The 6 Easiest Vegetables to Grow in Your Home Garden

There are so many reasons to start a garden at home. You can save money and have fresh vegetables (which are higher in nutrients than what you get from the supermarket). No yard? No problem! Many vegetables can be grown in pots and containers on your back porch. While there are countless vegetables you could plant, there are some sturdier ones that can easily be grown, even if you don’t have the greenest thumb. Here are six of the easiest vegetables to grow in your home garden.

1. Tomatoes

There’s nothing quite like a ripe tomato picked fresh off the vine when you are making a salad or a sandwich. Homegrown tomatoes are sweeter, juicier, and one of the easiest vegetables you can plant in your home garden. They are extremely high in nutrients containing vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as iron, magnesium, niacin, potassium, and fiber. They are also a high source of lycopene, which is an antioxidant. Tomatoes are a nightshade and can be susceptible to certain diseases. Be sure to rotate your crops each year and avoid areas where other nightshades were previously planted.

  • Soil:Dwarf Tomatoes: 8” deep soil, Determinate Tomatoes need 12”, Indeterminate Tomatoes need 18” deep soil. Will grow in any soil except heavy clay.
  • Sun:Full sun. 6-8 hours of sun daily
  • Water: 1-2” of water per week. More water is needed in containers; a good rule of thumb is to water until water runs freely from the bottom.
  • When to Plant: Start growing plants indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost and transplant the small plants after the last frost.
  • How to Plant: Tomatoes should be planted 24”-36” apart.
  • Support:Tomato cages help support the plants as they grow. Determinante Tomatoes can grow up to 3ft tall. Indeterminate Tomatoes can grow up to 6ft tall.
  • Garden Type:Successful in container gardens and traditional gardens. Make sure containers have proper drainage.

2. Peas

Peas are another great option for your home garden that is nutritious. Peas are a good source of Vitamins A, B6, C, and K, protein, riboflavin, niacin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. They are also a good source of fiber, thiamin, and manganese. Like tomatoes, there are many different varieties of peas that you can plant. Some varieties have edible pods (think snow peas) while others have nonedible pods. Then there is the option to get a dwarf variety that grows in a bush or a taller variety that requires support. Peas are often one of the first plants to be harvested as they like the cooler weather.

  • Soil:Most soil that drains well will work, except heavy clay.
  • Sun:Full sun. 6-8 hours daily.
  • Water: Water sparingly unless plants are wilting.
  • When to Plant: Plant them once your soil reaches 45Fso they have time to grow before temperatures rise (they usually don’t survive past 85F). Plant in early spring, or late summer/early fall approximately 6-8 weeks before your first frost.
  • How to Plant: Plant seed 1” deep and 2” apart from each other. Rows should be spaced 12”-24” apart.
  • Support:Depending upon the variety (tall or vining varieties) you’ll need poles or a trellis when you plant.
  • Garden Type:Successful in container gardens and traditional gardens. Make sure containers have proper drainage.

3. Carrots

Carrots are an especially healthy and hearty root vegetable to add to your home garden. They are a good source of Vitamins A, K1, B6, biotin, and potassium. They are also a good source of fiber, beta carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. Many varieties of carrots are available ranging from the traditional orange, red, purple, white, yellow, and black, each having their own nutritional benefits. Growing carrots can be intimidating to new gardeners but they don’t have to be. Just make sure your soil is tilled deep enough to make sure there are not any hard soil clumps and make sure your soil is airy. Like peas, carrots like cooler weather and are best grown in the cooler growing seasons like early spring and early fall.

  • Soil:Light, loose, airy soil. Try a mixture of sand and peat moss.
  • Sun:Full sun. 6-8 hours daily.
  • Water: Minimum 1” water every week. Make sure the soil remains damp.
  • When to Plant: Plant seeds outside 3-5 weeks before the last spring frost.
  • How to Plant: Plant seed 1/2” deep and 1-3” apart from each other. Rows should be spaced 16”-24” apart.
  • Support:Carrots are a root vegetable meaning they grow underground and do not need additional support.
  • Garden Type:Successful in container gardens and traditional gardens. Make sure containers are deep and have proper drainage.

4. Green Beans

Another good choice for your home garden is green beans. Green beans are a good source of Vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, and folic acid. Like peas, beans can be found in different bush and pole varieties. Bush varieties tend to produce a sturdier plant and grow horizontally while pole varieties grow vertically and yield a faster and larger harvest. Only plant the seed directly into the ground, as beans often do not survive transplanting. Unlike other plants on this list, beans have a shallow, delicate root structure so be gentle when weeding. If you use a fertilizer use one that is low in nitrogen, as it can have adverse effects on the number of beans produced.

