Written By Christina Levyna on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 | 11:38 PM

Not everyone is a gardener like Martha Stewart. Although many plants are tricky to care for, there are garden plants for the novice gardener. These easy plants are low-maintenance enough even for the neglectful gardener.

Mint

Mint does not need to be grown, only contained. The hardy herb has a tendency to spread, so plant it in a corner or in containers. Mint should be bought as seedlings and planted in early spring. Although mint does best in shade and rich soil, it will still dominate the neighborhood in any conditions. The seedlings should be planted about a foot apart and watered regularly. Mint oil acts as a deer and rodent deterrent. Uses for homegrown mint include ice tea, ice cream and after dinner refreshment.

Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are perfect for the absent gardener. They do not require fertilizer. They only need to be planted and watered. Nasturtiums can be used to lure aphids from other plants. They are good in salads and vinaigrette. The seeds can be used as a pepper substitute.
Garlic
Garlic is one of the easiest plants to grow. In fact, it practically grows by itself! The cloves produce bigger bulbs with a little attention to the soil and water. Less attention produces smaller cloves. However, the smaller cloves are stronger in taste. Planting the peeled cloves in fall guarantees a good harvest in spring or summer.
Green beans
Besides being a favorite dinner staple, green beans are easy to grow too! This plant feeds itself by pulling nitrogen from the air. As a bonus, it fertilizes your garden. Quick growers, are excellent as a replacement crop. Gently harvested, they can be enjoyed all summer long. Besides the familiar green color, green beans come in exotic purple or yellow hues.
Peas
Peas also gather nitrogen from the air. They're perfect for impatient planters because they can be planted before, during or after the frost. Early planted peas do fine in full sun although they prefer the shade. They should be given something to climb on to avoid fungus issues. Pea shoots are a delicacy, but children love to eat peas off the pod!
Cilantro
A quick grower, cilantro is hard to keep up with. Plantings of cilantro should be staggered for regular harvests. Cilantro should be planted in full sun. A hit in salsa and salads, cilantro works well with almost any meal.
Chives
Delicious in salads and eggs, chives are also a great substitute for onions. They should be planted after the frost under the sun or in a shaded area. For continuous growth, the stalks should be cut 2 inches from the stalk.
Mustard greens
Everybody loves mustard, which is surprisingly easy to grow. Hardy and versatile, the plant thrives in spring and fall. For the best taste however, it should be harvested before it gets too hot. Mustard lovers can have their very own condiment station in their garden.
Dandelions
Dandelions are a surprising choice for a garden, but are very nutritious. They're great in salads and soups. They give a bright yellow color to cookies and cakes. They should be kept away from areas sprayed with pesticides or herbicides.
Not everybody has a green thumb, but everybody can grow his or her own garden. Low-maintenance garden plants like these make it easy for the first-time gardener.

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