Caring for flowers, vegetables and herbs should be fun and enjoyable. Often beginner gardeners lose interest because some plants are more difficult to care for than others, maybe their plants did not flower or bear fruit. So, it is best to focus on the plants that are easy to grow and your chances of success will go up tremendously. As your experience and your passion for gardening continue to grow so will the different varieties that will thrive under your care.
Here are some of the best plants for beginners:
Marigolds have beautiful flowers that add a wealth of color to your garden. They are annuals so they need to be planted new each growing season. It is said that marigolds keep pests away from your garden. This plant is easy to grow and provides bright blooms all summer long. Sow seeds directly or buy a flat from your local garden center. Remove dead blossoms to keep new buds coming.
Zinnias are annuals, so they grow for only one season but you cut and enjoy these longstemmed multicolored flowers all summer. Pinching off dead blooms makes for healthier plants and more blooms. Choosing a location that gets full sun is essential. Direct sow seeds and you should see seedlings in about seven days. They will continue to grow without any special treatment.
Leaf Lettuce is the no brainer of vegetables. We have had excellent results with Burpee’s Green Ice variety. It matures quickly, and as soon as it matures you can pick them and toss into a nice salad. Lettuce also grows well in containers. Watering in the morning and harvesting in the afternoon guarantees crisp leaves.
Bush Beans are quick growing and produce a bountiful harvest. They should be sown every few weeks to get a succession crop that will continue through the summer. If you do it right, you will have so many beans that you can feed the neighbors. Plant beans in a sunny location, four to six inches apart, in rows that are spaced at sixteen inches. Keep your bean plants well watered.
Basil is a versatile, delicious herb that tastes great in pesto and other Italian dishes. Basil loves warm weather and sun. It is incredibly easy to start from seed. We start basil seeds indoors then transplant young plants into outside containers after any threat of frost. Keep harvesting the leaves for the entire season and be sure to remove the flower buds to keep the plant producing.
Lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family. The leaves are used as a herb, in teas, and also as a flavoring. This herb complements chicken and fish and is used whole, crushed, or chopped. The plant is used to attract bees to make honey and its essential oil is used as an ingredient in aromatherapy. Lemon balm is best grown in partial shade.