Nutrition Articles

The 10 Easiest Vegetables to Grow

Ease into the Garden with These Plants

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7. Radishes
Radishes are ideal for beginner gardeners. Plant seeds directly into the garden in early spring or fall for a peppery addition to your favorite salads. Choose from Cheriette, Cherry Belle and Scarlet Globe.

8. Bell Peppers
Like tomatoes, starter bell pepper plants are widely available at nurseries and home improvement stores. They make a crunchy additive to salads, add a pop of color to soups, and act as a nutritious compliment to kabobs. Try California Wonder, Gypsy and Big Bertha

9. Summer Squash
Squash is a high yielding plant, so you will probably only need a few plants to feed an entire family. Squash plants dislike the wind, so be sure that your plot has some protection. Harvest when the plants are about 8-10 inches long. Your family will love Green Bush, Gold Rush and Sure Thing varieties.

10. Basil
An essential additive to cooking, this aromatic herb isn't just for lovers of Italian cuisine! You can grow basil in pots or in the ground—even indoors on a sunny windowsill. Sow seeds directly into the garden in early June in a sunny, well-drained area. When the leaves reach a desirable size, just pluck them from the plant and wait as the basil continues to provide fragrant and flavorful leaves that you can also dry and use long after summer is past. Genovese, Sweet and Magical Michael basils are good varieties to try.

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About The Author

Jenny Sigler Jenny Sigler
Jenny is a stay-at-home mom to her young children, Augustine and Olive. An avid gardener and baker, she enjoys writing about health and childcare topics to empower people to make healthy choices. See all of Jenny's articles.

Member Comments

  • EWAGNEV493
    My mom used to plant all of these except the basil in her garden every year, so this brought back a comforting memory for me personally! - 7/16/2015 6:46:29 PM
  • After many years of vegetable gardening I agree with most of the article. Personally though I have a very hard time with spinach in Maine It always bolts before I can harvest much or any. This year I started that in a container in a sun porch and was able to control the temperature better and managed to har vest a little - 7/16/2015 7:10:22 AM
  • Also, tomatoes need more than just "a little bit of water." Trust me on this, especially if you live in the south. Those plants, in my experience, need more water than any plant I've ever grown. - 6/20/2015 7:16:44 AM
  • Berries (which include peppers, according to biology) are easy to grow and very nutritious as well. I love growing jalapeņos and cayenne (and the others as well, but those are the ones I get every year). - 6/20/2015 7:15:38 AM
  • I want to add chives and mint to the list! Love them both!!

    There are also a whole lot of other plants that most people consider "weeds" that are not only edible, but delicious (dandelion & purslane). - 4/18/2015 8:48:57 PM
  • Don't forget chard! Love it! - 4/18/2015 5:48:32 PM
  • Wondering at the bean advice, it says to grow broad beans and then lists a pole bean, Kentucky Wonder and a regular bean, contender, no broad beans in sight. I have grown gardens for 50 years in all kinds of places and the best advice is to find out what grows best in your area and for your soil, everyone's soil is different and someone across the street may have great luck with one variety while you do not, keep experimenting! - 4/18/2015 7:42:01 AM
  • NAN130155
    Everything depends on your soil and the care you give them. Nothing as easy as this article suggests. - 4/18/2015 1:53:00 AM
  • Snap Peas & Snow peas are easy & a good use of vertical space. They're so good for snacks or stir fry but usually so expensive. I've tucked a short row at the end of a small raised bed of lettuce & it kept us in stir fry accents for a month.

    State home extension offices can be a great free source of info for plants that do well in your area. Can't wait til Spring! - 4/1/2015 12:07:31 PM
  • Oh, you left off the easiest, and the most rewarding. Beets, or beetroot, sprout quickly, are edible leaves stems and that precious bulbous root. It is very difficult to buy decent beets in the store and they are expensive and tiny, sold for the greens with golfball size roots. I get decent ones only in fall at the real farmer farmers market by the bushel. If I grow my own I can get not only nice roots for fresh hot veggies, and cold veggies, and pickled but I can also get better than spinach greens to cook. I've never picked very young leaves, but I bet I could make salad from leaves too. They are better than spinach cooked because they hold texture a little better steamed spinach gets slippery very quickly if you don't serve it real quick. - 4/20/2014 9:15:53 PM
  • BUDDHAKWAKE
    You guys forgot what is probably the easiest vegetable to grow of them all: the Sweet Potato. I've grown it in a desert in literally sand and triple digit temperatures, in Los Angeles with frost in hard pack clay (had to get the dirt wet to dig out the 30 lbs of sweet potatoes that grew from ONE potato). I've even grown them on the counter in my kitchen (I swear the vine coming out of it was growing an inch every two to three days just sitting on a shelf in the pantry). Just make sure it doesn't get too dry, and your sweet potatoes will grow almost like kudzu (which is actually probably the easiest edible plant to grow, just ask any southerner). - 4/16/2014 3:34:15 AM
  • Hey now, crooked carrots are pretty too! :D - 4/1/2014 11:37:09 AM
  • TMARROCCO
    I grow everything and anything, but find spinach to be my nemesis. It can be finicky to germinate, and can rot or damp off. Instead, substitute kale or swiss chard. Kale will fade or get buggy in the late summer. Chard on the other hand takes longer to get going, but will take you well into the fall and early winter, at least in the Northeast!

    For a super easy, charming radish, try Easter Egg. Kids will love the colors. - 3/13/2014 5:09:43 PM
  • RUNNINGINOR
    Where I live, In the cool coastal climate of the Pacific Northwest, basil is HARD to grow without the aid of cold frames. But CILANTRO is super, super productive, and so great to add to salads, salsa, etc.

    Also, peas and strawberries grow like weeds, much to the delight of my kids. - 7/1/2013 2:09:03 PM
  • I love this article! And it gives me some great ideas for what to do this weekend! How awesome would it be to have salads straight from your own garden! I think I'll start with pots, and see if I can move into an actual garden plot. I once grew tomatoes in pots and they were wonderful! - 6/11/2013 11:21:24 AM

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