Recommended garden vegetables for beginners?

Hello all, I am a new member at MakeICT and have also never gardened before. I am looking to grow some vegetables this season. Can you give me some recommendations on what to grow based on the local soil type/climate? Unfortunately, I don’t really like eating tomatoes, squash, zucchini, or hot peppers, so looking for ideas beyond these.

Also, recommendations on specific cultivars and where to get seeds would be appreciated!


Non-native here,

This is my first growing season in the great state of Kansas, so I do not have much experience with what grows well here.

I did however find this awesome resource:

Additionally, I’d imagine that the soil is good for growing (as we are in the plains), but we could look more into this soil resource:

When you look at the backs of seed packets they should also have good info about how often plants need watered, how far spaced out seeds need to be, and how much sunlight a certain kind of plant likes to get.

Piper Thomas


Hey there! Welcome to gardening. I suggest going to local, independent garden suppliers. They know the local growing conditions. Well Garden in Delano is great - they’re always up for a good gab about plants and have given me great direction on organic gardening. They’re my go-to when I have questions. I like Plant Kingdom for their prices and advice, too. I also shop Johnson’s, Dutch’s and Stutzman’s. Look for seeds/plants that are disease and pest-resistant.

You’re smart to focus on what you enjoy eating. I’ve seen others in the MakeICT garden do well with carrots, corn, chard, radishes, watermelon and herbs. I know local (non-MakeICT) gardeners who’ve grown green beans, sweet peas, okra, lettuce and potatoes with success.

Have fun!


The first year, we had a crop of volunteer radishes come up that did amazingly well. And from the looks of the dried husks I pulled, last season saw good luck with the okra.
If you go to well gardens, be prepared to talk hydroponics too! The bell siphon is a thing of beauty!


Do you like gardening for show? Flowers, foliage, or things to dry and use that way? Maybe you are a future rock gardener. You dont have to grow food.

My knees and back have me retiring from much work in the garden. But I have decades of “show garden” experience.

This year Im babying a Lenten rose. I finally learned to just pay for a mature one. I could never succeed at starting one from seed.

Btw, if germination is interesting to you, now is the time to be buying some seeds. Yes, im way ahead of everyone else in Kansas as I planted my peas in january, ⁹ only had to cover them twice. Almost a foot high now.
I recommend raising “eating sprouts” to get a better feel for germination. I would help you get going. But keep in mind, old gardening pros like me dont try to ⁿgerminate everything" either. But many seeds are very easy. I recommend basil as an easy plant. But its too cool over night for basil outdoors just yet. Mine are still indoors. And even i dont bother germinating it. I buy the live plants in Dillons produce section and carefully tease 50 plants out of that. Id be glad to show you how I do that.

Consider browsing seed/plant catalogues like Henry Fields to get some idea what you are interested in. But lean on sellers like Stutzmans to sell what works best here. Johnsons Garden Center too.

Will you be a daily waterer? [My therapy] Or hook up an automatic drip or soaker hose? I can help with that too. I keep old discarded hoses for soaker hose manifolds. I build branched soaker hose circuits … very inexpensively.


Welcome to gardening in Kansas,
In addition to Well Garden Industries down in Delano I’ve also purchased starter vegetable plants at Hillside Feed and Seed, they have a nice selection at pretty good prices, they have tons of heirloom vegetable seed packets as well.
The Sedgwick County Extension office has great resources for gardeners:
If you’re more interested in planting native flowering species the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains hosts a native plant sale every year. They have some really cool plants. FloraKansas Spring Native Plant Days - Dyck Arboretum
To echo Aaron, Okra does really well here, be sure to harvest them when the pods are small 1 to 2 inches so they’ll be very tender, that small you can even eat them raw. I’ve also had success planting and harvesting onions. Just about anything will grow given the right timing and enough water or shade. The timing is really the hard part, at least for me.
Finally, if you find yourself adept at growing vegetables you do not like (it happens), you can join the Donate a Row initiative to provide fresh produce to those in need: Plant a Row for the Hungry
Happy gardening.