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If you’ve never grown vegetables, we will list six of the easiest vegetables to grow in this article. That means, vegetables that are hardier and more likely to produce a satisfying yield.
I’m certainly not a longtime veteran of vegetable gardening. Although my mother grew vegetables when I was young, I didn’t retain any useful skills or knowledge to help me grow vegetables later.
Rather, as an adult, I had to learn from scratch how to grow vegetables. My point is that you don’t have to have a lot of experience with plants before trying your hand at vegetable gardening. It’s a skill that people thousands of years ago could master without all the fancy tools of today, so anyone can try and excel at it!
Luckily, I’ve had success with most vegetables, but some vegetables are trickier than others to ensure hearty, abundant yields. For those of you who are skeptical about your abilities, I wanted to give you extra assurance by offering a list of some of the easiest vegetables to grow.
That way, you are more likely to see the fruits of your labor. After growing some of these vegetables, then you can venture into growing more kinds of vegetables!
Why You Should Grow Vegetables
Vegetable gardening is a very rewarding and healthy activity.
For one, caring for vegetables engages your nurturing side.
Although you might think regular watering will be a hassle, it actually isn’t that bad – unless you’re watering dozens of plants by hand daily, that is! (In that case, I’d strongly recommend an irrigation system.)
That gives another reason for trying one of the vegetables on this list: to minimize the effort and troubleshooting that you might otherwise have to spend on plants that are more needy and picky.
But all efforts aside, seeing your first sprouts emerging from the soil is really exciting, because you get your first tangible sign of success. (See our Beginner’s Cheat-Sheet to Starting Vegetable Seeds in 6 Easy Steps for an easy, step-by-step guide on germinating seeds.)
Once you see those first sprouts, you will become even more invested in their continued growth and development.
Seeing your seedlings grow into strong, mature plants is really rewarding, but the most rewarding part is harvesting your vegetables for the first time (i.e. collecting vegetables to eat).
Good for Mental Health
Why else is vegetable gardening good for your health? Well, studies have shown that gardening can reduce depression, anxiety, and body mass index. It can also increase your feelings of life satisfaction, quality of life, and sense of community.
Studies have also shown that interacting with indoor plants can boost your mood and mental state, so it’s fair to assume the same is true for outdoor plants.
Thus, even if you don’t think of yourself as having a green thumb, you should still try one of the vegetables in our list of the easiest vegetables to grow. Worst case, you can assess what went wrong to try again, or try different seeds or vegetable varieties. (Or if you have guinea pigs or similar pets, you can feed them wilted vegetables like I do!)
Also, if you happen to keep your vegetables outside, then you have an excuse to go outside daily. As we outlined in our article, Remarkable Benefits of Nature: 10+ Reasons You Must Go Outside, so many health benefits exist for spending time outside.
You can even get the whole family involved. For instance, my daughter enjoys planting seeds, and my son often helps with watering the plants. They also enjoy seeing the plants grow, especially when the plants are big.
Lastly, you can control whether to use pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Unlike produce you buy in the stores, you can ensure you grow your own vegetables organically.
The Best Time to Grow Vegetables
When you should grow vegetables depends on the type of vegetable and where you live. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map will tell you in which zone you live. From there, you can research the best times for planting and the types of vegetables that will grow in your zone. Seed packets can often tell you when and where particular seeds will thrive, but you should confirm with your zone to ensure accuracy.
For instance, Zone 9a usually has rather mild winters, which allows for a longer fall/winter growing seasons and earlier spring planting than elsewhere. However, on the flip side, the fall growing season usually starts later than elsewhere because of the longer-lasting summer heat. Thus, a seed packet that lists a range of months or hardiness zones won’t be particularly helpful in guiding you exactly when to sow your seeds.
Why Pick One of These 5 Easiest Vegetables to Grow?
As stated earlier, some vegetables can be harder to grow than others. For instance, celery has a particularly long growing season, of up to 6 months. Thus, you have to keep your plants alive this whole time. Celery also requires very moist soil, so you have to be very diligent in watering.
Most beginner gardeners prefer vegetables with shorter growing seasons, which is understandable. When it’s your first time planting vegetables, potentially waiting half a year to see if your efforts paid off may seem too long.
Thus, this list of the easiest vegetables to grow contains vegetables with relatively short growing seasons.
Also, these 5 easiest vegetables to grow tend to have larger yields. Some plants have very small yields. For instance, one radish plant will only produce one radish under the ground. Ditto with a bulb onion plant. Unless you plant a lot of these low-yield vegetables, the end result may be disappointing: Imagine putting months of time and effort into growing an onion plant, only to pull up one bulb onion out of the ground.
Instead of facing that sort of let-down, you should grow vegetables with higher yields. Thus, our list of 5 of the easiest vegetables to grow includes vegetables with more satisfying yields.
Where to Plant Your Vegetables
You can plant your vegetables in containers, a raised garden bed, or the ground.
