What I'm Growing in This Year's Garden and Why

Wednesday, January 31, 2024


I know it's only January but these months go by and I miss gardening so I take advantage of this non-garden friendly weather to plan out what I will be planting and growing in this year's garden.  I always reflect on what worked in last year's garden, what I didn't eat a lot of, and what didn't seem to thrive, and that's how I determine what I'll do this year.  So here's what I plan to grow in 2024.

I will always grow lettuce even if am someday to old to grow anything else.  This is because nothing beats a fresh salad in the Spring and Summer.  I usually grow romaine lettuce, kale, butter crunch, and bibb lettuce but sometimes I switch it up.  I buy my seeds towards the end of Winter so I can get an early start as soon the season's about to change.  Lettuce is a cold weather crop so it's a great way for me to get my gardening fix in as early as possible in the season even when other crops can't be planted yet. I usually can keep my lettuce growing through mid summer before it starts going to seed because of the temperatures.  And by then I'm usually getting sick of salads... if that's even a thing. To harvest it I simply go outside with my garden scissors and snip leaves every 2-3 days.  I do this AFTER I water my lettuce because that's my way of rinsing it off.  I bring it inside and then place it in a ziplock bag in the fridge. There's a separate bag for each type of lettuce and I poke holes in it with a fork so it can breathe a little and not get all icky from the moisture. 

Sugar Snap Peas
This is a new one for me and I have never grown peas but everyone says it's super easy. I'll have a trellis available to use since I won't be using it for cucumbers (more on that later) so I already have the supplies, I will just get the seeds whenever I shop for my lettuce seeds.  I also want to grow peas since they are another cool weather crop that will do well in the early growing season and let me get my garden fix in.  

I love peppers and even though there are all kinds to choose from I'm going to stick with my two favorites that I love eating but also that seem to thrive in my garden beds. Gypsy bells and basic sweet bell peppers always grow fast and well in my beds.  I rarely have them go bad on the vine.  I have tried other types of sweet peppers but they often stay on the vine too long and don't turn color so I'm sticking with the ones I know will do well. 

I'm also doing banana peppers again as well as jalapeno and pepperoncini.  These do well in my beds and we eat them all the time.  I always add the peppers to our pizzas too.  Since these are smaller peppers they don't take up tons of room in my garden beds and are very low maintenance.  Another small pepper I'm going to try this year is shishito peppers.  This will be a new one for me but I like the taste so we will see how they do. 

I always grow tomatoes to add to things, make pasta sauce, and for tomato sandwiches.  I usually just grow one plant because they take up so much space and need regular pruning.

What I'm NOT Growing 
Well, I have learned that some thing just aren't worth my time or energy and this year it's going to be a couple things. 
I used to love growing cucumbers but they can be a lot of work and get messy when they start growing out of control and getting tangled on the trellis.  I also don't use them a whole lot and end up with way too many and I get so sick of them by the middle of summer.  My neighbors grow them too so no sense in me growing them to give them away because nobody needs them.  Not growing them this year will make room for my peas. 
I haven't grown zucchini in a couple years and that's because it takes up too much space for my two raised garden beds.  I also struggled to get a good harvest in the past so I think I'll just buy them from the store this year. Again, saving me space, time, and energy. 
What are you growing in your garden this year and why? What aren't you growing?

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