11 Easiest Vegetables to Grow for Beginners and Brown Thumbs

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Whether you’re newbie gardener, have a brown thumb, are super busy, or just simply want to have an easier time gardening this year, this list of the easiest vegetables to grow is surely going to be your best friend.

collage of cherry tomatoes and carrots

As for me, I fit all of the above.

  • I’ve gardened some, but still consider myself to be a beginner.
  • I have a brownish-green, or greenish brown thumb
  • I am uber busy, and
  • I don’t enjoy gardening to the point that I want to be doing it for hours a day.

Perhaps you chronically ill (as I was) and if so, you for sure need easy everything. Regardless of what your situation is, I hope this post is a big help for you.

Gardening is a great way to have healthier food for you and your family (you know what went into and on your food), but it can be tough to overcome these challenges.

But never fear–with these 11 easy to grow vegetables, you can now add easy gardening to your easy health living journey.

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Easiest Vegetables to Grow

Some vegetables require two green thumbs in addition to eight green fingers. Everyone has different opinions on what the easiest vegetables to grow are, but the following vegetables are typically at the top of the list.

Be aware that no plant is a set it and forget it option. You’ll need to choose a good spot for your garden, prepare your bed, and water regularly, of course.

However, if you choose from the following list, chances are you’ll have a bigger harvest easier than you ever expected.

Salad Greens

Lettuce and other salad greens are one of the easiest vegetables to grow for any gardener. Greens grow quickly, they’re easy to harvest, and they do well in partial shade, which means you don’t have to be so picky about your spot.

Salad greens are so easy to grow, in fact, that you can even plant them in containers. Also, most greens are more pest resistant than other crops and some, like lettuce, are rarely bothered by them at all. When planted in partial shade, greens can remain hardy and productive from spring all the way through the fall.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are not only one of the easiest vegetables to grow, but they’re also one of the most popular. With varieties that range from tiny plum tomatoes to absolutely gargantuan sandwich varieties, there’s a tomato for every taste, and every one of them is easy to grow.

Tomatoes need three things, all of which are easy to give them: sunlight, heat, and food. Tomatoes thrive in hot, sunny areas as long as you give them plenty of water and rich soil. They are also absolutely voracious eaters, leeching nutrients from the ground like a sponge, so you’ll fertilize them at least a couple of times during the growing season.

Other than that, just put a tomato cage around your new plants, and let them do their thing.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a love letter to beginning gardeners. One of the easiest vegetables to grow, they thrive in the heat and direct sunlight and rich soil with lots of water. They also love a trellis to climb, which increases production. They can grow so fast that you’ll be swimming in cucumbers in no time and will have to make pickles or give them away.

Carrots

Carrots make an excellent crop for beginning gardeners (and their kids). The only trick to carrots is they take a while to germinate (up to 2 weeks or more, depending on the temperature) and you can’t let them dry out during that time.

Your climate and weather will determine how often you need to water.  You may need to water them 1-2 times a day till they sprout. Lightly cover the ground with shade cloth to help keep them moist. After they sprout, you’re good to go! 

Carrots are a cool weather crop that can’t take the heat.  The roots get bitter and tough once summer heat hits or if your spring weather alternates hot, cold, hot, cold, hot. So plant accordingly.  In some warmer areas it’s best to plant carrots for your fall garden for best results. 

Otherwise, carrots are hardy, do well in sun or partial shade, and are fun to watch grow. In order for your carrots to grow to full size, you’ll want to plant them in a raised bed garden or in loose rock free soil so their roots can grow deep.

Carrots do require thinning, which is a bit tedious, but not hard. Plus, you can actually enjoy the older thinnings as true baby carrots. In case you didn’t know, store bought baby carrots are actually not baby carrots at all! They’re really just sculpted carrots from fully matured malformed roots. 

Radishes & Other Root Vegetables

Radishes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow because they are practically indestructible. From the richest soil to red dirt clay, radishes can grow just about anywhere.

Of course, you don’t want them to work that hard, so plant them in your garden’s rich soil, water them when needed, and in 20-30 days after they get their first set of true leaves, you’ll have radishes!

Beans

If tomatoes are the easiest vegetables to grow, beans are a close second. For me, beans are one of the easiest things I have ever grown. They are hardy, come in hundreds of varieties, and grow easily from seed.

You don’t even need to start seeds indoors to get your beans going. Just sow them along their furrow according to the package directions, in a sunny, well-drained area, and you’ll have beans in no time.

Summer Squash

Zucchini and other summer squash are also among the easiest vegetables to grow since they are prolific and easy to grow straight from seed.

