Are you thinking about planting your first vegetable garden? Growing vegetables is an exciting step for the home gardener, but it can be a challenge to decide what to plant your first time. There are so many options, but not all vegetables are easy to grow and not all of them will work well in our northern climate.
In this article, we’ll recommend four of the easiest vegetables for beginners to grow in Canada. We’ll also walk you through all the steps you should follow to plant and care for your first vegetable garden.
As you get ready to plant your first garden, there are some important steps you can take to set your garden on the path to success:
- Don’t start planting until the risk of frost has passed in your area (Check with local weather stations for specific areas).
- A few weeks before planting, add compost or other organic matter to the soil in your garden or raised beds. This will make the soil more fertile and create an optimal growing environment.
Once the soil has been properly prepared for planting it’s time to choose and plant your vegetables. Here are our recommendations for the best low-maintenance options to try.
Green beans are a healthy and popular vegetable. They’re also incredibly easy to grow. With your own supply in the garden, you can enjoy fresh beans with your meals throughout the summer and into the early fall.
Follow these simple steps for the best results:
- Green beans need full sunlight to thrive, so make sure to select an area of your garden or raised bed that gets plenty of direct light.
- Plant the seeds about 2.5cm deep into the soil and 7cm apart.
- Water your garden regularly until the seedlings start to emerge.
- Once the plants have sprouted, keep watering them frequently.
- The beans will be ready to harvest within 45-60 days of planting.
This root vegetable has become more popular with gardeners in recent years, partly due to its versatility. Radishes are delicious pickled, grilled, or added raw to salads. They're also one of the fastest-growing vegetables you can plant, so if you add them to your garden, you’ll be enjoying your first harvest before you know it.
- Here are the steps you need to follow to get the most out of your radish plants:
- Pick a sunny area and plant small rows, about 1cm deep and 5cm apart.
- Since radishes grow quickly (some are ready in as little as three weeks after sprouting), plan to plant more every couple of weeks. This will ensure you can keep enjoying them throughout the summer.
- Keep the soil moist with mulching and regular watering.
- Radishes should be picked as soon as they’re 2.5cm wide, otherwise, they’ll become woody.
With a fresh supply of tasty lettuce in your garden, you can ditch the store-bought salad kits. Lettuce grows best in the cooler weather of spring and fall, but it can be grown all summer (and even into the winter months in milder parts of the country).
Here are some tips for growing delicious lettuce you can enjoy throughout the gardening season:
- Plant short rows about 5mm deep and 30cm apart.
- Add mulch to help retain moisture and keep the soil cool throughout the warm months.
- Water regularly to prevent the leaves from wilting and developing a bitter taste. Harvest individual leaves as you need them or wait and harvest full heads.
- Use mature lettuce promptly and re-plant if you want to have more throughout the summer.
- Harvesting too late may result in a bitter flavour.
Peas are a sweet snack, side dish or salad ingredient that is easier to grow than you might think. Like lettuce, they prefer cooler weather so be sure to plant them as early as possible.
Follow these steps to get the best results from your pea plants:
- Plant seeds in full sun, 5cm deep and 2-7cm apart.
- Most varieties will need a trellis or fence to support them as they climb.
- Regular watering is recommended, otherwise, the peas won’t be as sweet.
- For the best flavour, pick the peas when they’re young and tender.
- Make multiple sowings throughout the season to extend the harvest.
Get Professional Gardening Assistance
Planting your first vegetable garden is an exciting step for homeowners. For many people, gardening becomes an enjoyable hobby during the spring and summer months. But if you’re worried you won’t have the time to properly maintain your garden once it’s planted, there is help available.
Whether you need assistance with weeding, irrigation, mulching, or other areas, The Grounds Guys offer reliable and trustworthy garden care. Learn more about how we can help you keep your garden at its best.