Few gardening ventures are more satisfying than growing a vegetable garden. Whether you have a half-acre plot or a few pots on a patio, bringing a crop of tomatoes, beans or corn to harvest gives a feeling of accomplishment. Once you’ve mastered the basic garden vegetables, try the more exotic types.
Here’s the list to choose from! Did we leave anything out? Leave a comment and let us know, so we can add it.
Artichoke: A perennial plant resembling thistles, artichokes are only hardy to US. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 6. Artichokes require rich soil and plenty of moisture to produce well.
Arugula: Sow arugula seeds in early spring or fall. This salad crop prefers cool temperatures. Enjoy its unique, peppery taste alone or in a salad of mixed greens.
Asparagus: Asparagus is a perennial vegetable, taking two or three years to become established, but it lives for 20 to 30 years. Asparagus requires minimal care and produces sweet, tender stalks every spring.
Basil: Basil and tomatoes are often planted together. Gardening lore says that the two improve each other’s taste. They are certainly well-paired in dishes, such as bruschetta and pasta sauces. Start basil from seed or transplants and grow in sun. Keep the soil moist and pinch back the leaves.
Beans: Plant beans after the soil is warm, and don’t soak the seeds first, contrary to popular belief. They’ll rot or crack. Bush beans produce a lot of beans over a few weeks; the harvest season of pole beans extends until frost. Try shell beans as well.
Beets: Beets take up little room and can be planted in early spring for a summer harvest or late summer for a fall harvest.
Bok Choy: This crisp, flavorful cabbage is used primarily in stir fries. It thrives in cool, moist conditions and tolerates part shade.
Broccoli: Broccoli is a cool-season crop that tolerates late spring frosts. Fresh broccoli tastes infinitely better than commercially-produced counterparts. Cut stalks off the main plant for a continual harvest. Rotate crops to minimize insect problems.
Broccoli Raab: This Italian cousin of broccoli has similar growing requirements and produces loose flower heads instead of compact, formed bunches.
Brussel sprouts: Brussel sprouts need a very long season to grow—as much as 175 to 185 days, depending on the variety. The taste is actually improved by a touch of frost.
Cabbage: Start cabbage early in the spring when the soil is soft or set out transplants. Like brussel sprouts, cabbage likes a nice, long growing season and plenty of moisture. Cabbage stores well for the winter.
Cantaloupe: The sweet fragrance of ripening cantaloupe in the garden is reason enough to grow it, but the sweet taste is even better. Plant cantaloupe after all chance of frost is passed in a warm, sunny location.
Carrots: Carrots are slow to germinate, especially in dry conditions, but they take up little room and are easy to grow. Thin carrots to 2 inches apart and grow half-length varieties, such as ‘Danvers Half-Long’ if you have heavy soil.
Cauliflower: Cauliflower is a bit trickier to grow than some of the other brassicas. It doesn’t tolerate heat or frost, but needs at least two to three months to mature. Cover the cauliflower head with the leaves of the plant when it is about the size of an egg to “blanch” the cauliflower, which turns it white and improves its taste.
Celery: Home gardeners seldom grow celery. It grows slowly, requiring as much as six months to mature, and prefers a cool, moist climate and very rich, wet soil. Read about celery health benefits.
Chile peppers: These pungent, flavorful peppers thrive in dry, warm weather, such as that found in the southwest. Start them from nursery transplants and place them in a sunny location. Limit water as the fruit matures to improve the flavor. Roast peppers in a hot oven or use fresh.
Chives: Chives are a perennial herb, so give them a permanent location. The thin, green leaves are excellent in salads and sauces; the blossoms are edible, as well. Chives tolerate cold winters and drought conditions.
Collards: Easy to grow and brimming with vitamins, collards deserve a place in any garden. Grow them as an early spring crop in the north and a fall crop in the south. They tolerate and even prefer slightly cool temperatures.
Corn: Corn takes a lot out of the soil and requires plenty of space, but gardeners grow it anyway for the sweet, crisp taste of fresh corn. Corn is pollinated by the wind so plant it in a block of at least four rows, rather than one long row.
Cucumber: Cucumbers thrive in warm, moist conditions. Plant them after the last frost in a sunny location. Cucumbers take less room in the garden than most cucurbits and can even be trellised. Grow bush varieties in containers.
