Growing vegetables is not always easy, especially when you’re starting out. Garden expert Helen Young has picked five beginner-friendly vegetables to build up your home harvest skills and, as a bonus, they’re some of the most productive in small gardens.
Vegetable Patch Tips
- Soil quality is important. Check for good drainage, add some compost and manure, and make sure the soil is free of any rocks and lumps.
- Don’t skimp on potting mix. Many vegetables grow just as well in large pots, troughs, or even polystyrene boxes. Choose a high-quality potting mix, because cheap mixes won’t grow anything. In this case, you really do get what you pay for.
- Don’t let veggies dry out. In warm weather, they’ll need watering every day or two. Mulch with sugarcane, pea straw, or lucerne. Every two weeks, apply soluble fertilizer with some added seaweed solution to push growth along.
- Watch for signs of pests and disease and spray with approved pesticides if needed.
If you’re a more advanced gardener who’s ready to move on from these easy-peasy veggies, other varieties that aren’t too tricky and don’t take up much space include radishes, carrots, leeks, English spinach, baby beets, broccoli, and kale.
This post was written by Helen Young. For more, check out our sister site Homes to Love.
Keep scrolling to learn more about easy-to-grow vegetables that will satisfy your healthy cravings.
Easy To Grow Veggies Salad Greens
Lettuces, mizuna, mustard greens, endive, and corn salad (also known as lamb’s lettuce) are easy to grow — even in pots — and don’t need full sun. Choose loose-leaf lettuces — mignonette, butter, oakleaf, even romaine — that you can pick as you need, harvesting the outer leaves first. Start with seeds or seedlings.
The secret to sweet, tender leaves is to grow them quickly, with ample water and soluble fertilizer, and to plant a new batch every four weeks or so. They don’t like harsh heat or drying out.
Easy To Grow Veggies Snap Peas
Peas like growing in cooler weather and grow best from seeds. The seeds are large and therefore easy to handle. Snow peas can be eaten straight off the vine, which makes them great for children.
They need something to climb up, but other than that, they’re fast-growing and relatively problem-free. Their pretty white flowers turn into pickable pods within days, so once they’re in production, harvest every day or two to keep them coming. The new leaf shoots are also edible.
Easy To Grow Veggies Green Beans
Beans thrive in the warmer months and, like peas, are best grown by sowing their large seeds. This allows you to sow a second crop a few weeks after the first.
Dwarf or French beans produce full-sized beans on short plants rather than climbing, and you can get a head start with these from a punnet of seedlings. They’re great for growing in pots and produce beans within weeks. Climbing beans crop over a longer time and give bigger harvests.
Easy To Grow Veggies Scallions
Instead of throwing out limp, leftover scallions (also called spring onions), trim the tops and plant them so they start growing again. Better yet, buy a punnet and grow your own continuous supply. Punnets can contain dozens of tiny seedlings. Separate them gently and lay them sideways in a shallow furrow. Cover the roots with soil and then water. They’ll stand upright by themselves within a day or so. Seed tapes, with seeds embedded in paper tape at regular intervals, are also easy to plant.
Easy To Grow Veggies Swiss Chard
You can grow nutritious and space-saving Swiss chard all year in frost-free climates. The more fertilizer and water you use, the bigger the leaves will be. In hot weather, give the plants some shade.
When you harvest the outer leaves, always leave four to five leaves on the plant. Use young leaves in salads and mature leaves in cooked dishes.