Getting Started

The Seven Easiest Vegetables to Grow for Beginner Gardeners

shutterstock_448513156Many people take up gardening for a variety of reasons. Some take it as a hobby. Others view it as a passion. Some even see it as an economical choice. Gardening, especially gardening fruits and vegetables, have proven to pose many benefits for both the gardener and the plants. Through gardening, gardeners experience reduced levels of stress and reduced levels of risk for a number of diseases and health-related issues. Studies have shown that these include breast cancer, prostate cancer, and even Parkinson’s.

Not only do they experience reduced levels of stress and risks of health-related conditions, but they also do gardening to save money, time and effort. Being able to grow your own fruits and vegetables in your own backyard can help save you money that you would have otherwise spent in a grocery store. You also save risking your health as commercially distributed fruits and vegetables are often laden with toxic chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides.

It is fairly common for a lot of beginner gardeners to be up and about and wondering what kind of vegetables would be best to grow first. Here are the seven easiest vegetables to grow when you’re starting out with gardening.

Lettuce

Growing lettuce is easy. It makes gardening a hobby that’s great to do with kids. They also grow pretty quickly so you can see results immediately. In fact, you can harvest your lettuce within six to eight weeks since planting. Growing lettuce requires only simple, minimal effort. They need to be regularly watered, but they can thrive in any kind of pots or trays. This makes this vegetable also ideal for container gardening. Looseleaf and butterhead varieties are the cut-and-come-again breeds of lettuce. This means that you can harvest them by clipping an inch from the ground. You can then leave the stumps left in the soil regenerate, allowing you to come back and harvest again later on.

Other salad greens

Other salad greens are also easy to grow and quick to harvest. It only takes a few weeks to turn salad greens from seeds to mix-ins in your dinner. Salad greens span a variety of types, but typically what’s included here are buttercrunch, little gem, and bronze mignonette.

Salad greens are best planted in the early spring. These vegetables need rich soil, typically dark and well-drained. They thrive in cool weather and in plenty of sunlight. Salad greens are also perfect for indoor gardening as they don’t require complicated containers. Any container that’s 6-8 inches deep will be good enough. Watering for a few times a week or every day is good for salad greens too. What you want to avoid is for them to wilt out due to too much dryness or to drown from overwatering. Using fertilizer isn’t required.

 

 

 

Cucumbers

In order to grow cucumbers, make sure that you have a spot with a lot of sun. Soil should be neutral or alkaline in its pH levels. Unlike with salad greens, cucumbers benefit a lot from fertilizer use. Use compost as fertilizer and mix it in before planting deep into the soil. Only go until two inches deep. Once the seedlings emerge, start watering them frequently. The water intake of cucumbers increases after the fruit forms and it measures to about a gallon a week. Water consistently. Feel the soil with your fingers. When the soil starts to feel dry it means that your cucumber plant would need to be watered again. When it’s time to harvest, it’s best to do so before the cucumbers turn yellow.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the most commonly home-grown vegetables, especially for beginners. It’s actually very simple to grow tomatoes. You would need to choose a bright, airy space to plant your tomatoes. Note that they need 10 hours of light per day and a lot of air circulation. The crops need to be rotated to keep the vegetable patch rich. You would also need to bury the stems as new roots will rapidly sprout on them. This would mean that the tomatoes would yield more fruits. One doesn’t need to watering tomatoes as much as other types of plants. You only need to do so once a week, however the soil needs to be soaked completely. Take off the non-fruit bearing branches and use tall stakes to avoid damaging the roots. Using compost is also important to encourage growth of tomato fruits.

Carrots

Carrots are good for beginner gardeners because they are highly resistant to most pests and diseases. Carrots can also tolerate frost, and are easy to grow in soil that’s sandy. When planting carrots make sure that the soil is free of stones. Carrots need deeply tilled soil because they’re root crops. When caring for carrots, use gentle mulch to keep the soil moist and speed up germination. The soil should be kept well-drained so the carrots don’t slow down growing. Carrots also require watering at least once a week and they need to be fertilized five weeks after sowing the seeds. They’re also quick to harvest, taking only two and a half months until you can harvest them.

Radishes

Radishes are good for beginner gardeners because they produce many crops per season due to how quickly a radish can mature. They thrive in cool seasons and can be planted in spring and fall. Before planting, put organic fertilizer into the soil. Radishes also thrive in areas with a lot of sun. Too much shade and the radish fruits will not grow. Radishes work well in well-drained soil with consistent dampness. After three weeks, you should see results.

Zucchini

Zucchinis thrive in well-drained soil that’s nutrient-rich. Therefore, it would benefit a lot from integrating compost into the soil. Plant Zucchini’s outdoors and give them a lot of space between each other to spread out and grow. The soil would need to be consistently watered as well. You can spray fertilizer two weeks after the seedlings come up for full effectiveness. Given all of that, you should be enjoying your own zucchinis in no time.

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