Best Crops For Your Garden

Plan your most successful garden ever by using crops that naturally thrive where you live.
By Barbara Pleasant from Mother Earth news

Last fall, we hatched what has turned out to be a terrific idea: a national survey to rate North America’s most productive garden crops. We invited thousands of our readers who grow food gardens to rate a list of 70 crops, and with more help from members of Seed Savers Exchange, we amassed groundbreaking, firsthand regional advice from hundreds of gardeners from British Columbia to Boca Raton.
The online survey covered a lot of ground by asking four questions about everything from asparagus to sweet corn to watermelon:
* How easy is it to grow?
* How much do you like to eat it?
* Does it make good use of the time and space it requires?
* How easy is it to store?
The following regional “Top 10 Crops” revealed by the survey (based on all four criteria) will give beginners a great start. However, they won’t fill up most gardens, so our report also covers “pet” crops: veggies that people want with such passion that they’re willing to take extra measures to help them grow. The survey also identified minor-league veggies like arugula that are not widely grown, but get uniformly high ratings from those who grow them.
We hope you find fresh, helpful guidance in these initial results from the first Mother Earth News National Garden Crops Survey. May your 2009 garden be your most efficient, bountiful and delicious ever!

The National Top 25 Crops

1. Garlic
2. Bush snap bean
3. Pole snap bean
4. Slicing tomato
5. Cherry tomato
6. Paste tomato
7. Potato
8. Snow/snap pea
9. Shallot
10. Shell pea
11. Scallion
12. Chard
13. Dry soup bean
14. Sweet pepper
15. Rhubarb
16. Summer squash
17. Spinach
18. Hot pepper
19. Carrot
20. Winter squash
21. Beet
22. Kale
23. Sweet corn
24. Collards
25. Radish

Easiest to Grow

1. Radish
2. Chard
3. Bush snap bean
4. Rhubarb
5. Cherry tomato

Most Wanted

1. Slicing tomato
2. Sweet corn
3. Cherry tomato
4. Garlic
5. Asparagus
Best Use of Time and Space
1. Scallion
2. Lettuce
3. Chard
4. Cherry tomato
5. Radish

Easiest to Store

  1. Garlic
  2. Onion
  3. Potato
  4. Shallot
  5. Dry soup bean