Many believe growing your food is an uphill battle that takes a lot of know-how, but caring for your veggie garden doesn’t have to be that complicated.
You can grow several low-maintenance vegetables easily, even if you are a beginner gardener with limited space.
Growing your produce is rewarding in more ways than one and can save you time and money in the long run.
After reading this article, you will be one step closer to beginning your vegetable-growing journey. Believe me, it’s fun!
Start With Seeds Or Nursery-Grown Seedlings
There are two ways to start your Low maintenance vegetable garden, and that can be by seed or by nursery-grown seedlings. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks, and only you can decide which option suits your needs.
While some believe purchasing seedlings from a supplier is cheating, it is a great way to save time and effort.
Some vegetables can be challenging to raise from seed, so leaving them to a grower with the perfect setup can be a great solution.
I suggest buying seedlings grown in a nursery for warm-loving vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers; they can be sensitive to temperature fluctuations and are kept in a suitable environment in a greenhouse.
Starting vegetables from seed is much more cost-effective, and you can find a broader range of available varieties.
Some vegetables are sensitive to transplantation, resulting in a reduced survival rate if they are initially from a nursery environment.
When starting vegetables from seed, you are ensuring a healthy and robust plant from the start.
Seeds can be stored for a long time and shared or swapped with your neighbors; it’s great to be able to build a seed bank over time too.
Now you know how to start your low-maintenance vegetables, let’s take a look at which veggies are the best to grow.
Growing peas is fun and easy; the seeds are easy to manage and require minimal effort. Harvesting peas from your garden is rewarding, but the taste compared to store-bought peas is incomparable.
Peas can be planted in the garden when temperatures are as low as 40°F (4°C), but they don’t favor temperatures over 85°F (29°C).
To plant peas in your garden, you will need:
- Garden Gloves
- Garden Hand Trowel
- Potting Soil
- Watering Can
- Pea Seeds
Peas are sensitive to transplanting as they have a delicate root system, so it’s best to sow directly into the soil to avoid disturbance later.
Begin by putting on your garden gloves, and choose a position where there is part shade. Peas don’t enjoy being in the blazing heat, so be mindful of where the afternoon sun is in your garden.
Take your hand trowel or fork and mix the potting soil or compost in the ground, ensuring the soil is well-drained and aerated.
The rows should be 7 inches apart. Sow seeds 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Once you have placed peas in the rows, lightly water them and watch them sprout in 7 days.
As the peas grow, they will likely need a climbing frame or trellis, but once you have installed that, they are low effort and will climb as they need.
Because of their nitrogen-fixing ability, they do not replant peas in the same area more than once in 4 years. Ensuring good crop rotation will give the following crop an excellent substrate to thrive on.
These colorful peppery beauties are easy to grow and will have you hunting through the ground to harvest more each time.
Radishes make a great addition to raw salads or can be made into a cooked meal. I like mine roasted with garlic and herbs!
Radishes are fast-growing and can be harvested after 24 days of planting. They make a great companion to carrots and will assist in keeping the soil manageable for their neighboring crops.
To plant radishes, add some organic plant matter to the soil before you begin; this will provide the radishes with a well-draining foundation to grow their roots.
Rich soil is not necessary for radishes as the more nitrogen the soil contains, the more foliage will increase, so don’t worry about fertilizing the soil too much.
Sow radish seeds directly in the ground half an inch deep and cover them with a light layer of soil. Space them one inch apart in rows.
Make sure they receive enough water during germination. Succession plants the seeds every ten days.
Keep an eye on your radishes to harvest them; they can be ready within three weeks; leaving them in the ground for too long will produce a woody starchy root.
Remove them from the ground when they are poking out of the top of the surface.
Carrots are one of my favorite crops to grow. They require little effort and are a huge favorite for meals in our household.
The green tops of carrots are edible, and you can add their dainty foliage to salads or stir-fries.
Carrots can be grown from seed, and you can re-grow their tops even after using them for a meal.
The main requirements for carrot growth are space and loose sandy soil; as long as these two critical factors are met, you will produce your bumper crop of carrots from the garden.
When choosing the correct position for carrots, ensure they get 6 to 10 hours of sun. Carrot seeds will germinate when the soil temperature is at least 40°F and no hotter than 75°F.
