16 Easiest Vegetables to Grow (Fast Harvest For Beginners!)

16 easiest vegetables to grow for even first time beginner gardeners! Fast growing from seeds, in pots & gardens for all year round harvest!

We love gardening and growing our own food! After years of successes and failures with so many vegetable varieties, we are going to share with you today 16 easiest to grow vegetables that are also very productive and fast growing.

16 easiest vegetables to grow for even first time beginner gardeners! Fast growing from seeds, in pots & gardens for all year round harvest!

If you are a first time beginner gardener, or have a small space garden, these vegetables are great choices. Many of them are easy to grow from seeds, and produce well in pots and containers. 

Before we explore all the vegetables to grow, make sure to get your garden ready! Here’s a detailed guide on 8 simple steps to start your best vegetable garden, with lots of great tips on planning, starting seeds, choosing soil and fertilizers, pest control, and more!

* Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here .

how to start a vegetable garden
8 simple steps to start your best vegetable garden!

1. Arugula: easiest vegetables to grow for first time beginner gardeners

Arugula is so easy to grow that you can literally throw some seeds in the soil or pots, water it, and have your harvest in 30 days! ( Image source: 1 | 2 )

Arugula: easiest vegetables to grow for first time beginner gardeners

Because Arugula is such a fast growing cool season vegetable, we always seed them in small patches in our garden every month from September through May. In cold winter climates, you can grow Arugula in winter in a greenhouse or cold frame. 

build easy DIY greenhouses, simple cold frames, garden tunnels & hoops
Here are 45 best DIY greenhouses and cold frames you can build easily!

2. Lettuce: easiest vegetables to grow in pots

Lettuce: easiest vegetables to grow in pots

Even on a small patio or balcony, you can grow lettuce easily in pots. Like Arugula, lettuce is also a fast growing cool-season vegetable . We love to grow mixed heirloom varieties with different colors and textures!

3. Kale: cut and come again 

kale in raised bed vegetable garden

Kale is super nutritious and grows easily in containers and in garden beds, photo above by Nicole. In mild winter climates they can grow year round. They are also very cold hardy, and the leaves turn sweeter when temperatures get colder. 

 growing Lacinato kale , also called Tuscan kale or Dinosaur kale

The 3 popular varieties are Lacinato kale (our favorite, also called Tuscan kale or Dinosaur kale), Curly kale, and Red Russian kale. Photo by A little seedy.

4. Bok Choy and other tender Leafy greens 

Bok Choy and other tender Leafy greens in the garden

These tender leafy greens popular in Asian cooking are all in the cabbage family. They are fast growing, easy to grow from seeds, and great for pots and containers. Photo by Miranda.

Red Giant Mustard growing in containers

They come in many leaf shapes and colors. Here’s a Red Giant Mustard variety in Sandra’s urban garden, which has slightly more peppery taste.

5. Cabbage: great for small gardens

Cabbages form tight heads which makes them great for small space gardening. 

Cabbage is easy to grow and great for small gardens

There are lots of varieties of cabbages with different shapes, sizes and flavors. Early varieties can be ready for harvest in less than 2 months.

You can direct seed cabbages, but we prefer to plant the seeds in pots first, and then transplant the seedlings with the right spacing in the garden.

6. Radish: easiest vegetables to grow for a winter harvest 

Radishes are great cool weather crops for spring and fall planting. Radishes do not like to be transplanted. Plant seeds directly in the garden.

Radish: easiest vegetables to grow for a winter harvest

Smaller radish varieties such as French Breakfast or Easter Eggs ( photo above by Petra )are fast growing and ready to harvest in 4 to 6 weeks. The bigger Asian radishes such as Daikon are great for fall planting and winter harvest.

7. Beets: easiest root vegetables to grow

Like radishes, beets are some of the easiest root vegetables to grow. They are easier than carrots, and very productive. Both the leaves and roots are delicious in salads and stews.

Beets: easiest root vegetables to grow

Direct seed beets in spring and fall for many months of harvest.

8. Swiss Chard: easiest vegetables to grow all year round 

If you love spinach, try the much easier to grow cousin: Swiss chard! They are in the same family, but Swiss Chard can take more heat and cold, is much more productive and equally delicious. 

