Beans, corn and tomatoes are popular plants for the vegetable garden. One reason is because you can eat them fresh, dehydrate, can or freeze them, extending your harvest. These three vegetables are easy to grow from seed. Plant the seeds, or young seedlings, directly in the ground, water and fertilize. Several weeks later, you will have fresh produce. An alternative to planting in the ground is to grow them in containers.
There are two types of beans for the home garden. Bush beans are compact plants that sit close to the ground. Pole beans need something to climb up, such as a pole, trellis or tomato cage. Pole beans will climb up corn stalks, too, making it easy to grow them with corn.
Bean varieties include butter, green, snap, string and wax beans. Read the seed package carefully and look for the word bush or pole so you know which variety you are buying.
Corn is generally grown from seed planted directly in the ground. However, it is possible to buy young corn plants or start seeds under grow lights, then transplant them into the garden after all danger of frost. Some varieties, such as Blue Jade, will grow well in containers, making corn a possibility even if you only have a balcony garden.
Corn is wind pollinated, so it should be grow in blocks instead of rows, unless you are growing a large amount of corn. If you are growing a small amount, it may be necessary to hand pollinate it. To hand pollinate corn, simply shake the tassels on the top of the corn, making sure the pollen falls onto the corn silks.
There is nothing quite like the taste of your first tomato of the season. Tomatoes are easy to start from seed under lights in January or February. Most garden centers carry a wide variety of tomato plants that can range in size from small seedlings to larger plants already bearing tomatoes.
Tomatoes, even larger ones bearing fruit, easily transplant into the garden. It is best to bury the stem an inch or two deeper than what it is in the pot. The tomato stem will send out roots helping to anchor the plant. Tomatoes that have deep roots are better able to withstand strong winds, not to mention absorb water and nutrients from the ground.
Tomatoes are easy to grow in containers. Anything from a hanging basket to a window box or even a 5-gallon bucket will work. Container-grown tomatoes may require more water than those grown in the ground. Because nutrients in containers wash out and get used up quickly, adding additional fertilizer or compost as the summer progresses may be necessary.