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mazingira
What are some of the best crops for beginning gardeners?
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I'm a complete novice at gardening and most of my previous efforts have resulted in dead plants...but I really want to start growing some of my own food.  Can you experts maybe give me some advice on which vegetables it might be easiest to start with...for someone whose "green thumb" is decidedly not very green? I've got a small cherry tomato plant, but I'd like to branch out to carrots...or maybe sweet potatoes? 

Excellent question. I'm glad to hear you want to take the next step. I would recommend beans and, if you have the space, squash (summer or winter) as candidates for your next crops. Both can be planted from seed and germinate reliably if the soil is warm. Carrots and sweet potatoes can both be a bit tricky in that they require some special attention.
An expert I am not,but for what it's worth: leaf vegetables are fairly easy to grow and very rewarding.If You live far north,may be lettuce and spinach would do fine in Your summer.Also, it helps to remember the concept of least interference;in doing less one does also less damage.As a European say goes: The dumbest farmer grows the biggest potatoes.Greetings,antonis
How about chard, sometimes called Swiss chard? Though it prefers cool weather, it can handle most summer heat. It is relatively easy to grow and doesn't require the richest soil. I would think it would do very well in Montreal. Importantly, it is one of the most nutritional greens, perhaps second only to spinach (for details see the link below). You might want to do succession planting for a continuous harvest. See the University of Illinois Extension site for particulars on planting, harvesting, preparation, etc.
Radishes (different varieties for all seasons) quick growing, Peppers (harvest all summer, mostly late summer), cucumbers (summer crop) and can be trellised, bush beans (harvest all summer-very prolific). Lettuce, (prolific, but likes cool weather). I find carrots easy to grow. Tomatoes can have some problems, even though they are said to be so easy to grow. For any vegetable, your best bet is starting out with the very best soil you can obtain: organic soil, i.e., Lambert's Organic Soil is very good (Home Depot); I used that when I first started my raised beds, and mixed in some compost. I now make my own compost which is amazing and full of earth worms. Good luck in your gardening! Miss Lady Bug

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