5 Reasons to Eliminate Some Garden Crops


butternut squash chili 

In the deep winter, there's nothing like a nice hot bowl of butternut squash chili to ward off the cold.

There are all kinds of reasons to plant a particular vegetable: abundance (zucchini), nutrition (Swiss chard), cut it and it grows back (lettuce), speed (arugula, green peas, radish), tastiness (tomatoes, watermelon), variety (there’s so much, like cucamelons, that you won’t find in your supermarket), and so on. But how do you narrow your gardening priorities?

My husband and I are adventurous gardeners. We’re always interested in trying something new. So we’ve tried artichokes, kiwano melons, amaranth, flint corn, popcorn, celeriac, tomatillos, ground cherries—just to name a few. We’ve grown as many as fifty different vegetables and fruits in one season, all for family eating.

We have our favorites: Swiss chard is a reliable, nutritious, cut-and-come-again crop that grows all season long. We can’t get enough of Christmas lima and scarlet runner beans. The same can be said for asparagus. Butternut squash is tasty, stores easily, and lasts a long time in storage. This year, it was May before we finished off our butternut squash harvest!   

But we’ve found there may be just as many reasons to NOT grow certain vegetables as to grow them, aside from what our taste buds like (a good reason in itself). Determining how to eliminate a few vegetables from your overgrown wish list will give you more room to plant what works best for you and your family.

6/18/2019 10:01:19 AM

I agree! In the beginning, we tried growing everything we could. Experimenting was fun! But after years of gardening we have whittled our crops down to the few we actually use. Tomatoes (absolutely) Green beans.Lettuce and spinach in spring and fall. Broccoli only if I can get it in early enough to beat the cabbage moth. Jalapenos (but not green peppers). Cantaloupe and Red Kuri winter squash I grow on the fence surrounding the garden. I don't have room on the ground for it. But Red Kuri is a favorite that you can't find anywhere else. I don't grow zucchini anymore, squash bugs are terrible here- but I do grow 'Italian Trumpet Squash' which is a summer squash that tastes and cooks just like zucchini- with NO seeds down the middle.Squash bugs don't seem to like them very much. There are other favorites like asparagus and cherries that are permanently in the garden, but we only grow what we like now.

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