seven or more easy vegetables to grow and how to grow them

  • Experience the joy of easy vegetables to grow.

Even beginner gardeners can experience growing and harvesting these wonderful God gifts. They keep us healthy and give us exercise in the garden.

Plant breeders keep upgrading the plants and seed available for our home gardens. Plants are not as fussy as they were in our grandparents' days. They have increased disease resistance and vigor.

Vegetables don't have to take a lot of space. Plant breeders have also given us many compact varieties of vegetables that grow well in small spaces, including buckets and flower pots.

where should we put our garden?

Look over your yard and decide where to locate your garden. Take note of the sun and how it changes position different times of year.

The majority of vegetables grow best in full sun. (6 hours/day)

Many vegetables will tolerate partial sun. (2-6 hours/day) They will grow slower with less sun. And it will be longer until harvest, but it is still achievable. Shade Vegetables

Prepare your planting area by mixing plenty of organic matter into the soil. Select your seeds or transplants and enjoy a season of gardening.

What are some easy vegetables to grow?

Radishes - Green Beans - Carrots - Leaf Lettuce - Cucumbers - Swiss Chard - Squash - Corn - Peppers

Easy-vegetables--to-growRadishes are fast and easy.

radishes are the easiest vegetable to grow!

  • Radishes are the ultimate easy vegetable to grow in your backyard garden.

Radishes are the fastest vegetable. They are ready to harvest in 20-30 days. You can't get any better than that.

You can grow them anywhere. This small vegetable doesn't take much room in the garden. You can even grow them in flower pots.

Varieties - Cherry Belle, White Icicle, Sparkler, Black Spanish, White Chinese, China Rose

Planting and Care - Radish is a cool season crop that is planted in the spring and fall. They like the sun, but they will tolerate partial shade.

Like all vegetables, mix some rotted manure or compost into the soil before planting. Remove the rocks so you don't get misshapen radishes.

Sow the radish seeds 3/4"-1" deep in rows 12" apart. Plant more seed every 2-3 weeks for a continual harvest. When the seedlings are 2" tall thin them to 3" apart.

  • The key to tender, mild radishes is constant moisture and nutrients. A layer of mulch keeps the soil cool, preserves moisture and keeps the weeds down.

Harvest - When we see the top of the bulbs sticking out of the soil, they are ready to harvest. Pull the radishes while they are still young and tender.

Growers Tip - Inconsistent moisture may cause the radishes to split and they will taste hot.

more easy vegetables to grow

Green beans (snap beans) are easy vegetables to grow and one of the most productive vegetables for the home garden.

Easy-vegetables--green-beansGreen beans are very productive.

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How long before we can eat green beans?

  • We can have green beans to harvest in 50-70 days.

Do successive plantings 2-3 weeks apart so you have beans all summer.

Varieties - There are 2 forms, bush beans or vining beans.

Bush beans are easier to take care of because you don't have to train them on a stake, trellis or tomato cage. Bush beans are good for small spaces and growing in containers.

Vining green beans are more productive.

  • Green Beans - Kentucky Wonder, Romano
  • Bush Beans - Tender Crop, Green Sleeves
  • Yellow Wax Beans - Cherokee, Gold Cross
  • There are Purple Beans that turn green when you cook them.

Planting and Care - Green beans like full sun, 6-8 hours per day. They will grow in a variety of soils.

Plant them after the weather warms up and the soil is warm. Beans don't do well in cool, damp conditions.

Once the beans are up, water them with infrequent, deep waterings instead of daily light sprinklings.

When the beans are 4-6" high give them a bit of fertilizer. Fertilize again when the pods start forming.

Fish emulsion is good. If you use a granular vegetable fertilizer, don't allow it to touch the stem of the bean. The granules could burn the plant.

Harvest the beans while they are still young and tender, before the beans start to make bumps on the side of the pod.

Harvest regularly, every 5-7 days. They grow fast. When they get too big, the pods are tough and chewy.  If you let the bean pods grow to full maturity, the plant will stop producing.

Growers Tip - Do not harvest or work in the green beans when the leaves are wet to avoid spreading viral diseases.

What is the most productive vegetable we can grow?

  • Carrots provide more harvest per square foot than any other vegetable.

