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Gardening 101: 10 Vegetable Plants for Beginners

No one can deny that homegrown produce from a plot in your backyard or garden is well worth the effort. However, the vast number of different crops can overwhelm even the most determined novice gardener. The following list, while not exhaustive, offers a few examples of vegetables that are easy to grow and therefore ideal for people who are just setting out on their horticultural journey. 


Beets are delicious and nutrient-dense. Both the leaves and the roots can be used in various dishes, adding color and flavor. This crop thrives in sunny places with free-draining soil, but growing beets in pots containing multipurpose soil is also an option. You can sow seeds from spring to summer and then space the thin seedlings carefully to allow them to grow.


Carrots come in many varieties, so you can essentially grow this crop all year round if you sow the seeds from early spring up to midsummer. Carrots require a sunny plot with rich, stone-free soil, but growing them in raised beds or pots is also an option. Remember to sow in thin rows and harvest them 12-14 weeks later.


Kale is a delicious, disease-resistant winter crop that you can grow quite easily. It loves sunny or partly shaded spots with enriched soil. You can sow seeds during spring and early summer. Remember to water well and maintain moisture levels in the soil with well-rotted compost.


Salad greens are a must for every vegetable garden. Lettuce, in particular, is a good choice for beginners; it grows quickly and offers produce for a long time. You can grow it in a small plot or garden pots, so you don’t need a lot of space. Spring and fall are the ideal seasons for this crop.


Both chili peppers and bell peppers require a long season and a lot of sunlight to thrive. You can start with planting seeds in indoor pots or trays or buying seedlings and planting them outside as long as the frost has passed. These crops also require staking to support the stems when they become laden with fruit.


Radishes are one of the easiest vegetables you can grow. Plant them either in full sun or partial shade. They do well in most types of soil, and you can harvest just four weeks after sowing. During summertime, make sure that the roots are well-watered and don’t dry out because they will crack and lose their texture.


Both winter squashes and summer squashes are grown in full sun. These wonderfully versatile vegetables thrive in enriched moist soil. If you add a layer of mulch, you can also help with water retention. Both winter and summer squashes need regular watering, especially during dry spells. Summer squashes also require staking.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is another vegetable ideal for beginners. You can sow the seeds from mid-spring to midsummer, and it crops almost all year round. Before sowing, remember to prepare your soil with good quality manure or well-rotted garden compost. If you are not partial to Swiss chard, try planting some spinach, a versatile vegetable with similar requirements.


The sheer number of tomato varieties can be overwhelming for aspiring gardeners. Generally speaking, the ones with smaller fruit, such as cherry tomatoes, are relatively easy to grow and need less time to mature. Dwarf varieties can also grow in a basket or pot. In your garden, pick a sunny sheltered spot with free-draining soil. Make sure you only plant seedlings outside when there is no chance of frost.


An easy to grow and rewarding crop, zucchini plants become rather large, so make sure you leave enough space for them to thrive. You can also grow them in pots, but don’t forget to water them daily as they require a lot of water. The female flowers of the plant are also edible and a fantastic delicacy.


Growing your own food can be a very satisfying experience but remember that it’s best to start small; pick a couple of easy crops best suited for your soil and conditions and go from there. Moreover, you should think of what kind of vegetables you love eating and avoid growing anything you won’t use in your cooking.


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