Nothing beats the taste of veggies picked fresh from the garden. When planning your garden, remember that most vegetables require a minimum of 6 hours of direct sun. Veggies need well-drained, rich soil. Before you plant, improve the condition of your soil by working compost into the top 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches). If you have limited space try growing vegetables in containers. But, which veggies should you plant? Here are 10 of the easiest veggies to grow:
Carrots prefer light, sandy soils and are best grown in full sun, though they tolerate light shade. Sow carrot seeds as soon as ground can be worked. Even moisture and soil temperature, 18-24° C (65-75° F) is essential for good germination.
Cucumbers are tender, warm-season vegetables that require full sun. Plant seeds when all danger from frost has passed and the soil has warmed up. You need only a few plants to get plenty of cucumbers. In small spaces cucumbers can be trained to grow vertically on a trellis. There are also dwarf varieties for growing in containers.
3. Green beans
Green beans are one of the easiest vegetables to grow and are very prolific. Plant the seeds after the danger of frost has passed. They do not tolerate cooler temperatures, especially if the soil is damp. Bush types do not require staking, but pole types require support.
4. Lettuce and Salad Greens
Lettuce and salad greens (often called mesclun) are cool-season crops that perform best when planted in early spring or in the fall. Plant lettuce and mesclun every two weeks for a continuous harvest throughout the season. Once the heat of the summer comes the plants start to set seed or bolt and become bitter.
Onions can be grown from seed, but due to the long growing season required, most gardeners plant small bulblets called “sets.” Onions benefit from a well drained soil with plenty of compost or well rotted manure added. The green shoots can be used in salads few weeks after planting.
Peas are one of the earliest producers. Sow seeds early in the spring as soon as you can work the soil. Even soil moisture is essential for peas. Snap peas have tender pods that you eat along with the immature peas inside. Snow peas are harvested as flat, tender pods before the peas inside develop at all.
Peppers require a long growing season. Rather than planting seeds, plant young seedlings to give peppers enough time to mature before frost. They also love heat, so wait until the soil warms up before planting them out. Fertilize with a low or no nitrogen fertilizer. Too much nitrogen causes an excess of foliage. Provide even moisture, particularly during flowering and when fruit is setting. Use black plastic or mulch to attract heat, hold water and prevent weeds.
Radishes are the easiest of all vegetables to grow. They are a cool-season crop best planted in early spring or early fall. Quick to sprout, they are ready to harvest in only four to five weeks. Because radishes germinate so quickly, they are often planted along with other longer germinating seeds to mark the rows.
Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable grown in home gardens. There are many varieties suitable for both planting in the garden and growing in containers. Tomatoes are heat lovers and easy to grow with adequate moisture and sunlight. Plant transplants in the garden when the soil warms up.
Zucchini is a very prolific summer squash. One or two plants are all you need for a bumper crop. Plant when the soil has warmed to 21-27° C (70-80° F) because seed will not germinate in cool soil. Even and sufficient soil moisture is essential. Zucchini benefits from mild feedings with a fertilizer high in phosphorous to start fruit formation.