10 Easy Garden Plants

Beginning gardeners will have a better chance of success if they start with easy garden plants.

| April/May 2006

If you’re planting your first garden, we strongly urge you to consider starting with easy garden plants. These 10 crops are all easy to grow, and this combination offers lots of possibilities for cooking. Some of these plants can be started from seeds, but most are easier to grow if you start by purchasing seedlings.

Radishes. Radishes do well even in not-so-great garden soil and are ready to harvest in only a few weeks. Plant the seeds in spring and fall.

Salad greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula or corn salad). Pick your favorite, or try a mix — many seed companies sell mixed packets for summer and winter gardening. Plant the seeds in spring and fall, and you can pick salads almost year-round.

Green beans. Easy to grow and prolific. If you get a big crop, they freeze well, and they're also delicious when pickled as “dilly beans.” Start with seeds after danger of frost has passed.

Onions. Start with small plants, and if they do well, you can harvest bulb onions. If not, you can always eat the greens.

Strawberries. Perfectly ripe strawberries are unbelievably sweet, and the plants are surprisingly hardy. Just be sure to put this perennial in a sunny spot and keep it well weeded.

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