10 Easy Plants to Grow
Try these low-maintenance plants and fast-growing seeds and don’t let Mother Nature stop you from harvesting this year.
Chives are easy plants to grow, and they beautifully dominate this garden.
Robert Cushman Hayes-hayesphoto.com
Not everyone is blessed with a green thumb. Many gardeners are looking for low-maintenance crops after watching past efforts fizzle. And even the best gardeners suffer off years, scrambling for quick-growing crops to replant after poor weather or critter mishaps.
Don’t throw in the trowel! Here are 10 easy plants to grow that are also quick-performers. I selected these low-maintenance plants after years of neglectful gardening. While there’s no guarantee in the growing world, these crops are a good bet to succeed under your care, or in spite of it. In no particular order:
You needn’t worry about growing mint, just containing it. This hardy herb likes to spread, and it’ll take over your garden as soon as you turn your back. It’s smart to plant mint in its own corner of the garden or in containers.
Buy mint as a seedling and plant in early spring. Mint prefers partial shade and rich soil, but don’t let that worry you. Plunk it into poor soil and direct sunlight, and it still will take over the neighborhood. Just plant mint seedlings 12 inches apart and water until established.
Mint is handy for iced tea and homemade ice cream. Many people also use mint oil to ward off deer and mice.
Whatever you do, don’t fertilize nasturtiums. These edible flowers put out their best blooms in nutrient-poor soil. The blooms do look better if you remember to water them. Otherwise, plant them and forget them.
Nasturtiums grow quickly and can handle partial shade. Aphids are drawn to them, but they rarely beat the flowers back. In fact, some gardeners use nasturtiums to draw off aphids from other crops.
The flowers can add color and zest to any salad and are perfect for making vinaigrette. During World War II, the seeds were used as a substitute for pepper.
While garlic’s an easy crop to grow, growing perfect garlic can become a lifetime obsession. Getting started is simple: In the fall, plant peeled cloves, pointing upward. Cover. Wait. Harvest heads in the spring or summer.
These hardy plants basically grow themselves. If you plant them in rich soil and regularly water them, the cloves will produce bigger bulbs. Erratic watering and poor soil leads to smaller cloves, but smaller cloves usually have a stronger taste. You can’t lose.
There’s a lot to love about a plant that feeds itself.
Green beans are nitrogen fixers; they process nitrogen from the air rather than pulling it from the soil. In other words, growing green beans is a tasty way to fertilize your garden.
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