Canning extra vegetables is a great way to preserve your homegrown food for use later. If you’ve never canned before, here’s a short list of things to consider before you get planting.
1. Know which foods can be canned.
Tomatoes and green beans are among the most favored vegetables for canning. Here is a list of popular homegrown vegetables to choose from:
Pro tip: Lettuce and radishes are relatively easy to grow, but preservation is not necessarily an option. That may mean growing a smaller quantity of these so they can be eaten while they are fresh.
To enjoy fresh lettuce over a longer season, dedicate two small rows to lettuce seeds, planting one row at first and two weeks later planting the second row. As lettuce is harvested, sow new seeds in its place.
2. Grow only the foods that will be consumed.
It makes little sense to plant tomatoes if no one in the household likes them. It is a good idea to take an inventory of what types of foods each household member will enjoy not only as a fresh item, but also when preserved.
3. Leave enough growing space between vining plants.
Cucumbers tend to take up a large amount of space, but can be grown up a trellis to save room. Vines are typically very productive and provide loads of cucumbers for making pickles. Zucchini is another vegetable that requires a larger growing area, but also provides an abundant harvest.
Pro tip: Excess zucchini can also be frozen to use later for soups and zucchini bread.
Have you canned vegetables? Share your best tip below in the comments!