Ok, let me start off by saying I am NOT an expert gardener! However, over the last several years I’ve really enjoyed planting different veggies and seeing what works and what doesn’t work. I think the key to any garden is planting food that you enjoy eating so you are excited about watching it grow and look forward to eating it.
We don’t have a huge amount of space(one raised bed and some pots), so only grow a few veggies every year. I love to grow things in pots as it keeps my dogs from destroying the new seeds when they first pop out of the ground! I’ve found that two things play a big role in if we have a successful crop – sun and enough water. Last year I was much busier with miss Sydney and managed to kill several items that normally produce a great harvest. My biggest disappointment was my blueberry bush which I have in a pot. It was loaded with very small blueberries and I forgot to water it for about a week straight – oops – the plant lost all it’s leaves and we didn’t get a single blueberry. Oh well. I considered it a learning experience and luckily it has lots of new buds on it this year, so I didn’t kill the entire plant – I think the fact that it is in a pot probably dried it out quicker too and plan to plant it this year!
Here are a few things that we’ve had success with and some that we’ve found didn’t work well for us. Obviously, your experiences may be different, but hope you have fun experimenting with different veggies as I have!
-Tomatoes – we grow them in large pots and put a few plants in each pot. They are easy to stake up with a round metal support or some string and get delicious tomatoes all summer long. My favorite are cherry tomatoes.
Peas – we did bush peas so they don’t grow very tall and they produced quite well. Usually I plant a couple harvests – one in spring and another in late summer as they don’t do as well with a ton of heat (need lots of water), but early spring is great.
-Beans – most years we’ve had great luck and they grow super easy with just some water and a trellis or string. They grow up our side fence and a couple years ago were over my head. I love eating them right off the plant or cooked with some garlic. Yumm!!!
-Bell Peppers – we tried these for the first time last year and didn’t think Seattle area would be hot enough. Boy were we wrong. They grew great and were very tasty. Need lots of sun.
-Lettuce – we plan a mix of different lettuce and plant it in 3 week increments. It does great in partial shade as it can wilt if it’s too hot. Tastes great and perfect for a summer salad (easy to add some tomatoes on top)!
-Blueberries – Normally we get a great harvest – need water! 🙂
-Raspberries – I planted these for the first time last year. They were so good and easy. They almost grow like a weed, so be careful where you plant them as we had new shoots popping up in our grass. I think they’d be great in a big planter box or galvanized tub to help contain the shoots. We grew them on our fence and tied them up with string. Also great to add to a salad with some apple and balsamic.
Herbs – We grow these in a pot right out the door so they’re easy to access come dinner time and also remember to water them frequently. Our favorites are green onions (chives), basil(great for caprese salad), rosemary(perfect on baby reds), cilantro (have to cut it back frequently to keep it from blooming, and eventually will still bloom, then it doesn’t really produce many more leaves, but once it flowers & the flowers/seeds dry they are coriander seeds so you can harvest those if you’d like). Those have been our favorites, but we’ve tried others too.
Not such great successes & why they didn’t work for me:
-Broccoli – I couldn’t seem to harvest it before it started to flower and it needs a lot of space, so nixed it for future plantings.
-Rhubarb – this grew GREAT in our garden, like a weed, I seriously couldn’t kill it, it kept coming back, but I’ve never made anything with Rhubarb and just didn’t have any confidence or time in attempting something new, so I finally dug it up and gave it to our neighbor. She usually gets multiple harvests and has made some great recipes. Maybe I’ll try it again in the future…
-Blueberries in 2015 – see above, normally they are great!
-Squash – I tried a summer squash which is planted late summer. I think this only didn’t work as I planted it too late so it was ready in the fall and I would forget about it and several of them ended up rotting as it got wet and I didn’t pick them soon enough. I think they were more of a fail on my part than the actual veggie!
After writing this post I’m getting really excited to go pick up some seeds and start planning our garden!! I’d love to hear your feedback!! What you’ve had success with? Other veggies to try? Tips for my garden?