Thinking about growing your own veggies this summer, but not quite sure how green your thumb is? Check out these 10 easy vegetables and herbs for beginner gardeners!
Green beans: What better way to enjoy the classic summer veggie than from your own garden? Green beans offer healthy doses of vitamins A, C and K, as well as manganese, potassium, folate, iron and fiber. Whew! You can even have the kids help out by snapping the beans themselves. Plant green beans in well-drained soil in a place they will get full sun. Sowing the seeds every few weeks will ensure a continual harvest throughout the entire summer.
Carrots: Carrots are famous for their high amounts of beta-carotene that the body converts into vitamin A, which is good for vision, healthy skin and a healthy immune system. You're going to want to plant them as soon as your soil can be worked, and carrots really thrive in rich, fertile soil. Once you've harvested some of the orange veggies, try this skinny glazed carrots recipe.
Snap peas: These cute little edible pea pods are great to eat as a healthy snack before dinner. Sweet peas contain lots of vitamin C and fiber. Plus, they're hardy little veggies; they can survive in temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Although they can withstand cool temps, you might want to plant them early in the spring to avoid hot weather, because they don't do well in extremely hot or dry temperatures.
Tomatoes: Okay, we know tomatoes are technically fruits, but it didn't seem right to exclude the classic summer tomato from this list. With a lot of sun and a little water, you can grow all kinds of tomatoes in your own backyard! For best results, use compost materials or manure for fertilization, and make sure it receives full sun. Click here for 10 awesome ways to utilize those 'maters!
>> Recipe: Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes
Beets: These earthy and sweet veggies are the perfect light veggies to cook with during the summer. And don't forget about the beet greens — they're great in salads! Fill up on fiber, folate, and immune-boosting betamin with beets. Plant them as soon as your soil can be worked in the spring. Did you know you could use beets in smoothies? And it's actually delicious.
Cucumbers: These may not be as nutritious as the rest of the veggies on this list, but cucumbers are incredibly refreshing. After all, 95 percent of a cucumber's composition is water! To grow cucumbers, make sure you're using lots of organic matter (hello, composting) and fertilization. Use them in salads like this avocado, feta and cucumber one.
Basil: This summer herb goes great in pesto or added into a pasta dish. Make sure it's growing in rich, moist soil and receives full sun.
>> Read more: Urban Farming: Growing a Garden in a Small Space
Cilantro: Commonly used in Mexican and Southeast Asian cooking, cilantro is another easy herb to grow. If you're worried about rabbits or deer snatching it up, try potting it and growing it on your kitchen windowsill! Add it to this amazing Mexi-lime salad recipe.
Dill: An extremely versatile herb, dill leaves are soft and sweet, while dill seeds have a citrusy, slightly bitter taste. The ideal soil temperature for dill is 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thyme: Thyme is definitely on your side when it comes to summer herbs. Pair it with savory, robust foods like red meat, poultry and root veggies, or take it a whole new direction by pairing it with apples and pears! Just make sure it receives full sun while it's growing. Click here to learn how to cook with thyme.