One of the most cold-hardy citrus varieties, lemons grow well in many climates. In warmer areas the attractive trees can be grown in the ground. In areas with colder winter, they grow well in containers that can be brought indoors during harsh weather. Dwarf variety trees grow up to 10 feet tall; standard trees can reach 25 feet in height. Trees begin producing fruit when they are two to three years old.
Watering basil plants correctly is key to successful growth. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. Once the soil is dry to the touch water thoroughly and deeply, helping to form strong, healthy root systems and robust plants. Overwatered plants wilt, drop leaves, and show darkened stems. Underwatered plants look dull and have dry, brittle leaves.
White spots on the leaves of your basil plant indicate a problem that needs attention. Random, irregular spots that don’t grow in size are generally insect damage. Uniform spots that enlarge are from fungal diseases such as powdery mildew. Treat fungal diseases with recommended fungicides and eliminate insects with mechanical or chemical treatments.
Tomatoes are the most common garden plant, for good reason. With many options to choose from you can grow your own Beefsteak, Roma, cherry tomatoes, or heirloom varieties. With a long growing season, either start seeds indoors in early spring or purchase starter plants for your garden. Plants love lots of sun, consistent water, and regular doses of fertilizer.
Three different types of onions are grown in home gardens from seed or small bulbs known as onion sets. Long day varieties such as Walla Wall and Sweet Spanish grow best in colder areas and need 14 to 16 hours of sunlight. Short day varieties like Sweet Red and Texas Sweet White grow in warmer, Southern climates and need 10 to 12 hours of sun. Day neutral grow in most climates and need 12 to 14 hours of sunlight.
Herb gardens are a great introduction to gardening, and a convenient way to have a supply of fresh herbs on hand. Some of the best plants to start with are basil, thyme, rosemary, chives, mint, dill, oregano, and cilantro. They are all relatively easy to grow as long as they receive plenty of sunlight and are harvested regularly.
Carrots are typically grown in home gardens are an annual plant, but they are technically biennials, needing two years to complete their life cycle. The first year they produce green leafy tops and the brightly colored fleshy roots we harvest. If plants are left in the ground over the winter they produce seeds the second growing season, and then perish.
Due to their long growing season, tomatoes are usually planted indoors and then juvenile plants are transplanted to the garden. When the transplants have a strong sturdy stem, and the chance of spring frost has passed they can be moved to the garden. Acclimate plants to outdoor temperatures for about a week and then transplant them in the garden into holes twice the size of their root ball.