Vegetable Garden Seeds and Seedlings
When you go to the garden center, you might feel like a kid in a candy store. There are hundreds of varieties of seeds from heirloom to organic and everything in between. And the seedlings are simply begging to be picked up and put in your basket! Although it will be incredibly tempting to grab one of each, go in with a plan and save your future-self time and money.
1) Only plant vegetables you know you and your family will eat. If you don't like turnips, then don't plant them! Gardening takes a lot of time and effort, so don't waste your time growing something that you don't want to eat.
2) Make a map of your garden and know how many square feet you have planted before you go. I use the All New Square Foot Gardening Book by Mel Bartholomew to plan my raised bed and containers.
3) You will need to know what plant hardiness zone you are in and look at the seed packages to ensure that they will thrive in your environment. Most of the big box stores already do this for you but double-check anyway.
4) The seedlings available in your area stores should be rated for your plant hardiness zone, but double-check that as well. Make sure to read the labels carefully to give them enough sunlight and space to grow.
5) Use your map to decide on placement. For instance, if you are going to plant climbing beans, you need stakes for them to climb on, and they should be in a place that they do not shade the other plants.
Below is what's happening in my garden right now.
Here is what I have planted in my garden right now.
In my raised bed garden, a 4 x 8 square foot plot:
Starting on the farthest row (4 square feet) to the left, I have beets, six plants per sq ft.
The next row is spinach, 6 per sq ft.
The following two rows are carrots, 6 per sq ft.
The adjacent two rows are Spanish black beans, 4 per sq ft.
The last two rows are Purple green beans, 4 per sq ft.
In my 2 ft sq barrels:
Potatoes, 5 per barrel
Tomatoes, one per barrel
Corn, 5 per barrel
Pro tip: Consider planting marigolds interspersed around the garden to keep bugs away and to ask for Santa Muerte's blessing in the garden.