flower bed, or next to tomatoes in the garden. I like to plant a row every few weeks to keep the harvest going throughout the summer. When the plants are finished, cut back the stem to just above the ground. This keeps the nitrogen from the green beans in the soil for next year’s garden.
Green Bean Recipes
- Italian Marinated Green Beans
- Parmesan Roasted Green Beans
- Three Bean Salad
Like green beans, pepper plants can be tucked into empty spaces in your flower or vegetable beds. Most pepper plants are fine without support. I like to stake bell pepper plants in case the weight of the pepper makes the plant stem snap.
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Easy Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper-Garlic Sauce
- Creamy Risotto with Sausage and Peppers
- Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers
While your neighbors may get tired of your leaving zucchini gifts on their front porch, you will be amazed at how much this plant can produce. Once your zucchini starts producing, check it daily to make sure none of the vegetables grow to baseball bat size. If you miss a zucchini and it grows, shred the vegetable for zucchini bread or zucchini pancakes.
- The Best Zucchini Bread
- Mammy’s Zucchini Cookies
- Zesty Zucchini Relish
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