- What we like to eat- I am a huge vegetable eater.My hubby, is so so. Knowing this I buy more of what we will both eat and a little less of what I only eat and enjoy those vegetables for lunch when he is at work. This goes for starting plants from seeds also.
- Grow according to preserving - I am a dehydrating and canning machine in the summertime. We don't have an extra freezer so I grow vegetables to how I can preserve them for the winter. For example, we love broccoli but other than freezing, I'm not sure how to preserve it, so we grow one or two plants to consume fresh. Tomatoes on the other hand get turned into juice, sauce, dehydrated and paste; so needless to say we grow a lot.
- What's in your inventory- How much pickled okra did you really go through last year? Still have jars upon jars of a certain vegetable? I suggest just growing enough of that vegetable this year to enjoy fresh. Leave that extra space for growing more of another vegetable you ate all gone or try a new vegetable
- How long is your season?- Have a short growing season? Try growing varieties with shorter maturing period. Don't pick a vegetable that takes 100 days to mature, try something with a quick turn around or start those seeds inside.
- How you eat- This is similar to no. 1, however, how you eat can vary from what you like to eat. Are you in a hurry come dinner time? Grow vegetables that are quick and easy to prepare like green beans, asparagus or greens. After picking and washing, all these vegetables only need a quick blanch or saute and they are on the table in minutes.
- Nutritional Content- Multivitamins supplements are good, however, growing a garden is the best multivitamin of all. Take the time to research which vegetables are high in which vitamins and then grow accordingly to what you are lacking in your diet or know will help your family grow strong. Get a mixture of "vitamins" to grow in your garden.
- Vacationing- We learned this the hard way. If you plan to be out of town for a week or two enjoying the sun at the beach and don't have some one to come over to check your garden everyday try and choose vegetable varieties that do well in dry conditions just in case there is no rain or your veggie babysitter forgets to stop by.
- Sunshine vs. Shade- Watch the location of your garden for a few days and map out how much sun the different spots get. You need to supply the right amount of light for your plants to grow properly. I plant my lettuce where they get the morning sun, but come afternoon they are being shaded by the apple tree's shadow.
- Rotation- Rotating crops is an important part of gardening as to not strip your soil from nutrients or creating harmful pathogens. Plan your garden according to where and what you planted last year.
After many requests, next Friday I will be posting up my garden growing list and the why's behind it. I'm still hoping to talk my husband into that fig tree I want, so hopefully in a week's time I'll be adding that to my list!
For more green topics and ideas check out The Little Green Project.