Raising your own veggies is satisfying, healthful, and enjoyable. Yet, knowing where to begin might be difficult. Should you begin with beans or with onions? Should I eat courgettes or asparagus? Although growing what you enjoy to eat is a wonderful idea, it’s also important to consider how simple a crop is to cultivate. If aubergines are your favorite vegetable, consider growing them in your second veg-growing year, since they may be difficult to cultivate.
Instead, it’s best to grow crops that require little maintenance, are ready to harvest within a short time, and suffer few pests and diseases. Crops such as courgettes, beans, beets, rocket, radish, chilies, and potatoes fall under this category.
How to grow vegetables?
Select a protected, sunny location for your vegetable garden. Exceptions to this rule include salad leaves and some herbs, which can bolt (run to seed) in full sun, and therefore do better in partial shade. Remove weeds and add well-rotted compost or manure to the soil, then rake it level.
Grow just what you have room for. Salad vegetables may be grown in window boxes, pots, or growing bags if you don’t have a huge yard. Don’t grow plants too closely together and prick out if necessary – always follow the spacing suggestions on the seed packet.
Use physical barriers such as copper tape to keep slugs and snails at bay. Start fragile plants, such as lettuce leaves and courgettes, inside and transplant them outside when they’re large enough to resist assault. As a last option, use wildlife-friendly slug pellets (made from iron phosphate).
Water plants thoroughly and stake them if required to prevent them from flopping over.
This is a list of the finest starter veggies to cultivate.
Beetroot can be sown direct into shallow drills in the soil, and are ready to harvest within a few weeks. ‘Boltardy’ is a well-known and dependable globe-shaped beetroot. It has good resistance to bolting (running to seed), making it a perfect choice for beginner growers. It has roots of medium size with smooth skin and rich red flesh.
Salad leaves like rocket and oak-leaf lettuce can be sown in pots and harvested on a cut-and-come-again basis, so you don’t need to tend the plants for long. You may purchase a variety of salad leaf kinds and plant them together to form a colorful salad.
Bush tomatoes are easier to grow than cordon varieties, as they don’t need supporting and their side shoots do not require pricking out. Bush tomatoes thrive in a hanging basket or container, both inside and out.
Plant potatoes in the ground or an old compost bag, cover the leaves with dirt when they first emerge (known as ‘earthing up,’ and harvest a few weeks later. Early potatoes (seeded in early April) may be harvested in July, before the danger of potato blight rises. ‘Red Duke of York’ has an appealing crimson peel, while ‘Anya’ has lengthy tubers with a nutty flavor.
Peas are rather simple to cultivate. Choose a compact variety, such as ‘Half Pint’, that doesn’t require staking. They can even be cultivated in pots. The young tips can be trimmed and added to salads for a delicious spring treat, and are followed by flowers and pods.
Radish seeds are fairly large, so they are easy to sow and don’t need thinning out. They’ll be ready to harvest in a matter of weeks. Radish ‘French Breakfast’ has crisp, oval, red and white roots while ‘Scarlet Globe’ is bright scarlet with white flesh.
Miners’ lettuce/winter purslane
Miners’ lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) is so easy to grow it has naturalised in some areas of the UK. It produces a consistent salad production from October to March and has a similar flavor to spinach.
Japanese and Chinese salad leaves
As cut-and-come-again leaves, Japanese leafy crops such as mizuna and mibuna, as well as Chinese mustard, may be planted. They demand minimal maintenance and give a variety of flavors, colors, and textures for stir fry and salads. They may be cultivated in containers as well as in the ground.
Monty Don is sowing Japanese and Chinese leaves for the winter.
Chillies thrive in window sill planters or in a warm, bright location outdoors. They have similar growing requirements to bush tomatoes and will continue to crop until the first frosts in autumn.
Courgettes are well-known for generating a large yield from a small number of plants. For the best results, grow your courgettes in fertile ground and water regularly, picking the courgettes when they’re no longer than 10cm. ‘Defender’ F1 is a British type that is resistant to cucumber mosaic virus and is good for limited settings.