Photo by Karolina Grabowska
So, you’ve decided to take up gardening. Congratulations! Gardening is a fun and rewarding hobby that can produce delicious fruits and vegetables for your family to enjoy. But if you’re new to gardening, it’s important to start small and choose plants that are easy to grow. With that in mind, here are seven of the easiest vegetables to grow for gardening beginners.
Radishes are fast-growing and can be ready to harvest in as little as four weeks. They prefer well-drained soil and full sun, but they will also tolerate partial shade.
To thrive with radishes, make sure to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Watering in the evening is best to prevent the leaves from wilting in the heat of the day. When harvesting, pull up the entire plant—roots and all—and use them fresh in salads or as a tasty addition to sandwiches.
The next easiest vegetable on our list is lettuce. Like radishes, lettuce is a cool-weather crop that prefers full sun but will also do well in partial shade.
Lettuce needs moist, well-drained soil to grow properly, so, be sure to keep the soil evenly watered, especially during hot weather, to prevent the leaves from wilting. When harvesting, cut the outer leaves first, leaving the inner leaves to continue growing.
You can enjoy lettuce fresh in salads, on sandwiches, or cooked as a green vegetable.
Cucumbers are a warm-weather crop that needs full sun to produce well. They can be trellised or left to sprawl on the ground. Cucumbers prefer rich, well-drained soil. Be sure to keep the plants evenly watered, especially during hot weather, to prevent the fruit from becoming bitter.
You can harvest cucumbers when they are dark green and firm. Enjoy them fresh in salads or as a healthy snack. Or if you’re into infused water, throw a few slices into your next pitcher for a refreshing twist.
Beans are a versatile crop that can be grown in both warm and cool weather. They prefer full sun but will also tolerate partial shade. If you already have a trellis or fence in your garden, beans are a great option as they will happily climb up the structure.
Beans need moist, well-drained soil to grow properly. Like any other vegetable on this list, be sure to keep the plants evenly watered during hot weather. You can harvest beans when the pods are plump and the beans inside are still green and enjoy them fresh in salads or as a side dish.
Growing spinach is very similar to growing lettuce. It’s a cool-weather crop that prefers full sun but will also tolerate partial shade. However, spinach is a little more tolerant of dry conditions than lettuce, so it’s a good option if you’re in an area with less rainfall.
As with any other vegetable on this list, make sure to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. You can harvest spinach leaves as soon as they are big enough to eat, and make sure not to over-harvest from any one plant so that it can continue producing.
Enjoy spinach fresh in salads, cooked as a side dish, or added to smoothies for a nutrient boost.
Zucchini is a warm-weather crop that needs full sun to produce well. Like cucumbers, zucchini can be left to sprawl on the ground or trellised. Zucchini plants need rich, well-drained soil to produce properly.
Be sure to keep the plants evenly watered during hot weather, especially if they are trellised, to prevent the fruit from becoming bitter. You can harvest zucchini when they are dark green and firm. Enjoy them grilled, roasted, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at making zucchini bread or chocolate zucchini cake.
Tomato is among popular choices for beginner gardeners. They can be grown in both sunny and shady areas, and they don’t require much attention in terms of watering or fertilization.
The only thing to be aware of with tomatoes is that they are susceptible to a number of diseases, so it’s important to choose disease-resistant varieties and to practice good crop rotation. You can harvest tomatoes when they are fully ripe and red.
Enjoy them fresh in salads or cooked in a variety of dishes. Make tomato sauce, salsa, or soup. Or preserve them for the winter by canning or freezing. Basically, you can never go wrong with tomatoes.
Herbs are a great option for gardening beginners because they are relatively easy to grow and don’t require much space—a sunny window sill is often enough.
Most herbs prefer full sun but will also tolerate partial shade. They need well-drained soil and should be watered regularly, especially during hot weather. You can harvest herbs anytime once they have reached a usable size.
Herbs are also a great way to add flavor to your cooking without having to use as much salt. Some easy-to-grow herbs include basil, chives, cilantro, oregano, parsley, and rosemary.
The Bottom Lines
Growing your own vegetables can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s important to choose the right plants for your level of expertise. If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to choose vegetables that are easy to grow and don’t require a lot of effort.
The seven vegetables on this list are all great choices for beginner gardeners. They are relatively easy to care for and don’t require a lot of space or attention. With a little practice, you’ll be harvesting your own homegrown vegetables in no time.