If this is your first time gardening, containers are the least time- and effort-intensive. Why? One major reason is to get a better idea of your gardening landscape and abilities.
The first time we considered a raised garden bed, we looked at where the sun shined the most at the time. However, we neglected to account for how the sun’s positioning changes throughout the year. The spot in our yard that was the sunniest in the summer received very little sun in the fall or winter.
Although you can move raised beds, they are harder to move after you fill them with many cubic feet of soil. So, you should have a really good idea of where you want your vegetables to go before you commit.
Same with an in-ground garden. You may spend a lot of time preparing the soil, only to realize it’s not an ideal spot for vegetable gardening.
Containers, on the other hand, are very portable. You can constantly move them during the year to coincide with the sun’s positioning. You can also easily elevate them if necessary. For instance, we have dogs that will spray anything ground-level. Elevating our vegetables was a must to avoid dog urine on our crops!
Another benefit of containers is the small amount of soil in each compared to in a large garden bed or ground garden. With the latter two options, you’ll probably want to install an irrigation system to ensure you soil stays adequately moist. If you’re newer to gardening and don’t want to deal with irrigation just yet, however, then containers are easy to water by hand.
Thus, using containers is an all-around lower commitment when you’re first starting out. Once you become a more seasoned vegetable gardener, you can branch out into larger garden plots.
Our list of 5 of the easiest vegetables to grow contains vegetables that all grow well in containers, so we’ve got you covered!
Supplies Needed for Container Gardening
For container gardening, I highly recommend these cloth pots. They have sturdy handles that make moving them around easy, and the porous outside allows for ample water drainage to help prevent overwatering your plants.
Regarding size, you should research the soil depth and spacing requirements for each type of vegetable you plan to grow. However, generally speaking, 5-gallon pots should be sufficient for most plants, including the ones in our list below of the 5 easiest plants to grow. Many plants, like lettuce and chard, can even grow with more shallow pots.
You should read our guides in the following order to prepare yourself for the whole process between first planting your seeds to ultimately moving your seedlings outside to grow in the above-mentioned cloth pots:
The above guides will walk you through the whole process, step-by-step, including what supplies and equipment to use along the way. This article’s main purpose is to help you identify some of the easiest vegetables to grow, so that you can select the seeds to use in your gardening journey.
5 of the Easiest Vegetables to Grow
(Side note: I realize some of these vegetables are technically fruits, but have included them in the list because they are culinary vegetables.)
1. Green Beans
Green beans are definitely one of the easiest vegetables to grow, and they produce a very high yield! You can also plant more than one per pot, about 6-8 inches apart from each other.
For ease, get bush beans, which don’t require additional supports. Pole beans are easy to grow as well, but require a trellis or other structure to give them vertical support. If you have a trellis or other support set up, then no problem!
With either option, you may get more beans than you care to eat, so may end up sharing or preserving them to prevent waste!
2. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard are quite hardy plants that can survive minor missed waterings and very cold temperatures, as they are winter garden vegetables. They also produce a lot of leaves, which you trim from the outside inward, which keeps them producing more leaves during the season. Plant multiple plants to ensure continuous, hearty harvesting.
We like the versatility of Swiss chard. You can eat it raw in salads, blend it into smoothies (See our Make Green Smoothies Healthier + Low-Sugar Guaranteed | Recipe.), or eat it cooked. Thus, we never feel like we have too much swiss chard around. As a side bonus, I think they’re rather pretty plants!
Zucchini is another high-yield plant, where you’ll probably have way more zucchini than you want to eat, unless you really enjoy zucchini. To give you an idea, one plant can produce as much as nine pounds of zucchini in one growing season.
These plants need more space, so plant only one per container. Although you may feel tempted to plant multiple zucchini plants, you won’t miss them once your plant starts producing zucchini consistently.
Peppers are not only great for container gardening, but also for ornamental purposes. Brightly colored peppers make a pretty addition to any room or landscape. Pepper plants also don’t take long to produce peppers (up to 3 months, depending on the pepper type).
An extra bonus is that you have various ways of preserving unused peppers, ranging from dry roasting to sun drying them, or making salsa. We love using dry roasted peppers in dishes like salads and omelettes. I also love cooking with fresh peppers. Thus, growing peppers would be a fun project for any household that enjoys peppers!
Lettuce is a favorite with container gardeners, because it’s pretty easy to grow. Lettuce also doesn’t require very deep soil, so you can get away with using a shallower container (8 inches deep or less) for most lettuce varieties. The growing season is also pretty short, where you can usually start harvesting leaves in one to two months.
Like with Swiss chard and other leafy greens, you can continuously snip off outer leaves to use, while the middle continuously produces more during the growing season. Another bonus is that some lettuce, like the red varieties, are quite visually appealing.
Please comment on our list of 5 of the easiest vegetables to grow, such as whether you have tried or will try planting any, or if you have any other comments or questions!