If where you live is like where I live (western Pennsylvania), the current weather won’t quite jive with what I’m about to say, but I’m going to say it anyway:

If you haven’t done so yet, now is an excellent time to plant a (gluten-free) kitchen garden.

There are plenty of reasons to make time for gardening, whether you’re growing things on a part of your yard or in some pots on your fire escape. Some of my favorite reasons:

  • plants are pretty! Who doesn’t love more greenery?
  • it’s (relatively) cheap! There’s always a way to make hobbies expensive, but you can grow a few plants for much less than it would cost you to buy them in the store
  • the plant does all the hard work, you reap all the benefit
  • you’ll know exactly what you’re eating and where it came from
  • you’ll totally get the locavore badge for your Girl (or Boy) Scout sash
It’s a bit late to start, but not too late. If you’ve delayed, here are some things you can plant and some easy ways to get started.


First, the good news: there is still time to plant (and eat!) a wide variety of veggies, including beans, peas, lettuce, spinach, cucumber, radishes, green onions, okra, and beets.

You’ve also got plenty of herbs to choose from. Better Homes & Gardens shows us the 10 easiest to grow herbs, which luckily includes my two favorites: the pesto plant and the mojito plant.

Erm, I mean basil and mint. Yup. Those.

The Garden Helper has a great chart split out by vegetable, and includes columns for when to plant, how far apart to plant seeds (and how deep), and how long you can expect to wait until it’s time to chow down.

They also have a great chart explaining the different pH levels best for different plants, and how to test and adjust your soil.

West Virginia University also has a great site for agriculture, including this detailed set up explaining the history and usage of more than a dozen herbs, plus tips for successful growing.

I also like Iowa State’s handy-dandy PDF (including a table showing the correct month for planting and harvesting different vegetables in a climate similar to central Iowa’s) and the University of California’s Master Gardeners site for tips on pest prevention, month-appropriate worries, and more.

Interestingly, when I was looking for helpful things to share with you about growing your own herbs and vegetables, one thing became clear: to find the best information for your home garden, look at the websites of your local universities or colleges.

A few other fun steps in the growing process:

What are you growing this year?