The experimental vegetable garden

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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.

Related Post: Choosing vegetable seeds for garden success

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.

A few zucchini varieties - 'Clairmore', 'Romanesco', 'Raven' & another 'Romanesco'.

A few zucchini varieties – ‘Clairmore’, ‘Romanesco’, ‘Raven’ & another ‘Romanesco’.

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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.

Related Post: Cherry tomato round up

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?

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4 Responses to The experimental vegetable garden

  1. Angie Vanden says:

    I am trying Ground Cherries this year – pretty excited about them! As well, Old German tomatoes 🙂

    • savvygardening says:

      Ooh, exciting Angie! Ground cherries are so yummy, but can re-seed rather rampantly in the garden so be sure to clean up fallen fruits..

    • Angie Vanden says:

      Yes, I had read that warning – that they can almost turn into a pesty weed! I’m being sure to plant them ‘out’ of the vegetable garden, and in a area where if they did indeed spread, I’d be okay with it. My luck though – a squirrel or something will bring them into the vegetable bed lol.

    • Gardenerd says:

      Angie!! I’m going to try Ground Cherries this year as well! I never thought they would do well in SoCal, but a gardening friend sent me some seeds to try.

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