If you’ve never planted a garden before, it’s not as daunting a task as some make it out to be. In fact, it’s a lot of fun! Seasoned gardeners will tell you that there are some plants that are much easier to grow than you think. You can plant directly in the ground, or in a raised bed. Either way, these easy garden crops should be on your “to grow” list.
Radishes – grow well even in soil that isn’t the greatest in the world. Plant seeds in spring and fall in full sun directly into the ground about 6 weeks after your last spring frost date. Some varieties are ready to harvest within 3 weeks!
Spinach – can be planted in very early spring as well as fall and winter. Sow seeds 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep, covering lightly with soil. Sow about 12 seeds per foot of row, or sprinkle over a wide row or bed. Don’t wait too long to harvest, or wait for larger leaves; bitterness will set in quickly after maturity.
Green beans – are very easy to grow and produce a lot! If you get a big crop, they freeze well, and they’re also delicious when pickled as “dilly beans.” Start with seeds after danger of frost has passed. They grow great on a tripod or trellis, too.
Onions – grow well in raised beds or containers. Soil needs to be well-drained, loose, and rich in nitrogen; compact soil affects bulb development. Mulch will help retain moisture and stifle weeds.
Strawberries – are unbelievably sweet when they are perfectly ripe, and the plants are surprisingly hardy. Just be sure to put this perennial in a sunny spot and keep it well weeded.
Peppers – seedlings can be transplanted outdoors 18 to 24 inches apart after the danger of frost has passed.They can be ripened for different lengths of time to get a range of colors and flavors. All peppers start out dark green, and change color as they ripen.
Tomatoes – are the quintessential garden crop. There’s just no substitute for a perfectly ripe tomato, and it’s hard to go wrong when you start from plants. If you get a big crop, consider canning or freezing. It’s easy to grow great tomatoes!
Bush zucchini – won’t take up as much room in your garden as it’s vining squash cousins. It’s also a very fruitful plant. It’s easiest to start from established seedlings, and you won’t need more than a few to have a huge harvest.
Carrots – are root vegetables that thrive in sandy, well-drained soil. Be sure to till the bed thoroughly to make sure all rocks are removed to avoid short or deformed carrots. They mature around 2-1/2 months, and should be around 1/2 inch in diameter, depending on the variety.
Cucumbers – are warm-season vines that will pretty much grow anywhere in any amount of space. They can even be trained to climb a trellis. The first blooms on cucumber vines are usually all male, so don’t fret if they all fall off with no fruit to show for it. Female and male blooms will follow.
There are many, many more veggies that are extremely easy to grow. Try melons, for example. They’re low maintenance and delicious on a hot summer’s day after you’ve been in the garden all afternoon!