Low maintenance Vegetable Gardening
So you want to grow and preserve your own food, but are a little short on time? No problem.
Here are the edibles that take the least amount of effort on your part, and why.
Carrots: Let me recommend to you a carrot mix such as ‘Kaleidoscope’ (shown), which not only offers a wonderful variety of color but also different days to harvest times. Simply brush away some of the soil around your carrots to see which ones are ready when you are. Mulch well in the fall and you can harvest fresh carrots long into the winter months.
Garlic: We plant garlic cloves here in the Northeast in the fall, and harvest late in the summer. You can eat some of the garlic scapes that form on hardneck varieties shortly before the harvest, likewise the greens from the softnecks. If they are well mulched, you shouldn’t need to bother with them at all. Once they are ready, simply store in cold holding.
Walking onions or perennial onions: So simple to grow and harvest, year after year. When you need an onion, simply pick a whole scallion or cut the green top. No problems; unless you pick them all, they’ll come back.
Herbs: Most grow like weeds and containing them may prove to be the hardest part. So really, contain them; they’ll be fine that way. Harvest herbs as you need them, then simply freeze or hang upside down in a brown lunch bag to dry. Store dry herbs in a covered container. Thinking of planting a little parsley or cilantro for chili? Why not? If your cilantro bolts and goes to seed, all the better; gather up those seeds because now you have coriander.
Winter squash: Whereas most summer squash types need some looking after and routine harvesting, the winter varieties can be left unattended until the frost comes. Gently harvest and bring indoors where they will keep for months. How long depends on the variety and storage conditions, but most should last well into the winter.
Summer squash: There’s always an exception, right? The heirloom summer squash ‘Tatume’, if ignored or forgotten, will simply grow a harder rind and can be harvested and stored like a winter squash. Does it get any better than that?