Beginning gardeners who choose their seeds carefully can enjoy a successful vegetable garden in their first season. Plant seeds at the recommended time of year for your community, and provide seeds with adequate water and sunlight to enjoy a vegetable garden.
Lettuce is easy to sow from seed and typically requires very shallow planting, or sowing directly into the soil. Gardeners can plant head lettuce or grow leaf lettuce or mesclun-mix seeds. A spring and fall crop, lettuce prefers daily temperatures in the 60 and 70 degree F range and dislikes hot weather. Once the seeds germinate, water lettuce lightly but frequently.
Radish grows quickly and easily from seed. It can be planted in the spring and fall. Available in white, purple and pink colors, radish adds a zesty flavor to salads and other dishes. The University of Illinois recommends French breakfast radish for areas with hot summer weather. Sow radish seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep, and then thin the seedlings to 2 inches apart when they grow.
Both English peas and sugar peas grow well from seed and are planted as a cool-season vegetable. Many pea varieties enjoy cool, moist weather and dislike heat, though heat-tolerant varieties can be planted in summer for fall harvest. Plant peas 1/2 to 1 inch deep and space seeds 1 inch apart. Provide peas with a trellis so they can properly grow.
Tomato plants grow readily from seed, although gardeners should start the seed indoors one month before frost danger passes to get the plants off to a good start. Sow tomato seeds in a seed starter, and then provide with water and allow them to germinate. Separate seedlings when they have two sets of leaves, repotting each seedling in its own 4-inch pot. Transplant the seedlings into the garden when frost danger has passed, planting tomatoes 15 to 24 inches apart.