As long as you choose the right plants for your garden and follow the growing instructions, you will be successful in growing our top picks for the easiest vegetables to grow, no matter your experience level.
Be sure to check what a plant needs and if it will do well in the amount of sun your backyard gets and how much space you have.
If you are a beginner, the easiest vegetable to learn how to grow is probably radishes. They also grow very quickly.
Some varieties of radishes have a peppery flavor that makes them a good addition to salads. Others are good in stir-fries.
Matthew Geldin, head farmer at Farmscape, says that these spicy little roots tend to germinate reliably when seeded directly in the ground, and in most cases, can be harvested within a month.
These plants do best in direct sunlight but can also survive in shady areas if they grow more slowly. They mature quickly so you can plant a new batch after the first one is harvested, and you can plant them with other crops that take longer to mature.
Radishes are easy to grow because they don’t have pests and they can handle cold weather.
Sow seeds half an inch deep, directly in the garden or pot where they will grow. When seedlings come up, thin them to 2-3 inches apart. Radishes will be ready to harvest in 20-30 days.
There are several types of radishes that would be perfect for your garden, including French Breakfast, Pink Beauty, Easter Egg, and Valentine’s Day.
- Green Beans
Green beans are one of the most versatile and delicious vegetables you can grow. They are also very generous in terms of yield, making them a great choice for novice gardeners.
You can grow bushes or poles, depending on your needs. Bush growth is more compact, while pole growth is more space efficient.
If you want to grow more vegetables in a small area, consider using a trellis. There are many different designs that can be used for a vegetable garden trellis.
According to Ashley Christian, the founder of Homestead Sweet Home, the bush bean variety is a good choice because you don’t need a trellis and they don’t take up much space.
Despite being able to thrive in less-than-ideal soil conditions, beans are a fast-growing summer crop that can be harvested in as little as two months.
To grow green beans, plant the seeds directly into the ground 1 inch deep. Space the seeds around 2 to 4 inches apart. You will be able to harvest the beans in 50 to 60 days.
If you’re looking for some good options of beans to try, Blue Lake, Provider, Contender, Maxibel, Dragon Tongue, and Tongue of Fire are all great choices.
“I think kale is the easiest vegetable to grow,” says Katie Krejci, homesteader, dietitian, and owner of The Homesteading RD.
The plant is resistant to many diseases and can withstand different temperatures. Additionally, it does not go to seed in hot weather like other similar plants.
Kale is an excellent choice of crop for beginner gardeners. It is very nutritious, containing vitamins A, C and K, and just one cup provides more than the recommended daily amount.
This mineral also provides numerous other benefits, including manganese, calcium, and potassium.
Kale can grow well in pots since it is a compact crop, so be sure to include some plants in your ideas for a container vegetable garden.
Krejci says that kale can survive frost and even taste better when temperatures are below freezing. He also says that kale can grow in shady areas.
You can start the seeds indoors or outside depending on the weather. Plant the seeds around half an inch deep. Once they start to grow, thin them out so they are 18 inches apart. You can start harvesting the leaves in 60 days.
Beets are an essential vegetable to have in your garden because they are small, colorful, and relatively easy to take care of.
You can have a continuous supply of beets throughout the spring and summer by planting them every few weeks, or you can preserve them to enjoy later.
Keep the area around the young plants weed-free. Sow beet seeds half an inch deep in a sunny position. Keep the area around the young plants weed-free.
Once the beets have begun to grow, pull out the seedlings that are too close together so that they are 3-4 inches apart.
The color of the beet should be deep and rich, and the skin should be smooth. It typically takes around two months for beets to be ready. By this point, the roots of the vegetables will have bulged out of the surface of the soil by at least the size of a golf ball. The beet should be a deep, rich color, and the skin should be smooth.
Do not throw the leaves out, as they are also edible – simply cook until soft.
- Hardy Herbs
Herbs which are tough and can withstand difficult growing conditions are good for people who are new to gardening according to Geldin.
Use these plants in the corners of raised beds, at the end of rows, or in pots to fill in gaps in your garden. They’re easy to care for and can tolerate a range of lighting and watering conditions.
He recommends Berggarten sage, French thyme, Italian oregano, and Barbeque rosemary as being particularly well suited to beginner growers, but annual varieties such as cilantro and basil also make wonderful additions to your herb garden ideas.
Cooking with fresh herbs is a great way to change up your meals, and blending them with salt or tying them into bows on presents makes for great gifts for your family, friends, and neighbors, according to Geldin.
Tomatoes are a type of vegetable that is easy to grow, especially if you choose a robust variety that can grow in any climate.
The climate you live in and the type of tomato you want to grow will determine whether you grow your plant outdoors or under glass. Some types of tomatoes are grown vertically on a fence or trellis (cordon), while others are bushier and can be grown in pots or even hanging baskets.
’ “It can be very gratifying to grow tomatoes, especially if you select the right kind,” states Williams Howe. “We prefer to grow Amish paste tomatoes.”
The Amish variety of paste tomato is both large and juicy, making it a great slicer for use in sandwiches and salads. Its sweet taste is sure to convince anyone to switch from grocery store to garden tomatoes.
You should buy your plants from a nursery, or start your own plants indoors. If you want to start your own plants, you should sow the seeds indoors, under lights, about 6 to 8 weeks before your last frost date. You should then put the plants in larger containers, harden them off, and transplant them into the garden when the soil warms, which should be about 2 weeks after your last frost date.
Cherry tomatoes can be easy to grow, as they often yield fruit quickly. Some good varieties to try are Super Sweet 100 and Gardener’s Delight. They can be grown as cordons (a type of training where the main stem is allowed to grow vertically) or as a tumbling variety (where the plant is allowed to grow horizontally), both of which can be done in containers.
- Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is an easy veg to grow, it looks great in the garden, and tastes great in salads and stir-fries. It is also rich in vitamins A, C and K, and so is considered a superfood.
Christian says that Swiss chard is in the same family as spinach, but easier to grow because it is more heat and cold tolerant.
To grow chard, plant the seeds in the spring 2 to 3 weeks before the last frost date. You can also plant them in the fall, about 40 days before the last frost date. To get a continuous harvest, plant the seeds at 10-day intervals over the course of a month. You can also grow chard through the winter in a small greenhouse.
Plant the seeds half an inch deep in rows that are a foot apart. Once the seedlings have started to grow, thin them out so that they are 10 inches apart.
You can cut the leaves off of the plants and they will regrow within 12 weeks.
Some good varieties of Swiss chard to try are Rainbow, Giant, or classic Baby Leaf.
This summer crop loves to sprawl, so give it plenty of room in your garden, or consider growing vertically. Growing cucumbers upright on a trellis not only saves space but also helps keep the fruit clean and easier to pick.
There are two main types of cucumber: slicing and pickling. Slicing cucumbers are about 8-inches long and have thick, dark-green skin, and tapered ends. They are delicious in salads and on a vegetable platter. Pickling cucumbers are smaller, thin-skinned, mild flavored, and stay crisp when pickled.
Sow seeds once the soil warms in spring, about a week after your last frost date. Plant seeds 1-inch deep and 6-8 inches apart in hills about 4 feet apart. Thin down to three plants per hill and let the cucumber vines sprawl all over. No thinning is needed if you are growing on a trellis. You may need to guide the plants to the trellis when they are small, but once their tendrils wrap around the upright support, the vines will climb up as the plant grows.
If you want to grow cucumbers in a small space or in a container, look for a compact bush variety and sow 1-2 plants in a large, 5-gallon pot. Container plants tend to dry out quickly, so water them frequently during hot, dry weather, or try planting them in a self-watering container.
You can have a great garlic harvest with very little effort by doing a small amount of preparation when planting.
You should pick varieties of garlic that will grow well where you live. If you live in the north, you should plant your garlic 6-8 weeks before the hard frost is supposed to happen in fall. But if you live in a southern area, you should plant your garlic in February or March.
To grow garlic bulbs, start by separating the cloves from the bulb. Plant the cloves 6-inches apart and 4-inches deep, then water well. To keep the weeds down and protect the garlic roots from freezing and thawing, add a layer of mulch. Each clove will grow into a new head of garlic.
If you’re growing hard-neck garlic, you can expect two harvests. A few weeks before the garlic bulbs are done growing, they’ll send up a flower stalk. This stalk is called a garlic scape. Harvesting the garlic scape helps the plant focus its energy on growing a bulb. The garlic scapes are edible and have a delicious, mild garlic flavor.
Lettuce is a cool season crop that is easy to grow and doesn’t take up a lot of space. With hundreds of varieties, colors, and leaf shapes, you can keep your salads interesting. You can grow lettuce from seed and harvest tender, loose-leaf greens in about 30 days. For heading lettuce, let it mature and then harvest the whole plant at once in 60-80 days.
Increasing the amount of lettuce you grow by planting it in containers can help reduce the amount of weeds and pests you have to deal with. By keeping the containers close to your house, you’ll have an easier time watering and harvesting the lettuce.
Lettuce is happiest when the weather is cooler, in spring and fall. If the temperatures get too warm, the lettuce will become bitter and go to seed. Lettuce grows best when it gets some shade from the direct sunlight.
To grow lettuce, plant the seeds 1/4-inch deep and keep the soil evenly moist. Plant the seeds every two weeks to have a continuous harvest throughout summer. Lettuce has a shallow root system, so water it frequently or grow it in a self-watering container.
To harvest leaf lettuce, cut the outer leaves and let the plant continue to grow. To harvest heads of lettuce, cut the stalk at the soil surface.
There are various types of scallions that do not form bulbs. Some scallions are biennial and will consequently appear every year.
My favorite plant to have around is the Evergreen Bunching Onion. It grows quickly from seed, so I always have fresh onions on hand for cooking. If any of the onions are left in the ground at the end of the season, they’ll overwinter and start multiplying the following spring.
select a sunny, well-drained location and sow seeds as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. Plant seed 1/4 inches deep, about 2-inches apart. Scallions have a shallow root system, so water frequently until they become established. To grow scallions from seed, choose a sunny spot with good drainage and sow the seeds in early spring, as soon as the ground can be worked. Plant the seeds 1/4 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Scallions have shallow roots, so water them often until they’re well established. You can start harvesting them as soon as they’re big enough to eat.
To start early crops, sow the seeds indoors under lights 8-12 weeks before you plant them in the garden.
Scallions offer a mild onion flavor and can elevate stir-frys, salads, or any dish that you would typically use onions in.
- Summer Squash
You only need one or two plants of these sun-loving vegetables to get a big harvest throughout the growing season.
Summer squash, also called courgettes, are grown for immature fruits, which means they can be harvested all summer long. The summer squash family includes many varieties of shapes, sizes, and shades of yellow and green. Some of the more popular summer squashes are zucchini, pattypan, and yellow crookneck.
Once the soil warms up in spring, sow the seeds in hills. Plant them 1-inch deep and 6-8 inches apart. Depending on the size of the fruit, space the hills 4-6 feet apart. Reduce the number of plants per hill to three.
In addition to saving space in your garden, consider growing summer squash vertically.