Growing vegetables in the home garden provides fresh, nutritious foods bursting with flavor. For Americans with busy schedules, finding time for gardening poses a challenge. Choosing easy-to-grow vegetables for the garden reduces the time needed for gardening while still supplying the family with fresh vegetables for the table.
Radishes germinate quickly and grow rapidly, producing fresh, young radishes in 21 to 28 days. Plant radishes in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Plant to depth of 1/8 inch and cover lightly with soil. Water to keep moist until seedlings emerge. Harvest as soon as the root has formed. Radishes get woody and develop a strong flavor as they mature.
Snap or bush beans germinate within a week and produce fruit in 55 to 65 days. Plant to a depth of 1 inch, spaced 4 inches apart. Keep soil moist until beans germinate. Water once a week to moisten the soil to a depth of 4 inches. Harvest when pods reach a length of 4 to 6 inches, before the beans have fully formed in the pod.
Plant peas in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked. These hardy plants tolerate frost and prefer cool soil. Shoots appear in 5 to 7 days and the young plants grow rapidly. Provide weekly deep watering to keep roots moist. Peas produce 4-to-6-inch pods within 60 days, making these a favorite among gardeners. Harvest when pods are plump.
Tomato seedlings, purchased at the nursery and transplanted to the garden once the danger of frost has passed in the spring, give you a head start on summer. Choose determinate varieties, as these easy-to-grow tomato plants grow to a specific height and cease growing. Determinate tomatoes do not require staking or caging and produce an abundance of plump ripe tomatoes all at once in mid to late summer.
Fresh salad greens planted in early spring provide the makings for fresh summer salads. Plant to a depth of 1/8 to ¼ inch and cover with soil. Water to moisten the soil and keep moist until seedlings emerge. Look for mixed seeds packaged to grow a selection of greens like lettuce and spinach for easy-to-care-for salad fixings.