If you’re new to gardening, the first thing is to plan what you’re going to grow. I’m going to share the best fruits & vegetables to grow in garden zone 7B!
Alright, it is April and I’ve already got a few things in the ground that are cool season crops. The frost should hopefully be done until autumn, so I can start transplanting some of my seedlings into the ground.
Gardening Is About Trial & Error
Now, I do not consider myself to be an expert gardener. This was a project my family and I just went for when my daughter was only about 1 1/2 years old. That season we dug directly in the ground, which might I add, the soil was very hard to work with. I mean literally! We are dealing with clay over in my neck of the woods. I never got the soil tested and that year I think harvested some kale and peppers if I remember correctly. That’s it!
After that year, we decided to go for raised beds. That worked much better for us in the stage we were in. We built 2 garden beds so it didn’t break the bank financially. That worked out better for the plants, but now that our plants were thriving, we had to deal with rabbits enjoying their dinner in our beds.
Therefore, we rebuilt the beds the next year to be a little taller hoping that would deter them. Low and behold, we found a rabbit den lying amongst the carrots (of all places!) and realized that we were going to have to put a fence around the garden.
I’m No Gardening Expert
All this to say, we’re all on our own journey with gardening. Each year you learn a little bit more and get a little bit better. Even thought the rabbits made a home directly in the garden bed, they did not eat any of the produce. The tomato hornworm on the other hand, was our biggest eater that summer.
Which now leads us to today’s garden. Pictured below are two garden beds but next week I’ll happily be sharing how we built our garden beds because we added two more.
Simple Tips for Planning Your Gardening
1.If you are new to gardening, one of the first things you’ll have to look into is what gardening zone you’re in. As easy as it would be to grow anything and everything, you just can’t grow pineapples in the Midwest. I know, what a shame!
To figure out your zone you can go to the Farmer’s Almanac website and it’s as easy as entering in your zip code.
From there, you can start picking plants that are conducive to your climate.
2. Another tip I have for planning your garden is pick only the produce you’ll eat. I know this sounds like a no brainer but I used to grow kale because it was trending in the health world. I would have an abundance of kale and never have the desire to do anything with it. Kale chips, no thank you! Stick with what you love and know that you’ll eat it.
3. The last tip is you only want to grow what you’ll use. If you’ve never canned before in your life, it’s probably not a good idea to grow a year’s worth of tomatoes that season. It all depends on your lifestyle, but consider what you’re comfortable with and start there.
4. In addition to figuring out your garden zone, have fun perusing seed catalogs and romanticizing about your garden. The seed packets you receive are full of information. They will tell you when to sow, how far to space your plants, and more. Not all plants thrive on full sun and warm weather. I write in my calendar when plants should be sowed or I even saw someone use an app with a countdown timer to make it fun and exciting.
What I Love About Garden Zone 7b
Of all the places and climates I’ve lived, this one is my favorite. It’s relatively mild and yet you still get the seasons. Below are some things you can grow if you are also in zone 7b. Be sure to look at your seed packets to know when you can start growing them. There are warm and cool season crops to consider.
Vegetables Grown in 7b
- Brussel Sprouts
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potato
- Swiss Chard
Fruit Grown in Zone 7b
The above list is a general idea of what you can grow, but there are just too many varieties to even mention. The best way to find out is by checking your seed packets. Your seed packets should tell you what zones you can grow them in. But whenever you’re in doubt, the answer can always be found online.
Best Fruits & Vegetables To Grow in Zone 7B Video
My Plans For Our Garden
Ok, so I may not be taking my own advice here and quite possibly could be biting off more than I can chew, but I have big plans this year for my garden.
My husband made me a couple more raised garden beds this year so I have more space to grow. You can check out the tutorial and his plans here.
The Produce I’m Growing This Year in Garden Zone 7B
With that extra space, I want to start working on growing a year supply of my produce. Believe me, I won’t be there this summer. I’m going to take a slow approach. My goal is to concentrate on one or two vegetables or fruit a year that I will grow a year’s worth of. This year I’m going easy and will be doing garlic and onion.
I choose these two because our family uses it a lot, it’s super versatile, and the storage is very easy! There’s not a lot to do when it comes to preserving onions and garlic so if you’re in the same boat, it could be a good idea for you to start there too!
The only things I don’t love about onions and garlic is it takes up a little more room, so if you don’t have the space, consider a plant that houses more harvest.
A year’s worth of garlic (give or take) is about 15 bulbs per person. We’re a family of 3 so I should have 45, but I’m about 10 bulbs short. I got all my garlic from the farmer’s market last year to use for growing and just didn’t have enough.
For my year’s worth of onions, a goal would be also 15 bulbs per person. We will be planting about that much.
Other things we’re growing this year:
- Celery (cool season)
- Tomatoes (warm season)
- Peppers (warm season)
- Lettuce (cool season)
- Strawberries (perennial)
- Blueberries (perennial)
- Cilantro (cool season)
- Cucumber (warm season)
- Rhubarb (perennial)
I’ve had dreams of adding watermelon and the thought of picking pumpkins in the fall sounds so romantic, but reality hits, and I just don’t have the space prepared yet. Stay tuned, maybe my dream will come true next year!
I did not include herbs in this post because that deserves a whole separate blog post because you can grow so much.
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I’d love to hear from The Organic Beehive Community! What are you growing this year? What do you wish you could grow? Share all your gardening ideas in the comments below.