Perfectly Preserved Podcast Ep 26 - Garden Planning specifically for Preserving
Learning how to garden specifically for canning has been one of the best things I've learned how to do. I stopped wasting time and energy on growing items that I didn't like eating fresh or could be preserved.
I always suggest starting small rather than going big, initially. Begin with a few garden boxes, containers, or a small area. Then, take stock of your pantry and consider what your family eats and loves, and what you could then grow in your garden.
Refer to my ebook for specifics on plant spacing as crowding plants results in lower yield. She also recommends Square Foot Gardening as another resource for garden planning.
Get a soil sample test done to learn what your soil has, or doesn’t have, to inform your amendment choice.
Use a soil test kit like this: https://amzn.to/3XBm3hB
Or send a soil sample to be tested by your local cooperative extension office.
Water is a critical thing to consider when planning your garden. Placing your garden where you will see and attend to it helps, as does automatic watering systems and drip hoses.
I rotate my crops in 3, 40 ft beds.
I recommend specific varieties: Canning tomatoes is the goal of many gardeners and canners. Varieties like Romas and Amish paste are ideal for canning (less seeds and more flesh). I grow a pear or sun gold cherry tomato for snacking. I like a slicing tomato variety for canning diced tomatoes. Cucumber varieties include pickling cucumbers which are different than slicing cucumbers (they are smaller with thicker skin, and are perfect for pickling). You need a lot of plants to have enough to can pickles as they ripen at different times. You may find it especially valuable to grow pickling cucumbers because of this. I love a good dark beet for canning such as Detroit Red.
For orchard fruits, choose varieties that are appropriate for your area and stagger your ripening times so you aren’t overwhelmed with fruit. A knowledgeable nursery employee can really help in deciding which varieties to plant, when.
Buy my ebook and course all about this at https://annacash.podia.com/garden-planning-mini-course