what's an easy vegetable for beginners? 7 vegetables and how to grow them

  • Experience the joy of growing and harvesting easy vegetables.

Vegetables don't have to take a lot of space. Plant breeders have given us many compact varieties of vegetables that grow well in small spaces, including flower pots.

Start gardening with easy vegetables for the beginner.Start gardening with easy vegetables.
Image by Pixabay

where will you put your garden?

Look over your yard and decide where to locate your garden. Take note of the sun and how it changes position different times of year.

The majority of vegetables grow best in full sun. (6 hours/day) Many vegetables will tolerate partial sun. (2-6 hours/day)

The veggies will grow slower with less sun. And it will be longer until harvest, but it is still achievable.

Prepare your planting area by mixing plenty of organic matter into the soil.

  • Select your seeds or transplants and enjoy a season of gardening.


green beans are an easy vegetable

Green beans (snap beans) are an easy vegetable to grow.

  • You can have green beans to harvest in 50-70 days. Do successive plantings 2-3 weeks apart so you have beans all summer.

Green bean plants come in two forms, bush beans or vining beans. The vining green beans are more productive.

Bush beans are easier to take care of because you don't have to train them on a stake, trellis or tomato cage. Bush beans are good for small spaces and growing in containers.

PLANTING

Green beans like full sun, 6-8 hours per day. They will grow in a variety of soils.

Plant them after the weather warms up and the soil is warm. Beans don't do well in cool, damp conditions.

GREEN BEAN CARE

Once the beans are up, water them with infrequent, deep waterings instead of daily light sprinklings.

When the beans are 4-6" high give them a bit of fertilizer. Fertilize again when the pods start forming.

Fish emulsion is good. If you use a granular vegetable fertilizer, don't allow it to touch the stem of the bean. The granules could burn the plant.

HARVEST

Harvest the beans while they are still young and tender, before the beans start to make bumps on the side of the pod.

Harvest regularly, every 5-7 days. They grow fast. When they get too big, the pods are tough and chewy.  If you let the bean pods grow to full maturity, the plant will stop producing.


SELECTING A VARIETY

  • Green Beans - Kentucky Wonder, Romano
  • Bush Beans - Tender Crop, Green Sleeves
  • Yellow Wax Beans - Cherokee, Gold Cross
  • There are Purple Beans that turn green when you cook them.


GROWERS TIP

  • Do not harvest or work in the green beans when the leaves are wet to avoid spreading viral diseases.



radishes are a great place to start gardening

Radishes are the fastest vegetable to grow.Radishes are fast and easy.
Image by Skitterphoto from Pixabay
  • Radishes are the ultimate easy vegetable to grow in your backyard garden.

Radishes are the fastest vegetable. They are ready to harvest in 20-30 days. You can't get any better than that.

You can grow them anywhere. This small vegetable doesn't take much room in the garden. You can even grow them in flower pots.


PLANTING and CARE

  • Radish is a cool season crop that is planted in the spring and fall. They like the sun, but they will tolerate partial shade.

Like all vegetables, mix some rotted manure or compost into the soil before planting. Remove the rocks so you don't get misshapen radishes.

Sow the radish seeds 3/4"-1" deep in rows 12" apart. Plant more seed every 2-3 weeks for a continual harvest. When the seedlings are 2" tall thin them to 3" apart.

  • The key to tender, mild radishes is constant moisture and nutrients. A layer of mulch keeps the soil cool, preserves moisture and keeps the weeds down.

 HARVEST

When you see the top of the bulbs sticking out of the soil, they are ready to harvest. Pull the radishes while they are still young and tender.


VARIETIES

Cherry Belle, White Icicle, Sparkler, Black Spanish, White Chinese, China Rose


GROWERS TIP

A lack of water produces hot tasting radishes.




carrots

Everybody loves carrots a nutritious vegetable.Everybody like carrots!
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

No garden should be without carrots, another easy vegetable. Carrots can be harvested in 60-80 days depending on the variety.

  • Carrots provide more harvest per square foot than any other vegetable.

They grow best in the sun. Cultivate your soil deeply and remove any sticks, stones or vegetative matter that would cause the carrots to grow crooked.

PLANTING

Carrots will grow in cool weather, so plant the seeds 2-4 weeks before the last spring frost. Do successive plantings every 2-3 weeks to prolong your harvest. Plant again in the fall 70 days before the first killing frost.

The carrots seeds take about 14-21 days to sprout. So many gardeners mix their carrot seed with radish seeds. Radishes are very quick to germinate. They will mark where the carrots are until they sprout.


VARIETIES

Supermarket type carrots require a foot of good soil. If you don't have good deep soil, grow the shorter varieties.

  • Deep Soil - Trophy, Gold Pak, Imperator, Scarlet Nantes, Sugar Snax
  • Medium Soil - Nantes Half-long, Red-Cored Chantenay, Danvers Half-long
  • Shallow Soil - Amstel, Ladyfinger, Short n Sweet, Thumbelina, Minicore

CARE

Keep the seeds moist until they germinate. Dry soil may form a crust that the tiny little sprouts won't be able to push through.

After the carrots sprout thin them to 3" apart and later to 6". The thinnings make good buttered carrots. Harvest the radishes as they are ready to make more space for the carrots.

Keep the soil moist. Alternating dry, then wet soil will cause the carrots to split.


HARVEST

Harvest the carrots when they are 1/2"-1 1/2" in diameter. The best tasting carrots are those that have grown quickly.


GROWERS TIP

  • If you leave the carrots in the ground too long, they get tough.

Carrots are good either raw or cooked. Don't let your garden be without this easy vegetable, the nutritious carrot.

