The 10 Easiest Vegetables to Grow

New to gardening? Worried that planting your first edibles will turn out to be a fruitless labor? Fear not, novice gardener! While not totally foolproof, certain plants are ideal for gardening neophytes living in a geographic region that experiences a summer climate who want to increase their chances of gardening success. These 10 plants will flourish easily in a backyard garden or in containers--just add sun and water. Here's a list of the top 10 easiest vegetables you can grow, regardless of skill level or age.

Carrots

Find a plot of soil (or a deep pot) that is free from rocks and deep enough to handle this root vegetable. Rocky soil can result in crooked carrots that, while perfectly edible are not the most aesthetically pleasing. Carrots are ready for harvest when their tops breach the soil line. Scarlet Nantes, Danvers Half Long and Sweet Treat are three varieties to try.


Green Beans

There are many different kinds of beans, but "broad beans" are one of the easiest vegetables to cultivate. Bush beans are more productive, but broad beans are easier to manage. Pole beans, while easy to grow, also need a trellis. Beans freeze and can extremely well, too! Try Kentucky Wonder and Contender varieties.


Lettuce

A salad fresh from your yard is unbeatable! Luckily, lettuce--a vast category of plants that includes microgreens (tender lettuce greens that are chopped when barely a few weeks old), head lettuces, leaf lettuces, spinach and arugula--is an easy plant to grow and maintain. Do successive sowings every two weeks to space out your harvest. Look for Buttercrunch, Salad Bowl or Rocket (arugula) seeds.


Cucumbers

If you let them, cucumber plants will sprawl, so provide your plants with ample space to stretch their roots. Try smaller varieties to make your own homemade pickles! Be sure to avoid planting cucumbers until all danger of frost has passed. My favorites are Diva, Straight Eight and Salad Bush Hybrid.


Spinach

Spinach is remarkably high in iron and is a wonderful addition to salads, omelets and soups. You can pick it continuously once its leaves are of a reasonable size to encourage new growth. Check out varieties like Renegade, Melody Hybrid and Baby’s Leaf.


Tomatoes

With a little water and a lot of sun, tomato plants will bear fruit all summer long. Most people prefer to buy starter plants from nurseries or home improvement stores, which is an easy, time-saving way to start. Tomatoes are fragrant and nutrient-rich, and nothing can beat the taste of a freshly picked homegrown tomato. You'll enjoy Big Boy, Beef Steak and Roma tomatoes.
 

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.


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 complement to kabobs. Try California Wonder, Gypsy and Big Bertha.


Summer Squash

Squash is a high yielding plant, so you will probably only need a few 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.


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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Member Comments

Many apartment dwellers and other renters can grow several potted vegetables, berries and herbs inside or even on the out on the porch in the summer in pots. Just make sure you pick smaller growing varieties and you may need grow lights inside especially during short days. Some plants that are not cold tolerant can be kept growing inside during the coder months. Report
I have been growing grape tomatoes in pots along with basil for a number of years now. With the mini varieties you can just pick a ripe berry off of the plant and eat it for a snack. Technically tomatoes are fruit not vegetables. I am planning on trying potted snow peas this year since the wildlife eats all of the beans before they are ready to harvest. That is also why I grow my strawberries in pots. The strawberries overwinter fine in the pots ear the house with leaves around them. Broccoli grows well in pots too. I have had potted thyme, oregano,rosemary and lavender for years also. Report
Love growing our own veggies!! Report
I made the mistake of planting 6 summer squash I think I supplied the whole neighborhood all summer Report
I want a garden. Thumbs down for apartment living Report
thanks Report
METALMOMMA25
Good suggestions! Just make sure on what you can grow in your weather region, especially in Texas. I tried to grow lettuce and failed because of too much moisture/humidity in the part of Texas I am at. However, I was able to grow a good amount of squash, zucchini, hot peppers and peas. Report
BONDMANUS2002
good to know Report
BONDMANUS2002
good to know Report
BONDMANUS2002
good to know Report
will try this Report
I am preparing to plant a small garden (in ground and container combo) next season. I am eating more fruits and veggies so growing my own just seems like the next natural step. Report
I am going to try spinach I think Report
have some of these in my garden now thanks Report
BONDMANUS2002
excellent Report


 

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.
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