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Top 10 Vegetables to Grow at Home

Updated on April 25, 2013

Growing vegetables at home is quite possibly one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have.

There are few things in life that are more pleasurable than getting your hands full of soil, soaking up the warm sun and planting something that you can cook in your own kitchen.

If you live in a townhouse, if your garden is fairly small, or even if you're renting and are not able to plant directly into your garden...you can still have your very own veggie patch!

These days, you can pick out an elevated box on legs made up of wood or clay, and use this as the base for your veggie garden. These boxes are also available to be used without legs, and suspended against walls instead. They're available in a wide range of colours, styles and sizes.

There are few things more rewarding than planting and growing your very own veggie garden!
There are few things more rewarding than planting and growing your very own veggie garden! | Source

Carrots

Carrots are extremely nutritious and they're sweet. If you're watching your carbohydrates intake, it's probably best to eat these in moderation as they tend to be sugar laden. They're also full of vitamin A, antioxidants, manganese, potassium and dietary fiber.

Among favourite foods that carrots are used for, the most popular include: carrot cake, glazed carrots, or eating it raw as a healthy snack.

Plant carrots where there are no nearby rocks or other obstructions, and where the roots can grow deep down. They need to be kept moist. When their tops breach the soil line, they're ready to be picked. The tastiest carrots are those which are harvested while they're still quite small.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are probably one of the most popular vegetables that people prefer to grow in their gardens. This vegetable is often also referred to as a fruit. They are not only tasty and smell great, but they're also good for you - rich in vitamin A, B6 and C, as well as iron and magnesium.

There are hundreds of recipes that use tomatoes. A few of these most common recipes include: tomato soup, salsa, almost any pasta sauce, in a Bloody Mary drink, or in salads.

It's best to test the soil in your garden for the right pH level. You will want between 6 and 7. To increase the level add some lime, to decrease it add some sulfur. Mix compost and soil together and plant them at least a foot apart. They can be watered a few times a week with a spray bottle.

Bell Peppers

Peppers are yellow, red, orange or green and can range in flavour between slightly sweet or slightly spicy. They are extremely high in vitamin A and C, as well as potassium and riboflavin.

They can be stuffed with rice, served as part of a grilled vegetable mix, used to add crunch into salads or added into a salsa mix. Peppers also make an excellent choice for a pizza topping and can be served as a healthy snack with a dip in the place of chips.

Peppers need to be watered regularly in order to keep the soil moist. They can have a bitter taste once harvested if the soil is too dry. It's best to plant them where soil is at its warmest and to add compost and Epson salts to make them rich in magnesium and to help them grow.

Spinach

Spinach is the most common vegetable that is recommended when someone has a lack in iron. This vegetable is packed full of iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin A, B6 and C.

The most favourite dishes where spinach is used are in quiches, on top of pizzas, inside pies, as a salad, or creamed together with feta as a side dish. Spinach can also be used to make a dip, as an omelette ingredient or as one of the key ingredients to soups or stews.

Spinach should be grown at least 2 inches apart so that there's enough room for growth. Best grown in Spring and Autumn, these vegetables are prone to cabbage worms. You'll know if you have them once you start seeing little, white butterflies around your veggie patch. Cover your plants with lightweight bed sheets. Simply pick these tiny green worms off by hand if you notice any on your crops.

Peas

Peas are extremely high in fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B6 and C.

These sweet vegetables are grown in a seed-pod of a legume and can be eaten within the pod as a crunchy snack or addition to a stir-fry or salad. Peas removed from the legumes are often used to make pea and ham soup, mashed peas, together with mint as a side dish; or as a tasty addition to stews, casseroles or salads.

Soil should be mixed together with nutrient-rich compost and must be able to drain well in order for peas to grow properly. Peas should be planted at least 2 inches apart, and are best grown early in the Spring or late in the Summer.


5 More Top Vegetables Grown at Home

  1. Radishes
  2. Onions
  3. Lettuce
  4. Beans
  5. Brussels Sprouts

Fun Facts About Vegetables

  • Tomatoes originated in South America.
  • Carrots were first grown in Afghanistan.
  • Potatoes appeared first in Europe in 1586.
  • Almost all the broccoli sold in the US is produced by California.
  • The tomato is referred to by the French as an "apple of love".
  • Only 5% of peas are sold fresh around the world.
  • Carrots consist of rougly 87% water.
  • Carrots are good for your eyes, but eating too much of them can turn your skin slightly orange - especially the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands.
  • Cucumber can reduce puffiness when placed on closed eyelids, as well as bad-breath when placed on the roof of your mouth.
  • After corn, rice and wheat, potato is considered to be the 4th most important crop in the world.
  • Frozen vegetables can be more nutritious than fresh vegetables as most nutrients are lost between the time of picking and eating. Frozen veggies are often picked and frozen on the same day.

Whether you're in a lucky position and able to plant directly into your back garden, or whether you make use of a suspended or elevated box because your garden is small - growing vegetables is something today that almost anyone can do.

It's one of the most satisfying and leisurely activities enjoyed across the world by people of all ages.

Planting veggies at home on your own, with your partner or together as a family is not only rewarding in itself, and is also a way of bonding with the ones you love, and getting back in touch with nature.

The Author

Melanie Chisnall is a freelance writer living in Cape Town, South Africa.

She has recently started growing a small vegetable garden at home with her husband. She also enjoys getting creative in the kitchen by coming up with new ways to cook veggies with various flavour combinations.

