Gardening

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!

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

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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18 Comments

  1. I miss having a large garden, but with all we have going on, plus working a full time job, blogging, etc. I haven’t had time to get a garden spot tilled, plus I don’t have a tiller anymore. Was going to buy one, but now I’m leaning more towards raised beds. I Made one last week for my onions and a couple garlic plants. Still have a little room for maybe a couple tomatoe plants. But need to make a couple more. And I need to make me up some garlic pepper tea and then actually use it on a regular basis. I sure could use a few more hours added to my days (-;
    Thanks for sharing this information it just makes me want to get my garden up that much more.

  2. I’m ready to get the garden going again this year but exercising patience because we planted too early last year and lost a lot. Why do the stores sell plants now anyways?! Lol! I didn’t have any luck with lettuce last year but thinking perhaps it’s because the seeds were too old. We did great with our blue lake green beans though. Yum!

  3. Great Post! Saw you on the link party and we are starting our garden today. We did an easy one last year and were so happy with it. Nice to meet you on here.

    Brooke

  4. Your vegetables look so beautiful, Leslie. When I first bought my home before I had children one of my absolute favorite things to do was garden. There was nothing like it. Hopefully some day I’ll have a big lush garden again but until then I’ll enjoy lovely photos and information like you’ve shared. Thank you so much for sharing at Project Inspire{d}. Pinning ~ have a wonderful week.

  5. Definitely pinning this! I have been wanting to do our own garden for quite a while and I always feel a little overwhelmed by what I don’t know and chicken out!

  6. I think gardening is such a wonderful thing to do! I love my garden, and truly enjoy all the time spent getting my hands dirty!
    Thanks so much for linking up at The Pretty Pintastic Party– we will be featuring this post at the party this weekend! We hope you’ll stop by, grab a featured button, and link up some more amazing posts!

  7. I have had a garden most of my childhood and adult life. I cannot get zucchini, squash or cucumbers to give much produce! I think that it is a problem with the rain that we have here. This year I am only doing cucumbers, and I am going to do them in pots. So sick of nursing the plants, getting some fruit and then the plants die! ARG! Love the rest though, good choices.

  8. I’m slightly skeptical of your “everyone” promise, because I don’t so much fall into the “Ive never grown a darn thing in my life” category as much as “I’ve killed everything I have ever attempted and it’s a lot of stuff” category. I am always willing to give it a try though, I want to grow veggies so bad! Thanks for the tips and guides.

    1. It’s all about paying attention. Attention to water. Attention to sunshine. Attention to insects. Easy, peasy.

  9. I am so excited for my garden, now I just need warm weather! Love the pictures! Saying hello from the handmade hangout!
    Cathy

  10. I had to chuckle when I was reading through your post. For the first year of our married life, we’re going to try planting a few vegetables this year. (We’re military and first time we’ve had a house versus an apartment). I had already decided to try peas and tomatoes- so was glad to hear they were “beginner” friendly!
    I pinned (and bookmarked your page) and am sure I will reference it again.
    Jennie
    p.s. I found your post via “Pinterest Party” (and am pinning you, of course!) on Recipes for our Daily Bread.
    p.p.s. Planning on going to check out your Pinterest page right now!

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