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9 Easy Garden Crops For Instant Gratification

If you’re new to gardening, you might want to start with some quick and easy-to-grow crops. Let’s look at a few easy garden crops that are guaranteed to give you a good yield. This is great for beginners, for teaching children to work in the garden, or for anyone who just wants to get some crops that will grow fast.

summer harvest of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and squash.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

From green beans to tomato plants, there’s an excellent choice for everyone willing to try it. These easy-growing vegetables are perfect for when you’re not sure what you would like to grow and for garden plots that need a lot of work before getting started. Just clear what you can: feed the soil with some general fertilizer such as garden compost, municipal or council compost, manure, or even a general fertilizer like Grow more.

If it’s still early in the spring, peas are fantastic! They love the cooler weather; you can harvest them before you plant the rest of your garden. Later on, try some salad, broccoli, runner beans, leeks, and pak choi plants.

You must wait until the year’s last frost date for some of these. Others are cold-resistant and may be able to hold up to some cold temperatures. The best vegetables to eat are the ones you grow yourself, so let’s look.

Easy Garden Crops For Beginners

colorful carrots laying on a white board.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Beginner gardeners can appreciate these easy crops that are fun to work with, even if you don’t have much experience yet—knowing what to plant and how to care for it properly. Does it need direct sunlight? Does it work for small spaces? How close should the rows in your garden beds be? When is the best growing season? Can you grow these crops in container gardens?

If you have questions, we have answers. We truly believe that gardening should be accessible to everyone. From hot peppers to cherry tomatoes, you can learn the best crops for new gardeners and how to get them started and keep them thriving. It begins with picking the right crops.

Here are just a few garden crops that are quick and easy to grow by even the newest gardener. The following suggestions are easy-to-grow vegetables that most of us use in the kitchen.

1. Garlic and onions

garlic and onions
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Onions and garlic are easy to grow: both can be grown over the winter, although the main crop, onions, tends to be planted in the spring. These easy vegetables get used often, so I think they’re an excellent place to start.

2. Potatoes

man's hands dropping freshly picked potatoes into a plastic container.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Homegrown potatoes are delicious and so easy to grow! Once you taste them, it’s all you want, as the store-bought ones don’t taste as good.

There are so many different ways to enjoy eating potatoes:

  • boiled
  • fried
  • in soups
  • potato salad
  • stuffed
  • potato bites
  • slow cooker potatoes
  • cheesy potato puffs
  • and more

3. Tomatoes

tomato harvest: red, orange, and yellow tomatoes
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Tomatoes are another favorite. A bush tomato plant needs little attention and will produce a mass of baby tomatoes.

Here’s how to grow tomatoes. Or, if space is a problem, you can grow tomatoes in containers.

Not sure how to contain the tomatoes you grow? Get some tomato cages and you’ll be all set.

4. Beans and peas

peas on a vine growing up a metal fence.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

If you’ve cleared enough space in your starting vegetable garden, runner beans and sugar peas (or mangetout) are great vegetables to grow. A simple bamboo frame will give them something to run up on. And as they use nutrients from the air, you get a lot of crops for little work.

5. Zucchini

bi-color zucchini in the garden.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

The all-popular zucchini needs a spot in every garden, and if well fed, will give you plenty of fruits for the table.

Here’s a little secret: plant zucchini every couple of weeks, and you’ll have a longer harvest, and some of your plantings will escape the dreaded squash bugs and squash vine border.

6. Lettuce

healthy spring vegetables.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover.

Lettuce is very easy to grow, and there are several different varieties to choose from. It has a lot of different uses and, of course, always makes for a great salad.

You can grow head lettuce like Iceberg or Romaine and the seeds are typically found at any general store or garden supply. They’re inexpensive and super easy. You can also pick up lettuce plants from a local nursery if you prefer not to start from seed. Another benefit to lettuce is that it’s cold-resistant.

This is my favorite lettuce mix.

7. Spinach

spinach growing in the garden.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Spinach is one of my favorites on the easy-to-grow list. It’s cold-weather friendly and can survive in temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Its harvest time is about 40-50 days, and you can grow from seeds pretty quickly.

Spinach is another vegetable that has many uses, so it’s a great choice for beginners to start with. Spinach is a lot like growing loose-leaf lettuce. It can be planted year-round in most locations.

8. Green beans

a hand holing green beans.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Green beans come in two varieties: bush beans and pole beans. Many people don’t realize there are two different types. Bush beans are green beans grown on a short, bushy plant.

Snow peas are also similar to green beans and are good to consider. They’re often used in stir fry.

9. Kale

kale growing in the garden next to some lettuce.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Easy to grow and cold-hardy, kale is an amazing powerhouse of nutrition. Plant kale seeds every few weeks and have continual growth. You can also plant kale in a container garden or a raised bed garden.

More easy garden plants

a bunch of radishes just pulled out of the ground.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

If you’re curious to taste different fruits, herbs, and veggies for your garden, you can always buy some starter plants of the things you’d like to try. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Swiss chard (the rainbow for a more colorful harvest)
  • radishes
  • bell peppers (I love the sweet peppers)
  • beets
  • carrots
  • parsley
  • dill
  • and more

Which easy garden plants will you start with?

a man with an armful or red and yellow peppers.

These vegetables don’t require much space, which is another benefit, especially for a new gardener. You’ll be surprised how much even a small garden will produce. Root crops are generally a good choice when you’re new to gardening. Most root vegetables don’t need a lot of maintenance, and you’ll be glad if you try them.

Small plants can also be easier to handle if you’re new. But there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to this. If there’s something you love to eat and you want that to be the first thing you try to grow, go for it! Salad greens are always a win because they are easy to grow and can be used in meals daily. They’re fresh and delicious and also good for you.

If you stick to these vegetables, remember not to grow the same plant in the same position next season. Rotate your crops and give the soil a good fertilizer, and your starting vegetable garden will be off and running in no time. It’s a good idea to learn what does well in warmer climates, if you need moist soil, and if you need to plant in full sun or partial shade. And you’ll also want to avoid some of the most common mistakes.

Here are a few garden mistakes you should avoid.

If you don’t have much space, there are ways you can grow a good selection of crops in a small vegetable garden, and here you’ll find some good first vegetable garden steps. You can get everything you need to get started from your local garden center or seed catalogs ordered online. If you have healthy soil, you won’t even need to treat it with anything to get started. You can just plant your seeds and wait for the returns.

From the seed packet to your plate, these easy garden crops make good choices. Growing your own instead of buying from the grocery store can be rewarding. It’s also good for the environment, and it will save you money. Vegetable gardening is rewarding in so many ways.

What plants from our list do you like the most? What would you add?

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Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check out her books below:

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