Q&A with the editors of Fine Gardening for ‘Easy-to-Grow Vegetables’

By Shelley Pierce | June 25, 2017
Image by Taunton Press
by Shelley Pierce
June 25, 2017

The book ‘Easy to Grow Vegetables’ is a true beginner’s guide to producing a garden that’s filled to the brim. Loaded with expert tips, tricks, and techniques from Fine Gardening magazine, this book is a touchstone for planting, weeding, growing, and harvesting advice. Get the basics on creating a garden bed, preparing soil, and properly rotating crops. This book provides in-depth information on cultivating tomatoes, peppers, green beans, carrots, onions, lettuces, zucchini, kale, cucumbers, herbs, and many more.  Read on for more information about this book and enter to win one of three copies from The Taunton Press!


1.  How does this book help us to get the harvest of our dreams without breaking the bank or our back?

A: The book is filled with tips and tricks for pest and disease-prevention as well as care and maintenance tactics for a plethora of crops. All of this information leads to healthier plants and, in turn, a bigger harvest. The many seed starting strategies outlined in the book are a perfect example of a way to save money. A packet of several dozen seeds costs $1.99, whereas a single tomato seedling in the garden center can set you back $5 (or much, much more).

 2. What is it about this book that will make readers reach for it every time they need information about vegetable gardening?

A: This is basically the bible of vegetable gardening. Each chapter focusses on a specific crop and takes readers through the ins and outs of starting the seeds, transplanting outside, caring for the veggie through the season, and advice on harvesting. Everything you could possibly need or want to know about a given vegetable is in this book.

3. This book is touted as a “true beginner’s guide to producing a garden that’s filled to the brim”.  However, would it be fair to say that seasoned gardeners would also appreciate this book as well and why?

A: Yes. I’ve been gardening for several decades and I still learned several new things from this book including the tip on page 120 about mixing carrot and radish seeds before sowing them into the garden in order to get two crops from one small space. It’s a brilliant idea and actually works!

4. Do you have a cool tip or technique that you would like to share with our readers about one of your favorite vegetables?

A: My favorite trick has to do with tomatoes. It seems like no matter where you live in the country, people always end up with a plethora of green tomatoes at the end of the season. Here’s a trick to get more ripe tomatoes: Practice the “late season chop.” To do this correctly, first you need to envision the U.S.A and bisect the country in half. If you live south of that center line, you will do the chop around the Fourth of July. If you live north of that dividing line, you will do the chop around Labor Day. The chop simply means hacking off the tops of your tomato plants so they are only 5 to 6 feet tall. This forces the plants to spend their limited energy on ripening the green fruit below the cuts, as opposed to setting more immature fruit at the tops of the plants (which will never ripen before the season ends).

5. What advice do you have for beginning gardeners?

A: This may seem odd, but I would say don’t start by growing tomatoes, eggplants, or peppers. These crops can actually be really hard to raise when you’re a beginner. Better choices would be lettuce, peas, or squash. These staples are far more forgiving when it comes to general care and you’re pretty much guaranteed a bountiful harvest without much effort.

WIN ONE OF THREE COPIES OF ‘Easy-to-Grow Vegetables’!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post by midnight on Sunday, June 25, 2017 (be sure to provide a valid e-mail address) in answer to the following question:

Which vegetable is the most easiest to grow for you?

Be sure to include a valid e-mail address. The winner will be drawn at random from all qualified entrants, and notified via e-mail. (See rules for more information.)

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  • Ann Marie Mones
    Comment added June 27, 2017Reply

    Cucumbers grow like weeds for me! No matter how few plants I put in my garden, I always end up with an over abundance of cucumbers!

  • Ann Marie Mones
    Comment added June 27, 2017Reply

    Cucumbers seem to be easy for me to grow. No matter how few plants I put in my garden, I always seem to end up with an over abundance of cucumbers!

  • JESSE JOHNSON
    Comment added June 26, 2017Reply

    Leaf lettuce and scallions are easy for me but I have trouble with green peppers and tomatoes

  • Pam
    Comment added June 26, 2017Reply

    What time zone are you in? I posted my comment before 11:00pm Central Time on June 25, and it says that I posted on June 26.

  • Pam
    Comment added June 26, 2017Reply

    The easiest vegetable for me to grow is bell peppers.

  • ilene marsch
    Comment added June 25, 2017Reply

    Tried kale last yr and it was quite tasty.

  • DEBBIE
    Comment added June 25, 2017Reply

    Radishes are the Easiest, & Quickest, in our garden-- we "Replant" all summer!!!! Following close behind, would be our Peas, Bush Beans, and Lettuce!!! The rest depends mostly on Mother Nature!!!

  • Lin
    Comment added June 25, 2017Reply

    The easiest vegetable for me to grow is greens - collards and kales. I have limited sun and these fall/winter veggies do best for me in Texas.

  • charan f smith
    Comment added June 25, 2017Reply

    I just started vegetables this year using containers. Lettuce, several varieties, have been the easiest vegetable to grow so far. Spacing and ensuring the leaves don't rot are pretty easy to fix with lettuce.

  • Raishel Hall
    Comment added June 25, 2017Reply

    I really could use this book. If just started gardening it this book would be very helpful.

  • Marj Schlenker
    Comment added June 25, 2017Reply

    Peas would be the easiest for us. Where we are right now our soil is sandy. Would love to know how to prepare the soil more to grow a healthy vegetable garden.

  • TINA SCHLIEF
    Comment added June 25, 2017Reply

    For me, every year it seems the easiest vegetable for me to grow is hot peppers. They always do amazing and yield the most crop. We actually struggle with getting great tomatoes, though. Would love to learn some new tricks from this book!

  • Cindy Krelle
    Comment added June 25, 2017Reply

    Lettuce always works for me! The rest, I have trouble with on different years.
    Thank you!

  • Joanne Bransford
    Comment added June 25, 2017Reply

    My easiest vegetable to grow is potatoes! Everything else will grow some and then the deer and rabbits eat all the greens. It's June here and I have already given up on my green beans, zucchini, and corn. They even ate my roses. This book will hopefully help me how to deter the deer and rabbits without putting up a fence. Thanks!

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