Popular Choices for Backyard Vegetables

Half the Fun of Having Your Own Backyard Vegetable Garden is that You Get to Choose Your Favorite Vegetables to Grow and Eat.

Choosing from among all the vegetables that are out there isn't easy since there really are a lot. Which ones you decide to grow will in large part be influenced by your personal preferences and the type of soil you have along with the amount of sun you get.

Six Popular Choices for Backyard Vegetables

The following 6 crops are pretty popular choices and are known for being easy to grow in a backyard vegetable garden.

These can be used for salads, sandwiches, as a side dish with a meal, in your favorite recipes or just for snacking.

All 6 of these crops are pretty compatible and should grow well together.

If you’re considering growing something different it’s a good idea to check for compatibility first since not all fruits and vegetables grow well together and you'll want to choose the best ones based on compatibility.

Happy Girl With Fresh Veggies From Her Garden

The Vegetable Garden website has a great companion planting guide that details which plants do well together (companions) and which groupings to avoid (antagonists).


Tomatoes

  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun, 6-12 hours per day with 8 hours as the recommended minimum (more is better).
  • Watering Requirements: Water regularly to keep plants from drying out. If watering by hand, allow top of soil to dry to the touch to encourage root growth. Does well with drip irrigation. Doesn't like soggy soil.
  • Preferred Soil: Well drained, loamy soil.
  • Planting Season: Mid-Spring to early Summer.
  • Time to Harvest: 8-12 weeks depending on the variety and growing conditions.

Tomatoes are actually considered a fruit as opposed to a vegetable, but they’re still really popular, in fact they’re the most popular crop in backyard gardens with around 86% of backyard gardeners growing them.

Lettuce

  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun, 5-6 hours per day during moderate weather. Partial shade when temperatures are over 80° F.
  • Watering Requirements: Water as needed to keep soil moist. May need to be watered twice a day during hot, dry weather.
  • Preferred Soil: Well drained, keep evenly moist.
  • Planting Season: Late Winter to early Spring.
  • Time to Harvest: 4-8 weeks depending on variety and growing conditions.

Carrots

  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun for at least 6 hours per day.
  • Watering Requirements: Needs a constant supply, 1” per week in moderate weather. 1½” in hot, dry weather. 
  • Does well with drip irrigation.
  • Preferred Soil: Well drained, loose, loamy soil.
  • Planting Season: Early Spring until early Autumn depending on temperature. 
  • Cool to moderate temperatures are best.
  • Time to Harvest: 8-11 weeks depending on variety.

Green Beans

  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun, minimum 6-8 hours per day.
  • Watering Requirements: A couple of times per week as needed to keep the soil moist around the roots.
  • Preferred Soil: Well drained.
  • Planting Season: Early spring as long as any chance of frost has passed.
  • Time to Harvest: 7-8 weeks depending on variety and how they’re grown.

Green Beans can be grown as a bush or allowed to vine up a pole. The pole method generally allows more crops in less space, but does take longer to set up and you may want to limit the height to about 6’ so you can reach the tops.

Radishes

  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade, 4-6 hours per day is plenty for these guys.
  • Watering Requirements: Water as needed to keep soil moist but not wet.
  • Preferred Soil: Well drained, loose soil.
  • Planting Season: Spring and Fall.
  • Time to Harvest: 3-4 weeks.

Peas

  • Sunlight Requirements: Full to partial sun. 6-8 hours per day. Prefers moderate temperatures around or below 70° F.
  • Watering Requirements: Occasional watering as needed to keep from drying out.
  • Preferred Soil: Well drained.
  • Planting Season: Early Spring.
  • Time to Harvest: 8-14 weeks depending on variety and growing conditions.

NOTE: These are general guidelines and should be considered as such. Your soil type, geographic location, and choice of variety may affect some or all of the requirements and/or time frames. 

Good soil preparation, proper drainage, checking the pH level, good fertilizer and sufficient watering will all play a part in getting good results from your backyard vegetable garden.

We think you'll be very happy with how sweet and delicious the fruits and vegetables taste that you grow fresh from your own garden. 

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