Help me pick out what to plant in my new garden.

jplaylandNovember 22, 2013

I have planted a large number of perennial fruits over the last two years at my first home, but I have no vegi garden. I just finished constructing three 24'x6'x2' raised beds and a compost area. Two of these 24'x6' beds will be for the vegi garden. The 3rd one is for perennial fruits/vegis (garlic, rhubarb, asparagus, ...) I have filled the beds with a mostly soil-less mix of compost, composted manure, and peatmoss.


I want to try a few of the best hybrids and best heirlooms. I plan to use them for:
1. Pasta/Pizza/Chili
2. Salsa
3. Sandwiches
4. Alone fresh sliced

I seem to like lower water content tomatoes with strong flavor, but without powdery texture. I would like to get a mix, most production, best taste, and good production/good taste. Odd colors welcome.

Bell - All colors, no idea on the varieties I should choose.

Sweet Peppers - Not sure, planning on trying in recipes I usually just use bells in, open to recommendations.

Hot - Nothing crazy, just mild, medium, and hot, not really hot. Cayenne, Serrano, ???, (no jalapeno, not a fan of the bitter taste)

I like acorn and butternut, I tend to overcook them because I like them better with less moisture.

Summer Squash/Zucchini
I'm honestly not a huge fan, but want to force myself to learn to like them. Maybe I should do the best tasting ones instead of the most productive on this one.

I only use them for three things, fresh sweet eating, roasting with roasts, and carrot cake. A bunch of small sweet ones and a few bigger ones for cooking. Some cool colored ones if they taste as good. (Maybe a parsnip variety or two as well)

Sweet Potatoes
Georgia Jet, any others worth a try?

Mashing, red, and fingerling. Some strange colored ones too.



Edimame (soybeans) - I love edimame, I would like at least 3 varieties and would love recommendations.

Green beans - I'm not a huge fan of green beans, I need to be converted, flavor over production.

Other beans - Would it be crazy to grow cooking beans (navy, pinto, black, kidney, ...?)

Melon -
Canary melon, a cantalop, a honeydew, and 1 or 2 watermelons. I'm going vertical with the melons so they don't use up too much space.


On all of these, I would love to get both hybrid and heirloom where applicable/reasonable. I want to experiment, but there are too many varieties to try in a lifetime, help me find my first attempt varieties.

I plan on starting most plants from seed. I'm setting up the space now in my basement and ordering what a don't get for Christmas presents.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sounds like a fun thread for folks.

I always urge gardeners to be open to trying new things but if there is something you really do not like, then do not waste your time or the garden space growing it. Use that space for varieties and types you really like.

"Would it be crazy to grow cooking beans (navy, pinto, black, kidney, ...?)" - No crazier than growing anything else. Anything you grow can be be acquired fairly cheaply at the grocery store, the fact that a person can buy a bag of soup beans for a buck should not enter into the equation. Would I rate growing them high on the priority list if garden space were at a premium? Probably not, and I say this as a person who enjoys growing them every year.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 11:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Peppers, off the top of my head and without getting off the couch to check notes New Ace, King Arthur, Pinot Noir have produced well for me and we like the flavor. Carmen is a bulls horn type that is very tasty, ripens to red. Look for varieties suited to a short growing season. The last two years Beauregard has done well for me, a raised bed will be helpful in getting the soil warmed up for them. Most varieties will cover a lot of ground once they get going. I believe it's Vardaman (sp) that is more of a bush type but have never grown them so don't know about flavor or productivity. Don't forget you will need to cure them in a warm humid place for 7-10 days. Curing helps them keep in storage and converts the starches to sugars, developing the flavors.
Onions, starting with plants will get you off to a good start. Copra is an excellent storage onion, Walla Walla's do well but are best used within approx a month of harvest. Big Daddy produces very large onions that will store for 3 or 4 months. Again onions that you plan to store need to be cured.

As much as possible your garlic should be rotated to a different bed each year, you might want to put your onions an garlic in the same bed and move them each year to a different bed, Rotating crops is always a good idea if possible.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 9:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am more of a tomato cucember person and out of all my different varieties planted last summer here is the two that were my most peasent surprises

-green zebra, very unique taste, sweet with sharp bite, loved it for fresh eating

- Palace King Hybrid, was really productive for me, had fresh cucs until mid october, crisp, for fresh eating

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 11:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not a fan of the cucumbers I have tried (mostly supermarket.) They remind me of the rind of a supermarket honeydew. If they have as much improvement in flavor as tomatoes, I'm in, otherwise, I may just go with a small variety for pickles.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Do you use the cooking beans fresh? Any improvement in flavor vs dry/canned?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 10:58PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Low Hedge as a Snow Fence?
We have a long sidewalk from the house to the garage....
apple trees
What should you do to keep apples from insects when...
What would you plant here?
Hi, I have a new house and I'm trying to get the foundation...
Looking for narrow shrub that can handle part shade and dry soil
Hello, My husband and I have a privacy screen made...
Strawberries in strawbales?
Has anyone here done the strawbale gardening? A book...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™