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With 2,000 square feet of vegetable garden, I’m not a small space gardener, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t put a lot of thought into my spring seed orders, spending weeks debating which crops and specific varieties to grow. Experimenting with various veggies is one of my favourite things about being a gardener, plus, I then get to share the results of these trials in my books, articles, and on social media.
Of course, there is always room in the garden for family favourites – after all, the garden isn’t just about variety testing and we gotta eat! Our must-have’s include ‘Sungold’ tomatoes, ‘Cherokee Purple’ tomatoes, ‘Emerite’ pole beans, ‘Napoli’ carrots, and ‘Lemon’ cucumbers, to name a few, and each year a few new picks get added to this collection of favourites.
In 2014 the garden was in full experimental mode with 7 varieties of zucchini, 8 varieties of cucumbers, 23 varieties of tomatoes, 17 varieties of lettuce, 7 varieties of potatoes, and 8 varieties of kale, under cultivation. Choosing what to grow can be rather difficult. Last year, my garden included a range of plants, some of which were not yet available in seed catalogues (still in the testing phase), as well as just-released or All-America Selection winners. I also planted heirloom edibles or varieties that I just hadn’t had a chance to grow before, but finally had space to plant. Part of the decision making comes from research, seed samples that I receive, simple curiosity, as well as suggestions from fellow gardeners and social media friends who share their own favourite edibles.
I’ll admit that I’m still making my list for the 2015 garden, and am happily taking suggestions! So…
What are you going to experiment with in your garden this year?