Best Vegetables for your Home Garden
Knowing the best vegetables is often a matter of learning by doing, but there's a lot of vegetables to choose from. Learning from others is a practical way to learn about good vegetable varieties.
Let's look at some great vegetables for your home garden. I have a long list of what I consider my favorite vegetables, and I want to share them with you. If you are into growing garden vegetables as part of your approach to frugal living, then I hope you'll try these favorites of mine.
Before we dive into the list, let's consider why a vegetable might wind up on my list of best vegetables. There are many factors:
- Abundant production. That's why I grow vegetables - to get a mess of them for the table. I like vegetables that are high producers.
- Quality produce. I like good quality produce. Who doesn't? If you enjoy the flavor, texture and appearance, then it's a step closer to being one of the best vegetables in my eyes.
- Easy to grow. Why grow something that you have to fight with or baby along. I enjoy vegetable gardening, but I want something that I can count on, so I focus on those vegetables that don't need to be coaxed along so much.
- Early and late harvest capability. If you can plant it early and late, that's great. If you can harvest it throughout the winter, that's even better.
- Good ability to be stored. Whether it's in the basement, the root cellar, or simply left in the garden bed, if the vegetable keeps well, then it's a winner as far as I'm concerned.
- Versatile. Can you eat it raw, cooked, pickled, sauteed, and baked? Can you eat it alone, and does it go well with other foods? Well then, it's versatile, and it bumps up a notch on my list of best vegetables.
Now let's look at some of the vegetables that I really enjoy. Here is just a small sampling:
Greens are versatile and delicious, and are some of the best vegetables to grow. If you haven't tried them, you really should. They are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and add variety to your dinner plate. They are also usually cold hardy plants.
One of my favorites is Swiss chard. Photo right shows Rhubarb Chard growing in a half barrel inside one of my greenhouses.
Lettuce is one of the first things I like to knock off my grocery list. You can grow so many varieties that have a different appearance, shape and texture. Some of my favorites include Valmaine, Crisp Mint, Italienischer, Pirat and Little Gem.
If you grew only these four varieties in your home vegetable garden, you wouldn't be disappointed. They are some of the best vegetables because they are good producers in a wide range of temperatures, and they require no exceptional care.
Photo below shows me holding a beautiful mature head of Pirat lettuce. It's very attractive and a nice lettuce for the table.
Summer squash is another favorite of mine. The idea of summer squash brings images of green zucchini by the armload. What will you do with all that squash? Enjoy it I suppose.
My favorite without a doubt is Butterstick summer squash.
Photo right shows a healthy Butterstick plant that is happily producing multiple fruits at the same time. Over the life of the plant, it might produce 25 to 50 mature fruits. That's quite a production.
Tomatoes are a favorite in the American home vegetable garden. A native of South America, there are over 4,000 varieties of tomatoes available today. It must be popular, since folks have found and created so many varieties to choose from.
Although we refer to it as a vegetable, the tomato is technically a berry, and therefore a fruit. I don't let that fact bother me one bit when I tell you that small tomatoes are one of the best vegetables to grow in the home garden.
My favorites are Super Sweet 100, Juliette and Green Sausage.
So, if your approach to frugal living includes growing vegetables to cut down on the grocery bill, then you'll likely want to keep your own list of what you consider to be the best in your vegetable garden.
Done with Best Vegetables, take me back to Growing Vegetables