Selecting Vegetable Varieties For Your Garden

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This article will help you successfully select and rotate vegetable crops.
by Brett · All Zones · Food Gardens · 0 Comments · August 24, 2010 · 64,276 views

Vegetable Selections

One of the most important decisions an organic grower makes is crop and variety selection. Not all vegetables do well in all locations. Vegetables commonly grown in your area are your best bet for success. Trial and error will also help determine which vegetables are best suited to your area. As you try different varieties, keep records so that this information can be used in planning subsequent years.

Climate, disease, and insect problems will be important criteria when selecting vegetable crops. It should be pointed out, however, that one year's results may not be enough to determine the success of a particular vegetable. For example, a mild winter may result in a greater insect problem than one might expect the following season. On the other hand, a cold winter may result in sufficient suppression of the insect to make for a successful year.

Variety selection is another important consideration when selecting crops to be grown. When available, varieties with disease and insect resistance are best. Resistance, however, is seldom 100 percent, and the plant may show some symptoms but less severe symptoms than susceptible varieties.

Varieties can be grouped into two broad categories based on how they were developed.

F1 Hybrids: These are developed from crossing lines that have been inbred for several generations. These varieties have advantages of increased uniformity and, often, increased yield compared with open-pollinated varieties.

Open-pollinated: These varieties are less expensive, and popular open-pollinated varieties will remain in the market for years. In addition, these seed will remain true to type from one year to the next. Most older varieties are open-pollinated types. Very old varieties are often referred to as "heirloom" varieties, and many can be dated to the previous century and beyond. These varieties are often sources of unusual colors, shapes, and flavors.

Several vegetables are reproduced vegetatively; that is, from parts of the plant itself. These would include things such as sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes. To improve your results with these crops, buy certified slips for sweet potatoes and seed pieces for Irish potatoes. The certification process insures true-to-type, disease-free material.


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