by Mario Leal
Sometimes it can be tricky to find useful vegetables that will grow in your garden. This is especially true if you’re unfamiliar with the United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones, or if you’re new to gardening. However, in order to be truly self-sufficient, you need to know what vegetables to plant and what you can do with those vegetables once you’ve harvested them. The best way to do this is to stick with basics that are exceptionally versatile. If you’ve been looking for a basic vegetable that will grow in your backyard – no matter what part of the United States that you live in (with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii, course) then you need to check out the list below:
1) Tomatoes – No matter where in the continental United States you are, there is a type of tomato that will thrive in your garden. From the heirloom varieties to the classic beefsteak tomatoes, you will have plenty of shapes, sizes and colors of this vegetable (although technically a fruit) to pick from for your garden. Don’t leave out the tiny cherry or grape tomatoes either, as they can be eaten in salads or added to a shish kabob. You can also add tomatoes to many meals, make sauces out of them, or turn them into soup.
2) Lettuce – Like tomatoes, there are numerous types of lettuce, and you will be able to find at least one kind to plant. There are “head” lettuces, like iceberg, and “leaf” lettuces like romaine, plus “hybrid” varieties like summercrisp, which fall somewhere in between the “head” and “leaf” types of lettuce. This versatile vegetable can be added to tacos, used to top off a freshly barbecued cheeseburger, and become the base of a fresh garden salad.
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