Wondering what is the best things to plant in the garden? I’m here to help you decide!
I am so excited that Spring is here! The snow has (finally!) all melted around my house and I’ve been anxiously checking my garden every day. I can’t wait to start planting little seeds. There is nothing more exciting to me than planting a tiny little seed into the ground and watching it grow into a beautiful plant producing a bountiful harvest. It’s so satisfying! If you are trying to decide what to plant in your garden this year, here are a few steps to help you make the decision!
Trying to decide what to plant in my garden each year can be a lot of fun! I love receiving my Burpee Seed Catalog each year and planning what to plant and when. It usually involves a lot of big dreams of a huge garden bearing lots of produce….and zero weeds….. To bad it never ends up exactly that way! 😉
While fun, this is also one of the most important steps to gardening. If you are wanting a successful harvest, it’s crucial that you think hard about what to plant. Not every seed is right for every gardener.
Questions To Ask Yourself When Planning Your Garden
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when deciding what crops to plant. They should help you make the best decision about what will be best for you personally to grow. Let me know in the comments if you have any other gardening questions!
What Produce Does Our Family Enjoy?
One of the first questions you should ask yourself when deciding what to plant in your garden is what fruits and vegetables does your family enjoy eating the most?
It’s really easy to get carried away planting “this” vegetable and “that” vegetable, many people often forget to focus on the foods their family eats most often. If you have a bountiful harvest, but nobody will eat it, then it’s not worth planting in the first place….right???? Right!
Spend a minute thinking about the produce you buy weekly at the grocery store, and then make a list of these grocery staples to help give you some gardening inspiration.
For example, my list would look like this:
- Green Beans
Now, this is a list of the produce I buy for my family most often, but not everything on this list will grow well in my garden. This is where the following questions come in.
What Grows Well In My Climate?
The next question you need to ask yourself is what grows well in your specific location. I would love to tell you exactly what to plant and when, but there’s a good chance your growing season/climate will be very different from mine.
The first step to learning what will grow well in your location is to find out what zone you are in. Your planting zone will tell you when to plant which crops. You can easily find your planting zone here.
For example, I live in Zone 5. This means that I have a shorter growing season than somewhere like Zone 9. The crops that grow well in Zone 5 can differ from the ones in Zone 9.
Another great way to find out what grows well in your climate is to ask other gardeners in your area. If you have neighbors or friends who enjoy gardening, ask them what they enjoy growing most and have had the most success with.
Once you have determined your zone, start researching the best crops for that zone. This can easily be found using a google search.
How Much Garden Space Do I Have?
The size of your garden is a huge factor when deciding what to plant. If you have a small garden, you might not want to plant crops that take up a large amount of space, like pumpkins, corn or watermelon.
If you have a smaller garden, I recommend planting crops that need a smaller space, such as spinach or carrots.
And, if you are planting in containers, you will want to only plant what grows best in containers. I’ll share a few ideas below with you.
Plants That Grow Well In Containers:
Plants That Need A Lot Of Space To Grow:
- Bush Beans
Plants That Grow Well In Small Gardens:
- Pole Beans
What Crops Are Most Expensive To Purchase At The Store?
If you are gardening as a way to save money, which I recommend, try to focus on growing the produce that is most expensive to buy at the store.
A few of the crops I have found that are cheaper to grow than buy are:
- Bell Peppers
- Green Beans
One of the great parts of gardening is the ability to preserve what you grow, so that you can use it throughout the year. This is especially important for the produce that is most expensive.
Bell peppers and berries can easily be frozen using the flash freeze method I talk about here. Herbs can even be frozen using the ice cube method taught here. This gives you even more bang for your buck all year long.
How Much Time Do I Want To Spend Gardening?
Gardening is time consuming, that is just a fact of life. In order to get grow and harvest a garden, you will need to be able to donate some of your time to each crop.
If you enjoy gardening and want to spend more time on it, than you might consider growing more high maintenance crops, such as”
- Green Beans
- Fruit Trees
If you are looking for some easy to grow, least time consuming crops, I would consider:
So, still wondering, “What should I plant in my garden?”
If this is your first year planting a garden, I always recommend starting small. Choose a few of your favorite vegetables, that will grow well in your area to plant this year. If it goes well then you can add a few more next year.
It truly takes trial and error before you find the right crops to plant in your garden, but you will figure it out. I believe in you!
Want a little inspiration? I’ll share what I am planting this year!
This year I am planting:
- Green Beans
I usually plant tomatoes and peppers, but have finally (and a little reluctantly) decided they are just to difficult for me to grow in my very windy garden spot. And that’s ok!