11 Easy Vegetables to Grow for Beginners

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Are you itching to have your own vegetable garden this summer? No matter what your experience is with growing and harvesting, the easy vegetables to grow on this list are practically no-fail and will make you look (and feel)  like a seasoned gardener.

Ah, fresh veggies – they’re so delicious. Vegetables just don’t get any more “fresh” than growing them yourself. However, many people don’t try growing their crops because they think their lack of green thumb or lack of growing experience makes them unable to produce delicious, fresh vegetables.

That changes today because I’m going to show you the top easy vegetables to grow for beginners. This list is almost fail-proof!

Note: almost all vegetables need a little bit of love and attention, so don’t expect just to watch them flourish on their own. However, this list of easy vegetables to grow will give you the best garden with the least amount of time and effort.

Ready to start your vegetable garden?


Close up photo of carrots tops poking out of the ground.

Top Easy Vegetables to Grow For the First Time Gardener

If you’re wanting to try your hand at growing vegetables, the task can seem daunting (at first). You may find yourself with all kinds of questions swirling around your brain: what should you plant? What is the easiest vegetable to grow? Where should you plant it?

No need for questions after today because I have the answers for you! Try growing these easy vegetables:


Bell Peppers & Hot Peppers

The first item on this list of easy vegetables for beginners to grow is incredibly easy. Peppers love heat and water. They need fertilizer once a month and some support once the peppers get bigger. But that’s about it.

To Harvest: Once your peppers have reached the color you want them to be, use scissors to cut them off of the plant. The longer they stay on, the more Vitamin C they will have and the sweeter they will be.

Learn More:

Jalapenos are one of our favorite peppers to grow every single year. We dedicate an entire raised bed to growing just jalapenos, and we can do all kinds of recipes using the peppers, and we eat every jar.

Jalapenos are not as spicy as people think, and they make excellent additions to many dishes. Check out this article about the Scoville rating of peppers and consider growing a few hot pepper plants your next gardening season – you might get as hooked as we are!


Harvest of bright red bell peppers in a wooden crate.
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Beets

Despite their larger size, beets are easy (and fast!) to grow in your garden. Plus, you can eat both the beet’s root and the leaves, so you get double the bang for your buck. Beets are wonderful when roasted and even bettered pickled!

To Harvest: It takes about 50-60 days for a beet to reach maturity. When you’re ready to dig them up, simply loosen the soil slightly and pull.

See: How to Grow Beets In Containers

Freshly picked beets on a white background.

Carrots

Carrots are an excellent vegetable to grow as a beginner because they are so easy to grow. Plant them in the ground (or a raised garden) and let them do their thing until fall. Plus, they can tolerate partial shade.  I always grow from pelleted seed for best results.   If you grow from regular seed, over-seed your growing area, and then thin once the carrots start to come up, this will guarantee a good yield. 

To Harvest: You’ll know they are ready to harvest when you see the very top of the carrot starting to poke up out of the ground.

See: How to Grow Carrots

Colorful carrots freshly pulled from the garden with tops snipped, on a bright white background.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers aren’t too fussy. Give them sunlight, water, warm temps, and support for their climbing stalks, and you’re likely to end up with enough cucumbers to give some away to friends and family. Due to their vertical growth, they make great container garden vegetables.

To Harvest: when your cucumbers are medium to dark green and firm to the touch, use scissors or garden shears to cut the cucumbers off the plant.


A pile of freshly picked pickling cucumbers.

 

Green Beans

Try growing green beans if you have a smaller space but want a substantial bounty! There are both pole and bush-style green beans—bush-style green beans do not require support, while pole green beans require staking. Wait to plant seeds until the ground temperature is over 48 degrees.

I love growing my pole beans on trellises with sweet pea flowers. It makes for a lovely presentation.

To Harvest: the more you pick green beans, the more green beans will grow. I recommend picking early in the morning—they will be sweeter then. You’ll know green beans are ready to pick when they snap easily.

See: How to grow Beans & How to freeze green beans for texture and flavor.


A bundle of fresh easy-to-grow green beans wrapped with string on a piece of burlap.

Lettuce

Lettuce is a favorite vegetable to grow for beginner gardeners because of how easy it is. It will even grow well in partly shady areas, making it perfect for areas that don’t quite get full sun exposure.

