10 Best Garden Crops

There are so many choices to make when deciding what to grow for your first effort in growing a food garden – that is vegetables and fruit – that you can be overwhelmed if you try too many of them.

So choosing the 10 best garden crops for beginners is a list you need to make based upon what you like to eat! Your preference and palate are your bosses in this decision. 

The main criteria for choice is to NOT overburden yourself with work and maintenance if gardening is new to you. Gardening should have a strong element of pleasure in it – and if the chores become too onerous and time-consuming then you will lose interest

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The pleasure comes from watching what you plant grow and then come into fruition. If you are a slave to this, then you won’t have the time to sit back and do this ‘watching’.

It is actually a real challenge to not only plant something but to keep it growing – nurturing until the result is ready for picking and transfer to your kitchen. There is real satisfaction in solving a growing problem, and in beating the bugs and birds who will compete for your crop of fruit or vegetables.

The next benefit, of course, is in the eating – your own fresh fruit and veg are so much better than those bought at the supermarket. Many store-bought fruit and vegetables are grown from hybrids that have been bred for shape and color – and in the process have lost a lot of their flavor.

The following choices are based on them having some or all these qualities.
1. Ease of growing – not overly high maintenance
2. Capacity to be grown in pots/containers
3. Can stand some neglect

Here are my suggestions:
Capsicums (these will act as perennials)
Mandarins (or another citrus)
Herbs: basil, oregano, sage, thyme – are forgiving of some neglect.
Rhubarb (serve with apples or raspberries)
Potatoes (can grow in straw too!)

All of these can be grown in a pot or large containers as well as the ground.

Now think of your favorites – in comparison to the above list – and make a list of between five to ten of them – think of them being on your plate eventually.

All veg and fruit benefit from good, well-composted, and mulched soil – that is all the main preparatory work you really need to do.

If you have limited space – e.g. only a balcony or apartment courtyard, a list of five items might be more suitable for you. But PLEASE, regardless of space, do it. You will thank me for this.

Growing in pots makes care a lot easier too – though you will have to water more and feed up more – but this can be a pleasurable thing to do and not be burdensome work. I love having a daily look at my pot-growing capsicums and watering them and watching the fruit get bigger each day – they are fast!

Hope you have a great time gardening.

Stay safe and buy smart,

Peter Ryan is a landscape and gardening expert and can be reached at  Better House and Garden.net

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