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If you take advantage of your local growing season, plant in raised beds, and use compost, you can grow many vegetables with surprisingly little skill or effort.

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The 10 Easiest Vegetables to Grow for Beginners

There are many garden vegetables that grow well in small spaces and require few resources.

  1. Green beans: Green beans come in two varieties: bush beans and pole beans. Pole beans grow up a trellis or stake, while bush beans don’t require support. Green beans grow in both sun and shade. All you have to do is water regularly.
  2. Potatoes: Potatoes can grow in almost any soil type, and they do well in both hot and cool weather. Learn how to grow potatoes in our comprehensive guide.
  3. Swiss chard: Swiss chard is a beautiful leafy vegetable with colorful stalks (it's also known as rainbow chard). It produces edible leaves throughout the growing season and can handle hot temperatures as well as frost.
  4. Lettuce: In mild climates, lettuce grows in early spring, and it can grow just about anywhere in the summer, as long as you water it consistently. Lettuce does well in shady spots, so save the sunniest part of your garden for vegetables that require more light.
  5. Tomatoes: Tomatoes thrive in raised garden beds with full sun and plenty of water. Fertilize tomatoes with rich organic matter for the best results. Tomatoes can handle hot weather and provide a fantastic haul from mid-summer through early fall. Harvest smaller varietals like cherry tomatoes earlier in the year.
  6. Summer squash: Few vegetables produce more bountifully than summer squash, particularly zucchini. Sow seeds early in the season because summer squash is susceptible to fall mildew.
  7. Peppers: Hot peppers (like jalapeños and serranos) and sweet peppers (like red bell peppers) require little upkeep. They love heat, and because you can eat most peppers while they're still green, you don't have to wait long to harvest them.
  8. Radishes: If you plant radishes right after the last frost, they'll be ready to harvest in the spring and early summer. Like other root vegetables (including turnips, rutabaga, and potatoes), radishes require little attention. Simply plant seeds, provide occasional water, and await results.
  9. Onions: From green onions and chives to bulbous red, white, and brown onions, these low-maintenance vegetables will grow anywhere you have a little room. Onions do surprisingly well up against the edge of a raised garden bed, and they can handle sub-par soil—even clay and rocky soil.
  10. Arugula: Arugula is a late summer and fall crop that stands out among salad greens for its zesty, peppery flavor. It grows back easily if you prune away leaves to eat.

While these ten crops tend to be among the easiest for DIY gardeners to grow, they're far from the only manageable vegetables. Many home gardeners swear by kale, cauliflower, and vining cucumbers. If you start with easy vegetables and gradually scale up your ambition, you'll enjoy increasing abundance in your garden beds.

Learn More

Grow your own food with Ron Finley, the self-described "Gangster Gardener." Get the MasterClass Annual Membership and learn how to cultivate fresh herbs and vegetables, keep your house plants alive, and use compost to make your community - and the world - a better place.

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