When you start receiving your seed catalogues in the middle of winter, it is both exciting and overwhelming! Often I wonder, how is anyone supposed to choose what to plant? I use the suggestions below to help me choose what vegetables I will grow in my garden.
Often, we are limited by space and sunlight so we have to narrow down what we can and want to grow. Considering the fact that one of the catalogues had 300 pages of seeds, it is important to have a way to choose what seeds you want.
It is fun and exciting to go through and choose what to add to the garden. I don’t think there is anything better than sitting with a cup of tea and a seed catalogue in the middle of winter. Make sure you try to limit what you choose to grow, it can be overwhelming in August when the harvest comes in if you have planted too much.
What grows well in your area
Before you plant anything in your vegetable garden, you need to consider how it will grow in your local climate. Do you want to grow something that requires full, hot sun, but your garden is cool, damp and shady? Might be time to consider something else. One of the best ways to figure out what grows well in your area is to join your local horticultural society or ask your neighbors what they grow! It can be fun to try to grow different things, as you’ll know if you read my post on experimenting in the garden. We just need to make sure that we are also planting things that we know will grow well in our area so we have a better chance of success.
What do you like to eat
I will be the first to admit that the first couple years of vegetable gardening, I planted things that sounded interesting or looked pretty. The problem with this is that I ended up feeding most of it to my chickens instead of my family. In the end, though they sounded interesting, it was a waste of time, energy and money to grow these unique vegetables. Now, I grow what we enjoy eating! Our favorites are peas, carrots, tomatoes, and beets.
Make a list of the fresh vegetables that you like to eat, and stick with that! If you want to, you could do one interesting vegetable each season just to see if you will find something new that your family will enjoy.
What can save you money
Certain vegetables have a higher price tag than others when you are shopping at your local grocery store. Are there any of these vegetables that you could grow to save yourself some money? The cost of these items will really depend on your area and what is local and in season. For me, growing cucumbers and snap peas is an effective way to save some money. Have you seen the price of those small bags of snap peas? One vine of peas will grow an abundance and we can enjoy better tasting, cheaper produce.
Walk through the grocery store, make note of what the most expensive vegetable you enjoy, and see if you are able to grow it in your area.
What is better for your health
We know all vegetables are great for us!Full of fiber, vitamins and miconutrients, and growing our own ensures we can keep pesticides and chemicals off of our food. With that, you could choose to grow vegetable super foods to have right in your backyard. Kale is an excellent choice for a leafy green vegetable, something we all struggle to eat enough of. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have many health benefits as well.
If you are going to grown vegetables in your yard, choose a variety so that you experience all of the health benefits of a locally grown, pesticide free garden vegetable.
What is Fun
Now that you have chosen healthy vegetables, that you know will grow well in your area, and are varieties you will actually eat, it is time to add in a little fun!
Each year I make a space to try a new vegetable in my garden. One of the best vegetables that I tried was when I grew cucamelon for a season! Check out this post on growing cucamelons by The Savvy Gardener. Seed catalogues, and your local garden center, will have an abundance of unique seeds for you to try.
Which variety will you try out this season? Let me know below!