With the year I’ve had writing and launching another book – this time on the topic of edible landscaping – on top of parenting and maintaining other work and personal ventures, I’m all about an easy organic garden. Just because we’re growing organically doesn’t mean we have to put in a bunch of extra work. There are plenty of easy plants to grow in beautiful ways.
Here are my picks for the top ten easiest growing vegetables for your organic garden.
12 Easiest Vegetables to Grow
Cycle these in and out of the garden as weather and crop rotations demand to enjoy delicious, organic vegetables all year long from your easy growing garden.
- Swiss chard. One of the most dramatic looking greens, Swiss chard is perfect in the edible landscape for its brightly colored stalks and broad foliage. Grow chard for its quick color and easy care, then learn to enjoy it in sautees and stir fries in the kitchen.
- Sweet peppers. Bell peppers and other sweet varieties require very little work for an excellent crop return and kitchen versatility. Peppers prefer the hot summer, so let them fill up the garden when more delicate vegetables would become wilted or bitter.
- Hot peppers. Like sweet peppers, hot peppers thrive in the heat and are simple to grow. I love the color that a full green plant dotted with deep red, ripe peppers brings to the summer garden. Just be sure you plant hot peppers far enough away from sweet peppers and even tomatoes, or you will have some spicy cross pollination!
- Tomatoes. A garden essential, fresh organic tomatoes are no comparison to grocery store options. Grow tomatoes just about anywhere – in beds, on the porch, in hanging containers – with little to no maintenance or worry.
- Cucumbers. In the same family as melons and squash, cucumbers grow impressive vines that line walkways well. Experiment with different kinds of cucumber to enjoy cucumbers for slicing, pickling, and refreshing summer cucumber mint water.
- Summer squash. Don’t let the familiar and daunting squash bug deter you from enjoying this easy grower. Summer squash is prolific and beautiful growing upright or sprawling throughout the garden.
- Winter squash. While summer squash will fizzle out early, winter squash can fill the fall garden with its broad leaves and colorful, thick-skinned fruits. Both summer and winter squash are pretty easy to grow if you take some care to plant them in the right place and the right time.
- Beans. Cover an arch or fill a trellis with pole beans for a beautiful landscape feature and nutrient dense edible. Or, opt for bush beans that will mound instead of climb. Either way, beans grow quickly and easily in full sun sections of the garden.
- Lettuce. Before the sun starts beating down on the garden, you can get quite a few cycles of lettuce planted. Keep sowing new rounds in order to keep the harvest coming. Later, you can tuck it under larger plants or trees. That’s really all there is to these leafy greens!
- Cabbage. Cabbage gets a bad rap for being difficult, but it’s really very easy and rewarding. Cabbage plants look like giant, colorful flowers as they form, making them a spotlight feature in the edible landscape.
- Rosemary. There’s not much easier than a perennial herb that does well in a broad range of zones. Once established, rosemary is drought tolerant and low maintenance. Grow this fragrant edible near your kitchen for quick snips of fresh sprigs whenever you’re cooking.
- Mint. Sometimes a bit too easy to grow, mint can take over if you aren’t careful. Harvest it well, or even keep it in a container, for a fragrant, refreshing, and oh so simple annual herb.