Veggie Selection

Veggie Selection

You might have decided to have a small vegetable garden, but then comes the decision of which vegetables to plant in your garden. There are some simple questions that might help you decide.

Plant vegetables that look good. Why hide your vegetables? You can even use your front yard to plant if you want to be “green” and avant-garde. Everyone can enjoy the view. Asparagus, eggplant, fennel, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, lettuce, peppers, rhubarb, sunflowers and Swiss chard are downright pretty.

You could choose vegetables that are the easiest to grow. If you have fairly decent soil and water regularly, there are some choices that are almost foolproof, according to the Web site Gardening for Dummies. Broccoli, bush beans, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, peas, potatoes, squash, Swiss chard and tomatoes are hard to hurt.

If you would like to consider the heat, choose vegetables that can take the soaring temperatures that we get in the summertime. Beans, corn, eggplant, melons, okra, peanuts, peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and watermelon can take the high temperatures.

Maybe you got a late start with your garden and need short-season vegetables. Bush beans, carrots, cress, lettuce, mesclun, greens, peas, radishes, scallions, spinach and summer squash will surprise you with how quickly they will grow.

A shadier garden (less than six hours of direct sunlight) can still produce a short list of vegetables: beets, carrots, kale, lettuce, potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, scallions, spinach and Swiss chard.

A good size beginner garden is 10 x 16 feet, which will produce plenty for a family of four. With the following recommended amounts you may even have some to share or some to preserve. Surveys show that the most commonly grown vegetables are tomatoes (five staked plants), zucchini squash (four plants), peppers (six plants) cabbage, bush beans, lettuce, beets, carrots, chard, radish and marigolds (to discourage bugs and rabbits). Broccoli, spinach and peas are great in the early spring and fall garden.

If you have been gardening for awhile, suggests some rather unique options you can add to your garden. How about a carrot of a different color? There are a rainbow of carrot colors out there. How about the Purple Dragon 350, which is purple on the outside and deep orange on the inside? And then there is the Blood Red Atomic Carrot. These and other new veggies are available if you start looking around online and at good garden centers. Imagine the salad possibilities.