Tips and Guides

6 Easy-to-Grow Vegetables for Beginners

Learn more about edible plants that you can nurture in your own backyard

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Planting your own vegetables can help provide you with fresh produce for your table. More importantly, it is a productive way for you to rest, relax, and unwind. If you invite your family to help you out, it can even become a bonding activity.

Aside from the promise of a bountiful harvest, you reap the rewards of your patience and perseverance. If you would like to have a flourishing patch of land, here are 6 easy-to-grow vegetables to consider.

Mint

Mint is a fragrant herb that has a cool and fruity taste. It is often used for preparing food and beverages. You can even use the peppermint variety to ward off mice!

If you would like to grow your own mint, you can purchase plants or get cuttings from a friend. Plant them 2 feet apart in moist soil and keep them in a sunny spot. 

Right before the mint starts to flower, cut the stems 1 inch from the ground. You can pick the leaves as you need them.

RL Tip: Mint will spread easily so keep them in a pot! 

 


Onion

Onions are a staple in Filipino cooking. Surprisingly, they are easy to grow because they are able to withstand pretty much anything. You should prepare good garden soilthe soil should be loose, well-drained, and rich in nitrogen so that you will have bigger onion bulbs.

If you will use onion seeds, plant them indoors and wait 6 weeks before transplanting. If you will plant sets or transplants, plant the smaller sets 1 inch deep, with 4 to 5 inches between each plant and in rows 12 to 18 inches apart. Don't bury them more than 1 inch under the soil.

When the onions are almost near harvest, the tops will become yellow and begin to fall over. Bend the tops down to speed up the final ripening process. When tops are brown, pull the onions. Store the onions in a cool, dry place.

RL Tip: To get big bulbs, fertilize every few weeks with nitrogen. You can stop fertilizing when the onions emerge from the soil. Do not put the soil back around the onions. 

Garlic

Did you know that garlic also requires very little care? You only need to plant a few garlic cloves! Select a sunny spot and prepare well-drained soil fertilized with compost. Place the individual cloves 4 inches apart and 2 inches deepthe wide root side should face down and the pointed end should face up.

When the tops begin to yellow and fall over, carefully lift the bulbs with a spade. Pull the plants and carefully brush off the soil.

RL Tip: Hang your harvested garlic on  a string in an airy, shady spot for 2 weeks. 

Lettuce

Lettuce planted in your garden is often more nutritious and better-tasting, too. Nothing could be fresher than greens picked from your own backyard!

Since head forming lettuces fare better in the cold, you should try leaf varieties. They can be harvested in only a few weeks. You can cut leaf lettuces as soon as the outer leaves reach about 4-6 inches. Cut only the outer leaves and new leaves will form.

RL Tip: As it is often hot and dry in the Philippines, water your lettuce plants everyday. Lettuce roots are shallow so you don't need to use too much water. 

Tomatoes

Although we technically eat the fruit of the tomato plant, we often think of it as a vegetable. Since they grow so quickly, they are ideal for first-time gardeners and homeowners with kids! Choose a bush variety that can be planted in window boxes or hanging baskets. 

Opt for a big container that is around 18 to 24 inches high, about 15 to 20 inches wide. Plant tomato and cover soil to keep bugs, weeds, and pets out. Support the main stalk with yarn on 3 to 4 long stakes placed around the plant. 

RL Tip: If you have a small space, grow cherry tomatoes in containers! 

Potatoes

Another plant that you can grow in a container? Potatoes! Plant small potatoes or pieces of a whole potato with at least two eyes per piece in a large pot. Water the plants twice a day because you need to keep the soil damp and moist. However, the soil should not be overly wet. 

RL Tip: Cut your potatoes 1 to 2 days before planting.

More on Realliving.com.ph

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