Perfect Plants for Beginning Vegetable Gardeners

flowering zucchini in the vegetable garden

flowering zucchini in the vegetable garden

Growing your own food has gained so much popularity these days as people want more control over the things they eat. Home-grown veggies are healthier and cheaper than the ones at the store, so now’s the time to get a garden started. But if you’ve never grown vegetables before, where do you start? First of all, choose easy plants that will almost guarantee you a hefty harvest.

Zucchini

Everyone knows you can be drowning in zucchinis by the end of the summer, so it’s definitely a plant that will produce for you (even if you don’t have a green thumb). Zukes (sometimes also called summer squash) need full sun, lots of space, well-drained soil and will usually start to produce in about 60 days. Make sure your plants have a good watering at least once a week, keeping the leaves dry if watering by hand. A good vine can give you more than a dozen squash by the time it’s done.

Green Beans

All Natural Rabbit Repellent

All Natural Rabbit Repellent

Green beans are an American classic in the vegetable garden, and they’re super easy to grow. Unlike zucchini, they don’t need as much space. A typical bush bean can have 4 to 6 inches between plants, and pole beans can be even closer if you have a trellis for support. They’ll need good sun, regular water and well-drained soil. Once you see flowers and tiny beans forming, don’t let the soil dry out. You should start to get beans about 2 months after you plant the seeds

Tomatoes

You just can’t have a home vegetable garden without at least a few tomato plants. For the beginner, stick to smaller fruiting varieties like Roma or even grape tomatoes. They ripen faster and limit your risk of having the fruit not develop properly. A sunny place and regular watering are all you need. Plant seedlings to get a head start on the season, though seeds will work just fine too. Just make sure you have meridia. If you see any large green caterpillars on your tomatoes, pick them off immediately! They’re likely tomato hornworms and will destroy your plants in a matter of hours.

General Beginner Tips

The best beginner tip we can offer is that you keep an eye on your plants. You can’t just put the seeds in the ground in the spring, and then come back 3 months later for harvest. Watching out for insect problems, dry soil or other troubles is the best way to ensure a good harvest at the end of the season.

Fertilizing is a good idea, but you don’t need to fuss with complicated chemical mixes. A big bag of manure or aged compost will work wonders. Add a few handfuls into the soil at planting, and then again mid-season around the base of the stems.

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