With every passing day, more people are beginning to pay attention to healthy living.
This means that more people are ditching processed foods in favor of farm fresh foods, not just because they are healthier for the body, but also because they are healthier for our environment.
The only setback however is that, for most people, these foods are a bit above their budget. Our solution?
13 easiest vegetables to grow. Grow your own food baby!
Now for many who have never read a book on gardening, much less handle garden equipment.
Or those who just do not have the time for elaborate routines, this might seem like a lot to ask. Like where do I start?
What seeds will I plant and where would I get them?
How would I care for them so that they don’t die on me?
In short, what are some of the easiest vegetables to grow as a first timer?
Well, relax, you’ve definitely come to the right place for answers.
The first thing we’d like you to know is that if you fall into any of the category of people we’d earlier described, then you better start small.
There’s no need trying to do so many things at once because you’d most likely be frustrated before the planting season is over.
So if you’re serious about growing your own food, here a few tips or ideas for growing a small vegetable garden.
Grow vegetables that will keep producing even after you harvest some of their parts.
As a first time gardener, or someone who is just looking for the easy way out, the last thing you need, are plants that you have to cultivate again after just one harvest.
With leafy vegetables, you can cut some of their leaves while they continue to thrive.
You should also consider beans or bulb vegetables that will break up into smaller pieces but continue to grow.
This way, you’re not having to start all over again just because you had one harvest.
Choose some of the fastest growing vegetables to cultivate. Nothing breaks a novice gardener’s spirit like vegetables that take too long to grow!
All that care, time and food, and yet nothing?
So if you’re trying to start and keep on this gardening journey, start with some of the fastest growing vegetables (like spinach, baby carrots, cucumbers, radishes etc.).
Grow fruits and vegetables that you like to eat.
If you’re doing home gardening, there is absolutely no reason for you to grow fruits and vegetables that you don’t like to eat (well except unless you intend to eventually sell them).
Once you find out (in the later part of this article) some of the easiest vegetables and fruits to grow, then you’ll know which of your favorites to accommodate in your home garden.
So if you cannot stand the taste of radishes, they have no place in your new home garden.
Now that we’ve gotten our beginners’ tips out of the way, it’s time for us to get to the real business.
Table of Contents
Easiest and Fastest Growing Vegetables
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are probably one of the most popularly cultivated vegetable by home gardeners.
This is because as long as you place them in a spot with enough sunlight, they grow so fat.
It’s almost like you’re watching them grow.
This aromatic succulent is native to South America but is now widely grown in the tropical and temperate regions (in greenhouses) all throughout the year.
For first time gardeners, extracting and planting tomato seeds may be a little out of your range.
Instead, you can easily get starter plants from your local gardening shop.
When growing tomato plants, make sure your soil is always moist but not soggy.
Also, place it in a position that has maximum access to sunlight while turning the pot regularly (this ensures that all sides of the plant get optimum sunlight).
As they continue to grow, you may want to place support stakes. Early on so that their stems do not begin to break.
In about 10 weeks or less, your tomatoes would be ready for harvest. Do not be in a hurry to get them cooking.
Leave them hanging for as long as possible. When you are sure that they are firm, completely red, and ready to be harvested, just twist or pull the fruits gently from the stem.
Radishes: While radishes are still one of the easiest and fastest vegetables to grow, they may require a little more work than the others on this list.
The tasty root crop which originated from China is the perfect plant to begin your gardening journey with.
Radishes are usually grown from seeds which can be easily obtained from the nearest gardening shop.
A pack usually contains about 250 seeds.
Radishes have low tolerance for drought and low sunlight conditions so make sure the soil is well moist and well drained.
Also, place the plants in a spot that guarantees at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.
When preparing the soil for cultivating radishes, exclude fresh manure, organic fertilizers, or fertilizers that have a high concentration of nitrogen.
If you falter on this, you may be compromising the taste of your roots.
Radishes mature very quickly (in about 8 to 10 weeks), so make sure you check regularly.
Once they are mature, pull them out, place them in air tight plastic bags and refrigerate till you’re ready to use them.
Note: Radishes require a lot of space when growing, or else the roots may never get plump enough.
Easiest Vegetables to Grow indoors
Spinach: This native Persian vegetable is a favorite for salads across various cultures.
Known for its green juicy leaves, the spinach is definitely one of the easiest vegetables to grow in your home garden.
Spinache’s can be grown from seeds or starter plants so you can go for whichever one is readily available.
It is necessary to properly space spinach plants, or else you might end up with spinach plants that have little leaves.
Spinach plants love a rich, moist and well-drained soil.
After about 6 weeks, when they are ready for harvest, start from the outermost leaves.
Also, make sure you don’t harvest too many leaves at once so that the plant can continue to produce throughout the season.
Cucumbers: Cucumbers are generally described as a tropical vegetable.
This means that they love their warmth and moisture.
If you have to grow cucumbers in cooler temperature regions, then you would need to warm the soil regularly.
Cucumbers are wildly differentiated into: vining cucumber and bush cucumbers.
Bush cucumbers grow more vertically and are therefore better suited for home gardens.
