Simply put, plant the vegetables that your family likes.
If your family eats a lot of salad, then plant lettuce,
cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, and, of course, tomatoes.
Think about meals. Do you stir-fry? Grow bell peppers,
onions, peas, and broccoli. Does your family enjoy Mexican food? Consider
various hot peppers. Do you create main dishes from vegetables? Potatoes,
squash, eggplant, and spinach might be options.
your garden vegetables, consider adding a variety or two that your household
considers tolerable, but not great. You may find that homegrown freshness
improves the taste, and that vegetable just may turn out to be a family
unfamiliar vegetable, just for kicks. If it’s not to your taste, give the
harvest to neighbors or your local food bank.
It’s easy to get carried away when
you’re planning a garden. Seed-packet displays filled with images of perfect
vegetables and bright flowers are a definite magnet, as are colorful pages of
seed catalogs. It’s easy to keep selecting more and more as you imagine
creating the perfect garden. Then, when it comes time to plant all those seeds,
well, you don’t. I’m embarrassed to admit to the piles of long-expired seed
packets that I accumulated before I wised up and learned to buy only what I
expect to plant.
Planning your first vegetable garden
If you’re just starting out, or
haven’t gardened in awhile, your garden should measure about 10×18 feet with
eight to 10 different vegetable varieties. This size will easily feed a family
of four to six. This is simply a guideline, however. Adjust your garden spot to
fit your particular situation: family size, available space, amount of time you
can spend in it, and the amount of work you’re willing to do.
Keep your garden manageable
Keep in mind that a too-large garden can easily overwhelm you and become a discouraging chore, and that’s when you’re more likely to give up on it. Instead, keep it manageable so you don’t have to spend too much time and effort on it. You’ll be amazed at your success — and the good food you put on your table.