Easiest Vegetables to Grow: A Simple Garden Guide

Growing your own garden is an enriching experience. Choosing the easiest vegetables to grow makes it even better.

Whether you want to grow a few plants as a new hobby or want to begin a homesteading adventure, you’ll find it satisfying. Growing your own vegetables and eating them fresh offers a multitude of health benefits as well.

Here are easiest vegetables to grow, even for beginners! All of these vegetables can be grown in containers as well. 

Plants that produce food need a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight per day. Check the spot at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm to ensure it’s sunny. If not, plant in a different area. 

Easiest Vegetables to Grow

No matter what you plant, there are certain things that will help you be successful.

Planting at the ideal planting time for your climate is critical. It’s also important to know the germination rate of the seeds, proper plant spacing, ideal temperature for growing, lighting requirements, and the rate of harvest of each plant.

Lettuce

Lettuce easiest vegetables to grow

Nothing beats waking up every morning, going out to your garden, and harvesting salad greens.

What’s great about leaf lettuces is the fact that you can grow them and harvest the outer leaves, and continue growing them. They will continue to grow.

To grow healthy lettuce plants, you will need loamy soil that is rich in organic matter. You also need to make sure that it is well-draining. Lettuce has very delicate roots, so it won’t grow well in clumpy soil. Lettuce in containers does very well.

While it needs a lot of sunlight, it’s a cool season crop. It loves colder temperatures. In most regions, this is in the spring and fall. In fact, it can even grow through the winter with proper care.

Plant seeds or from starts. Some examples are head lettuce, including iceberg or romaine. 

Ideal Planting Time Spring and Fall
Germination Time 7 days
Spacing Four to eight inches
Ideal Temperature 50°F to 70°F
Ideal Lighting Full sun
Time Until Harvest 2 months

Spinach

growing spinach at home

Another leafy green that grows well in cooler weather and also very easy to grow is spinach.

The trick to growing spinach is to make sure that it gets a lot of nutrients, so don’t hold back from natural fertilizers. This plant is heavy feeder.

Proper drainage is important too. Like lettuce, spinach also needs a lot of sunlight.

However, you can also get a significant harvest even if it’s planted in a partly shaded area. It’s a cold weather plant, so you plant spinach seeds in the fall. If you live in a warmer climate, you can plant them in the winter. 

Ideal Planting Time Fall
Germination Time 7 days
Spacing Three to five inches
Ideal Temperature 40°F to 70°F
Ideal Lighting Full sun
Time Until Harvest 45 days

Arugula

Arugula easiest vegetables to grow

Add another layer of flavor to your green salad with arugula. Unlike all the other greens, there is no secret to growing arugula because it’s effortless to grow.

You can even grow it in any container since its roots are very shallow.

You might want to choose a wide planter, though, because growing (and eating) arugula can be quite addicting. In this way, you’ll have more surface to plant it in, and you’ll have more to harvest when the time comes.

Planting arugula in a self-watering container also makes the job easier, especially since this plant can get quite thirsty. It doesn’t appreciate high water pressure from a garden hose, nor water pouring down on it from a pitcher.

Its seeds are quite tiny and its roots delicate, so there’s no need to re-pot this veggie. You just want to be careful not to plant it too deeply.

As for its light requirement, it thrives in full sunlight, but we recommend putting it in a partly shaded part to prolong its growth.

Be sure to pick when the leaves are small. The younger the leaves, the sweeter they will be. 

What arugula plants don’t like is hot weather. It can make their leaves quite bitter, so it’s best to start growing them in spring or late summer.

Ideal Planting Time Spring or Late Summer
Germination Time One to two weeks
Spacing Six inches
Ideal Temperature 45°F to 65°F
Ideal Lighting Full sun or partly shaded
Time Until Harvest 35 days

Kale

lettuce is easy to grow

Another easy-to-grow vegetable is another salad green called kale. We love growing kale for their sweet and nutty flavor, which we always welcome in our salad recipes. 

