No Green Thumb? Try Growing These Three Easy Vegetables

Hands holding freshly picked green beans above a green bean garden.

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So you say you don't have a green thumb. You kill every plant you try to grow, including the so-called "unkillable" plants that everyone else on the planet seems to have no problem with. Or you're really busy, and you don't think you have the time to grow a garden.

Surprise: you can grow a perfectly respectable vegetable garden (in the ground or in containers) and eat fresh food from your own yard or balcony all summer long. It's just a matter of picking the right crops.

It's nearly March. Those of us in the northern zones are ordering and starting seeds (finally) and those in the south are gearing up to start planting (if they haven't already). With a little planning, you can grow plenty of food this year. Below are the three easiest vegetables you can grow. With a minimum of time and attention, they'll provide you with salads and snacks throughout the spring and summer, and into the fall.

The Three Easiest Vegetables to Grow

1. Snap Beans (AKA Green beans, string beans)

A hand holding a basket of green beans.

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Snap beans are easy to grow, and require very little in the way of maintenance other than regular watering. They aren't susceptible to many pests or diseases, and germinate easily from seed. Both pole and bush beans are easy, but if you're growing in containers, or would rather not deal with putting up trellises, bush beans are the way to go. Beans grow best in full sun, but will also produce a decent amount of food when grown in partial shade.

2. Radishes

A bunch of pink radishes sitting outside.

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Radishes are a vegetable that doesn't seem to get much respect. Most people think the only thing you can do with them is to slice them into a salad or add them to a crudite platter. But have you tried eating a radish smeared with butter and sprinkled with coarse salt? Have you tried roasting them as a side dish, or pickling them? There is so much to love about this quick-growing, ridiculously easy to grow root vegetables. The seeds are large enough to sow easily, either in a garden bed or in a container that's at least six inches deep. They grow in sun to partial shade. And as long as you manage to water them before the soil dries out, you'll be rewarded with plenty of crispy, spicy radishes. Just sow more as you need them, and you can grow radishes all season long.

3. Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes growing in small pots.

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If you're able to provide a little bit of support (a cage or stake) you can grow indeterminate tomatoes fairly easily. However, for the smallest amount of work possible, look for "patio" type tomatoes. These are usually hybrids -- some popular patio varieties include 'Patio' and 'Tiny Tim.' If you prefer heirlooms, look for a small-fruited variety like 'Yellow Pear,' 'Chocolate Cherry,' or 'Red Currant.' Small-fruited varieties are easy to grow because, unlike with larger tomatoes, you rarely have to worry about issues like splitting or blossom end rot. Tomatoes will even be fine with a bit of neglect -- if you forget to water them, it's not a big deal. Some gardeners swear that tomatoes taste better the less water you give them. One or two small-fruited tomato plants will keep you happily harvesting tomatoes throughout the summer until the first frost.

Even if you don't have a green thumb, you can grow these three easy garden vegetables. Give them a try!