21 Easiest Vegetables to Grow from Seed

arugula seedlings

by Jennifer Poindexter

Are you interested in starting a vegetable garden? Are you looking for the easiest vegetables to start from seed?

This is a smart move. Starting vegetables from seed is typically the least expensive route to take when growing a garden.

Also, some plants don’t handle transplanting well. In these cases, it’s best to directly sow the seeds into the growing area. 

Thankfully, there are many easy vegetables to start from seed. I’m going to walk you through these options. In the process, I’ll share some of their basic growing conditions and gardening methods they grow best in.

Here are the vegetables you should consider starting from seed in your garden:

leaf lettuce from seed

1.  Leaf Lettuce

Leaf lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow from seed. You must have well-draining soil, cooler temperatures, and bright lighting. If you plant leaf lettuce during a warmer time of year, you should provide more shade to keep the plants from bolting.

This crop is a great choice for growing in traditional garden plots, raised beds, in containers, indoors, or in a greenhouse. It’s also a crop that you can grow year round by utilizing a variety of gardening methods. If you’re interested in growing leaf lettuce, sprinkle the seeds on the soil, and wait approximately thirty days. You should have a harvest by around this time.

beet greens from seed

2. Beets

Beets are a vegetable I love to encourage others to plant because you get so much from one crop. When growing beets, you can begin harvesting them in approximately six to eight weeks. Yet, you can begin eating the greens from the beets before then.

If you’re interested in raising beets, ensure you plant them directly into the ground as they’re a root crop and don’t handle transplanting very well. It’s best to grow beets during the cooler part of the year as heat makes them taste woody.

zucchini plant

3. Squash and Zucchini

Most gardeners will tell you to ensure you plant squash and zucchini in nutrient rich, well-draining soil. This is ideal. However, squash and zucchini will grow in virtually any soil.

You should also plant sparingly as one plant can produce anywhere from five to twenty-five pounds of squash. Ensure these plants are grown in full sunlight and don’t plant until all threat of frost is over. You can grow squash and zucchini using most gardening methods.

corn seedlings in garden

4. Corn

Corn is another simple crop to grow. It’s typically grown in traditional garden plots. Though, there are varieties of patio corn meant to grow in containers.

The main thing with corn is to plant where it will receive plenty of sunlight and also plant in box formations instead of long rows. This will protect your harvest from wind damage and also help with pollination.

swiss chard from seed in garden

5. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is similar to planting leaf lettuce. I like to grow this vegetable in containers inside my greenhouse. However, you can grow Swiss chard in traditional garden plots or raised beds.

The main thing is the plants must have well-draining soil that’s rich in nutrients. It should also be planted in full sunlight. You can grow chard over the cooler portions of the year or in summer. However, the plant tends to grow slower during the warmer seasons.

melon growing in garden from seed

6. Melons

The key to growing delicious melons is to ensure you plant in the right type of soil with the right growing conditions. Melons need well-draining soil and do best when planted in mounds. This allows water to reach the seeds but also encourages it to flow away to avoid the seeds rotting.

Be sure to plant your melons during the warmer parts of the year and in an area with at least six hours of sunlight. Consider trellising your fruits or placing cardboard beneath them to give them time to fully develop without being damaged by rot. Melons can be grown in the ground, in raised beds, or even in large containers.

growing spinach from seed

7. Spinach

Spinach was the very first crop I ever grew. It does well in the cooler parts of the year and should be direct sown.

Consider growing this plant in a container, raised bed, or in the ground. Be sure to plant spinach where it will receive full sunlight and in well-draining soil to avoid fungal issues.

growing arugula from seed

8. Arugula

Arugula is an annual crop that’s technically an herb but is also considered a leafy green. Therefore, it earned a spot on this list. If you’d like a different green for your salads, consider growing this crop from seed.

This plant enjoys cool weather, so be sure to plant it in either spring or fall. It needs full sunlight, nutrient-dense soil, and the soil must be well-draining as well. You can grow arugula using most gardening methods.

growing beans from seed

9. Green Beans

If you’re looking for a versatile and easy crop, green beans could be for you. It’s best to sow green bean seeds directly into their planting location. Depending upon variety, you can grow beans in containers, raised beds, or traditional garden plots.

Some green bean varieties will run and do best if grown near a trellis. Plant the beans in full sunlight, after all threat of frost is over, and in well-draining soil. Provide water as needed, fertilizer, and pick them regularly. These things will increase your harvest and give you a lot of return from your time invested.

growing tomatoes from seed

10. Tomatoes

Some people think that tomatoes are difficult to start from seed. In reality, they aren’t. However, you must be selective about the type of tomato you grow. Some tomatoes, like cherry varieties, are big producers and quite durable. Yet, some of the larger and more colorful varieties can become disease-prone and are more difficult to handle, in my experience.

Tomatoes don’t do well in frost. Therefore, if you’d like a jumpstart on the growing season, start the seeds indoors about two months prior to the final frost date. Ensure you grow your tomatoes under a grow light and where they’re kept warm. Plant the seeds in a well-draining growing medium and avoid oversaturating the seeds and seedlings. 

