Growing your own produce is one of the most rewarding activities you can do in your garden. Knowing that you’re investing in the future and nurturing the little seeds you’ve sown into fully grown vegetables is good for both the body and the mind. It also saves and a lot of money, and you get the peace-of-mind of knowing what has gone into your vegetables. No chemicals, no sprays, just 100% homegrown deliciousness.
But if you’re feeling a little daunted on where to even start, we’re here to tell you that it’s actually a lot simpler than you might think. You don’t even need a lot of space if you use a raised planter, and some veggies can even be grown in containers. Here, we take a look at 10 of the easiest vegetables to grow, that are guaranteed to get you out in the garden and growing your own in no time!
An absolute kitchen staple, onions are practically maintenance free and can be either grown from sets or seeds (however growing them from sets tends to give better results). Plant from mid-March to mid-April in an open, sunny site with well-drained soil. Remove any flower spikes that appear, in order to focus the plant’s energy on producing a large bulb, and harvest when the leaves turn yellow and die back.
Among the easiest of all veg to grow, radishes are perfect in salads as well as being called for in loads of Asian & Mexican dishes. So simple to grow that you can even sow them in pots, make sure the soil is kept moist so they grow big and fleshy, and harvest hour weeks after sowing.
Super versatile, tomatoes don’t only come in many different shapes, sizes and colours, but can also be grown in a variety of ways – even in hanging baskets! The seeds need a little heat to get started, so indoors on a windowsill or in a greenhouse before planting out in early summer somewhere warm and sunny, as this helps the fruit to ripen.
Colourful, packed full of vitamins and surprisingly versatile in the kitchen, beetroot is another simple-to-grow root veg. Sow directly into the ground from March to July, and ensure the soil is kept moist. Depending on what size you’re looking for you can harvest them young, when they have reached the size of a golf ball, or leave them in the ground until they are about the size of a cricket ball.
Chilli plants grow surprisingly well in the UK as long as you keep them warm, and the hotter the variety the more heat they need to grow. With this in mind, it’s worth choosing a milder variety if you’re new to growing veg. Sow indoors on a warm windowsill in spring and move outdoors in May. Keep well-watered, and feed with some liquid seaweed once the flowers begin to form. Harvest from July onwards.
Ah, the humble spud. A lot of people tend to think of potatoes as a troublesome crop, but ‘early’ varieties are simple to grow. Plant in late February, and harvest 10 to 20 weeks later. It’s really that easy. Potatoes need deep soil so it’s a good idea to grow them in raised beds or garden bags, mounding more soil up around the stems as they grow, then harvesting once the leaves start to turn yellow.
Fresh, crispy salad leaves really are the easiest of all crops to grow, and you don’t have to wait long to reap your rewards either as some varieties can be harvested in just a few weeks! Go for a seed mix that offers a variety of colours and flavours, and sow in fortnightly successions so that you don’t get loads all at once.
Growing rhubarb is very easy, however it does require a decent amount of patience as, for best results, you don’t harvest for the first year of its growth. Skipping the first year allows the plants to establish, but it’s worth it as you’ll be rewarded with loads of stems for years afterwards. Plant dormant crowns in late autumn to early winter, and simply leave them to their own devices. Simple.
Peas are fuss free and don’t even mind the cooler weather, which means you don’t have to start them off indoors. Just pop the seeds in your soil from March onwards and watch them grow! They will need supporting as they climb, so pop some bamboo canes in with them and tie them in as they grow. Harvest from June to August regularly – the more you pick them, the more they will grow!
Like peas, legumes such as runners beans and broad beans are also very easy to grow, but will also need supporting and tying in. Sow in April and harvest from June onwards, picking constantly to encourage heavy crops.