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Garden for Beginners: 7 Crops That Will Help You Begin Your Own Garden

Starting a garden might seem like a daunting task that requires a lot of work and, instead of being relaxing, appears to be stressful. Providing the right amount of water and sunlight, finding the right kind of shade and the right type of soil for each plant can be very overwhelming. However, there are ways to get around this.

Gardening can become a great tool of meditation and peace if you let it. Various studies have shown that people dealing with stress and anxiety have found their mental health much improved after they took up gardening. It also increases heart health, reduces stroke risk, regulates the immune system, reduces the chances of getting brain diseases and helps people out of depression.

Experienced gardeners will tell you that gardening is more of a ‘learn as you go’ type of activity. You can start small, begin learning with just a few crops and eventually add more as you learn and grow alongside your garden.

To get started with your green adventure, here are seven of the easiest crops to grow and farm in your garden:

1. Lettuce

One of the easiest crops to grow is lettuce and other salad greens. Lettuce is very easy to harvest and grows quickly. All you have to do is snip the leaves off at the top of the plant, and you’re done! Another good thing about lettuce is that it can also grow in containers and under shade from bigger plants.

The best type of lettuce to start off with is the leaf lettuce as it is not so sensitive to greater sun exposure than others.

The outer leaves of the lettuce may only be harvested when in need, while the inner ones will remain intact until their time, giving a long continual harvest. Lettuce only requires enough attention to be watered well and can sustain itself without a lot of attention.

2. Carrots

Root vegetables like carrots are known for being very resistant to pests and diseases. They are a tough vegetable in that they are not affected much by sudden temperature changes and can grow in both high- and low-density sunlight (although they fare best in high density). They can also grow in different kinds of soil, but deeper, loose and well-drained soil is preferred for better growth.

Overall, carrots are a good off-season crop that can bare frost. If left in the ground, the flower of the carrots will produce seeds the next year.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes happen to be the most popular crop to grow in gardens of various sizes. They can be very easily grown in baskets or containers where sunlight is plentiful. It is better to provide their stalks with support for the best possible output. Otherwise, tomatoes are very low maintenance.

Smaller tomatoes like patio and yellow pear are even easier to grow because splitting or blossom-end rot are not issues that they face.

In order to protect tomatoes against pests, planting basil beside them is an easy solution. Tomatoes do have a long growing season, so it is suggested that they be planted indoors around 4-6 weeks before the last frost.

4. Potatoes

Although they require more space than others, potatoes tend to be the easiest to grow in your garden. Like most plants, it is necessary to monitor their water intake. Baby potatoes can be harvested after 8 weeks. Potatoes also give a high yield as a small area of land dedicated to them will generate enough to harvest over the course of the season. It’s also not necessary to grow potatoes in the ground. As long as they receive sunlight, water and good soil, they can be planted in any type of container available.

All in all, they are fairly easy to grow and difficult to mess up.

5. Cucumbers

Like most plants, cucumbers prefer warm temperatures. Their vertical growth makes them easy to grow in containers, and upon receiving enough sunlight and water on time, cucumbers give a very high yield.

Bush cucumbers are pest-resistant and easy to harvest for any beginner garden. To get the best possible yield, they should be removed from direct sunlight upon ripening. Overall, they grow fast and only require moist soil, so they are quite easy to maintain.

6. Radishes

Radishes are one of the fastest growing crops – it only takes them 20 days to reach their full size. Not only are they used in various recipes, but they are also very easy to plant as their seeds are large enough to sow in anything that is at least 6 inches deep. They need a normal amount of sunlight and can continue to grow in some shade. If watered before the soil dries out, the harvest will be great.

Radishes can be grown all season long. The key to enjoying radishes at their best is knowing exactly when to harvest them. Radishes are good companion plants because they can draw aphids, flea beetles, and other pests away from peppers, squash, cucumbers, and other vegetables.

7. Chili Peppers

One of the easiest peppers for beginners to grow is the chili pepper. It has a short growth time and do not need direct sunlight for the seedlings to germinate. Chili peppers can also be grown in containers with organic, composted soil and do not need to be buried deep in the ground. Once they break the surface of the soil, the container should be kept near a window and transplanted after the pepper has become three inches in size.


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Written by Lisa Quarterman

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