Garden Planning: Deciding What to Grow

If you’re planning a garden for next season, now’s the time to start thinking about ordering seeds. Here are some tips for deciding what to grow:

  • Grow what you love to eat. If you’re a tomato-fanatic, it makes sense to grow several varieties of different shapes and colors.
  • Grow what you can’t find at the grocery store or farmers market. Can’t find high quality, organic Asian greens at your farmers market or local global food store? Grow them.
  • Grow what’s too expensive to buy. If you love eating salad in the summer but can’t afford the fancy salad mix at your farmers market or the organic baby greens from the grocery store, try growing a wide variety of lettuces at home.
  • Grow what you hate to eat – at least once. Think that you hate tomatoes or frisรฉe? Home-grown produce tastes nothing like the insipid imposters you find at the supermarket. Try growing that hated vegetable and see if you don’t become a convert.
  • Grow flavor enhancers. Plants like herbs and hot peppers pack a lot of flavor without taking up too much space in your garden. Growing several varieties of these flavor-enhancers will ensure that you get the most out of your main crops.
  • Don’t get lured by seed catalog prose. Ordering unusual seeds is half the fun of having a garden, but it’s easy to get carried away. Limit yourself to a few varieties of risky exotics.
  • If you’re a first-time gardener, start small. Large gardens can be overwhelming for inexperienced growers. Stick to a few varieties of fail-proof produce like lettuce, greens, and cherry tomatoes.

Image courtesy of 60 in 3 via a Creative Commons license.

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