If you love vegetables, you know they can be pretty pricey to buy at the store. You may have wondered about growing them yourself at home, and which are the easiest vegetables to grow yourself. But that can be overwhelming. Right? When I started gardening, I wanted to do it all, so I went out and bought all the seeds for the vegetables I normally eat. I went outside, dug out a little plot, and followed the instructions for depth and distance on the back of the seed envelope flaps. I was going to have a bounty that all the farmers would envy, and fresh vegetables on my dinner table every night.
Then they started to grow, at least some of them did, and they started crowding each other out. My poor beautiful garden that had such potential was a hot mess with strangled plants, and barely any vegetables. I may have gotten a few peas and a cucumber out of the whole bunch. Yikes! I took on too much too soon and didn't plan worth a lick, but that doesn't have to happen to you.
Figuring out the easiest vegetables to grow is the key to providing your family with nutritional foods without the hefty price tag. More than that, you'll know exactly where your vegetables came from. If you start with the easiest vegetables to grow and make a plan, you will have the bounty you dreamed of.
How to Start
When you're planning to grow a vegetable garden, the first thing you need to do is decide which vegetables you're going to grow and if you have the space to grow them. If you're a beginner, you probably want to pick the easiest vegetables to grow so that you can get the most out of your time and effort.
Your soil is where your little plants are going to live and thrive. You want to make sure they have all the nutrients they need to get strong. Your garden bed should look rich and comfortable enough to lay down and take a nap. When preparing your soil, you want to add the following to bring the dirt to the level your vegetables need:
Creating the right combination of these ingredients and adding them to your soil will make growing your vegetables even easier. It wouldn't hurt to invest in a soil tester. That way you'll know exactly what to give your soil to make it perfect. Once you have the supplies you need to make your garden bed, you need to decide on where to put it.
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Depending on which easy to grow vegetables you decide to use, will determine how much space you need. No matter how much space you need, you have to pick a spot that will get at least six to eight hours of sun per day. Decide which vegetables you're going to grow, how many plants you're going to grow, and determine how much space your plants are going to need. When you decide about the space, you need and the location, it's time to plant your seeds.
Some of the plants have to be started by seed, like carrots, while some others, you can start as baby plants. Starting with baby plants will give you a yield of fresh vegetables faster than from seed. Check planting guides in your area to determine when are the best times to plant in your zone.
One other thing to keep in mind before putting your plants or seeds in the ground is shadows. If you have plants that grow above ground, you want them getting as much sun as possible. So, it's best to plant your rows east to west (or west to east) instead of north to south. That way, they're getting the full benefit of the sun's path and absorbing as much as they can.
The Easiest Vegetables to Grow
Your space is perfect now, and you can't wait to get started with this project. You've got the easiest vegetables to grow on the planet, and are planning for what you're going to do with all the yummy goodness coming out of your garden. You're ready.
So, let's go through the list to find out exactly what you need to do with your seeds and plants to make the most of your time outside.
Root vegetables are not only easy vegetables to grow; they're fun too. Imagine putting seeds into the ground, a green plant popping out of the earth, when underneath the real magic is happening. After the determined amount of time, you dig underneath your perfectly balanced soil to discover your beautiful vegetables hiding like little treasures.
Carrots are an easy root vegetable to grow, and they pack a punch with nutrition. They're loaded with Vitamin A and come in a variety of lengths and colors. Although orange is the color we think of when we hear the word carrots, they also come in purple, red, white, and yellow.
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As long as you irrigate your soil, you can grow carrots all year long. They grow well in both cold and warm climates. Before planting your carrot seeds, it's best to soak them for 24 hours to give them a growing head start. When you're ready to plant them, you're going to need a little help because carrot seeds are tiny. They're too tiny to hold and plant correctly so that you can do one of two things:
- 1Mix the seed with fine sand with the ratio of one part seed and four parts sand
- 2Use pellets that have the carrot seed inside
- 3Get some seed tape to sprinkle the seeds on, and then cut and plant in your garden
Plant your seeds about half an inch under the soil. Once the plants start to emerge, thin them out, so you only have one carrot plant per ten inches. In about three months, you can start harvesting your little beauties.
Another great vegetable to add a little spice to your salad, and is easy to grow, are radishes. They go from seed to harvest in less than a month, the spring and fall. That's no time!
Radishes come in a wide variety, but all of them are some of the easiest vegetables to grow. A pro-tip when growing radishes is to grow them in partial shade. It dulls the strength of the radish a bit, making them easier to eat. Since they can like partial shade, radishes are perfect for growing anywhere. All you need is enough room to thin the radish plants out to an inch apart, and six inches deep. Place the radish seeds one inch apart, and about 1/4 to 1/2 inch below the soil.
In 20 to 30 days, you'll have plenty of radishes to harvest, and the great thing is, you can pick them as you need them. One other thing to keep in mind while growing radishes, is they love moist soil, so be sure to water them every few days.
Vegetables that climb don't necessarily need more room in your garden, but you do have to give them something to climb on. You can choose a cage to go around your plant or a trellis for them so that they can climb. Whichever you decide, you need to supply the support while the plants are babies, so you're not trying to put a cage around a grown plant or untangling runners that have gone wild.
Here are the easiest vegetables to grow that need some extra support as they grow.
Green beans provide lots of phytonutrients to your diet, and grow quickly, making them a great plant to add to your vegetable garden. They love warm soil, so there's no need to mulch around these growing plants. Green beans also have deep roots to tap into the nutrients they need from the soil, so they're very easy to grow.
