Today I planted our vegetable garden for the year, and I am already excited for our harvest this summer and fall. There is nothing better than going to the garden to pick fresh vegetables. It definitely saves us money on our grocery bill and makes meal planning easier. Food from your garden always tastes better and helps you eat healthier, too. You can't avoid eating vegetables when they are coming out of your ears!
We are lucky to have five large raised beds in our back yard, perfect for gardening. Three of the beds are designated for vegetables, one for flowers, and one for herbs. Here is the growth of our garden from a previous year:
I like to choose seeds and plants that I know grow well in our environment and that we will definitely eat. Certain vegetables (i.e. squash) are extremely proliferative, while as others (i.e. peppers) are more challenging to get an abundance from. You learn through the years all kinds of tips and tricks including what you want to plant more (or less) of, what needs more space or more support, and what needs more water or attention. Today I planted green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, kale, carrots, basil, parsley, bell peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. Most of these are pretty standard, but it is fun to try new things. In the past we have done eggplant and beets, and this year we are trying cucumbers that we might try turning into pickles.
When planning our garden, I consult our favorite gardening book: The Vegetable Gardener's Bible. The book has a great section on what each type of vegetable grows well with, allowing you to decide what vegetables you can plant next to each other. With this in mind, here is our layout and what the garden looks like today in May (note most of the flowers and some of the herbs are leftover from previous years):
Hopefully the wildlife stays out and the weather cooperates. Stay tuned for updates! No matter how much I try to keep it to a minimum, I'm sure we will still have plenty of zucchini to go around :)
Do you plant a garden? What are your favorite vegetables to grow?