This is just a sampling of the best organic heirloom vegetables for a backyard garden, but hopefully they give you an idea of the endless possibilities out there for a small vegetable garden! It isn’t too late to start your own!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information.
Designing a Backyard Garden
All backyards come in different shapes and sizes and with different topography and soil quality. And of course, we all have different uses and needs from our backyard. But if you’re looking to begin your first ever backyard garden, this is a good jumping off place.
Reading through the ideas on this page will give you an idea of the possibilities that lie in your backyard. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it will definitely give you a good idea of what sort of garden you can achieve in a reasonably small space and with fairly limited resources.
Backyard Garden Considerations
A few things you’ll want to consider for your backyard garden are:
- How close your space is to a spigot or running water
- How flat the ground is, or if you’d rather use raised beds
- How much of your space you want to utilize
- How much daylight vs shade your space gets
Of course, there are endless other things you could take into account, like the composition and pH of your soil, but this is by-beginners-for-beginners.
Organic Heirloom Vegetables
Choosing the varieties you’d like to plant in your garden can also be as simple or as complex as you’d like to make it. For my family we took a couple things into consideration.
- What do we cook with and eat on a regular basis?
- What grows well in my climate?
- What can I grow the most of in a small space? (I have 2 4×8 raised beds)
- What can I harvest seeds from in order to grow the same varieties again next year?
These questions led me to organic heirloom seeds from Botanical Interests, and I chose what to purchase and plant based on space and likelihood of being consumed and not wasted.
Best Organic Heirloom Vegetables for a Backyard Garden
So what did I select? Here are the varieties I chose, as well as a couple non-heirloom varieties for things that were out of stock or I couldn’t find heirloom from this particular brand.
- Long Standing Cilantro/Coriander (Heirloom, Organic, Herb)
- Little Finger Carrot (Heirloom, Organic, Vegetable)
- Bloomsdale Spinach (Heirloom, Organic, Vegetable)
- American Legion Corn Poppy (Heirloom, Flower)
- Crimson Sweet Watermelon (Heirloom, Organic, Fruit)
- Strawberry Corn (Heirloom, vegetable)
- Telegraph Improved Cucumber (Heirloom, Vegetable)
- Hearts of Gold Melon (Heirloom, Organic, Fruit)
- Rosemary (Heirloom, Herb)
- German Chamomile (Heirloom, Herb)
- Italian Genovese Basil (Heirloom, Organic, Herb)
- Santaka Chile Pepper (Heirloom, Vegetable)
- California Wonder Bell Pepper (Heirloom, Organic, Vegetable)
- Ace 55 Bush Tomato (Heirloom, Organic, Vegetable)
- Flat of Italy Bulb Onion (Heirloom, Vegetable)
- Early Jalapeno (Heirloom, Organic, Vegetable)
Non Heirloom Varieties I am also growing this year include:
- Rainbow Blend Pole Tomatoes
- Buttergold Sweet Corn
- Mesclun Lettuce
- Eureka Bush Bean
- Elves Blend Dwarf Sunflowers
- Jack Be Little Pumpkin
- Tendersweet Snap Peas
- Emerald Delight Zucchini Squash
- Waltham Butternut Winter Squash
We will also be planting some Ferry Morse mixed flowers to attract pollinators, including Zinnias, Cosmos, Painted Daisies, and Lemon Balm. We just picked these up at the grocery store at my toddler’s insistence. She dearly loves flowers, and we sure could use some help attracting pollinators! Oh, and we’ll be planting some “seed potatoes” from just an average grocery store run as well!
As you can see we have a reasonably broad selection of plants to grow this year, and we’re hopeful of a bountiful harvest. Our current goals are not to supply our family with food for the whole year, as we do not have pantry and root cellar space for that sort of endeavor, but we are trying to learn all we can about growing the foods we eat regularly so that sometime down the line we really will be equipped to set those sorts of goals.
Beginning your own backyard vegetable garden
Hopefully this sparks your interest and confidence in starting your own backyard garden. You can find seeds affordably in most grocery stores if choosing heirloom varieties is an aspect for a year to come. At least beginning now with whatever you can get your hands on will give you valuable experience for the future.
I want to invite you to follow along with our gardening adventures as we teach ourselves these valuable skills. We’re developing a community who is interested in learning these same skills and you are more than welcome to join us! You can find our group on facebook by searching “Home & Land: Skill Building Community” and we’ll welcome you over there with open arms. You’ll be able to post any questions you have and we’ll do our best to answer and support you as you begin your garden!