Posts Tagged“vegetables”

The warmer weather and clearer skies have lawns in need of mowing, and gardens in need of tending. Spring also welcomes another great season of farmers’ markets and fresh local produce. Food produced closer to home, and in small batches, simply tastes better. The steamed asparagus I ate last night is proof.

We complied a quick list of fresh, local vegetables you can look for while shopping this spring. Depending on your location, the selection of produce varies, but this list covers the staples of spring.

If you’re like many of us, you have busy schedules and limited space. Patio gardening can be a great alternative. It gives you easy access to your plants so you can remember to water them daily. Plant varieties that are labeled “patio, pixie, dwarf or baby” are ideal but not required for small-space gardening.

You can grow vegetables in almost anything that can hold soil and has proper holes in the bottom for drainage (make sure the container’s large enough for the plant’s root development). Have fun with it and choose colorful pots to brighten up your patio. Terracotta looks nice but dries out quickly.

If you don’t have holes, it’s easy to create your own. You can use baskets lined with garbage bags to hold in water, milk cartons or anything creative you can think of!

Most importantly, don’t forget sun. Most vegetables want six hours or more of direct sun per day, so choose a sunny part of the yard. Leaf-crops are one of the things that can grow with limited sun. In addition to making sure your vegetable plants have proper sunlight, make sure to invest in nutrient-rich soil and a dedicated watering routine. If you overlook any one of these areas, it can create an environment more inviting to bugs.

Visit for a unique collection of pots and planters.

Convinced your thumb is black instead of green? These five common veggies are so easy to grow, novice gardeners can even grow them in pots on a deck or patio! In no time at all, you’ll be enjoying enough fresh, homegrown veggies to make a respectable salad. Read on!

1. Tomatoes. Whether you’re using them for homemade sauce or fresh in a salad, nothing beats homegrown tomatoes. Large and small varieties can easily be grown in your garden or on a balcony or patio in a container. Start from seed indoors, moving them outside after risk of frost is past, or find at a nursery or garden home center. Popular varieties include Cherry, Beefsteak and Celebrity.

2. Carrots. Sow carrots seeds as soon as the frost is over, and replant every few weeks to enjoy all summer! So easy to grow, they’re ideal for beginning gardeners. They’ll do best in full sunlight and light, sandy soil: easy-to-grow varieties include Nelson, Imperator, Gold Pak, Lady Finger and Short ‘n’ Sweet.

3. Radishes. You’ll start seeing the results of your planting in as little as 4 days with radishes! So easy to grow, and their fresh, peppery flavor is a wonderful addition to salads. Sow them in early spring or fall and harvest in 4 to 5 weeks. Popular varieties include Cherry Belle, White Icicle, Scarlet Globe and Sparkler.

4. Lettuce. Lettuce can be planted any time during the growing season, but it does best during the spring and fall. Stay away from head varieties – the looseleaf or bunch varieties are easier to grow. Popular varieties include Salad Bowl, Lollo Bionda and Oakleaf.

5. Leafy greens. Even easier to grow than lettuce, leafy greens (such as kale, collards, spinach, mustard greens and chard) are even easier to grow and packed with nutrients. Like lettuce, leafy greens can be grown in a garden bed or container – they even do double duty as an attractive ornamental. Try several varieties so you can enjoy leafy greens throughout the growing season.

When the leaves start to fall and temperatures drop, it’s the perfect time for serving healthy squash seasoned with delicious spices to warm the heart and soul.

Squash isn’t just about a weekend trip to the pumpkin patch for that perfect jack-o-lantern. This fruit, packed with nutrition and a combination of both sweet and savory flavors, will surprise you when you bake, steam, roast or even turn it into a favorite seasonal dessert, pumpkin pie! And that’s just one of the delicious varieties – there are many interesting types of squash to choose from besides the popular pumpkin.