10 Fruits & Veg to Grow for Beginners
So many of us want to grow our own fruits and vegetables. Yet so many of us struggle to find the time, energy and knowledge to grow our own veggies. Whether it’s an issue with space (like those who don’t have a garden to use) or hurdles with time. We’ve put together a simple and easy-to-digest (heh) guide on the best plants to grow at home for beginners.
#1 Grow Green Onions at Home
Next time you get yourself some green onions – better known as spring onions – be sure to only chop them up to an inch above the roots. You can still use the rest for your current recipe, but the last part can be regrown. Take this last inch and pop in a glass of water (not so deep that you drown the poor thing). Keep the bulb and roots in the window, so they have easy access to sunlight – and voila! You have unlimited spring onions.
Similar to spring onions, you can use the rest of the celery. But only chop up to about 1.5 inches above the root end. Then pop the base in a shallow bowl or glass of water. You can add four toothpicks into the celery end, which will keep the base from touching the bottom of your glass or bowl. However, these aren’t necessary – just handy to stave off mould and/or overwatering.
It’ll take about a week for the new sprouts to emerge, going from the centre outwards. You might notice a couple of the stalks going brown around the outer parts. Don’t fret! This is normal, but can quickly turn to rot if they aren’t cared for. If you do notice these, replant your celery in some soil and enjoy the growth!
#3 Grow Your Own Lettuce
This one follows the same basic principles as the last two. Chop up your lettuce, but leave 1.5 inches above the base. Then place it in a shallow dish and watch it grow! It’ll take about 10-12 days, and you’ll need to change the water every one or two days, to avoid a soggy, mouldy head of lettuce. It won’t become as big as it once was – but enough to make a decent buttie out of.
#4 Grow Your Own Herbs
Basil, mint and coriander can all be regrown from the sad herb pots you can buy at the supermarket. For these options, you’ll need to make sure there are around 2 to 3 inches left of the stem. Pop these in some water and wait for the roots to grow. Once the roots have become fairly pronounced, you can transfer them back to a pot with some soil. If nothing else, you can enjoy the aromas they create during growth.
#5 Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
These are surprisingly easy to grow – but take a little longer than the other items we’ve gone through, so far. They can, however, be a pain for those without a garden, so it might be worth skipping these if you live in a flat. This is purely because they tend to spread and need a lot of space to grow fully.
All you need to do is grab some trusty toothpicks. Pop four in at right angles to each other, roughly halfway up the potato. Then pop this over a glass, so that half the potato is submerged in water. The roots should soon start to grow, at which point you’ll need to transfer this to soil.
#6 Grow Your Own Pineapple
There’s a bit of a trick to this – and, again, it’ll take some time to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Grab the pineapple by the leaves at the top, nice and firmly. Then twist and pull these so it comes apart from the meat of the pineapple itself. You can then remove some of the lower leaves to reveal the stalk of the fruit. If there’s any meat left on this, scrape it off – otherwise, it will rot and ruin your hard work.
Then – you guessed it – place your plant in a glass, upright, with some water. New roots will begin to sprout pretty quickly, at which point you’ll need to transfer it to soil. After two months, your pineapple plant should resist some gentle tugs, which is a good sign that your efforts have been successful. However, this isn’t the end of it. Take good care of your new plant and, in two years, you’ll get your first fruit!
#7 Dwarf Runner Beans
Normal runner beans are an option, but the dwarf variety is smaller and therefore more flat-friendly. These are super simple to grow at home – you’ll just need to get some seeds from the local garden centre or a friend’s beans! Pop them in 3-inch deep pots and these sturdy little plants should grow in just a few weeks. Just be aware that they like to climb. So, grab some sticks and enjoy the pretty flowers – which, by the way, are excellent sources of pollen for bees – and the veg themselves.
Garlic is super easy to grow at home. All you need to do is plant the bulbs in some well-drained soil or a small plant pot, and watch them go to work! Generally speaking, it’s in late summer that these guys tend to be ready to harvest. As a rule, it’s when the leaves turn yellow and begin to die out. Just be sure to dry them out and give them a wash before using your fresh garlic!
#9 Grow Your Own Tomatoes
Tomatoes are some of the easiest and quickest vegetables (yes, technically they’re a fruit) to grow. They can be planted in hanging baskets if you’re after keeping them out of the way. Or they can be added to window boxes. Be warned, however, tomato plants can really smell. Whether that smell is good or not, is entirely up to the individual – but I’m not too keen. As such, I’d recommend keeping them in a well-ventilated area.
I would argue that strawberries are some of the most beloved fruit you will ever come across. Grown well, the sourness can make way for a juicy, fruity delicious snack. Best of all, they’re incredibly easy to grow. Just like tomatoes, they can be planted in hanging baskets, or in window boxes.
Leave them to it, and you’ll soon have some lovely strawberries to munch on or add to your baking. As an added tip, here – be sure to remove the runners (long, straggly branches). This promotes some good-quality strawberries for your delectation!