Easy Vegetables

Easy Vegetables

Easy Vegetables

Easy Vegetables

Easy Vegetables

Easiest Vegetables To Grow

If you’re a frequent visitor to Brookside Garden Centre, you’ll be well aware of the variety of plants we sell but also, the extensive range of seeds we have, giving you the opportunity to grow a vast array of plants from scratch. The majority of those seeds, however, are for vegetables, and what could be more satisfying than munching on your own home-grown produce? Those lucky enough to have an allotment will have approximately 300 square yards – or 10 rods, in old money – with which to experiment, but although there are currently 330,000 allotments – mostly held by local government, but some held by the Church of England – that amount to 28,000 acres of land, waiting lists for a square plot of council-held land are painfully long; it’s a luxury many of us will miss out on. For newbies, though, an allotment could be quite a daunting prospect – almost intimidating – but growing vegetables doesn’t have to be, and it also doesn’t necessarily require as much land as an allotment has to offer.

Those of you that have grown vegetables before can probably just keep scrolling, but if you’re new to the practice, where do you start? A poor harvest is not conducive to continuing, so it makes sense to start with something that’s almost guaranteed to yield, and to ensure we provide the best possible advice, we had a chat with our plant experts to find the easiest plants to start off with:

If you’re not wanting salads yourself, you’re going to need them for those numerous barbeques that are a prerequisite of summer days, and what better way to impress your guests than with you the fruits of your own labours? Aside from being essential to many salads, the choice for lettuce is almost endless, and most continue to grow after they’ve been cut, so you’ll have a constant supply for the constant stream of get-togethers the summer demands. What’s even better is that lettuce is happy in the shade, and placing it out of the sun will slow its rate of growth, and as such, it’ll take longer to seed, giving you more time to enjoy it.


You can grow lettuce in the ground or pots, so long as the sunlight is minimal and its watered regularly, and unlike most plants, it can be sown as early as March, untroubled by the threat of frosts. In around 6 weeks, you can harvest leaf lettuce, but head lettuce will take double that if you want the complete package. Sow around 8 to 10 inches apart, and thin head lettuce to encourage growth.

Another great addition to salads, radishes grow even quicker than lettuces, and some varieties can be harvested in 3 to 4 weeks. Unlike their culinary buddies, they prefer full sun, but they need very little room, and once again, seeds can be sown early, so long as the soil is workable. They prefer loose, sandy soil that’s slightly acidic, if possible, and you should allow at least 2 inches between each radish, covering the seeds with a thin layer of compost. Although they’re fast growers and need little support, leave them too long in the ground, and they could become woody, so harvest them as soon as they’re ready and add a little crunch and spice to your meals. Regular sowing will ensure you have a constant supply for the summer months, and if you mix the seeds with slower growers like carrots, they’ll leave the soil nicely worked, allowing the new seedlings to fill the gaps they leave behind.


Although some varieties require support, bush varieties are available, so all they really need is plenty of sun, plenty of water and well-draining soil, and the soil doesn’t even need to be good quality because they can produce nitrogen that will improve it.


It’s best to sow them directly into the soil, where you want them to grow so long as there’s no risk of frosts, and in return, they’ll provide you with a very generous harvest in around 7 to 10 weeks, continuing throughout the growing season. Climbing varieties often yield more, so they might be the best option if you’re a big bean fan.

Back to salads – although beans make a lovely accompaniment to salads – and yes, we’re aware that tomatoes are fruit, but we treat them like vegetables in the main, so we’re going for it! We’d recommend tomato plants rather than seeds if you’re new to gardening, and cherry tomatoes in particular are easier to grow. Whatever variety you chose, however, they’ll need support, they’ll need plenty of water, and they’ll need plenty of sun. Grow-bags are very popular for tomatoes, but they’ll grow just as happily in the ground or pots with the occasional feed, once frosts are no longer a threat, and you could be munching your way through your own fruit in 10 to 12 weeks.


If you’ve sown your carrot seeds along with your radishes, the soil should be suitable, and you should have crops ready in 12 to 16 weeks; if not, the soil is crucial to your success: it needs to be soft, sandy and loose, otherwise you could end up with stumpy or deformed carrots. Seeds can be sown regularly from spring to summer – carrots are not affected by frosts – and the seedlings will need to be thinned to ensure they’re not overcrowded, another cause of poorly-formed carrots. Sow seeds in rows that are 12” apart; thin seedlings so they’re 2-3” apart.


Raised beds or planters could protect you carrot plants from the carrot root fly, but if you’re choosing grow-bags, it’s worth placing them on a higher surface to keep the pests at bay.

You can also sow beetroot seeds in March, once the ground starts to warm. Like carrots, they can be sown in rows, but they only need to be 4” apart. Seeds often stick together, so if you can’t separate them, you’ll need to watch as they grow, and be sure to thin them, unless you want baby vegetables; they’ll still need to be around 6” apart. They should be ready to harvest within 7 to 10 weeks, but whilst they’re growing you can eat the leaves if you can get to them before the sparrows!


A summer full of your home-grown vegetables, how great would that be? And if you can master the less demanding vegetables, who knows what’s achievable. You could soon move on to something other than salad, and you could soon have your name down on one of those allotment waiting lists, growing every vegetable known to man, entering those summer fayre competitions for the largest vegetable and winning; remember us in your glory, won’t you?

Photos provided by Pixabay

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