Beginners: Crops to Try
Never gardened before and not sure which plants to start with? Well here are some lists of plants which are easy or not so easy to grow. If you stick to the 'easy' list when you're first getting started you'll experience much greater garden success and you'll be able to learn the skills you need in order to tackle more difficult plants later on.
Plants that are easy to grow
- Climbing beans require a support but dwarf or bush beans don't need any extra support
- Climbing peas need support but dwarf peas don't
- Corn is easy to germinate but you must plant blocks of corn in order to get a good crop
- Rosemary and lavender
- These are easy to grow if purchased as small plants or seedlings. Growing these from seed is not for beginners, nor is growing them from cuttings really.
- Soak the seeds in water overnight for better germination and to help you separate the seeds
- Silver beet
- Silver beet seeds will also benefit from soaking in water overnight but this isn't necessary
If you've never gardened before, now is the perfect time to learn about companion planting and crop rotation. If you learn about these easy to implement techniques now, you'll save yourself heaps of time and money and you won't get into bad habits such as growing plants in straight lines and as monocultures (garden beds full of a single plant species)
Plants that are more difficult to grow
- Carrots - they can be difficult to germinate as they must be kept moist from planting until germination and they do not transplant well
- Parsley - germination can be a little difficult, however it may self seed once you get one plant established
- Can fail to thrive if not given its preferred conditions
- Delphiniums - seeds require a chilling period and germination can be difficult to achieve
- Tomatoes - growing tomatoes from seed can be difficult for beginners but seedlings are readily available
- Most tomatoes require staking
- Lettuce - many lettuce varieties quickly bolt (go to seed, which makes them taste bitter) in hot weather
- If you pick a variety that says that it is slow to bolt and you plant the seeds in the correct season (depends on the variety) then they are relatively easy to grow.
- Brassicas - many brassicas such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli, are a magnet for pests, which can be difficult to control for beginners
- If you would like to grow these vegetables, companion planting is highly recommended to prevent the need for costly and potentially toxic pesticides. Companion planting will also save you from spending hours on pest eradication.
- Parsnips - germination can be difficult although they will self seed once you have a plant growing in the right conditions