What Vegetables to grow when there is so much choice!
If you are an experienced grower or allotment gardener, you probably know what you should be growing and when. But, we all need a bit of inspiration from time to time, or maybe something to get us out of the rut that we are in So, think different, grow different! Maybe the family will appreciate the taste of a different crop or variety!
When deciding which vegetables to grow, ask yourself why you actually want to grow vegetables, and what area you have for growing those vegetables at present. This will determine what type of vegetables you should grow. There is not a lot to be gained by trying to grow a crop of maincrop potatoes unless you have the room - and patience.
If you are a beginner, the choice of what vegetables to grow could easily determine if you are going to be a successful veggie grower from here on in. For instance, if you decide upon a full crop of maincrop potatoes as your first growing attempt, you could easily be put off further growing by the amount of time and hard work involved! Especially when you see the relatively cheap price of potatoes at peak time!
The best way forward is undoubtedly to start off with a few quick maturing crops. Loose leaf type lettuce will have you picking a few salad leaves within a few weeks after sowing! There are many more suggestions on our page about profitable, easy to grow vegetables.
The gardener with limited space will have different choices to those who have a full scale vegetable plot. Many vegetable gardeners have very satisfactory results by using the square foot regime of gardening. There is little wastage when growing in smaller spaces, and my own experience is of considerable waste on many allotment sites, resulting from everything being grown on a 'row' basis.
A square metre section of runner beans growing up wigwam of canes will keep most families in beans for much of the summer, and there shouldn't be too many leftover wrinkled stringy bean pods dangling in the autumn! A 2ft square patch will easily provide 16 lettuce plants - two or three times in the summer with good planning. No bolted plants left looking untidy. You could also grow them under the wigwam of beans!
It may be better to start with the easier types that will be quick to mature. These will include some of the smaller root vegetables, salad crops, and the pea and bean family. All of these are easy to grow, can be grown in limited space, and will allow you to taste your own fresh vegetables in the shortest time.
There are a few important things to think about before you rush off and start your vegetable plot! The vegetable garden will take a lot of time and effort - so get it right at the start by deciding to grow the crops that are really relevant to you - not simply look good on the seed packet picture.
If your main aim is to save money, avoid the cheaper-priced vegetables. Main-crop potatoes, carrots, onions and cabbage are all relatively cheap to buy.
Think in terms of the vegetables that are dearest in the shops and start with them. Runner Beans, Broccoli and Swiss Chard will probably be on that list - as will Tomatoes and other salad crops. All are quite easy to grow!
The earlier crops of carrots and potatoes will be money-savers, as will any vegetables that are not grown or available locally. Sweet corn, different types of tomatoes, Mange Tout Peas, peppers and some of the unusual vegetables like celeriac might well suit you.