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Easiest Vegetable to Grow  RSS feed

 
gardener
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What would you recommend to a brand new gardener as the easiest vegetable to grow?

For me and my area, I would recommend cucumbers!

These were one of the first things I personally grew, and survived when everything else didn't do so well.

Reasons I would recommend them...

1) They sprout easily from being planted directly in the soil.

2) They grow quickly, usually even in poor soils.

3) They can grow among weeds due to their fast growth and climbing vines.

Can you think of anything I've missed about cucumbers being easy to grow?

What would you recommend to a new gardener as the easiest vegetable to grow?
 
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Hmm, it depends in your area, of course, but I find peas to be easiest. Just give them a trellis and they're happy to go until the weather gets too hot. Just so long as you keep them picked, of course.

Peas also have good germination rates and are typically pretty forgiving of poor soil and cold, damp spring weather. They're pretty pest resistant too. I had aphids on them one year, otherwise no bugs bother them here. Just powdery mildew at the end of the season.

Of course, peas will grow from the end of May until usually the end of July for me. This year they went going right through August too, though. I imagine in a hotter place, peas are a right nightmare to time correctly for new gardeners and they wouldn't find them that easy to grow.
 
pollinator
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In my location, bush beans are the easiest. Everybody here can grow bush beans. Second easiest is cherry or grape tomatoes. Third easiest is daikon.

Peas have disease problems here, so new gardeners often don't see a crop before disease takes the vines. Or they get just the first pods on the vine, then disaster takes the rest.

Cucumbers are an experienced gardener's crop here. Pickleworm destroys every cucumber unless the gardener is right on top of it. Even decent gardeners have a tough time getting more than just a few misshapened cucumbers off their vines. Be glad you don't have to deal with pickleworm!
 
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radishes :-) easy and a quick harvest so good for motivation
 
gardener
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gardener
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It depends on the season here.  In winter I would say kale.  In summer, sweet potatoes, and a recommendation to use the leaves.  Onions, bush beans and tomatoes all do well in conventional garden beds also. Potatoes could be worth the effort also.  

Especially with a beginner I think it would be important to choose something they are familiar with. Being able to visualize exactly how they'll use it can help motivate their efforts.
 
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Peas are way up there for me, too.

Everyone says radishes are super easy, but I can rarely grow them without them bolting.  We just don't really have a spring here most years - it's cold, cold, cold, HOT.  Now rat-tail radishes on the other hand, those I can do.  The only problem is picking them fast enough!

My favourite easy, torture them as much as I want and still get a decent crop vegetables are tomatoes, ground cherries, and squash.
 
William Bronson
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I've never grown actual rattail radishes!
I grow tillage radish,  the bootleg diakon.
They bolt plenty, but the seedpods are like spicy pea pods, so it's not a bad thing.
I throw those seeds everywhere, they frequently outgrow established starts of other plants!
 
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I grow salad greens 12 months out of the year because I love fresh salads. So easy to grow....just plant the seeds and water.
 
Jan White
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William Bronson wrote:I've never grown actual rattail radishes!
I grow tillage radish,  the bootleg diakon.
They bolt plenty, but the seedpods are like spicy pea pods, so it's not a bad thing.
I throw those seeds everywhere, they frequently outgrow established starts of other plants!



Yeah, I usually end up eating the leaves and seed pods of the radishes instead of the root.

If you come across some rat-tail seeds, try them out.  The pods get 2-4 inches long and stay tender longer than regular radish pods.  Baker Creek had some seeds a couple years ago for a variety that grew pods over a foot long.  Never got around to trying them, though.
 
master pollinator
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Garlic Chives = Unkillable
 
pollinator
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With radishes, we mostly grow them for the greens. I am the only actual radish eater.

I find chard an easy crop.  It lasts from spring until frost hits and can be substituted for pretty much any green. I leave part of them in the ground through the winter to get a jump on some early greens since they are biennial.
 
pollinator
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Squash is definitely the easiest here. And it's prolific, 4 summer varieties and 4 winter varieties will get you squash for the year.
 
William Bronson
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I gotta try those rat tail radishes,they sound amazing!
My mom loves the ones I bring her, I  should get some for her garden too...

Hey very little production from squash,  sometimes I get lots of vines, sometimes lots of flowers but never lots of squash.
 
pollinator
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Location dependent of course, but greens (turnip, collard, kale etc), radish, Leaf lettuces, and carrots are usually a fairly easy veggie as well
 
Steve Thorn
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I wish I liked to eat radishes, as easy are they are to grow!
 
pollinator
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Steve Thorn wrote:I wish I liked to eat radishes, as easy are they is to grow!



If you cook them with other root vegetables it gets rid of most of the radish taste.
 
