If you are interested in growing your own veggies but are confused as to which ones you can actually handle growing, the best thing to do is to start producing a small assortment of crops that will offer the highest chance of success. In general, for newbie gardeners, it’s ideal to start with five different veggies instead of diving in and trying to grow ten different vegetables all at once. Here are four of the simplest veggies to grow for new gardeners:
1. Cherry Tomatoes
These are among the most rewarding veggies to grow in your backyard garden. For newbie gardeners, the Sweet Million variety is a great start because it’s resistant to various diseases. Cherry tomatoes are great for container gardens, but they need a trellis for their long vines. Plant your cherry tomatoes in a spot that gets much sunlight and protection from the rain.
2. Mesclun Mix
Mesclun is a Provencal word that means “mixture.” Mesclun, in gardening lingo, essentially means a combination of seeds that can be planted together to make a salad that features an array of textures, flavors, and colors. Gleaning from a popular garden center in Minnesota, the outcome is like one of those salad packages you can find in the grocery, but it is fresh from your garden. The most common mesclun mix features arugula, lettuce, and mustard greens. For your mescluns to flourish, you need to sow the seed thinly, around one seed for every square ½ inch. Plant a couple of seeds every week and then cut the grown leaves once they are ready for harvest.
Radishes are cool season veggies that need little room to grow quickly, which makes it perfect if you do not have that much gardening space. If you are not used to eating radishes, try the classic French preparation. Wash them thoroughly to get rid of the soil, slice them thinly, and serve them with butter and salt. You can also eat the leaves cooked, and they are a great alternative to spinach.
Who does not love eating kale nowadays? It is immensely nutritious, low-maintenance, and can grow higher than six feet in raised beds with the right soil. When choosing which kale variety to plant, pick one according to your season and climate. Siberian kale and Curly Scotch kale flourish in cold areas and are resistant to frost, while Lacinato or dinosaur kale grow well in hotter environments.
By selecting a small assortment of vegetables that are appropriate for your gardening environment and those that you actually love eating, you will be setting yourself up for gardening success. Aside from being very productive and low-maintenance, the veggies above are ideal for gardening in small spaces. To figure out which vegetables suit your region best, check out your local garden center, look at what your neighbors are growing in their own yards, and go to local markets. As you gain experience, you will be able to determine which vegetables will work perfectly for your season, microclimate, and overall gardening lifestyle.
former owner of a commercial landscaping service business. Retired at the age of 44 after selling his business. Tony spends his free time reading the paper and watching house flipping and real estate shows on the FYI Channel.