Best vegetable to grow?

A good idea, but YMMV. I had great luck doing that in Western MA, but the Flint Hills farmers markets didn’t break out by variety, and what they had on offer was considerably smaller than what I grew. I left a few years ago, so it may be better now. The per pound price is usually comparable, but you don’t have to do shipping, and you can mix and match. However, you also have a higher risk of disease, such as garlic bloat nematode, which can ruin your field for garlic!

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Favorites #1: things that bear a little bit at a time, so I can steal enough from a small garden for a small, fresh something to make dinner nicer over and over again for months. Green beans, loose leaf lettuce and perennial herbs.

Favorites #2: Garlic scapes and Basil. Because I love pestos. Pestoes? Pesti?

The rest of my garden is fun but gives me gray hair and fat slugs.

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Peas. Green peas, snap peas and snow peas - all totally superior to store varieties. Easy to grow, too, if the rabbits don’t get them.

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Thanks Jay, that makes sense. If I am successful the first year and can save seed, then I can see it being worth it to me. I have a hard time parting with $20 for a pound of seed… I am cheap!!! :smirk:

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If I get to a farmer’s market, I will look for some different garlic varieties, thanks for the tip. I should be wary of potential disease, as @jcguarneri mentioned though.
The last garlic I saw at a local farmer’s market was 2 years ago. It looked pretty, all braided up. I almost bought some, but when I felt the heads, the cloves were empty, all dried up! I don’t know if the vendor realized that, or was trying to sell it to unsuspecting buyers…

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Yeah I got lucky and had some good vendors to purchase from. One was an Amish family and the other made all kinds of garlic products. Now knowing how much better it is than store bought I wouldn’t hesitate to buy cloves from a seed supplier.

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@KSprairie, my one caveat on variety performance is that I was working in sandy loam River bottom soil and not in the heavy clay so typical of the Flint Hills. From what I understand, that shouldn’t matter too much so long as you have a lot of organic matter.

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Thank you for the additional info… I am going to make a new bed out of an area that is currently grass. I can incorporate a lot of compost, hay, leaves etc. into the area since it is very heavy clay with rock. If I can get it ready, I will plant this year. It would probably be better to work on establishing the bed this year and planting next year. I am impatient, and also a procrastinator! We will see which side wins out. :wink:

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Get it ready now and grow beans or southern peas in it! It will be ready and in great shape for the garlic come planting time in October/November. Plus the beans will add some Nitrogen.

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Really freshly picked young Brussel sprouts were a revelation to me. Feldsalat/mache too, can’t buy it but it’s incredible. Sweet peas. Salad greens. Sweet corn (if you don’t have a good local grower). If you’ve never had sweet corn the same day it’s picked, you can’t imagine what you are missing. I live close to corn country and have access to the most amazing corn but if I didn’t I’d be growing it myself.

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amend your soil with some bonemeal and blood meal a month before putting them in and mulch with straw to about 5-6in. after planting. they’re pretty easy to grow.

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Another great green is edible chrysanthemum. It’s a strong flavor, and you’ll either love it out hate it. Great in stirfry, noodle soups, or tempura. Also, try wild arugula. I like the flavor better than regular arugula, and it can perrennialize.

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dig your sod out in squares and flip them upside down back in the same hole. this will kill the grass then put some more good soil on top. about 5-6in. plant in that . as the sod rots it will feed your garlic. its a little labor intensive but you can plant right away.

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thanks Moose. I’ve never amended with either blood or bonemeal, so I will look for that. Glad they like thick mulch. Should help keep the weeds down! Should they have full sun or do they prefer part-time shade?

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full sun works best. i have similar soil as you and as long as you get some amendments in there they will grow for you. if you don’t want to dig up the sod put down a few layers of cardboard and then some soil. it will smother the grass then rot allowing the plants to grow into the native soil in 6 mo. also feeding your plants. only way i can grow anything here. planting anything but the toughest plants directly into my soil is a death sentence for most things that like good drainage.

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Hands down: Tomatoes

The first year you grow tomatoes is just after the last year you didn’t grow tomatoes. There is no comparison. Buying flavorless tomatoes in the store, even in the dead of the winter is entirely unappealing. I don’t think we bought any last winter, other than canned.

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That’s how I approach most tree and shrub plantings too. Anything planted directly into the ground struggles so bad and is very stunted compared to those planted up in raised beds or mounds. I will start growing garlic using these great tips! Thank you!

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Oh man, just about everything I grow is better than a lot of what we buy, even at farmers markets when you pay a lot, it doesn’t always equate to taste.

Sometimes we get lucky and something from the store tastes decent or even really good, but when that happens it’s more surprising. The opposite is true for home grown for us.

For vegetables, I do gravitate towards those less common in the store varieties.

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I like to grow an extensive variety of herbs. The ones in the grocery store are always nasty looking and super expensive, and I use fresh herbs to cook with almost every day.

Today’s recipe was homemade Green Goddess salad dressing, using chives, garlic chives, parsley, sorrel, and tarragon. It was yummy :smiley:

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Agree with lots already mentioned. The one that surprised me the most with the homegrown difference is asparagus. I’ve had it pretty fresh and thought that was good enough but when it is cut and eaten right away, it has sweetness that is really great.
That special sweet fades very fast, like in a few hours and even direct refrigeration doesn’t hold it. Cut and cook is the only way to go.

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