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Idiot-proof plants

 
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Hello everyone,

I am a new gardener living in the Midwest. I am slowly fumbling around trying to start a garden and I was hoping for some advice. I've read a couple books, have been poking around the forums, etc.

What plants should I grow that are resilient and hard to screw up? What's the simplest possible first step to take? Where should I start?

Peaceably,
Francis

 
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Welcome to the forums and the world of gardening.

For me, I found that beans and lettuce are easy.  For beans, I usually just use the ones I bought at the grocery store in the dry bean section.

The best advice I can give is to plant what you like. If it doesn't work then you have learned something.

Some folks like starting things indoors, this doesn't work for me.  I have the best success planting in the garden at the right time.

Just remember to follow the directions on the seed packet, give plants sun and water.
 
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Hi Francis, in my part of the midwest with sandyish soils, the no brainer stuff is:

Annuals:
beans, kale, snap peas, cabbage, potatoes, garlic, onions (from starts, not sets or seed), butternut squash, zucchini, red orach and non-bell peppers

Perennials:
raspberries, strawberries, honeyberries, asparagus, apples, oregano and sorrel
 
gardener
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For me, corn, okra, & tomatoes have been easy annuals. Basil, mints, parsley, and rosemary for herbs; and asparagus as a perennial. In my climate, greens like kale & chard are biennial; and give me fresh greens all year; while spinach & collards are easy, cold-season crops. Malabar spinach is an annual green that will produce all summer long and reseed by itself. This year I've started artichokes from seed, and they've been easy so far, but they're only a couple of months old.
I've historically had trouble getting beans & peas to produce. This year I'm trying a lot of different types of beans to hopefully find something that will do well for me.

But I agree with Anne's comment. Start with the stuff you like to eat. Also, it's all a learning experience, so don't get discouraged if you don't have immediate success with a certain crop. If something doesn't do well, it's always worth it to make notes & try it again using different variables. A lot of times, it's just a matter of finding the right conditions in your environment.
 
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From my perspective, a sure sign that a plant is easy to grow is when people complain about it being invasive. In my area (Great Lake Region), mint is probably one of the easiest plants to grow.  
 
Francis Sojun
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Wow, thanks for the replies everyone! I will come back to this page throughout the growing season for reference.
 
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I'm coming from the North East, with exactly the same question.  Got some decent ideas here.  Thanks all!
 
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Location: Treasure Coast, Fl
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Francis Sojun wrote:Hello everyone,

I am a new gardener living in the Midwest. I am slowly fumbling around trying to start a garden and I was hoping for some advice. I've read a couple books, have been poking around the forums, etc.

What plants should I grow that are resilient and hard to screw up? What's the simplest possible first step to take? Where should I start?

Peaceably,
Francis



Hi France, Welcome! if you like youtube videos i recommend MIGardener channel, he might be in your area/zone? and I highly recommend sunchokes. and cut and come again greens.
 
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Potatoes are the easiest things for me.  Put them on soil and cover them with something, soil, wood chips, straw, anything.  If you lay a potato on your kitchen floor, it will grow sprouts right?  Give it any chance at all and it will grow.
 
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