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Gardening for Beginners Episode 2

My Top 10 Favorite things to grow.

In episode 1 I discussed how my gardening passion began and a few basic tips about gardening.  Today I will share with you my top 10 favorite things to grow and how to choose your seeds, growing methods and soil selection.

Remember this: It’s better to be proud of a small garden than to be frustrated by a big one!  We had that problem last year and even had wasted veggies because of it.

One of the common errors for beginners is planting too much too soon and way more than anybody could eat or want. Unless you want to have zucchini coming out of your ears and your friends and family sick of you giving it away, plan carefully. Start small.

These veggies are the most versatile no matter what method you use for planting.  They will produce a great yield regardless of  how small or big your space is.

Seed Selection-

My 2 favorite places to get seeds are from and .  When the catalogs come in the mail it’s like a ToysRus catalog at Christmas time in our household. We first go through the seeds from last year and make sure they are still dry and only a year or 2 old.  There is always a date stamped on the seed to let you know when they were packaged.  Other big box store seeds that are always good are the “Ed Hume organic”.

Then we decide what we want to plant and lay out the area on paper to see what is going to go where.  Then it’s time to start planting either indoors or directly outside.  We use the Farmers Almanac planting guide that is selected just for our area and that tells us when to plant.

Here is my top 10 favorite list and a little bit about each one.  Watch the video to find out a little bit more about each one.

  1. Basil-Easy to grow and you don’t need more than one plant.
  2. Beets-Seeds are large and easy for kids to handle.  Let them help you plant.  Detroit dark and Golden are my favorite. Italian and Thai basil are our favorites for cooking.
  3. Collards and Kale-They are an early season crop but will keep growing through the summer months.  Traditional Curly kale is my favorite for many recipes.  Lacinato is great for soups and Red Russian is very pretty in salads.
  4. Cucumbers-Will grow anywhere they can climb.  Many varieties.  Muncher and Lemon are our favorites.
  5. Green Beans/String Beans-The bush variety are great if you don’t have a place for them to train.  My favorite type of bean is the Blue Lake or Kentucky Wonder are great choices and very prolific.  You can get both of these in the pole or bush type.
  6. Lettuce-Very easy to grow in the cooler weather of spring or fall.  Many varieties to choose from just watch it when the weather gets warm.  They will bolt and get bitter.  Our favorites are Curly leaf, Salad Bowl and Butter.
  7. Radishes-Fast to grow and good for bug deterrent for cucumber beetles.  Our favorites are White Icicle and Fire and Ice.
  8. Spinach-Another cold weather plant like lettuce.  Plant alot of this if you plan on eating large batches.  Our favorite is the Bloomsdale and Tyee.
  9. Swiss or Rainbow Chard-This will grow all season long and produces colorful red and yellow stems that are great in soups and stews or even to saute with the leaves.
  10. Tomatoes-There are hundreds of varieties of these so it really depends on your area and what you like to eat.  Cherry type or Roma, Beefsteak or Slicing are just a few we have planted.  They all do well in pots or the garden.  They just need to be staked or caged to keep them from falling over.

So, that is my list of the favorite and easiest things to plant in the garden.  Whether you are doing it on a patio, deck, or in a plot.  They all do great.  You can grow all these yourself or purchase most of them as plants in from your local greenhouse or big box store.  Watch my video to learn about a few more tips of this top 10.