25 Best Veggies to Grow for Beginners

Learning how to garden is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences you will ever embrace. Each and every season, you grow with your garden. You learn how much space plants need, you learn to anticipate hardship, you learn what works well together and what doesn’t through companion planting. The most important thing is to start–wherever you are at. If it’s your first time gardening, there are a number of fruits and veggies to grow for beginners that you can count on being pretty forgiving. Here’s a list to get you started.


What’s more enchanting than summer strawberries? Especially when you have the bragging rights to tell your friends and family, “I grew these myself.” In my experience, strawberries thrive with an ample amount of organic soil, and lots of love and attention. However, overall, strawberries make a great plant for first time gardeners.


Ratatouille, anyone? The first time I made ratatouille was when my own mother’s garden was overflowing with eggplant and basil. Of course, I had heard of the dish from the Pixar film, but the results were far better (and easier to make) than expected. Simply roast up some eggplant, summer squash, and zucchini with a yummy pasta sauce, sprinkle on some garden-fresh basil, and you have yourself an elegant and delicious summer dinner. Eggplant is easy to grow, just add some organic plant food and watch the purple blossoms pop up in early summer, and get ready for an abundant harvest in mid-summer.

cherry tomatoes in glass jar near garden

Cherry Tomatoes

They’re delicious on salads, they’re perfect for a quick caprese, or a healthy snack, cherry tomatoes are an amazing veggie to grow for first time gardeners. When planting cherry tomatoes, you’ll need to add a trellis to guide this plant in the right direction. Believe me–I tried skipping this step to save money–HUGE mistake! Learn more about everything it takes for how to grow tomatoes.


Zucchini–it’s delicious pan sautéd in olive oil with salt and pepper. It’s in soups, stir fries, buddha bowls, and spiraled into zoodles. Thankfully, zucchini is super easy to grow. It grows well with other summer squash, acorn squash, eggplant, and pumpkin. It’ll turn from blossoms to squashes seemingly overnight, so be ready wth a game plan on how you’ll preserve your harvest.


Lettuce is one of those veggies that if you have it on hand you all of a sudden become a salad person. And if you’re not a huge salad person, garden-fresh lettuce just might be the missing piece for you. Plus, it’s one one of the best veggies to grow for beginners. If you want to start lettuce from seed, you certainly can. Simply start the seeds according to package directions indoors. However, we suggest growing lettuce from a starter plant that you can pickup any plant nursery or even hardware store.


Once you learn how to grow basil for yourself, you’ll never settle for store-bought again. Once you smell garden-fresh basil for the first time, all other basil will pale in comparison. Truly, fresh herbs will change your life. Also, growing basil is almost fool proof. Just drop a start plant (for just a few dollars) into some healthy soil, and expect a big basil harvest in no time. Another tip to keep in mind for growing basil– it can be aggressive! Give it plenty of space to spread out so it doesn’t start attacking neighboring plants.

rainbow swiss chard against linen background

Swiss Chard

One of the most whimsical and nutritious things you can plant is rainbow swiss chard. This beautiful leafy green is incredibly easy to grow and maintain. It takes a few weeks to grow in completely, which gives you some time to gradually harvest the plant and work it into your meal plan, or share it with your community.


If you are wondering what the trick is to the perfect salsa verse, it’s tomatillo. Tomatillo is a gorgeous husk tomato that has a pulpy exterior. Tomatillo is an essential ingredient for enchiladas, salsa verdes, and more. These vegetables are super easy to grow and will begin to bear fruit at about the same time as tomatoes.


Cilantro is extremely easy to grow for first time gardeners. Simply plant a starter plant in soil, and watch it grow fuller and fuller. The flavor and aroma will ruin you for store-bought cilantro. Avoid planting with fennel.


Plant some beautiful parsley into your garden and it’ll flourish with just a little watering each day. Cut the stems at the base for a continuous harvest throughout your growing season. Top curries, salads, and soups, or dry out for seasoning year round.

Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is a tasty, delicate squash that takes a few months to come in. These guys are great for a fall time harvest, and are delicious roasted with olive oil and sea salt, or puréed into a soup. Acorn squash grows well with a variety of squash plants. Watch out for squash bugs and be sure to treat any pests or disease with neem oil.

chamomile in palm of hand


Chamomile is a great companion plant to a variety of different plants. It’s great for making tea or sweet little bouquets. Plant it alongside carrots, lettuce, or strawberries.


You can’t go wrong with planting leafy greens. Spinach is a super healthy, super easy veggie to grow for beginners. Whether you start with planting seeds indoors or dropping a starter plant into healthy soil, you’ll have an easy time keeping a spinach plant alive and healthy for your peak growing months.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are one of the easiest starter plants to grow. All you need are some potatoes and a garden plot or even a grow bag container. Simply plant the spuds into the ground and water regularly. Over the coming months, you’ll see some leafiness start to sprout. In just a few months, you’ll have a healthy harvest of sweet potatoes.


Grow and dry and bottle all of the thyme you and your community will need to bring flavor and taste to your cooking throughout the winter months with this easy starter plant. To harvest for several months, simply trim the thyme at its base.

Summer Squash

If you have eggplant and zucchini growing, you have to add in some summer squash. These easy veggies for beginners are great in ratatouille, and they’re basically fool-proof. Just don’t leave these bad boys on the vine for too long. They’ll grow huge and get watery if left without being harvested.

Bok Choy

Get ready to make some stir fry. Bok choy can be sown directly into soil and watered regularly for a spring or falltime harvest. It’s a durable and easy veggie to grow for beginners, and we suggest giving it a try in your spring or fall garden.

radish hharvest held up against backdrop of radish garden


I wasn’t the biggest fan of radishes until I began growing them in my garden. What is so great about radishes is that you can sow the seeds directly into the ground, water it regularly, then recieve a lovely harvest of radishes in the mid-summer. These are delicious atop summer salads, or served with yummy dip on a crudité platter. Learn more about how to grow radishes.

Carnival Carrots

Carnival carrots are bright, multi-color, heirloom carrots. The seeds are place in soil and watered routinely for a relatively quick growing season. Typically, you’ll grow several rounds of carrots. Remember not to overwater carrots, as this causes the leaves to grow tall and the carrots themselves to be shallow and less hearty. Learning how to grow carrots is a great first step toward building a garden.

Roma Tomatoes

If you’re a sucker for Italian cooking, Roma tomatoes are your best friend. These easy and content veggies will pop up in no time once you plant your starter plant, and they are an amazing base for all sorts of pasta and pizza sauces, not to mention curry sauce and salsa.

harvesting banana peppers

Banana Peppers

I adore pickled banana peppers on sandwiches and salads. They add so much spicy sweet flavor and bright color. Banana peppers are fun to grow, as they tend to flower even if they’re a bit neglected, especially when they get lots of sunshine. The plant will first bloom a few white flowers, then begin to bear baby peppers. Learn all that there is to learn about how to grow peppers.


Having fresh jalapeño on hand is a game-changer. Add it to salsa, top chili and tacos, or make some jalapeño poppers. If you have an abundant harvest, do some jalapeño pickling and enjoy these spicy veggies year round. Once jalapeño has come in, don’t wait too long to harvest. If left unattended, peppers turn red and lose their flavor.


One of the most enchanting elements of a summer garden is the fresh rosemary sprigs you can add to just about any dish. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, garden-fresh herbs taste and smell irresistable. If you stay on top of it, your rosemary plant will grow bigger and bigger.

Sweet White Onions

Every beginner gardener needs a sweet little onion patch. All you need to do is poke some onion bulbs into fertilized soil to reap a harvest a few months later. These guys are super forgiving. Just remember to avoid overwatering.


There is nothing like growing peas in your garden. For the absolute beginner, peas are a great vegetable to start with. In fact, our inspiration for our blog name comes from a quote about growing peas. It goes:

“I became a sort of garden fanatic, and I am not over it yet. You can take a few seed peas, dry and dead, and sow them in a little furrow, and they will sprout into a row of pea vines and bear more peas—it may not be a miracle, but that is a matter of opinion.” ― Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

cabbage, parsley, swiss chard garden in raised beds

Your Questions Answered about Best Veggies to Grow for Beginners

What vegetables should I start with first? 

When it comes to which vegetables to start with first, it helps to think about whether you should start seeds vs. starter plants. If planting from seeds you can start brassicas and greens in late winter or early spring to be planted outdoors, and carrots and radishes can be sown in the ground on the earlier side.

What is the best vegetable to start growing? 

Start with cucumbers, carrots, strawberries, and fresh herbs like parsley and mint. Research what grows best in your area through talking to local gardeners. For me, it’s tomatoes and peppers.

What is the best size vegetable garden for a beginner?

The best size vegetable garden is whatever you are comfortable with. Start with a plot thats 4 by 8 feet, and you’ll be amazed at how much you can grow. You can always add in a few pots of herbs if you want to take on a bit more.

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