It is so much cheaper and safer to grow your own fruit and veggies rather than buying them from a grocery store. Knowing what has or hasn't been sprayed on my vegetables is important to me. I don’t know about you, but it seems like our produce prices are going up faster than gas prices. And since the UN has declared this the year of fruits and veggies, it is a good idea to grow your own. You never really know what you are going to get when you buy them from the store. Besides, they will be much fresher and more nutritious when you harvest them and use them immediately.

tomatoes, squash and cucumbers

COVID-19 Got Us All Busy in the Garden

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people started growing their own gardens to supplement their produce supplies and to combat the boredom of being stuck at home. A lot of new gardeners may be having a hard time growing those fruits and veggies that they want because they are so new at it. However, it seems that they enjoyed it because seed companies are overwhelmed with orders again this year.

What Do You Want to Grow?

There is plenty of information online, of course, however people are just not sure what is right or wrong. You can trust Dave’s Garden since we get all of our information from our own experiences. You can even check with the the Old Farmer’s Almanac publication as well. Whether you are an experienced gardener or are just picking up the shovel for the first time, I can help you figure out the best fruits and veggies for you to grow.

One of the best ways to determine what you want to grow is by what you like, what grows best in your area, how easy it is to grow, and how fast it grows. Grow what your family enjoys eating, with a couple of new vegetables as a taste adventure. For example, if you live in a cooler area up north then you may not be able to grow certain fruits and vegetables. And some of us may not like waiting over 100 days to harvest. For those with a brown thumb, there are some simple plants for you to grow too.

hardiness map

What Zone Are You In?

It is not difficult to figure out what zone you are in. There are maps all over the internet. But the most reliable one to use is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. There are 13 zones, but every zone from 2 to 12 are designated a and b zones as well.

Zones 1 and 2 are best for growing, asparagus, broccoli, kale, lettuce, and anything else with a short growing time. Zones 3 and 4 are excellent for all of those plus spinach, strawberries, sweet peas, pole beans, squash, and potatoes. Zones 5 and 6 are great zones for greens, strawberries, beans, melons, squash, eggplants, corn, and tomatoes.

Zones 7 and 8 are good for asparagus, bush beans, carrots, collard greens, squash, melons, eggplants, tomatoes, and corn. Zones 9 and 10 are also good for bananas, figs, peaches, citrus, and yams. And in zones 11 – 13 you can grow plants all year long. Some of these include taro, bananas, citrus, chili peppers, papaya, mango, pineapple, cassava, and passionfruit.

ripe strawberries

What is the Easiest to Grow?

There are some fruits and vegetables that are just not as easy to grow as others. If you are an avid gardener, you probably already know which ones they are. But for the rookie gardeners, you may want to try a few of the easiest ones such as:

  1. Squash
  2. Zucchini
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Strawberries
  5. Cucumbers
  6. Cabbage
  7. Raspberries
  8. Blackberries
  9. Bell peppers
  10. Garlic

cucumbers, beans and squash

What Grows the Fastest?

You may notice that several of the easiest to grow are also the fastest to grow. That is likely because the plants that are the fastest to grow are also the easiest to get started. And once they get started, it won't be long until your harvest is ready. Here are the top 10 fastest growing fruits and vegetables.

  1. Cucumbers grow in about 50 days
  2. Broccoli grows in about 40 to 60 days
  3. Zucchini takes about 40 to 90 days
  4. Beets grow in 35 to 60 days
  5. Carrots grow in about 50 days
  6. Turnips grow in about 30 to 50 days
  7. Spinach can be harvested in 30 days
  8. Lettuce is also harvestable in 30 days
  9. Scallions take about 21 days
  10. Radishes are also done in 21 days

planting seeds

Get Busy

So, start picking out what you want to plant this year. It is almost time to get out there. Actually, if you are in the warmer zones of 10 to 13, you can start anytime. Everyone else can start growing seedlings indoors soon. Order those seeds and get ready to garden.