Kathryn Stedman

Turning your black thumb green: Four edible plants anyone can grow

Approx Reading Time-10Do you kill everything you grow? We’ve compiled the easiest edible plants to grow that will encourage even the blackest of thumb.


When people tell me they have a black thumb and “just kill everything”, I tell them that despite their murderous past, anyone can grow food. The difference between a green and black thumb is little more than attention.

For those who feel that they are doomed to failure, I have compiled a little list of four of the easiest edible plants to grow that will encourage even the blackest thumb.

They are perfect for small gardens or container gardens. Trust me when I say that you will feel a sense of accomplishment each and every time you eat something that you have grown and you will be doing the planet and your hip pocket a favour.

Radishes – can be grown all year long. Sow directly into the ground. Within a month, they will be available to eat!




Rocket – sprinkle a few seeds directly where you want them and wait for the magic to happen. My advice is to sow the seeds sparingly, you will have more rocket that you can handle even if you only end up with one plant.

The leaves are best picked young.




Bloomsdale spinach – sow seeds into trays or buy started seedlings from a nursery. Pick the outer leaves to have a continuous supply of fresh baby spinach for your salads and smoothies. Leave them grow longer for larger juicy leaves. Very easy and a great money saver.

Very easy and a great money saver.







Lettuce – Sow into seed trays or buy seedlings. Try a gourmet type like royal oak leaf instead of a hearting type though like iceberg. Similar to the spinach, you can just keep picking the outer leaves for months and months.

Grows best in the cooler months.




If you grow these four things at once you will have the perfect salad mix!

There are a few key steps to ensuring success:

  • Position – In mostly full sun. Generally, edibles don’t like shade.
  • Soil – dark and rich. Add a good amount of compost and well-rotted manure before you start so your plants have something on which they can feed.
  • Mulch – after your seedlings come up, cover the soil with a light mulch (like sugar cane). It protects the soil and the roots from the elements.
  • Water – in the early stages, you need to water them every day. A light sprinkle is all that is required, just so the soil is damp but not drenched. They will love you if you give them a water with seaweed solution once a fortnight.
  • Pest patrol – while you are watering, look for signs of pest damage. The radish and rocket will be OK, but the spinach and lettuce are enjoyed by slugs and snails if given the opportunity. Prevention is better than cure, so sprinkle crushed eggshells around your seedlings. If you see a snail, pick it off.

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Kathryn Stedman

Wife, nurse, mother and maker of things. On a journey to self sufficiency. Family and the edible garden. Hopefully keeping it real. Also creator and writer of http://thehomegrowncountrylife.com . Check out @thehomegrowncountrylife on Instagram for daily homesteading inspiration.

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