Vegetable Gardening for Beginners

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Enjoyment is one good reason for picking something, DirtMechanic, there are others,
If you are just starting then there is a good chance the ground is not in great condition, both for fertility and it may be covered in weeds.

Potatoes are a good starter crop because you dig the ground to plant them, they grow well and smother most weeds, then you earth them up, a further blow to weeds, and finally you dig them to harvest them. That leaves the ground pretty clean of weeds.

Beans and peas fix nitrogen from the air, if you take off the top part of the plant when they are finished and chop the roots into the ground they will add to the nitrogen content.

Both of these also like plenty of organic material under them for moisture, but are unfussy about it being well rotted compost, you can take out a trench and fill it with kitchen compost and un-plasticated paper and cardboard, they will love it and by the time you dig it over next year it will have rotted down and be suitable for other things.

Also beans and potatoes are fairly bomb proof and you get a decent looking crop, which is encouraging for beginners.

If you only have a small area herbs are good, fresh herbs are so much better flavour, and again, not a great deal attacks them.
 
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Would Bell Peppers be a good vegetable for the beginner gardener?

If by "best" you mean pretty easy to grow and maintain, then yes I'd say so. I grow California Wonders for bell peppers most of the time. I like other peppers too. Peppers are kind of a pain to start from seed early in the season for me but I've always managed. They are real picky about the ambient temps or something but it is probably one of the easiest things I grow that doesn't have many problems after I get them transplanted.

Are you fixing to start vegetable gardening or something @LouisFerdinand ? I notice you post tons of things about flowers but not vegetables. If you can grow flowers you can grow vegetables and are not a beginning gardener.
 
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Are you fixing to start vegetable gardening or something @LouisFerdinand ? I notice you post tons of things about flowers but not vegetables. If you can grow flowers you can grow vegetables and are not a beginning gardener.
Occasionally I see him speaking of his customers. People who garden professionally are usually employed to grow flowers, people who grow veg usually do it for themselves.
 

Meadowlark

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From the standpoint of easy to grow, absolutely yes. They grow in my garden virtually free of any insect problems or fungal issues. Very easy to grow.

In my zone, I start them in the fall and harvest the following spring before hot temps arrive. They do not like hot temps.

Not everyone takes to the taste of beets, but if you like them, then by all means grow them.

Many uses for beets:
  • beet thinnings in salads.
  • beet greens prepared like spinach
  • oven roasted, steamed, juiced, fried, sautéed, or sliced fresh in salads.
  • canned, pickled, or fermented.
We pickle most all of ours because we prefer the taste that way.


beets 2 2022.JPG
 
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make sure soil is amended in the winter with a nice layer of lyme, it leaches slowly into the soil with winter snows etc. makes veggies sweeter. the Amish lay it out here end of fall every year on their vast acres.
 
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Would Carrots be a good vegetable for the beginner gardener?
Carrots like good soil with plenty in it, but if it is a recent addition they fork horribly, so best as a crop in the year after you have added a lot for something that doesn't mind it so 'raw'. I find the seed germinate a lot better for putting in between two sheets of wet tissue for a day or two if you are going for it.
Also beginners tend to fuss over things, carrot fly can smell a disturbed carrot from a mile off, well half a mile. Weed them at dusk on a nasty wet day.
 

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Would Carrots be a good vegetable for the beginner gardener?
They are very easy to grow but can be a challenge to get them to germinate. They need cool temps and the seed needs to be sown very thinly, lightly covered, and must be kept damp all during germination without fail.

It can take 2 to 3 weeks to germinate carrot seed. This gives a lot of beginners problems because they lose patience and/or fail to keep the lightly covered seeds damp during the entire process.

I grow my carrots at the same times as beets in my growing zone...plant in the fall and harvest very early the next spring. I have grown them successfully in containers as well as in the ground in slightly acidic sandy loam soil. Excellent eating, very rewarding, but germination has to be done with care. They are great canned also.

carrotts.jpg
 
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They are very easy to grow but can be a challenge to get them to germinate.
Soft toilet paper of facial tissue in an empty margarine box good and wet somewhere warm for a couple of days. You will see a little white lump appear, don't leave them too long or the root will tangle into the tissue.
 
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My answer is the one you'll find least helpful -- it depends. I suggest choosing the plants that more likely to bring you joy than frustration. Choose plants that (1) grow best in your area, (2) are less susceptible to insects and plant disease, (3) you'll be most excited to eat or share.

In my area, cucumbers are easy to grow (on a trellis), but powdery mildew has wiped them out 2 of the last five years. Very, very frustrating. I've had consistent success with tomatoes, once I learned how to prune the suckers and choose resistant varieties. Lettuce and spinach are super easy (I grow mine in pots). Growing herbs also is very satisfying and easy. Eggplants are a fav, but they also represent a whole summer of fighting slugs and insects.

Start small; keep complexity low. You can add each year as your expertise grows.
Make sure you plant where you'll have plenty of light.
Don't overpack your garden. Make sure you have plenty of air circulation around plants (and room for you to move around them).

Good luck.
 

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