Prepare the ground where you will plant carrots until the site is 10 inches deep.
Make sure there are no big rocks or clumps that will be an obstacle when your garrot is growing. Mix in some sandy topsoil and compost for a well-draining airy mix.
To grow carrots, it’s essential to plant one seed per hole. Plant the seeds 1 inch deep and 3 inches apart. Planting them in rows 1 foot apart will give them enough space.
Create a good watering routine for your carrots to water lightly and often. Patience is required with carrot seeds as they can take 14-21 days to grow.
4. Green Beans
Green beans are one of the easiest vegetables to start from seed, and so many varieties are available.
Depending on what time of year you will be planting your beans will determine what type to choose. In cool seasons, broad beans are ideal for planting, and Lima beans will thrive in warmer seasons.
Beans are a nitrogen fixer so that they can grow in a lower quality soil than other plants, and wide varieties of beans can hold their height, so they don’t need support or trellising.
To start planting beans, you will need the following:
- Garden Gloves
- Potting Soil or Amended Soil (Compost or Aged Manure)
- Bean Seeds
- Watering Can
- Garden Hand Fork
Find a sunny spot in your garden where you want to plant your bean patch. The best place to choose would be where the beans won’t interfere with sunlight on other plants.
Slip on your garden gloves and use the hand fork to mix the potting soil into the ground.
Using your hands, make a mounded row with the soil and push the beans into the mound 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart.
If you are planting in rows, ensure they are at least 16 inches between each other. Once you have planted your beans, water them lightly, and they will emerge after 7-10 days.
Cucumbers are a low-maintenance crop to grow; they are germinated from manageable-sized seeds and require little fuss during their life cycle.
Harvesting cucumbers are so satisfying that their fresh, crisp texture is a rarity from store-bought cucumbers.
When planting cucumbers, find a spot next to a fence or pergola they can climb onto. Ensure they are in a sunny position, as they will need about 6-8 hours of sunlight each day.
Prepare the soil before planting by adding compost or matured manure, cucumbers like soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.
Sow cucumber seeds by gently pushing them into the soil 1 inch deep and around 4 feet apart in a row. The seedlings will emerge after 7 days, and the soil surface will benefit from being mulched after that time.
Watering is the main requirement for cucumbers, and they will need at least 1 inch of water per week; if temperatures are high, check the soil and water more frequently if drying out.
Cucumbers are quickly growing and need harvesting every couple of days to keep a steady production on the vine.
During the flowering, you can add a fertilizer of 5-10-10 liquid, which you can apply after the first week of flowering and every three weeks.
Kale is a great crop to grow if you are a beginner; the leaves enjoy being harvested often at various times and can be cooked into different dishes.
Kale is packed with nutrition and is known to be one of the healthiest greens available.
To plant kale, choose a sunny location in your garden and ensure the soil is well-drained and fertile. To improve the soil conditions for kale, use compost or well-matured manure to add richness.
You can sow kale seeds directly into the soil ¼ to ½ inch deep and 1 inch apart. Each row can be 18 inches apart.
After two weeks, the seedlings need thinning to 8 to 12 inches. Keep the kale well-watered and mulch the surface of the soil with straw. Remove up to a third of the plant from the outer edges to harvest kale.
Kale will continue to grow through temperatures of 20°F (-7°C) and become sweeter as it grows through the frost.
7. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is an all-year-round green and will grow well in warm and cool temperatures. It is one of the hardest greens to grow, and its choice of rainbow colors can be exciting to add to your dishes in the kitchen.
To grow Swiss chard, choose an area in your garden that is part or full sun. Soil should be a pH of 6.0 to 7.
You can sow seeds directly ½ inch deep into well-draining soil with a mix of matured manure or compost to boost fertility. Leave up to 6 inches of space between seeds and grow in rows 18 inches apart.
Germinate the seeds three weeks before the last spring frost date in your area for planting in spring. Planting in fall germinates 40 days before the fall frost date.
After the first week, the first set of leaves emerges. Keep the seedlings well-watered and leave them to grow.
Harvest the Swiss chard leaves when it has grown to 6 to 8 inches tall, or whatever size leaves you desired.
