There's something satisfying about growing your own vegetables. They taste better when they have a chance to ripen on the plant. It's also convenient to step outside and pick just what you need for the meal. Learning how to grow vegetables and taking care of your plants are also relaxing and great activities to share with children.
When starting a vegetable garden for the first time, keep it simple and plan a patio garden. You can move the containers around to give the plants the right balance of sunlight and shade. Increase your odds of success by choosing plants that require minimal care, start producing fruit quickly, and yield large amounts of produce. According to The Farmer's Almanac, these vegetables are easy to grow and well-suited for a beginner's vegetable garden.
The tomato is the quintessential summer vegetable. Pick it green to pickle or fry. Toss bright red cherry tomatoes in a salad. Place thick slices of a beefsteak tomato between two slices of bread for a simple sandwich. They're a popular crop for beginner gardeners since they need little more than room for their roots, water, and plenty of full summer sun. For those growing tomatoes in pots, Bonnie Plants recommends planting determinate tomatoes that stop growing after they reach a certain height.
2. Zucchini and Summer Squash
Another popular summer vegetable, green zucchini and yellow summer squash grow with minimal effort. Prepare their containers by mixing large amounts of compost with the soil. Then plant seeds directly in the container. Give them a sunny spot on the patio, make sure they get water and watch them grow.
Bell peppers love the heat of summer, and they are easy to grow as long as the soil stays warm and moist. The Farmer's Almanac suggests leaving two pepper plants in a single pot, as the plants' leaves form a natural sun shade. Give the pepper plants a stake to support the stems and pick the fruit as soon as its color develops to encourage the plant to continue producing.
Salads are a staple meal in the summer when the temperatures climb and you want to give the stove a rest. According to Bonnie Plants, lettuce is just as easy to grow as tomatoes, especially in containers since they grow to fit the pot they're in. The challenge is to make sure they receive plenty of sun while keeping them away from the heat. You may need to grow lettuce indoors and physically move them when it's time for the plants' daily dose of sun.
Beans are another easy vegetable garden staple that leads to generous amounts of produce. Plant bean seeds directly in the pot you want them to grow in and make sure the soil stays warm and moist. Just pay attention to the type of bean you plant. Pole beans need room to spread out, so plant them near a trellis or fence the plants can use for support.