Easy Vegetables to Grow for the Beginner Gardener

February 05, 2019

Easy Vegetables to Grow for the Beginner Gardener

One of the biggest goals we have is to become food independent or to grow all our own food. Obviously it will take years for us to accomplish but it is our biggest bill in our family of four so it will be well worth the work to become food independent.

We have been vegetable gardening for a few years and have learned a lot about which vegetables are easier and more difficult to grow in our Canadian Plant Hardiness Zone 5a (which is around 4a on the US map). But I wouldn't say that I am any kind of Master Gardener or expert with a green thumb. Like any other gardener out there, we still have plants that die because we are still learning.

Some vegetables just seem much easier to grow than others and I've listed them here!


Easy Vegetables to Grow for the Beginner Gardener

Green Beans

Green bush beans are so simple to grow and do well when direct sown. Pole beans are also easy to grow but they require a trellis to climb so you will need to have that available for them. They are both quite prolific and will continue to grow beans for the season and I have never had any issues with pests.

You can grow your standard Green Beans but there is a variety called Royal Burgundy that grow to be a beautiful dark purple bean and they turn green while cooking! I also love that when these begin to grow, they create a beautiful lush canopy that starves potential weeds of sunlight!

GROWS WELL WITH | Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Celery, Swiss Chard, Corn, Eggplant, Kale, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes and Strawberries


Easy Vegetables to Grow for the Beginner Gardener

Zucchini

The first year I planted Zucchini, I planted twice as many plants as I needed! They did so well, our tummies began to turn after eating so much zucchini! 

Zucchinis grow quite well when direct sown and grow delicious large blossoms that are also edible, (Stuffed Squash Blossoms anyone?) but if you eat the flower, you'll be eating any potential fruit from that blossom. 

They are easy to grow but if you feel like there isn't an abundance of pollinators, you may want to hand pollinate the female blossoms with the male blossom pollen which is quite easy to do. 

GROWS WELL WITH | Beans, Corn, Garlic, Peas, Radishes, Spinach, Borage, Dill, Oregano, Marigolds, Nasturtiums

Easy Vegetables to Grow for the Beginner Gardener

Cut Lettuce

Varieties of lettuce that you can cut for salad and leave the remaining plant to grow are a great beginner vegetable! Choose a mix of leafy greens to add some colour to your plate and come back to it often to thin out the plant so it doesn't over grow.

Because lettuce is a cold season vegetable, it can be one of the first things to grow in the spring and again in the fall if your season is long enough.

If there is a risk of frost when you have planted your lettuce seeds, don't fret! Cover them with sheet of plastic or an empty milk jug with the bottom removed to create a tiny green house.

GROWS WELL WITH | Beans, beats, Broccoli, Carrots, Corn, Onions, Peas, Radish, Mint, Strawberries, Marigolds

Easy Vegetables to Grow for the Beginner Gardener

Tomatoes

Homegrown tomatoes don't compare to those grown for the grocery store and they are quite easy to care for but just like peppers, they will require growing indoors 4 to 6 weeks before your last frost date to ensure they have enough time to grow and produce fruit before the end of the season or you can get yourself some starters from your local nursery.

Be sure that the risk of frost has passed before transplanting your tomato plants outside as they love the heat but hate the cold. You'll also want to keep the plants from drying out or getting too much water. Keeping them evenly watered will prevent end blossom rot and cracks in the sides of your tomatoes.

GROWS WELL WITH | Asparagus, Carrots, Celery, Chives, Garlic, Spinach, Onion, Basil, Borage, Parsley, Marigolds

Easy Vegetables to Grow for the Beginner Gardener

Cucumbers

Cucumbers can be planted inside three weeks before the last frost date or directly sown into the garden. I much prefer to direct sow my cucumbers to limit the probability of killing the plants due to human error.

You can grow standard cucumbers to enjoy on a salad but we love to grow pickling cucumbers to preserve pickles! Cucumbers grow like a vine so you will need some sort of trellis and to encourage them to grow on it by tying the plant with some cotton twine.

GROWS WELL WITH | Beans, Celery, Corn, Lettuce, Peas, Radish, Dill, Marigold, Nasturtiums


Easy Vegetables to Grow for the Beginner Gardener

Peppers

In our zone, peppers need to be started indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date to ensure they have a long enough growing season to produce peppers but generally, they are quite easy to grow. Be sure to harden off your peppers gently and transplant after the chance of frost has passed.

I love growing jalapeno and cayenne peppers along with the standard green peppers so I am able to can my own salsa!

GROWS WELL WITH | Eggplant, Marigold

There are many other easy vegetables to grow out there but these seem to always do great! If you are a beginner gardener, find me on Instagram. I really love to connect with our readers and would love to see how your garden grows!



Easy Vegetables to Grow for the Beginner Gardener

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