I have a confession to make. I will overbuy plants and seeds, given the opportunity. I’m always trying to tuck one more veggie plant in somewhere. Just somewhere. It drives my engineer husband crazy sometimes when he sees pepper and tomato plants growing in the flower beds.
I’m just trying to maximize the space.
So far this spring, we’ve planted snap peas, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, red cabbage, and chinese cabbage – all cool weather crops. In another week or so, I will plant 2 more rows of lettuce and spinach to keep the harvest going throughout the spring.
Given our 6/7 zone, I wait until Mother’s Day to plant my hot weather plants like tomatoes and peppers. When the spring has been particularly warm, I will plant them a week or two earlier. Our last frost date is April 14th, but I like to give the plants a little more if the spring has been cool and wet. Check here to find out your last frost date.
Comprehensive list of vegetables we’ve grown:
Tomatoes – grape, cherry, plum, and beefstake
Cherry tomatoes are fabulous producers. You only need one plant for a family of four. Another one if you plan on dehydrating the tomatoes. We can the plum tomatoes (link) and use them for spaghetti sauce.
Peppers – green, red, and yellow, plus banana and cayenne
I tend to over plant the green peppers. We never use what I think we will. This year I may focus on the red, yellow and cayenne peppers. We dry the cayenne peppers for my husband who likes to sprinkle them on his spaghetti and meatballs.
Broccoli and cauliflower
Great cool weather crops with almost no issues. Harlequin bugs (link) are my nemesis when it comes to broccoli. Fortunately, they produce long before the bugs show up and end the harvest.
We love these, and the vines are prolific as long as they get enough water. Snap peas freeze okay; I’ll freeze them if we get overwhelmed. I also like to share them with neighbors.
Lettuce and other greens
I like to plant these every 2 to 3 weeks in short rows. This keeps us supplied with lettuce almost all summer, even when it’s hot. I prefer to use the mesclun mix to get a nice mix of dark-colored greens along with some spicy ones.
We’ve grown both bush and pole beans. Personally, I prefer the bush beans, because the pole beans use up a lot of space in our garden. I plant the bush beans in short rows every 2 to 3 weeks to make the harvest manageable during the summer.
The first time I planted potatoes, we had worms. However, since then, we have not had many issues with our potatoes. They’re an easy, hands-off crop that produces a decent yield. If I could fit more potato plants in our garden, I would.
This is an easy crop, but it can be attacked by the harlequin bugs. Usually they hit the broccoli before they look for the kale. This year, I may try planting the kale in our flower beds away from where the harlequin bugs usually are.