I’m not a vegetable gardening connoisseur, but I do know of a good handful of the healthiest vegetables you can grow all at home right outside your back (or front) door. Growing vegetables in your own yard can be intimidating if you’re new to gardening. Some of the healthiest vegetables you can eat are also some of the best and most economical ones to plant. Take a look at these veggies and buy a few plants this week at your local home and garden center. In no time, you’ll not only be eating healthy, but also be able to brag to your friends and family about your new healthy gardening talent!
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- snap peas
Technically, tomatoes are a fruit, but since we’re talking about the easiest, healthiest vegetables to grow, I’ve included them here since they’re more often sold in the veggie section. Tomatoes are easy to grow as you might already know, and do well somewhere outside with a lot of sunlight. They are best grown on a wire stand that you can buy at your garden store, which will keep them off the ground, free from bacteria and mold from water exposure. You can also plant them in pots if you wish, but be sure to separate tomato plants to one pot per plant, and make sure the pot is at least 12 inches deep. Tomatoes are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and even have a bit of iron in them. Plus, nothing tastes better than a fresh tomato, straight off the vine in the middle of summer! Plant them right at the beginning of April for best growth, but always after the last frost of the winter.
Cucumbers are another veggie-like fruit to include outside in your garden this year. Since they’re sugar-free naturally, we often think of them as veggies, but like tomatoes they grow on a vine, therefore they are in fact a fruit. Fruit or vegetable, cucumbers are incredibly wonderful for you. They are exceptionally high in silica, which is fantastic for your skin, hair, and nails, plus they are rich in Vitamin B6 and very cleansing as well. Cucumber plants are very easy to grow. You want to plant these in the ground, or a large pot for the best success. Keep in mind though, once they start to grow, most cucumber plants will thrive and grow very large, which means they’re best suited to grow on the ground in the long term.
Red, green, orange, and yellow bell peppers are another one of the best veggie-like fruits you need to plant this year. Did you know they actually all start out green, and as they age, and ripen, they change colors? This is one reason the red ones are my favorite - they’re the sweetest! Peppers are top notch sources of Vitamin C, especially red varieties. Peppers are also high in fiber, but have little to no sugar, so they’re great for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Plus, peppers have been proven to raise your metabolism, and ward off aging and wrinkles. Peppers are also best grown in the ground long term, but you can start them in a large pot, at least 12 inches deep. Peppers grow on a vine like tomatoes and cucumbers since they are a fruit, and will last you well throughout the summer. It’s a good idea to plant tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers all in the same area at the same time. Be sure to space them out well, but they all do very well in areas with large amounts of full sun, especially in the morning and early afternoon.
I love carrots and two years ago, started growing them myself. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! Carrots are some of the best all around sources of magnesium, Vitamin C, manganese, fiber, potassium, iron, and are one of the world’s best sources of Vitamin A you can eat. Carrot seeds should be planted in containers to start, with the seeds placed at least 2-3 inches. They will grow quickly, as you’ll see! Carrots will sprout green tops at first, and you can easily eat these once your carrots pop out of the ground later on. First though, as soon as you see them sprouting their greens, transfer the soil and the entire carrot plant into a much larger pot for full growth, or into the ground where you have good, moist and sturdy soil with full sun. Be sure you harvest your carrots early on though, and don’t wait too long. If you leave them in the ground too long, you’ll have a bitter, fibrous carrot, instead of a sweet, crunchy carrot. you can usually pick your carrots after 2-3 months.
I love beets, but honestly, I didn’t really like them until I planted my own. The flavor is incomparable to store bought. So sweet, soft, and slightly crunchy, homegrown beets are the best! Beets are one of the best detoxifying vegetables you can eat. They are wonderful for digestion, your skin, weight, mood, and your heart as well. Beets are also so easy to grow.. All you need to do is plant beets in containers at least 12 inches deep. Plant the seeds at least 3 inches apart, and follow the same protocol for beets that you do carrots. The greens will pop up when they really start to show their maturity, and you want to harvest them no longer than 2-3 months after the seeds are planted. Beets are rich in folate, fiber, iron, Vitamin C and anthocyanins, an antioxidant that gives them their phenomenal color.
6 Snap Peas
I love snap peas! These little crunchy treats taste amazing right out of the pod from your garden. They’re incredibly low in starch, and high in protein. Did you know that sugar snap peas are also not a legume like split peas, but instead a true vegetable? This makes them easier to digest for some, and also decreases their starch content for better blood sugar regulation. Plus, snap peas are a great source of Vitamin C and iron, along with fiber and chlorophyll. Snap peas are also some of the easiest vegetables and the healthiest vegetables to grow in your garden. You can plant peas in the ground, or in a container at least 10 inches deep. Sow the seeds at least 2-3 inches apart and water often so the soil doesn’t dry out, but not so much that it becomes overly moist. Peas are prime time spring veggies though. Once summer hits, you can count on your pea plants dying off, as they do not like hot weather. Take advantage of these fresh healthy veggies right now, up until early June.
We all know how good this popular veggie is, but did you know how easy it is to grow? Broccoli is packed with Vitamin C and fiber. It’s also powerful at detoxing your liver from unhealthy estrogenic compounds and has been found to ward off cancer as well. You want to be sure to plant your broccoli in an area with deep, moist soil. It can be planted in pots, but be sure the pots are at least 12 inches deep, preferably up to 16 inches. Broccoli takes about 55 days to reach maturity, and is best when planted in early spring about two months before the last frost. Another benefit to planting this veggie is that it will last long through to fall. Harvesting it takes no more than cutting off the crown and enjoying your bounty straight from the soil. Broccoli needs full sun, and needs to be well watered since it does not like dry soil.
You can save so much money with growing your own vegetables, so be sure you give it a try. It’s a guaranteed way to be sure you get your intake of some of the healthiest vegetables on Earth, all while saving money as you do it. Do you grow any of these vegetables or others? Have any tips?
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