When I look back at all the years, I have been gardening, I can truly confide that there are only six easy vegetables to grow. Why did I say “easy” because all vegetable could have issues such as pests, powdery mildew, etc. Also, plant issues could also be magnified by where you live.
Just to give you some perspective, I live in NJ where everything is big or go home. Even the pests have the same philosophy. Why be a pest if you can’t create the ultimate havoc?
And then there is the weather. One day it is humid as a steam bath, and the next day it is so cold in August that you aren’t sure if we missed the summer. Oh, did I mention we don’t have (or at least I can’t remember) a spring? So, when I say these are the easiest plants for me to grow, provided you plant them correctly, water them and give them a little love. You know I mean they are pretty easy.
Everything is relative.
And the envelope please for the winners of the 6 easy vegetables to grow goes to…
Before you start shaking your head at me and screaming every year you get a mosaic virus or bottom rot, I don’t. I don’t have tomato issues since I grow my tomatoes in raised beds and rotate my plants every year. Or maybe the plant gods haven’t bestowed this gift on me?
I am not complaining, plant gods.
I just find if:
- • you bury tomatoes up to their top leaves or plant them on their side ,
• Give them some fertilizer,
• Add some egg shells when you bury them
• Don’t crowd them. I give my tomatoes about 2 feet by 2 feet of space since I grow heirloom varieties. They grow like weeds.
• Keep them watered, and they grow like weeds.
• Stake them or put them in a large cage.
Sure they can have some problems with pests like hornworms, whiteflies, and aphids but all in all they are pretty easy to grow.
You can even prune them which will help with your yields.
You got to love a plant that just laughs at the heat and the cold. I wish I had its temperament.
I hate both. (I have Goldilocks’ syndrome.)
Oh and did I mention how beautiful the color of this plant is? You can plant different color Swiss Chards. You can even add Swiss chard to your regular plant beds as ornamental plants.
While my white flies are going to town on my collard greens and kale, the Swiss Chard is singing that the skies-are-sunny-over-here song.
If you are lucky, they might even go to seed so you can collect them for more Swiss chard the next year,
Pop a clove in the ground at the proper depth in the fall, and swim in garlic in July. Doesn’t this sound divine? (See HERE how to plant garlic. You can plant in the Spring but I heard that the heads aren’t as big from some people and others saying there isn’t any difference.)
In fact, I take one of the cloves I harvested and put it right back on the ground for the next year. Alternatively, you can gather the seeds at the top of the garlic, and plant those. They are called bubblets and you can harvest them in two years.
All kinds of beans are very easy to grow. In the past, I have grown black beans, cannellini beans, northern beans, calypso beans, edamame, scarlet runners, lima beans and regular pole beans.
In fact, bean plants are the gifts that keep on giving. Pole beans keep producing until frost. Even bush beans like black bean will give you a second small crop.
Their enemy is the Mexican beetle. That not so cute yellow ladybug look alike will eat your leaves. Don’t be fooled by these bugs. They are not cute ladybugs. They are the evil stepsisters.
They like bush beans and lima beans. In my case, they like all my beans. I swear invitations go out in May when I am planting my beans that there is a fiesta at my garden. Not only do the beetles show up, but they also bring a friend.
They are completely impolite. They never send any thank you notes.
Some say planting early beans to attract them to wipe out the next few generations will help. But no one seems to say how to kill them.
I do have a plan.
This year will be the year of the birds. I will be installing bird feeders in the middle of the garden. I need those feathered friends to do their job.
I love growing potatoes.
I have to admit. Potatoes are one of the funnest vegetables to grow. Since I grow my potatoes in grow bags, it is so much fun to hunt for them in the bags.
Learn HERE and HERE on how to plant them. I simply add fertilizer to the bag and keep adding soil as they grow.
*Hint* If you want blue or red flowers on your potato plants, plant blue or red potatoes. You can buy specialty potatoes using this list. Regular potatoes produce white flowers.
Sure. They have a pest–the Colorado Beetle. He is a striped fella that lays eggs. They turn into these gray ugly larvae that eat your potato leaves. (They also like eggplants.)
I have been growing potatoes for seven years and last year, was the first time the beetle went after my potatoes. I think they found the potatoes because I planted eggplant right by them.
What a big mistake.
Okay. What a HUGE mistake.
I never knew what those ugly gray larvae were until I saw the beetle on my potato plants.
Years ago, I heard that some farmers plant their potatoes after the fourth of July reasoning that the beetle found its home in other people’s gardens. I might try this trick.
However, I did not notice that beetle until August. Again, the invitations may have gone out in May, again since my garden is a pest loving feast.
Cucumbers are the type of plants that if you wish to have a good harvest, you will be able to feed your neighborhood. For years, I have been growing a pickling cucumber and a lemon cucumber. The lemon cucumber is like the Ever Ready battery bunny. It keeps going and going until you are sick of seeing those little yellow tennis balls that need a shave. (See HERE what they look like.)
All they need is water, a trellis to climb on, and they are good to go. They do have some enemies such as the cucumber beetle, as well as powdery mildew. I haven’t seen this beetle yet in my garden but if he was there, it hasn’t done much damage.
Powdery mildew shows up in August when it starts to cool down in zone 6. It will kill your leaves and eventually the plant. In August, you can start new cucumber plants just in case powdery mildew shows up. You just might be able to eke out a late harvest. Honestly, by the time August comes around, you will be sick of cucumbers. (Just in case you want to battle with powdery mildew, see HERE for a cure. It is more precautionary then once powdery mildew is full blown.)
If I were to pick a seventh vegetable, I would pick sweet potatoes. They are so easy to grow provided you have a long enough season and heat. I didn’t add this to the list since not everyone has ideal conditions to grow them.
Lastly, I didn’t add squash or zucchini to the list because of the squash vine borer. That moth will lay eggs on the bottom of your vines and kill the plant. Sometimes you can cut out the worm but it may be too late.
Every year I have lost plants to this pest despite using aluminum foil around the base.
Join the Conversation:
Which vegetables are easy to grow in your garden?