Interested in starting a vegetable garden? There are many easy-to-grow options that are perfect for beginners. It’s not only a fun and tasty hobby, but studies often point to the amazing benefits you get from spending time outside and connecting with nature. So, if you’re ready to find out where to start, just keep reading. We’ve found the consensus on the five easiest vegetables to grow, according to 15 planting pros.
When gardening, you may reap more than you sow. A study conducted by the University of Florida showed those experiencing feelings of sadness or high levels of stress benefitted from gardening. The study focused on a group of women who attended gardening classes twice a week and found that this activity was effective in reducing their levels of anxiety, depression and stress. The best part? You can be a total beginner at gardening and get the mental health benefits.
And another study reported that gardening could not only boost mental health but could also help reduce your risk of cancer. Scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder say planting your own food leads to eating more fibrous fruits and vegetables as well as exercising more. In the study, those in the gardening group were eating 1.4 grams more fiber per day on average than the control group. That’s a big deal because fiber helps strengthen immune responses, having a profoundly positive impact on your body.
If you don’t have much outdoor space, don’t worry! You can grow vegetables in containers on your patio or even in a sunny windowsill. You also may want to check out a community garden. And starting a garden doesn’t have to be a large investment either. People often begin planting seeds in materials they already have, such as egg cartons. We hope the list below of the five easiest vegetables to grow gives you the inspiration to pick up this healthy hobby! Let us know in the comments what veggies you recommend starting off with!
The List: Easiest Vegetables to Grow, According to Experts
Let us talk about lettuce. It’s been eaten for more than 4,500 years and is an excellent source of beta carotene (vitamin A). Morning Chores recommends sowing lettuce seeds: “The seeds can be found at most any general store and are very inexpensive. Lettuce is a cool weather plant so it can be planted in early spring or fall. As long as the temperatures don’t dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit then the plants should do just fine. What makes lettuce so easy, beyond the fact that it is cold resistant, is that it can be directly sown.”
Almanac claims, “We’ve never known a garden that cannot grow lettuce. Lettuce can be sown directly in your garden bed, or started indoors for transplanting. An endless assortment of leaf shapes and shades of green and red means you’ll never get tired of growing new lettuce varieties. Leaf lettuces can be cut as they grow, and you can enjoy several harvests from the same plant by just snipping off what you need each time.”
“It’s also a great choice for planting in pots and window boxes because the roots are shallow. Keep the plant moist as the seeds sprout, then harvest when leaves are a few inches long. If you like variety, choose a mesclun mix which includes several different types of lettuce in one seed packet,” suggests The Pioneer Woman.
2. Bush Beans
Bush beans aren’t grown by the Bush’s brand with the cute golden retriever. They’re actually green beans, which grow on a short, bushy plant. According to Savvy Gardening, “Bush beans are almost foolproof! They go from seed to harvest in less than two months and offer weeks of tender pods. Beans appreciate warm soil and warm weather, so don’t rush spring planting. Plant seeds after the last frost, sowing them 2 inches apart in rows spaced 18 inches apart. Once the seedlings are growing well, thin bush beans to six-inches.”
And they’ll sprout up pretty fast. Grow A Good Life says, “Bush beans are compact plants that grow and produce beans quickly, usually within 45 to 50 days after sprouting. Succession planting every two weeks will keep your bush beans going longer. Besides watering when the soil is dry, bush beans don’t need much attention except to harvest when ready. Bush beans are usually ready all at once, making them a perfect choice for preserving.”
“You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need a big garden to grow green beans. Bush beans are space savers. Full sun, regular water, and moderately rich soil will pay off in a plentiful harvest, and beans don’t need much fertilizer … Check your seed packet to know approximately when your variety will be ready to harvest, and keep the plants picked so they’ll continue to produce,” advises Reader’s Digest.
Gardening beginners will thrive with radishes. Homes & Gardens writes, “Learning how to grow radishes is probably the easiest place to start for beginners, and they are also one of the quickest vegetables to grow. They thrive in full sun but can also slowly succeed in shady areas. One of the reasons radishes are so easy to grow is that they don’t typically struggle with pests, and they are somewhat frost tolerant. Radishes are ready to harvest in 20-30 days.”
“Start from seed in spring or fall, and thin seedlings (meaning to pull some seedlings out if they start coming up too closely together) to allow the roots room to grow. The Easter egg radish variety is a personal favorite for its mix of pretty pastel colors,” adds Food Network.
Newsweek consulted a gardening expert who describes radishes as “the easiest and quickest vegetable to grow.” The expert added, “You can put the seeds directly into the ground or a container of your choice from early April onwards. Summer radishes need as little as four weeks from germination to harvest. Pick and eat while they are small and crunchy before they grow too big and become woody and not very tasty.”
4. Swiss Chard
Did you know Swiss chard is low in calories but high in many essential vitamins and minerals? According to Healthline, one cup contains just seven calories but nearly one gram of fiber, one gram of protein and lots of manganese, magnesium, and vitamins A, C and K.
Shifting Roots says, “Enter Swiss chard, the leafy green vegetable that keeps on giving. Use it cooked or raw, just as you would any other leafy green. The rainbow variety is the prettiest, but the white variety is the most productive. One caution: if you have lots of birds near your garden, cover your tender Swiss chard plants. I didn’t get any one year because the birds kept eating the tender shoots.”
“It is a nutritious, delicious, and ornamental vegetable that is easy to grow. You can grow it during the cold weather to indulge in a constant supply of greens. A deep pot is not required because it has a shallow root system, but remember, it results in large leaves. If you want an immediate jump, get started with seedlings indoors and transplant the pot outside as soon as the climate becomes warm. This vegetable is ready after 4-6 weeks,” writes Planteli.
Better Hens & Gardens describes its flavor and harvest time: “Chard is from the same plant family as the beet. But, it is grown for greens rather than the root. It is usually cooked and has a mild flavor. Chard is another plant that can be harvested over time, and a few established plants will supply a continuous harvest spring through fall. There are beautiful multicolored varieties available, and it can be harvested as baby greens at about 30 days or mature at 55 days.”
Cool cucumber fact: A raw cucumber is 95 percent water. AgronoMag says, “If you enjoy a good homemade dill pickle then you should definitely consider adding them to your garden as soon as possible. Cucumbers are great because you can just plant them directly into your garden, or you can instead opt for a container to observe their growth better. Regardless of what you choose, keep in mind the fact that they are meant to be grown during the warmest time of the year, so never start planting cucumbers during the peak of winter.”
“Vining cucumbers require some space, unless you grow them in containers. Add a trellis, and your crop stays healthier and more productive. For a taste of summer, learn more about growing cucumbers, in containers and in the ground,” adds GardenTech.
LittleYellowWheelbarrow thinks you’ll have enough to give away: “Cucumbers aren’t too fussy. Give them sunlight, water, warm temps, and support for their climbing stalks, and you’re likely to end up with enough cucumbers to give some away to friends and family. Due to their vertical growth, they make great container garden vegetables.”
Do you have other recommendations for the easiest vegetables to grow? Leave a comment and let everyone know!
You might also be interested in:
- Most Nutritious Vegetables
- Best Fruit for Weight Loss
- Best Flower Subscription Services
- Best Flower Delivery Services
- Morning Chores
- The Pioneer Woman
- Savvy Gardening
- Grow A Good Life
- Reader’s Digest
- Homes & Gardens
- Food Network
- Shifting Roots
- Better Hens & Gardens
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