Growing a Mixed Fruit and Vegetable Garden
Starting an edible garden is like building your own private produce aisle right there in your yard. You’ll reap all of the benefits of healthier and fresher food just outside your door, and you’ll be able to grow the best of your favourite garden flavours; nothing beats fresh-picked taste.
The key to a great edible garden is having some variety. The mix of lots of fruits and vegetables gives you lots of options to experiment with in the kitchen so you’ll never get bored with the same flavours. We have lots of tips to make growing your own food easy and fun.
Our Tips for How To Grow Fruits and Vegetables
These simple tips are a huge help in making your fruit & veggie garden hassle-free:
Try using a raised garden bed. They’re easy to make and they help with better soil quality, better temperature control, with far fewer weeds to pull due to their controlled environment. If you’re growing straight from the ground, you’ll be at the mercy of your property’s soil quality—but in a raised bed, you’re in control! Fill the raised planter with bags of sterile soil and add in lots of organic matter to give your veggies a great start. The elevated container also makes the garden easier to work in, as you don’t have to bend over as much while tending your plants.
If space is a concern or you simply want to start small before you take the plunge, try container gardening. Most edible plants—except the biggest and most unruly specimens—grow well in containers, so you can make the most of a small space with as many containers as you like. Choose a location with a lot of sun and watch your miniature garden grow.
Try out companion planting and let your plants do some of the work for you. Some fruits and vegetables do so well together that we’d recommend planting them as buddies so they can give each other a boost. For example, green beans and corn work great together as the beans nurture the soil and the corn support the bean vines while they’re growing. We also love growing tomatoes and basil together. Not only do they often end up in dishes next to each other, but the basil improves tomato flavour and wards off pests.
Use natural weed and pest control methods. If you’re growing food with the intention to eat it, there’s a strong case for keeping chemicals off of them while they grow. There are lots of natural pest control methods to try for almost any type of pest while keeping your food safe.
The Best Fruits and Vegetables for Home Growing
Some garden edibles have reputations for being more picky and difficult to grow than others, while others give you impressive yields for much less effort! This is our list of foolproof garden options to start fuelling your kitchen from your yard:
- Raspberries: These fall-bearing fruit bushes are as low-maintenance as they come, only requiring a bit of pruning in the winter to make room for more fruit-bearing shoots. Starting in the late summer you’ll always have lots of raspberries to bring inside, even if half of your picking time is actually spent munching on them right off the branch. Enjoy these sweet treats all the way until the first frosts!
- Strawberries: There are lots of varieties to choose from that produce fruit in different quantities at different times of the year, so you can tailor your strawberry growth to what you want – whether that’s a steady harvest of some fruit all year, or a big bounty perfect for jams and pies all at once. You get to pick if you want spring, summer, or fall berries, and how many. We love how well these do in containers as well as in a garden bed.
- Tomatoes: We might think about them like vegetables but these plants are actually fruits! Savoury and versatile, this fruit is perfect for beginners. You might choose to grow little cherry tomatoes for the perfect summer salads or maybe beefier slicing tomatoes for burgers and sandwiches. With impressive yields, you’re likely to end up with enough tomatoes at the height of the season that you’ll be giving them away! Luckily they freeze well to be put into sauces later in the year.
- Currants: These bushes produce oodles of their tiny sweet fruits in shades of red, pink, white, and black. While white currants are certainly the sweetest, black ones are the easiest to take care of and require almost no care.
- Radishes: These root vegetables have a little spicy kick that is welcome in so many summer dishes. Low-maintenance and quick-growing, you can start them in the spring but even do a second crop in the late summer, too.
- Lettuce and Leafy Greens: These are the perfect vegetables for growing in containers or a bed! The greens sprout and grow at lightning speed, so you’ll enjoy harvests more often. Their shallow roots also make them the perfect versatile candidate for growing anywhere.
- Cucumbers: The trick to crisp and tasty cucumbers is to keep them well-watered. Generous helpings of moisture on a regular basis (as long as your soil has good drainage) will set your cukes apart from the rest.
- Carrots: This root vegetable is a classic for good reason. All they need is some loose and loamy soil to grow perfectly straight. Other than starting off with the right foundation, they mostly take care of themselves! You can plant them densely and munch on baby carrots as your thin them out through the growing season.
Your garden is all about you and which fresh flavours you want to eat more of during the summer. This is just a starting point, but your garden is yours to customize and perfect. Plant what you love to eat and you’ll get tastier food at a better price all summer.