Dill: Dill grows easily from seed, is delicious in a variety of dishes and attracts beneficial insects to the garden with its tiny flowers. Interplant it throughout the garden to confuse pests.
Eggplant: Those shiny, purple lobes are the royalty of any garden. Grow eggplant as you would tomatoes. Plant seedlings in a warm, sunny location after the last frost. Keep the soil evenly moist and protect eggplants from late spring frosts by using row covers or cloches.
English peas: Also known as garden peas, these are the traditional peas eaten without the pods. Start them from seed in early spring. They don’t tolerate hot, dry conditions.
Escarole: Use escarole in salads or sautéed in olive oil with garlic. Plant escarole from seed in midsummer for a tasty fall crop.
French Sorrel: Tasty in salads and soups, French sorrel is a perennial green that is easy to grow. Sow seeds in early spring and make cuttings throughout the season. Don’t allow the plant to grow above 12 inches or go to seed.
Garlic: Plant garlic in early spring. Purchase varieties adapted for your climate zone and plant the cloves pointed ends up and 2 to 3 inches deep. Dig them up when the tops die back.
Kale: Kale is a cool season vegetable that plants well from seed or a transplant. It is successful as a spring or fall crop. Harvest leaves before heat, since higher temperatures make the leaves bitter. Fertilize kale with a nitrogen rich fertilizer about a month after transplanting or when the plants are about 4 to 5 inches tall. Kale is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, making it a great vegetable for nutrition.
Kohlrabi: Plant kohlrabi from seed in early spring when the soil is soft. The plant produces a turnip-flavored root in as little as six weeks.
Leeks: These mild-flavored cousins to onions are expensive to buy at the grocery store, but easy to grow in the garden. Sow them from seed in early spring or use transplants. Dig them with a trowel rather than pulling them to harvest. Mulch them to overwinter because they don’t store well.
Lettuce: Plant lettuce in early spring, as soon as the soil is soft. Choose soft-headed lettuces over head lettuce, which tend to go to seed more quickly. Keep the soil moist so the lettuce is tender and mild.
Okra: A staple of Southern cooking, okra thrives in warm, moist conditions, much like eggplant and tomatoes. Start it indoors six weeks before planting if you live in the north. Southern gardeners can plant it from seed in late spring.
Onions: Onions take a long time to grow from seed and are often grown from sets instead. Buy onion sets locally, choosing those adapted to your area.
Radicchio: This exotic, Italian salad plant looks lovely in the garden with its red foliage. It needs five months to mature and prefers cool temperatures. Plant it midsummer for a fall crop.
Parsnip: Parsnips look like white carrots, but have a texture closer to potatoes. Use these root vegetables in soups, stews or roasted. Sow parsnips in spring and keep the soil evenly moist. Like carrots, they are slow to germinate, and may take as long as a year to grow. They benefit from a few frosts.
Peppers: Sweet peppers need a warm location and moist soil to develop the thick-walled, sweet fruit. They are more difficult to grow in dry regions than chile peppers.
Potatoes: This staple crop is drought-resistant and yields more protein per square foot than any other crop but legumes. Start with certified disease-free seed potatoes and rotate crops every year to minimize disease.
Pumpkins: Pumpkins take up a lot of space in the garden with their long, lazy vines, but their cheerful, orange or white fruit are worth the space. Plant them in late spring when the soil is warm.
Radish: Radishes are a good crop for the beginning gardener or even a child. They germinate quickly, take up little space and reach maturity in four to six weeks. Use them in salads or eat fresh.
Rhubarb: This old-fashioned perennial plant is actually a vegetable, but is eaten as a fruit. Give it a large space in full-sun and keep the soil moderately moist. Harvest rhubarb in mid spring to early summer, but don’t eat the leaves, which are toxic.
Rutabagas: Rutabagas are round, squat root vegetables that are typically eaten boiled, or mashed and served with butter. These humble vegetables thrive in cool temperatures, but require at least three months to mature. Plant them in early summer in the north, and late summer in the south.
