Easy Vegetables for the Beginner Gardener

January 16, 2018

As a Rustic Minimalist, I am all about making things easy to accomplish and simplifying my life. So when I decided to start this homesteading journey, and my first vegetable garden in eastern Canada, I choose the simplest vegetable plants to grow, and most of these we already eat weekly in our home.

If you haven't already read my horribly hilarious gardening fails, check that out. I also have complied of gardening tips for beginners, all of which I learned the hard way, but these vegetables all do very well, don't require a lot of effort or hard work to grow and are staples in the kitchen!

BEANS | There are two main varieties of beans to grow and depending where you live, you can plant two crops in a season. Bush Beans grow in a bush about 12 inches high and are an easy as sowing and watering but they take up precious real estate in the garden. There are also Pole Beans which are just as easy to grow but they need an apparatus to climb so if you have the skills to whip together a trellis with some string, I recommend Pole Beans! Beans are also great to seed save from and add to a seed bank to plant for years to come!

LETTUCE | I have had lots of success growing cut lettuce in cooler weeks of the beginning and the end of the season. Cut lettuce varieties are fantastic to grow inside as well because they don't require a lot of sunlight and they come in a selection of different colours for fun salads!

ZUCCHINI | Although I have had my own interesting experiences with growing zucchini, they are surprisingly each to grow and are quite productive throughout the season. They may require hand pollination if there aren't a lot of pollinators in your garden, however. Hand Pollination involves taking the pollen from the male blossoms on a cotton swab and placing it on the female blossoms.

PEAS | Growing Peas are very similar to Pole Beans but don't require as tall of a trellis and they are amazing to eat fresh from the garden. You haven't had peas until you have had garden fresh peas, they taste much sweeter that what you will find in the grocery store.

Follow me on Instagram to watch my garden grow!
CUCUMBERS | Although these are another squash in the list, they are a great vegetable that can be eaten as a snack and are a staple in our home. We also grow the smaller variety to make pickles with. Cucumbers are a vine vegetable, so to save real estate in your garden for more vegetables, consider training these to grow on a trellis.

PUMPKINS | Okay, so these are another squash plant but they are so fun to grow if you have lots of room for vines. There are also smaller varieties like gourds and pie pumpkins and they can even be trained to grow up a trellis! I wish I had a photo of our pumpkin trellis but life happens and I forgot, but it can really be done!

TOMATOES | Growing your own tomatoes requires a little bit more care and attention to ensure pests, birds and diseases don't ruin your crop but, they are fairly resilient. They will also be bigger, more productive plants if you give them a head start and grow them inside. They are great for sandwiches, homemade salsa (which is the only way we eat them) or in a tomato sauce for pasta dishes.

PEPPERS | In our zone located in eastern Canada, we need to start peppers inside 8 weeks before the last frost date because our season isn't as hot or long as they need to be but it is totally worth it! Pests usually don't mess with pepper plants which is why I put them on the list! However, be carefully when hardening off your plants before putting in the garden.

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