Much of our website is about easy vegetable gardening, especially under the vegetable gardening tab. We love making vegetable gardening easier. This is why I must mention that the easiest vegetables are perennial vegetables. The easier it is the smaller the
barrier to implementing this health strategy of growing your own food. I've also found that the easier it is the more likely you are to work with nature, and imitate her, and the less money you spend on chemicals, the less wasted effort and time you put into the garden doing things that are redundant and even detrimental. It is only recently after practicing easy gardening for two years that I read The One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka. He has passed on, and I feel so much resonance with his words, I wish he was still around, because I want more. His description of California's desertification is the story of us. His philosophy holds anywhere, even if the methods differ. Here in this brittle semi desert that is the Cape, we need to find our own way around having no water, for example. Here there is really no such thing as easy vegetable gardening.
Besides descriptions of how to fertilize your soil, and make compost and liquid manure we have pages on how to grow each individual easy vegetable and others too. Scroll down for the easy ones. There are also a few tips we give such as exclusion, which will help with fruit fly on cucumbers, and dealing with scratching birds ripping out your seedlings.
But now, the time has come to give you a list of the easiest vegetables to grow in our Mediterranean (dry summer wet cold winter) climate. Once again, easy is eco-friendly. If it thrives on neglect, it thrives without technological assistance and with less water.
Steve has been in charge of the veggie garden till I took over, and these are his favourite easy ones, from the last season:
Green beans (lack of bees causes less fruiting, but ants seem to be taking up the slack)
Tomatoes (they do get leaf and fruit diseases if planted in the same place for three years)
Chillis and bell peppers (once they mature they endure)
Chard (from bought and self saved seed)
Lettuce (run to seed quickly in summer)
Pumpkins (rank vines but very few fruit due to lack of bees, and self saved seed from green grocer pumpkin, perhaps a hybrid not producing fertile adult plants, or some kind of a breeding effect)
Onion family (for harvesting greens plant sprouting onions or leek root stubbs in soil)
Savory (from bought seedlings)
Basil (from bought and self saved seed)
Oregano (from bought seedlings)
Rosemary (from bought bushes, plant at the start of the rainy season)
Comfrey (not really a vegetable as such, but a must in the garden for accumulating minerals)
Thyme (doesn’t flourish vegetatively)
Okra (gets eaten up while still only seedlings)
Cucumbers (fruit fly damage was a problem till we discovered bagging)
Very hot chilis (germination and development is very slow, but we may feel the fire of enthusiasm later)
Mint (after a slow start it grew massive, even with low nitrogen from 5 small fish, can’t eat it all)
Lettuce (slow, do not live that long, even with high N)
Cherry tomatoes (if in the sun with plenty of fish nitrogen from 20 full grown Koi fish, they do explosively)
This below is a list of the twenty one easiest veggies, based on my internet research. We don’t agree with some of the items on the list in terms of really easy vegetable gardening. I’ve arranged them in order of easiness from top to bottom.
we have experienced:
cherry tomatoes (wow, such a pleasure)
white climber beans (yes, stringy but delicious)
swiss chard (what a pleasure)
basil (we have extra basil for you)
mint (in aquaponics)
chilis (yes, very hardy)
oregano (must be transplanted I think, it gets so tatty in summer, creeping kind lasts many years)
radishes (early yet to judge, but white icicle germinate well...a very disappointing harvest of rock hard small roots)
carrots (seen them being very easy in other gardens, not in mine, tiny but delicious after 8 months)
onions and scallions (grow well from existing roots, but slow from seed)
lettuce (very short seasons generally, run to seed soon)
pumpkins (grew vegetatively but did not fruit, seen them easy in other gardens, in two minds)
cucumbers (no, the vines were puny and the fruit were maggot infested till we discovered bagging, so I would not class these as easy, they need special care)
spinach (mine never germinates, do not agree with it being easy at all)
have not experienced
collard, dandelion, purslane
Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or stories to share on gardening, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, food forests, natural gardening, do nothing gardening, observations about pests and diseases, foraging, dealing with and using weeds constructively, composting and going offgrid.
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