Shallots: Shallots seem like a luxury item, but they are easy and inexpensive to grow. Buy a few shallots and break them apart to create sets. Plant the sets with the pointed side up 2 to 3 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. The sets will form a new cluster of shallots.
Snap peas: Snap and snow peas have crisp edible pods, eaten fresh or used in stir-fry. These plants are just as easy to grow as garden peas. Plant them in early spring for a late spring crop.
Spinach: Delicious in salads or steamed, spinach is one of the earliest garden greens. It goes to seed as soon as temperatures spike. Try new smooth varieties that are easier to wash than the crinkled type.
Summer squash: Summer squash includes yellow squash, zucchini and patty pan squash. These plants grow easily and are prolific producers. One or two plants is usually plenty.
Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes need at least five months of warm weather, making them a popular crop for Southern gardeners. Try adapted varieties if you live in the North.
Tomatillo: Tomatillo plants resemble tomatoes–tall, gangly sun worshipers that take up more than their fair share of the garden. The green fruit develop a papery skin when they are ripe. Use them for Mexican sauces.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are the most commonly grown garden vegetable, and with good reason. Home-grown tomatoes are infinitely better than those found in the grocery store. Plant them from seedlings after the last frost and choose disease-resistant varieties.
Turnips: The ultimate peasant food, turnips are a fast-growing root vegetable that thrives in cool weather. Boil them, mash them or roast them.
Watermelon: Watermelon needs long, hot summers and plenty of water to mature. Grow adapted, short-season types if you live in the north.
Winter squash: Winter squash, such as acorn and butternut squash, take up more room in the garden than summer squash and require more time to mature. However, they store well and have a high vitamin content.
Zucchini: Zucchini is actually a specific type of summer squash, so it is grown using the same methods as summer squash. A great choices if you are looking to get a lot of vegetables from one plant, because they make a lot.
Most vegetables have similar growing requirements, simplifying gardening tasks. Select varieties well-suited to your region, give them adequate water and sunlight and reap the rewards of fresh, nutritious produce.
be nice if you went all the way to z
Yea it would be but there is plenty to choose from. Nut yea I wuold like to have a vegatable that starts with Z. but thanks this is really going to help me in my garden.
melissa going says
Lorn G West says
Summer squash, know your vegetables.
Ben Dover says
You are an idiot,,, zucchini is a TYPE of summer squash, but they are not the same… know your vegetables
Zucchini is actually a fruit, not a vegetable.
Zucchini squash !!
THANK YOU BRITTNEY
They did! Zucchini
They have zucchini
It has got a z
thanks this is going to help me with my project!! Much thanks is appericated.
Angel Thorne says
This list is great for if gardeners want to plant an alphabet garden with their children or grandchildren to teach them about gardening while having fun and give them healthy snacks after the plants have grown.
I am a grandma who wants to make the perfect Vegetable Alphabet Soup. I have at least one suitable vege, herb or pulse for every letter EXCEPT FOR Q U V and X. I fill the pot (holds about 16 litres) with over 30 ingredients and the soup is fantastic. Great and hearty with a dollop of parmesan thrown in on serving. I just want Q U V and X to make it pedantically perfect!
this will help with my science projects about planting vegetables i really appreciate your help thank you!!!!!!!!!!!
watermelons arent vegetables btw!
If you’re going to be picky:
Tomatoes aren’t vegetables either… (fruit)
Corn also isn’t a vegetable.. (grain)
Anything with a seed is considered a fruit.
They’re both. A “vegetable” is basically anything you plant your garden to eat. “Fruit” is a part of the plant, like “Root”, “Leaf”, or “Flower”.
Some vegetables we eat are the “fruits” of the plant (tomatoes, peppers, melons, berries, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, zucchini, corn, etc……),
Some vegetables are the “roots” of the plant (carrots, potatoes, radishes, onions, beets, turnips, etc….), some are the “leaves” of the plant (lettuce, spinach, kale, most salad greens, most herbs, etc…),
Some are the “flowers” of the plant (broccoli, cauliflower, etc…),
Some are the are the “stalks/stems” of the plant (celery, rhubarb, etc…),
Some are the seeds (peas & beans that you shell before eating…. In varieties where you eat the whole pod like green beans or sugar snap peas, you are eating the fruit as well).
