Choosing the right plants for your outdoor garden can be simple when you base your decision upon the needs of particular plants. Soil type, sunlight, temperature and location all play a part in determining the healthy growth of your plants. Consider also the type of plants you want to grow. Vegetables are always popular additions to outdoor gardens.
Green beans are the second most popular garden vegetable, second only to tomatoes. Easy to grow and care for, green beans vigorously produce an abundant crop for use in soups, casseroles, and a myriad of other dishes. Once all danger of frost has passed, plant the seeds 1 inch deep in fertile, well-drained soil. Choose a warm and sunny location for planting. Plant the seeds in a location that has not previously been used to grow green beans. This will prevent the plants from picking up diseases. You may also choose to purchase green bean seeds that have been treated with a fungicide, which helps to prevent certain diseases. Once planted, water the seeds and continue to water regularly, about one time each week during dry conditions. Harvest the beans when the pods are firm and bulging.
Potatoes are a garden favorite. They grow without much help from the gardener and they store well. They grow from seed potatoes, which can be found at garden supply stores each spring. Cut the seed potatoes into quarters, making sure to have at least one "eye" on each quarter. Potato "eyes" look like round bumps on the potato skin; some eyes have small, hair-like roots growing from them. Plant them in well-drained and loamy soil, which allows for the vigorous and hearty production of roots. Keep the soil consistently moist, and avoid over-watering. Potatoes do not grow well in bog conditions. The potatoes will produce foliage and blooms, which eventually die off. About three weeks after the potato blooms have died, the potatoes are ready to harvest. Gently rake away the soil from under the plant and dig out the potatoes. The longer you leave them in the ground, the larger they will grow. Grow potatoes in a different spot about every three years to prevent certain diseases from infecting your crops year after year.
Cucumbers are grown for pickling and slicing. The pickling variety refers to cucumbers grown for making pickles. The slicing variety refers to those grown for fresh eating and other uses. Plant the seeds, four to five per hill of dirt, in well-drained, composted soil. Apply mulch to keep the soil consistently moist and prevent weeds. Harvest the cucumbers 50 to 70 days after planting, before they have a chance to turn yellow. Cucumbers in the yellow-skinned stage have a bitter taste.