Cucumbers can either be transplanted or grown from seeds. However, for a novice gardener, transplanting cucumber may be a little too much for you to handle.
For the best results, you need to provide your cucumber plants with constant water and sunlight.
They are also heavy feeders so you will need to fertilize and mulch often especially as they approach maturity.
At about the 8 week mark, your cucumbers should be ready for harvest.
For the best taste and texture, harvest your cucumber fruits early in the morning.
Fastest Growing Vegetables
Lettuce: This is one of the most common vegetables used by consumed by various cultures.
Originally native to India and some other parts of Central Asia, the lettuce has worked its way into the hearts of many around the world.
Growing lettuce is tricky because although it loves sunlight, it does not do well in excessive heat.
This means you have to find the perfect position that will allow it access to early morning sunlight but shield it from mid-day sunlight which brings more heat with it.
Lettuce can either be transplanted from pots into the garden or they can be planted directly.
However, when planting in the garden, make sure they are adequately spaced as lettuce plants grow tend to grow wide.
After a month of planting, the true leaves of lettuce will begin to emerge and can be cut at that time.
Remember that unless you’re growing that plant for the seeds, you should not let the leaves stay on too long before you cut them.
If you do, you’ll end up with tough and bitter leaves.
Also, start harvesting from the outermost leaves so that your plant can survive for as long as possible.
Carrots: Carrots are probably the easiest vegetable to grow.
They are resistant to most pest and plant diseases, they are resistant to frost damage and they can survive in loose soil.
Contrary to popular knowledge, all varieties of carrots are not orange.
The colors range from white to purple.
When making the decision to grow carrots, the first to note is that carrots germinate pretty slowly.
So when you haven’t seen your sprout after two weeks, don’t be worried, it’s probably just taking it’s time.
As long as your soil remains moist and well drained, it will show up.
Carrots love sunlight so make that happen.
And be careful not to overfeed the carrots with nutrients.
Or else they may fork and begin to grow side roots.
Carrots will take about 9 to twelve weeks to mature.
Once this period approaches, you can start checking to see if your roots have grown to your desired size.
Small Vegetable garden Ideas
Peppers: Peppers come in different varieties, each with their on flavor.
Whichever variety you choose to cultivate, you’re in for a pretty smooth ride.
Originally from Mexico and South America, the spicy fruit is now consumed in Africa and several parts of Europe.
If you have loads of patience, you could plant peppers from their seeds.
On the other hand, if this is your first shot at gardening, or you just don’t have the patience, then you better get a starter plant from the local nursery.
Peppers love water so make sure you water them regularly. This should however be done in moderation.
When growing peppers, you should stake them to prevent damaged stems when they begin to get heavy with fruit.
Also, mulch them regularly with plastic to keep the soil warm and yield better results.
Generally, peppers are harvested when they are immature (which is usually about 8 to 10 weeks after planting).
For example, when bell peppers are harvested, they are usually green; they get ripe in storage.
Doing this allows the pepper plant to continue to produce fruits as long as it is alive.
Even though they can be consumed immature, the flavors do not develop until they fully mature.
Basil: This fragrant occurs very regularly in Italian dishes.
It is relatively easy to grow although it only grows outdoors in the summer.
Basil plants need to be placed in a location that gets no less than 6 hours of sunlight daily.
Keep the soil moist and warm at all times (by watering and mulching regularly).
Remember to space the plants properly when planting.
When the plants are about 6 inches tall (which is usually at the 6 week mark), you can start to pick the basil leaves.
Even if you don’t need the leaves right away, make sure you pick them regularly so that the plant can continue to produce all season long.
If you’re wondering what to do with all these leaves that you picked that you don’t immediately need, you can simply freeze them.
Summer Garden Planting
Peas: Peas are the perfect plant for the novice gardener or the one who just does not have that much time to spare.
Especially with disease resistance varieties, all you have to do is plant, water and harvest.
Peas are easily grown from their seeds; pea plants really do not like their roots disturbed once they have germinated.
Unlike the Basil and Spinach, peas fare better when they are very closely spaced.
This way, it is easier for them to keep out weeds, and keep the soil cool for bountiful harvests.
Peas do not need lots of fertilizer, so make sure to not to overdo it with the fertilizer.
After about 10 weeks, the peas should be ready for harvesting.
Check well to be sure that you don’t harvest them before they are ready. Round, shiny and green pods usually signify maturity.
Once the seeds start to make ridges on the pods, then you’ve probably left them on too long.
Onions: Onions are a relatively easy vegetable to grow in your home garden.
With at least 6 hours of sunlight, a loose and well-drained nitrogen rich soil, growing onions should be a walk in the park.
If you intend to mulch, then you might not need to water it very often.
However, a little nitrogen every few weeks is necessary for it to develop properly.
Green onions would take about 6 weeks to mature.
Dry bulb onions on the other hand, would require at least 100 days before they are ready to be consumed.
Once your onion plants start to send up flower stalks, it means they have stopped growing and should therefore be pulled immediately.
Other vegetables that are easy and fast to grow include:
Mint, Garlic, Potatoes, Runner beans, Beet Root etc.
So whenever you have the time, stop by at your local nursery and get to gardening!