Starting a vegetable garden at home is a rewarding way to produce fresh, healthy food for your table. Here’s how to do it effortlessly:
- Choose easy-to-grow vegetables such as zucchini, bush beans, and bell peppers.
- Begin by prepping your garden bed, ensuring it’s well-draining and nutrient-rich.
- Sow seeds or plant seedlings following spacing guidelines for optimal growth.
- Provide consistent water, aiming for at least an inch per week, more in hot weather.
- Harvest your vegetables when they’re ripe to encourage more production.
To ensure a flourishing vegetable garden, I start by selecting vegetables that are known for their ease of growth, like zucchini and bush beans. I make sure my garden bed is prepared with plenty of organic material to promote healthy soil.
I space my seeds or seedlings appropriately so each plant has room to thrive, and I commit to a regular watering schedule, especially during drier periods. Lastly, I keep an eye on my garden and harvest the vegetables at the peak of ripeness, which also encourages the plants to produce more. This straightforward approach guarantees a supply of fresh vegetables right from my own backyard.
Nothing beats foraging for fresh fruits and veggies right in your backyard. Maintaining a small garden may seem like a daunting process for many first-time vegetable growers, but it isn’t that arduous. We gathered an impressive list of the best vegetables to grow in your garden to make the work as smooth and painless as possible.
Growing garden vegetables relies on planting the right seeds at the right time. How long do vegetables take to grow? They all have their own timeline that they follow. However, there is a way to plant them and harvest them simultaneously or in succession.
Whether you prefer planting vegetables for raised beds, containers, or regular outdoor garden beds, these plants are the perfect way to get started and learn more about vegetable gardening at home.
Vegetable Growing Timelines
A frequent gardening question asked is how long do vegetables take to grow? The answer depends mostly on which type of plants you choose to cultivate. Some veggies are quick growers and mature in as little as 30 days, while others take several months.
Consider plant varieties and the time you’re willing to invest before you even purchase your first seed packet. In general, you’ll have to wait at least a month before you start to see any growth during your vegetable gardening journey.
Leafy greens, like arugula, watercress, and spinach are some of the fastest and easiest vegetables to grow. Beans, corn, potatoes, and some types of lettuce take much longer and require a little more work.
Learning to grow vegetables at home is adaptable to how much work you feel like dedicating. Regardless, you’ll soon see how easy maintaining a veggie garden is.
The Best Vegetables for Your Garden
Vegetable gardens at home help us control what goes into our bodies, and it’s cheaper to get in a whole serving of veggies in every meal.
Be mindful of what plants you choose to cultivate. Some are strictly cool weather vegetables, and planting them too late in the growing season could stunt their growth. Other veggies love hot weather. Even the slightest frost kills them.
When you pick up your seeds or transplants from the garden center, read the information card that comes with them to make sure you can give them the proper location and supply them with their listed soil and water requirements.
The great thing about a vegetable garden is that they tend to do most of the work themselves as long as you meet a small list of essentials.
Growing Garden Veggies: Arugula
What is the point of growing an assortment of veggies if you can’t use them to make a big, flavorful salad? Leafy greens are a necessity in a home garden. Arugula growing is one of our favorites because of how quickly it grows and its bold, peppery flavor.
Arugula comes from warm regions throughout the Mediterranean. It is a close member of the mustard family and is related to kale, cabbage, and broccoli. It is also a beneficial choice for your body – full of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B, C, and K.
Plant arugula in the early spring or early fall. You can harvest the leaves six to eight weeks after sowing them. Seeds germinate best in cool soils and tolerate light frost.
Give them full sun and a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Do not plant arugula close to other brassica family plants, or they could get taken over by pests and diseases.
Plant arugula seeds a quarter-inch deep, with each seed one inch apart and each row ten inches apart. Keep the soil evenly moist and thin them to keep each one six inches apart.
Growing garden vegetables is a time to venture out of your comfort zone. What better way to do that than by planting Brussels sprouts? When mature, they look a lot scarier to maintain than they are.
