As a novice gardener, you are wondering which varieties will be the best vegetables to grow in your garden. There are three things to consider. The best vegetables for home gardening are the ones you love to eat. Of course, it’s also a good rule to try something new each growing season. The second consideration is to grow the variety of vegetable that is suggested for your area’s average growing season length. The last consideration is when to plant vegetable seeds or plants in your home garden. You will have the best results if you plant after the last frost in your location.
The most popular plant grown in the home garden is the tomato. Only a few plants are needed to accommodate a whole family. If you live in a short growing season location (northern states), you will want to choose a tomato plant that grows fast, in less than 60 days. This type of tomato is called the First-Early Red. Sub Arctic Plenty (45 days to harvest), Early Cascade (55 days), Early Girl (54 days) and Quick Pick (60 days) are all varieties from this type of tomato.
For those locations with a bit longer growing season, choose the Medium-Early Red. Varieties of this type of tomato are Champion (65 days) and Mountain Spring (65 days). For locations with long growing seasons, the Main-Crop Red would be a good choice. Of course, longer growing season locations can grow any of the other plants for early tomatoes. Some varieties to choose from are Mountain Delight (70 days), Fantastic (70 days) or Supersonic (79 days).
Zucchini is not the only summer squash, but is probably the most popular one grown by home gardeners. There is always a joke or two going around about what to do with all of your zucchini, as it grows in abundance. This is a squash that matures very quickly and can be grown in almost any location in the United States. It should be picked while it is still fairly small and tender, before maturity. It's always wise to plant just one mound (three seeds) the first time you plant it. If it is not enough, you can grow two mounds the following year. The reason for this, besides the abundant growth, is that squash and melon plants take up a great deal of space. If you grow too many plants, as a home gardener, you may have to eliminate other crops. Black Beauty takes 56 days to first harvest. Coczella takes 50 days to first harvest. Jasper takes about 40 to 45 days to first harvest. Zucchini plants will produce until the first frost in your location.
Sweet corn on the cob seems to be as American as apple pie. All over the country, through the summer and into the fall months, you can enjoy it. It does take a bit longer to mature, but there are some hybrid seeds for shorter growing seasons. Sweet corn grows roots that spread deeply into the earth. Therefore, make sure you dig down at least two feet and break up the soil, when preparing the ground. This will make it easier for tender young seedlings. If you live in a location that gets a lot of wind, plant your corn in a sheltered area, but make sure it still receives plenty of sunshine.
Trinity (hybrid) and Early Sunglow (hybrid) mature in about 64 days. These two varieties, as well as long growing season seeds can be started indoors and planted as seedlings as soon as the last frost has passed. Honey Select (79 days), Xtra Sweet (72 days) and Northern Xtra Sweet (67 days) are excellent-tasting sweet corn choices.