arugula basil beets bell-pepper broccoli brussel-sprouts cabbage carrot catnip
cayenne-pepper chives cilantro collard-greens corn cucumber Garlic green beans
habenero kale leek lettuce melon mescaline onions parsley parsnip peas pepper
peppermint potato pumpkin rosemary rutabaga scallons spinach squash sugar-peas
tomatillo tomato turnip watermelon
The second thing to do is to figure out what makes the most sense to grow -- not so much from a cost perspective, but from a desire to grow clean versions of things that usually test postive for herbicides or pesticides. Things like sweet corn, sweet potatoes, kale and summer squashes get on the list because of that.
Ok, time to work through the seed catalogs. lets take "carrot" as an example
I've got three catalogs I'm working through, and there are sure a lot of choices for carrots. Yellow carrots and long carrots and short carrots... How big are carrot seeds? what's the time to harvest? Row spacing? What kind of soil do they like? a little work on the computer, and I add the carrots to the map of the garden, and then move on to the next thing on the list.
I also note a rough guide on when to plant, and, more importantly, when to start the plants indoors so that they're big enough to transplant.
I've also got a box of seeds, leftovers from previous years. I can use as much land as I want this time; but I've found that for me, anything over a half-acre of garden is just wasted. I only have so much time to weed and tend it, and if I go above a half acre it just doesn't get done. I could probably mechanize somehow, but a half-acre of ground is LOTS of vegetables. .
I'm a little old-fashioned about this. I like pictures, and I like being able to leaf through the catalogs. My garden map is on a legal pad; a rough scale drawing of the amount of space and placement of crops, along
with some notes on succession planting of parts.
So if I want to eat a salad a week, I should plant 2 or 3 lettuce plants a week so that at least one has a good chance of making it to the dinner table.
I also have a good place for any spare vegetables to go. The pigs and cows are where the #2 crops go, and some #1 crops, too, if we're not going to eat them in time.