Vegetable Gardening: 10 Must-Grow Plants

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Growing a small vegetable garden is like living in a small house: It’s not as easy as it looks. One of the keys to success is making good plant choices. Choose compact, productive plants that take up less space yet still provide plenty to harvest.

It took a few years of whittling down my list to come up with the crops I grow every year in my small garden plot. I start with a foundation of tried-and-true favorites: lettuce, basil, and tomatoes. Yet I leave space to try a few new varieties each year. To supplement my harvest, I buy vegetables from a CSA or farmers market. Below are a few of my recommendations, along with those from seed companies that conduct extensive trials to deliver the best varieties.

10 of the Small Vegetable Plants for New Gardeners

Are you planning to have a garden full of nutritious, delicious as well as beautiful and colorful vegetables, but your small space is stopping you from doing it? Worry no more, because there are small vegetable plants for limited spaces like yours that can be grown with little maintenance.

Having just beauty and vibrance in your garden is not a practical option nowadays. Why not try adding some nutrition and tastiness in some portions of your lovely garden through small vegetable plants. This idea is not only good for your overall health but also takes up a small amount of space that makes it perfect for limited home yards or for urban gardening.

The presence of such vegetable plants in a backyard garden is truly a huge win for every beginning gardener or homeowner who is a plant enthusiast – from having a nearby supply of fresh produce and food ingredients to obtaining some helpful vitamins and minerals. To help you decide on what to choose, here’s a list of the best, low maintenance small vegetable plants that you can’t miss to have in your precious garden.TABLE OF CONTENTS1. Basil2.

1. Basil

Basil is a wonder ingredient found in the kitchen. You can top some fresh whole leaves on pizza, blend it into a soup, sprinkle on a pasta dish or puree to turn as dip. Thisl really is beneficial as it can be used to make many types of meals and snacks.

Size is not a problem of this plant as it grows between 30cm and 130cm only that makes it suitable for small garden spaces. In fact, you can grow it using a small pot. Taking care of it is pretty easy and simple too. Just water it regularly and make sure to place it at a spot where it can get a full 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. It can also manage to live in areas with partial sunlight. 

2. Beetroot

Next on the list of small vegetable plants is the beetroots. These marvelous root crops are best to have in a tight-space garden as the average size grows from 1 inch to 3 inches. On the other hand, its leaves can grow between 12 inches and 18 inches in length.

Beetroots are usually eaten steamed, roasted, and even uncooked. It is also good when mixed into a tasty vegetable salad. Aside from it being a good food, its roots are also a good source of betanin, which can be used as an effective food colorant to improve the color and flavor of sauces, tomato paste, candy, even ice cream, and many more.

3. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is also another good choice among small vegetable plants. It is a green leafy vegetable that can grow on a small home garden, despite its small size with just an average of 18 to 24 inches in height and 9 to 12 inches wide.

This tasty, crunchy and nutritious vegetable can offer you tons of good results for your health in the long run. To have this growing from your garden means you have a close source of vitamins that will come in handy for you and your family. This is a great source of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and iron. This vegetable is not only nutritious but also undoubtedly delicious. When eaten raw, you can expect to taste a tender and bitter flavor, but when cooked everything is altered as it turns into a mild, sweet taste, often mistaken as spinach.

4. Nasturtium

There are edible flowers that you can grow. One of the most popular ones is the nasturtium, which can be considered among small vegetable plants. In fact, it’s actually a kitchen favorite because of its savory taste and a great addition to a garden obviously due to its brightly colored blossoms.

Both the flowers and leaves of this beauty are a hundred percent edible. They can be enjoyed raw but better if cooked in order to bring out its great taste, which is mouth-satisfying peppery with a combination of slightly spicy flavor.

The prescribed harvest time for the flowers is every morning, especially when it is still filled with water. If you’re not yet planning to consume after harvest, cut the stem and keep it in water to survive much longer.

5. Lettuce

This vegetable is often loved for its crisp and yummy leaves, but also popularly grown for its stem and seeds. The leaves are a favorite addition to vegetable salads, sandwiches, soups and smoothies.

Considered as small vegetable plants, this vegetable gets you all covered when it comes to variety. There’s the leaf lettuce, Romaine, iceberg, butterhead and many more. On average, it grows about 6 inches to 12 inches tall, with a width of 2 inches to 12 inches. 

6. Mesclun Mixes

Mesclun is a plant word that is new to some but familiar to most vegetable gardeners. Believe it or not, this mix of small vegetable plants is also popular in making salads. You can mix with almost all types of leafy greens and other vegetables.

Making sure this plant survives in your garden is not that hard at all. You just have to provide a place where it can get full sunlight contact. You also need to check the temperature of the surrounding afterwards as it does not germinate if it goes 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

7. Okra

Okra is a long, green, finger-like vegetable that can easily be planted anywhere. If you’ve already decided to have this delicate vegetable in your garden, you can expect a harvest once its length reaches 2 inches or 3 inches. When eaten, you’re going to enjoy its watery but sweet flavor. Like most small vegetable plants, this food is also overflowing with nutrients like potassium, iron, vitamins A, C, and D.

8. Pole Beans

Often called butter bean, pole bean should also be included in your little garden. It can be a good source of food and also serves as a perfect ornamental plant. It can grow to an average of 6 feet to 8 feet tall. You may think it’s too high for your little garden but its foliage is more vertical rather than horizontal, so it still doesn’t consume much space.

When cooked, this veggie has a starchy taste with a mixture of creamy and meaty flavor. It is one of those small vegetable plants that are easily combined with other ingredients to make a great and tasty meal for the whole family.

9. Radish and Turnip

Similar to beetroots in terms of structural appearance, radish is famous for its crunchy texture that can be eaten raw or cooked. It’s also known as a vegetable salad ingredient highlighting its pungent flavor.

When planted, you can expect to have a well deserved harvest in approximately 45 days, or when the root crop has grown from 0.75 to 1.5 inches diameter. This can be grown in a pot and transferred to a larger space of your garden if needed.

10. Tomato

Let’s also not forget that tomatoes are excellent small vegetables plants anyone can grow. Whether produced from seeds or seedlings, this plant provides enough supply that you can use in certain culinary dishes from sandwich to salad, soup to dip. You may even grow different varieties since they all are easy, low maintenance plants. Among the popularly grown varieties are heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green beefsteak tomatoes, roma tomatoes, cocktail tomatoes and grape tomatoes. 

A garden owner shouldn’t only focus on achieving a beautiful surroundings or enhancing the yard with colorful plants. Practicality is sometimes required too, especially if the space is limited. A small garden doesn’t have to be a problem as there are great choices of what to plant especially on a steep slope.. While there are others you may consider, hoping the list of small vegetable plants mentioned above help you narrow down your personal options. Remember to consider the maintenance level, harvest supply and overall benefits from growing to picking.

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