One of the best parts of growing your garden, whether is is a simple 4×4 raised bed, pots on your porch or a 1/2 acre, is eating from it! But if you’re having a hard time growing anything the garden can quickly become a source of frustration and stress. But let me assure you that these easy to grow vegetables are going to give you the plenty you’ve been craving!
The great part of these easy to grow vegetables, is that most of them grow wonderfully from seed; so you won’t need to buy a bunch of transplants. Growing by seed is a money saver but also gives you a lot more control over the varieties that you grow (organic, heirloom, etc).
Easy to Grow Vegetables for the Frustrated Gardener
This is the, in my opinion, the number 1 easiest vegetable to grow in just about any garden. Start as seeds right where you wan them, root veggies don’t do well as transplants. You’ll have radishes, ready to eat, about a month later! Even if you haven’t been a fan of traditional store radishes, grow them! There are so many different radish varieties out there (I love the French Breakfast Radish).
Another fantastic root vegetable to grow in your garden. Carrots do take some patience; I’ve never found one that grows as fast as the seed packet says it will, but they always grow. I have grown carrots in pots, 6 and 12 inch garden boxes with equal success. And you’ll never have a better tasting carrot than the one you eat right out of the garden!
Though I recommend radishes, most gardeners will tell you to start with tomatoes. They are an easy to grow vegetable (that is really a fruit) and have so many uses. I always try to grow more than I need so I can make plenty of tomato powder for the year. There are a few things you can do to ensure even more success with tomatoes, but for the most part they do well with water and a little pruning.
- Swiss Chard
I have started growing Swiss Chard more than spinach these days. I find it to be a lot more hardy, fast growing and fast to re-grow after trimming. If you harvest only the outside leaves you can harvest again and again from the same plant. I used the leaves much the way I use spinach. The stalks are great in salads and stir fry recipes too. And Rainbow Swiss Chard is just beautiful in the garden. Tasty, nutritious as well as easy to grow! Start indoors or sow seeds straight into the garden.
- Sweet Potatoes
If you live in a warm climate, like I do, then you’re going to love growing sweet potatoes. Among easy to grow vegetables, this one is HIGH on my list. When I first started with raised beds, I grew these in only 6 inches of soil; I still got some huge potatoes from those beds. Sometimes I would be walking the garden and see a big of orange peeping out of the rock path between the beds…yep I had some jumpers! And sweet potatoes store fairly well so you can enjoy your bounty for awhile.
The hardest thing about growing zucchini is what to do with it all! I usually share quite a bit with friends and family because, after awhile, no one in the house wants to eat it. For the best return, start your zucchinis inside about 4 – 6 weeks before you’re ready to plant them outdoors. I usually grow the black beauty variety.
From jalapenos to bell peppers – peppers are one of the easiest vegetables to grow in your garden. Most do well in warmer weather and even survive the hot temps of the Phoenix summers; though I do offer my bells a bit of coverage in the hottest part of the day to avoid the “sun burn”. These prolific veggies will be fun to grow and there is nothing like making jalapeno jelly from your own plants!
Lettuce is an easy to grow vegetable for cool seasons; though I would recommend staying away from the head varieties for the best results. Most years I like to get a pack of mixed seeds. There more varieties than I can list and they all do well in bed, pots…heck I even grew some in a Rubbermaid tub one year. Again, like Swiss Chard, you can harvest the outside of the loose leaf lettuces and it will continue to grow for you.
Another easy to grow root vegetable! Beets do best when grown from seed because they do not transfer well. You can grow several different types of beets and eat both the root and the greens from the plant. I would advise you to buy your seeds from a reputable heirloom seed dealer because beets are high on the list of genetically modified foods. Watch your nitrogen (not too much rabbit poo) where you grow beets and you’ll be enjoying them for months.
Onions require very little from you – lots of sun and soil that drains well. I prefer to grow my onions from set, rather than seeds; they are easy to plant and just seem to do better establishing themselves. If you want a great onion harvest then you’ll want to look for varieties that do best in your climate. I buy my onion sets from Native Seed Search in Tucson, because theirs are grown in the desert from plants that are known to do well in our crazy climate. If you can find a local seed saver, they are going to be your best bet for pretty much all your vegetable seeds.