Beginning Summer Gardens

Most people tend to have an aversion, or hesitation, to gardening because they don’t have access to acres of farmland or weren’t naturally born with a “green thumb”. But the truth is, those requirements are mere myths. Even in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, the novice gardener can easily start a small garden using a box planter for a window or balcony.

Inspired by a delicious Tomato and Basil Pie recipe courtesy of P. Allen Smith, today, I am focusing on vegetables. Growing your own garden can be very satisfying, functional and also sustainable, as you can literally reap the fruits of your (minimal) labor.

Tomatoes are a great vegetable for beginning gardeners, especially in Southern California as they require warm temperatures and plenty of sunlight. One could easily have a vibrant multicolored garden of solely tomatoes, as the different varieties reach upwards of 700. Ranging from Amana Orange to Black Krim and Green Zebra to Purple Russian, the myriad of tomato varieties will keep your salads vivacious and translate into bold design choices.

Carrots are another vegetable that often result with great gardening success and also come in a variety of brightly colored species. Starting with White Satin to Yellow Pak, and transitioning from traditional orange Hercules and Purple Haze, carrots are

Basil is also a for beginners because it can be grown from a sunny windowsill indoors. When the leaves are a desirable size, one can easily pluck them for use and the plant will continue to provide fragrant leaves. An added bonus is that tomatoes and basil are a great companion plants and can be used in a variety of cooking options.

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