15 Ridiculously Easy Vegetables to Grow This Spring (Promise!)

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You already grow flowers in your backyard garden. But with produce prices through the roof these days, why not grow a few of your own vegetables? We promise nothing tastes as sweet as a cherry tomato popped into your mouth straight from the vine or as fresh as salad greens picked that same day for dinner. You’ll waste less, too, because you won’t forget about the beans shoved in the back of the crisper or the packaged spinach that got slimy before you could use it.

You’d be surprised how many vegetables are actually easy to grow, even in small spaces (including balconies and decks). The most important thing to remember is that veggies need full sun, which means about 6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day. You’ll also want to make sure you’re watering during dry spells.

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With that in mind, here are 15 easy vegetables to grow this spring, no matter what your experience level:

1. Eggplant


Eggplants are so delicious when picked fresh and used immediately. You’ll find new ,compact varieties that have smaller fruits, including ones that are white, pale purple or dark purple-black, which are ideal for growing in containers.

  • Planting Tip: Eggplants love the heat, so don’t plant them until all danger of frost is past. Give them tons of sun, and start with transplants, which are easier for novice gardeners.
  • How to Harvest Them: Snip your eggplants off the plants so you don’t tear the stems. They’re ready when your eggplant is glossy and fully colored pale purple,  purple-black or white, not green. Pick them when they’re small so they don’t get seedy.

2. Peas


Peas are crisper and sweeter when harvested fresh from you garden, not trucked halfway across the country to your supermarket. They’re a great space-saver in small gardens, too, because you can grow them vertically up a trellis.

  • Planting Tip: Peas are easy to grow from seed; plant directly in the garden in early spring, when it’s still cool. They don’t like heat and will fade once daytime temperatures remain in the 80s.
  • How to Harvest Them: Pick peas when the pods are rounded, filled out and bright green. Snip them off so you don’t tear the vine, which will keep producing.

3. Swiss Chard

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Swiss chard is as beautiful as it is versatile! Use this pretty vegetable in stir fry dishes, frittatas, or to top pasta. Interplant it with flowers if you’re extra-tight on space.

  • Planting Tip: Like most greens, chard has shallow roots so you can grow it in containers such as window boxes. Sow the seeds directly in ground, and keep them moist until germination.
  • How to Harvest Them: Cut outer leaves one by one so the plant will keep producing. The baby leaves can be eaten raw in salads, or let the stalks mature for cooking.

4. Potatoes


Potatoes are a fun vegetable to grow, and they’re so much more delicious than anything you can buy in the store.

  • Planting Tip: Grow potatoes from disease-free “seed potatoes” purchased at nurseries or online (those from the grocery store have been treated not to sprout). They do especially well in fabric grow bags.
  • How to Harvest Them: Harvest baby potatoes when the plants bloom; harvest full-grown potatoes when the foliage has yellowed and died back.

5. Radish

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The tangy snap of a radish fresh from your garden makes these well worth growing. They also mature quickly, with some types ready to enjoy in less than a month.

  • Planting Tip: Radishes prefer cool weather or they turn woody, so plant in spring or early fall. Keep the seeds moist until germination.
  • How to Harvest Them: If the top of the radish is visible, it’s probably ready. Push back the soil to check for size. If you wait too long to pick, they become tough.

Baby greens such as arugula and mesclun, a mix of lettuce types, are incredibly expensive at the grocery store but a cinch to grow. They’re a great starter plant if you’ve never grown a thing! Greens grow well in planters or window boxes, and you can mix them in with ornamental plants such as marigolds and violas (which are also edible).

  • Planting Tip: Sow seeds directly in soil and keep moist until they sprout. Greens don’t like the heat, so early spring is the best time to plant.
  • How to Harvest Them: Pick greens when the leaves are a few inches long, in as little as 30 days. Snip off leaves rather than pulling so you don’t yank up the whole plant, which will allow you to keep harvesting for weeks.

7. Beans

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Pole beans, which need something to climb, and bush beans, which grow in a more compact form, are super easy and super prolific. They’re pretty, too, especially if you train them to grow up a trellis. (Bonus: Pollinators, like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, love them.)

  • Planting Tip: Sow bean seeds directly in the ground or in containers, as transplants don’t do well.
  • How to Harvest Them: Read the seed label to learn when they’re ready, because each variety takes a different amount of time to mature. Also, the more you pick, the more they produce, so check your garden every day once the beans are ready to keep ’em coming.

8. Peppers

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Most peppers grow well in containers, but opt for transplants from a local nursery; you won’t have enough time for plants to mature from seed unless you start them indoors eight weeks before the last frost in your area.

