Veggie Gardening 101: Select Your Produce

Think about what produce you and your family enjoy eating and what you might want to use to preserve or freeze for later use.

Bright Light Swiss Chard

Terri James


Customize your gardening experience. Think about what produce you and your family enjoy and want to eat and what you might want to use to can or freeze for later use. In the spirit of “one person, one vote”, consider asking each person in the household to make a plea for vegetables that they like to eat. Your gardening will be the most effective and enjoyable when you love the end product. This can also help with planning what to grow and how much space you need. For example, if you have 3 salad lovers in your group, start thinking about what goes in a salad, such as leafy greens, cucumbers, carrots, and radishes. Of these specific vegetables, only the cucumbers are space hogs. A 10 ft. by 15 ft. space should do just fine. You’ll even have room for a tomato and maybe a pepper plant if that fits your preferences. A word of caution: rabbits like salad gardens too plan on installing some chicken wire fencing around the garden, perhaps fastening it to the bottom timber in a raised bed planter or burying it 4 inches deep in the soil in a traditional arrangement.

  • Selected Vegetable Cultivars for Nebraska - G1896
    • Find out what vegetables are liable to do well in your growing area.
  • Choosing Tomatoes
    • Nebraska Extension Landscape Horticulture Specialist Kim Todd and Educator Terri James talk about picking out tomatoes.
  • Tomatoes in the Home Garden - G1650
    • This NebGuide provides information on choosing cultivars, caring for and growing tomatoes in the home garden.
  • Garden Peppers - G1879
    • This NebGuide addresses how to grow sweet, pungent and ornamental peppers.
  • Eggplant - G1905
    • The tender and often purple eggplant is closely related to sweet pepper, tomato and potato, but not grown as frequently as these garden favorites. This NebGuide examines the best cultivars and techniques to successfully grow eggplant in the home garden.
  • Selecting Tomatoes for the Home Garden - G1864
    • This publication will help home gardeners choose from a variety of tomato cultivars to find what they want.
  • Garlic Production in the Home Garden - G2221
    • Garlic provides flavor to many of our favorite recipes. It's relatively easy to grow, and there are plenty of varieties from which to choose.
  • When to Harvest Fruits and Vegetables - G2089
    • This NebGuide provides information on the proper ways and times to harvest fruits and vegetables for the best quality and storage.

  • Storing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables - G1264
    • The following NebGuide outlines proper storage methods and conditions for fresh fruits and vegetables. It also provides methods for creating good storage conditions within the home.
  • Early Greens
    • Gardeners are eager to get things in the ground, Nebraska Extension Educator Terri James talks about things that can be planted early.
  • Brassicas
    • UNL Extension Educator Terri James talks about cole crops in the Backyard Farmer Garden. (Brussels Sprout image via Creative Commons - Nick Saltmarsh) (Wild Mustard image via Creative Commons - Petr Pakandl)
  • Garden Beans
    • Nebraska Extension Educator Terri James discusses various beans for the garden.
  • Horseradish
    • Master Gardener Kathy French talks about how to harvest and process horseradish
  • Landscape Lesson: Unusual Vegetables
    • Program Host Kim Todd shows vegetables that aren't quite as popular as tomatoes, peppers or potatoes.
  • Sweet Corn
    • Greg Naber from Naber Produce Farms talks about growing sweet corn in the home garden
  • Planting Onions
    • Nebraska Extension Educator Sarah Browning demonstrates how to choose onions and how to plant them.
  • Peppers
    • Nebraska Extension Landscape Horticulture Specialist Kim Todd shows how peppers can be grown for eating or as ornamentals
  • Growing Asparagus The Right Way
    • Nebraska Extension Educator Kathleen Cue talks about how to properly manage asparagus.