What determines vegetables that are easy to grow and which aren’t?
As it turns out, there are several factors that promotes or hinders growth. Some of the most important ones are temperature and light requirements.
There are vegetables that require longer duration of light than others while others don’t. This applies to temperature too. In this case, the easiest vegetables to grow are those that give acceptable yield regardless of the prevailing conditions.
But you can always control lighting by use of recommended led lights of course.
Furthermore, it’s important to ensure that at least these two conditions are met to achieve optimum growth and yield.
What does this even mean?
It means that not all the vegetables on the list will be easy for everyone since their ease to grow or otherwise is highly depended on one’s geographic location.
But don’t worry:
I’ve categorized them into cold, medium, and warm season vegetable crops so that you can choose only those that are applicable to your specific region!
Let’s get started.
Tasty Herbs and Vegetables that are Easy to Grow for Garden Newbies
Warm Season Vegetables
Warm-season vegetables require warm soil and air temperatures if they are to germinate, grow and mature properly.
They will not tolerate any frost and may be severely damaged by prolonged temperatures as much as 15 degrees above freezing. They are deep-rooted and generally quite resistant to drought.
However, appropriate irrigation may increase yields above average.
While warm-season vegetables generally perform better during warm weather than during cool weather, extreme heat can limit production. This is especially true of tomatoes, beans and peppers, which tend to drop their flowers when temperatures above 90 degrees are combined with high humidity.
Here’s a list of warm season vegetables that are easy to grow:
1.Tomato (small varieties)
Tomatoes especially cherry tomatoes are very productive and easy to grow.
They are long-season, heat-loving plants that won't tolerate frost, so it's best to set them into the garden as transplants (young plants) after the weather has warmed up in spring.
You can purchase tomato transplants, but there's something especially rewarding about starting your own plants indoors.
When it comes to this crop, you need to start right by selecting a variety that increases your odds of success. If you’re a beginner, I recommend you start with bush-type and advance to vining cucumbers as you gain more experience.
Bush varieties are known to perform well in pots since they are short, compact and easy to grow as compared to vining ones.
One more thing to note about cucumbers is the female/male flowers. If you don't have bees or other bugs to cross pollinate, you won't get any cucumbers at all.
Here’s an article that gives tips for growing cucumbers in pots and increase your yield.
Just as petite cherry tomatoes are easier to grow compared to varieties with huge fruits, eggplant varieties that produce modest-size fruits are the most trustworthy types for gardens.
Growing eggplants is easy where summers are long and warm. However, under such weather, critters like flea beetles would also like to join the party. All you have to do is keep them at bay and you will have beautiful and great yield.
4. Pepper (Jalapeno, bell)
Peppers especially Jalepenos and bell pepper are very easy to grow, and you should always keep it simple when doing so.
Generally, you start your seeds in the winter indoors. Exactly which month you’d like to start is up to you, but November – February is a good starting point.
Here’s a great article on how to proceed from there – growing pepper from seed for beginners.
Pumpkins do best when the seeds are planted directly in the ground. If your growing season is very short, seed indoors in peat pots about 2 to 4 weeks before last spring frost.
Be sure to harden off before transplanting. Wait until the plant soil is 70ºF or more before sowing seeds.
Zucchini is easy to plant, easy to grow and delicious to eat, making it a favorite to grow in a garden. A summer squash, it comes in all sizes and shapes. It can grow up to several feet in length if left on the vine long enough.
However, there are two common zucchini problems that discourage newbie gardeners. The first one is improper variety selection while the second one is squash bug infestation. If you select the right variety, you’ll mostly avoid squash bugs.
The best way to manage squash bugs is to head to the garden every day and inspect the top and bottom of your zucchini leaves for clusters of bronze-colored, football-shaped eggs.
Once you have a positive identification, spray with a Spinosad-based pesticide like Monterey’s Garden Insect Spray.
Basil is arguably one of the most popular herbs. Similarly, growing basil is easy and productive, especially the common or sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum).
This member of the mint family is grown for its sweetly scented leaves used either fresh or dried that compliment a variety of foods.
Here are actionable tips for growing basil on autopilot if you need to learn more.
8. Green beans
There is a good reason why I’ve included green beans as one of the vegetables that are easy to grow for beginners.
And that is, green beans are a staple of every vegetable garden because they are easy to grow—even in limited space—and incredible productive!
Beans are best grow in soil with normal fertility. Beans don’t need supplemental fertilizer as they fix their own nitrogen. However, poor soil should still be amended with aged manure or compost in the fall prior to planting.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is relatively easy to grow, making it a good choice for any home herb garden. Its pungent flavor and pine-like scent make rosemary a popular ingredient in foods.
The upright varieties are best for both fresh and dried use.
Rosemary can be grown as an annual (completes its life cycle in 1 year) or a perennial (completes its life cycle in 3 or more years). In herb gardens, it is often planted along with thyme, oregano, sage, and lavender.
When planting, choose a variety that is suitable to the climate, soil, and desired use.
Medium Season Vegetables
Chives are hardy perennials that are attractive, tasty, and easy to grow. These rugged herbs grow in lush grass-like clumps that rise from a cluster of small bulbs.