Once they have true leaves and have been hardened off, you can transplant your tomatoes into containers or garden beds. Ensure these plants are provided full sunlight and rich soil that’s well-draining.

growing okra from seed

11. Okra

Okra is a crop that enjoys hot weather. Until the night time temperatures hang around 60-degrees Fahrenheit, don’t plant this vegetable.

When it’s time to plant okra, be sure to grow it in a raised bed or traditional garden plot. It gets a little tall for most containers. This plant needs nutrient-rich, well-draining soil. It also needs full sunlight.

growing peppers from seed

12. Peppers

Peppers are another plant which love it hot. You can start your seeds indoors to get a jump on the growing season. If you choose this, start your peppers about two months prior to the final frost. Use a well-draining growing medium, a grow light, and avoid oversaturating the seeds.

When ready, transplant the seedlings outdoors into a sunny location with well-draining soil that’s high in nutrients. Be mindful that peppers take time. They won’t really start showing out until the summer days become extremely hot. This is when peppers are happiest.

growing pumpkins from seed

13. Pumpkins

Pumpkins should be planted in mid-summer. These plants are heavy feeders and will need nutrient-dense soil. It should also be well-draining.

Like melons, the seeds do best when planted in mounds to ensure they receive water but aren’t overly saturated. Give pumpkins plenty of sunlight and either grow them up a trellis or place cardboard beneath the forming pumpkins to avoid rotting issues. In most cases, pumpkins do best when grown in large, raised beds or traditional garden plots.

growing eggplant from seed

14. Eggplant

If you can grow tomatoes, you can grow eggplants as they have many of the same growing conditions. You can start eggplant indoors, as you would tomatoes or peppers, or you can sow the seeds directly into their growing location outdoors when frost is over.

Eggplant does well in a variety of growing situations. You can grow them in containers, in raised beds, or traditional garden plots. As with tomatoes, provide plenty of sunlight, and nutrient-dense, well-draining soil. 

growing collards from seed

15. Collards

Collards make a wonderful fall or spring crop. They’re cold hardy and produce a gorgeous green plant during the times of year when our bodies tend to crave such things because most plants are in their dormancy stage.

If you’re interested in growing collards, be sure to plant them in well-draining soil and where they’ll receive full sunlight. Within two months, you should be ready for your first harvest.

growing carrots from seed

16. Carrots

Carrots do best when directly sown into their permanent growing location. Since they have a long root (also known as the carrot), they don’t like being disturbed.

Be sure to loosen the soil approximately one foot beneath your planting location. Carrots need loose, well-draining soil that they can easily dig into to form properly. Grow carrots during the cooler seasons of the year in full to partial sunlight.

growing kale from seed

17. Kale

Kale is a delicious, sturdy green that packs a ton of nutrients. If you’re interested in growing this plant, you’re in luck because it’s easy to plant and can be grown using a variety of gardening methods.

You can grow kale in the spring or fall as it tends to grow best in temperatures between the mid 60’s and 70’s (in Fahrenheit). Plant the seeds in well-draining soil that’s nutrient dense and in full sunlight. Kale can be grown in containers or any other type of garden bed.

growing turnips from seed

18. Turnips

I love growing turnips because you get two products from one vegetable. You can eat the greens the plant produces and the turnip. If you’re planning on eating the turnips, it’s best to grow the plant in garden beds and avoid containers.

However, if you’re only interested in the greens, you may grow them in containers as well. Turnips are grown best in the cooler portions of the year, need full sun, well-draining soil, and dirt that has been amended to meet the plant’s nutritional needs.

growing peas from seed

19. Peas

Peas are another easy-to-grow, cool weather crop. You can grow them in raised beds, traditional garden plots, and even containers (though you may receive a smaller harvest).

If you’re interested in raising this vegetable, be sure to plant where the peas will receive full sunlight and in well-draining, nutrient dense soil.

growing radishes from seed

20. Radishes

If you need a plant that’s easy to grow from seed and will also produce quickly, radishes are for you. Radishes grow during the cooler parts of the year and do best when sown directly into their growing location.

Even more fascinating, if planted in loose, well-draining soil they should produce a harvest in approximately thirty days. Radishes grow well using most gardening methods.

growing cucumbers from seed

21. Cucumbers

The final crop we’ll discuss that’s easy to grow from seed is the cucumber. This plant comes in multiple varieties that impact the size of the fruit.

Therefore, you can grow cucumbers in containers, in the ground, or in raised beds. Ensure you plant cucumbers after all threat of frost is over and in an area with full sunlight and well-draining soil. Fertilize your cucumbers and water them adequately to increase your chance of having an abundant harvest.

You now have over twenty vegetables you can try growing from seed that should work well for most beginner gardeners.

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of growing something from seed. By providing well-draining soil, the proper nutrients, light, and avoiding oversaturating your seeds, you should find that growing most plants is a simple and enjoyable process.

Learn More About Vegetables to Grow from Seed


arugula seedling with text overlay growing vegetables from seed 21 Easiest Vegetables to Grow from Seed

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