Brussels sprouts are a cool-season crop. Sow the Brussels seeds three to four inches apart or plant seedlings at least 18 inches apart from one another.
When is the best time to plant Brussels sprouts? Always plant Brussels six to ten weeks before the last frost of spring or in the late summer before the first frost of autumn. Brussels sprouts are full of antioxidants that aid in weight loss and protect you from certain cancers.
Plant seeds in full sun and soils that are rich and well-draining. Keep them away from other plants that are in the cabbage family to prevent soil-borne diseases. Harvest the sprouts 80 to 90 days after planting or when the sprouts are an inch or two in diameter.
You’ll have a challenging time finding an easier plant to grow than a bell pepper. These plants do well with little maintenance and produce big, bright peppers to use in different ways.
Always start your pepper seedlings indoors because they need warm temperatures to germinate. Cold garden soil at the start of the veggie growing season won’t get the job done.
Start transplanting the young plants once the nighttime temperatures are above 50°F when you are certain that all chances of frost are gone before putting them outside.
Place each plant 18 to 24 inches apart and grow them near tomato plants for a smart companion planting choice.
Bell peppers are ready for harvest when each one is three or four inches long, and the fruits are firm and green. The peppers are not ripe yet if they feel thin. Soggy bell peppers have been left too long on the vine.
Bush beans are one of the vegetables that gardeners have had in their beds for almost as long as gardens have been around. These beans are a fantastic source of protein and are easier to manage than pole beans. There is no difference between lima beans and butter beans when it comes to planting them.
Plant bush bean seeds in well-draining, organic soil. They produce the best beans when they have at least six hours of direct sunlight. Consider adding bean inoculant to the soil before planting to utilize bacteria that produce a better crop.
Once they start growing, bush beans don’t require much more care. They must have at least two or three inches of water every week.
Don’t forget to water them during the hotter, dryer months of summer that don’t get a lot of rain. Add compost or fertilizer to the beds after the beans have sprouted.
Pole beans are only slightly more challenging because they grow upright and need something sturdy, like a trellis, to hang on. Some types of pole beans are green beans, pinto beans, and flat beans. They are all crisp summer treats that grow in a range of climates.
For the way to grow pinto beans or other pole beans, sow pole bean seeds when ground and air temperatures are around 60°F. Most of these bean varieties are ready for harvest 60 to 70 days after planting them, although most people harvest them five or six times throughout the growing season.
Do you know how far apart to plant pole beans? Sow the seeds four to eight inches apart and keep rows at least two feet apart. Water the top couple inches of soil to keep everything damp. Add mulch to the ground to help retain moisture and heat.
Swiss chard is related to beets, and both the stems and leaves are edible and delicious. It is also a colorful plant that makes your beds look beautiful and attracts many essential pollinators to the area.
This plant is a cool-season crop that grows quickly during the spring and fall months, but it still tolerates hot temperatures as well.
When growing Swiss chard in your garden, prepare your soil two weeks before the last frost of spring with rich potting soil, compost, or fertilizer. Soak the chard seeds for 24 hours before planting them to improve germination. Sow seeds an inch deep and space each one two to six inches apart.
Chard seeds come in clusters as opposed to individual seeds. You may have to trim them back as they grow to keep them six to eight inches apart. Snip with scissors once they reach your desired length and enjoy them as a tasty summer snack.
Heat your oven to 275°F. Wash and dry your Swiss chard. Use a knife to remove the center stalk carefully. Discard the chard stalks and cut the leaves into your desired chip size.
Toss the leaf pieces in a bowl with olive oil and salt to taste. Place the leaf chips in the oven and bake them for 20 minutes. Turn the chard leaves over and bake for another 20 minutes before removing them from the oven. Allow them to cool and serve.
Herbs are necessary to cook flavorful dishes. Chives are one of the plants that are almost as easy as sticking them in the ground and forgetting them.
The chives come back year after year, and all you have to do is snip off a couple of their hollow stalks whenever you feel like adding them to something. These are cold-tolerant perennials that spread fast.
