Easy Growers for New Sowers!
Part Two – 6 – 10
Part Three – 11 – 15
When l first started vegetable gardening and l mean the very first time back in 1996 , l started too adventurously. I had a very large collection of rabbits, guinea pigs and others and l wanted to grow to add more natural food types to their diet. I was at that time also supplementing their dry diet with wild foraging and feeding them countryside weeds and so l did wonder how hard it would be to grow vegetables as well?
Simply answered … It was extremely hard work!!
Although l was based on a farm in Lincolnshire, l had my buildings on hard and uncultivated set aside land which hadn’t been turned for a very long time. The plot of ground l had was too large, l was the typical novice noob who didn’t have the knowledge or the experience to cultivate ‘land’, nor the tools to till it. I had a rake, a hoe and a pitch fork. I didn’t know about digging, or composting or fertilisers or anything – l was like a City Dick in a country setting!
The seeds l bought were not right for the soils and the list went on and on … the disasters and annoyances as well as frustrations that followed for my first ever growing season experience put me off for a good many years to follow.
For my first trial out, l had thought too big, l was too pushed for time especially as l was already working flat out feeding well over a thousand animals and l simply didn’t have not just the right knowledge but any knowledge on starting a vegetable patch.
Twenty plus ago is long before we had convenient Internet! Twenty plus ago is a long time in gardening and especially with regards the modern vegetable gardening new growers have at their disposal today. It is a solid fact that vegetable growing today is a much simpler process than it was back in the mid 90’s. It is easier and more fun today than it was yesterday.
Yesterday however – l didn’t have a guide as to what would be easier to grow as a novice …
Fifteen of the Easiest Vegetables to Grow for Beginners!
Part 1 – Part 2 Tomorrow
There are many choices for new to vegetable gardening novices and everyone has a differing view point – but these are the vegetables l have noted as being not just easy, but with alternative growing choices. Here are the first five…
1 – Peppers [Capsicum]
Sow from February [Indoors] to April [Outdoors Greenhouse]and Harvest from July through to November.
Hot peppers, or chillies and sweet peppers are actually very easy to grow.This plant loves heat – pending where you are in the world, they can be easily grown outside as well as indoors. I have grown them here and have them on this year’s planner. I sowed their seeds earlier this week and will bring the trays in this weekend so that the seeds will have the warmth of the conservatory to start their germination process.
The general rule of thumb for growing is ‘the hotter the variety the hotter the temperature required to ripen’. Sowing seeds now, ready for the seedlings to be hardened off and planted outside in May/June time with fruits being available from July through to November.
2 – Salad Greens
Sow from March through to August – some varieties allow for longer sowing. Harvest from April through till September.
There is a large range of products available that fall into this category: spinach varieties, rocket, wild rocket, corn salad, oriental greens, mizuna, mustards, kale, parsley, nasturtium, marigold and many more pending and reflective upon your idea of salad. They are easy to grow also … simply sow seed into a pot and keep well watered.
You could have these on your windowsills in the house or the kitchen and cut as and when you need them. Keep harvesting and for the season the salads will keep on producing.
So you are not over run with salad leaves, try succession growing as in sow new seeds once every 2 – 3 weeks so you always have a continuous flow of fresh leaves. We eat a lot of salad here throughout the year and will be dedicating quite a bit of space to quite a few varieties.
Growing hint here is to prevent crops bolting or running to seed too quickly – water frequently.
3 – Radish
Sow a month after last frost through to August – some varieties allow for longer sowing. Harvest from April through till September.
Who doesn’t like these little peppery and spicy vegetables? I love them and can eat them by the handful before they even reach the kitchen! In addition to the hot fruit you can also eat their leaves – if young you can use in salads and if older then cook like spinach!
There are so many varieties of radish available so you’ll not be hard pushed to find one you like. The beauty of radish is that you can grow them indoors in a pot equally as outdoors in a larger container or a raised bed or in the ground. There are microgreen varieties of radish available now as well which l will write about in another episode.
This year l am sowing out five varieties of radish – they are remarkably quick to sprout out as well. Four weeks is the usual time from seed to harvest. Water like salads, they can quickly bolt or run to seed or if left too long they become very woody and lose all taste. The more water they have encourages healthy growth too.
4 – Beetroot
Sow from March through till August and harvest from later April through till early October.
Once more the gardener is spoilt for choice with beetroot varieties – we have a few here for this season ourselves. Sow into moist soil and always keep this root crop watered so as to prevent bolting. The best size for harvesting is when the root is golf ball size but if not then, no bigger than a cricket ball for better results and flavour.
This is a great vegetable to enjoy raw in salads or cooked and added to roasts or as a side serving.
5 – Runner Beans
Sow in soil direct outdoors from April through till June and harvest from July through till October. You can sow seeds indoors now ready for transplanting in May
Runner Beans l think are one of the easiest bean varieties to grow, they are quicker and in my opinion more efficient as a grower to say climbing beans and they produce a higher yield ratio.
Secret to great harvests is to pick the fruit often as this will encourage the plant to continually produce a crop for you. Runner beans like many varieties of bean need to be trained to grow up a support system like perhaps a cane wigwam or a wire or wooden trestle or indeed the string method. You can grow in the ground, containers or in raised beds, there is a lot of verstility with runner beans.
Beans drink a LOT of water, so ensure you mulch the growing spot well to retain moisture.
Anyway, that’s our first five easy growers for new sowers. Over the weekend, l will cover parts 2 and 3. For the time being, many thanks for stopping by and l’ll catch you next episode.
Easy Growers for New Sowers!
|Part One – 1 – 5||Part Two – 6 – 10||
Part Three – 11 – 15