If you only had to pick 3 which are your cast iron crops that you plant every year?

Just wondering what other people would recommend for people with little space and time on their hands…

Tomatoes. There are so many varieties to choose from including some that will grow in a hanging basket. It’s cliché but there truly is no comparison between home grown, sun ripened tomatoes and shop bought.
A fruit bush. Whether you like currants, gooseberries, raspberries or strawberries (I know, not bushes, but you know what I mean) plant one in a tub and, again, that fresh, seasonal treat is simply divine.
Thirdly, herbs. It’s amazing how much difference even a few sprigs of parsley will make to a meal. Perennial herbs, like rosemary, oregano and thyme will do well in a tub as well.
And if a few flower seeds happen to fall into your tubs, so much the better! Good luck and happy gardening.

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Thank you and I agree completely with the tomatoes cliche or not they are totally different from the store bought ones and it feels a luxury to go and pick and eat one in the garden…

I second fruit bushes and strawberries! Whatever your favourite type is to eat, you’ll never regret planting a few. Berries and currants are usually expensive too so you can save quite a lot of money, plus they don’t need much looking after.

Lettuce is really easy to grow, and there are so many different types and varieties it’s always fun trying out new ones every year. Grow them in a pot if your garden is as slug-infested as mine though!

Thirdly, good old courgettes/zucchini. Yes you do get tired of them after a while but boy are they productive!

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Does anyone have a suggestion for beginner vegetables in northeastern US? Pennsylvania?

As a couple of you mentioned, I love to grow tomatoes because they thrive without much care at all. I also love fresh and dried thyme (lemon and regular) and scarlet runner beans. The beans have a pretty red flower and they grow really tall. I just bought a pound of the seeds and am going to try growing a shade wall using string or some old fencing we have.

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My gardening has always been what I call “beginner” and it seems you can’t go wrong with carrots (in an easy to dig, soft soil) radishes and herbs that like sunny dry locations. Have fun!

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Ok, I am going to start there, what are your thoughts on growing potatoes?

Don’t know where you are but, in the UK, potatoes are fairly cheap and plentiful and take up a lot of space. I’m growing only ‘earlies’ this year - in cloth buckets. I would go for crops that are either more expensive or where the home-grown taste is definitely superior. Toms are an obvious choice. Onions are the background to so many meals and you can chose the size that you pick them (Who wants to grow massive onions that are tough and chewy and taste worse than they look?). Strawberries are never cheap and. although I have limited success with them, they are always worth a try. It really depends on - where you are - what you like - what is the local price for the produce. Is Hobson’s Choice the right way attitude?

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Here we are, here are some good one for starting…https://www.growveg.com/guides/the-easiest-vegetables-to-grow/ and this link here has all our beginner gardening articles in it https://www.growveg.com/guides/categories/beginner-gardening/ But personally speaking, any lettuce or salad leaves, radishes, beets, zucchini, herbs, pole beans and peas are all simple and enjoyable crops to grow and would do well in your area.

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Great articles and thoughts on what to grow. I just bought beet seeds for the first time and I am excited to try growing them this summer. I spoke with a friend who lives in central Florida two weeks ago and she said she had just harvested some small potatoes from a planter. She recently moved from a house with raised garden beds to a townhouse with concrete patio. Because she still wanted to try growing some favorite veggies she used plastic planters and it has worked very well. I’m excited for summer!

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You can do really well with pots, I didn’t have a garden for years and started off growing in a little concrete yard and it was really exciting to harvest our herbs, garlic and salad leaves and to think that we had grown them ourselves! Here is a really good article on beets you might like https://www.growveg.com/guides/beets-for-beginners/

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Carrots are easy to grow in this climate. I grow baby carrots and half Nantes that get only 6-7 inches. This way I don’t have to dig too far down in the raised bed. I also can get 2 crops per season. Plenty for my family of 6 and enough to store thru the winter.

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Hi samor, we just moved from PA to Ohio, pretty much the same weather but where we moved to gets at least a little rain practically every day which is great for the garden, but I always had a tiny patch of a garden and did well with tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, strawberries and chives. The only pest that bothered the strawberries and tomatoes was my beagle! He would pick out the biggest ripest ones and we’d get the little catfaced - ant chewed ones, lol! It was worth it just to watch him do it, he’d look, find one, pluck it off the vine, toss it in the air and then kick out his back legs and settle in for a yummy snack! we’ve moved onto a 2 acre property and are trying to not go to the grocery store, there’s a lot to learn and a lot more pests!!
You’ve found a good place for advice from some seasoned gardeners…Best wishes for a great growing season!

Yep! I agree! Tomatoes! :tomato: Best beginner veggie plants! Lots of varieties to choose from. Try to find ones that are hardy against diseases. Also, AlliG is right on the money with all the other suggestions! Herbs are great and strawberries are very rewarding! :strawberry:

Tomatoes, Lacinato Kale (freezes well, lasts all winter), Arugula, Lettuces, Beans

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All of the above! But I love to plant beets. You can selectively pick some of the greens for salads when they are little and cook them later on, plus then you get the roots. I’ve had good luck with snap peas and beans too. Rainbow chard is gorgeous, as is red russian kale. Both of those are also yummy in salads when little.

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I completely agree with your top 3 suggestions (tomatoes, berry plants/bushes & herbs)… beets would be a close fourth for me. What’s most important is that they are veg that you LOVE. Be selective if you have limited time or space!

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