New to growing your own food? We’ve rounded up a list of 10 of our favorite easy-to-grow vegetables for beginners.
What Makes a Vegetable Easy to Grow?
There are a few things to consider when selecting the best vegetables for beginners.
How long it takes for a vegetable to grow, how pest-resistant they are, and how much water and sunlight they need are all important factors to think about.
Fortunately, there are many great vegetables that you can grow easily as a beginner – and many of them grow fast so you can see your hard work pay off in no time at all!
Most of the plants on our list are either very easy to grow because they don’t require a lot of maintenance, or they made it to our list because they grow very quickly. Others made it to our list because they are prolific – you will have a decent harvest without having a ton of plants.
Let’s get on to the list, shall we?
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are one of the simplest vegetables to grow for beginners. Spinach, kale, arugula, collard greens, cabbage, and lettuce are all examples of leafy greens that are easy to grow.
Most of these plants can easily be started from seeds and you can plant them either in the spring or early fall outdoors because they grow very quickly.
Leafy greens generally do not like a lot of heat or hot direct sun, so it’s best to plant them in a place that gets partial shade or to plant them early or later in the season when the sun is not going to fry them.
Leafy greens also grow well in containers because they don’t need especially deep soil. This makes them a perfect thing to grow if you don’t have a huge yard or a lot of space.
There are so many things you make with leafy greens – from green smoothies to healthy salads for lunch and dinner. I especially love adding spinach to a number of dishes, from pasta to soups.
The best thing about growing greens is they grow fast! You will be ready to enjoy your lettuce and spinach in just a few weeks!
Tomatoes may technically be a fruit, but they are also a great plant for beginners to consider in their garden.
There are thousands of ways to enjoy a tomato, from adding them to salads to cooking them up in pasta sauce. I like to eat them in the summer on sandwiches. They are also fantastic for making your own salsa!
You can grow tomatoes relatively easily outdoors and they don’t require perfect soil or full direct sun or even regular watering, although they will do better if you try to give them these things!
Tomatoes also grow well in containers, especially cherry tomatoes and grape tomato varieties. I started my first garden as an adult with tomatoes on the balcony of my old apartment!
3. Green Beans
You may or may not like green beans, but they are another healthy vegetable you can easily grow in your garden.
Green beans are relatively easy to start from seed. They grow quickly and they don’t require a large amount of water. If you have some decent soil, you can easily grow them in your garden with a few other vegetables.
There are a lot of beneficial ways to eat green beans as well. You can blanch them to add to salads or you can add them to soups. You can even make green bean casserole. Perhaps my favorite way to eat them however is raw and straight off the plant!
Cucumbers are another relatively easy vegetable to grow as long as you don’t have to worry about frost. Cucumbers are great in salads, but you can also use them for smoothies and even as a garnish for drinks!
Out of all the vegetables on our list, cucumbers are slightly higher maintenance, simply because they do require decent soil, lots of of sunshine, and regular watering. It’s also important that you give your cucumbers some sort of support so they can grow since they usually grow vertically.
Onions are another great vegetable for beginners and chances are you regularly use them all the time in cooking. You can use them to add flavor to meats or even slice them raw to eat on sandwiches.
There are many varieties of onions to grow, from red onions to white onions or you can even grow scallions, commonly known as green onions.
Starting onions from small plants instead of bulbs is usually preferred for beginners, but they are relatively easy to grow from scratch.
They don’t require a lot of water or full sun and they can grow in any type of soil.
Every gardener should grow onions – you may never have to go out and buy them again!
Radishes are another vegetable that is relatively easy for beginners to start from seeds. They only take about 2-3 weeks to grow, so you can feel a sense of accomplishment pretty quickly!
Radishes also don’t require a lot of water or direct sun, so they may be one of the easier vegetables for you to start with!
Carrots are a very simple vegetable to grow, even if you’ve never gardened before.
While carrots prefer full sun, they can even do well in partial shade. The important thing is that you plant them in loose soil in either the early spring or early fall. Mixing a bit of sand in with your soil can help provide drainage.
The biggest challenge with carrots is knowing when to dig them up. It usually takes carrots 60-80 days to fully mature, so it’s a good idea as a beginner to mark the day you planted them on your calendar so that you don’t forget to harvest them!
Carrots are also prone to being a favorite snack for groundhogs, but the good news is you can grow them in containers on your deck or patio if you like!
Peas are a legume and they actually grow in a similar way to beans. They can be planted from seeds or you can grow them from plants.
They are relatively easy to grow, but they do take a little bit of time to pick compared to some vegetables.
Pea plants usually produce more than enough peas for you and your family so if you have the space it’s a great idea to try growing these guys!
I like to eat peas in salads and my kids love using frozen peas to cool down hot soups and other dishes.
9. Green Peppers
Another popular choice for beginners to grow is green peppers. They are easy to grow and most people have a lot of fun with them since they can be used in so many different dishes.
Green peppers, like tomatoes, require plenty of direct sunlight and a bit more water than some other vegetables on our list, but they’re still relatively simple to start for beginners when you buy the plants instead of trying to grow from seed.
There are countless ways to enjoy green peppers, from sauteeing them onions to use as a garnish with meats to adding them to pasta to even making some of my favorite dish – stuffed peppers!
Zucchini is one of those plants that you can almost ignore and still end up with more zucchini than you could ever know what to do with.
Growing zucchini from seed is a little challenging, but fortunately, most garden centers do stock zucchini seedlings that make the growing process easy.
Zucchini also doesn’t require a lot of water or sunlight to grow, making it one of the easiest vegetables for beginners.
Most zucchini plants are quite prolific, which means you’ll also have plenty of zucchini to use for making zucchini bread, fried zucchini, and more!
As you can see, there are a lot of great vegetables you can grow as a beginner! If you stick to starting your garden with one of these tried and tested vegetables you will likely be very happy with the outcome!
Know of any easy-to-grow vegetables for beginners that aren’t on our list? Tell us about them in the comments section below!