Tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, Swiss chard and summer squash thrive in small backyard gardens. These crops are easy and economical to grow at home, since they are relatively expensive to buy in stores.
Tomatoes grow on vines, and the plants need tall stakes or wire cages to climb as they grow. Tomatoes grow best when their leaves stay dry. Gardeners can construct simple plastic shelters to protect the plants from rain and dew. Mulch surrounding the bottom of the plant helps the soil retain moisture and ensures that rain does not splash up on the lower leaves of the plant.
Gardeners can start peppers in small pots indoors, and then transplant them when outdoor temperatures are sufficiently warm. Gardeners should remove any small peppers that form on transplants, as these may stunt plant growth. To increase yield per plant, gardeners should pick green peppers as soon as they reach maturity. Gardeners who want to grow sweeter peppers may leave peppers unpicked until they turn red or yellow.
Swiss chard is easy to grow, poses relatively few pest problems and has a long, productive harvesting season. Gardeners can grow chard in starter pots, or sow it directly into garden beds. Gardeners should plant squash seeds indoors in small pots before transplanting seedlings individually to their own small mounds. Beans, garlic, broccoli, leeks and onions also grow well in backyard plots.