While it’s great to head to the store and stock up on all the healthy, natural food you enjoy cooking and eating, there’s nothing better than growing it yourself. There are countless benefits to growing your own stuff at home. The most obvious, of course, is that you actually know exactly what you’re eating; free from chemicals, preservatives and other nasties. But there are other plus points, too. Gardening, it’s said, is good for your physical and mental health. So why wouldn’t you? With the challenge planted, here are 10 IDEAL grow-your-own herbs and vegetables.

BASIL

Basil is a great addition to any garden. It’s small, grows quickly and can be re-harvested continuously, eliminating the need to constantly buy more. If it’s held in a greenhouse, the aroma is simply bliss; so much so, you can save on that flight to Italy and just get all nostalgic in the hot box instead. From pasta to pesto, this summery herb is perfect for a variety of dishes.

SUGAR SNAP PEAS

Yep, we know the word ‘sugar’ rings alarm bells for any health-conscious consumer. But the word has only been bestowed on these wondrous peas due to their inherent sweetness. An excellent addition to any veggie dish, snap peas also make for a great snack on their own as they’re edible in their  ; marvellous eaten raw or grilled on the barbie with a little flaky sea salt. They contain a healthy dose of Vitamin C and fibre, making them a great way of getting your daily nutrition intake up. Snap peas grow better in the winter, as they don’t fare too well in warm, dry weather, so plan your planting accordingly.

BEETROOT

Whoever doesn’t like vegetables simply because they aren’t sweet enough needs to be introduced to the wonderful flavor and countless health benefits of beetroot. This earthy vegetable is high in fibre, folate and Vitamin B. They also contain betanin, which helps boost your immune system. Baby beets are perfect for raw salads, while matured ones can be cooked for an even larger variety of dishes; perfect with lamb, goat’s cheese and mint, we think.

CUCUMBERS

Cucumbers are a salad essential and a perfect addition to many meals and dishes. Over 90% of a cucumber is water, making them a surprisingly good way to increase your daily water intake. They’ll need some rich soil and a healthy dose of fertilizer to grow, but regular harvests will increase your production significantly.

THYME

Whether you want to add some flavour to your Sunday’s roast chicken or incorporate the deep aromatic quality into your stew, thyme is an excellent choice that’s easy to grow as long as there’s sufficient sunlight. Thyme is a surprisingly good pairing for fruit as well, adding some extra flavor to pears and apples. It’s great in desserts, too! Try whipping some leaves into your meringue next time. You won’t be disappointed.

GREEN BEANS

Green beans are both delicious and impressively high in nutrients. You can find everything from Vitamin A, C and K to fibre, manganese, folate, iron and potassium in a one. That’s a whole lot of natural goodness – more than what many artificial vitamin supplements can provide.

To get the most out of your green beans’ fresh and crunchy flavor, be sure to plant them where they can receive plenty of sunlight. Some dry soil is all you need to keep harvesting them every few weeks throughout the summer. Don’t overcook boil them whatever you do; their pleasure lies in that great snap and burst of fresh, grassy flavour.

RADISHES

These versatile veggies are big on flavour and low on calories. As a matter of fact, a whole radish contains nothing more than a single calorie! What’s more, they’re pretty as a picture, and one of the latest Instagram crazes.  Spring varieties take less than a month to be harvested and can be grown in containers indoors or out in your garden. In the summertime, hotter soil produces a peppery, spicy flavour, perfect for those who prefer an extra kick from their veggies.

 

CARROTS

While they may not actually help you see in the dark, carrots are an excellent addition to any dish when they’re cooked and arguably even tastier as a raw snack on their own. The generous amounts of Vitamin A found in carrots make them perfect for a strong immune system and healthy skin.

They’re also pretty easy to grow. While they take a bit more time than most vegetables on this list, all carrots need is some fertile sandy loam and they’ll be ready to go.

LETTUCE

If you’re short on space and prefer the idea of container gardening, lettuce is an excellent vegetable to grow. It’s highly versatile and an essential for green salads, burgers and sandwiches. Lettuce grows best during colder seasons and can be harvested within a few weeks.

Contrary to general assumptions about the lack of health benefits in leaves, there’s actually plenty of goodness lurking in lettuce. Your body will enjoy the boost of folate, as well as Vitamins A, C and K. Grow them right, and all they’ll need is a good splash of water to be enjoyed. They’re that great!

CANNABIS SEEDS

If you’re living in the US or Canada, there has never been a better time to start growing your own marijuana seeds and cannabis seeds than now.  With the advent of its legality in most areas, buying what you need has become easier than ever. However, bear in mind that cannabis laws vary from state to state and while some permit home grows, others to not. Whether you want to grow for medical or recreational purposes, you can find an endless selection at SeedSupreme of everything you need to get started.

Their high-quality seeds are available in every strain imaginable, allowing you to experiment with new types of marijuana and cannabis. Although it’s perhaps not as conventionally ‘healthy’, the benefits for wellbeing, pain relief and more are starting to come to light. Excuse the bun. We mean pun.