Are you looking for some relatively easy plants to grow? Maybe you’re a beginner when it comes to gardening. Or maybe you just want to grow a low-effort garden due to your busy schedule. While a challenge in the garden can be a fun experiment it’s great to have some reliable plants that are easy to grow and useful in the kitchen. One thing to note is that all plants can be difficult in some way in the garden. Whether it’s diseases, insects, or unusual weather, part of gardening is dealing with challenging or unexpected events. However, in terms of the effort it takes to sow, manage, and harvest, these crops are often seen as the best. Let’s take a look at a few plants that are relatively low-maintenance and still delicious!
Herbs and Chives
When you think of plants that are easy to grow, herbs may just be the first thing to pop into your mind. Mint for example is so easy to grow, that you’ll want to keep it separate from your other plants as it spreads so quickly! Dill, chives, basil, and parsley are just some of the many herbs you can grow with little hassle. Not only can they be grown in containers on your porch or even inside, they can often tolerate some shade. Some herbs like basil can take less than a month to reach maturity, and others such as dill and parsley often don’t need any fertilization beyond healthy soil.
Loose Leaf Lettuce
Loose leaf lettuce is a prime example of an easy plant for you to grow. Not only is it semi-tolerant to frost, it also requires less sun than many plants and often takes less than 2 months to mature. While lettuce can bolt when the weather is too hot, it can be planted successionally throughout the year and harvested many times like an herb! Quick to mature, seasonally flexible, and tolerant to shade, loose leaf lettuce is the perfect crop for beginners.
This plant does well in cooler weather and can even survive some frosts. Kale can be grown both in the spring and in the fall, so you have plenty of opportunities to plant this green. Kale can be transplanted or grown direct seed as well, so there is plenty of flexibility for your growing preferences. Like lettuce, while full sun is favorable, some shade is no problem for this plant to survive.
Chard is semi-tolerant to frost and heat, and it can be planted in both fall and spring. It also likes full sun, but it is hardy and will survive with some shade. It takes only about 55-60 days to grow, so can likely be planted more than once a year in your garden. Plants that have had their leaves carefully harvested will potentially continue to grow as well. Like many of the plants in this list, some fertilization and water during the growing season is beneficial for chard’s growth, but this hardy plant will need little attention between sowing the seeds and harvesting the leaves.
Radishes are a frost-tolerant, quick to mature, and an easy to grow plant. Some radishes are able to grow in under a month. Because of this, they can be planted multiple times throughout your growing season. Check the Planter app to see the ideal growing dates for your region! Radishes can be spaced relatively close together so if you have a smaller garden consider planting a few!
While not very tolerant to frost, cucumbers are a relatively easy plant to grow as long as you plant them after the last frost of the season; they take only about 8 weeks to reach maturity! Seeds can be sown directly into the ground or started indoors and transplanted.
Peas are a cool-season crop that can be sown directly into the ground. They are a low-maintenance plant needing little fertilizer and attention as they grow. Bush pea varieties are often great for beginners as they are shorter and thus require less trellising than the taller pole pea varieties.
Beans should be directly sown into the ground and can be grown with very little work throughout the summer. They aren’t too picky about soil quality or even sunlight, so as long as they are sufficiently watered you should have no trouble growing bean plants. They also will do just fine without fertilizer, so beans are the epitome of an easy to grow plant. Just like peas, bush bean varieties require less support from trellising than pole beans, so they are often the easier choice when it comes to growing beans.
Zucchini and Summer Squash
Zucchini and other varieties of summer squash are a great option for your low-maintenance garden. It can be planted after the frost, and with only 60 days from sprout to harvest, zucchini can be planted in the spring and summer. Like many of the other plants on this list it can be sown directly or transplanted.
Go ahead and give some of these beginner-friendly plants a try in your garden. But don’t be discouraged if you find that challenges still exist. Maybe you live in a hot area and just can’t get your lettuce to grow without bolting and becoming bitter. Or maybe your zucchini and squash get the unlucky fate of being eaten by squash vine borers. Whatever the cause, there’s bound to be setbacks in any garden, even the ones with the “easiest” plants. Keep your spirits up and experiment with several plant varieties! Trying out several of these simpler plants is bound to get you at least a few tasty vegetables to bring to the dinner table.