The Best Veggies, Fruits, and Herbs to Grow as a Beginner

hands holding a mound of dirt with a sprout in it

Starting your own produce garden is a great way to save cash on groceries and help with any social distancing efforts that you and your family might be attempting. It can also be a fun and relaxing hobby — not to mention a nice excuse to get some good old vitamin D.

But benefits aside, gardening isn’t always easy. Not everyone has a green thumb (me included!), and it often takes a good amount of time and patience before you see the fruits of your labor. 

Fortunately, not all produce is like that — and there are actually some super beginner-friendly fruits and veggies you can use to get your gardening feet wet.

Are you looking to grow your own vegetables, fruit, or herbs at home? If you’re a newbie, here are the ones you’ll want to start with:

Lettuce

There’s no going wrong with lettuce. It’s easy to grow, it shoots up fast, and all you need is a pair of scissors, and harvesting is a breeze. There are also tons of types to choose from, and you can mix and match them as desired. This can give you a nice, varied mix for that next side salad.

Tomatoes 

Tomatoes are one of the easiest options you can start with. They grow in pots, baskets, or virtually any container, and as long as they get plenty of sun, you’re golden. Though you can certainly start them from seeds, your best bet the first time around is a small starter plant. (These are usually readily available at any home improvement or gardening store).

Radishes

If you’re looking for fast results, then radishes are your answer. These babies can be ready to harvest in as little as a month. They’re good for any time of year, too — hot, cold, or temperate, and they can even let you know if your soil needs work. If they start growing roots but no actual radishes form, then your soil needs more nutrients. Take it as an indication that more fertilizer or compost is needed.

Green onions

Green onions are extremely fast-growing, and they’ll stick around for months, sometimes even years to come. If you’re starting from seeds, you can usually see your first harvest in just a month or two. Once snipped, they start to grow back almost immediately. It’s the gift that just keeps giving.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers — particularly the bush variety — are another easy one. You can plant them in a pot or long container, as long as there’s a trellis or some sort of wire to climb. They’ll need regular waterings, but other than that, there’s not much else you need to do. Just make sure you plant in warmer conditions (think 70s or above). 

Peppers

Add some spice to your life by planting a few peppers — bell peppers, jalapenos, serranos, or whatever you prefer. There are tons of choices to choose from, and they don’t require much care or upkeep either. To start, plant them in an indoor container and let the seeds germinate for about six weeks. Once they begin to sprout, you can plant them in your outdoor garden or move the container outside.

Beans and peas

These are an easy option to start with (plus kids usually like them, too!) Just make sure if you choose the pole variety that you get a trellis or some chicken wire for them to climb. You’ll ideally want to plant them in spring, before the soil gets too warm. Snap peas are a good choice for your first go-around.

Zucchini and squash

It doesn’t get easier than squash. In fact, if you plant these veggies, you’ll probably end up with way more than you could ever consume (or turn into zucchini bread). To prevent this, start small. Plant only a couple of seeds, and keep it moist. Once they start to grow, you’ll need to harvest often, as squash can grow exponentially in just a few days.

Basil

Want some herbs to freshen up your plate? Basil is a good one to start off with. You can plant these in small pots or containers, and they grow in as little as three or four weeks. Once they reach about a foot in height, start harvesting the leaves by clipping from the bottom up. They’ll grow back faster (and fuller) than ever.

Trying your hand at an at-home garden?

Starting your own produce garden can be a smart way to save money and steer clear of the germ-ridden grocery store. With a little time and patience, you should be more than happy with what you’re able to grow.

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By Aly Yale / July 29th, 2020 / Categories: , / Tags: , , , ,

Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate writer based in Houston. Connect with her at AlyJYale.com or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.