7 Easy-to-Grow Vegetables You Need to Add to Your Veggie Garden
Gardening has always been a work of love with patience for me—from sowing seeds, watering, and transplanting if needed, to putting up a trellis and of course feeding. It takes time. But having your own vegetable any time you want is something to look forward to. It is rewarding and therapeutic.
I noticed having a veggie garden is becoming popular nowadays, due in part to this year's pandemic. More and more people are getting into growing their own food, especially veggies. It is more convenient to harvest fresh greens in your own backyard, and nothing beats knowing where your veggies came from—tended by your own hands.
But then, not all plants are easy to grow or easy to care for. While some take more time and need a little bit of extra care, some are easy to grow. And those plants are what I am about to share here. If I (who doesn't have a green thumb) can grow these seven vegetables, then you absolutely can too!
These semi-aquatic perennial plants will provide you with leafy greens once established and ready for harvest. Watercress is a fast grower, so you'll have a source of vegetables in a short time. The thing I like about watercress—from the two containers and old cooler that we made into a planter—is that we can harvest a few times a week.
Watercress self-sows, so once it's introduced in the garden, don't be surprised to see seedlings the next spring season. I might add as well that this plant isn't picky when it comes to soil. Most of the watercress we have are in containers. But since there are areas in our garden with poor soil, I decided to transplant some watercress and, to my surprise, they did well. They even thrive in shady areas too.
Another veggie you should consider adding in your garden is red spinach, also known as spleen amaranth, Chinese spinach, and kalunay amongst other names. This leafy green goes well in stews with other veggies.
This is one of the veggies we have been growing for years now, and it's a self-sowing plant. Tiny seedlings with reddish baby leaves and stems show up every spring almost everywhere. The reddish color diminishes as spleen amaranth matures. But for weeks, the color is still prominent underneath the leaves.
This is my favorite, either sautéed or in veggie soup. Also known as white cabbage and pechay, bok choi is great steamed too. It is easy to grow and you'll have another source of veggies when a dish calls for it.
Bok choi is often grown from seeds, but don't throw away your scraps of store-bought produce. Plant them instead and grow more. Really? Yes, I've done it myself. It took some time for the scraps to recover, but if you're growing from seeds, why not grow from scraps as well?
Take some time as well when growing bok choi to check them for cabbage worms and slugs. These two seem to be more attracted to this veggie than the other ones I mentioned here.
Purslane may not be that popular, but this is too easy to grow to not mention. Also known as ulasiman as we call it in my native tongue, purslane is likely to be spotted sold in bundles. Considered as a weed, it grows wildly even in unthinkable places— in between cracks by the roadside or anywhere there's pavement, in wastelands, and probably even by your driveway or in your community park.
Purslane is drought tolerant and isn't picky when it comes to soil. It also self-sows. So if you're looking for a veggie that does that, expect seedlings in your garden every year once you introduce purslane in your garden.
While this nutritious succulent plant is still relatively unknown to many, purslane has been consumed for thousand of years in countries like Pakistan and India. As the stems and leaves are edible, you can include it in salads, in stews or soured dishes and soup, and it goes well with mung beans.
Sprouted Mung Beans
These beans are used as fillings in pastries like hopia or bakpia or made into curry, pancakes, and puddings. And in less than a week, you can have your own sprouted mung beans.
Soak mung beans in water for 12 hours. If you have Styrofoam meat trays around, make a hole in them and line with damp paper towels before placing the mung beans on them. Then cover with another damp paper towel. You will also need a second styrofoam underneath the other one for the excess water that will drip through.
Be sure to rinse the mung beans every day under running water, since the Styrofoam meat trays have holes to let the water pass through. You'll have sprouted mung beans in less than a week—and if you like, you can also give them few more days if you want greener leaves.
Radishes are one of the easiest veggies to grow. Their seeds are easy to germinate and, depending on the variety, the edible roots are ready to harvest in as little as four weeks. Daikon radish, which is a large variety shown in the photo below, takes about two to three months, however. But don't let that discourage you.
The leaves are edible too, preferably the younger ones, as they're much more tender and are good either sautéed with bok choi or used in stews. Why should you avoid the matured leaves? Their tiny, needle-like spines make them uncomfortable to touch, especially when preparing the leaves.
Whatever variety you chose, I suggest doing a little research of your own to make sure the leaves are consumable as well.
If you're like us and love tomatoes in salads, with fried or grilled fish, and of course in soured dishes, then you must grow this essential crop. Every gardener I know grow tomatoes.
There are different varieties to choose from, but you can always start growing yours from store-bought tomatoes. The most commonly grown varieties to my observation are roma, better boy, and red beefsteak tomatoes. But I might as well add my favorite: cherry tomatoes.
While the bigger varieties are great for cooking, making sauces, and sliced to go with your homemade burger, the cherry tomatoes are the perfect kind for veggie salads, skewers, and snacking. They may be small in size, but a single plant will give you more than enough—if not a bountiful harvest—of round and sweet little tomatoes.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.