Avoid the Grocery Store. Plant a Garden!
Spending $2 or $3 on a bunch of greens or upwards of $5 on fresh herbs is a great financial motivation. And, let's not forget that fresh greens and herbs taste better than the store-bought stuff.
Plus, the current situation in the world has made many people wary of making too many trips to the grocery store. And, do you really trust the Instacart guy to find you the freshest bunch of Lacinato kale?
Even if you don't plan on starting a farmstead, becoming self-sustaining, and going off the grid, there are a lot of fantastic reasons to find your green thumb and start a small veggie garden.
This leafy green is fairly easy to plant, and we're in the ideal planting time for it! Romaine is incredibly versatile. Use it for your Caesar salad, add it to a sandwich, or wrap your burger in it. When romaine is fresh, you'll enjoy crispy, great-tasting leaves that rival even the best farmers' market.
Kale is the perfect vegetable to grow for beginners. It's also ideal if you're short on space because it does well in raised garden beds and containers. You can begin growing kale any time after spring, so this is an ideal season to get your kale on.
Packed with protein and vitamins, spinach is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. You can plant spinach seeds, or grow a plant from a bundle you previously purchased from the grocery store (after cutting off the leaves). For the best results, make sure you use nitrogen-rich soil with a neutral pH.
You can likely get multiple rounds of spinach from a single plant. But, once the plant stops producing new leaves and you see the start of a flower, it's time to pull out the plant and use the space for something new.
Every once in a while, a recipe calls for fresh thyme. While you could theoretically substitute the dried herb, there's nothing better than going fresh. Because thyme is so easy to grow, we recommend that every herb garden has at least some. It's incredibly simple to care for, requiring minimal water and light pruning.
Basil is a fairly hearty plant, and once you get the hang of taking care of it, you can have basil for life from a single plant! You can grow basil in the ground or a pot. Just make sure you keep the soil moist and well-drained.
As flowers begin to form, make sure you prune them. Otherwise, your basil plant will become woody and stop producing sweet leaves.
Though technically a fruit, we can't discuss a veggie garden without mentioning tomatoes. The trick to a successful tomato plant is plenty of sunlight. Aim for an area that gets about seven hours of sunshine each day. The soil should be slightly acidic, with a range of 6.5 to 6.8 pH. You can get a soil tester to monitor your soil.
Summer is an ideal time for planting tomatoes. The plants thrive on temps over 60 degrees. When you plant basil and tomato together (along with onions and garlic), they act like a natural pest repellent.
Have you planted any herbs or veggies in your garden this summer? Let us know in the comments!