Deciding what you should plant in your garden this year can be daunting, there are so many splendid options. The key to choosing your plants is to make a gardening plan that inspires you and to keep to that plan when you march off to the gardening store. Every plant can be alluring when you are hungry to grow. Before you buy, consider the following questions to make the most of your space, time, and dollars.
Here’s What You Should Plant in Your Garden this Year:
What Are Your Favorite Smells and Flavors?
What colors would you like to see when you wake up every morning? What smells would you have fill your kitchen? What flavors do you want to taste in your tea or your omelet for breakfast?
These are the most important questions you can ask yourself when thinking about what food to grow, whether it be on your windowsill or in the patch of grass along the sidewalk. Do thoughts of lettuces named Golden Frills and Ruby Streaks thrill you? Me too! And just because they say gardeners are supposed to grow tomatoes doesn’t mean you should, unless you salivate at thoughts of homemade ketchup, tomato marmalade, and panzanella salad—in large quantities. There is no need to toil away at a garden or even a window box unless it is producing something that you want to eat. So pick your favorites, the same way you would at a restaurant. Your micro plot of land, your fire escape, or your windowsill are going to be your menu.
What Do You Spend the Most Money On?
If you are thinking about the economics of growing your own food, ask yourself what you eat in a given week. Are you a lover of tomato sauce? Or is fried okra more your thing? Are you buying a lot of lettuce at the grocery store because you are a chopped salad fiend? Try planting what will save you money.
What’s Missing from Your Grocery Store?
Speaking of your grocery store, what do you wish yours had more of? Does it have candy striped beets, purple potatoes, white eggplant, or other unusual flavors and colors? Or a wonderful assortment of hot peppers for all of your homemade hot sauce needs? If the answer is no, try growing several varieties to diversify the flavors available to you in your cooking.
What Are the Demands of Your Space and Your Life?
Think about your particular environment. How much sun does your chosen gardening spot actually get? Also consider your time. Is the plant high-maintenance? How much will it yield? Find the answers before you decide. If you’re a busy lawyer, do you really want to fuss over a single artichoke and give it valuable space?