Growing your own edibles may seem like an overwhelming task to undertake, but rest assured, it's not as difficult as you think! Not a lot is required in order to develop a green thumb, so you don't need to surrender your urban city digs or picturesque suburban home for a life in the countryside. Literally, all you need is a few square feet of outdoor space with sun exposure, a plentiful source of water, and a good quality soil.
There are numerous appealing benefits of growing your own edibles. Your little garden can improve your family's health, save money on your weekly groceries, reduce your environmental footprint, and reduce food and food packaging waste.
With so many benefits to growing your own edibles, you're probably thinking there's a catch. We can assure you, there's not— it really is as good as it seems.
Edible gardens can even be grown inside your home if you don't have a backyard. Consider using containers if you have sunny balconies or patios. You can even grow herbs on a sunny window ledge in your kitchen.
Now that you’re on board, it's important to know where to start. We're here to help you with a list of edible plants that are available at The Home Depot and are surprisingly easy to grow! So much so, you will be reaping the rewards of your (not-so hard) work in no time at all.
Lemon and/or Lime Trees
Lemon and lime trees are easy-to-grow citrus trees that are perfectly suited for a small space edible garden. They can be grown in the ground in warm climates or in large containers in warm and cool areas. An added benefit to lemon and lime trees is that they are evergreens if kept in a sunny space, so you can enjoy year round benefits!
Lemons and lime trees need full sun and warm temperatures to grow to their fullest potentials, with a healthy supply of water of course. These trees do not enjoy cooler temperatures (below 50°F), so be careful in the cooler winter months.
Your lemon and lime trees will start producing fruits when they are about 3 years old, with the fruit itself taking about four months to mature after blooming.
Basil has an aroma that once you lived with, you cannot live without. It simply exudes summer, and we haven't even gotten started on the flavors it adds to your meals! There's nothing quite like clipping fresh basil leaves from your garden and adding them to your cooking.
And it only gets better— basil is one of the aforementioned edibles that can be grown in very limited space. Think about how nice your pots of basil will look on your kitchen window sill!
Plus, basil is low maintenance. Just find a well-lit space (hint: sunny window ledge), fill a pot with well-drained soil, and relax.
However, basil growers must be mindful in the fact that this herb is a tender annual— meaning it is very sensitive to the cold. Watch your basil plants carefully during the cooler winter months.
If you're going to have an edible garden, oregano is a must-have. It is pungent, spicy, and slightly bitter in flavor, which pairs well with almost all vegetables.
Oregano is easy to grow and perfect for first time green thumbs. It thrives in a warm climate and is hardy enough to return year after year with very little effort on your part. Oregano thrives in light, well-drained soil, with partial to full sunlight.
Tip: The flavors of the herb intensify with increased sun exposure.
Be sure not to over-water oregano; only water when the soil is dry to touch. In order to obtain the perfect potency of flavor, harvest your oregano just before the plant flowers. Like basil, oregano is happy in a pot on your window ledge and can camp out next to the basil plant in your new herb garden!
We have saved the best, and the easiest, herb for last: chives. Chives are extremely low-maintenance, high-yielding, and seriously versatile.
Chives are entirely edible— the leaves, blossoms, and even the bulbs! As an added bonus, the chives' blossoms are a beautiful, vibrant purple, so they will look great next to your oregano and basil!
As well as on window ledges, chives can easily be grown outdoors and are compatible within your existing flower gardens. Chives need well-drained soil and thrive in full sunlight, but they will grow almost anywhere. Make sure to keep the soil moist and water frequently with proper soil drainage.
Kale is a collard green that is a nutrition powerhouse for our bodies. Kale is also currently seen accompanying all of the top Hollywood stars as the essential green in their smoothies, salads, and more. Yes, you could say that kale is the current "it" green. Not only is kale a hot commodity on the A-List menu, but also the versatile green is an easy edible to grow in your own gardens.
Kale is a crop that can tolerate low winter temperatures, but it is best planted as a fall crop, generally for harvesting in July. It likes a plentiful supply of water and a decent amount of space in the garden— the more space, the bigger their leaves will grow.
Kale also enjoys enriched soil, so be sure to add compost and fertilizer, and ensure plenty of sunlight in order to produce the best quality, flavor-rich leaves.
It is a lot of fun to plant your own strawberries— and certainly very easy too! Strawberries are the edible plants that just keep giving, eagerly producing offspring if they're given more space to grow. Good news for you, as it can only mean more strawberries.
Strawberries need at least eight hours of full sun a day, a slightly acidic soil (pH between 5.5 -6.8), and of course, a plentiful supply of water. The plant will begin to bloom in the early spring months, and the flowers must be visited by pollinating insects before they can fruit, so it is best to grow them outside. In warm and sunny weather, the berries will ripen in about 30 days after the plant blossoms are fertilized.