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    • MelChi profile image
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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Vellur, thank you! Having this at home has made me happier than ever, you're right - they really are good for the soul ;)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Very useful hub on growing vegetables at home. It is a great feeling when you cook vegetables that you have grown!! Growing vegetables is therapy for the soul !!

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      They really are! Nothing like picking fresh veggies and herbs for supper. Thanks Victoria :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great ideas, Mel! I need to work on my gardening skills, because fresh veggies at home are the best! Thanks for the hub!

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      You won't believe it Bill, but our tomatoes that we just bought have died :( There must be something we're missing here... everything else is surviving, but not the tomatoes....complicated little things apparently! Thanks for making time to read my hubs, I don't expect you to read them every time, lol - especially not when you read over 50 a day!! I remember reading 5 a day and being quite chuffed. I take my hat off to you for being the supporter that you are, it's no wonder you have so many followers and fans. You are one of the real ones - it's refreshing, and I'm so glad that I met you through here....you're a true inspiration! :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't know what's up but I'm not getting any notices about your hubs; I just noticed three that I never heard about , including this one. I know you are going to say no big deal, but it is to me. I read close to fifty hubs a day, many of them not so terribly good, and I want to support you....so here I am finally, and I loved the hub, and for some reason I can't grow tomatoes worth a damn. LOL

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Michelle! Oh yes, I also love bell peppers...they add so much flavour to any dish. I'm looking forward to cooking with our veggies when they've grown. Thanks for your comment :)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      You feel a greater sense of satisfaction when you grow your own food. :-)

      Makes cooking extra special, Melanie. My favorites are carrots and bell peppers. Thanks for giving me cooking inspiration!

    • MelChi profile image
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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thanks Vellur! I must say that last night was the first night we had fresh Rosemary with our dinner compared to the bottled, dried variety. WOW. What a difference! Herbs are so easy to grow though. We've got a few in our kitchen window in pots. Thanks for your comment :)

    • MelChi profile image
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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi rbm - That's great! I'll know who to contact then if I need some tips...this is all still so new to us. We're just holding thumbs nothing dies, lol. Thanks for your comment :)

    • MelChi profile image
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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      iguidenetwork - Wow, white...really? That's so weird...I can't even picture a white carrot! Learn something new every day! :) Thanks for checking in and for your comment!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub and tips. Nothing like growing vegetables and using them to cook. It must be great.

    • rbm profile image

      rbm 4 years ago

      Good choices, we grow all of these as well. Beautiful hub, voted up!

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thank you so much teaches12345! :) Please let me know how your tomatoes go so that I can grab a few tips. We had heavy rains yesterday and they weren't under shelter...hopefully they make it, although they're not looking so good.

    • MelChi profile image
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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Julie, that's great - you must put up some pictures so we can see :)

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

      MelChi, the first carrots grown in Afghanistan, as far as I know, were anything but orange. (they were originally white, just like the long white radish). Very informative and useful hub, by the way, and enjoyable to read too. :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I caught this earlier but wanted to come back and leave a comment on how much I enjoyed your advice. I am still trying to get some tomatoes growing!

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 years ago from Clinton CT

      We grow most of these.....love gardening!!

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thank you so much unknown spy! Appreciate you reading and your comment :)

    • MelChi profile image
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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Wow Deborah! That's great....good to find someone who grows these veggies. I don't know many people that grow their own now that I think of it. I'm not a fan of Brussels sprouts either, so unfortunately my husband will have to keep dreaming about eating those at home, lol! Thanks for checking in to read and comment! :)

    • MelChi profile image
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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Haha, Janine! There are people out there who just don't understand why we lack green thumbs. Like you, I've never really had one, but now that we have this garden and with Geoff so involved in it - I'm slowly starting to grow one. I just hope I don't kill anything by mistake, because that will be the end of it! Thanks for taking time to comment and read here as well - appreciate it! :)

    • MelChi profile image
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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hehe, Linda. I also don't have much of a green thumb - my husband's the one with a love for gardening, but I'm slowly getting there. I suppose it helps if you're actually able to have a little garden - which, now we are! Glad I could make you feel healthy so early on a Monday! Thanks for dropping in to read and comment :)

    • MelChi profile image
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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thank you Terrye! I was over-the-moon to find something that could work for our property, it's fantastic! Thanks for your visit and the comment :)

    • MelChi profile image
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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Haha Richard! You cracked me up with the statement of Eve making BLT's for Adam! Hehe. I also didn't know that it was an "apple of love". And all this time I thought fresh veggies were better. Good news for the wallet! Thanks for your votes and comment :)

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      my gosh, this is soo lovely and very useful. i love the pictures, very beauitufl melchi.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      I grow all of these except Brussels sprouts. My husband doesn't care for them and doesn't want to devote space in the garden to them. But maybe someday ...

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Again, this is why Linda and I get along so well, because as you already knowI truly lack a green thumb, but loved reading your hub article about growing vegetables at home. HoweverI am going to have to leave that to those who an, because those poor veggies have no shot with me, lol :) Have of course voted and shared all over Mel!!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I lack a green thumb or else I'd grow all of these vegetables. I did try to grow herbs which worked out, but then I had too much. I feel healthier just reading your hub! I love my veggies.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Wonderful ideas for any small space, Melchi. Voted up and shared.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      I had to look three times at the frozen veggie being more nutritious statement before it finally sank in. (Boy, I must really be slow this morning.) Tomato is the apple of love? Wow, I wonder if Eve made BLT's for Adam? lol Good ideas for renters and all. Great Hub! Up & Useful & Interesting