Carrots are a fun, easy vegetable. No garden should be without carrots. Carrots can be harvested in 60-80 days depending on the variety.

They grow best in the sun. Cultivate your soil deeply and remove any sticks, stones or vegetative matter that would cause the carrots to grow crooked.

Varieties - Supermarket type carrots require a foot deep of good soil. If you don't have good deep soil, grow the shorter varieties.

Deep Soil - Trophy, Gold Pak, Imperator, Scarlet Nantes, Sugar Snax
Medium Soil - Nantes Half-long, Red-Cored Chantenay, Danvers Half-long
Shallow Soil - Amstel, Ladyfinger, Short n Sweet, Thumbelina, Minicore

Planting and Care - Carrots will grow in cool weather, so plant the seeds 2-4 weeks before the last spring frost. Do successive plantings every 2-3 weeks to prolong your harvest. Plant again in the fall 70 days before the first killing frost.

The carrots seeds take about 14-21 days to sprout. So many gardeners mix their carrot seed with radish seeds. Radishes are very quick to germinate. They will mark where the carrots are until they sprout.

Keep the seeds moist until they germinate. Dry soil may form a crust that the tiny little sprouts won't be able to push through.

After the carrots sprout thin them to 3" apart and later to 6". The thinnings make good buttered carrots. Harvest the radishes as they are ready to make more space for the carrots.

Keep the soil moist. Alternating dry, then wet soil will cause the carrots to split.

Harvest the carrots when they are 1/2" to 1 1/2" in diameter. The best tasting carrots are those that have grown quickly.

Growers Tip - If you leave the carrots in the ground too long, they get tough.

Carrots are good either raw or cooked. Don't let your garden be without this easy vegetable, the nutritious carrot.

More about carrots

Can we grow lettuce?

There are different types of lettuce, leaf lettuce, upright lettuces, and head lettuce. Head lettuce and the upright types are a bit finicky to grow, but leaf lettuce is easy.

  • Leaf lettuce is an easy vegetable for the home garden. It can be ready for harvest in 30 day after the seedlings emerge.

Lettuce is resistant to cold and it likes cool weather. It is a spring and fall crop. Hot weather makes it go to seed. Leaf lettuce withstands the hot weather better than other types of lettuce. 

Lettuce likes a rich, well-drained soil, so add plenty of organic matter.

It grows the best in the sun, but it will last longer into the summer with part shade.

Varieties - Black-seeded, Simpson, Oak Leaf, Slow Bolt, Red Salad Bowl, Red Riot, Red Sails, Lolo Rossa

Planting and Care - Plant lettuce in the spring when the soil can be worked. Plant it again in the fall about 8 weeks before the first frost. Sow the seeds 1/4" deep in rows 14" apart. Sprinkle with water and keep it moist.

When the seedlings are 4" high, thin them to 3" apart, and later thin the plants to 6".

Fertilize lightly with a soluble fertilizer.

Harvest the leaves, as soon as they are big enough. Cut the outside leaves and leave the center leaves to continue growing. This will extend your harvest.

Later in the season harvest the entire plant at ground level.

Growers Tip - Harvest the lettuce before hot weather sets in. When the lettuce plants bolt, the leaves become bitter tasting.

Bolting is a tall stem emerging from the center of the plant. They are getting ready to make seeds on the tall stem.

Are there easy vegetable to grow in containers?

Cucumbers are a vining plant that produces either pickling or slicing cucumbers.

Pickling cucumbers produce smaller, thicker fruit. Slicing cucumbers have larger fruit. The slicers may also be used for pickling, either whole or sliced.

Varieties -
Pickling - Boston Pickling Cucumber, National Pickling, Burpee Pickler
Slicing - Straight Eight, Greensleeves, Marketmore 80, Burpless Hybrid
Bush - Spacemaster, Bush Crop, Bush Whopper, Salad Bush, Picklebush, Potluck

Planting and Care - Cucumbers like sun and plenty of organic matter. They need warm weather and a warm, well-drained soil.

  • Plant the seeds or seedling after the day temperatures reach 70 degrees. Replant each warm month, for an extended summer harvest.

