Crisp beans, sweet juicy plums, intense aromatic herbs – being vegan can be great for your health – but not so much for your pocket book. Finding produce that not only looks fresh but is something that you know how to cook can be a trial; on top of that, wanting that produce to be local and organic can give anyone a headache. But there’s a solution in the midst! You can have affordable produce that is incredibly local and organic – just try gardening your own food, vegan gardening!
Vegan Gardening, The Best Gardening
Vegan gardening can seem daunting – if you have a brown thumb, you have little space, or perhaps live in an apartment with little space. But with a little effort, creativity, and time, you can grow some of your vegan food.
First, you need several items: space, sun, and water. If you don’t have a garden, you can plant your crop in containers. Just make sure your plants get at least 6 hours of sun a day and keep the soil in your container or garden clear of any grass or weeds. Add some organic compost to keep your plants healthy. Water your plants often.
But what can you plant, especially in urban dwellings? The simple is answer is: just about anything! Potatoes, eggplant, bok choy, ginger, garlic, and much more. The variety of vegetables you can grow must be suited to the size of your garden or container. Here are three examples of easy, no-fuss vegetables and herbs ideal for vegan gardening:
Vegan Gardening: Vegetables
- Cherry tomatoes: Technically not a vegetable, but they are great to grow. One plant can produce many sweet pops of flavor that are full of vitamin C. Because the plants (not the fruit) can grow up to 6 feet tall, choose a variety that is suited for hanging baskets. Also choose a variety that is indeterminate, meaning that the plant will produce fruit throughout the season. Keep the soil damp but do not overwater. To save on containers, plant with a “friend” – a companion herb – such as basil.
- Carrots: There’s nothing quite like a freshly harvested carrot. You can grow almost any type, as long as your container is deep enough. A rule of thumb is to get a container that is two inches deeper than the full length of your carrot choice. After you plant your seeds, water gently so that the seeds are not washed away. Carrots are hardy, and can withstand colder temperatures, allowing you to enjoy these treats longer in the year.
- Spinach: Vitamin A, folic acid, iron, potassium – spinach packs a nutrient punch, especially for a vegan diet! Best suited to a long row planter in full sun, you can start harvesting about 4-6 weeks after planting seeds, based on your leaf size preference. Cut regularly to continue leaf production and of course, to have many healthy tasty vegan meals.
Vegan Gardening: Herbs
Basil, parsley, and mint – three wonderful, flavorful herbs perfect for vegan dishes. All are well suited for window sills or kitchen gardens, and can be planted in small pots for continual harvesting as needed. If starting from seed, use smaller pots and move to larger pots as they grow. If starting from a plant, get a proportionally sized pot. Don’t overwater and use fertilizer on a regular basis. Only start cutting your herbs when you see new growth, and harvest about 2-3 inches at a time to encourage new growth.
Local, organic, fresh. Growing your own food, regardless of space, can be a fun, affordable, and eco-friendly way to enjoy vegan food. Try vegan gardening – you’ll see how easy it really is.