What can you grow in a garden for beginners?

You don’t need a green thumb to grow a bounty of fresh vegetables right in your backyard or balcony. Whether you’re a gardening novice or just want to start a vegetable garden with the least amount of time and effort, here are the top almost foolproof vegetables to grow.

Most of the gardening sites around the web agree on which vegetables are best for beginner gardeners. Several of the ones listed here are also ones that I, notorious plant murderer, have also managed to grow, despite my inconsistent care and not-so-sunny plot of land.

You can’t just dump these plants in the ground and walk away hoping they’ll flourish, but, depending on your space, these are the most likely to thrive plants for your edible garden. (I highly recommend previously mentioned Smart Gardener for choosing the best locations for these vegetables, getting gardening reminders, and more.)

Grow a Simple Salad

Good news! Some of the least fussy vegetables are ones that are perfect for an instant salad.

Lettuce and Other Salad Greens

Lettuce grows quickly, is really easy to harvest (just snip the tops off the plants or pick leaves as needed), and takes up very little space. They can even grown in containers, perhaps accompanied by flowers or tucked under taller plants. I’ve had success directly seeding them even in partly shady areas. Here’s more information from Mother News.

Tomatoes

Possibly the most popular vegetable for any size garden, you can grow tomatoes in hanging baskets or other containers or anywhere they’ll get lots of sun and have support for their stalks. Starter plants from the garden center are the easiest to grow. Treehugger recommends the smaller varieties of tomatoes, such as cherry tomatoes:

 

If you plant basil next to the tomato plants, you’ll naturally repel pests and even improve the flavor of the tomatoes—and, luckily enough, like other herbs, basil is simple to grow as well.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers like sunlight and warm temperatures, as well as support for climbing. (Thanks to their vertical growth, cukes do well in containers.) Once you give them these and water them regularly, they grow almost like weeds. You’ll probably have enough cucumbers to donate to your neighbors. The National Gardening Association says bush (rather than vine) cucumbers are best for containers or small spaces and have good disease resistance.

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