7 Simple-to-Grow Vegetables to Plant in Your Garden this Spring
Maybe you just moved into your new home and want to plant some vegetables in your new garden or you’re looking to grow some of your own food this year. Either way, it is helpful to know a few vegetables you can plant that are simple to grow if you’re new to vegetable gardening. We created a list of 7 vegetables that we think are a good variety of simple-to-grow vegetables.
Not only is asparagus easy to grow and maintain but it’s a perennial as well, meaning once you plant asparagus it will come back each year. Select an area in your garden to plant your asparagus that will receive at least 8 hours of full sun each day. We recommend growing your asparagus from crowns. It is far easier than growing from seed and will also lead to an earlier harvest. Asparagus crowns are essentially the roots of 1-2 year old asparagus plants.
To plant asparagus, dig a 6 inch deep and 8 inch wide trench in your soil. Then place the crowns at the bottom of the trench, water, and cover with 2 inches of soil. Place crowns 18 inches apart. As the asparagus grows, you’ll want to add a few inches of soil, slowly filling in the trench. Even though delicate asparagus spears will grow this year, you’ll want to wait until next year to start harvesting your asparagus.
We recommend sowing carrot seeds directly in your garden rather than purchasing plants and transplanting them because carrots do not like when their roots are disturbed. Sow your carrot seeds ¼ inch deep and 2-3 inches apart. Carrots like to grow in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. Carrots may take 2-3 weeks to show visible signs of growth.
Carrots can take 2-4 months to mature. Harvest your carrots whenever desired size is reached.
Spinach prefers to be grown in full sun, but will still grow in partial shade. We recommend purchasing spinach plants that are ready to be planted. Space plants 12 inches apart in your garden.
Spinach can be harvested starting with the outermost leaves once they are large enough to eat. Spinach plants will grow tall and bloom (bolting) when the days get hot in the summer - spinach prefers 35-75 degree temperatures. Once spinach bolts, it is time to pull out the plant.
4) Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard is highly nutritious and is similar to spinach, but more colorful - pink, yellow, orange, red, and white stems. The leaves and stems of Swiss Chard can be eaten cooked or raw. This vegetable can be added to salads, sandwiches, quiches, pizzas, and more.
Swiss Chard seeds should be planted at 10-day intervals for a month in the spring and should be planted in a spot in your garden that will have full sun. As the Swish Chard grows to maturity, it is best to take a few of the large leaves at a time and let the smaller, younger leaves continue growing. This way you’ll have a continuous supply of Swiss Chard throughout the summer.
Lettuce likes 6-8 hours of direct sun each day. Space seeds 2 inches apart and not deeply because they need light in order to germinate.
Lettuce can be harvested in a variety of ways: as a baby green by picking the young leaves, picking outer leaves from looseleaf or heading varieties as the plant grows, or slicing the entire head off about an inch above the soil. As previously discussed, lettuce will also bolt when it gets too hot outside. Once your plant does this, it will no longer be harvestable.
Garlic is a great vegetable to plant in your garden in the spring that will be ready for a fall harvest. Planting and caring for garlic is extremely simple - separate cloves, space each clove 4-6" apart, plant each clove with the pointed end up and the blunt end down, push each clove 1-2” down into the ground, and water.
When most of the leaves turn brown, then it is time to harvest your garlic - usually in mid-July to early August. Dig the bulbs up and be careful not to bruise them. Then lay the bulbs out to dry for 2 - 3 weeks in a shady spot with good airflow.
We recommend planting onions from sets, which are small onion bulbs. Onions like full sun - the more energy they can soak up from the sun, the larger the bulbs get. Space onion sets 2-6 inches apart. Plant each bulb with the pointed end up. Bury each bulb under less than 1 inch of soil.
When the onion tops are brown, they are ready to be harvested and pulled out of the ground - this usually happens late summer.