Kale is part of the cabbage family. If you love kale as much as we do, then here’s how to grow them.

First of all, know that it is also a heavy feeder like the spinach, so make sure that there is a lot of organic matter in your soil. Fertilize and amend the soil with compost. 

If you really want a lot of green leaves, then a nitrogen-rich fertilizer will do the trick.

Like the arugula, kale needs a lot of water, too. This is the secret to keeping its leaves fresh, crunchy, and sweet.

Mulching the soil surrounding your plant will help in keeping the moisture in, especially you have a hot spring.

As for the lighting, kale loves sunlight but not hot days. This is why we recommend planting kale in the early spring or fall. Really, it doesn’t really matter as long as you take care of it.

This is also the type of plant that you can continually harvest but leave planted and growing for more harvest sessions in the future.

Ideal Planting Time Early spring or fall
Germination Time 7 days
Spacing 16 inches
Ideal Temperature 45°F to 75°F
Ideal Lighting Full sun or partly shaded
Time Until Harvest 60 days

Carrots

 Carrots easy-growing vegetables

Root vegetables are easy to grow. One of the easiest is carrots. While they grow easily, they can be frustrating for beginner gardeners because they take a lot of time to germinate.

Learning how to grow carrots is advantageous, especially if you have deer and other predators around. While deer may munch on your leafy greens, they’ll be less likely to notice your carrots. (Though, they still will eat them if they find them!)

If you are planting in a container, the depth of your planter will be crucial as it will dictate how much your carrots are going to grow. Choose a container that is at least 7 – 15 inches deep, depending on the type of carrot that you’re growing.

You also won’t need as much organic material in your soil (as this produces more nitrogen). Too much organic matter in the soil will help the leaves grow and not the carrot itself.

Instead, we recommend amending your soil with coffee grounds.

While quality soil is always important, it’s especially true with carrots. You don’t want heavy clay or other poor soil. It should be well-draining with no clumps or rocks that can hinder the straight, downward growth of your carrot.

Sandy, airy soil is best.

As for the light requirement, your carrots will enjoy a lot of sunlight but not a lot of heat.

Frost will help your carrot become sweeter. Harvest carrots before it gets too hot. 

Once you see the crowns showing, bury them in mulch or added soil to keep them from growing bitter.

Ideal Planting Time Spring and fall
Germination Time 1 – 3 weeks
Spacing Four inches
Ideal Temperature 60°F to 70°F
Ideal Lighting Full sun
Time Until Harvest 75 days

Tomatoes

growing tomatoes vegetables

Technically a fruit, a plant that is really easy to sprout is tomatoes. In fact, with really healthy soil, you can simply squeeze a tomato into it, and its seedlings will sprout on its own. Be sure to plant outdoors after the last spring frost.

The perfect combination is a mix of 60% garden soil and 40% vermicompost.

You can grow tomatoes in pots if they are big enough. Unlike the other vegetables we have featured, this is a plant that will significantly benefit from repotting or transplanting into a garden bed or in the ground.

That’s because its stem sprouts out new roots as well, which will help in further boosting the growth of your plants.

Wherever you plant tomato plants, you’ll want the ability to support it with a cage, tomato trellis, or by staking it. 

First, germinate the tomatoes in a container. Once it grows as tall as three times the size of your original container, it’s a sign that your plant is ready for repotting.

Get a bigger container. Ideally, it should be 15 inches in depth.

Next, gently remove your tomato plant from its original pot. Do this by carefully shaking the pot to loosen up the soil and tipping it over to allow the plant to release itself on its own.

Be careful not to disturb the root ball. After that, remove the lowest leaves of your tomato plant.

Do you notice that there are fibers on the stem? You would then want to bury the plant deeper than it was originally planted.

Finally, water and continue growing.

