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17 Easy-To-Start Seeds for Beginner Gardeners

Treehugger / Allison McAdams

Starting your own plants from seed is easy. If you’ve tried in the past without success, give these 17 seeds a try this year. Growing your own garden from seed can be less expensive than buying seedlings from the garden center, and cheaper than buying produce from the supermarket.

8 easy edibles to start from seed

Beans: Pole beans or bush beans? It doesn’t really matter because beans are possibly the easiest seeds to start in your garden.

Chard: A nutritious leafy green that every first-time gardener should grow. Chard stalks come in a rainbow of colors, but the part we generally eat is the leaf (at right).

Cucumbers: Easy to start outdoors directly in the soil when the soil temperature warms up.

Radishes: A great crop to plant early in the spring when temperatures can be too cold for anything else.

Carrots: Another easy-to-grow root crop for the beginner gardener. Try some of the colorful heirloom varieties for picky eaters, and shorter varieties like “Round Romeo” to replace packaged baby carrots from the supermarket.

Lettuce: Head lettuces are easy to grow, but growing lettuces you can harvest for salads at the leaf stage is easiest for beginner gardeners.

Squash: Like cucumbers, squash seeds are easy to sow directly into the soil.

Basil: Possibly the easiest herb to start in your garden. There’s a wide selection of cultivars with interesting scents if growing basil for pesto doesn’t interest you.

Growing just a few of these seeds will increase your confidence in your ability to nurture and grow your own food. When you start your own plants from seeds, you know exactly what went into making your food and you can be sure that no harmful chemicals were used to grow what you put on your plate.

9 easy annuals to start from seed

Flowers don’t just beautify your neighborhood and home. A successful garden needs pollinators, and the flowers you plant in your garden should be thought of as the welcome mat of your garden. Entice the pollinators your vegetables and herbs rely on for pollination by planting these easy-to-grow flower seeds.

Cosmos: Airy foliage with daisy-like flowers in shades of white, orange, pink, magenta and yellow. A great annual for gardens with poor soil and for those who want a low-maintenance plant.

Sunflowers: Possibly the easiest annual to start in your garden. Sunflowers don’t like transplanting, so plant the seed directly into the soil where you want them to grow.

Poppies: Annual poppies are easy to start from seed. Sow them directly into a garden bed with poor soil during cool, rainy weather to germinate the seeds.

Zinnias: This tough annual comes in a variety of colors and heights. They can tolerate dry and hot conditions. Pinch the buds back to create bushier plants.

Bachelor Buttons: Charming white, pink, blue and lavender blooms that do well in poor soil and dry gardens.

Marigolds: A classic, easy-to-grow plant that no garden should be without. They’re available in colors and heights beyond the yellow blooms your grandmother grew.

Cleome: A great cottage garden plant with an interesting flower form that resembles spiders to some (at right).

Runner beans: Attractive blooms on fast-growing vines that create privacy and shade. Interesting seed pods at the end of the season that are easy to collect.

Nasturtiums: Blooms come in a variety of colors. Foliage can be green to blue and variegated. The plant’s leafs, blooms and seeds are all edible.

Aside from attracting pollinators, the biggest benefit of growing your own blooms is that you have living floral shop just outside your door. Cut your own bouquets throughout the season and give some to friends and family instead of buying costly flowers that have been grown in other countries and shipped around the world.

Ramon is the original urban garden blogging male espousing a DIY philosophy to gardening and garden projects. Better known online as MrBrownThumb, he’s been demystifying gardening secrets for average gardeners online since 2005. Besides writing the popular MrBrownThumb garden blog he’s co-founder of @SeedChat on Twitter, the creative director of One Seed Chicago, and founder of the Chicago Seed Library.

Think you can't grow anything? Try these easy-to-grow seeds in your garden and you might begin to think you have a green thumb.

Growing Plant Seeds With Kids – Easy Care And Fun Plants For Children To Grow

Watching plants grow is a fun and educational experience for children. Their enormous curiosity and excitement over anything new makes them naturals for gardening. Growing plant seeds with kids teaches them how nature works, responsibility in caring for something, an interest in environmental sustainability and pride in themselves for the results. Choose easy seeds for kids that are large enough to handle and germinate readily.

Growing Plant Seeds With Kids

Fun plants for children are fruit and vegetables, flowers and any uniquely shaped plant. Consider the weather and the zone you are in to ensure you choose good plants to grow from seed. Children will continue their interest in gardening if the first time is a fantastic success.

Easy seeds for children are larger for little fingers to handle and germinate fast so there is less waiting time. Children should be involved in all parts of the gardening process, including preparing the garden space or choosing containers.

Easy Seeds for Kids

To avoid children’s boredom, choose fast growing seeds for kids. The quicker they can see something happen, the more interested they will be in the process. Pumpkins are always fun and last well into the season with a Halloween or Thanksgiving payoff in the form of a Jack-o-lantern or pumpkin pie. Radishes sprout quickly and are found in a rainbow of colors. Fruits and vegetable seeds offer rewards after successful planting and care.

Flower seeds germinate readily and add obvious color and tone to baskets, beds and containers. Most wildflowers make excellent fast growing seeds for kids. Best of all, with flowers you can cut them and bring them indoors. Children can grow a posy for Grandma, which will charm her and delight them with their accomplishment.

Good Plants to Grow from Seed

Plants with large or small dimensions create a sense of wonder in children. Giant sunflowers and leggy pole beans are fascinating in their height. Baby carrots or miniature bok choy are kid-sized and comfortable. Sweet cherry or grape tomatoes are little and tasty snacks right from the vine.

For added fun in the garden, sow multi-colored carrots, orange cauliflower or purple potatoes. The options for fun vegetables are expanding every year. Bring some fun into the garden plot with the hybrid choices available at garden centers.

Fun Plants for Children

Plants with unique characteristics, such as lamb’s ears, or any of the carnivorous plants, such as Venus flytrap, allow children to experience the variety that nature offers. Hens and chicks have a cute name but the plants are equally adorable and captivate children’s imagination.

Try simple plants from common household items. Suspend an avocado pit in water and watch it grow roots. Cut off the top of a pineapple and put it in a shallow tray for a crazy spiky plant. Taking these familiar foods and returning them into their plant forms, is a great way to teach children about where their food comes from and what it takes to grow the good things they eat.

Watching plants grow is a fun and educational experience for children. Growing seeds with kids teaches them how nature works and give them responsibility in caring for something. Learn more in this article.