Regular harvesting will help promote new growth and ensure the Swiss chard is trimmed around the edges to keep the spaces between plants.
The Swiss chard proliferates and is such a great plant to have on hand. It reminds me to add greens to my meals as much as possible.
Lettuce is one of those vegetables I dislike buying in the market. It is one of the easiest veggies to grow, and paying someone else to produce it when you have your garden seems illogical!
Crisp cold lettuce for a salad on a summer’s day is perfect, and when it is readily available in your garden, you can make your favorite lunch whenever it pleases you.
To grow lettuce, you can do this straight from seed in a pot or the ground. There are wide lettuce varieties available, so you can get creative with your salads and use them to add texture or color to areas in your garden.
To begin growing lettuce, the ideal soil temperature should be between 45°F and 65°F (7°C to 18°C).
The seeds of lettuce are tiny, so a well-tilled bed is essential. Any large rocks or clogs of dirt will obstruct the germination.
Sow the seeds ¼ inch deep; lettuce seeds need some light to germinate, so ensure they are not sown too deep.
Depending on what variety you are growing will determine the space you need. Check the seed instructions on each packet for recommendations.
Create lettuce rows 15 inches apart and sow in two-week successions for a continuous harvest.
When watering, use a spray can or misting attachment on your hose. The seeds are so delicate and shallow in the soil you don’t want to risk blasting them out of the ground with heavy watering.
As you watch your lettuce grow, you can trim the outer leaves you require and use them in your salad. Avoid harvesting from the center of the plant, as this will disrupt the growth and cause the leaves to become leathery.
Zucchini is an effortless vegetable to grow, and because of its fast-growing ability, you can watch them take over your veggie patch.
Once the zucchini are happy in their environment, you will find yourself harvesting them every morning.
There is so much you can do with zucchini; they help fill a meal as they don’t carry any distinct flavor.
To plant zucchinis from seeds, you can sow them directly into the ground 1 inch deep and 3 inches apart.
Sow up to 4 seeds close together in small mounds in rows up to 6 feet apart—water well after planting and add a layer of mulch to keep the soil moist.
Depending on what variety of squash you grow, you may need to install a trellis.
Zucchini leaves can get big, so don’t overplant them in your veggie patch. When zucchinis flower, they will bloom as male flowers until they are pollinated.
Once pollination happens, they will produce fruit. You can see the fruit grow underneath the flower. 2-3 days after the fruit starts to form; your zucchinis will be ready to harvest.
When watering zucchinis, ensure you are watering it at the base of the plant, zucchinis are susceptible to powdery mildew, and if water is left on the leaves, this could cause powdery mildew to start to form.
The vibrant vegetable is one of the easiest crops to grow throughout the year.
Not only are the greens from the beetroot edible, but beetroots are great when preserved in a pickle, so it’s never a problem to have an abundance of beetroots.
When sowing beetroot seeds, choose a sunny spot where the soil is well-drained and free from solid obstructions such as rocks and stones.
Beetroots prefer soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0 and will germinate at a temperature of 50°F (10°C). Germination will happen within eight days if the soil temperature is warm enough and possibly up to two weeks if cooler.
When planting the beetroot seeds, plant one seed ½ an inch deep and 2 inches apart.
They are best in rows that are 18 inches apart; after planting the seeds, layer a thin cover of soil on the top and keep them watered during the germination stage.
When the seeds have sprouted, you may see more than one set of leaves emerge; you will need to thin these out into one group. You can do this by trimming the leaves.
Beetroots require little or no fertilizer because they are a root crop. Any nitrogen added will cause the plant to produce more greens on the top.
Keep your beetroots mulched to protect the soil’s surface, and when the top of the beetroot has started to poke through, you are ready to harvest. You can expect to harvest beetroots between 50 and 70 days of planting.
To Sum Things Up
You can start your garden with a whole range of vegetables, and many of them require minimum effort. Deciding whether to plant seeds or seedlings that are nursery grown is up to you, but you will find more variety with seeds.
You can plant any of these seeds in vegetable patches or containers, and they will thrive in the right conditions. Even planting a few of the vegetables mentioned above will allow you to harvest fresh food right from your backdoor.