Easy-To-Grow Foods For Tasty, Healthy Summer Eats
By Sarah Lawrence
No green thumb is required to get these 7 gems to grow. They are powerhouses for your health and couldn’t be easier to grow. It’s time to get your garden on.
All you need to get started are 7 pots and the plants or seeds of your choice. Give everything some water and sun and within a few weeks you can start to reap some summer bounty!
I see salads and spring rolls and fresh picked fruit in your future! Roast some radishes for a sweet, caramelized treat or slice one up, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and pop that goodness straight into your mouth. Peppery arugula is perfect in a sandwich or salad bowl or minced and added to miso soup. When I think basil, I think pesto and curry and spring rolls. Basil is also excellent for summer skin and adds a certain something to a kicking mocktail.
To get you started, here are some great plants to start growing in your own home garden:
Easy to start from seed, these greens are as good in cool temperature as they are in heat. Set up a pot with moist organic soil and sprinkle your seeds about ½ inch apart. Keep the dirt moist and before long you’ll have sprouts followed by gorgeous, bright, peppery leaves.
Trim leaves for your salad bowl, but leave about an inch on the stem to foster regrowth. If you see a thin stalk shoot up with a flower on it, just pinch that right off so your plants don’t bolt. Bolting makes things bitter. As a quick growth crop, plan to reseed arugula a few times to keep yourself in the green goodness all summer long.
Pick up a pack of basil plants from your whole food market or garden center and transplant them into a larger container. Do this anytime after the last frost and your basil will be fine.
Basil loves heat and direct sunlight and actually does best when the soil is allowed to dry out between waterings. Encourage continuous growth and large leaves by clipping off any white flower buds that form.
Pepper seeds will germinate when the temperature is 80 degrees F or above. If you’re in a warm location, you can start with seeds OR snag a pack of young plants and go with the flow.
Peppers love direct sunlight and will be most flavorful when they get a good daily dose. Since picking encourages continued growth, be on the look-out for ripe peppers. Pick a peck and you’ll be pretty much guaranteed more!
Choose a deep container for your radishes. Seeds should be planted 4-6 inches deep and 3 inches apart in loose, moist soil. Set things out in partial shade and be prepared to harvest in 25-30 days for many varieties. Picking radishes young will ensure that they are tender and more sweet.
A tip to toe plant, radishes waste nothing – eat the spicy root and toss the greens into salads, soups or enjoy in wraps or sandwiches.
Your best bet with strawberries is to buy a pack of young plants. Transfer them to a strawberry pot or a container where they can spread out a little. It’s important to keep the soil moist to prevent plants from wilting. Place in a sunny spot with moist, but well drained soil.
Starting from seed adds 6-8 weeks onto your growing timeline. At this point in the season, find yourself some pretty young plants and get them potted. Tomatoes love a little fertilizer, a lot of water and sun. Ask for a good fertilizer at your garden center, set your pots in a sunny spot and water regularly for tasty results.
This plant does well in sun or shade so it’s a win for gardeners everywhere. Pots should be at least 10 inches deep and have 12 inches of growing space per plant. Water well and pick smaller zucchinis when they’re between 6-8 inches long to keep your plants producing. Zucchini flowers are edible too.
Have you had any experience in home gardening? Please share your tips with us in the comments below!
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Sarah Lawrence is a Certified Holistic Health and Integrative Nutrition Coach, Speaker and Reiki Master based in Southern NH. Sarah creates lifestyle transformations by coaching her clients to shift from their current habits into healthier ones. Her philosophy is that small changes, over time, can yield big results. By developing a technique that leverages the benefits of whole foods nutritionals, seasonal detoxification, reiki, aromatherapy, meditation and life coaching, Sarah artfully combines her knowledge from years of study in the fields of chemistry, nutrition and energy healing.
Sarah leads clients from frustration due chronic health issues to elation by attaining and sustaining balanced health. Her intuitive style supports true healing on all levels. Sarah studied at Fairfield University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition; she is pursuing her Masters in Clinical Nutrition and is dedicated to continuing her studies so she can provide the best support for her clients.
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