Best Plants for Beginners
Growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers doesn't have to be difficult. By focusing on plants that are relatively easy to grow, your chance of success increases, even if you're new to gardening. All you need to grow these easy-care plants are sunlight, good soil, regular water, and a bit of plant food.
For the ultimate simplicity, try planting in containers, using Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Potting Mix, which can help protect plants from both over- and under-watering. A month after planting, begin giving plants a little boost of nutrition by mixing Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food in with the water in your watering can (be sure to follow label directions).
Here are some of the best plants for beginners:
Leaf lettuce: Leaf lettuce varieties such as Buttercrunch, Romaine, and Red Sails mature relatively quickly, and you can actually start harvesting as soon as leaves are large enough to nibble. Lettuces grow well in containers, with shallow roots that don't need deep pots to thrive.
Radishes: One of the fastest crops, radishes are ready to harvest in about three weeks. (As a bonus, you can eat the leafy tops as greens.) Because radishes grow so quickly, instead of planting all of the seeds at once, try sowing a few every week or two so you'll be able to harvest continuously for a longer period. Radishes grow well in both beds and pots.
Climbing peas: These grow quickly in the springtime. Plant them along a fence or trellis so they can climb and you can harvest them more easily. Once summer heat arrives and plants are done producing, pull the pea vines and plant pole beans in their place. Both veggies grow well in containers, too.
Basil: This herb loves warm weather, so plant once frosty nights are long gone. Be sure to remove the flower buds to keep the plant producing tasty leaves.
Rosemary: This versatile herb is one of the best plants for beginners. It grows well in either pots or the ground, and can handle dry spells once it matures. Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb, so it likes the heat.
Chives: No special treatment required for chives! Trim them often by giving them a "haircut" and shearing off the top third of the plant. Flowers are edible, too.
Marigolds: These bright blossoms tolerate heat well and bloom throughout the season, right up until frost. Remove dead blossoms to keep new buds coming.
Zinnias: Zinnias will grow without any special treatment. Tall varieties may need to be tied to a stake to keep them from flopping over. Pinch off dead blooms.
Cosmos: These daisy-like flowers do well in a wide range of soils and can withstand drought once theyve reached maturity. They love warm weather, so wait to plant until all chance of frost has passed.
Each of these easy-to-grow plants grows well from seed, but your job will be even easier if you plant seedlings. Starting a garden with young plants jumpstarts the process, getting you to colorful flowers or edible harvest sooner than if you sow seeds.
For more great gardening tips, or to find out more about how Miracle-Gro® products can make it easier to be a better gardener, click any of the links below.
Written by Julie Martens Forney