  • Planting Tip: Most peppers need steady moisture and staking so they don’t fall over.
  • How to Harvest Them: It’s fine to pick them when they’re green (and the plants will keep producing better), but they’re sweeter when they’ve ripened to red, yellow or whatever color they’re meant to be. Use a knife or scissors to cut fruit from the stem so you don’t damage the plant.

9. Cherry Tomatoes

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Cherry tomatoes are easier to grow (and more prolific) than most full-sized tomatoes. Stick with transplants, which are easier for beginners. Tomatoes love, love, love the heat, so don’t put them in the ground until after the last frost date in your area.

  • Planting Tip: Dig a hole deep enough that two-thirds of the plant’s stem is buried. Yes, it sounds weird, but new roots will grow out of the buried stem to develop a stronger foundation.
  • How to Harvest Them: Depending on the variety, pick your tomatoes when they’re red, orange, yellow or whatever color they’re supposed to be—some are even striped! They’ll also feel a little soft to the touch.

10. Herbs

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If you only have room to grow one type of edible, make it herbs! Herbs are ridiculously expensive in those plastic packages at the store, but growing your own will yield a bountiful harvest all season long. Seeds or plants are both good options. Some herbs, such as chives, oregano and sage, are perennial, so they’ll come back for years.

  • Planting Tip: Grow a combination in a container with annuals such as sweet alyssum. As well as being handy for seasoning food, sage, dill, parsley and rosemary are fragrant additions to cut bouquets.
  • How to Harvest Them: Snip off leaves as needed, taking from the outer edges of the plant. With careful clipping, your plant will last all summer long.

11. Cucumbers

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Most types of cucumbers grow on long vines, so they’ll need a cage or trellis to climb; otherwise, they’ll take up most of your garden. Vertical gardening also keeps the fruit off the ground to reduce risk of disease. Psst: Want to mix things up (and create a more interesting salad)? Look for fun round, miniature or yellow varieties.

  • Planting Tips: Plant directly in the ground after the last frost date in late spring. Seeds are best, as transplants can be finicky.
  • How to Harvest Them: Snip cukes off the vine with scissors; pick anytime they are big enough to use, and don’t wait too long. Little ones are more tender. Yellowing at the blossom end means the fruit is past its prime.

12. Kale


This super hardy green doesn’t mind the cold; some varieties will survive over the winter and green up again next spring. Seeds or transplants are fine, though they prefer cool weather. Plant in late spring (for summer harvest) and again in late summer (for fall harvest).

  • Planting Tip: Some types of kale will last all season long if you give it shade from the heat of summer.
  • How to Harvest Them: Pinch off leaves when small for tender baby kale to eat raw in salads, or let it mature for sautéing or adding to smoothies. The flowers that form also are edible. Kale freezes well, so if you have an abundance, place it in the freezer in a zippered plastic bag and use it in soups all winter.

13. Scallions


Scallions are some of the easiest veggies of all to grow. Plant from seeds or bulbs, called “sets” (which mature faster), in early spring for a summer harvest. These tend to grow better in the ground than in containers. Some varieties form small bulbs.

  • Planting Tip: Plant them about three inches apart to give them room to develop if they’re the bulbing type.
  • How to Harvest Them: Dig them up with a small garden fork when they’re about a foot tall. Use immediately, as they’re best when ultra fresh.

14. Summer Squash

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Most squashes are so easy to grow that you’ll probably find yourself with plenty to give away. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including common types such as zucchini, crookneck and pattypan. They do well when they’re grown either from seeds or as transplants, though be careful not to disturb the plants’ roots when setting them in the ground.

  • Planting Tip: Give them plenty of space to creep along the ground or opt for any type with bush or compact in its name.
  • How to Harvest Them: In this case, good things come in small packages: All types are more tender and less “seedy” when harvested on the small side.

15. Spinach


Spinach is pricey in stores, so grow a successive crop by planting rows about ten days apart for a few weeks. Spinach prefers cool weather and will withstand light frosts; it will “bolt” or go to seed when the days heat up. Look for varieties that are more heat-resistant if you live in a warmer climate.

  • Planting Tips: Direct sow seeds in mid-spring for spring and early summer harvests; plant again in late summer for a late fall or winter crop.
  • How to Harvest Them: Pinch off baby spinach when it’s a few inches long, or let it mature for sautéing or salads. Remove the other leaves so the plant will keep growing.

purewow author

Freelance Gardening Editor

Arricca Elin SanSone is a gardener with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to PureWow, she writes for Prevention, Country Living, Veranda, The Spruce and many other...