Deciding what to plant in your garden can be a daunting task. What you plant will be determined by many factors. Maybe the two most important determiners are how much room you have, and how much sunlight you get. Many herbs, vegetables, and flowers need full or partial sun, and all have requirements on how much room they need, but some need less than others.
Another determiner, is why you are growing them. Are you going to be growing a garden as a food source, or just something pretty to look at? While vegetables, herbs, and even some flowers are edible, you probably don’t want to grow those you don’t want to eat. Also, it probably goes without saying that you won’t want to plant flowers or herbs that you are allergic to (or a poisonous).
One last consideration you may want to think about is how much water you’ll need. There are many flowers that need less water than others. Also, many vegetables don't need much water at all.
Now that you may have a better idea of what you want to plant, let’s look at each choice individually.
Vegetables may seem daunting, but they really aren’t. Many vegetables can be grown at home, and don’t require a lot of care, or even know-how. Vegetables like green beans and zucchinis and other squashes are easy to grow from seeds. Lettuces grow quickly, take up little space, and are easy to harvest.
Carrots can be grown from tops of other carrots, as can celery.
If you like radishes, they grow super-fast (about 20 days) and are also super-easy to grow.
Tomatoes can be almost forgotten about and grow really well. They can be grown in pots or baskets or other containers. Also, if you choose to grow herbs too, and plant basil next to you tomatoes, some people say tomatoes will taste even better.
Herbs can be just as easy as some vegetables to grow. It’s all about location, location, location. A lot of herbs do best in full sun as long as regular summer temperatures don't rise above 90 degrees. If you want the herbs to be permanent, and not in a container, then consider planting in an area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade in the summertime, or a place that receives filtered light.
You’ll never want to over-water. More water is not better, and in fact, may lead to disease and poor growing conditions. Only water herbs when they’re dry.
Herbs like fennel, dill, and mint are all easy to grow and attract insects that will eat other unwanted pests.
If you’re short on space, herbs won’t take up much room. Cilantro, chives, dill, and parsley need only about 1 foot between plants, and basil, thyme, and tarragon need only 2 feet.
Flowers are pleasing to the eye, and some can even attract the attention of some beneficial pests. Geraniums are easy to care for, and an extremely low-maintenance plant.
Sunflowers are large, but easy to manage; they’re great as a learning experience if you have kids. Marigolds are also easy to grow if you have a sunny spot free. They also come in many shades of yellow, red, and gold, so they’ll brighten up your garden as well.
Whether you choose vegetables, herbs, or flowers, there is one important thing to remember: the more you garden, the better you’ll be at it. So if you plant something that fails, don’t fret, you can always try again until you get it right.