Written by Melanie Pinola and published on https://lifehacker.com/.
New to gardening? Worried that planting your first edibles will turn out to be a fruitless labor? Fear not, novice gardener! While not totally foolproof, certain plants are ideal for gardening neophytes living in a geographic region that experiences a summer climate who want to increase their chances of gardening success. These plants will flourish easily in a backyard garden or in containers–just add sun and water. Here’s a list of the top 10 easiest vegetables you can grow, regardless of skill level or age.
The Easiest Vegetables to Grow for Beginner Gardeners
When it comes to veggies, freshness is key, and what’s more fresh than growing your own? Fortunately, you don’t need a green thumb to grow a bounty of fresh vegetables right in your backyard or balcony. Whether you’re a gardening novice or just want to start a vegetable garden with the least amount of time and effort, here are the top almost-foolproof vegetables to grow.
Most of the gardening sites around the web agree on which vegetables are best for beginner gardeners. Several of the ones listed here are also ones that I, notorious plant murderer, have also managed to grow, despite my inconsistent care and not-so-sunny plot of land.
You can’t just dump these plants in the ground and walk away hoping they’ll flourish, but, depending on your space, these are the most likely to thrive plants for your edible garden. (I highly recommend Smart Gardener for choosing the best locations for these vegetables, getting gardening reminders, and more.)
Grow a Simple Salad
Good news! Some of the least fussy vegetables are ones that are perfect for an instant salad.
Lettuce and other salad greens
Lettuce grows quickly, is really easy to harvest (just snip the tops off the plants or pick leaves as needed), and takes up very little space. It can even be grown in containers, perhaps accompanied by flowers or tucked under taller plants. I’ve had success directly seeding them even in partly shady areas. Here’s more information from Gardener’s Path.
Possibly the most popular vegetable for any size garden, you can grow tomatoes in hanging baskets or other containers or anywhere they’ll get lots of sun and have support for their stalks. Starter plants from a garden center at your local hardware store or a dedicated plant nurseryare the easiest to grow. The Spruce has a great step-by-step tomato growing guide for beginners.
If you plant basil next to the tomato plants, you’ll naturally repel pests and even improve the flavor of the tomatoes—and, luckily enough, like other herbs, basil is simple to grow as well.
Cucumbers like sunlight and warm temperatures, as well as support for climbing. (Thanks to their vertical growth, cukes do well in containers.) Once you give them these and water them regularly, they grow almost like weeds. You’ll probably have enough cucumbers to donate to your neighbors. The National Gardening Association says bush (rather than vine) cucumbers are best for containers or small spaces and have good disease resistance.
More easy vegetables to grow
Most root vegetables like carrots, turnips and radishes are hardy and can be planted directly in the garden early in the spring and left until fall. The tops can be harvested too as these plants grow. Green beans, pumpkins and zucchini are also a cinch to grow and quite prolific producers.
Remember those projects from grade school where you grew carrot greens from their tops? Whole carrots are pretty easy to grow in the ground as well. The only thing about carrots is they might not grow very large, especially if you have rocky soil. Deep, well-drained soil is preferable—a raised bed is a good idea. Nevertheless, carrots are simple and fun to grow (your kids might even want to help). They tolerate light shade too, although, like most plants, they prefer full sun. Here’s growing advice from Cornell.
You can slice radishes into a salad, but they’re also much more versatile than that, as appetizers, snacks and side dishes. Even though not everyone loves them, once you see how easy they are to grow, you might add them to your garden. They take just 20 days to reach full size! Harvest to Table has some great tips for growing these little red babies, too.
All sorts of green beans, from snap beans (or string beans) to shell or whole beans are ideal for home gardens. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from, and snapping beans to harvest them is kind of entertaining. I’ve had better luck with the vine type compared to the self-support bush types of snap peas, but the bush types require less space. Both types grow easily from seeds. Most beans prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Harvest to Table has a list of the 25 best bean varieties to grow.
Pumpkins are relatively easy to grow and are great to have around during the autumn season. As you probably know from baking and carving, there are different types of pumpkins and some are simpler to grow than others. For a complete guide, take a look at the information on Harvest to Table.
Finally, there’s zucchini and other summer squashes. Serious Eats says:
Zucchini grow so prolifically that they’re the butt of many a gardener’s joke. (“The only time we lock our doors around these parts is during zucchini season.”) One or two plants should cut it for most people. The blossoms are as delicious as the squash.
Like beans and cucumbers, zucchini plants are prolific, whether they are grown in containers or directly in mounded soil. Like beans and radishes, they grow easily from seeds. They need good moisture, though, and prefer warm soil, so it’s best to sow seeds later in the warm season (a good plant for gardening procrastinators!). Here’s more information from Cornell University.
With the seven vegetables above (or even just a few of them), you’ll have the freshest possible produce this growing season—without too much trouble. Hey, the more you garden, the more you grow.
Original post here https://lifehacker.com/the-seven-easiest-vegetables-to-grow-for-beginner-garde-1562176780.