It’s the first year your dad has talked about gardening. He’s never gardened before, but he likes the idea of growing his own produce. As a beginner, what are the best vegetables for him to grow?
Pole beans may be a bit more work than he’s ready for. Have your dad grow bush beans from seed. They’ll provide plenty of product. He can freeze the excess. He also has the option of planting multiple crops from spring to fall.
If he likes the idea of pole beans, he’ll need a trellis or bean cage. Scarlet runner beans have showy red flowers that brighten a garden, so they’re a good bean to start with if he wants to grow flowering beans up latticework around his deck.
Rich soil is ideal for easy-to-grow leafy greens like spinach and lettuce. They both do better in cool temperatures, so they should be one of his first crops of the season.
Root crops like radishes and carrots are some of the easiest to grow. They’re hearty and grow underground, which eliminates a lot of the common insect pests from destroying them.
As the root crops grow, your dad should thin the plants. This provides the space the plants need to grow correctly. For carrots, he could thin them as they start to get bigger and enjoy baby carrots while the others grow to full size.
Zucchini and summer squash are easy to grow from seed. They need space, so your dad needs to make sure they’re spaced apart. He needs to ensure they get plenty of water.
The only other thing he needs to know is that squash bugs can destroy a plant. He should look at the underside of the leaves for the small clusters of orange eggs. If he sees them, the faster he removes them, the better the chances of keeping an infestation away.
Almost every first-time gardener tries to grow tomatoes and end up with more than they need. Tomatoes do well as long as they have water and sun. If he’s only growing crops for himself, he won’t need more than a couple of plants.
If he does grow several plants and finds himself with too much produce, make pasta sauce. It freezes well, which ensures he has plenty of pasta sauce all winter long.
Make sure your dad is supported as he ages at home. If he’s likely to forget to take his medications, spend too much time outside, or skip reapplying sunscreen, you might want to look into caregivers. Elderly care services are more than helping your dad with showers or toileting. Elderly care providers are friends, helpers during shopping trips, and assistants with meals and cleaning. Call our elderly care specialist to learn more.
For Elderly Care Services in Oakland TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!