Since the Coronavirus outbreak began, Janisa has been able to dedicate herself more to one of her longtime hobbies: gardening.
Why Should You Have Your Own Garden?
You've probably heard people say that "homegrown tastes better," and they're definitely right. Homegrown produce is much fresher and more natural. You wouldn't want to use toxic fertilizers and growth boosters on your own food, would you?
Homegrown fruits, berries and vegetables don't need to be transported long distances. Instead, you can just head out to your garden or balcony or windowsill (or wherever your goodness will be growing) and pick out the right amount that you'd like. Nothing more, nothing less. This will help prevent food waste, and you can eat fresh on a daily basis. This is especially amazing in the winter when most vegetables become more expensive and some are extremely hard to come by.
When it comes to herbs, it is also much cheaper to grow your own. Even though some are fairly affordable at the supermarket, the ones that you'll be growing will be organic—so using the prices of regular herbs isn't fair. Herbs are also pretty much eternal, as are the other vegetables that I'll discuss in this post. This means that you can always replant then, creating a constant and never-ending supply.
Last but not least, gardening can be a fun hobby for all ages! Kids can enjoy taking care of plants and observing their growth. Adults and teens can get creative in the kitchen with their homegrown produce. It is almost like taking care of a pet, but with less responsibility and edible results!
8 Veggies You Can Buy Once and Then Grow Forever
- Bok Choy
- Green Onion
- Romaine Lettuce
Before You Start
When deciding what you're going to plant, especially if you're new to gardening, it is important to choose something simple that grows fast. This way you'll be able to take care of it more easily, and its growth (in addition to your progress) will be more visible. You'll also have to wait less prior to tasting your creations!
Choosing the exact types of plants to grow will depend on several factors. Some of the major ones include the following:
- The local climate
- Amount of space you have
- Your spare time
- How patient you are
Choosing a few easy herbs and veggies as a beginner gardener will allow you to get a grip on it and will help to build confidence. When you see your success in growing something for the first time, you'll be more motivated to continue with the hobby, this time trying something different and more complicated.
How Long Does it Take to Grow Your Own Food?
There are a number of factors that affect how long it'll be before you're able to eat what you planted, especially if it's not a veggie where you would commonly eat the leaves.
For herbs, you can begin using a bit in your recipes as soon as a few leaves appear. Just don't rip off the whole thing, so the plant can still grow. For others, you'll have to wait until the vegetable is fully formed and reaches a good size. This process may take around two to three months.
If you want to have a never-ending supply of these veggies, and you have enough space, you can keep planting them until your first batch is ready to be harvested. Then you can just continue the process, this time planting your own homegrown veggies.
When you first leave them in water, it can take up to three to five days before you see the first signs of new life. Sometimes, you'll be able to see small roots beginning to grow on the very next day! It always depends, so don't worry if it doesn't seem to be working after the first day.
Read More From Dengarden
How to plant: Cut off the wide point of your store-bought carrots. In some cases, there may be some small leaves sticking out of the end. Submerge the side that you cut in water. The depth of the water should be around 1 centimeter. Your carrot stub should be around 3–4 centimeters high. Transfer to a container with soil after three to five days or when roots and new leaves begin to appear.
Culinary uses: Place in salads, soups, and baking goods.
How to plant: Take the bottom of your celery stalk and put it into a bowl or cup with water. The base should be fully submerged. Transfer to a container with soil after three to five days or when roots and new leaves begin to appear.
Culinary uses: Eat it raw or in salads and smoothies.
How to plant: Take a few cilantro stems and place them in a small glass, similar to what you would do with flowers. The bottoms should be submerged in water, and the leaves should be hanging out. Roots will grow within a few days. Transfer to a container with soil after three to five days or when roots and new leaves begin to appear. You can also skip the water part and plant them directly into the soil, but this method takes longer and may not work if you allow the soil to dry out too much.
Culinary uses: Place in salads and seasoning.
How to plant: The method is similar to what you would do with cilantro: place a few stems into a glass of water for a few days. Transfer to a container with soil after three to five days or when roots and new leaves begin to appear.
Culinary uses: Apply in salads and seasoning.
5. Bok Choy
How to plant: Take the bottom of the bok choy you bought at the supermarket and place it into a bowl of water. The bok choy needs to be entirely submerged. Transfer to a container with soil after three to five days or when roots and new leaves begin to appear.
Culinary uses: Eat it raw or place in stir fry, sauté, and soups.
How to plant: In my opinion, garlic is one of the easiest veggies to grow. You can plant garlic cloves directly into the soil. You'll need to separate them and have around 5–10 centimeters between each one. Plant them with the wider end (the base) facing down. Cover each clove with soil so that only the tip shows.
