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Easy Backyard Gardening for Beginners: Plants That Will Thrive in Your Garden

Updated on April 1, 2013

You Can Garden!

Gardening is an ancient skill that's very easy to master. Once you start gardening, you may find that you never want to stop! Seed catalogues will arrive in your mailbox during a winter snowstorm, and you'll start to plan out your spring gardening right then and there.

Gardening has many benefits, including the obvious one: cheap vegetables! In addition to home-grown vegetables being cheaper than grocery store vegetables, they are also healthier. Most home gardeners don't use any pesticides on their produce, so it is organic. The organic food grown in your own garden will be even healthier than the organic food you buy for much more money at the grocery store. It will also be much fresher, retaining a higher nutrient density than store-bought organics.

Gardening is also a great form of exercise and relaxation at the same time. Gardening connects you to the world around you, giving you a break from the constant demands of modern life. Gardening is a slow, steady process, and the routine is soothing and inspiring.

If you've never gardened before, try planting a few of the vegetables listed below. You will be a master gardener before you know it!

Choosing Plants That Will Grow

For a novice gardener,one of the most important things to do is to choose plants that are really easy to grow. Luckily, this does not limit your choices very much since there are many vegetables that will definitely grow well in a first-time garden as long as you do the most basic garden maintenance of weeding and watering.They are:

  • Spinach: Spinach likes cool weather, so you can plant it in early spring in most areas.
  • Lettuce. Same easiness level as spinach.
  • Beets. Also very easy, and beautiful! Plus, if you're like me, you might actually eat beets if you grow them yourself.
  • Green beans. You know how kids grow bean seeds on paper towels in elementary school science class? Growing green beans in the garden is even easier. Just a word of caution, though - never pick the beans when the plants are wet - AT ALL! The leaves will end up covered with rusty red spots.
  • Zucchini. Very easy and hardy. I love zucchini plants because they grow quickly and before you know it, they are HUGE! It's so awesome to see a seed that you planted turn into an enormous, prolific plant. You will soon understand why gardeners are always willing to give away armfuls of zucchini.
  • Onions. Super easy, always grow well. Most people use little tiny onions (rather than onion seeds) that you can buy at any greenhouse or even at the hardware store.
  • Herbs. Basil, rosemary, thyme, mint, and other herbs are easy to grow.

You don't need a lot of space to grow a garden, either. A small plot in your yard, or a few big containers on your porch will do just fine. In fact, if you are new you may want to limit your space so you don't feel overwhelmed. You can grow plenty of produce in a very small space!

Just a Few Reasons to Give It a Try!

I know plenty of people who say, "I kill plants!" I don't think they are really telling the truth though, mostly because I think it's a lot harder to keep a plant alive inside than outside. Houseplants are subject to all sorts of problems, like mites and bugs, central heating and cooling, and a lack of fresh air and sunlight. It's also easy to forget to water a houseplant, but luckily for outdoor gardeners, it rains outside! (Unless you're in a Colorado drought, of course, but that's another story.)

An obvious benefit of gardening is the result: Food! It still amazes me that I can plant seeds in dirt and that, in a month or two, turn into food! It's so exciting to go out to your garden and harvest food that you grew yourself. It also makes you feel like a bit of a superhero, or a magician.

A direct result of growing your own food is a reduced food budget. Fresh produce, particularly organic produce, is VERY expensive! So are flowers, for that matter. When you grow even a portion of our own food, you will spend less money on store-bought vegetables, and eat more fresh, healthy food.

And finally, the stress factor. I find gardening to be very soothing. It's quiet, I'm outside, and surrounded by beauty. I also really like accomplishing things with my own two hands. So much of our time as modern-day people involves sitting in front of a computer, and producing work that exists only on paper or on the internet. As much as I love intellectual creativity like writing, it's so great to take a complete mental break and live in the moment.

Why Do You Garden?

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    • donnaisabella profile image

      Donaisabella 4 years ago from Fort Myers

      I love gardening, in-fact I did it as a business at one time. I grew flowers, roses, chrysanthemums and lillies, for sale to florists, I used to make good money. Then I grew plenty of cabbages, tomatoes, onions, collard greens, spinach, lettuce, carrots and even Irish potatoes. Of all the crops I grew, I loved my onions, cabbages and tomatoes best, they kept me busy and it was such a great joy to see them growing and thriving in the field. They gave me a great sense of accomplishment. Your hub is a good introduction to gardening, indeed.

    • flagostomos profile image

      flagostomos 6 years ago from Washington, United States

      We did a garden when i was young, but my dad eventually decided to do away with it. However we have always grown tomatoes, every year, and it's never a disappointment. One year we had such an abundance of crops we were just giving away as many tomatoes as we could.

      Most everything else we grew you can buy at the farmer's market and it still tastes good. Homegrown tomatoes were the one thing we could never give up!

      I thought about doing a garden this year, but I never did anything about it. I'm going to do one next year though. Some good tips in this hub.