The snipped leaves add a pleasing touch to soups, salads, and vegetable dishes, providing both color and a mild onion or garlic flavor.
Garlic is easy to grow and requires very little space in the garden. Garlic grows from individual cloves broken off from a whole bulb.
Each clove will multiply in the ground, forming a new bulb that consists of 5-10 cloves. Garlic tastes great roasted or used as a flavoring in many recipes.
Read about effective hacks for growing garlic indoors.
Cilantro and coriander are different parts of the same plant.
Cilantro, Coriandrum sativum, usually refers to the leaves of the plant, which are used as an herb. This describes the vegetative stage of the plant’s life cycle.
Coriander refers to the seeds, which are typically ground and used as a spice. This happens after the plant flowers and develops seeds.
Cilantro is a fast-growing, aromatic, annual herb that grows best in the cooler weather of spring and fall.
Lettuce is an easy-to-grow annual vegetable. Considered a spring and fall crop, lettuce thrives when temperatures are between 60 to 70 degrees F.
Many varieties reach maturity in as little as 30 days, and some can even be harvested much earlier as micro-greens.
Carrots grow best in cool temperatures like those that occur in early spring and late fall.
The night temperature should be dropping to about 55 F. (13 C.) and the daytime temperatures should be averaging 75 F. (24 C.) for optimum growth.
Carrots grow in small gardens and even flower beds, and can accept a little bit of shade as well.
When you grow carrots, soil surfaces should be cleared of trash, rocks and large pieces of bark. Finer pieces of plant material can be mixed down into the soil for enrichment.
Spinach, a super–cold-hardy leafy green, is a popular crop that can be planted in very early spring, as well as in fall and even winter in some areas.
It has similar growing conditions and requirements as lettuce, but it is more versatile in both its nutrition and its ability to be eaten raw or cooked. It is higher in iron, calcium, and vitamins than most cultivated greens, and one of the best sources of vitamins A, B, and C.
Cool Season Vegetables
grow best at temperatures averaging 15° cooler than those needed by warm season types.
16. Brussel sprout
Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera) are tight heads of tender leaves, like mini cabbages, grown on the stalk of a tall, leafy plant. The large leaves are smooth and thick and resemble collard greens; you can prepare them in the same ways.
Brussels sprouts are one of the few crops usually harvested after snow has fallen. Flavor improves with cooler fall weather; they can stay in the garden as long as temperatures remain above 20°F.
Here’s a quick guide on growing brussels sprouts.
Radishes are among the easiest vegetables to grow. Hardy and quick to mature, successive plantings in early spring and again in early fall will ensure a steady supply of crisp, piquant roots.
A good source of vitamin C, they also make a good companion plant in the garden. And every part of the radish is edible!
Rhubarb is an undemanding perennial that’s easy to grow and fantastically hardy. In fact, it actually needs a cold snap in order to produce the best crops.
A healthy rhubarb plant will remain productive for at least 10 years so it makes an excellent investment. During the first year, you’ll need to resist the temptation to harvest the stems.
But from the second year, you can harvest your rhubarb from April to June.
Potatoes can be started 0 to 2 weeks after your last spring frost. You may plant earlier, as soon as soil can be worked, but be aware that some crops may be ruined by a frost or wet soil.
Potatoes prefer cool weather. In warmer climates, potatoes can even be grown as a winter crop.
Even if you have a longer-than-normal winter, it’s not too late to plant potatoes through mid-spring (depending on where you’re located).
20. Snap peas
Snap peas planting isn't difficult and the peas pretty much take care of themselves. Just plant the seeds and watch them grow. It takes very little time before you are enjoying your sugar snap peas.
Sugar snap peas are a cool-season vegetable and can tolerate light frosts even when the plants are small. In the fall, plant sugar snap peas in the last 8 to 10 weeks before the first expected frost to guarantee a plentiful harvest.
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) is a nutrient-rich vegetable which can be used in a variety of ways. It can be eaten fresh, lightly sautéed or used in stir fry, soup and pasta or rice-based entrees.
Additionally, growing broccoli is not difficult as long as you follow a few simple broccoli growing tips.
As a cool-season plant, knowing when to plant broccoli is the key. If harvesting broccoli plants in midsummer is desired, it’s best to start broccoli indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date.
Collards are one of the most nutritious vegetables. They are low in calories and high in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Although they are a member of the cabbage family, collards do not form heads. They are grown for their leaves.
Collards tolerate more heat and cold than most other vegetables grown in Texas. They are easy to grow, productive, and well suited to either large or small gardens.
Collards grow best in cool weather and need as much sunlight as possible.
23. Green onions (Scallions)
Green onions are probably top of the list when it comes to vegetables that are easy to grow. All you need to do it use them for dinner.
Keep the roots aside, stick them in a mason jar full of water next to the window, and they'll re-grow into something as tasty as ever.
Just make sure to change the water every now and again. The only real catch is, I'm not sure how renewable they are before they don't grow as well, or lose flavor. I wouldn't be surprised if after five or six regrows, you need to start over from new roots.
There you have it.
A list of 23 tasty vegetables that are easy to grow not only for beginners but green thumbs as well.
What’s even better is the fact that it’s all sorted per season so that you don’t have to second guess.
Let me know your favorite veggies.