Maintaining a large vegetable garden can be overwhelming for a beginner gardener. You should start small with three or four crops you’d like to grow, and then you can add more once you feel comfortable. You can even grow vegetables in containers in your home to experiment before you commit to digging up a portion of your yard. Just get a large planter or two, and place it in a spot where there’s at least eight hours of sunlight a day. Enjoy cultivating your first vegetable garden. You may find yourself hooked by the time your harvest reaches your dinner table.
1. Bush Beans
Bush beans grow on compact, bushy plants which means they don’t need stakes, poles, or trellises. It takes bush beans seven to eight weeks to grow before you have a tasty crop that’s ready to pick and eat. You can have fresh beans all summer long by planting bush beans every two weeks.
Radishes are superfast growers and can be ready to pick in as little as three weeks. Don’t let them harvest too long though because they’re best when they are crisp and mild.
Growing spinach is very easy for first-time gardeners. It grows fast and can yield a lot of leaves in cooler weather during early spring and fall. It can even tolerate below freezing temperatures. You’ll know it’s ready to pick when it looks big enough to eat.
4. Salad Greens
Mixed greens can grow almost anywhere, including your windowsill. Lettuce can be grown in both spring and fall and doesn’t mind being crowded. You can sprinkle seeds into a pot and thin them out when the leaves are big enough to eat. Continue to snip leaves as needed until it bolts, or goes begins to flower.
5. Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli rabe is another easy cool-season vegetable to be planted in early spring and in fall. Be aware that it bolts very quickly, though. You will need to harvest as soon as you see the flower buds appear and cut about five inches below the buds.
Zucchini is incredibly easy to grow. It requires a lot of space, but doesn’t require a lot of patience. Once fruit sets on the plant, it can grow in hours.
Rhubarb is another crop that grows well in cooler climates. It can thrive despite neglect and is drought-resistant and winter-hardy. Rhubarb is perennial and will continue to grow for 8 to 15 years. You shouldn’t harvest anything during the first year, though, to give the plant time to establish.
Herbs are very easy to grow, and basil is one of the most popular. It is very frost-sensitive, so you should wait to plant until temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees. Basil also grows very well in containers. Just be sure to water regularly to keep it from drying out.