Unusual Foods to Grow for the Beginning Gardener


If you are a newbie gardener, you probably will get really excited when you see your herbs beginning to sprout on the windowsill of your kitchen. While most home chefs keep a supply of fresh basil and parsley at their disposal, casual gardeners also have a few staples in their arsenal. There are lettuce and tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbage. If you have any areas around your home that don’t get a lot of sun, you can try your luck at growing fresh, gourmet mushrooms. The question of how long do mushrooms last depends on how they have been harvested, as well as how they are being stored. Here are some foods that the average beginning gardener might overlook when considering crops to start off with.


Not only are mushrooms really good for you; they are among some of the easiest plants – or rather, fungi – to grow. You don’t need to do much other than checking the temperature, watch their progress and eventually harvest them when ready. You’ll need some mushroom spores and some organic material that isn’t dirt – either coffee grounds, mulch, or even peat moss or compost. The area where you want to grow your mushrooms must be kept damp, out of direct sunlight and relatively cool. Certain varieties, like white button mushrooms, will continue to yield more mushrooms day in and day out for around four to six months.


If you are an experienced gardener, you should be very familiar with the world of onions, such as red onions or sweet Vidalias. In fact, you might already have a member of the onion family growing near your garden right now. Onion grass, also known as wild onion, has a juicy tender bulb that grows not too deep underground. You can safely eat the part that grows above ground, as well as the bulb. Growing onions from scratch at home is easy, too. Look at a bag of onions that you might have lying around and see if any have sprouted a green sprout yet. You can either plant the entire onion underground or take off the sprout and transplant the miniature version of the plant until it grows.


Asparagus is another food that you can grow or even forage for, perhaps in your backyard. Wild asparagus is mainly found out in the mid-west. The other benefit of growing asparagus is that you don’t need to plant them more than once. You will be able to harvest a crop of fresh asparagus in your backyard year after year. You can plant asparagus seeds and you can also plant miniature asparagus sprouts if you are just getting started gardening.

You don’t have to grow the easiest plants if you would rather try something more exciting. Onions aren’t that hard to grow from scratch and mushrooms will continue to produce more crops for as long as the weather is cool. Also, consider planting one of the dozens of varieties of squash that new gardeners can grow and have a continuous yield of winter, summer, and even zucchini squash at your disposal.

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