Swiss Chard: easiest vegetables to grow all year round

There are times due to poor planning, when we don’t have vegetables to harvest in the garden, but our Swiss chard always comes to the rescue!

9. Broccoli: much easier to grow than cauliflower 

Broccoli is one of our favorite vegetables to eat and to grow. They are a lot easier than Cauliflowers. As long as you give them plenty of room and good rowing conditions, you will have a great harvest. 

Broccoli is much easier to grow than cauliflower

We like to grow broccoli varieties such as Calabrese, that give out lots of side sprouts after the main crown is harvested. 

10. Potatoes: easy to grow in containers 

Once you learn a few important basics about growing potatoes in pots or in garden soil, you can easily grow 10 or more potatoes from 1 seed potato!

grow potatoes in pots

Here are 3 great tutorials on potato growing: 

11. Cucumbers: fast growing and productive 

Cucumbers are easy and fast growing vegetables, and productive

Cucumber are so easy to grow, but we do have two tips here!

First, choose better tasting varieties! Once you tasted how crunchy and flavorful some varieties like Suyo Long or China Jade cucumbers are, you may never want those generic thick skin cucumbers again!

DIY cucumber trellis ideas

Second tip: grow your cucumbers on trellis to keep the fruits off the soil. Here are 15 best easy cucumber trellis ideas for you!

12. Beans: easy to grow from seeds

Bush beans and pole beans are among our must-have warm season crops. 

Beans are easy to grow from seeds

Bush beans are fast growing and pole beans are more productive but need good vertical support. 

best DIY garden trellis ideas

A bean tee-pee is easy and fun to build. Here are 24 magical DIY garden trellis ideas!

13. Tomatoes: so many amazing varieties 

Our tomato, purple dragon bean, and green bean harvest!
Our tomato and bean harvest!

We always grow a mix of cherry tomatoes and larger tomatoes in our garden each year. Choose varieties that are suitable for your climate and grow space.

Here’s our secrets on how to grow 100 lbs of tomatoes in just 20 square feet!

14. Zucchini: huge harvest for beginners 

fast growing Zucchini great for beginner gardeners

Even if you are a first time gardener, you will likely be bombarded by a big zucchini harvest!

Keep zucchini plants well watered and give them plenty of room to grow.

Keep your zucchini plants well watered and give them plenty of room to grow. You only need a few plants, because they are some of the most productive vegetables in the summer garden.

15. Winter squash: colorful and productive 

grow Butternut squash in pots

In addition to the popular butternut and spaghetti squash, we also like to grow other sweet and delicious winter squash varieties such as buttercup, Sweetmeat, Blue Hubbard, galeux d’eysines, etc. 

 sweet and delicious winter squash and pumpkin varieties such as buttercup, Sweetmeat, Blue Hubbard,

You can grow smaller varieties like Butternut squash in pots, but most Winter squash varieties need lots of room to grow. They are very easy, and great for long winter storage. Photo by Press Democrat.

16. Most peppers: except for bell peppers 

Bell peppers tend to require more care and are less productive. But most other pepper varieties are very productive and easy to grow. 

many pepper varieties are very productive and easy to grow.

There are countless varieties of peppers and every passionate gardener will likely have a favorite that we haven’t tried. So always ask, and be adventurous!

Happy growing! Come say hello and share your garden photos or questions with us on Instagram @apieceofrainbow!

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3 Comments

  1. @Ananda what an inspiring article!
    I’m growing on a _tiny_ east balcony, and seeking “sweet spots” — high-taste, low-volume, plants whose high price, low availability, and short frig lives make balcony-snipping a good option.

    I LOVE arugula and dino kale; they look promising. I also pay a premium for the small extra-crisp cucumbers at the grocer. Might those work well on my balcony? If so, what should I look for to start? Might red kuri or kabocha squash work well?

    • hi william! cucumber should be a nice choice! “china jade” or “suyu long” from baker creek are really good varieties! 🙂 i would plant mostly leafy greens and herbs like parsley, cilantro etc in a small pace. Winter squashes take up lots of room to grow, yet they are easy to buy and store for a long time! 🙂

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