You’ve decided: this is the year you plant a vegetable garden. But, you know, growing things can be tricky.
So, what are the easiest vegetables you can plant for almost-guaranteed success?
Few things are as fulfilling as eating a dinner created from the vegetables you grew. However, getting started with vegetable gardening can be incredibly overwhelming for many beginners.
With so many choices, it’s hard to know what to choose to grow and where to begin.
It’s time to make it easy and set ourselves up for success. Let’s look at the five veggies that will give you a bountiful harvest and the confidence to continue along your gardening journey.
Lettuce is an excellent vegetable for beginning gardeners to grow. Lettuce comes in several major types, and there’s variety in the size of the options and how they taste.
So even if someone in your family says, “I don’t eat lettuce,” you can probably find a variety they will enjoy. Some common types are:
Growing lettuce is an excellent way for beginners to start their vegetable garden. Not only is it easy to start, but it’s also fast-growing (not to mention that a salad is always a healthy addition to a meal).
For beginners, it’s best to choose a variety that is easy to grow, such as loose-leaf lettuce or butterhead lettuce.
These varieties are more forgiving and can tolerate a wider range of growing conditions. They also tend to have a shorter growing season so that you can enjoy your homegrown lettuce sooner!
The biggest thing to know about growing lettuce is that these plants prefer cooler temperatures.
Plant your lettuce in a location that receives partial shade, especially during the hottest parts of the day. The lettuce may bolt or go to seed if it gets too hot outside. (And the lettuce tastes very bitter when that happens!)
You can grow lettuce in pots or directly in the garden.
Typically, these plants need to be sown directly into the ground. However, if you’re careful, you can get plant starts and transplant them into your garden bed.
Radishes are root vegetables that come in different colors, typically red, with white on the inside. They have a spicy, slightly sweet flavor and are great in salads.
Radishes are fast-growing, and, more importantly, they’re easy to grow for beginners.
There’s only a little work involved with growing radishes: you sow the seeds directly into the ground, keep weeds from popping up around them, and water them appropriately.
If you’re starting and want a quick win in your vegetable garden, choose a radish variety that is quick and easy to grow, such as Cherry Belle or French Breakfast. These types are fast to mature; you can harvest them in as little as three to four weeks.
Radishes prefer cooler temperatures, so you should plant them in early spring or late summer. It’s vital to plant radish seeds in well-draining soil and to keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.
Additionally, plant the seeds in a location that receives full sun to partial shade.
3. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is hardy and easy to grow.
While the leaves are dark green, you can grow varieties with colorful stems, such as Bright Lights. Think white, yellow, pink, and red.
Swiss chard is excellent for beginners to try their hands at growing. Just find a well-draining area with partial shade, and plant the seeds for your Swiss chard after the danger of frost has passed.
Because it does well in cooler weather, you can start it in early spring or late summer, adding to your growing season.
A great thing about growing Swiss chard is its resistance to many pests and diseases.
You’ll want to watch for problematic pests like aphids, but you’re not as likely to have them bother your Swiss chard as your tomatoes.
Ready for a powerhouse of a vegetable? If you like the taste of zucchini, it’s time to consider growing this popular summer squash.
Too often, gardeners have too many zucchini rather than not enough. Get ready to try new recipes or take some to work to offload your bounty!
Unlike the earlier items on this list, zucchini needs a lot of room to grow. Trellises and supports allow you to grow zucchini upwards, so the plants don’t sprawl across the ground.
These plants must get plenty of sun, and the soil needs to drain well to minimize the possibility of developing plant diseases such as powdery mildew.
You can start zucchini indoors and transplant young plants outside, or wait until the threat of frost has passed and plant them directly in the ground. Easy peasy!
Harvesting zucchini might be the trickiest part of growing these vegetables. You want to check the plants daily and harvest the zucchini when they are approximately 6 to 8 inches long.
If they stay on the plant much longer, they become tough.
Potatoes are a staple for many dishes, but did you know they are also pretty easy to grow?
You start your potato plants by using seed potatoes, which are small, disease-free potatoes that act as the seed of your plant.
Plant the seed potatoes in a sunny spot in early spring. You can plant potatoes in containers if you have large enough pots or grow bags or dig trenches and plant them in the ground.
A quirk of growing potatoes that’s different from the other plants on this list is that you need to hill the growing potato plants. As the plant grows, you add soil to the base of the orange to keep the potato tubers covered.
When the foliage on your potatoes dies back, it’s time to harvest your bounty.
Now, harvesting potatoes is a bit like a treasure hunt. You’ll need to carefully dig the potatoes up, all without damaging them, which will cause them to rot faster.
You might find it daunting to grow vegetables for the first time. Still, it can be a gratifying and rewarding experience. With patience and dedication, you’ll soon be enjoying a bountiful harvest of delicious, nutritious vegetables. So go ahead and get started on your vegetable garden today – your taste buds will thank you!