Deciding What to Grow

I’ll be expanding our garden again this year.  Even though we’ll have more space I want to cut back on the variety a bit and focus on the staples.  We’re slowly eating more and more food that we’ve grown ourselves.  Last year I put up a ton of food that I gleaned from friends and family.  I am very grateful to them but last year was a good year for a lot of plants and I don’t want to be so reliant on others when we have a bad growing season.

I started by poking around in our pantry.  BTW, I haven’t forgotten about the pantry update.  Right now we’re in desperate need of more shelving so I’m waiting until everything looks nice and pretty before I share pics.  Anyway, a major part of our pantry is made up of tomato products.  Last year I canned over 50 pints of tomato meat sauce – enough for the whole year.  I would estimate that 1/3 of the tomatoes came from our garden and the rest came from others.  Also in our pantry we have store bought tomato goods such as: ketchup, tomato paste, and crushed or stewed tomatoes that make baked rotini especially good.  All things I could make myself.

When I take the time to pack myself a good lunch I eat corn, peas, or green beans almost every day.  I canned some corn and beans last year and filled in when the local grocer had a sale.  Much of what’s left in the pantry is fruit: peaches, applesauce, pears, and berry jams.  I need to establish a good berry patch of our own, especially strawberries.  We also have 3 big baskets of potatoes and lots of garlic.  I didn’t plant garlic in the fall of 2009 so I definitely need to plan for it in the fall of 2010.

So, here’s my list of must haves in the garden for 2010:

  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet corn
  • Green beans
  • Strawberries
  • Garlic

There are several other things that I would like to grow.  I could always purchase these at the farmer’s market if need be:

  • Carrots
  • Cukes
  • Pumpkins
  • Sunflowers (for the seeds)
  • Peas
  • Eggplant
  • Blueberries
  • Celery (for soups)(I couldn’t find this last year at the market, maybe it doesn’t even grow here?)

After going through my seeds I’m surprised that I used so many last year.  I don’t have much left.  Its looks like I’ll be making quite an order!  I’ll post the finished order when I get it ready.

What are you going to grow this year?  What are your favorites that you won’t be without?  If you could grow only 5 or 6 things what would they be?

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4 thoughts on “Deciding What to Grow

  1. Captain's Wife - Jennifer

    I’m planning on posting soon about what is going in my garden. On the celery, I have never tried to grow it, but it is my undrstanding that it can be grown but that it is a cool weather crop that needs a long growing season. How and where are you storing your potatoes? Have you tried growing eggplant before? Great list! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Julie

    I guess I grow more for eating rather than for preserving. Steve helped me put in a garden last year that was supposed to be just for tomatoes so I could can them. First we didn’t have money for the plants, then it was a terrible year for tomatoes around here (good thing we didn’t buy them!!!) and then I had morning sickness for weeks and weeks…so it was a nice plan, but it didn’t happen. Oh well. Some day I would love to grow all of our own tomatoes, but until then I’ll buy cases from a farm and can those.

    I love to grow:
    sugar snap peas
    gourmet blend leaf lettuce
    cherry tomatoes
    cucumbers
    strawberries

    (I need to get the chipmunks OUT of here so I get more than 2 this year!!!!) I have so many beautiful strawberry plants and got TWO berries. AARRRRGRGGGG!!!

    Reply
  3. Farmer's Daughter

    What about some berries? We put in raspberries and blackberries last year, and a few others. I’m so excited to harvest them this year, and they’re really low maintenance.

    We don’t do strawberries because my family grows so many of them, I’m saving space in my garden. If I could only grow a few things, it would be:
    lettuces
    tomatoes
    carrots
    green beans
    snap peas
    a small plot of herbs (chives, parsley, basil, sage)

    Those are what I’ve been most successful with (except tomatoes last year, it was a bad year!) And they’re also the veggies I like the most.

    Reply
  4. Lindsay

    Great post!

    If I could grow only 5 things (which might be the case for my first garden this year) I would grow:

    1. Potatoes
    2. Carrots
    3. Strawberries
    4. Lettuce
    5. Garlic

    I would love to grow more but I think I’ll take it slow at first. I dont want to overwhelm myself right off the start!
    xo

    Reply

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