Ideal Planting Time Summer
Germination Time 7 days
Spacing Six to eight inches
Ideal Temperature 65°F to 85°F
Ideal Lighting Full sun
Time Until Harvest Three to four months

Other easy-growing vegetables

Other vegetables to consider are:

  • Cucumbers – Not ideal for containers because they vine
  • Collards, mustard greens
  • Basil, cilantro
  • Beetroot
  • Beans – Check the variety (snap peas, pole beans, green beans) that’s best for your climate
  • Summer squash
  • Hot peppers

Consider also hydroponic gardens. There are many vegetables that are easy to grow. Best Plants for Hydroponics: Top 7 Edible Plants

What Vegetables Grow Best Together?

Now that we have finished going through the easiest types of vegetables to grow, let us now talk about the best ones to grow together.

One of the secrets to growing garden vegetables and making the most of your limited garden space is by strategically planting those that complement each other’s growths.

For instance, did you know that planting marigold with your tomatoes can protect it from nematodes?

Using our list above as a guide, here are the best companion plants for each of them:

Lettuce and Carrots

Carrots can have a difficult time competing with weeds.

Hence, to save you the trouble, shallow-rooted plants, like lettuce, are best to plant together with them, even inside a single container.

Onion and Garlic with Arugula

Nothing’s more frustrating than seeing your delicious leafy plant completely decimated overnight by pests because it’s that yummy! The strong scent of onion and garlic will keep pests away from your arugula.

Beans and Kale

Beans are known as natural “nitrogen-fixers.” This means that they won’t compete with the precious nutrient with your kale. In fact, it will even help in supplying more of it.

Tomatoes and Basil

Aside from marigolds, growing tomatoes with basil can enhance the taste of your tomatoes. Plus, they taste great together in Italian dishes.

raised garden beds easiest vegetables to grow

What Vegetables Should Not Be Grown Together?

On the other hand, here are the plants that you should never grow together with your vegetables:

Lettuce and Parsley

Lettuce and parsley will compete with each other’s nutrients, and they simply antagonize each other.

Arugula and Tomatoes

Arugula doesn’t grow well being planted alongside any member of the nightshade family.

Sunflower and Kale

Sunflowers release a certain chemical that can disrupt kale’s germination process, so make sure that you don’t plant them together.

Tomatoes and Carrots

Tomatoes are known to stunt the growth of carrots. 

Container Gardens

If you don’t have a lot of space to grow a vegetable garden, consider container gardens and raised garden beds.

These are gardens that are raised from containers such as pots and planters. These allow you to grow garden vegetables even while living in a limited space or in an urban setting.

You shouldn’t allow your lack of space to hinder you from growing your own food. You can start growing on a porch, a wall, or on the counter in your apartment kitchen. The key is to be creative.

Potatoes in Planters: How to Grow Potatoes in Pots

Step 1: Choose the right planters

The first thing that you need to consider is where you’re going to plant your vegetables.

Since you’re not going to plant them on an actual plot of land, you need to provide them with decent room to grow in the form of pots and planters.

These should be big enough to accommodate the size of your plant as it grows, with more room to spare for its roots to burrow through.

Take note that plants have different sizes. Some remain small, while others can grow really tall. Take these into consideration when planter hunting.

Make sure that your chosen pots and planters have proper drainage, as well.

This is the combination of enough drainage holes and the use of well-draining soil.

Step 2: Get the proper soil

No matter how big of a planter you get, in the end, space is still going to be limited compared to if you’re planting it on actual land. Hence, give your plants as much chance to survive, starting with ample nutrients from your choice of potting soil.

Step 3: Position your pots strategically

One of the benefits of container gardening is having the ability to change the position of your plants when needed. Take this opportunity to position your pots strategically according to their light requirements.

When in doubt, remember that most vegetables require full sun, so put your container garden in the least shaded part of your home.

Step 4: Fertilize regularly

Finally, your plants will need more nutrients than what they get from the sun. Eventually, the nutrients in your soil will also run out.

When this happens, be sure to sustain your garden with enough fertilizer.

