Vegetables: Selection

March 26, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF

Vegetables | Selection | Planning and Preparing | Planting | Maintenance | Problems

Links to external web pages are followed by the source's name in parentheses.

Growing plants from seed is a good way to grow a number of interesting vegetable varieties. (Photo credit: Karen Jeannette)
Growing plants from seed is a good way to grow a number of interesting vegetable varieties. (Photo credit: Karen Jeannette)

Selecting vegetables and herbs for the home garden is commonly achieved by what appeals to the senses of taste and smell. An individual crop's requirement for spacing, sun preference, watering, fertility, and upkeep may place limitations on the home gardener's ability to grow or care for that crop.

Fortunately, different varieties of vegetables enable gardeners to grow more types of crops in more types of spaces and situations. Gone are the days of needing large plots to grow cucumbers to pickle or long growing seasons to grow tasty tomatoes. Breeders are bringing more varieties to the home garden than ever before. Whether a gardener's limitations are dictated by a lack of space, disease resistance, or the length of growing season, the right plant to fit a particular niche has never been so accessible.

Guides for Vegetable Selection

Find information for selecting vegetables and herbs to grow in the home garden in the following resources:

  • Vegetable Growing Guide (Cornell University) contains guides to 58 garden vegetables. Each profile contains a detailed description and growing instructions, site and soil requirements, varieties, and solutions for managing pests and diseases.

Selecting Heirloom Vegetables

  • Heirloom Vegetable Gardening (Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee) is of interest to many vegetable gardeners these days. Click on the "Listing" link to see specific heirloom varieties for a number of common vegetable crops.

Assorted herbs. (Photo credit: Karen Jeannette)
Assorted herbs. (Photo credit: Karen Jeannette)

Selecting Herbs

  • Growing herbs in the home garden (West Virginia State University Extension) provides information about the history of herbs, growing herbs both indoors and outdoors, drying, and individual herb culture, harvesting, and use.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.