By Alexandra Sifferlin
April 8, 2015

Early spring is a great time to start a garden, even if you’ve never planted a single seed before. Not only can cool-weather gardening result in sweeter vegetables, there are other benefits, too. Growing your own food means you’re eating produce when it’s most nutrient-dense, since foods can lose some of their nutritiousness after they’re harvested. “And the fact that you have grown food yourself changes everything,” says Matthew Benson, author of Growing Beautiful Food and farmer of Stonegate Farm in New York. “You have a back story about your food.”

Benson, Rodale

Benson recommends starting simple, taking it slow and not being obsessed with perfection. “Things are going to fail. You are going to get fungi and insects. It’s going to perplex you,” says Benson. But with easy tips and a dose of enthusiasm, Benson says you could have a garden in just a few weeks.

Here, click though for 10 foods even beginners can grow.

MORE: The 50 Healthiest Foods of All Time

(Some basics: For all the veggies recommended you will likely need around eight to 10 inches of soil. If you’re not planting in your backyard, but say, a rooftop, Benson recommends a mix of soil with peat moss, perlite and vermiculite. Also, a lot of planting timing goes based on frost dates, so be sure to look them up before you start. Try here or here.)

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