Vegetable gardening is a rewarding activity that reaps big benefits in the produce department. Growing your own vegetables can reduce a household grocery bill as well as provide fresh vegetables, herbs and a sense of pride and accomplishment. In addition, vegetable gardeners can produce hard-to-find vegetables or common household staples to prevent last-minute trips to the market. Ultimately the variety of vegetable gardens is as immense as the gardener’s palate.
Salad Bowl Garden
According to Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, a salad bowl garden works well for gardeners with limited space and physical capacity because these vegetables can be grown in small spaces. A typical salad bowl garden includes cherry tomatoes, such as Sweet 100s, a spring green such as spinach, a summer green such as Swiss chard, a pepper, cucumber, radish and bunch onion plants. This simple garden will supplement the gardener’s diet as well as provide fresh garden vegetables for any meal.
The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service suggests that salsa lovers plant a Mexican salsa garden. Suggested plants include a tomato such as a Roma or Better Boy, tomatillos, sweet, bell and hot pepper plants as well as chives or onions, garlic and cilantro. In addition to fresh salsa, these vegetables can be used to make refrigerator salsa as well as salsa that can be canned for use after the season.
Everyone loves pizza. For gardeners a pizza garden combines the best of both worlds. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service suggests keeping the pizza garden simple with three vegetables and three herbs. These include oregano, parsley and basil along with tomato, onion and bell pepper. To truly add to the pizza theme, UNL suggests planting the garden in a pizza shape. Once a circular form has been cultivated, six separate wedges can be established for each of the plants.
Asian Gourmet Garden
For the Thai or Asian food lover the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum suggests planting an Asian Gourmet Garden. This type of food has a very distinct sweet and spicy flavor and can be grown easily in vegetable gardens across the U.S. Among some of the recommended plants is Thai basil, Chinese cabbage, cilantro, garlic chives, Asian eggplant and sugar snap peas. These plants as well as others suggested by the UMLA are all commonly used in Thai and other forms of Asian cuisine and can be grown for fun as well as having fresh and sometimes hard-to-find produce on hand at all times.