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Growing your own food is one of the best ways to become more self-reliant. Nothing beats the taste of home-grown veggies straight from the garden! But if you’re a beginner gardener, you may be wondering where to start. Check out this list of the easiest vegetables to grow to get you started.
Easiest Vegetables to Grow from Seed for a Quick Harvest
Perfect for beginner gardeners, theses vegetables will all give you a quick and easy crop, don’t take up much room, and they’re all simple to grow from seed. Within a month, you can start harvesting garden-fresh salads!
Radishes are one of the quickest growing and easiest vegetables to grow. It takes just 3 weeks from planting seeds to harvest.
Radishes like cool weather so start sowing seeds in early spring, about 3 weeks before the last frost date. Keep sowing seeds every 10 days until summer and you’ll have a steady supply for your salads till summer. Start again in late summer, about 4-6 weeks before the first frost.
Speaking of salads, lettuce is another fast growing vegetable perfect for gardening beginners. Leaf lettuce is the quickest to harvest. But all lettuce grows easily from seed, doesn’t take up much space, and grows well in both sun or partial shade.
You can tuck them in just about any little spot in your garden, but they’re also perfect for container gardens. You can even grow lettuce in a pot indoors so you have fresh lettuce for your salads all year long!
Like radishes, lettuce also likes cooler weather. Start sowing seeds in early spring and continue planting every 2 weeks until late spring for a constant supply. Then start planting again in late summer.
The hardest part of growing carrots is preparing the soil. Carrots can grow up to 12 inches long, but they need fine-textured soil free from rocks to grow properly. Sifting the soil can be a pain, so try planting carrots in containers with potting soil.
Sow seeds in a sunny spot in early spring and again in late summer. Depending on the variety, you will have fresh carrots in about 30 to 80 days.
Though not technically vegetables, herbs definitely belong in any cook’s garden! Most of them are easily grown from seed. Some of the best herbs to start with:
Most herbs don’t take up a lot of room and do great in containers. A lot of them will even tolerate some shade. The perfect addition to any small space garden.
Easiest Vegetables to Grow in a Vertical Garden
Although not as quick to produce, all of these vegetables are still easy to grow from seed. But they do take up more room and some need a little more care too. All of these vegetables grow easily from seed and work perfectly in small space. They all come in vining varieties
Cucumbers are perfect for beginner gardeners. They’re so easy to grow, they grow like weeds even with inconsistent care. I know from experience, lol.
There’s bush varieties, which stay smaller, or vining varieties. Vining cucumbers tend to yield more fruit, but they need either space to sprawl out or supports to climb.
Cucumbers grow best in sunny, well-drained soil. Sow seeds after the last frost.
There are so many different types and varieties of beans, the hardest part of growing them might be deciding which kind to plant! There’s snap beans, beans for shelling, and beans beans for drying. Then there’s pole beans or bush beans?
The bush variety stay smaller, while the pole varieties are vining. They can grow up to 8 feet long and need some kind of support or trellis. Bush beans have a shorter harvest over a few weeks, while pole beans tend to have a longer and larger harvest.
Plant seeds in the spring once it’s warm in a sunny-well drained location. Like cucumbers, beans will also grow like weeds. Even with inconsistent care they’re pretty hard to kill.
Peas work great in a vertical garden. They send out little tendrils to climb, so grow them on a string or wire trellis.
Peas come in two types: shelling peas or edible pod. Shelling peas require a little more work at harvest time since, as the name implies, you have to shell them. But nothing beats a garden-fresh sweet pea straight from the pod!
Sugar peas are the most versatile. You can eat the immature pods, pods and peas together, or let them mature a little longer and shell them.
Sow seeds in full sun in early spring (6-8 weeks before the last frost) and again in late summer (12 weeks before first frost).
More of the Easiest Vegetables to Grow from Seed
Here’s a few more of the easiest vegetables to grow from seed for the beginner gardener:
There are two main types of pumpkins: pie or baking pumpkins and carving pumpkins. You can of course carve a baking pumpkin, but I wouldn’t eat a carving pumpkin.
After you decide which kind to plant, know that they will need a lot of space. They grow on long vines and need room to spread out.
Plant pumpkin seeds in a sunny spot in late spring or early summer and you’ll have pumpkins ready by fall.
9. Zucchini or Summer Squash
The hardest part of growing zucchini is figuring out what to do with all of it! They are such prolific producers, one or two plants is plenty for most gardeners.
Zucchini and summer squash like warm weather, so plant them in a sunny spot at least 2 weeks after the last frost. They grow well in both pots or mounded soil.
10. Swiss Chard
Chard is not only delicious and nutritious, but it’s also easy to grow! Many people have trouble growing leafy greens like spinach or kale since they easily bolt in the summer heat. You won’t have that problem with chard.
Chard grows well in both sun and partial shade. Sow seeds in early spring and you can start harvesting in about 2 months.
Easiest Vegetables to Grow from Seedlings
Some vegetables are just plain difficult to grow from seed. They have to be started indoors in most climates, carefully cared for, and hardened off before being transplanted into the garden.
This is where seedlings come into play! It’s a much better idea, especially for a beginner gardener, to start with established plants. Pick up a few at your local nursery. You can even find them at the grocery store!
No vegetable garden is complete without a few tomato plants. Grow them in the garden, in containers, or even in hanging baskets. Growing tomatoes from seed can be tricky, so it’s best to start with a few plants from the nursery.
There are so many different varieties and sizes of tomatoes to choose from. There’s cherry tomatoes, roma, beefsteak, heirloom, and dozens of other varieties.
Then there’s determinate vs. indeterminate. Determinate plants stay smaller, only about 2′-3′ tall. They produce all their fruit at once, giving you one crop over 2-3 weeks.
Indeterminate, on the other hand grow taller and taller, anywhere from 6-12 feet, continuously producing fruit until the frost kills them. But, they do need a lot more support and care or they will quickly get out of control.
Check this post out if you’re wondering, Which Kind of Tomato Plant Should I Grow? Then do a little research to decide which types do best locally before you plant. Ask friends/neighbors or check with your local extension office.
Once you decide which varieties to grow, wait till the weather warms up and plant them in a sunny, well-drained location after the last frost.
There are so many different varieties of peppers to chose from, it’s hard to pick just one! Big and small, hot or sweet, with a dozen different colors to choose from. Pick up a few varieties when you go get tomato plants!
Some taller pepper plants or plants with bigger, heavier fruits may need staked for support.
Wait until the weather warms, at least a week after the last frost, to plant young pepper plants in a sunny, well-drained location.