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Like carrots, beans come in a variety of colors, so it might be fun to play around with the varieties available to you. Plant your green beans two to four inches deep, and about four inches apart. Keep your bean plants watered, and in less than two months, you'll have plenty of beans to harvest.
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The longer the beans are on the plant, the tougher the pods get, so getting them off the plant while they're young makes them easier to eat. They'll also be more appealing to your kids when they're tender.
Peas are a great vegetable to build your confidence in the garden. They're hardy and possibly the easiest vegetable to grow. Like many of the other vegetables mentioned, there are a wide variety of peas to choose from. The best thing about growing your own peas is that it's so much fun to find and eat them right out of your garden. If you've never had a fresh hand full of peas straight out of the garden, you're missing out. Kids love them too!
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To plant your peas, plant the seeds about an inch deep, and two inches apart when temperatures are around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. When planning for your peas, keep in mind they thrive in temperatures below 70 degrees. Make sure you have a trellis for these guys because they get leggy. Also, be careful when you're weeding around the peas because they have fragile roots.
Keep the peas watered to prevent wilting, but don't soak them or they'll rot. In about two weeks, you'll see your little seedlings pop up, and it's only a matter of time until you can harvest your peas. In a little less than two months, you'll start picking fresh peas out of your very own garden. Fresh peas are delicious.
Vegetable runners are those plants that creep along the ground. They need lots of room to spread out and roam. If you're going to choose these types of vegetables, make sure you give them the space they need. You won't regret it.
You won't be surprised to know that squash comes in a wide variety. There are zucchinis, yellow, butternut, and spaghetti, to name a few. Whichever you choose, they are still among the easiest vegetables to grow, and are a great choice, as long as you have the room. You do have to decide whether you want winter or summer squash because that will determine when you plant. It will also determine when you harvest!
Squash need full sun and moist but well-drained soil. Plant squash seeds about one inch deep in the soil, and keep the plantings two to three feet apart. If you don't have that kind of room, you can plant them closer together on a hill in your garden.
Once you have plants, you're going to have to mulch around the plants to keep weeds at bay and keep the plants moist. Keep them well watered, and fertilized, and in about two months. Summer squash, like green beans, is tender when they're small and young, so you can harvest those when they're about six to eight inches long.
It's a fun adventure looking for the squash that's ripe for the picking. Also, keep in mind that you can harvest the squash blossoms and eat those as well!
There are generally four different kinds of cucumbers you can grow in your garden: slicing, burpless, pickling, and specialty. Each is easy to grow vegetables, so you should pick a variety depending on how you want to use them.
No matter which cucumbers you choose to grow, you're going to need room for them to spread out. Plant your cucumber seeds about 3/4 of an inch below the soil, and about one to two feet apart. Like squash, cucumbers can be planted on a hill in your garden to give them more space. Drip irrigation is best for cucumbers because it keeps the plants moist and encourages the vegetable to form.
In about 60 days, you can start harvesting and eating your freshly matured cucumbers. Don't pull from the vines, snap the cucumbers off near the stem and enjoy.
Compact vegetables are just like they sound, compact. They don't take up a lot of space and, like the others, can be easy to grow. These two compact vegetables are the base of any great salad: lettuce and spinach.
Delicious lettuce is an easy vegetable to grow in cooler climates. The more heat, the more bitter the product, so it's best to grow when it's between 59 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, there are all kinds of lettuce you can grow, but there are two main types:
Both can be sown right in the ground and lightly covered with soil. The seedlings will start to pop up in two to three days! If that's not an instant return for your time, nothing is. Space the lettuce about eight to ten inches apart, and provide drip irrigation for the best crop. If you sow new lettuce seeds every two to three weeks, you'll have a nice continuous batch of lettuce straight from your garden to your kitchen.
It takes about one and a half to two months for lettuce to mature, and then it's time to get ready for the harvest! Pro-tip to keep in mind when growing lettuce is controlling weeds. They can take down your crop fast, so get out there every day to pull your weeds. Your lettuce will thank you.
Spinach is such a nutritious vegetable and so easy to grow. You can eat it raw, or you can cook it, and it has a completely different flavor. With all the problems we've seen in stores with spinach recall, there's no reason not to grow your own.
Spinach, like lettuce, likes the cold, and it doesn't like the heat. You have to time this crop just right to get the best bang for your buck. The funny thing is, spinach will only germinate when the soil is warm. Plant the seeds in a place where they'll get protection from the sun, but they will grow pretty much anywhere. As soon as you can work the soil, you will want to plant your spinach seeds. Another option is to plant them late in the summer to harvest in the fall.
Plant your spinach where you want it to grow, about 1/2 an inch below the soil, and keep them at least two inches apart. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy, and in five to nine days, your spinach will emerge. That's fast! When you are harvesting your delicious spinach, cut off the bigger leaves and leave the smaller ones and the roots intact. If you do that, you can continuously harvest from the same plant.
Get Outside and Grow
Now that you know the easiest vegetables to grow, it's time to get dirty! Pick which vegetables you're going to grow, and go outside to get started. Don't fall into the trap of trying to grow everything at once. It's okay to start small and get your bearings in your garden and expand from there. The point is, you can do it. All you have to do is start.
With the right spacing, a bit of prep, and some attention, you can grow a salad right outside your door. You might find yourself and your family enjoying this food even more from your yard than from the store. What a great way to get outside, and to treat your whole family.