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10 Easy-to-Grow Vegetables for Busy People

By Kimberly Mooneyham
Share to Pinterest10 Easy-to-Grow Vegetables for Busy People
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Are you too busy to shop for fresh vegetables, let alone grow them from tiny seeds? Do the DoorDash deliverers in your area know you by your first name and all your kids' and pets' names? Then this is your lucky day! You've found the best guide on the Internet about growing garden vegetables that practically grow themselves. Keep reading to learn how to impress your family—and your DoorDash drivers—with these low-maintenance garden vegetables that don't require much time or a green thumb.

01

Plum or cherry tomatoes

Share to PinterestSmall bush of balcony cherry tomatos in brown pots on white windowsill

These delicious tomatoes don't need pruning or staking. Plant seeds or starter plants in loose soil and water them every two or three days (unless it rains, of course!). Plum, cherry, and other types of tomatoes love sunshine, so make sure the spot you choose gets at least six hours of sunlight daily.

Water only the base of your tomato plants to reduce the risk of leaf diseases and promote healthy root development.

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02

Romaine or leaf lettuce

Share to PinterestRomaine lettuce seedlings with root system set

Scatter lettuce seeds in garden areas that receive morning or dappled sunlight during the day. Keep soil moist but not soaked. When leaves are four to six inches long, you can start harvesting the outer leaves. Leave the inner leaves so the heads keep growing and provide even more fresh lettuce for your salads.

If you see a lettuce plant growing a flowering stalk, it has "bolted." Bolted lettuce leaves taste bitter, and you definitely don't want them. To avoid bolting, remove the outer leaves when they're ready for harvesting.

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03

Radishes

Share to PinterestTop view of hands harvesting red radish planted in pots at a balcony urban garden showing sustainable living

Root vegetables like radishes thrive in cool or hot weather and don't need weeding or pruning. Scatter radish seeds in a sunny area, water the soil every few days, and that's it! The best thing about radishes is you'll be cutting them up and tossing them in salads within six short weeks of planting seeds.

If you notice radish seedlings infringing on each other's personal space, you might have to thin the seedlings to two inches apart. But once that's done--you're done!

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04

Carrots

Share to PinterestMother and child daughter with organic carrots

Like radishes, carrots are root vegetables that require only watering, sunlight, and thinning out when they sprout into seedlings. Pull one carrot out and look at the root to determine if the carrot is ready for harvesting. Ripe carrots should exhibit their characteristic orange color and feel firm, not rubbery.

If you can't easily pull a carrot out of the ground with a slight yank, they're probably not ready to migrate from your garden to the dinner table.

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05

Bush cucumbers

Share to PinterestMen's hands harvests cuts the cucumber with scissors

Have you ever wondered why people give away cucumbers in late summer? If you guessed that cucumbers must be easy to grow, you're right! In addition, one cucumber plant yields multiple cucumbers, so you likely will have enough to hand out as freebies, too.

Make sure you buy bush cucumber seeds and not vine cucumber seeds. Vine cucumbers require trellises to hold their climbing vines. Water seeds after planting in full sun and moisten the soil during dry spells.

Cucumbers are ready to harvest when they're four to six inches long and feel firm. Cut them from the plants with scissors or a sharp knife.

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06

Bell peppers

Share to Pinterestwomans hands spraying of red bell pepper

Bell peppers need only sunlight and water after you plant seeds. However, don't expect to harvest bell peppers at the same time as your other garden vegetables. If you plant bell pepper seeds in May, you'll have to wait until early August or late September before adding fresh bell peppers to your favorite dish.

Bell peppers are ready to be picked when they've reached full-color intensity (red, green, orange, yellow) and feel firm in your hand. Fully mature bell peppers taste more flavorful and sweet than slightly immature bell peppers.

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07

Onions

Share to PinterestSpring onion in pot on the windowsill

Radishes, carrots, and onions could be deemed the most "independent" of root vegetables because of their ability to fend for themselves. Onions need only consistent watering and plenty of sun. When onion tops turn yellow and fall over, onion bulbs are ready for harvesting.

After pulling up onions, lay them out in a ventilated area for a few days. The outer skins should become papery and flaky. Once they're dried, onions can be stored for later use. Onions stored at 40-degree temperatures will remain edible for up to three or four months.

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08

Zucchini

Share to PinterestBasket of Fresh Picked Zucchini and Squash Being Held

Zucchini (summer squash) can be vine or bush plants like bell peppers. Since this article is about easy-to-grow vegetables, buy bush zucchini seeds! Popular bush zucchini types are called "Dark Beauty" and "Patio Star."

Zucchini is a sun worshipper, so you'll need to plant seeds where they receive six to eight hours of sunlight each day. While zucchini loves sunshine, they don't do well during heatwaves or high afternoon heat. If you know a heatwave is coming, use a shade cloth specially made for garden plants to protect your zucchini.

Don't plant zucchini until the chances of frost forming have passed in your geographical zone. Zucchini is an above-ground vegetable and is vulnerable to damage if temperatures dip below 50 degrees.

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09

Beets

Share to PinterestBeet seedlings for growing in the garden

Keep your zucchini company by planting beets near zucchini where the sun reaches the ground at least six hours daily. Water the beets once or twice a week to keep the soil moist but not saturated.

You can start getting excited about harvesting beets when their roots (the beets) are nearly two inches in diameter. Larger beets tend to be fibrous and tough.

Beet greens taste like kale or spinach and can be eaten cooked or raw. Pick beet plant leaves before they're six inches long to enjoy their tender, savory flavor. If you pick beet leaves, leave a few leaves on the plants. The leaves help support beet health and growth until harvest.

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10

Turnips

Share to PinterestTurnip growing in farm

Turnips are the "go-to" garden vegetable for busy and impatient people. Germinating in less than a week, turnip greens can be harvested in one month. Wait another month; the turnip bulbs can be boiled, baked, mashed, or munched on raw.

Unlike most garden vegetables, turnips prefer cooler temperatures. Plant turnip seeds about two weeks before your area's final frost date (on average) so you enjoy a late spring harvest. You can also plant turnips in late summer if you want a second batch of turnips in early autumn.

Turnips like their privacy! If you notice turnip plants crowding each other, thin them out when they are around four inches high.

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