There are different types of fertilizers for you to choose from. Our favorite is vermicast since it’s well-rounded and organic.

Choosing organic fertilizers and amending the soil with compost helps to feed the soil.

How to Prepare the Soil for Growing Vegetables

If you do have the necessary space in your backyard or elsewhere to grow an outdoor garden, then that would be great, as well.

Here is a quick guide to preparing your soil for growing. We call the method that we’re going to share with you the lasagna method.

It requires layering different organic components to achieve the perfect nutrients that your vegetables will need.

Step 1: Dig

Lay a piece of tarp near your chosen area in the garden. This is where you’re going to put the soil after digging them out.

Then, proceed to dig your chosen plot in a depth of six inches.

Step 2: Put the first layer

This first layer is made up of newspaper sheets. Lay down enough to cover the entire area. Once done, dampen the sheets with water.

Step 3: Put the second layer 

If available, add an inch of peat moss on top of your layer of newspaper.

Step 4: Put the third layer

Now, for the yummy stuff. Dump a thick layer (a couple of inches tall) of kitchen waste on top of your peat moss. If you don’t have peat moss available, add an extra inch of kitchen waste.

We’re talking about strictly organic waste only; no plastics and non-biodegradable stuff. Some great examples would be eggshells and coffee grounds.

Step 5: Put the fourth layer

Cover the kitchen waste layer with a generous layer of yard scraps. These include dried leaves or grass clippings—any biodegradable wastes lying around in your backyard.

Step 6: Cover everything

It’s time for the last layer! This will involve scooping the soil you’ve removed earlier back into the pile.

Smoothe the top and drizzle every inch with water, just enough to dampen everything but not make your plot muddy.

You can immediately start planting your vegetables, especially if you have your plants ready. We prefer waiting a few days, though, so as to allow the yummy nutrients to break down first. You can use the same technique when filling up your planters with soil.

Is It Cheaper to Buy Vegetables or Grow Them?

There are a lot of easy to grow vegetables that are cheaper to plant than buy, especially if you have a system in making your own compost at home.

In this way, you can further reduce your growing costs, even for plants that require a lot of fertilizer.

In the end, it will all boil down to the effort and waiting time of growing them. These factors weigh into the costs of growing your vegetables, as well. We consider the effort a benefit, though.

Is Growing Your Own Vegetables Worth It?

Maintaining a garden provides good physical exercise, gets you outdoors, and it is also a very rewarding process.

There’s a certain kind of satisfaction that you will only get to experience from watching plants grow and, in the end, harvesting and putting them on your table.

Another huge benefit of growing your own vegetables is that you know where your food is coming from.

You know that it won’t be drenched in chemicals and pesticides, so you’re always ensured that they are fresh and safe to consume.

If you prioritize your health in all its aspects, then we firmly believe that the experience of growing your own vegetables will prove worthy not just for you but also for your whole family.

Conclusion

It’s easy to grow vegetables. Choosing the right plants for the time of year and being sure to remember how often to water them will help ensure a successful harvest to table crop.

There are vegetables that can be difficult to grow with their complex germination process and nutrient requirements, but the ones we have listed above are proven beginner-friendly. 

Consider growing vegetables in containers for more control. A benefit to growing this way is you can move them to ensure they have enough sun. Another advantage is it may be more difficult for wildlife to access them. Also, they are ideal for areas without space for a garden. 

No matter where you plant, starting with the easiest vegetables to grow will help get you started with your first vegetable garden.

As you become an experienced gardener, try out planting other vegetables, including winter vegetables and cool weather cole crops.

Also remember flowers and herbs. In addition to herbs will adding more flavor to your home-cooked meals, they also add beauty to the overall look of your garden.

Flowers invite pollinators who can help you with growing your vegetable garden.

Related:

Growing Watermelon ~ How to Grow Watermelon
Growing Okra Plants ~ How to Grow Lots of Okra!

Cucumber Plant Growing

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