What are your favorite things to grow in your garden?

Periodically on Dissident Potato, I hope to reach out to my readers and learn about your likes, dislikes, and knowledge about gardening. Today is my first foray (in this iteration of Dissident Potato) into learning about you. My question:

What are your three favorite things to grow in your garden? I’ll give it a go first, placing my choices in order:

  1. Leaf lettuce: I love a lettuce and cheese sandwich as part of lunch or dinner on a warm summer day. I’m also a fan of heading out to my garden in the evening hours to cut multiple varieties of lettuce so I can make a huge salad with tons of fixins. Another reason leaf lettuce is excellent is that it’s one of the first things you can plant (it’s frost-tolerant), and you can keep cutting it just a bit above the ground-level for more leaves to develop until it gets too warm in late June or early July. My two favorite varieties are the sturdy Amish Deer Tongue lettuce and the more tender and silky Henderson’s Black Seeded Simpson lettuce.
  2. Sunflowers: I have four large raised beds in my backyard. This year, I plan on having three sunflowers growing in at least two of them. Why do I like them so? First, I love that pollinators love them even more than I do. It’s great to walk near a Torch Sunflower, with its multiple branches and flowers, and count several bees and butterflies feeding on the flowers’ pollen. Second, the Evening Sun Sunflower is a brilliant multi-color flower that often reaches eight or nine feet. It’s a beauty for pleasurable viewing outside my bedroom window. And third, I like the bragging rights of growing one of the tallest plants any newbie gardener has seen. I’ve grown a Titan Sunflower that surpassed 12 straight feet into the sky.
  3. Tomatoes: Okay, this one deserves an explanation. I hate most raw tomatoes. And, as the blog post, What’s My Gardening Story, makes clear I blame tomatoes for once inflicting me with terrible physical and emotional pain as a child. That said, I love pulverizing tomatoes and making a yummy pasta sauce out of them. And, perhaps most important, Rebecca loves many of the tomatoes I grow. Her favorite is the Cherokee Purple Tomato. Of the many varieties, I grow each year, that is always one of them. Lastly, there is nothing quite like hanging out near tomato plants after it’s rained. The smell of wet tomato leaves is a treasure.

Okay, readers. Now it’s your turn. Fill my comments section with simple 1-2-3-lists, or flesh out the reasoning as I have if you like.

Garden on, readers!


Joyfully married to Rebecca. Friend to my pup, Luca. Passionate about justice. Love gardening, blogging, and dark chocolate.

3 thoughts on “What are your favorite things to grow in your garden?

  • 30 April 2020 at 9:13 pm

    1. Tomatoes: I LOVE tomatoes. But only homegrown, heirloom, peak of summertime tomatoes. I eat fresh tomatoes every day from late July to mid October. I also make gallons of sauce and dozens of pounds of slow roasted and dried tomatoes to enjoy during the winter months.

    2. Dry Beans: I have the goal every year to grow enough dry beans to supply my family for the following year. I’ve yet to reach that goal, growing around half of what we use.

    3. Garlic: Homegrown garlic is a million miles away from store bought. I mean, they aren’t even in the same galaxy. Fresh garlic has subtle nuances the way wine does. We also use a ton of garlic every year, probably 2-3 heads a week

    • 1 May 2020 at 4:40 am

      I love this answer, Cecily! Some year I’ll grow garlic. How fun to say that homegrown garlic isn’t even in the same galaxy as store-bought!

      • 2 May 2020 at 8:49 pm

        You should, Michael. They take up so little space and because they are planted in the Fall and harvesed late Spring, there is usually enough time to plant a crop of bush beans or carrots in the space that they grew in


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