Or, if you prefer, you can put a few garlic bulbs on a plate with a bit of water, wait for the roots and leaves to appear, and then transfer them to a container.
Culinary uses: Enjoy consuming them raw or apply in salads, seasoning, and soups.
7. Green Onion
How to plant: In most cases, the green onion that you buy at the supermarket will have little roots sticking out of it. Cut these roots off (leave a few centimeters on top) and place the stems into a glass of water. Transfer to a container with soil after three to five days or when new roots begin to appear. When you plant your new stems in the soil, cover the roots with soil, up to the end of the white part. This will help to make the young plants more stable.
Culinary uses: Apply in salads, soups, and seasoning.
8. Romaine Lettuce
How to plant: Romaine lettuce is another one that you can plant directly into the soil. Place the bottom of the stem into the ground with the base facing down. Leaves should appear within a few days.
Or, if you prefer, place the bottom of the stem into a bowl or glass of water. Transfer to a container with soil after three to five days or when roots and new leaves begin to appear.
Culinary uses: Eat as is or in salads (especially for Caesar salad).
Extra Help Growing Your Carrots
Extra Help Growing Your Celery
Get to Gardening!
Gardening can be a fun pastime, a way to eat healthy and also to save some money, especially at a time like this. Growing your own food is entertaining, but it requires dedication and patience, especially when you're just starting out. Things may not work out perfectly on your first try, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying the experience.
The veggies and herbs presented in this article are some of the easiest to grow. I hope that you give them a try and discover the world of gardening for yourself!
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.
© 2020 Janisa
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on July 13, 2020:
Home grown vegetable are idea for every home. I start growing leafy greens and tomato at 12-years. That tomato was indeed a rare bred-elongated like a snake. My garden during the Nigerian conflict of 1968. At 25 I plant just greens in a container. I do enjoy the goodies dailly- always fresh greens in my plates of bean, or rice, potato. Thanks.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 13, 2020:
Excellent and informative article.
I do grow some of them, and it’s a great feeling to have home grown vegetables or greens.
Thank you for sharing this well presented article.
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on July 06, 2020:
Hi there, that's a good move.
Millicent Okello from Nairobi, Kenya on July 06, 2020:
Hi Janisa.your article is very informative.I love garlic,celery and green onions so much. With this easy to follow instructions, at least i can try and make a small garden on my balcony.
Lora Hollings on July 01, 2020:
You have written an excellent article about growing your own healthy and delicious veggies. You have provided very detailed and easy to follow instructions. You have motivated me to try growing these veggies in containers as right now I'm unable to have a garden. Many people are now interested in growing healthy food and relying less on grocery stores especially during a time of a pandemic. Many people see how vulnerable our food system is and also want to get away from eating so much meat. Factory farming, where the majority of animals are raised, is destroying our planet and because of the conditions the meat packers are forced to work in is also causing the spread of covid-19 and causing many of these workers to become seriously ill. Changing our diets to a plant-based one where we can grow much of our own food is the way to reduce global warming and become much healthier as well! Thanks for sharing.
Lisha C on June 30, 2020:
This is a useful article. My dad loves gardening but has not grown any vegetables yet. Maybe this article will get him started! Thanks for sharing.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 24, 2020:
I always plant the spring onion bottoms in our garden where they regrow, and, as you mentioned, it is easy to grow more basil plants from cuttings placed in water. I am going to try some of these other things. Buying a vegetable once, and regrowing it, has considerable merit! I pinned this to my gardening board.
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on June 22, 2020:
Janisa, I like gardening. Presently, I am living a city where land is hard to come by. Some day, I will get a good land to farm. Thanks.
Janisa (author) from Earth on June 21, 2020:
Hi Pamela, thank you for your kind comment. I hope you'll be able to have a garden again someday
Janisa (author) from Earth on June 21, 2020:
Hi Miebakagh, thank you for reading! I wish you luck in growing your own veggies :)
Janisa (author) from Earth on June 21, 2020:
Hi Liz, thank you for the comment. I have a few potato and tomato plants myself as well, but I think that these require a bit more work and space than other simpler to grow plants. I love cherry tomatoes, but sometimes it's nice to have something that doesn't require much effort to take care of it.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 21, 2020:
I am not able to have a garden due to health problems but I did have one for many years. I wish I could agina but I will say your article is very good. I think it is a great idea to grow you own herbs. The information you provided is excellent, Janisa.
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on June 21, 2020:
Janisa, I think growing these herbs and greens is worth it, after purchasing same. I love veggies you talk about execept cilantro. Thank.
Liz Westwood from UK on June 20, 2020:
This is a very helpful article. I have a basil plant on my windowsill. My daughter has grown spring onions and leeks from old ones. I know someone else who has grown potatoes. A friend cut a cherry tomato in half and a plant is now growing.