Steve Thorn
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That's good to know, I'll have to try it!
 
gardener
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Swiss Chard & kales & sweet potatos thrive here in loose soil with some good compost added. Black eyed peas & TN Valencia peanut do good in our unamended clay soil. While not a vegetable buckwheat is super easy to grow & very versatile. Seminole pumpkins need quality soil & a lot of space but are easy to grow under those conditions. They all produce a lot of easy to grow food.
 
gardener
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Orach is a great and easy vegetable to grow. I grew it for the first time last spring and it did really well and provided a lot of greens in spring and through most of the summer. Plus the slugs seemed to leave it alone!
 
Posts: 125
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Rocket/arugula, amaranth and as already mentioned, garlic chives. All of them self seed and go well in hot dry conditions, without any watering.
 
Steve Thorn
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Mike Barkley wrote:Swiss Chard & kales & sweet potatos thrive here in loose soil with some good compost added. Black eyed peas & TN Valencia peanut do good in our unamended clay soil. While not a vegetable buckwheat is super easy to grow & very versatile. Seminole pumpkins need quality soil & a lot of space but are easy to grow under those conditions. They all produce a lot of easy to grow food.



Sweet potatos grow like a weed here, and they are so good.

I love chard too, probably my favorite green!
 
Steve Thorn
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Daron Williams wrote:Orach is a great and easy vegetable to grow. I grew it for the first time last spring and it did really well and provided a lot of greens in spring and through most of the summer. Plus the slugs seemed to leave it alone!



Very cool! I had never even heard of it!

Based on what I was reading about it, it's similar to spinach right?

I'm definitely going to try this next year!
 
Daron Williams
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Steve Thorn wrote:

Very cool! I had never even heard of it!

Based on what I was reading about it, it's similar to spinach right?

I'm definitely going to try this next year!



Similar in taste though a little different - some people say it has a salty taste but I did not notice it but my sister-n-law did. Overall, I enjoyed it raw and cooked - seemed to be very similar to spinach to me both raw and cooked.

I used it in salads, in cooking, and in some apple/berries/greens smoothies that I make.

It will get very tall while it grows - mine got up to 6 feet or so but seemed to be stable against the wind. I have heard it reseeds very easily so I may have a lot coming up in the spring! But I like volunteers and I found it to be a very nice and easy vegetable to grow.
 
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Runner beans and courgettes here but entirely depends on where you are
 
pollinator
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Squash Family  (bugs and powdery mildew overall a no save for a few that comes from the compost pile)
Cabbage Family (Except for daikon radish, bolting in summer, aphid infestation in fall, spring and winter okay for kale/collard)
Lettuce/Dandelion Family (Pest hardy, but they bolt quickly)
Tomatoes Family (Potatoes are good, cherry tomatoes are good, pepper need the most sun and heat)
Legume Family (bush beans need the least amount of heat and the most pest hardy)
Spinach Family (these guys are the best in my book, the 'traditional ones are cool temp nut slow to bolt in summer, and the new world ones are summer weed, so delicious)
 
pioneer
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I have had pretty good luck with jalapeño peppers - pop them in the ground and get ready to figure out how to use them all!  Very prolific, and they make you feel like you know what you are doing. They really like the hot weather, but keep producing well into October (at least here in Zone 7a).

Get some tomato’s and onions and cilantro going and -voila!- salsa!  Delicious. I have also pickled my peppers, which is super easy and fun, and also delicious!  Just don’t call me Peter Piper!  
 
Steve Thorn
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Daron Williams wrote:Similar in taste though a little different - some people say it has a salty taste but I did not notice it but my sister-n-law did. Overall, I enjoyed it raw and cooked - seemed to be very similar to spinach to me both raw and cooked.

I used it in salads, in cooking, and in some apple/berries/greens smoothies that I make.

It will get very tall while it grows - mine got up to 6 feet or so but seemed to be stable against the wind. I have heard it reseeds very easily so I may have a lot coming up in the spring! But I like volunteers and I found it to be a very nice and easy vegetable to grow.



Wow, 6 feet, that is tall!

I love volunteers too, it makes planting so much easier!
 
Casie Becker
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More than what vegetable to grow, for a new gardener I would like them to try a fall garden.  Here the hardest part of the growing season would be during the highest point of enthusiasm and as they grew tired of weeding and watering the temperature would become mild and fall rains would take off some of the load.  Sometimes summer hits like an anvil and kills a garden from the shock.
 
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Another vote for Irish Potatoes. I like growing the yukon gold.
 
master steward
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For me, the easiest have been Garlic Chives

And Egyptian Walking Onions

Here is a picture from this thread  https://permies.com/t/54365/Temporarily-Storing-jerusalem-artichoke-walking:

 
Steve Thorn
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Dem Krebs wrote:I imagine in a hotter place, peas are a right nightmare to time correctly for new gardeners and they wouldn't find them that easy to grow.



