Garden Planning 2012

I’m putting in a pared down vegetable garden this year, for obvious reasons. I have less time and ability to care for plants, so I need to choose wisely. It’s an interesting exercise, thinking about what I consider “essential” in my garden. There are a few factors going into my thinking:
1. What vegetables do I use the most?
2. What vegetable plants need the least care?
3. What vegetables do I like the most?
Here are what I have so far:

[Courtesy Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds]
Tomatoes. Since I use the tomatoes I grow in the summer all year long, they are the best choice for me. So I’ll put in three plants.
Bell Peppers. Like tomatoes, bell peppers are something I eat fresh and also freeze and enjoy all year long.
One Spicy Pepper. I find that one spicy pepper plant serves my spicy needs all year round.
Arugula. An arugula patch needs almost no work and gives tons of salad greens.
Potatoes. Like arugula, the ease of growing potatoes makes them worth putting in.

[Courtesy Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds]
Beets. I love beet plants because you can eat the roots and the greens, so even though they take a bit of work and protecting from birds and bugs, I’ll put them in.
Strawberries. I will put in a few new plants this year.
Leeks. I always grow leeks because they do so well and taste great.
Peas. I just love fresh peas.

Something ate all my thyme plants, so I am going to have to replant this essential herb.
savvyhousekeeping vegetable garden 2012
Basil. Nothing beats fresh basil, which grows well here.
Parsley. It’s amazing how often a recipe calls for fresh parsley.

What I’m skipping this year:

Squash. I usually have several kinds of squash, and they grow great, but I always get more than we can eat and end up freezing it. I’m not a huge fan of frozen squash and since my freezer is always full of it, it might be nice to skip it for a year. Plus, squash attract a lot of pests and take more maintenance than other plants.
Carrots, Green Beans, and Radishes: I usually grow all three of these, but they are cheap and easy to get in the store too, so this year I’ll just skip them.
Corn: Although easy to grow, at the height of summer, corn is also very cheap to buy, so that’s one more plant I can cut off the list.

I love melons! But as tempting as it is to grow them, they need a lot of care that I will probably skip them.
Other Greens/Spinach: Because of their tendency to bolt in the summer heat, I don’t need the headache this year.
Other Onions/Garlic: The leeks cover most of my needs on this front, and when they don’t, I’ll just buy them.
I admit, that’s still a fairly large garden to most people. But to me, it feels very winnowed down. What can I say?
What is essential in your vegetable garden?

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2 thoughts on “Garden Planning 2012”

  1. Here in Houston it gets really hot and dry in the summer.
    Last year we had pots of tomatoes, peppers, and some herbs (we’re renting, therefore the need for pots only). The poor tomatoes did great until it was to hot to live-literally. They gave up the ghost. Our peppers over wintered nicely and are putting out blossoms. The herbs are faring nicely, also. I’ll buy a couple of herbs, but that’s it.
    LOVE Houston. LOVE the summer (we have a great pool!!!). But, boy does it get warm here!

  2. Pingback: Savvy Housekeeping » My 2013 Garden Plan

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