It is late winter or early spring and I am just starting seeds for the summer vegetables I plan to grow. If you are in a cooler weather zone than me you might still be in the planning stages. Click here for some help in planning your garden. I hope what I am growing in my vegetable garden this year will get you excited to grow some of these as well!
My last frost date it April 8th so I plan to move my tomato seedlings a few weeks after that date and my peppers in May when the nighttime temperatures are above 55 degrees. Find your last spring frost date online and count back 6-8 weeks so you know know when to start seeds inside. You can also search planting dates for the crops you want to grow so you know when to plant them in your zone. You can also just go to your local nursery and buy plants when the time comes! Starting seeds inside gives you a head start on the season but it’s also perfectly fine to buy plants from a local nursery.
Whether you have a small garden or a huge home garden, growing your own vegetables is amazing. Your vegetables will taste so much better than what you can buy in the grocery store! Back to what I am growing in my vegetable garden this year.
Here in NC it can be challenging to grow cool-season crops like brussels sprouts, swiss chard and leafy greens because often times the temperatures get too hot in late spring. However I did find this super fun vegetable that says it can grow in the summer heat so I am going to give it a try! Here is what the website says about it so you can totally see why I am adding this to my garden plan.
Yod Fah Chinese Broccoli – The delectable, tender stalks taste like a cross between asparagus and broccoli, only sweeter. Our favorite spring vegetable, this is a very easy-to-grow broccoli-like plant from China. We can’t get enough of the crisp stems and shoots, which are about as thick as a large asparagus shoot, with a perfect snap and crunch. Nothing goes to waste with this crop; all parts of the plant are delicious. The tender blue-green, glossy leaves are similar to kale but better, and the broccoli-like inflorescence are buttery soft and nutty in flavor. A must have for those who long for broccoli but struggle to grow it, excellent for market gardeners as well. Yod Fah is a selection from Thailand that boasts good heat resistance.
I also planted some carrots in my Greenstalk planter hoping it wont get too hot too quickly. If you are interested in seeing what I grew in my Greenstalk last fall click here. I also have a discount code if you’re ready to get one. I HIGHLY recommend them. You can grow so much and it doesn’t take up much space. Click here for the discount code.
Parisienne Carrots – ohh la la!
New Kuroda – the sweetest ones. I am here for it.
Let’s talk tomatoes (my favorite vegetable crops to grow)
I grew 17 varieties of tomatoes last year and while it was amazing, it was also completely overwhelming on my small property. I didn’t have proper supports for all of them so it became challenging to keep up with it all. This year I am pulling back just a bit and with what I learned, I will be better prepared to give them the room and support they need. My husband still thinks I am being too ambitious but once you see my list, you will understand why I am adding these to my garden space.
Green Zebra – I am starting these at the request of one of my local clients. Of course it will end up in my garden too!
I have linked them all so you can read about them and add them to your garden if you’d like! I do want to comment on the Micro Tom though because these are so darn adorable and perfect for kids! Definitely check that out if you have some tomato loving littles. I started some for my littles and also my niece and a few friends. It’s also fairly obvious I am a sucker for a well named seed.
Peppers – Another favorite!
I also overdid peppers last year as well! I grew 12 varieties and while some were epic it was too much in my small yard. I still have frozen peppers that I haven’t used yet!
I am only growing two varieties of bell peppers so I can really focus on growing them well. Last year I think I had too many, too close together and I didn’t get as many as we needed for fresh eating. Everyone loves red and yellow bell peppers so I am hoping this will pay off with a more bountiful harvest!
If I have room I will also grow Mexican Sour Gherkins because last year I didn’t have room but really wanted to grow them.
I will succession plant beans because we eat a ton and I would like a bountiful harvest all season long. I haven’t grown a lot of pole beans but I think I will try to work in a few varieties next year.
The vine borers and squash bugs nearly destroyed my entire harvest last year but I am going to try again. I plan to use a row cover early on so they don’t pay eggs on my plants and I am hoping diatomaceous earth will help with the vine borers. I have read the best time to plant squash in my hot and humid zone is late July to avoid some of these pest issues. I am still trying to figure that out because I know winter squash need 100 days to grow before you can harvest them. This is where careful planning is so important.
I am going to grow flowers too but I have been so engrossed in vegetable varieties that I haven’t spent time deciding what to plant. I do know I am growing these Chocolate Cherry Sunflowers. How gorgeous are these??
We are in this together
I hope this has given you some inspiration for your own garden . Growing your own food is such a rewarding thing, not only feeding your family good food filled with nutrition but also getting much more self sufficient. In these uncertain times I believe we all need to learn how to grow food. Anyone can do it no matter where you live. I killed so many plants before I started my first garden! I am a city girl and those who knew me when I lived in New England actually can’t believe I am getting my hands dirty. 2020 changed everything and really challenged my understanding of our food supply and lit a fire in my soul to learn food independence.
I can help you if you’re ready
Join my email list, use this link to get my FREE mini course called Gardening is For Everyone! Connect with people like me who are trying to learn what we need to provide in an old fashioned way. If you need more guidance or just don’t want to spend hours doing research consider signing up for my Get Rooted Garden Consultation. I take all the mistakes I made and things I learned and give you what you need to get started strong. It does really help to have someone come along side you.
The important thing to remember is that you are not alone in your desire for a simpler life, with delicious organic fresh food and the satisfaction knowing you can do it yourself.