What to grow in a garden
What to grow in a garden may be a difficult decision for the novice gardener
The mistake that many virgin gardeners make is going too big and too diverse the first time out. The options of what to grow in a garden are overwhelming.
Cool your jets.
don’t have to plant everything in the garden catalog the first year. Start
small and then grow and experiment in the years that follow as you figure out
what you’re good at growing and which vegetables and flowers you like best. If you have a greenhouse - either a smaller, portable greenhouse or a beautiful English-style greenhouse structure - you can start seeds earlier in the season to get a jump on your gardening window. Greenhouse gardening makes planning easier and gives you flexibility because your plants will be stronger when you transfer them to the ground.
You can grow your food and flowers from seeds or from small plants purchased at your local nursery. Here are some good ideas of what to grow in a garden:
Before you plant anything, determine the
correct size for your garden. If you have a family of four or five and don’t
want to can or freeze vegetables because you plan to eat all of
your harvest, make your garden approximately 10 feet by 16 feet. Create 11 or so rows, which
are each 10 feet long.
Ideally your rows should run north and south rather than east and west, which takes advantage of the sun. If you don’t think this is big enough expand your garden to 20 feet by 20 feet, which allows space to grow corn.
If you want vegetables that produce more than one crop per season plant cabbage, lettuce, spinach, turnips, beans, carrots, kohlrabi, radishes, beets and rutabaga.
In addition, plant approximately five tomatoes, which should be staked; six peppers; four zucchini; bush beans; swiss chard and marigolds - those stinky little flowers that fend off rabbits. Plant some cucumbers, which can be pickled.
If you want to plant potatoes keep in mind that potatoes and tomatoes are like vinegar and water: they don’t mix. Keep them far apart!
For some, a summer without garden tomatoes is not summer at
Tomatoes come in various varieties and colors (red, orange, yellow). Some
are big, some are meaty, some are small (cherry tomatoes) and some are medium
sized (plum tomatoes.) They are great eaten raw, in a salad or on a sandwich
or canned and used later in your spaghetti sauce.
The tomato seed arrived in America with the very early settlers but were considered ornamental plants until the 1830s because, up until then, they were believed to be poisonous. A Colonel Johnson sat on the courthouse steps in Salem New Jersey in the 1820s and ate a basketful of tomatoes, showing that they weren’t poisonous. He made his point. Tomatoes were referred to as “Wolf peach” back then. In 1949 the Big Boy tomato, a favorite of many, was introduced.
Essential Garden Guide: garden vegetables