  • Soil:Sandy soils work best but most any soil will work, except heavy clay.
  • Sun:Full sun. 8-10 hours daily.
  • Water: 1-1.5″ of water per week. Make sure the soil stays damp. In ground or drip irrigation is best.
  • When to Plant: Plant seeds directly into the ground after the last frost. Seeds can also be planted in early fall 10-12 weeks before the first frost.
  • How to Plant: Plant seeds 1-2″ deep in ground or 1″ deep in a container. Bush varieties should be planted 2″ apart and pole varieties should be planted 4-6″ apart. If using containers, they should have a diameter of at least 8″.
  • Support:Support is needed for pole varieties. You can use trellises or teepees, just make sure they are at least 4” underground. Bush varieties do not require support.
  • Garden Type:Successful in container gardens and traditional gardens. Make sure containers have proper drainage.

5. Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are one of the healthiest foods that you can plant in your home garden. They are a high source of Vitamins K, C, B6, B1, B2, B3, and A. They are also a good source of folate, manganese, fiber, copper, phosphorus, potassium, omega-3 fats, iron, protein, magnesium, zinc, and calcium. It is one of the vegetables that will take a while to grow in your garden, but it is a nutritional powerhouse that can’t be missed. Note: vegetables in the cabbage family are susceptible to diseases so be sure to rotate your crop and avoid planting where you previously had such vegetables.

  • Soil:A heavy clay soil with a few rocks is ideal to anchor this top-heavy plant. Sandy soils do not provide the anchorage needed.
  • Sun:Full sun. 6-8 hours daily.
  • Water: 1″ of water per week. Make sure the soil stays damp. Mulching can help keep the soil moist.
  • When to Plant: Best results with transplanting. Start growing seeds indoors 2-3 weeks before last spring frost.
  • How to Plant: Plant seeds 1/2″ deep and 12-24” apart. Rows should be spaced 30”-36” apart.
  • Support:Small sticks can be used as support at the base of the plant.
  • Garden Type:Successful in container gardens and traditional gardens. Make sure containers have proper drainage and 8” depth of soil. If planting more than one plant in a container, make sure there is space to allow 24-30” space between them.

6. Bell peppers

Bell peppers are another easy to grow veggie for your home garden. They are rich in Vitamins C, B6, K1, E, and A, as well as potassium, and folate. The exact amount of each nutrient varies based on color and variety of pepper. Bell peppers may be green, red, orange, yellow, or purple.

Caution must be taken when weeding due to the shallow, delicate root structure of bell peppers. Like tomatoes, bell peppers are also nightshades and can be susceptible to certain diseases. Again, be sure to rotate your crops each year and avoid areas where other nightshades were previously planted.

  • Soil:Sandy soils work best but most any soil will work, except heavy clay.
  • Sun:Full sun. 6-8 hours daily.
  • Water: 1”-2″ of water per week. Make sure the soil stays damp. Mulching can help keep the soil damp. Extra watering may be necessary for plants in warm or desert climates.
  • When to Plant: Best results with transplanting due to a longer growing season. Start growing seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before last spring frost.
  • How to Plant: Plant seeds 1/4″ deep and 18-24” apart. Rows should be spaced 12”-24” apart. Soil temperature should be at least 65F.
  • Support:Support is not a necessity, but can be helpful as the peppers grow and add additional weight the stalk must support.
  • Garden Type:Successful in container gardens and traditional gardens. Make sure containers have proper drainage, 10”-12” depth of soil, and a wide diameter.

Bonus: Weeds

If you’re not careful weeds can quickly overrun your entire garden. Your plants will produce fewer vegetables and their quality will be subpar. Here are a few tips to prevent weeds in your home garden:

  • Lawn-edging: This creates a clean line between your lawn and your garden. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but lawn-edging also gives you a weed-free barrier, minimizing the number of weeds getting into your garden.
  • Landscape fabric/ Newspaper: Decomposable fabric that blocks air from getting to the soil, keeping new weeds from growing and killing off existing weeds. Using newspaper is essentially the same concept.
  • Mulch:This helps keep light from the weeds, preventing them from growing. The best part is it also helps retain the moisture most plants in your garden need.

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