Posted on June 19, 2012
One of the hottest trends in gardening is to combine ornamentals and edibles in one garden space and container gardening makes that easier than ever.
When gardening in a small space it is important to look for plants that are compact in size, will give you a large yield, and look great.
Here are the top 5 edibles to add to your garden this season, according to MasterGardening.com’s.
1. Vates Blue Curl Scotch Lake Kale
This cool weather crop actually tastes sweeter after a frost perfect for those with a short growing season. A Dwarf kale such as Vates Blue Curl Scotch Lake Kale is perfect for containers and max out at 18 inches. Kale adds great texture and a deep blue-green color to the container garden and can easily be planted in mixed containers with flowers or other ornamentals.
This edible flower is the perfect choice for beginners. An easy and quick grower, Nasturtium does best when neglected a bit. 12-18 inch vines sport rounded leaves and stunning jewel toned blooms. Both the flowers and leaves have a peppery taste and are excellent as garnish or in salads. Weather spilling out of a deck rail container or trained up an exterior wall Nasturtium is an outstanding choice for any urban container garden.
3. Columnar Apple
Delicious apples in the first year of planting! Columnar Apples are a container gardener’s dream apple. While they produce a smaller yield than semi-dwarf trees this apple reaches only 10 feet in height and 2 feet wide. Planted in a large container they look wonderful flanking the front walk or as a living fence. Columnar Apples flourish from Zone 4-9 in full sun but require two plants to produce fruit.
4. Purple Tomatillo
Dramatic deep purple fruits encased in pale husks this tomatillo delivers a bit of panache to any container garden. Purple Tomatillo’s are slightly sweeter than their green counterparts allowing them to be enjoyed straight off the vine or in the more traditional salsa verde.
5. Rosa Bianca Eggplant
The gourmet’s choice of eggplant this Italian variety produces lavender-pink and cream streaked fist size fruits. The Rosa Bianca Eggplant is an excellent variety for the container garden since it is easier to defend from pests which generally swarm eggplant when planted in ground. While a compact plant this eggplant’s weak branches benefit from staking or a small tomato cage.
If you are new to gardening, Mastergardening.com has a resource center with articles on everything from Pest Protection, Composting 101, to a very helpful Seed Starting: A How-to Guide. The top 5 picks are all, with the exception of the Columnar Apple, easy to start from seed now while temperatures are still too cool in most parts of the country for outdoor planting.
MasterGardening.com‘s 2012 seeds are now available for purchase. The company offers organic, rare and heirloom seeds for a wide variety of herbs, flowers, and vegetables. This year they will add to their extensive list of seeds by offering peanuts, edible flowers and their own line of seed potatoes.