Few things in life are more satisfying than a tasty fruit or vegetable grown in your own backyard. There are many reasons why growing your own edible plants is so rewarding. When fruits and vegetables are allowed to ripen to maturity in the sunshine, they are far tastier and more nutritious than those available in the grocery store. Both adults and children find delight in seeing something grow from a tiny sprout into a full vegetable. Not only are edible plant gardens educational, but you can save money on both lawn maintenance and groceries by turning a section of your backyard into an edible food-scape. What’s not to love?
Below are five edible plants that can be easily grown in a Georgia backyard. To learn more check out the “How to Grow Your Own Edible Garden in 10 Easy Steps or Less” e-book.
Strawberries are heavenly, and they are incredibly easy to grow as long as you have a nice sunny spot. Once you’ve planted strawberries they will give you fruit for many years to come. A good trick is to put some straw around the plants to keep moisture in the soil and help the fruit to ripen on top of the warm straw (that is why they call them strawberries!).
Blueberries not only provide delicious fruit but they can make a beautiful addition to your landscaping. The bush can grow up to several feet high and its dark foliage creates a nice backdrop or border. They require some pruning and they like a lot of wood chips or leaf mulch, but they can live for decades and with just some simple maintenance they will provide tons of fruit over the years.
Kale is no longer just for fancy restaurants and Californians. It is becoming a staple across North America because it grows easily in many different conditions and is incredibly nutritious. There are many different varieties of kale available. Some varieties work well in place of spinach. Some have a slightly nutty flavor which goes well in salads and soups. You can buy kale starts from a local garden store or simply sprinkle seeds over a prepared garden bed and watch them grow. This plant will continue to provide you with a delicious green vegetable well after the first frost.
Tomatoes are easily the most popular edible plant to grow. Nothing compares to a ripe tomato off the vine and there are endless uses for fresh tomatoes. There are also endless varieties to choose from; you can pick up plant starts or a pack of seeds from your local garden center. If you want to try starting them from seed yourself, do so in a window, under a grow light or in a greenhouse as soon as the last frost is past. Tomatoes like a lot of sunshine. For best results, grow them up against a wall that gets at least 8 hours of sun each day, or purchase a small hot house to grow them in. Tomatoes can require a bit of fussing but when your bumper crop comes you will not regret it.
Pumpkins and other varieties of squash are fun and easy crops to grow, especially if you have children. If you put them near a fence or trellis they will climb up and look quite lovely. Nothing says fall like a beautiful pumpkin growing in your yard, and you can carve it up for Halloween or make delicious soups, muffins and more.