An increasing number of people are choosing to grow their own produce so they’ll be able to enjoy fresh, organic vegetables for a fraction of the cost. However, for first time gardeners, the task can be daunting. Fortunately, it’s actually pretty easy to grow many vegetables. You also don’t need a massive backyard to grow a wide variety of delicious and nutritious produce. If you’re ready to grow your way into health, here are 10 easy to grow vegetables for any first time gardener.
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Tomatoes do well in spring and summer. If working with a smaller garden, opt for the determinate (“bush”) variety. These grow to approximately 4 feet and die once there is fruit on the top bud. Indeterminate tomatoes will grow until killed by frost. These require much more staking to support. For starters, try planting the cherry, grape, or plum varieties.
Lettuce grows well in small spaces and can even grow in containers. You can harvest the entire plant or remove outer leaves to allow it to regenerate. Lettuce tastes best in warm to cool climates, which makes it a great fall crop.
Radishes are rapid growers which make them a joy to plant and harvest. You can expect a full harvest within 3 weeks of sowing. These prolific vegetables grow well in sunny to shady conditions. They don’t require much watering and can be grown throughout the year, just be sure to switch for the spring and winter varieties.
Snap and snow peas are cold-season crops that take about 2 months to grow. Peas can be eaten straight off the vine, which makes them particularly enjoyable, especially for kids.
Carrots can be planted in spring and will grow into the fall. They’re hardy vegetables, but in order to grow well, they need loose, gravel-free soil. If your garden has dense soil, you can get away with planting Ball-type, Chantenay, and Danvers. Their block-shaped can navigate denser soils. Nantes and Imperator grow well in looser soil.
Peppers are a must-grow for spice lovers. They require little space and have an affinity for warmer temperatures. Both mild or hot peppers grow easily but require some amount of staking to keep upright. Plant multiple varieties to maintain a constant supply and harvest.
Cucumbers grow vertically, making them perfect vegetables for smaller gardens. With ample sunshine and water, these vegetables grow remarkedly fast. Add them to salads or juices for a low-calorie, hydrating pick-me-up.
Beets grow well in spring and fall. They’re amazingly easy to grow vegetables that possess powerful antioxidants. You can also eat the greens, which make for a great dual plant. They aren’t a fan of crowding, so ensure that they have ample space to grow in your garden.
Onions grow in the cold season and are easy to plant due to their hardiness. They’re also amazingly easy to regrow. To regrow an onion, cut off the root end of an onion and leave a 1/2 inch of the onion intact. Replant and cover the top with soil. Cut and regrow as you harvest for an endless supply of onions.
Swiss chard is not something you’re likely to find in stores. They’re a beautiful addition to a home garden and offer a variety of nutritious benefits. Swiss chard do well in warm temperatures. Plant them in spring to have a plentiful harvest until fall.
Deciding to grow your own home garden can seem like a daunting task, especially for beginners. But it’s an extremely rewarding adventure that’ll feel more and more natural as you continue to garden.
My backyard currently grows cilantro, tomatoes, guava, chili peppers, kumquat, lemongrass, Chinese apples, and aloe vera. Phew, that’s a mouthful… There are probably even a few more plants I haven’t noticed. My dad spends only about an hour tending to all these plants and it’s just amazing what you can grow with such little maintenance!