The Most Difficult Vegetable to Grow, Ranked

Choose the vegetable you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 13, 2024 06:34
Gardeners often face the challenge of figuring out which vegetables demand the most effort and resources to cultivate successfully. Having a clear understanding of these difficulties can help both novices and experts allocate their time and investments more effectively, enhancing their gardening experience and yield. By participating in the live ranking of the most challenging vegetables to grow, you contribute to a community-guided resource that aids others in making informed planting decisions. Your input ensures the accuracy and relevance of the information, making this a valuable tool for gardeners around the world.

What Is the Most Difficult Vegetable to Grow?

  1. 1


    Asparagus takes several years to establish from seed and requires well-drained soil and careful weeding.
    • Years to Harvest: 2-3 years from seed
  2. 2


    Artichokes require specific climates (cool summers and mild winters) and a lot of space to thrive.
    • Ideal Climate: Cool summers, mild winters
  3. 3


    Cauliflower requires consistently cool temperatures and a lot of care to prevent pests and disease.
    • Optimal Growing Temperature: 60-65°F (15-18°C)
  4. 4


    Eggplant requires warm temperatures, fertile soil, and regular watering to produce fruit.
    • Optimal Growing Temperature: 70-85°F (21-29°C)
  5. 5


    Celery needs a long growing season, plenty of water, and protection from high temperatures and pests.
    • Growing Season Length: 130 to 140 days
  6. 6


    Watermelon needs a long growing season, plenty of space, and consistent watering to develop sweet, large fruits.
    • Growing Season Length: 80-100 days
  7. 7

    Heirloom Tomatoes

    Heirloom tomatoes are more susceptible to pests and diseases and require careful staking and pruning.
    • Susceptibility: High to pests and diseases
  8. 8

    Sweet Corn

    Sweet corn requires a lot of space, fertile soil, and protection from pests like raccoons and birds.
    • Space Requirement: At least 1 foot apart
  9. 9


    Melons need warm soil, plenty of space, and consistent watering to prevent splitting or rot.
    • Soil Temperature for Germination: Above 70°F (21°C)
  10. 10


    Rhubarb requires cold winters to produce stalks and can take up to two years to establish from seed.
    • Years to Harvest: Up to 2 years from seed

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult vegetable to grow. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or vegetable is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 142 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each vegetable once every 24 hours. The rank of each vegetable is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

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Additional Information

More about the Most Difficult Vegetable to Grow

Rank #1 for the most difficult vegetable to grow: Asparagus (Source)
Growing vegetables can be rewarding but also challenging. Some vegetables are harder to grow than others. These vegetables often require specific conditions to thrive. They may need a precise balance of sunlight, water, and soil nutrients. Without these, they struggle to grow or produce a good yield.

One key factor is soil quality. Poor soil can stunt growth or lead to diseases. The right soil must have the proper pH level and texture. It should drain well but also retain enough moisture. Adding compost or organic matter can help improve soil quality. Regular testing can ensure the soil stays in good condition.

Climate is another crucial element. Some vegetables need a long growing season with consistent temperatures. Others may require cooler weather. Sudden changes in temperature can harm them. Frost can be particularly damaging. Gardeners must know their local climate and choose vegetables that suit it.

Watering is a tricky aspect. Too much water can lead to root rot. Too little can cause the plants to wilt and die. The right amount varies by vegetable. Some need frequent watering, while others prefer drier conditions. Drip irrigation systems can help manage water levels more precisely.

Pests and diseases pose significant challenges. Some vegetables attract more pests than others. Insects, fungi, and bacteria can all cause problems. Gardeners need to monitor their plants regularly. They should also know how to identify and treat common issues. Organic methods like crop rotation and natural predators can help control pests.

Sunlight is another essential factor. Most vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight each day. Some need even more. Without enough light, they may not grow well or produce fruit. Gardeners should ensure their plants get the right amount of light. This may involve choosing a sunny spot or using grow lights.

Spacing is important too. Crowded plants compete for resources. This can lead to poor growth and lower yields. Each plant needs enough room to spread its roots and leaves. Following recommended spacing guidelines can help ensure healthy growth.

Timing is critical. Planting too early or too late can affect growth. Gardeners should follow local planting calendars. These consider factors like the last frost date and average temperatures. Starting seeds indoors can give plants a head start. Transplanting them at the right time can improve their chances of success.

Some vegetables require special care. They may need support structures like trellises or stakes. Others might need regular pruning or training. These extra steps can help them grow better and produce more.

Growing difficult vegetables takes patience and effort. It often involves trial and error. Gardeners should be prepared to learn from their mistakes. Keeping a garden journal can help track what works and what doesn’t. Over time, this knowledge can lead to better results.

In conclusion, growing challenging vegetables requires attention to detail. Gardeners must consider soil, climate, water, pests, sunlight, spacing, timing, and care. With the right approach, they can overcome these challenges and enjoy a successful harvest. The process can be demanding, but the rewards are worth it.

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