It is usually better to plant and grow them in individual pots so they don’t completely take over your garden and compete with other veggies for nutrients. They are also an excellent companion to carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, peas, and celery plants.
Chives do best in full sun and well-draining soil. Sow seeds two inches apart and less than a quarter-inch deep. Keep them well-watered. Don’t worry too much if you forget since they are drought-tolerant and relatively hard to kill.
Root vegetables are an excellent way to utilize as much space in your garden as possible. One of the best radish growing tips is growing garden vegetables with smaller roots so they don’t take up as much space as potatoes and offer you a nice variety of plants to choose from.
Plant radish seeds in a sunny location. Too much shade means that they put all their energy into growing the leaves rather than the roots.
The soil must be rich with organic matter and not overly compact. Practice a three-year crop rotation to prevent dangerous diseases from taking over the ground and destroying the rest of your crops.
Plant radishes four to six weeks before the last spring frost and continue to plant one round every ten days for a continuous harvest at the end of the season.
Romaine lettuce is one of the best vegetables to grow in your garden. There are many leafy greens to choose from, and there is not much difference between cabbage and lettuce when it comes to growing them.
This one offers crisp stalks and tender leaves that are good for tacos, lettuce cups, or cheeseburgers. They are also more resistant to slugs and snails that love feasting on all kinds of lettuce leaves.
How does romaine lettuce grow? It is much easier to start the season with romaine lettuce transplants instead of seeds from the garden center. Amend the soil with compost before you start planting and continue to feed them with an organic liquid fertilizer every three weeks while they grow.
Harvest the outer leaves as often as you’d like or wait until you feel like harvesting the entire head.
Don’t throw away the core after pulling the plant and using the leaves. Regrowing romaine lettuce from scraps is easy and ensures you have fresh leaves all year.
Turnips are another root vegetable to turn to if you want something that grows faster than potatoes and has a similar texture. People often overlook these plants. Turnips are delicious raw or cooked and are easy to care for.
The best time to plant turnips is in the early spring if you want to harvest them as a summer crop. Turnips enjoy full sun or partial shade.
The way to grow turnips in your garden is to first prepare the beds with a rake and sprinkle the seeds over the top. Thin them once the tops are four inches long to give them plenty of room to stretch their roots.
Turnips aren’t just good for the roots. The greens are excellent in a salad or stirred into hot pots. They are ready 45 days after you plant them and are easy to pull right up from the soil.
Heat your kitchen oven to 425°F. Toss your diced turnips with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage. Roast the roots for 30 minutes or until they are tender all the way through.
Remove them from the oven and toss the hot veggies with butter. Season once more with salt and pepper to taste.
It’s hard to find a summer garden that isn’t already growing zucchini. This summer squash is a staple and rewards you tremendously when it has suitable soil, sun, and water during zucchini growing season.
These overachievers do tend to take over the garden, though. Keep an eye on them to ensure that they aren’t sucking up all the nutrients in the soil.
Zucchini thrive in full sun and soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. Use stakes or a trellis to support their heavy stems, being sure not to disturb the roots.
Always add a layer of mulch to the top of the ground to discourage weeds from popping through and keep the ground moist and warm.
Does any other veggie scream summer like a bright red, bursting tomato? Although there are dozens of tomatoes to choose from, the heirloom varieties do better at keeping away pests and diseases. Plus, they look a lot prettier growing in your beds.
Similar to knowing when to plant tomatillos, a tomato relative, tomato plants love to be kept warm and grow in all USDA growing zones up to zone ten. Give them six to eight hours of sunlight every day and surround each plant with a tomato cage to offer sturdy support. Keep each plant three feet apart.
Growing garden vegetables can be a chore, yet it should not steer you away from harvesting your own food.
Vegetable gardens are full of life, color, and flavor, and the satisfaction you feel when you take your first bite into them is well worth the time it took to prep the beds and plant the seeds.
Start by picking a couple of veggies from this list and diving into the hobby of vegetable gardening.
If this list of the best vegetables to grow in your garden has inspired you to cultivate your own crops, share these tips for growing garden vegetables on Facebook and Pinterest.