Easy-to-Grow Vegetables for Garden Novices
Every new gardener wants a thriving harvest. These hardy varieties, with flavors that range from hot to sweet, are wise choices for ensuring a successful first-time bounty.
When you learn something new—whether it's a language, a skill, or a recipe—you start with the basics. The same is true if you're a gardening novice: Growing plants and produce that typically thrive, even if you make a few mistakes along the way, is a surefire way to ensure your first go-around is successful. Let's focus on the latter, especially since planting, cultivating, and harvesting your own food is so rewarding. If you're interested in plotting out and beginning a vegetable garden, you've come to the correct place.
Here, you'll find several easy-to-grow vegetable varieties, all of which you can cultivate with ease in your own backyard. From crisp lettuces, including loose-leaf types and spinach, to rainbow-hued produce, such as peppers, beets, radishes, and more, there's an option here for every garden novice, whatever you're interested in harvesting at the end of the season.
While choosing straightforward, hardy vegetables is a great first step in mapping out your produce garden, it's just as important to check on other integral factors—like soil drainage, your hardiness zone, and sun and shade fluctuations—before you put your future salad materials in the ground. And don't forget about timing: Certain vegetables grow better at different times of the year, so always be sure to do your research and read seeding instructions before you get started. With the right information, determination, and a little dirt and water, you'll be amazed at how simple it is to grow your own food—there's no feeling like it.
'Black Seeded Simpson' Loose-Leaf Lettuce
'Black Seeded Simpson' loose-leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is an heirloom that matures early in the season with a tender texture and delicate flavor.
'Bush Champion' Cucumber
'Bush Champion' cucumber (Cucumis sativus) has a compact habit that allows it to thrive in containers, producing crisp, bright-green fruits in abundance.
'Carnival' Sweet Pepper
'Carnival' sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum) produces sweet, mild peppers in a range of cheerful colors. For a hot pepper, 'Jalapeno M' has an intense, medium-hot flavor and is suitable for containers.
'Chioggia' beet (Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris), an Italian heirloom, is also known as a striped beet for its globe-shaped, mild-flavored red-and-white flesh.
'Danvers Half Long' Carrot
'Danvers Half Long' carrot (Daucus carota ssp. sativus), a popular heirloom, has an excellent flavor and doesn't require deep soil.
'Early French Breakfast' Radish
'Early French Breakfast' radish (Raphanus sativus) is a heat-tolerant heirloom radish with superior crunch.
'Fordhook Giant' Swiss Chard
'Fordhook Giant' Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) is an easy-to-grow, heat-resistant heirloom that does not bolt; it has a mild flavor.
'Kentucky Wonder Brown' Bean
'Kentucky Wonder Brown' bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), an heirloom with a distinctive flavor, has been popular since the mid-19th century.
'Rosa Bianca' Eggplant
'Rosa Bianca' eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a sweet-flavored Italian heirloom with lovely, creamy flesh.
'Saffron' Summer Squash
'Saffron' summer squash (Curcurbita pepo) grows on a productive, bushy plant that provides an early harvest.
'Sugar Ann' Pea
'Sugar Ann' pea (Pisum sativum) is an award-winning snap pea that grows in a bush form and doesn't require staking.
'Super Sweet 100' Cherry Tomato
'Super Sweet 100' cherry tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) produces an abundance of candy-sweet, bite-size tomatoes all season. For a slicing tomato, plant 'Brandywine,' one of the most popular heirlooms for its large, flavorful, nonacidic fruits. For sauces, choose 'San Remo' paste tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), an Italian heirloom with intense flavor, few seeds, and a high sugar content.
'Teton' spinach (Spinacia oleracea) tolerates heat better than other spinach cultivars, making it a three-season crop in temperate climates.