You’ve built the sidewalls, you’ve filled it up with potting soil and compost, and now your raised flowerbed is ready for planting. Now, you think of all the pretty flowers you can grow in it, but you always find yourself rushing to the weekend market for some herbs.
One of the most practical ways to use that flowerbed is to plant vegetables. But where should you start?
A problem for beginner gardeners is keeping their plants green. There’s a lot of causes to this, but underwatering and overwatering are among the most common. To avoid dealing with these, installing an irrigation system in your garden will save you from worrying about your plant babies-vegetable or not.
Next, you have to ask yourself what kinds of vegetables you would want on your dining table. Unless you’re adding plants for decorative use or insect repellent, growing vegetables you don’t like eating sounds like a waste of energy, time, and effort. Once you’ve figured out what vegetables you want to plant, you can choose from the multitude of vegetables that are forgiving to beginner gardeners.
Herbs (Mint, Oregano, Coriander, Lemongrass)
Herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow. They help flavor, perfume, and garnish a dish. Some herbs like mint and basil repel insects as well. Beware that some herbs-like mint-run, so it’s best to keep them on a raised bed or in a pot. Keeping the soil dry ensures that they achieve their maximum flavor. It’s okay to cook a lot of dishes with herbs, too, because pinching off 2 to 3 inches from them keeps them healthy.
These rhizomes are very hardy plants that are easy to grow. As long as those rhizomes have “fresh eyes,” just soak the piece in water overnight, and they are ready to plant. Ginger and turmeric not only help flavor a dish, but they also help color and perfume the dish as well with their distinct spicy warm flavor and smell. These two also have a wide range of health benefits: a pain reliever, alleviate inflammation, strengthens the immune system, etc.
Alliums-such as garlic, onion, and scallion or green onion-are not only common vegetables to use overall, but they’re also some of the easiest to grow and propagate. Alliums are weather-resistant and pest-resistant, making them beginner-friendly. When you use onion or a stalk of scallion in your cooking next time, trim the root and place it in water. In about two months, you’ll have yourself a new plant, regardless of the climate. They also have decorative siblings that are great for your curb appeal.
Leafy greens-which include arugula, lettuce, and cabbage- are some of the easiest vegetables to grow. From a root cutting off the vegetable, you can grow your own leafy green vegetable. One thing to look out for is pests that may ravage your garden easily. To ward off pests, simply prepare a spray of water mixed in with a small amount of dishwashing liquid and spray over your leafy green plants.
Beans are some of the easiest ingredients to grow. Be aware that most beans have vines, so consider planting a trellis beside it for the vine to climb up to-and not onto the other plants in your flowerbed. However, some species are only bush-type, so when purchasing seeds, be sure to read the label on which type you’re getting. Don’t forget to place them under the sun. They love sunbathing.
It requires little fuss and full sun. After two months from germination, the okra plant will begin to grow pods. Okra is best harvested before maturation. Mature pods are often too tough to chew, so harvest them when they’re bigger than your finger and the stems are still easy to cut. This is approximately two months after planting.
Although finicky, tomatoes are rewarding to plant in your garden because of the yield; some tomato varieties can produce more than one batch of tomatoes during a harvest season. Tomatoes often climb up, so add a stake or a cage for the tomato plant to latch onto. Make sure to check up on your tomato plants, as they are considerably prone to pests as well as dehydration. Maybe you’ll grow enough tomatoes to process your own sauce for pasta lunches.
One day, when you have guests over, and they ask when you get your ingredients, it will be rewarding to say, “From my garden!” Whatever vegetable you choose to plant in your raised bed, it is important to have a hobby where you can express your creativity-especially one where you can get a hefty snack afterward!