Q: Which vegetables are easiest to grow?
Karen M., Nipomo
A: Springtime tends to bring out the gardener in all of us. The longer days and warmer weather make us gravitate to garden centers and nurseries in search of inspiration — and something to plant! Vegetable gardens are high on the list of garden projects this time of year, so why not plant something that you can eat? More importantly, why not plant something that’s super easy to grow?
Thankfully, there are plenty of options. Tomatoes top the list of easy-to-grow vegetables, especially the small-fruited varieties such as “yellow pear” or other cherry tomato varieties. What if space is limited? Consider using hanging pots or size-appropriate pots. Starter plants provide instant gratification because there’s no need to fuss with starting seeds. With a little support for their stalks and lots of sun, tomatoes will reward you with a bountiful harvest all summer long.
Loose leaf lettuce is another simple vegetable to grow, even from seed. Whether in a small plot of ground or in a container, lettuce grows quickly, takes up little space and is very easy to harvest: just cut the tops off when you’re ready for a salad. Reseed every few weeks and you’ll have a steady supply at your fingertips.
One of the most prolific vegetables to grow is squash — specifically zucchini. Who hasn’t been on the receiving end of a few — or dozens — of homegrown zucchini? Zucchini tends to do best in warmer soil and likes adequate moisture. Another bonus is that you can eat the blossoms.
Other easy-to-grow options include bush-type green beans, root vegetables such as radishes, beets, carrots and bushy cucumbers that do well in containers. One interesting, though less talked about option for planting vegetables is the “regrow” method. Basil, romaine lettuce, green onions, leeks, potatoes, garlic and celery can all be regrown using rooted cuttings (basil) or the root stump. Celery is easy and fun to regrow. After harvesting the leaves and stalks, either root the stump or simply plant it in the soil and watch it grow!
Exciting, isn’t it? Let’s plant some vegetables!
Looking for more inspiration? Visit http://cagardenweb.ucanr.edu/Vegetables
Jackie Woods is a UCCE Master Gardener.
Got a gardening question?
In San Luis Obispo call 805-781-5939, Arroyo Grande, 805-473-7190 and Templeton, 805-434-4105. Visit us at http://ucanr.org/sites/mgslo/ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Instagram at slo_mgs and like us on Facebook. Informative garden workshops are held the third Saturday of every month, 10 a.m. to noon at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. Garden docents are available after the workshop until 1 p.m. To request a tour of the garden, call 805-781-5939.