Choosing Which Vegetables to Grow in Your Garden | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Choosing Which Vegetables to Grow in Your Garden

People often ask us for advice on which vegetables to choose. In this video, we’re going to demonstrate how our online Garden Planner will suggest the best crops for you, according to the kind of garden you have—whether a large yard, small space, or even a balcony or rooftop garden.

Choosing which vegetables are best to grow? The answer depends on a number of factors. Watch our video or read on for our three-step process which will help you make the right choices for your garden.

1. Produce a shortlist

Think about your priorities. Do you want plants that are easy to grow? Or, are you looking for some plants that are shade-tolerant? 

The Garden Planner has a handy Filter button which enables you to ask the Garden Planner to just show plants that match your requirements.

You can also select several criteria at once, such as selecting herbs that are shade-tolerant, frost-tolerant and can be planted in May in your location.

2. Choose crops that are appropriate for the space you have available

If you have a small garden, space will be at a premium and you’ll probably want to grow high-value vegetables such as tomatoes and climbing beans which have high yields and are expensive to buy at the grocery store.

On the other hand, if your garden area is large you may wish to concentrate on growing plants that need little maintenance and are easy to store, such as potatoes or squash.

Our Garden Planner will show you just how many plants can be placed in the area. Hover over a row or block of plants to view the quantity, or drag the handles to adjust the area for the size of harvest you want.

3. Select your favorites

Narrow down your selection to vegetables that taste wonderful when freshly harvested. For example, once picked the sugars in sweet corn start to turn to starches, so there’s nothing quite like the taste of garden-grown cobs picked just before eating. The same goes for fresh peas, which make a delicious healthy snack for kids.

As home gardeners we have access to many delicious varieties that don’t suit the requirements of supermarkets, and growing more than one type each year is a great way to experiment and learn what’s best for you.

Choosing the best crops to grow takes time – you need to consider the space you have, the soil and climate, your favorite vegetables and whether you want to concentrate on short-lived-but-tasty summer harvests, or long-lasting storage crops.

Are you going to grow crops that save a lot of money, or ones that don’t require much time? What about delicious new varieties that you can’t buy in the shops?

Having all the information you need at your fingertips makes it easier to plan the right crops for your garden. By following these three steps when browsing your favorite seed catalog you can quickly produce your shortlist and plan for a bountiful harvest!

Try out the Online Garden Planner

We’re offering a free 7-day trial to play around with the online Garden Planner, too!  The Garden Planner is available here: https://gardenplanner.almanac.com/ 

About The Author

Benedict Vanheems

Benedict Vanheems is the author of GrowVeg and a lifelong gardener with a BSc and an RHS General Certificate in horticulture. Read More from Benedict Vanheems

2023 Gardening Club

David E Mears (not verified)

6 years 7 months ago

I have a major problem with your garden videos! They contain so much information about what I don't know that I spend half my day just reading/watching on your web site I have little time left to put things into practice. :-) Great website and I am learning more daily. Next season (after going over everything again this winter) I expect I will have learned enough to supply the whole neighborhood with garden fresh veggies. OFA is the best source of information on most any problem that might occur in my day to day life.

I Have 3 questions. I live in Greece and have a garden in Australia. Converting dates is easy just move summer to winter but converting US times, when to plant has me stumped.
Does your garden planner do locations outside America.
Do you have a how-to collect seeds, process and preparation to plant as I have many heritage / heirloom verities including citrus and stone fruit collected from Corfu and to complicate matters many imported heritage / heirloom seeds from Australia and want to know how to prepare these properly for planting
and my third question.
as I have no garden as probably 10 mil of the Greek population do you have a chart that shows what can be planted on a sunny balcony.
thanx Kerry Forides for my Facebook page on heritage seed support is Kerry Cameraworks.