1. Tomatoes: Perhaps the best option for long term use is the tomato. Choose a variety like Italian Romas or Beefstake which are hearty. Use them in salads, make tomato sauce with them which you can store long term in jars. You can also make stewed tomatoes and salsa and have it available to you year round. Tomatoes are fairly easy to grow, too.
2. Herbs: Growing a few herbs in your garden (or in a small container near a kitchen window) is a fantastic way to freshen up meals. Choose herbs like rosemary, cilantro, parsley, and basil. They can be dried for long term use.
3. Cucumbers: These are some of the easiest vegetables to grow. They do take up a bit of room, but kids love this fresh taste.
4. Peppers: Bell peppers are relatively easy to grow in warmer climates. If you wish to grow hot peppers, you definitely need high temperatures. Still, they can be added to sauces and salsas both fresh and canned. You can dry hot peppers, too, to use throughout the winter months as a way to warm up.
5. Strawberries: Those who love these fresh berries will enjoy growing them. You can also grow them in pots in a sunny location. They continuously produce crops of berries. You may even wish to consider raspberries and blueberries if your climate allows for them.
6. Squash: Summer squash and butternut squash are two favorites. They provide for a hearty meal and they last a long time after harvesting them when stored in a cool, dry location. Add them to soups, stews or serve as their own dish.
7. Beans: Beans are very easy to grow. After sowing them, it only takes a few weeks before you'll have a strong growth and will be nearly picking them. They will continue to produce so long as you are gentle with the removal of the beans. Choose from many varieties.
8. Corn: For those with a large area for growing vegetables, consider corn. Most people love its taste and it can be a good producer. The only drawback is the long growth time and the amount of space it can take up.
9. Watermelon: Summer is never complete without watermelon. You can grow it in your garden without a lot of work. It does spread widely so be sure that you have enough room to allow for its long reaching arms!
10. Salad Greens: Greens of all types can do very well in a garden. You can grow salad greens, collard greens or any others that you prefer. You can also consider broccoli and cauliflower, green cabbage and red cabbage.
These top ten items are just the start. There are so many wonderful vegetables and fruits to enjoy fresh from the garden.
Whitney Segura is an expert at Rion Hobby Greenhouses and Portable Mini Greenhouses.
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