Gardening gives you the opportunity to get outdoors, enjoy the fresh air and experience the tranquility of your garden space. But it’s even more fun if you have consistently successful crops--healthy plants that produce generous quantities of fruits and vegetables. Providing the soil has adequate nutrients and the plants get six to 10 hours of sunlight, most vegetables are not difficult to grow.
A shorter time to harvest means you don’t have to care for the plants as long. Bush or snap beans can be harvested within 45 to 60 days after planting. Although some varieties of tomatoes take over 90 days to reach maturity, others, such as the early girl variety, require just over 50 days.
Harvest Before Maturity
Although carrots take 50 to 60 days to grow large, they can be harvested anytime after they are sturdy enough to pull up without the tops breaking off. Peas can also be consumed before they are fully mature. Pick them anytime after you see the pods are filled. Young peas are sweet tasting and delicious.
Some plants allow you the luxury of several harvests. Elongated squash, such as zucchini, are tastier when harvested before maturity. Pick them as soon as they reach 6 inches in length, and the plant will get to work producing more. The flavor of tender young leaf lettuce enhances any salad. Start cutting leaves when they reach 5 inches in height. More leaves will soon appear, and you can repeat the harvest. Kale is another vegetable that can be harvested again and again.
Gardening for Kids
For kids, easy to grow translates into vegetables that sprout quickly, mature quickly and almost always produce a successful crop. Radishes fall into this category, and they also make your gardening job easier because they help control pests that may damage nearby vegetable plants. Radishes can be harvested as early as 30 days after planting. Vegetables with larger seeds such as beans, peas and squash are also good for kids to start with because they are easier to plant.
With container gardening, you don’t have to till the soil, worry about installing an irrigation system or even leave your patio. Many vegetable varieties grow well in containers. Pole beans are easy to grow in a taller container. This allows you to use vertical space and tend the plants without having to kneel or bend over. Tomatoes and peppers are other good choices for containers because they both produce a large quantity per plant.
Melons Work Best
Watermelons and cantaloupe are easy to grow and spread quickly as long as you give them plenty of room and they get enough water during the hottest months. You may even see a stray watermelon plant growing on a spot where you dropped seeds from consumed melons.