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Deciding What to Plant in Your Backyard

Posted by flonfau | Added on : April 12, 2010 08:12am | Viewed 1094 times | 0 Comments | This article is also in bushel basket and bushel basket

 

There are a few guidelines in choosing what to grow in your vegetable garden in your home.

 

The first tip is to buy and plant what you and your family enjoy eating.  Donít plant broccoli or cauliflower if you and your family do not eat the.  Tomatoes - both large and small may be a good choice since a lot of people eat them.  Spinach is great in salads as well as cooked, grows fast, and can be grown early and late in space not yet able to be used for warm weather crops, or after other crops are harvested.  Peppers and eggplant are also common favorites. 

 

The second consideration should be what makes sense economically.  Some crops that produce the most "bang for the buck" include tomatoes, cucumbers, pole beans, peppers, eggplant, zucchini and yellow crookneck, and perhaps cantaloupe or other climbing squash or small melons.  The key is that these are ever bearing, and most can be grown vertically, so they take relatively small space in your garden.  Single crop varieties like cabbage and carrots can also be good, but most of them should be harvested in a short time, before they become over-ripe and/or infested with pests and diseases, and this causes waste unless you have a good cool storage place, such as a root cellar.   If you enjoy red beets, I recommend Cylindra as one that holds in the garden for a long time without getting tough and woody.  It is not advisable to grow corn in the small family garden, because it takes so much space and produces very little.  For example, a single corn stalk takes basically the same space as a tomato plant, but only produces one or two "fruits", while an indeterminate tomato plant may produce as much as 15 to 20 pounds of fruit.  And in many places in the western USA potatoes are about 1/10th as expensive as tomatoes, so if space is limited, that may not be a high priority.  However, potatoes (along with winter squash, cabbage, carrots, etc.) will store for many months if done properly.

 

And third, consider varieties that do well in your climate and at certain times of year.  The third criterion is finding things that grow well in your climate, and choose the right time of year.  For those in the cooler climates with shorter growing seasons, it is wishful thinking to try and grow sweet potatoes and peanuts.  And there are a few other crops that require long growing seasons and/or hot weather.  Look on the seed packet, or a catalog, or in several of the gardening books or CD's.  The large watermelons come to mind as examples.  And particularly for those of you in the hot climates, grow spinach and brassica's at the beginning and end of your growing season.

 

Take all these points into consideration, draw up your list of vegetables and then cut it in half. You are not going to need as much as you think. For example, itís not unheard of to get 40+ tomatoes from one large plant.  Now youíre ready to add up how much space all these plants will take and size-up your garden. If this is your first vegetable garden, start with a size you can handle, even if it means a few less plants or varieties of vegetables. You can always try something different next year.

 

 

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