Growing a veggie garden is fun and rewarding, but there are some times when it can feel like work. From prepping beds to planting, watering, weeding and fertilizing- there’s always a chore to tackle. If you’re looking to minimize your gardening effort out but still get some awesome harvests- we’ve got you covered! Read on for our top picks for low-maintenance plants:


Kale plant with a sunny background

Kale is truly an incredible plant. Not only is it astoundingly cold-hardy, once established it can grow through almost anything you can throw at it. Kale is a top low-maintenance plant pick because you plant it once and enjoy continuous harvests all season long (assuming you are harvesting it for larger, individual leaves). To harvest kale just snap off the lowest, largest leaves as close as possible to the stem, making sure to leave the top of the plant and several upper leaves intact. When harvested this way, kale can keep on producing well into fall and even winter…You might even find it grows back again the following year!


Swiss chard in a garden

Like kale, chard is another season-long powerhouse producer. Chard is also cold hardy, so you can sow seeds early in the season when the planting schedule is not as intense! Chard has a spinach-like flavor and a similar texture when cooked, but unlike spinach chard is amazingly resistant to bolting. Chard leaves remain tasty and sweet all season long, even through the blazing heat of summer. Chard is harvested similarly to kale- cut off the largest, lower leaves as close to the base of the plant as possible.

Green onions

Green onions in a garden

Green onions* are one of the least-fussy plants you can grow. They germinate readily, require minimal fertilizer, and can even tolerate a slight drought (emphasis on slight). Green onions are significantly less tricky to grow than bulbing onions, and there’s no curing process involved - you simply pull them out, wash them up and store them in the fridge. Green onions also ‘hold’ well in the garden - that is, you don’t have to harvest them all at a super-precise time. They’re happy to keep on growing until you need them (although eventually you might end up with some humongous green onions!)

*Note: green onions are a variety of onions in Planter!


Zucchini plant with a zucchini blossom

Zucchini* makes the list of low-maintenance plants because of how hyper-productive it is! Growing just one or two zucchini plants could easily provide enough zucchini for your family (and you might even be giving it away!) Zucchini plants tend to be on the larger side but there are compact container varieties available that can help save space in the garden. With zucchini the only time-sensitive task is harvesting - it’s important to harvest the zucchinis before they get too large so the plant will keep on producing! Zucchini plants can produce all season long, although at some point they might succumb to pest and disease pressure. Rather than spending time battling pests and disease it may be more efficient to start a couple of back-up seedlings, timing them to reach maturity in the mid-late season. 

* Note: zucchini is a variety of squash in Planter!

Bush beans

Yellow bean pods on a bean plant

While beans are a popular garden plant, for a low-maintenance bean harvest bush beans are the way to go. Bush bean varieties, as the name suggests, have a bushing growth habit which means they don’t require a trellis or support structure to grow and produce a harvest. Pole bean varieties in contrast are vining plants that do need a structure to climb on. Bush beans are also relatively easy to harvest since you don’t need to reach around a trellis. And, since bean plants fix nitrogen from the air (with the help of soil bacteria), you can skip the fertilizing routine for beans!

Herbs (not technically a plant)

Herb plants growing in containers held in a wooden crate

‘Herbs’ is a bit of a catch-all, but truly they can be some of the easiest plants to grow. Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano thrive in poor soil (soil low in nutrients) and actually prefer to dry out between waterings! Some herbs are also perennials- depending on the variety and your hardiness zone they can come back year after year without the need to re-plant. Then there are herbs such as mint and dill which are infamously easy to grow because they self-seed prolifically (and mint also spreads by rhizomes). Grow mint and dill in containers otherwise they grow so readily that they can turn into garden weeds!

Dwarf cherry tomatoes

Small cherry tomato plant in a orange pot

Tomatoes can arguably be one of the most maintenance-intensive crops, depending on the variety, but dwarf cherry tomato varieties are easy-peasy. They are small, well-behaved little plants that produce prolifically without a need for trellising. They do not require much pruning - only to remove damaged or yellowing leaves and leaves touching the soil. Plus they grow well in containers- so weeding is minimized and you can keep them within reach for easy mealtime harvesting (or a quick garden snack!)

Incorporate these low-maintenance plants into your veggie garden this season to enjoy maximum harvests with minimal effort!