Plant the seeds 1" deep, in rows or hills. After the seeds sprout thin them to the strongest plants. Grow vining cucumbers 6' apart. Bush varieties and trellised vining types are planted 3' apart.

Water the plants deeply and regularly. If the cucumbers go too dry, they will develop a bitter taste.

Harvest will begin in 50-70 days. Pick the fruit while they are young and tender. If the fruit is allowed to mature, they will stop producing.

Check them regularly because this easy vegetable grows amazingly fast!

Growers Tip - Growing the vining cucumbers on a trellis will give you cleaner, straighter fruit.

What is your favorite vegetable to grow?

  • Swiss chard is my favorite easy vegetable to grow.

Chard is not fussy about soil. It grows best in the sun, but will also grow in shade.

Swiss chard is heat, cold and drought resistant. What more could you ask for in easy vegetables to grow? This healthy vegetable is related to beets.

Varieties -
Lucullus and Fordhook Giant are popular white stem varieties.
Magenta Sunset and Rhubarb Chard have colorful red stems.

Planting and Care - Plant the seeds 1/2"-3/4" deep, when you can work the spring soil. Each seed actually contains 3 or 4 plants. Later thin the plants to 1 foot apart.

Water regularly with deep waterings and occasionally apply a nitrogen fertilizer.

Harvest - You can harvest in 60 days and continue to harvest all summer. The hot weather does not make Swiss chard bolt.

Cut the outside leaves for your salads or cooking. Leave the center leaves growing for more production.

Swiss chard is very resistant to cold and frosts. Cover it during in-climate weather and you will have an extra-long harvest season.

Growers Tip - Swiss chard is a biennial plant. If it overwinters, the next year we get more harvest. Then it will go to seed and stop producing. Then we plant more of this nutritious, easy vegetable.

Can we grow squash?

There two types of squash. Both types of squash are easy vegetables to grow. But the winter squashes need more space.

  • Summer squash grows on bush-like plants. Summer squash like, zucchini, yellow squash and scalloped squash are harvested before they mature.

  • Winter squash grows on vining plants. Winter squash, like acorn, butternut squash and pumpkins are harvested after maturity. They can be stored for the winter. Today there are some bush varieties of winter squash that save space.

Varieties -
Yellow squash - Early Summer Crookneck, Early Prolific Straightneck
Zucchini - Black Zucchini, Black Beauty, Cocozelle
Scalloped squash - White Bush Scallop, Peter Pan, Scallopini

More about squash

Planting and Care - Squash needs full sun and warm soil. Mix plenty of compost into the soil before planting.

It may be planted anytime during the warm months. Plant 2-3 seeds in rows 2' apart or 4-5 seeds in hills 4' apart.

When the seedlings are 4" tall, thin them to the strongest plants, no more than 2 or 3 plants together.

Give them good deep waterings at the base of the plant, not on the leaves.

They appreciate an occasional application of a balanced fertilizer.

Harvest - Summer squash will be ready to harvest in about 60 days. Harvest the squash while they are still young and tender.

Yellow and zucchini should be harvested at 6" to 8". The scalloped squashes are harvested when they are 3" to 4".

Growers Tip - Check your plants every day. This easy vegetable grows very fast. Cut the squash off the plant with a knife.

If a squash gets big enough to produce seed, then the plant thinks it doesn't have to do anymore.

What is America's favorite vegetable?

  • Corn is one of America's favorite vegetables.

Corn is an all American vegetable. Corn was growing in Mexico over 7,000 years ago. Its culture spread throughout North and South America.

We know it was one of the main vegetables grown by the American Indians. American pilgrims planted and ate corn from their gardens. 

Corn takes 60-95 days to harvest. Corn will grow in most any soil, but it prefers a rich soil with good drainage.

Two types of corn -

  • Field corn is dried on the stalk, harvested and stored for later use. It is sometimes called dent corn because each kernel has a dent on the top.

  • Sweet corn is harvested while the kernels are still moist. Corn on the cob, canned and frozen corn are sweet corn.

Varieties - Plant early, mid-season and late season varieties for an extended harvest.

