When looking for easy vegetables to grow in a garden, choose low-maintenance crops that are well-known for their less challenging growth habits. Consider whether or not your vegetable selection is usable and balanced. If you want to begin a vegetable garden for salads straight out of the garden, planting only tomatoes and onions will not provide you with everything you need. Choose from a hefty list of options according to your desires.
Easy Vegetable Options
Easy vegetables to grow in a garden are especially well-suited to beginner gardeners. Less challenging options include asparagus, peppers, bush beans, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, leaf lettuce, New Zealand spinach, onions, leeks, beets, summer squash and sweet potatoes, according to the Ohio State University Extension. If ease of growth means high productivity to you, plant beets, tomatoes and summer squash. If ease also has to do with limited space, grow vegetables used for tubers, roots and bulbs, like beets.
Choosing vegetables to grow in a garden means exposing your plants to the risk of pests and diseases. For greater ease, choose disease-resistant cultivars that either have natural disease resistance or that have been hybridized for such a purpose. Though disease-resistant does not mean plants will not become ill, it means they are less vulnerable to attack than other varieties, according to the Ohio State University Extension. Research common diseases in your region to determine the best vegetable options for your garden with the least potential for problems.
While you may purchase seeds for your easy-to-grow vegetable garden at local stores, making a selection from garden catalogs provides you with an exceptionally greater number of options; with a catalog you have the time to browse and truly think about your purchase. Along with catalog ordering comes the use of abbreviations that explain aspects like whether the vegetable is a hybrid, what the growth habit is like and what type of disease resistance the vegetable exhibits. Trustworthy catalogs provide readers with a glossary of abbreviations and their meanings, so familiarize yourself for ease of purchasing. For example, N means "resistant to nematodes" and (F1) means "the plant is a first generation hybrid," according to the Ohio State University Extension.
Hybrids and Heirlooms
Understand the difference between hybrids and heirlooms to make the selection process less challenging. Hybrid vegetable crops are those that have been altered through careful cross-breeding of different varieties for the purpose of developing crops with better taste, bolder color or higher resistance to particular diseases. Heirloom vegetables, on the other hand, have lesser availability as they come directly from older generations of vegetables without manipulation. The benefit of heirloom vegetables is that they are often naturally adapted to their region's environment, according to the Ohio State University Extension. Make your choice based on personal preference.
Cool and Warm Season Crops
Cool-season and warm-season crops are defined based on their ability to withstand particular temperature ranges. Cool-season crops include vegetables that can withstand frost or those that cannot withstand frost but must remain in temperatures under 70 degrees F and grow during the spring and fall seasons' cooler temperature ranges. Warm-season crops cannot withstand frost and should be grown in temperatures above 50 degrees F, according to the Ohio State University Extension. Cool-season crops include asparagus, leeks, onions, carrots, lettuce, beets and cabbage. Warm-season crops include New Zealand spinach, pepper, tomatoes and squash.