Just sow these in mounds a bit later than your other plants since they like warmer soil. They’re also heavy drinkers, so be sure to water regularly.

One down side–Squash is prone to more pests than many other crops. Pests like squash bugs and vine borers can destroy your whole crop (they’ve done it to mine!), but they produce  so much fruit so easily it’s worth the risk.

Just know what the bugs that usually bother squash look like and keep an eye out for any leaf drooping or discoloration.  If you see problems and catch them quickly, you’ll never even notice a pest has been there! 

Varieties like Lemon Squash are more resistant to pests. We used to grow Yellow Crookneck, but after growing Lemon Squash and seeing how much less pests we had to deal with I’ll never go back to the Crookneck! So keep your eyes open for pest resistant varieties.

Potatoes

An almost plant and forget vegetable, potatoes are a breeze to grow and fun to harvest.

As the tubers expand and grow they will poke out of the ground. Keep them covered, since if sunlight gets on your new potato it will start turning green–wanting to grow a new plant itself.

To cover-just dump dirt or mulch right on top of the plant to cover the ground and keep them shaded as they grow.  Make sure you leave some of the stem and leaves sticking out but don’t worry if you cover a lot of the plant.  In fact, covering the stem triggers it to grow roots where the dirt is touching. More roots=more potatoes!!! 

If you plant potatoes in a mulched bed, the mulch will lift with the potatoes as they grow. This helps keep the new tubers in the dark better than planting in soil alone.  

Another huge bonus of potatoes is how easy they are to plant. You can find all kinds of ways to plant potatoes online, from planting them in a shallow hole and then mounding soil around them to planting them in garbage bags or buckets.

However, the easiest way is to simply lay a tire on the ground, fill the space inside with good, rich dirt and then plant your potatoes. When it’s time to harvest, just pick up the tire and the dirt falls, leaving you with simply potatoes!

Peas

Peas are one of the easiest vegetables to grow for two reasons. For one, they grow easily from seed, and they mainly just need a trellis to climb and water to make lots and LOTS of peas. Another big plus is that they can be grown in partial shade.

Peas are prolific producers, but they don’t love the intense heat of deep summer. Planting them in a spot that gets around 4 to 6 hours of direct sun a day and then partial shade for the remainder of the day will help keep them viable later into the season.

Bonus–you can even eat the leaves which happen to taste–like peas!

Garlic

Dig. Plop. Cover. Dig.

It doesn’t get much easier than that, and that’s just about the reality of how easy it is to grow garlic. Of course, you need to make sure you water it and fertilize every so often, but it really is one of the easiest vegetables to grow for anyone. You don’t even have to worry about pests with this plant.

Hot Pepper

Hot peppers are the succulents of the gardening world. In fact, one of the recommendations for truly tasty, TRULY hot peppers is to literally neglect them.

These are one of the easiest vegetables to grow because they just need to be planted and harvested. That’s it. They are rarely bothered by pests, and the meaner you are to them, the meaner the heat (which makes sense, when you think about it.)

Herbs

Herbs make the list of easiest vegetables to grow because you actually should water them less than most plants, and the more you harvest them, the fuller they grow.

Almost every herb out there, from basil to parsley, grows well and grows easily in full sun. What’s more, you can save space in your garden, because herbs do incredibly well in pots. If you forget to water them for a while, that’s okay–that only tends to concentrate their flavor.

Herbs will also help your other plants. They encourage beneficial  insects and pollinators and deter problematic pests! 

Get Growing with These Easiest Vegetables to Grow

If you’ve always wanted a garden, but you were afraid of all the care that vegetables need, then these are the plants for you. These are the easiest vegetables to grow for beginning or otherwise challenged gardeners, and chances are your family likes most of them.

These veggies are easy to plant, easy to care for, and easy to harvest. With so many “easy’s” in that last sentence, why not just get started on your easiest garden ever for more easy healthy living.

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6 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips. We really want to grow some veggies this year. What kind of fertilizer do you use?

    1. You are so welcome! So this last year I tried a really interesting line, but their site is really hard to navigate and the products are very confusing. I’ll see if I can sort it out and share – this year I would like to get some things from this company. I really like the quality of what I have researched and they have some solid looking products. LMK what you think: https://omicaorganics.com/product-category/agriculture/?ref=WholeNewMom (affiliate link)

        1. Hi there – do you mean all of the products? If so, each product is labeled organic that is organic. Some of them can’t be since they don’t fall under the rubric of of what can be labeled “organic”.