Yeah, I wish they were easier to grow here. It seems like our weather jumps almost straight from winter to summer so fast, I've always had a hard time timing them right.
 
pollinator
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Green onions are pretty easy, I get mine out of our local organic grocer's leftovers, take the greens if they are good and replant the base 1.5". It was probably the first veggie I may never have to buy again and I use it daily.
 
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The easiest vegetable to grow, is the one that you are most passionate about. Find the vegetable that is most joyful to you, and you will long to be with it often: to nurture and protect it. It will be easy to pay enough attention to the vegetable that you love, that you will be weed and water it appropriately.
 
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Another vote for Chard. Plus it looks really nice. I love Kale but don’t grow it because it gets seriously infested with aphids.  Some sacrificial Kale here and there as aphid traps and to lure ladybugs to the area, yes, but it’s too frustrating to grow to eat for me.
 
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I find that the versatility and adaptablity of summer squash make them hard to screw up.  You can pretty much start a compost pile heavy in yard waste, throw seeds into the mix, and three months later, you're lurking in church parking lots in your community in search of unlocked cars and open pickup beds to leave your surplus because you...just...CAN'T anymore.  

Of course, the variety you pick helps, not so much in getting better yields, but rather in avoiding zucchini the size of your leg.  Gold/Yellow Zukes, for example, are brightly colored enough to be easily found in the jungle of vines that sometimes seems obligatory.  Yellow Crookneck or Pattypans are similar, as are various types that lean closer to gray or are mottled.  The classic dark green varieties, however, can be DAMNED hard to find, and as a result you're likely to be overrun.

My new plan for chicken-proofing the produce patch is to set up an equal footprint of chicken garden that's going to be heavy in zucchini and similar crops that tend to be overzealous in production so that they'll have plenty of food without raiding the market garden.  
 
Steve Thorn
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Chris Palmberg wrote:I find that the versatility and adaptablity of summer squash make them hard to screw up.  You can pretty much start a compost pile heavy in yard waste, throw seeds into the mix, and three months later, you're lurking in church parking lots in your community in search of unlocked cars and open pickup beds to leave your surplus because you...just...CAN'T anymore.  

Of course, the variety you pick helps, not so much in getting better yields, but rather in avoiding zucchini the size of your leg.  Gold/Yellow Zukes, for example, are brightly colored enough to be easily found in the jungle of vines that sometimes seems obligatory.  Yellow Crookneck or Pattypans are similar, as are various types that lean closer to gray or are mottled.  The classic dark green varieties, however, can be DAMNED hard to find, and as a result you're likely to be overrun.

My new plan for chicken-proofing the produce patch is to set up an equal footprint of chicken garden that's going to be heavy in zucchini and similar crops that tend to be overzealous in production so that they'll have plenty of food without raiding the market garden.  



Summer squash does really well here too!

I've had really good success with summer squash and cucumbers self seeding, and it would probably be even better if I collected the seeds more diligently!.
 
Steve Thorn
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Su Ba wrote:In my location, bush beans are the easiest. Everybody here can grow bush beans. Second easiest is cherry or grape tomatoes. Third easiest is daikon.

Peas have disease problems here, so new gardeners often don't see a crop before disease takes the vines. Or they get just the first pods on the vine, then disaster takes the rest.

Cucumbers are an experienced gardener's crop here. Pickleworm destroys every cucumber unless the gardener is right on top of it. Even decent gardeners have a tough time getting more than just a few misshapened cucumbers off their vines. Be glad you don't have to deal with pickleworm!



Bush beans grow good here usually and tomatoes too. I haven't tried daikon yet though.

That is really interesting about the cucumbers. It's amazing how pests in different areas can make things a lot harder to grow!
 
Steve Thorn
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William Bronson wrote: Radishes for sure.
Leaves.
Seed pods.
Roots.



It's nice when you can get multiple uses out of a plant like that!
 
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Leaf veg are probably easiest to grow, since leaves grow before flowers and fruit. Maybe chard? I spent two seasons trying to grow chard and mostly failed, then angrily threw the remainder of the seeds near my garden gate, and now there's a healthy little chard population there. If we're also looking at nontraditional veg, hosta are also pretty easy-care. They're called "shade lettuce" in some places. I haven't tried eating them yet but we do have some in our garden, leftover from the previous residents, and they grow pretty good on their own with zero maintenance.

I have had NO LUCK whatsoever with radishes or really any other root veg so far and it's starting to upset me a bit. I've gotten the 12-day radishes and I'll plant 'em out once I've gotten that perfect soil mix. But I didn't have to do that for hostas or chard!
 
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