It isn't the planting, it's the growing that stymies the novice gardener. If you're planting your first garden, there are many reasons to turn to easy-to-grow crops. Not only are you more likely to catch the gardening bug if your initial endeavor yields success, but some of the veggies easiest to grow also offer some of the greatest health benefits. Those leafy green vegetables, root crops and fun-to-watch-sprout pole beans are low in calories and carbohydrates but high in vitamins and minerals.
Early to start and quick to mature, radishes require little gardening effort. They do well in a variety of soil conditions and relatively cool temperatures. Sow the seeds at staggered intervals from spring to fall to assure a continuous vegetable supply. Thin them to prevent crowding.
Although head lettuce can be among the most difficult vegetables to grow, loose leaf lettuces like romaine, bib and red-tip are easy to grow. They grow well in cooler, spring weather and are quite compatible with radishes and cucumbers as growing mates. If you intend to plant in the summer, choose a garden spot that is likely to be shielded by strong sun by accompanying plants.
Both bush beans and pole beans are easy and fun to grow. Setting up stakes to support pole beans assures a Jack-and-the-beanstalk look that is particularly popular with young gardeners. Plant both varieties from seed 1 inch into dampened soil, spacing seeds 4 inches apart. Beans like warm weather. To ensure a continuous crop, plant additional rows as your first beans sprout leaves.
Thinning as they sprout and keeping ahead of the weeds is the minimal care required to bring a good harvest of spinach to the table. Like leaf lettuce, spinach prefers cooler temps. A great feature about spinach is that you can pull and eat individual leaves from the plant without affecting the overall plant's growth.
Both the leaves and root of the beet plant are full of tasty nutrients. Plant in well-drained soil in cooler temps. To help the seeds germinate, soak them overnight and then plant ½ inch deep, 10 inches apart. Expect mature plants in about nine weeks.