5 Easy Vegetables To Grow At Home

5 Vegetables for the First-Time Gardener | Cucina Kristina | cucinakristina.com

It’s finally starting to feel like summer! I think this is the latest we have ever transferred our seedings to the ground. Have you started your summer garden yet? 

If you are new to gardening it can be very overwhelming to get started. Many gardening blogs talk about soil quality, zone hardiness, pH levels, companion planting, cross-pollination, disease and pest control… it’s enough to make your head spin.

Don’t get me wrong, these websites are very informative, but they make the learning curve sound so intimidating, I think it scares many people off from starting a garden. Most first-time gardeners probably have the attitude I had when I first started. They want to throw some seeds into the ground, water them, cross their fingers and hope for the best. If that’s you, that’s ok! Unless you come from a line of gardeners, you’re starting in the same place that most of us did. 

First-time gardeners aren’t worried about soil testing, row gardening vs. square foot gardening, and composting. Let’s get real, their number one concern is probably remembering to water the garden on a regular basis! 

These are my five favorite things to grow in my garden each year because they are low maintenance vegetables. They are all fairly disease and pest-resistant, which makes them easy to care for if you are new to gardening. That isn’t to say you will never encounter a problem with these veggies, but you aren’t going to have the same problems you’ll have with some other edibles.  


Radishes from our garden Radishes are an awesome vegetable for the first-time gardener. They grow really quickly – the turnaround time from seed to harvest is about 30-40 days. Radishes can be eaten raw, pickled, or roasted. You can also eat the greens, which is great because it’s kind of like growing two things at one time. 

Container or ground: Both.
Growing conditions: Full sun.

Hot Peppers

Hot Peppers | Vegetables for the First-Time Gardener | cucinakristina.com

I LOVE growing hot peppers every year. I grow everything from mildly hot peppers like jalapeƱos to super spicy habaneros. There are so many varieties out there that you can definitely find something that will align with your spicy comfort zone. Hot peppers are usually bright red or orange and they add a nice pop of color to your garden. If you end up with too many at one time, you can dry them, pickle them, or freeze them and have hot peppers all year-round. 

Container or ground: Both.
Growing conditions: Full sun.


Juliet Tomatoes | Vegetables for the First-Time Gardener | cucinakristina.com

If you have the space to grow tomatoes, I would definitely recommend it. My absolute favorite type of tomato to grow is a Juliet Tomato. Juliets are so sweet and juicy. They are a little larger than a cherry tomato, but still small enough to pop into your mouth. You can also use them to make salsa or tomato sauce.

Container or Ground: Ground. With that being said, there are plenty of tutorials out there about growing tomatoes in containers and/or without trellises, but I think this would be very difficult for a novice gardener and would advise against if on your first go-round.
Growing conditions: Full sun.

Arugula or Other Salad Greens

Arugula | Vegetables for the First-Time Gardener | cucinakristina.com

My favorite salad green happens to be arugula. I love the peppery taste and since it is super pricey in the grocery store, I feel like I am growing a little gold mine in my backyard every summer. Greens are great to grow at home because once you pick the leaves, they keep producing. In fact, you WANT to pick the leaves often so your greens do not start to flower. Flowering usually signals the end of a season; however, I find that if you keep the flowers under control, you can stretch the growing season all summer long. So awesome.

Container or Ground: Both.
Growing conditions: Depends on the green, but most tolerate the shade and can be grown in partial sun.


How to Divide Chives | cucinakristina.com

Chives are so great for the first-time gardener because they are really hard to kill. Unless you forget to water them for an extended period of time, they will practically take care of themselves. They grow quickly and you can eat the green stalks and the pretty purple blossoms. If you find your chives are outgrowing their container, you can divide them and give them away to friends. 

Container or Ground: Both. AND! They are perennials, which means you do not have to replant them every year. 
Growing conditions: Full sun.

With the exception of the tomatoes, everything above can be grown in a container, which means you do not need a backyard to have a little farmer’s market at your finger tips. Got a balcony? You’ve got enough space for a little urban garden of your own. What are you waiting for? Head out to your nearest garden center and start growing!

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