  • Early Season, 60-70 days; Spring Gold, Explorer, Early Sun Glow, Seneca Horizon, Earlivee, Trinity, Welcome
  • Mid-season, 70-80 days; Sundance, Wonderful, Gold Cup, Northern Bell, Gold Cross Bantam, Honey n Cream,
  • Late Season, 85-95 days; Seneca Chief, Honey Cross, Silver Queen, Country Gentleman, Butter n Sugar, Stowell’s

Planting and Care - Corn does not transplant well. Plant the seeds directly in your garden 2 weeks after the last spring frost.

  • The wind pollinates corn, so plant it in blocks of 3 or 4 short rows instead of a long single row. Space the rows 30"-40" apart.

Corn is a heavy feeder. Incorporate plenty or rotted manure or compost into the planting area.

If you don't have any, before planting dig a trench 3" deep. Sprinkle a 10-10-10 fertilizer in the bottom of the trench. Cover the fertilizer with soil and plant the seeds.

Plant the seeds 1" deep, 4-6" apart. When the seedlings are up and growing well thin them to 12"-15" apart.

  • Plant sweet corn away from field corn and popcorn because they will cross pollinate.

Water regularly an inch of water per week. It may require more water during hot, windy weather.

Apply a side dressing of fertilizer every 2-3 week.

Keep the weeds down, but don't hoe close to the plants because they have shallow roots.

Harvest - Your corn will be ready to harvest when the silks are dry, about 20 days after they first appear.

Gently peel back the husk to see if the kernels have formed all the way to the end of the ear.

Pierce a kernel, milky juice means the corn is ready to harvest. Watery juice means it's not ready, yet. Close the husk to keep bugs from getting inside. You may close it with a bread tie.

Pick the corn by bending it down toward the stalk.

Growers Tip - Use the corn soon after harvest. When the ear is picked, the sugar starts turning to starch.

If you can't use the corn immediately, leave the husks on and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

growing peppers

Peppers are a popular summer vegetable grown as an annual. Pepper plants are perennials, so they will overwinter in warm areas of the country for a harvest the next year.

Sweet and hot peppers are both easy vegetables to grow. They are grown much the same way.

  • Sweet peppers can be green, red, yellow or purple. We use them in salads, cooking or dried.
  • Hot peppers are also used in cooking, canning, pickling and dried.
Easy-vegetables-peppersLeave the peppers on the plant, they turn red and ripen.

Peppers produce in 60-90 days from the time the seeds are planted.

They like a rich, well-draining soil. Mix aged manure or compost into the soil before planting.

Varieties -

  • Sweet peppers; Tokyo Bell, Bellboy, Yolo wonder, and California Wonder
  • Hot Peppers; Red Cayenne, Hot Portugal, Hungarian Wax Pepper, Hot Jalapeno, Fresno Chili Grande, Anaheim
  • Mexican cooking; Ancho, Mulato and Padilla

Most peppers make a fairly small plant from 18"-24". We may grow pepper plants in containers. Peppers normally should be planted in a container at least 12" in diameter.

But the hot pepper below are doing well in a small container. Be sure all containers have drainage holes.

Vegetables-hot-peppersHot peppers are popular easy vegetables to grow.

Planting and Growing - Start your seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before planting time. Or wait and purchase young pepper plants ready for the garden.

  • Peppers are sensitive to cold weather and cold soil.

The soil needs to be a minimum of 60 degrees before you plant. In cold areas, help the soil warm faster by covering it with black plastic.

When the soil is warm, plant the peppers 18"-24" apart in rows 2'-3' apart.

Keep the peppers watered, but not soggy.

Fertilize once or twice with a soluble fertilizer or side-dress with a commercial fertilizer once or twice before the fruit sets.

Keep the pepper plants weeded. They appreciate some mulch.

Harvest - Sweet peppers may be harvested at any size, starting at 3"-4". If you leave the peppers on the plant, they will ripen and turn red or yellow. Their taste will get sweeter.

Hot peppers are left on the plant until they are fully ripe. The flesh will be firm. Jalapeno peppers will turn dark green, but most hot peppers turn red when they are ripe.

Growers Tip - Cut the peppers from the plant with pruning or kitchen shears.

Enjoy the 9 easy vegetables to grow

Radishes, Green Beans, Carrots, Leaf Lettuce, Cucumbers, Swiss Chard, Squash, Corn and Peppers

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