I love gardening. It makes me feel so primitive and self sufficient to grow my own food. There is also something very therapeutic about digging in the dirt and pulling weeds. Who knew, right?
The easiest way to start gardening is to buy some seeds, find a good location, plant the seeds and take care of the plants all season long.
For step by step instructions on how to start a garden, you can check out this blog post and series—> Beginner Gardening Series #1: Planning Your Location.
But what are the best varieties of seeds to buy? How do you know if you should buy seeds in the package or plants at the store?
Today, I want to go over 9 of the best vegetables to grow directly from seed in your garden. These plants are fairly easy to grow without starting seeds inside or buying plants from your local nursery.
9 Best Vegetables to Grow From Seed:
Beans are easy to grow because the fruit is the seed. There are two types of beans: pole beans and bush beans. Pole beans need something to climb on, such as a trellis or pole. Bush beans grow in a bush, so they don’t need something to climb on.
Types of beans: Green (or other color) beans, pinto beans, peas, etc.
Beets are grown for their fruit (the bulb) and the green leaves above ground. Beets can be grown in succession, so that you add a new row every few weeks and get a harvest all season long.
Carrots are super easy to grow. They have tiny little seeds, so you will almost always distribute too many seeds at first. But once the greens come up out of the ground, you can start thinning them out. Last year my carrots took FOREVER to come up and I thought they were dead. But they finally came up and I got a great harvest. If you don’t thin out your carrots (you can use them in a salad or give them to your animals) you will get funky carrots that all grow together in weird shapes.
Corn is the quintessential summer crop. When I see my corn coming up, I know that summer is in full swing. Grow corn in rows with some space between so that the rows won’t be too tight.
Types of corn: Sweet corn, Popcorn, and Indian Corn
Cucumbers are a great vegetable to plant from seed. It is easy to grow as long as you give it some love and care all season long. You can harvest cucumbers throughout the season.
Types of cucumbers: Salad cucumbers and Pickling cucumbers
Lettuce (Leafy Greens):
This is a large category, because it includes several kinds of greens. Lettuce and other leafy greens can be grown early in the season and again in the fall. They don’t usually do well in hot weather. When it gets too hot, lettuce will bolt (shoot up tall stems) and go to seed. You always want to harvest greens before they bolt for the best taste.
Types of lettuce (leafy greens): Lettuce, kale, spinach, bok choy, mixed lettuce, etc.
Radishes are like little beets. You can eat the fruit and the leaves of this vegetable (great in salads). Fresh radishes taste so much better than the ones you get in the store. Seriously! Radishes can be grown in cooler weather and in succession for several weeks in the spring. Like carrots, if you don’t thin them out you get funny looking radishes like the ones above.
This is the EASIEST vegetable to grow in my area and probably yours too. You plant the seed and these vegetables grow like crazy. Most squash will take over a garden, so make sure and give them plenty of space.
Types of squash: Zucchini, pumpkin, winter squash, summer squash, etc.
Swiss chard is a beautiful vegetable to grow. Rainbow swiss chard has striking coloring on the stems (usually yellow and red) and beautiful deep green leaves. You can eat both the stems and leaves. You can plant the seeds in early spring and get great plants until mid summer.
When you are starting a new skill, like gardening, you want to start with the easiest things first. This way you can succeed early and gain more confidence to try harder things in the future. Growing these vegetables in your first garden can help you have a great gardening season.
When you start a garden, you will be worried about whether or not all of the work is worth it. But when you harvest your first vegetable, and you eat it, you will understand why people love gardening so much. Growing your own food for yourself and your family is a key homesteading skill. It is the cornerstone of self-sufficiency. And it just feels amazing!
I hope this list has helped you plan your garden this year. I will be planting all of these vegetables (and more) in my garden as well. Just thinking about it makes me ready to plant now, even though it is still too cold outside. Spring will be here soon and now is a great time to get ready for it!
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What vegetables grow easily from seed where you live? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!