Get the idea? So the whole fruit vs vegetable argument over tomatoes is pointless. Even if you want to go with the traditional definitions of fruit and vegetable (and grain) as the normal person understands it, it still doesn’t matter. This is a list of things to plant in your vegetable garden. To a gardener, it doesn’t matter if it’s a fruit or grain or veggie, they all go into what we call a “vegetable garden”.
Thanks for taking the time to explain that, Michaela. There are way more gardeners out there than biologists… Sheesh. 😉
Awesome explanation! If that’s the case, shouldn’t melons & Mustard be on the list?
What about plants like Caraway, Calendula, Cumin, Cilantro/Coriander, Borage (edible flowers), lovage, etc, or are those considered “herbs” or “spices”?
If that’s the case, why are Basil, Dill, & Chives on the list above, when Lovage & Cilantro are used the same way as Basil & Dill?
Parsley, is also not on the list above.
If I may write it, any vegetation with a seed or seeds inside it is a fruit: avocados, bananas, apples, etc. Many lists also include beans, corn, even nuts as fruits.
But I was looking for a list of vegetables to try, because all fruits I know of, with the exception of two, make me very ill, in bed, for 3-4 days.
I need a real list of these and also a list of fruits so I can try them, to see if they also make me sick.
It is very serious for me.
What no kale on the vegetable list? My husband will be happy as he considers it a non-edible plant!
Glad they finally added it…was not on the list last year!
robert may says
just thought i would mention something about zucchini. its a winter vegetable, but grows more in autumn or spring. plant in a well fertilised area, dont over water but they do take lots of water, even using a water fertiliser can decrease harvest time, and they do like a good amount of sun. harvest before they reach 30cm long, else they will not taste the way they should and be too dense. need a good hollow sound from them. usually takes around 2 to 3 months from planting from seed to get a good crop of zucchini, if planted in good area and well watered.
is watermelon a vegetable?????..
Link Smith says
no it’s a fruit
you missed corn!!!!
Are you sure watermellon, tomato and corn are vedgetables??
Watermelons a fruit,
Tomato’s a fruit, and corn is a grain…
Water melon is mentioned in d fruit and vegetable catagores….
arshad mahmood chishti says
i like so much this great list of vegetabel,i thik this is good informtion for students through this list they can know about all vegetabels.
watermelon and canteloupe are both melons, not vegetables
Marty Mannor says
Think on this: If you purchase seeds from a store and plant them, I expect you will grow some veggies and harvest them after they ripen. In the ‘good old days’ farmers would save some of the harvest, cull the seeds, dry and store them in a cool, dark place. Then, come Spring, they would plant these seeds they saved from last summer’s harvest. And this cycle would be repeated over and over, ad infinitum. However, more recently, giant corporations, greedy for profit and control, have overtaken and commercialized gardening. My understanding is that Monsanto and others of their ilk, have “edited” basic garden seeds to grow bigger, faster, resist rot, use less water, etc. (at the expense of almost all good taste!) and, in the process, have rendered today’s commercially-purchased garden seeds sterile. Buying their seeds and planting them, you can get a crop only the one time. After that, any seeds culled from those plants will not reproduce–kind of like the mule; somebody messed around with nature, bred two different species (“edited” the norm) and got a new animal. However, you can’t get another mule by mating 2 mules. The editing rendered them neuter. If you want another mule, you have to go back to the original ‘editing’ process of mating 2 different species. If this doesn’t scare the sugar peas out of you, it should! We have become dependent upon profit-based, greedy, watered-down taste mad scientists for our basic food. And I read article in news couple days ago, this same mind-set of greedy control freaks are in the process of ‘editing’ animals–our consumable meat. I suggest we take some simple steps to protect our food source(s). At a minimum, find seeds via the internet, that have not been tampered with and keep them in a safe, dry, dark place. Just in case. They last a long time if properly stored. The way things have been going lately, this may be the most important decision you’ll ever make. If anyone has factual info that disputes what I have herein written, I would be most appreciative of your information. I do not want to spread incorrect rumors. So far, however, I’ve heard nothing to dissuade my understanding. My motive? I’m just trying to do what little I can to help others. Currently, our government is totally out of control; we are so vulnerable and many don’t even know it. Let us help each other and stop looking to ‘Uncle Sam’ who has no interest in helping any other than him/herself.
