College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Five Veggies You Can Grow at Home

The five warm-season vegetables below should be planted about two weeks after the last frost. Companion plants are different plant species that complement your vegetable crops. When grown together, they support each other in a number of ways, including pest control, maximizing space and providing pollination. 

You can grow these five delicious and nutritious vegetables at home now:

  • Plant six inches apart. Lettuce and other salad greens do best in spring and fall. For many months of homegrown greens, plant seeds every other week.
  • Companion plants: parsley, onion, radish.

  • Plant in full sun 24 inches apart. Tomatoes are a very disease-prone vegetable, so watering at the base will help to avoid soil-borne diseases.
  • Companion plants: basil, peppers, marigolds.

  • Plant 18 inches apart. These two vegetables are part of the cucurbit family and have similar growth patterns. Poor pollination results in misshapen fruit., so make sure to plant pollinator plants next to them.
  • Companion plants: radishes, marigolds, dill.

  • Plant 15 inches apart. It is important to grow corn in blocks or rows of three to ensure cross pollination, which is necessary for production. Corn is a “heavy feeder,” which means it takes a lot of nutrients out of the soil to grow. To maintain high sugar content, harvest early in the morning when temperatures are cooler.
  • Companion plants: summer squash, beans, sage.

  • Plant 18 inches apart. Although peppers are a diverse group, planting requirements are the same. They need hot weather and warm soil to mature. Transplants are generally more successful than directly seeded plants.
  • Companion plants: chives, tomatoes, okra.

Before you Plant

Location! Location! Location! It's all about location. Before putting a plant in the ground, you need to choose a garden site that receives at least six hours of sun each day and has rich, well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter.

If you do not have good soil, use compost to enhance your soil or stop by your local garden shop for additional resources. If local garden stores are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic or you are at high risk for the virus, ordering online is another option.

Morning is the best time to water your garden; late afternoon is a good alternative. You will need to water your garden often, so try to plant close to a water source.

If you have the space, consider adding pollinator plants to your garden. Pollinator plants offer many benefits, from splashes of color and scents to biodiversity and homes for bees, birds and other insects that pollinate vegetables. Examples of pollinator-friendly plants are echinacea, black-eyed Susans, butterfly bushes and bee balm.

For more gardening information, download our app: SOW, A Planting Companion. This app was developed by Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T in partnership with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

For more iinformation

Contact Alyssa McKim, community gardens coordinator, at