Getting started - Knowledgebase Question

Shreveport, Lo
Question by lenchudson
April 28, 2010
What is the best plant/vegetable to start with for a beginner?

Answer from NGA
April 28, 2010


You'll have great success with the following easy care plants:
Nasturtiums. These are those lovely and free-flowing vines with leaves that resemble small lily pads and come in colors like orange, crimson, yellow and "vanilla." And they're one of those flowers that are actually edible. Once established, they'll reseed season after season.

Sweet Peas. Although there's some prep involved--usually soaking overnight--before sowing, these colorful, old-fashioned flowering vines quickly sprout when the climate is right. Their scent is subtly sweet and refreshing. Pick often for continuous flowers.

Cosmos. Another staple in old-fashioned gardens, these come in varieties like "Seashells" and "Sonata Mix." Although you can find them in six-packs at nurseries, try growing them from seed--they'll grow stronger and taller than the store-bought varieties. Cosmos are prolific reseeders.

Green Beans. Again, you can find them in six-packs, but it's much more fun to go the seed route. If you've got children, make a bamboo-pole teepee and train the vines up the poles. Once more, these are quick growers.

Sweet Alyssum. You'll get more bang for your buck if you plant seeds rather than six-packs. These come in white and various shades of purple, although the white ones are more productive. Keep them short and trimmed, and marvel as they reseed throughout the growing season.

Gloriosa Daisy. Like cosmos, gloriosas are bigger and better when grown from seed. Leaves are soft and hairy, and colors are autumnal yellows and bronzes. Also a reseeder.

Catmint or Catnip. You can buy one of these straight, grassy plants in a container at your grocery store's produce section, or try them from seed. Speedy sprouters, and yes, some cats get all giddy and overjoyed when they nibble or roll around in it.

Sunflowers. Big, tall and charmingly unsophisticated, these are simple to grow from seed. Just think about where you're planting them--they'll grow as high as corn. Let them go to seed and roast 'em.

Arugula. This nutty-flavored lettuce, found in uppity salads, is swift to appear and reseed. Try it in a pot near your kitchen and pick often. Homegrown is waaay less expensive than getting it at the market.

Other easy plants include marigolds, and radishes.

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