Growing your own vegetables is such a great idea on so many levels. You save money. You avoid pesticides and GMOs. You avoid contributing to the global warming emissions associated with the industrial food system. And you develop a skill that can be very useful. Here is a list with some of the best vegetables to be grown at home:
- Tomatoes and peppers: These easily raised crops enjoy a sunny windowsill and can be grown from seed or small plantlets. In the case of tomatoes, there are some varieties that are especially recommended for indoor growing so choose carefully. Also, encourage pollination through tapping the plants when in bloom.
- Carrots and radishes: Most root crops need greater depth than you can provide indoors, but radishes, especially round or globe varieties that do not root very deeply, grow well in boxes and pots. Seeds can be sown from late winter until mid-autumn, often producing usable roots 21 to 25 days later. Round carrot varieties are also successful in pots and boxes. Carrots love sun as well, so find a sunny spot that has at least 8 hours of direct sun. Partial sun will work too, but they will grow slower. The tip for carrots, in order to avoid fungus, is to water with chamomile tea.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms are an ideal indoor crop for any time of year. Also, they are a healthy addition to any diet, as they are low in calories and fat, high in fiber, and contain high amounts of potassium. The 3 types of mushrooms that are easiest to grow at home are oyster, white button, and Shiitake. There are different ways of growing mushrooms and each mushroom type has a preferred growing method.
- Potatoes: Potatoes are easily grown in large pots, buckets or even plastic sacks, and produce worthwhile yields of tasty new potatoes. When planting the roots, leave space at the top of the container for adding more compost to earth up the plants as they develop. Also, put pebbles at the bottom of the pot.
- Beans and peas: Beans may be vined or bushy and come in several sizes and colors. They are primarily a warm season vegetable, which is best grown in spring but can also be started for a late summer harvest in some temperate zones. Some varieties are especially suited for indoor growing. Dwarf French beans can be sown in pots from late winter onwards for early pods. Dwarf broad beans and dwarf runner beans crop well indoors, too. The most important components to consider in the successful care for potted bean plants are the soil type, drainage, pot depth and ambient conditions.