Thursday, May 26, 2011

*Guest Post* Plants for Summer Harvest

"There is nothing quite like the experience of working hard to plant different vegetables and fruits and reaping the benefit of theirharvest. I have been gardening since I was a little kid. Every spring my mom and I would plant a large numbers of items and harvest a bounty of goods in thesummer! With my husband going back to school on the new GI Bill, I found myself having some extra time and decided to start a garden, both to help the earth and myfamily. Additionally, having participated online in some nutrition classes froma distance learning university helped out when I was trying to figure what plants would be best nutrition-wise.

We would have the most incredible meals in the summer madewith food we actually grew ourselves. The freshness simply cannot be beat, andthe satisfaction gained from growing your own garden.

My favorite time to plant is in the spring after the lastthaw. I love to finally get into the garden and begin planting the seeds. There are many things that I enjoy planting, but there are a specific few that arebest to plant in spring to be able to harvest in summer. My absolute favorite thing to plant in the spring is zucchini. Zucchini grows like wildflowers andproduces some of the most beautiful vegetables that you could never find in the grocery store. They grow to be rather large and are so flavorful.

Another one of my favorites is tomatoes! Tomatoes are the perfect things to plant in the spring because they will render the juiciest,best-tasting tomatoes you have ever had. We plant tomatoes all over our garden because we eat so many of them, and want the biggest bounty possible. Tomatoes are wonderful because they are easy growers and are so versatile in thekitchen.

In addition to zucchini and tomatoes, squash, cucumber,basil and cilantro are wonderful to plant in the spring. Squash, like zucchini,grows rather rapidly and produces a wonderful crop. The plant can overrun your garden, so it must be pruned and planted with room to spread. Cucumber is another fantastic plant that is fun to grow. My mother was always keen ongrowing herbs and her favorite were basil and cilantro. Both of those herbs grow with relative ease and are perfect for spring planting and summer picking.

It’s hard to find any food or meal that isn’t improved bythe addition of fresh herbs; especially picked from your garden. I love to make a cold pasta salad with my zucchini, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh herbs.The flavor combination is out of this world and so very healthy! No matter whatyou want to grow, I encourage you to get out and plant anything! The rewards are tasty, nutritious and fun to experience!"

Karen is a long time blogger, and a life long gardener. She now enjoys sharing her gardening hobby with her kids when they are home from their outdoor education school.

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