It’s that time of year again where the weather is getting nicer and the seasons are changing from spring to summer. This means more outdoor activity like baseball, golf, swimming and sunbathing. All of this extra activity depletes our nutrient stores making is essential that we are getting enough from our diets.
Fresh vegetables and herbs are some of the best things we can eat to get all of these nutrients we need but regularly going to the grocery stores just to pick up fresh vegetables can be an inconvenient chore that no one wants to do.
A good alternative to going to the store to get fresh vegetables is growing your own. Its more convenient, cheaper and is a great way to supplement your diet with healthier foods. Many of these vegetables and herbs are simple to grow as well, here are some that you should add to your backyard garden.
Beets are a nutritious root vegetable rich in potassium, manganese, copper Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. Beets can either be eaten young and used in fresh salads, or when grown to maturity can be cooked and like you would spinach, and can be used in various dishes.
Plant your beets as soon as spring starts, after you have turned and tilled the soil. Just 1/2 cup of beets daily can help you get the benefits of all of the minerals and vitamins beets provide.
Carrots are another root vegetable that are easy to grow, and should be planted at the start of spring, preferably in sandy soil.
Carrots come in multiple varieties and colors, most famously orange. This orange color is the result of beta carotene, the compound responsible for the production of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is important in maintaining eyesight, bone health, skin and immune system health.
Carrots are also great because of their versatility, they can be eaten raw as a snack or can be used as a side to compliment a wide array of various dishes.
Cucumbers are one of the easiest plants to grow, and you should end up with more than you can possibly use from just a plant or two. Cucumbers aren’t known for their nutrition, but provide plenty of hydration given that they are 95% water. They also are a great addition to a salad giving it some texture and crunch.
Cucumbers are best planted in soil that has been fertilized prior to this seasons planting, that is rich in nutrients. Cucumbers can be harvested pretty much whenever you want, at any size.
Lettuce is not only really simple to grow, it can save you a lot of money depending on how often you eat greens and what types you eat. Lettuce is something that everyone should consider growing again because of its ease but also because of how many vitamins and minerals they provide.
Lettuce is packed with Vitamins A, B, C, and K giving almost a complete profile of all the Vitamins we need from our diet. If you think or know that you are deficient when it comes to your vitamins, you should definitely consider growing lettuce.
Lettuce is best planted in cooler weather, so aim for early to mid spring planting. Lettuce can be grown outside through the fall in most climates making it a crop we can harvest multiple times.
Green beans are a food many people associate with summer for their vibrant green color and distinctive snapping noise they make when you bite in to them. Green beans are a very healthy food as well rich in Vitamins A, C and K as well as potassium, iron and manganese as well.
Green beans are an all around balanced food packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber to help you maintain good overall health.
Green beans are best planted in soil that has good drainage, and in a south facing garden with plenty of full sunlight. Beans are a plant that needs to be sown or replanted every few weeks in order for you to be able to harvest them throughout the summer season.
Basil is such an easy herb to grow, and can be done in either the ground or in a pot for your convenience. Basil has that very distinctive smell associated with many summer dishes. Add basil to your pasta or you can blend up a bunch to make pesto sauce yourself.