how long did it take you to take you write this comment? 😛
If you’re going to include dill, which I love for preserving and is terrific in potato salad, and basil-yum, you should also include other herbs often found in herb gardens, Rosemary, thyme, oregano… etc. Also, if you can find the room, for the permanent features of bushes, don’t forget your berries and grapes. Mmmm, blue berries. If you don’t have room for a plot, plant them along the fence line. They will add interest to your yard as lovely foliage and if you are really adventurous, don’t forget to place a beehive away from the house but with plenty of access to your garden. They are declining in numbers and need our help and the payoff they give back is huge.
Thanks this is going to help me with planning a vegetable tray for my sisters baby shower shower!
You forgot Edamame, Swiss chard, and mustard greens.
This is the first time I have ever left or felt like I had to leave a comment on something I’ve looked up on the internet for advice. In this case I was truly compelled to do this. As I’m reading these comments I am appalled at the rudeness and down right hatefulness of some of you. “You forgot” “this isn’t a vegetable” “how about the letter z”. For goodness sake all I wanted was a little information on some things I could grow in a small garden. For you people who think you’re so smart and want to nit pic things to death. Why don’t you write an article and nit pic yourselves til the cows come home. YOU ARE HATEFUL LITTLE PEOPLE WHO HAVE WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS. Find a charity you can give your time to.
Thank you to the person who took the time to set up this website for people who really just wanted information!
You probably got information you needed, but I didn’t. I was looking for an A-Z list, and this isn’t one. When I searched online this was the very first site it came up with. Not a help for me. The comments I read were not as hateful and rude as yours. You resorted to name calling, which is worse than pointing out that a tomato is a fruit!
Gee, Lynee, your comment is pretty harsh. I DO appreciate the trouble and effort put into making this list, but as someone who is newly planning a garden and doesn’t want to miss anything if possible, a conclusive list is even better. In going thru this list, I would have forgotten about green snap beans and peas, so thank you for that, and also thank you for any time you put into updating this list when something new is mentioned! Herbs are also something very dear to me, but I can look up a 2nd list for herbs, if not included here. Thanks again!
juoiea cabagua says
Thanks this will help me on my assignment
Tina Hixson says
Thanks for making this list. My diet is that of a spoiled child not made to eat their vegetables so I’m going to go try everything on your list and surprise my family at the next gathering.
I did want to ask if the fellow going on about the seeds not reproducing is correct?
Kind of scary if true.
Caroline van winkle says
Yes…recently 3rd world farmers were aghast that their seeds did not reproduce identically based on Monsanto seeds…this increases cost having to buy seeds every year. So, they went back to old seeds.
what’s the i j x v u q vegetable?
I could google it but what about mushrooms.? I know they are a fungus but I like to think of them as a veggie.
Hi. This is a nice list for beginners. For the next list would you please include more for people who try to eat more globally. A nice example would be broccolini, oregano, fennel, lentils & watercress. Thank you.
Raewyn Small says
Dont take too much notice of what people say that you consider to be harmful. Lots of people who have not replied are thankful for the article. Cheers.
Margie Hasenflue says
mac thurston says
Nopales? (Catus) .
Lee Rothstein says
We planted zucchini when we lived in CO. When I left for work in the AM the zukes were 1.25 inches in diameter, and six inches long. When I returned from work, they were 4-7 inches in diameter and 14 to 20 inches long.
BTB, the bigger they get, the more tasteless they become.
We don’t get this kind of growth in NH.
In CA, I tried to grow watermelon in a planter box, 3’x3’x3′. We got 3 watermelons the size of 16″ softballs (I’m from Chicago). I cut one for my daughter, then aged two. She didn’t believe that it was a watermelon. After tasting it she exclaimed, “It is a watermelon.”
BTB, the smaller they are, the more watermelony they taste. ??
hi you forgot yummy fiddle heads
lol what are u talking about
these comments are hilarious to look at. People be taking veggies serious.
I found this helpful some of the people on her just want to comment to be commenting on something just to be rude
I’m starting a garden with my friends and this really helped me find crops to plant.