Vegetable gardening can be both fun and provide a frugal way to feed the family. Vegetable gardeners find it fulfilling to be able to eat the fruits of their labor, and they also benefit from knowing how and where their organic produce was grown. A quick walk to the garden can replace a drive to the store. Your choices of what to plant are limited only by what your family loves to eat.
The tomato is from the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family. It is good for beginner gardeners. There are more tomato varieties than any other vegetable. The tomato is usually red, but can be orange, yellow, white, green or a varied color. They also come in many different sizes. They usually require a trellis or staking to stand erect. Plants require full sun, good fertilization and regular watering. They are propagated via seed.
Okra is an annual from the Malvaceae, or mallow, family. The plant gets 3 to 8 feet tall and has yellow flowers that become okra pods. The pods need to be picked every three days; any more, and the vegetable becomes tough. The plant requires full sun and regular watering, and is propagated via seed.
Mustard greens, from the Brassicaceae/Cruciferae, or cabbage, family. It is a fast growing annual, good for beginner gardeners, and is known as the easiest vegetable to grow. Plants get 3 feet tall with yellow flowers and green seed pods. A month after planting, mustard green can be picked and eaten. The plant requires full sun and regular watering, and is propagated via seed.
Cabbage is also from the cabbage family. It is an annual with a compact head and yellow flowers that become seed pods. There are green cabbages, red cabbages and savoy cabbage. Heads of cabbage range from 1 to 60 pounds. The plant requires full sun and regular watering, and is propagated via seed. It takes 60 to 120 days from planting for a crop to mature.
The turnip is also from the cabbage family. It is an annual fast-growing plant that is good for the beginning gardener. Stems get 1 to 2 feet tall. Turnips have edible roots (turnips) and leaves (turnip greens). The plants require full sun, a neutral pH soil and regular watering, and are propagated via seed.