Sunday, November 22, 2009

How to grow vegetables

I am often asked which vegetables are the easiest to plant during the spring season. Being from the Southwestern part of the U.S. my first response is…Chili’s or Peppers.

One of the most popular is the Jalapeno. This pepper can grow to about 3" long and about 1.5" wide. They are ready when the dark green flesh starts to turn a reddish color. They are of course highly pungent.

It is really hard to tell which one will be hotter the next one. The jalapeno can be canned, pickeled. The tam Jalapeno is what most wholesalers use for their Salsa's. The Long Green Chili also very popular throughout the southwest.

The Anaheim Chili, is a classic favorite with Unbeatable Mild Heat! 8-inch peppers are well protected by foliage throughout their growth.

The Chili or pepper vegetables are easy to grow, tolerate extreme heat and insects rarely bother them. Buying them full grown at the grocery store can be a bit expensive. They are highly nutritious with lots of vitamin C. They like to be planted in full sun and watering should be done almost daily during the hot summer months. You can purchase chili or pepper seeds at your local nursery store. The cost is around 2-4 bucks per package. Be sure to purchase this years seeds and not last years. Many big box store nurseries will forget to dispose of older seed packages.

Tomatoes are the next easy vegetable plants to grow. The beefsteak, early girl and cherry tomatoes are fast growing and provide lots of vitamin C. Plant them about 3 ft. apart and be sure to use tomato cages to support their weight. Use bird netting to keep birds away during the growing season. There a tons of other varieties that you can use. Make sure you use good composted soil and purchase seeds that are resistant to diseases. Tomato rot and Verticillium Wilt are two of the more common ones. If your tomato plants look bad be sure to contact your county extension agent or you local nursery and ask for a manager. These folks make a living helping out vegetable gardeners.

Carrots are another easy to grow type of vegetable to grow in your garden. Plant them about 6 inches in rows apart and 2 inches apart from each seed. You can harvest carrots throughout the summer and fall months. Carrots do not like colder type weather be sure to plant when you are sure the last frost has passed. They also like good composted soil that drains well.

Here is a list of other vegetable plants that can be easily planted.
  1. Lettuce – Can be grown in cooler fall type weather. The Jericho variety can tolerate poor soil and hot weather.
  2. Onions – Put seeds about 4-5 inches into the ground. Be sure the last frost has passed.
  3. Broccoli – Will continue to produce even after the first head has been harvested.
  4. Cucumbers – Just let them grow on the ground…kind of like pumpkins.
  5. Basil – Does not like cooler temperatures. Excellent herb plant that grows until the first frost
  6. Beets – Baby beets are the best to plant. Sow about 1-2 inches apart and then thin out as time goes on.

These vegetable plants need good composted soil that drains well. Be sure to use a good vegetable fertilizer and fertilize about once per month. A 10-10-10 is a good mixture of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash.

It is best to use organic type fertilizers and insecticides. However organic materials do not always work as well as man made matter. One of the best deterrents to a healthy garden is constant observance and taking early steps to control insect infestation or disease problems.

Paul Guzman - Color Your World Nursery Las Cruces, NM.
More easy to grow vegetables information here. 



  1. Nice list of easy-to-grow vegetables for beginners. I would add: radishes, squash and spinach - also quite easily grown from my experience!

  2. I would suggest greenhouses...