Want to grow edible plants in your apartment? Our article on How To Grow Vegetables In Apartments is a must read then. Even beginners can easily grow them.
Cultivating a vegetable garden in the balcony or in the home garden is stimulating and fun, and nowadays also trendy. The joy of growing your own food is not only good health wise, but it’s also easy on the pocket.
Even for those who do not have too much space, we have seen that there are various do-it-yourself vertical garden solutions. Just use a little ingenuity to transform your terrace into a splendid urban garden.
How To Grow Vegetables In Apartments – The 10 Easiest Vegetables To Cultivate
But what to cultivate? Here are, in our opinion, 10 easy vegetables that are easy to grow even for those who are beginners in gardening techniques.
1. Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum)
Originally from South America, tomato is a creeping plant and for this reason it is necessary to install a support to grow most varieties. It is rich in nutrients such as niacin, potassium and phosphorus, antioxidant substances such as lycopene, carotene and anthocyanins, vitamins A, C and E.
Thanks to their juicy pulp, tomatoes can add a load of taste and flavor to a variety of dishes, such as salads, pasta and sandwiches.
After the winter frosts, choose a place in your garden with good exposure to sunlight and make sure that the acidity of the soil is between pH six and seven. To increase the pH level, add lime, to decrease it add sulfur instead.
Get some good compost and mix it with the earth. Dig a hole for each seed, spacing them about thirty centimeters from each other to allow the plants to grow. Cover it and press the soil lightly. Water a few times a week with the help of a spray bottle.
2. Radishes (Raphanus sativus)
Originating in the areas of China and Japan, it is mainly cultivated for its roots, the edible part, which can be of different colors (red, white, green, purple), shape and size. Radishes are a great source of potassium, folic acid, magnesium and calcium, and are commonly used in salads, both as a seasoning and as a simple garnish.
The best time for sowing outdoors is from April to July. To thrive, radishes require a lot of sunlight and a soil with a pH of six or seven. They can be planted in both broadcasters and rows.
The seeds must be buried a couple of centimeters below the surface, being careful to leave enough space between them to allow good growth of the plants. They require not abundant but frequent watering because they fear drought. Radish is an annual plant, with a very fast-growing cycle.
3. Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo)
This elongated vegetable, similar to a cucumber, made its appearance in Italy around 1800. With its characteristic green color, it has a low-calorie content and is rich in potassium, folic acid and manganese. Zucchini can be boiled, fried, steamed or even cooked in the sun. They can be an excellent side dish, a tasty filling or a delicious appetizer.
Sowing must be carried out from March to May by placing two or three seeds in each hole. The holes will be more or less large according to the variety you’re are going to select. For the winter ones, the dimensions will be 50x50x50 while for the summer variety a hole of 30x30x30 will be sufficient.
The holes must be spaced at least one meter apart and filled with compost. The seeds will be covered with a layer of soil of about twenty centimeters. Water abundantly every day and you will see your seedlings sprout in a couple of weeks.
4. Beetroot (Beta vulgaris)
Beetroot is a biennial cycle plant and has a fleshy root that can be boiled, eaten on its own, or in a salad. Betaine, one of the main nutrients in this vegetable with an intense red or purple color, is known to improve the health of the cardiovascular system.
The first thing to do will be to clean and strengthen the seeds by immersing them in room temperature water for a day. Prepare the ground by removing any stones and plant the seeds individually by spacing them apart and watering them at least once a day.
5. Carrots (Daucus carota)
Native to temperate regions of Europe, it is a biennial herbaceous species rich in vitamins A (Betacarotene), B, C, PP, D and E, as well as mineral salts and starches, antioxidants and dietary fibers, from characteristic orange color. Carrots are a delicious and healthy snack that can be steamed, baked or boiled and they are an excellent ingredient for cakes.
The sowing can be done from January to October according to the varieties and it is advisable to do it in a scalar way every 15-25 days in order to obtain roots of different sizes.
The holes will be spaced apart and will host a couple of seeds each. The soil must always be well moist and the amount of water will decrease as the plants reach maturity.
6. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)
Spinach, originally from south-western Asia, was introduced to Europe around 1000, although it became more and more important as a food only during the nineteenth century. The thick green leaves of this plant, that are very rich in iron and calcium, are consumed.
Prepare the soil for sowing using compost and bury the seeds at a couple of centimeters deep, keeping the right distances to allow the correct growth of the plants. Water abundantly.
7. Peas (Pisum sativum)
Pea, originally from the Mediterranean and near-eastern area, is an annual herbaceous plant of the Fabaceae family and is a good source of vitamins A, B and C.
Mix the soil with a nutrient-rich compost and understand that abundant watering will be needed to make peas flourish. Spread the seeds a few centimeters apart and plant them to a depth of four five centimeters.
8. Bell Peppers (Capsicum annuum)
The bell pepper is an annual plant in the Mediterranean and perennial climate in the warm countries of South America is where it comes from. It is rich in vitamins and nutrients such as thiamine, folic acid and manganese and can be used as cooked, raw or seasoned in different ways.
Fertilize the soil both with compost and with the addition of Epsom salts, which will make it richer in magnesium to help the peppers to develop in a healthy way. Since they grow best in warm soils, bury the seeds on the surface. Water frequently, keeping the soil moist, otherwise your peppers will have a bitter taste after harvesting.
9. Lettuce (Latuca Sativa)
It is an annual plant with more or less wide, ovoid or elongated leaves and, according to the variety, it has different shades of color ranging from green to yellowish to red.
In ancient Egypt it was considered an aphrodisiac. Lettuce is a good source of folic acid and vitamin A. Used as the main ingredient in most salads, this green leafy vegetable, of which there are dozens of common varieties, can also be stuffed with various ingredients.
Before cultivating the soil, fertilize it with nutrients and work it by removing any stones or debris. Make sure the seeds are planted between eight and sixteen centimeters deep and water every morning.
10. Onion (Allium cepa)
The first traces of this vegetable date back to the Bronze Age. It is a biennial herbaceous plant with a root system collated, rich in fiber, folic acid and vitamin C. These bulb vegetables add flavor to a wide variety of food products, such as sauces, soups, salads and more.
The soil must be very light to allow homogeneous growth of the bulb and for this it will have to be worked vigorously and free of debris. Enrich it with compost and plant the seeds at a couple of centimeters deep, well-spaced apart. Gently provide them with about an inch of water every week.
Growing your own vegetables can be a great way to help the environment and also save some pennies. Another bonus is that you can choose organic produce and won’t have to rely on supermarkets and shops to get your vegetable intake.
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