Garden Musings

What I’m Growing in my 2023 Vegetable Garden

Now that the year is halfway through—hello, July—I decided it’s time to try to list everything I’m growing in my vegetable garden this year.

By everything, I’m referring to the annual vegetables that I either started from seed or direct sowed.


  • Carminat—purple pole beans, new to me this year so looking forward to seeing how they grow and taste
  • Christmas—the best lima beans ever, I always over plant because the animals (deer?) love them too
  • Cowpeas—aka black-eyed peas; started growing these 5 or so years ago so we’d have homegrown peas for New Year’s luck
  • French Gold—yellow pole beans that are usually quite prolific in my garden
  • Henderson—bush lima bean that I plant as a back up to the Christmas lima beans, also super tasty
  • Random bush beans—may be Castandel or something else, saved the seeds last year and forgot to label them…woops


  • Five Color Rainbow—this blend from Renee’s Garden is fun to grow because the colors are so pretty and unexpected
  • Sweet Merlin—typical, tasty dark red beet


  • Diva—started growing this variety a few years ago because they can stay covered (don’t need pollinators) so the cucumber beetles can’t get to them and kill them
  • Marketmore—tasty and prolific, they generally hold their own against cucumber beetles
  • Poinsett—one of my favorites for pickling and fermenting
  • Spacemaster—versatile and tasty cucumber that I’ve grown for a couple years


  • White Beauty—perfectly sized for two, I haven’t quite figured out how to grow eggplant that thrives but not giving up yet

Lettuce & other Greens

  • Astro Arugula—grows well through spring and fall, a bit too spicy in the summer
  • Monstrueux De Viroflay Spinach—can’t pronounce it but I can tell you it’s super tasy spinach
  • Optiko Chinese Cabbage—grow some every year for homemade kimchi
  • Premier Kale—self-sows like crazy, yummy, and great for making kale chips
  • Sweetie Baby Romaine—heat tolerant romaine that grows well through summer, as long as it’s shaded by other plants
  • White Boston—butterhead lettuce that holds its own in the summer garden


  • Clemson Spineless 80—tender, tasty, and beautiful flowers…honestly, I’d grow okra just for the flowers
  • Red Burgundy—new to me variety that I’m trying this year


  • Sugar Sprint—grow quickly, sort of heat tolerant, can eat whole thing or wait and shell the peas
  • Thomas Laxton—stars in the garden this year, easy to shell, delicious…and lots of peas
  • Wando—probably the first shelling pea I started growing, reliable and tasty


  • Banana—one of my favorites for stuffing and pickling
  • Bulgarian Carrot—fun hot pepper that is bright orange
  • Carolina Wonder—bell pepper that grew really well in my garden last year
  • Chocolate Bell—fast growing, brownish-red bell pepper
  • Early jalapeño—supposed to mature early, but Mother Nature had other plans with our cool and rainyish spring
  • Golden Marconi—yellow, sweet Italian pepper
  • Hot Pepper Mix—this mix from Pinetree Garden Seeds is a fun one because you don’t know what you’re going to get until the peppers grow…even then, I’ve been stumped a time or two
  • Hungarian Hot Wax—another favorite for stuffing and pickling
  • NuMex Joe E. Parker—this Anaheim variety is new to me, looking forward to seeing how they grow and taste
  • Orange Stone Barn—(just what I chose to name them)my brother and sister-in-law live close to Stone Barns Center and are farm share members; we visited last summer and I brought a few orange peppers home with me…so good, I saved some seeds and hope they grow well in my garden
  • Wisconsin Lakes—heirloom bell that grows really well for me
  • Yummy Belle—best, small sweet snacking peppers I’ve ever grown


  • German Butterball—trying these in one of my 4×8 raised beds, supposed to be high-yield and can store for up to 6 months after curing
  • Sweet Potato—all I know is it’s a yellow variety…and I’m sure will be super tasy


  • Cherry Belle—reliable and tasty favorite
  • Pink Punch—super tasty and pretty
  • White Hailstone—generally plant these with cucumbers because they’re supposed to repel cucumber beetles, but I always harvest a few too


  • Centercut—this variety from Row 7 Seeds quickly became a must grow because they’re smaller than traditional trombocino, taste great, and aren’t that bothered by squash vine borers
  • Cocozelle—prolific, Italian zucchini that grows like gangbusters
  • Delicata—my husband and I both love this winter squash, and it grows great as long as the squirrels don’t raid the bed
  • Emerald Delight—compact zucchini which grew really well last year, and I’m hoping for a repeat this year
  • Honeynut—small, sweet winter squash that’s similar to Butternut but sized for two
  • Table Queen—medium-sized acorn squash


  • Verde—prolific grower & my life would not be complete without tomatillo salsa and tomatillo enchilada sauce


  • Amish Paste—good for eating and preserving, makes great sauce
  • Black Cherry—I will always plant these in memory of my friend Monica
  • Bonny Best—bought these seeds last year and decided to give them a try this year, supposed to be great for canning and slicing
  • Cherry Falls—small cherry tomatoes that are great for growing in baskets or containers
  • Gardener’s Delight—one of my favorite tomatoes, I’ve been growing this variety for more years than I can remember
  • Green Zebra—I grow these because I love the color
  • Marianna’s Peace—super tasty beefsteak, great for juicy BLTs in August
  • Rutgers—tasty and grows well throughout the summer and fall
  • San Marzano—must grow for sauce
  • Super Bush—I start a few of these every year to give my mom so she can grow and harvest fresh tomatoes from her apartment balcony
  • Super Sweet 100—generally get lots of tomatoes from one plant, and they’re great dehydrated
  • Tomatoberry—these cherry tomatoes sort of look like berries and are also super tasty

There you have it. I didn’t include any of the herbs, garlic, onions, or scallions I’m growing this year.

It doesn’t seem like so much when I’m walking around the garden. But seems like a lot when I list everything out.

I keep saying I’m going to whittle down my must grow list to no more than three varieties of each vegetable but I just can’t do it. Maybe one day!

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