Easy Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners

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Thinking about planting a small garden this year? I have a few Easy Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners suggestions. These vegetables are ideal for the “I’ve never grown a darn thing in my entire life, but now I want to grow vegetables” gardeners.

If that’s you, then follow my suggestions because I’ve put together a list of Easy Vegetable that Anyone Can Grow. And, I mean anyone!


Easy Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners

Success in gardening really starts with preparation. If you’ve never planted a vegetable garden then there are a few things you need to do to prepare. For the most basic information, you may want to read my Gardening Tips for Beginners. These are just a few basics to get the juices flowing. From there you can decide if you still want to move forward.

Once you decided that you want a small vegetable garden, then you should take a look at How to Start a Vegetable Garden. There are several things you need to have planned out before the first seed is planted. Things like location are critical to success.

Now that you’ve chosen a location for your garden and gotten the soil ready the next step is planting. And that is where most folks stall. They just don’t know what to plant. I know, I’ve been there, too. Luckily, there are several vegetables that are relatively easy to grow and have proven success rates ~ even for beginners.

The first thing you will need to do is know your planting dates. This website will connect you with your local county agricultural office. They will have a chart with planting dates.

Ok, now you’ve got a plan and you know your best plant dates. Here are a few of my ‘always successful’ vegetable suggestions.


Radishes:

Thinking about planting a vegetable garden this year? I know a few Easy Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners. These garden vegetables are ideal for beginners.

Radishes are ideal for a first vegetable garden. They are fast growers that can be grown from seeds and most insects stay away. They should be planted about 1-2″ apart and no deeper than 1/2″ in the soil. Radishes will require daily watering. Once these guys pop up, you may need to thin any that are closer than 1″ apart. After that, they are very hearty.

I recommend the Cherry Belle Radish. It’s the most popular and has been around forever!


Lettuce:

Thinking about planting a vegetable garden this year? I know a few Easy Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners. These garden vegetables are ideal for beginners.

Leaf Lettuce is very easy to grow, too. It grows well from seeds or transplants. One thing to remember with any lettuce is this: If you plant it all at once, it will come in all at once. This is one of those plants that needs to be planted weekly within the planting window. Otherwise you will have a fridge full of lettuce. Stick to leaf lettuces {as opposed to lettuces that form heads} and you will be able to harvest a little salad everyday!

Plant 1/4″ deep about 12-16″ apart. Lettuce will need to be thinned to allow for plants to expand.

I also recommend planting a variety of lettuces. Here are a couple of my favorites: Black Seeded Simpson and Buttercrunch Bibb.


Bush Beans:

Thinking about planting a vegetable garden this year? I know a few Easy Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners. These garden vegetables are ideal for beginners.

There are two types of green beans. Bush beans and pole beans. Both grow well from seeds, but Bush Beans are are a little easier to manage in a small space. They grow in tidy, compact bushes. If you go with pole beans, you will need room to construct poles. For newbies, go with the bush beans – they have the same taste and texture.

I recommend the Contender Bush Bean. It’s one of the most common varieties and has been around forever. Plant seeds 1″ deep 12-18″ apart. For good supply management, plant every 2-3 weeks. You’ll have fresh green beans to serve weekly.


Sugar Snap Peas:

Thinking about planting a vegetable garden this year? I know a few Easy Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners. These garden vegetables are ideal for beginners.

Generally speaking, most varieties of peas are pretty easy to grow. However, the star of the garden is usually Sugar Snaps. Sugar snaps will need some sort of trellis on which to grow. I’ve attached string to my fence and used a variety of simple trellises, such as an inexpensive tomato cage.

Sugar snaps also have a secondary feature – they have a beautiful bloom. Right before the peas create a pod, there is this beautiful delicate flower that appears. It’s really pretty when you have a whole vine covered in these blooms.

Sugar Ann is the variety I’ve had the most luck with, but there are a few other varieties that should be equally as effective. Sow seeds 1″ deep and 2″ apart. Thin any that are closer than 2″ apart.


Squash:

Thinking about planting a vegetable garden this year? I know a few Easy Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners. These garden vegetables are ideal for beginners.

I’ve grown squash from seeds and from transplants and I prefer the transplants. I like them because it allows the plant to grow and produce quickly. Zucchini is one of the fastest growing squash plants and that’s a really good thing. There are two insects that will attack your squash: Squash Bugs and Squash Vine Borers. Both will take the whole plant (and a piece of your gardener’s heart).

For that reason, I like to use the transplants because I have greater chance of a larger crop. It’s also recommended that you spread the plants out in your garden, that way the insects won’t attack all of the plants at once.

Even with the threat of insects, zucchini is still very easy to grow and doesn’t require a lot emotional investment. If you use transplants you will have a healthy crop to enjoy.


Tomatoes:

Thinking about planting a vegetable garden this year? I know a few Easy Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners. These garden vegetables are ideal for beginners.

If you’re going to grow a vegetable garden then you will need to grow a few tomato plants. In general, tomatoes are pretty easy to grow. However, whole books have been written on the subject. If you want success with tomatoes, then you need to do a few things to establish healthy tomato plants.

  • Use transplants. Period. Unless you are experienced, growing tomatoes from seeds will be difficult.
  • Find out the best varieties for your area. Here in Austin I recommend two varieties: Juliet (cherry) and Celebrity (beefsteak).
  • Purchase transplants from a reputable nursery and ask for a planting sheet. Tomatoes vary from place to place.
  • Don’t over fertilize – you will end up with a nice leafy plant that has no tomatoes.
  • Check daily for insects like aphids and the evil tomato horn worm –  will devour your entire plant in a day. Mix up a batch of my Garlic Pepper Tea to help with most insects.
  • Pick when the tomato has a blush of red ~ then ripen on your counter. If you allow the tomato to turn bright red, every bug, bird, and squirrel will accept this invitation to dine on fresh, ripe tomatoes.

As with any new endeavor, patience is recommended. Take your time and enjoy the entire process. You will find much satisfaction from growing a few things to eat.


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