Also, it requires little space and can be grown in containers or as part of your flower garden.

To Harvest: lettuce is super easy to harvest. You can either pick leaves as desired or snip some off the top.

See: How to Grow Lettuce Indoors


A garden full of fresh easy to grow green lettuce in perfect rows.

Radishes

Radishes may not be everyone’s favorite vegetable to eat, but once you see how quickly they mature, they may become one of your favorite easy vegetables to grow.  R a great vegetable to plant in the garden with kids.  Since the radishes germinate quickly and grow even quicker.   Radishes are a great double-crop vegetable to grow in your garden. You can harvest and plant another go-around before the season sends.  

To Harvest: when you see the top portion of your radishes (about a half-inch across) peeking out from under the ground, they are ready to pull up. Simply grab it by the base of the greens and pull it straight up out of the earth.


Freshly picked bright red easy to grow radishes with tops on a rustic cutting board.

Spinach

Similar to growing lettuce, spinach is a great one to tackle when growing vegetables for beginners. It’s a cold-weather plant, so you can start it early in the spring and grow it most of the year in many climates. It can even tolerate partial shade.  

To Harvest: Start from the outside edges of the plant and work your way inward toward the center. Pinch off the leaves at the stem with a fingernail or cut the stems with a pair of scissors.


Bowls of freshly picked bright green spinach in wooden bowls a rustic white table top.

Squash

Most varieties of squash are straightforward to grow. I have tried growing yellow summer squash and butternut squash and was amazed at how well they grow and how much the plants produce.  I also always have a patch of Cinderella pumpkins in my garden because they are prolific and grow incredibly well in my short season.  

Squash plants do best in heat and full sun. Give them water regularly (daily during the hottest, driest part of the summer) and watch them take off.

Note: Squash plants are vines, so either give them room to creep along the ground or support them to grow on a trellis or a fence.

To Harvest: Twist them off the plant when they get the right color and the size you want. See our full guide on harvesting butternut squash.


A large butternut squash being picked from the vine.

Tomatoes

Inarguably one of the most popular vegetables to grow at home, tomatoes are easy enough that more and more beginners grow them yearly. With lots of sun and a decent amount of water, these plants tend to do their thing happily.

Want to make them even more manageable? Buy a starter plant (instead of planting seeds) and plant a basil plant next to your tomato plant. The basil will deter pests and, at the same time, make your homegrown tomatoes taste even more heavenly.  My gardening obsession started with my first tomato harvest. I couldn’t believe how many tomatoes I grew in my first year.    I canned fresh tomato sauce, pizza sauce, salsa, and even dehydrated cherry tomatoes (which are AMAZING).   

Note: Tomatoes can grow in hanging baskets, in the ground, or in containers. Support the stalks because once your tomatoes start growing, they can pull the trunk down and even break them.  

To Harvest: Pick ripe (red) tomatoes off your tomato plant. If you still have tomatoes growing when the first frost comes in the fall, pick ALL your tomatoes and let them ripen inside on a window sill.   Or make a green tomato relish!  

Related:


Bright red tomatoes still growing on the vine.

Zucchini

The first time I grew zucchini, I was amazed at how much zucchini one plant produced! Unless you love zucchini and want to eat bucket loads of it for weeks, one plant is probably all you’ll need. They love water and warm weather. I have had great luck planting them in hot areas like rock beds.

Note: zucchini keep growing until you pick them off the plant, and they can get very large.

To Harvest: Zucchini is ready to harvest when they reach your desired size. Simply twist them off the plant, and you’re good to go.

Learn More: Zucchinis grow very well with companion plants, and some companions can help deter pests. See our list of the best companion plants for zucchini before you plant this spring.

Did you know that you can grow zucchini in containers on your patio? You can check out the step-by-step guide.


A pile of fresh, easy to grow zucchini.

 

 

Conclusion: Easy Vegetables to Grow

That’s it! These 11 easy vegetables to grow for the first-time gardener will have you well on your way to successfully growing your vegetable garden!

Grab a cute starter gardening set like this, and get ready to have a fantastic harvest!


More Vegetable Gardening Resources


A gardeners hand filled with easy to grow vegetables like beets and carrots.

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