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Fresh-picked fruits and vegetables are always better in comparison to the processed stuff you’ll find at the grocery store. Even better? SNAP, the food stamp program, provides money for families to buy seeds for all kinds of plants. You can create an incredible home-based garden with a couple fruit trees, and start growing some incredible ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It will also help you save on grocery cost in the future.

You should start by growing only the vegetables that you like and that you know your family will eat. Eventually you can branch out and try new things, but it’s important to get some stuff growing and see if you enjoy gardening at first. Sweet corn, peas, beans, tomatoes, and spinach are all different types of plants that are easily grown and can work in a variety of dishes for family meals.

You need to find a spot of flat ground that gets full sun nearly all day. If you live in an apartment complex, you may need permission to grow things unless you have a porch area. For those with yards, you may have to create a patch of yard with full sunlight. You need to then prepare the soil by breaking it up and “turning” the soil, adding compost and organic materials to create the best growing environment. With a full day of sunshine, you can grow vegetables in even cool weather.

You may need more growing space depending on how many vegetables you want to plant. There are also plants that need more room, such as lettuce. Tomatoes need to be spaced about two feet from one another for example. You should give things like pumpkins and squash at least four feet of growing space. Seed packets will give you the growing room for each plant. There should also be more reading material at your library or through online gardening books that you can find on Google eBooks.

If you are working with a limited space, pick only those vegetables that need a small space, such as lettuce, which can be a good pot plant. Plants that climb and vine are also good to grow in a hanging basket like pole beans and cucumbers. Herbs and parsley can be tucked into flower beds or potted.

There are two main growing seasons to also consider when planting: cool and warm. Basically, in the spring and fall months, you start planting your cool vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, carrots and lettuce. Warm season crops are for summer time, and these include beans, cucumbers, eggplants, melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash and tomatoes.

You should place seeds directly into the ground to make them grow in the best way possible. Beans, carrots, corn, melons, squash, turnips and beets are best with this method. However, you may need to grow some plants in pots and flats. You should check with your local nursery or look online for the best way to grow your different plants.

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