Easy Vegetable Plants

Growing your own vegetables is healthy and thrifty, and the vegetables are fresh and tasty. Gardening is also creative, mentally stimulating and provides exercise. But planting your garden for the first time can be confusing and intimidating. You may have heard that you need vast knowledge, skill and a green thumb to pull it off. That's just not so. Many vegetables are easy to grow and planting them requires no expertise at all. If you start with some of these, you'll look like a pro the very first time you plant a garden.

Easy Root Crop Vegetables

Radishes: This small root vegetable is not only easy to grow, it also matures extremely quickly. This makes it a good candidate for succession planting so that you get several harvests during one growing season. Carrots: Carrots are one of the easiest vegetables for beginning gardeners. You do need to remember that the tiny seeds need to stay damp while they're trying to germinate. Carrots also take a long time to germinate compared with other vegetables. When you grow your own, you have many options of carrots from which to choose. They come in colors that most people have never seen, including purple, white, yellow, red and black. Potatoes: Potatoes are an ideal vegetable to grow because the plants are easy to care for and the tubers are fun to harvest, which makes digging for the potatoes a perfect job for the kids. Potatoes are also a good choice for long-term storage during the winter months.

Easy Fruiting Vegetables

Tomatoes: No wonder everyone has tomatoes in their vegetable gardens; there's nothing to it. Of course, you'll have to cage or stake them, but even if you don't know any tomato-growing tricks, they'll come anyway. They also grow quite well in containers as long as you water them. Cucumbers: You can grow slicing cucumbers or their smaller pickling cousins. You can grow them sprawling on the ground or beautifully up a trellis. Any way you like them, you'll harvest cucumbers by the armfuls. Green beans: Green beans come in two basic types: bush beans or runner beans (there's also semi-runners). The bush types require no staking, which makes them even easier than their vining cousins. But, you'll find that as long as you toss up some sort of support, the climbers are just as easy. Peas: Peas are just like the runner green beans, but they prefer cooler weather and the green beans like the heat. Peppers: Peppers come in some brilliant colors that many people never get to see. Try growing some orange, lavender or purple bell peppers. There are chili peppers out there that run all the degrees between mild to hot. All of them require nothing special to grow--just good soil, sunshine and watering.

Easy Leafy Vegetables

Lettuce: Lettuces aren't picky, they just prefer cooler weather. There are many varieties with different textures, colors and flavors that'll make harvesting salad out of your yard one of your greatest pleasures. Swiss Chard: This leafy vegetable is simple to grow, tasty, nutritional and stunning in the garden. "Bright Lights" is especially ornamental. Kale: This cabbage family member is exceptionally hardy even under snow. It's another handsome vegetable with good flavor and excellent nutritional value.

Keywords: easy vegetable plants, first garden, simple vegetables

About this Author

Chris McLaughlin has been gardening for over 30 years and is a Master Gardener in the San Francisco Bay Area. She's on staff as a blogger for Vegetable Gardener.com, a contributor to Fine Gardening.com, and the San Francisco Gardening Examiner at Examiner.com. She's written for magazines such as The Herb Companion and Urban Farm, and just finished her book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting.