Thumbing through seed catalogs and browsing the isles at the local nurseries are two of my favorite spring time activities.  But I admit, with so many options it can be a bit overwhelming at times.  Hopefully the following tips will help simplify the process.

Prior to filling my shopping cart with vegetable plants and seed packages, I like to jot down a quick meal plan.  Nothing too complicated, just a list of the typical meals my family enjoys.  From there, figure out what you can grow that will contribute to those meals.  Example: we make enchiladas pretty frequently, so I’ll grow a lot of tomatillos, onions, cilantro, garlic and peppers…all of the essentials needed to make delicious enchilada sauce.   We also enjoy smoothies and salads, so spinach, lettuce and other greens are included.  Pesto and bruschetta are more family favorites, so I make sure basil and tomatoes are in abundant supply. Lastly, don’t plant what you’re not going to eat or don’t have space for.  My husband hates broccoli, I don’t care for beets, and melons take up too much real estate in our small space, so those seeds and transplants don’t make the cut.  

Once a list is created it’s time to start shopping!

Happy Gardening!

Candace Schaible, Utah State University Extension