More about carrots




leaf lettuce

Leaf lettuce can be grown in containers.Leaf lettuce is a fast vegetable to grow.
Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

There are different types of lettuce, leaf lettuce, upright lettuces, and head lettuce. Head lettuce and the upright types are a bit finicky to grow.

  • Leaf lettuce is an easy vegetable for the home garden. It can be ready for harvest in 30 day after the seedlings emerge.

Lettuce is resistant to cold and it likes cool weather. It is a spring and fall crop. Hot weather makes it go to seed. Leaf lettuce withstands the hot weather better than other types. 

Lettuce likes a rich, well-drained soil, so add plenty of organic matter.

It grows the best in the sun, but it will last longer into the summer with part shade.

PLANTING AND CARE

Plant in the spring when the soil can be worked. Plant again in the fall about 8 weeks before the first frost. Sow the seeds 1/4" deep in rows 14" apart. Sprinkle with water and keep it moist.

When the seedlings are 4" high, thin them to 3" apart, and later thin the plants to 6".

Fertilize lightly with a soluble fertilizer.


HARVEST

Harvest the leaves as soon as they get big enough. Cut the outside leaves and leave the center leaves to continue growing. This will extend your harvest.

Later in the season harvest the entire plant at ground level.


VARIETIES

  • Black-seeded
  • Simpson
  • Oak Leaf
  • Slow Bolt
  • Red Salad Bowl
  • Red Riot
  • Red Sails
  • Lolo Rossa



cucumbers

Cucumbers are a vining plant. There are pickling cucumbers that produce smaller, thicker fruit.

Slicing cucumbers have larger fruit. The slicers may also be used for pickling, either whole or sliced.

There are bush cucumbers that are great for the small garden or containers.

VARIETIES

  • Slicing - Straight Eight, Greensleeves, Mariner, Marketmore 80, Burpless Hybrid
  • Pickling - Boston Pickling Cucumber, National Pickling, Burpee Pickler
  • Bush - Spacemaster, Bush Crop, Bush Whopper, Salad Bush, Picklebush, Potluck

Enjoy growing English cucumbers in your vegetable garden.Bounty from the garden
Image by Reginal from Pixabay

PLANTING AND CARE

Cucumbers like sun and plenty of organic matter. They need warm weather and a warm, well-drained soil.

  • Plant the seeds or seedling after the day temperatures reach 70 degrees. Replant each warm month, for an extended summer harvest.

Plant the seeds 1" deep, in rows or hills. After the seeds sprout thin them to the strongest plants. Grow vining cucumbers 6' apart. Bush varieties and trellised vining types are planted 3' apart.

Water the plants deeply and regularly. If the cucumbers go too dry, they will develop a bitter taste.


HARVEST

Harvest will begin in 50-70 days. Pick the fruit while they are young and tender. If the fruit is allowed to mature, they stop producing.

Check them regularly because this easy vegetable grows amazingly fast!


GARDENING TIP

  • Grow the vining cucumbers on a trellis. The fruit will be cleaner and straighter.




swiss chard

Swiss chard is one of the best vegetables for the home garden.Swiss chard is pretty enough for your flower garden.
Image by MabelAmber from Pixabay

Swiss chard is heat, cold and drought resistant. What more could you ask for in an easy vegetable? This healthy vegetable is related to beets.

  • Lucullus and Fordhook Giant are popular white stem varieties. Magenta Sunset and Rhubarb Chard have colorful red stems.

Chard is not fussy about soil. It grows best in the sun, but will grow in shade.

PLANTING AND CARE

Plant the seeds 1/2"-3/4" deep, when you can work the spring soil. Each seed actually contains 3 or 4 plants. Later thin the plants to 1 foot apart.

Water regularly with deep waterings and occasionally apply a nitrogen fertilizer.


HARVEST

You can harvest in 60 days and continue to harvest all summer. The hot weather does not make Swiss Chard bolt.

Cut the outside leaves for your salads or cooking. Leave the center leaves growing for more production.

Swiss chard is very resistant to cold and frosts. Cover it during in-climate weather and you will have an extra-long harvest season.


GROWERS TIP

Swiss chard is a biennial plant. If it overwinters, the next year you will get some harvest and then it will go to seed. But plant more of this nutritious, easy vegetable.




summer squash

You will see the squash forming behind the blossom.You will see the squash forming behind the blossom.
Image by Cydonia from Pixabay
  • There two types of squash.

Summer squash like, zucchini, yellow squash and scalloped squash are harvested before they mature. Summer squash grows on bush-like plants.

Winter squash, like acorn, butternut squash and pumpkins are harvested after maturity. They can be stored for the winter. Winter squash grows on vining plants. But today there are some bush varieties that save space.

VARIETIES

  • Yellow squash - Early Yellow Summer Crookneck, Early Prolific Straightneck
  • Zucchini - Black Zucchini, Black Beauty, Cocozelle
  • Scalloped - White Bush Scallop, Peter Pan, Scallopini
  • More about squash


PLANTING AND CARE

Squash needs full sun and warm soil. Mix plenty of compost into the soil before planting.

It may be planted anytime during the warm months. Plant 2-3 seeds in rows 2' apart or 4-5 seeds in hills 4' apart.

When the seedlings are 4" tall, thin them to the strongest plants, no more than 2 or 3 plants together.

Give them good deep waterings at the base of the plant, not on the leaves.

They appreciate an occasional application of a balanced fertilizer.


HARVEST

  • Summer squash will be ready to harvest in about 60 days. Harvest the squash while they are still young and tender.

Yellow and zucchini should be harvested at 6" to 8". The scalloped squashes are harvested when they are 3" to 4".

GROWERS TIP

  • Check your plants every day. This easy vegetable grows very fast. Cut the squash off the plant with a knife.

If a squash gets big enough to produce seed, then the plant thinks it doesn't have to do anymore.

these easy vegetables make gardening a joy!

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