Did you know that you can take some of the delicious vegetables you buy at the grocery store or farmer’s market and plant them in your own back yard? The trick is knowing which will grow true, and which you should just enjoy eating. If you’ve ever planted an apple seed, you’ll know that the Red Delicious you were expecting turned out to be neither red, nor delicious! In fact, many fruits won’t grow true or won’t grow at all because they’re hybrids. However, if you know where to look, your grocery store or local farmer’s market is a goldmine of viable seeds. Here are 3 superfoods you can buy at the grocery store and grow.
Anything that says “Heirloom” will grow true, and heirloom tomatoes are the most delicious tomatoes you will ever eat! While there are many ways to grow tomatoes from fresh seeds (and many, many different philosophies), I say just scoop the “goop” out of your tomato and plant it in good soil in a sunny location. Keep the seeds moist, and let our warm weather and Florida sun do the rest. Once they sprout, separate them to about 2-3 feet apart. Once they’re growing, don’t over water!
The dried beans you find in grocery store bins are identical to what you’d find in a seed packet – however, they may have been sitting on the shelf a while, reducing their viability. Plant more seeds than you want plants to increase the likelihood that you’ll have all the beans you want, and thin if necessary. Beans hate to be transplanted, so plant them directly in the soil about 1-inch deep, and 6-inches apart, near a trellis or cage so they can climb.
Yes, the “It” Superfood of the decade is easy to grow in your own backyard! And, it’s an attractive plant too. Plant your seeds in full sun now – before the end of May – for best results. These plants get quite tall, so space them out 10-inches apart and plant 1/4-inch deep. Best part: while you wait for the flowers and seeds to sprout, bloom, and dry, you can harvest some of the leaves. They’re edible!
What won’t grow:
Anything that is a hybrid or requires grafting to grow true (most fruit trees and melons), or foods that have been frozen, roasted, or pre-sprouted (yep, that sprouted wheat won’t grow!).