Planting a home vegetable garden will enable you to save money on fresh produce, eat healthier meals, enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. Starting a vegetable garden in your own backyard is not difficult, the two main criteria for successfully growing vegetables is a sunny location and well-draining soil. If you have (or can create) these two main growing requirements for plants you’ll be well on your way to turning an unused portion of your landscape into an edible garden.
Most all plants require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day and a regular supply of water, so select a garden location that is sunny and near a source of water. Plants and seeds also need warm soil and air temperatures before they will germinate and grow. Anytime the air temperature has been above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for three consecutive days and the ground is not frozen, it’s fine to till the soil and plant vegetable seeds or plants.
Certain vegetables, like cabbage and kale, are called ‘cool season’ vegetables and will only grow in the early spring or late fall when the air temperature is cool. Once the heat of summer begins, cool season vegetables will stop producing. The good news about cool season vegetables is that regions that have mild winters are able to plant and grow two crops of cool season vegetables each year, one in spring and the second crop in fall. Other vegetables, such as tomatoes, squash and beans, are ‘warm season’ vegetables, they grow best in mid-summer heat. Warm season vegetable seeds will rot in the ground if planted when the soil and air temperatures are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and plants will stop producing during cold spells.
Vegetable gardening for beginners is simple when you start with some or all of these 15 easy vegetables to grow. Pick a sunny spot and get ready to plant, grow and harvest these vegetable plants.
The tomato is a favorite both in the garden and on the table, making it one of the best vegetables to grow in a home garden. Give a tomato plant hot, sunny weather and plenty of water and it will reward you with plenty of vine-ripened tomatoes all summer.
Tomato varieties range from tiny cherry tomatoes all the way up to large slicing tomatoes. Plant sizes range from 2-6 feet tall and 1-4 feet wide, depending on variety planted.
Squash (yellow or zuchinni) is a cool season vegetable and will produce abundantly until the temperature and direct sunlight gets too hot for them. Allow 3 feet in each direction for squash plants to grow.
3- Green Beans
Green beans can be eaten raw or cooked and are easy to grow plants no matter what variety you select. Bush bean plants will reach a mature size of about 2 x 2 feet and pole beans can grow up to 10 feet in length and require stakes to keep them upright.
Beets are root vegetables that take up little garden space and easy to grow. Eat both the tops and bulbs for a low-calorie, vitamin-rich side dish.
Another easy to grow root vegetable. Sow carrot seeds directly into warm soil and harvest anytime the green top are two inches long.
Crunchy, sweet and refreshing, cucumbers can stand alone, go into salads or be turned into pickles. Cucumbers are grown on vines that will reach up to 10 feet in length. Vines will need to be trained to grow on stakes, trellises or other structures to keep cucumbers off the ground.
7- Lettuce Mix
Lettuce mix is a cool season vegetable that’s easy to grow and provides weeks of fresh salad greens. Sow seeds directly into soil as soon as soil is thawed and workable in the spring.
This peppery root vegetable is easy to grow, takes up little space and makes a great flavor partner to the lettuce mix. Radishes grow best when soil temperature is between 40 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
9- Snap Peas
Another easy to grow cool season vegetable that takes up little garden space. Snap peas grow on compact bushes and grow well in climates that have mild or short summers.
10- Mustard Greens
Chocked full of vitamins and minerals, mustard greens are cool season vegetables and grow best when seeds are sown directly into prepared garden soil during the early spring. A second crop of mustard greens can be grown in the fall.
Often called a ‘superfood’, kale is easy to grow and packed with vitamins and minerals. Kale grows best in cool temperatures and can be grown all winter in climates that have mild winters.
A popular herb that has versatile seasoning power in the kitchen. Sow seeds directly into soil once a month for a continual harvest all summer. Cilantro can be grown indoors during the winter in cold climates and can be grown outdoors year around in tropical climates.
Flavorful herb that loves hot temperatures. Plant this warm season vegetable anytime the air temperature is above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Grow dill year around in warm, tropical climates.
14- Bell Pepper
Bell peppers like hot climates and grow on small bushes that will reach a mature size of about 2 x 2 feet.
Small plant will produce fresh basil, good for use in any Italian dish, all summer. Can be grown outdoors year around in climate with mild winter or grown indoors in a container in regions with harsh winters.