- Tomatoes- home grown tomatoes just can't be beat. After growing my own tomatoes since I was a teenager, I can hardly stand to eat tomatoes from the store in the winter. They are basically cardboard compared to home grown tomatoes. There are so many fun varieties to choose from like paste tomatoes to make salsa and pasta sauce or heirloom varieties that come in all colors, shapes and sizes. We like to try new varieties all the time to keep things interesting. We always have some roma or other paste tomatoes in our garden as we love to make and bottle salsa.
- Green beans/ Peas- These can be done on a rotation. Plant the peas early in the spring then as they start to die out, you can plant the beans. You can grow either a bush bean or if you want to have a trellis for the beans to grow up, plant the vine beans. Green beans produce a good crop for a small space and are easy to grow. Just be sure to check them daily or every other day when they start producing. Both beans and peas will slow down production if there are pods left on to develop to maturity.
- Squash- Squash plants are heavy producers and usually you would need only one plant of a particular variety to get enough production for a family. Summer squash like zucchini and yellow crook neck can be grown in bush form to take up less space if that is an issue. They can also be in vine form and can be grown up a trellis. The squash plants that produce bigger fruit can also be grown on a heavy duty trellis however the thing you need to watch for: is it being too heavy for the vine to hold up. You can support the large squash with fabric or mesh tied to the trellis so that it doesn't break off the vine and fall before it is ripe. Squash dose not ripen off the vine very well so be sure to pick it as close to perfect ripeness as possible. Cucumber and melons are also in the Squash family and can be grown fairly easily accepting watermelon is slightly harder to grow and doesn't produce as much as the other squash family plants. But oh how wonderful it is to eat a home grown watermelon!
Those 3 vegetables grown in your garden will give you the biggest bang for your buck and are all easy to grow. But always grow what you will eat and sometimes that means growing things every other year. My family gets sick of some things after a great year of production so we will plant something else the next year to give a break.