The National Garden Bureau, the non-profit, marketing arm of the gardening industry, is touting compact veggie gardening for folks with limited space or a desire to make gardening more convenient to those of us who are aging or wanting their produce closer to the backdoor.
Compact varieties grow well in pots or planters, and can function as both ornamentals and food producers. Look for both sweet and spicy peppers in dazzling colors to dress up any pot, cherry as well as full-size tomatoes, compact zucchini and summer squash, and potatoes. Of course herbs and lettuces are also wonderful grown in pots close to the kitchen where they will be easily accessed all summer long.
Pretty n Sweet is and good ornamental sweet pepper with small, plump, thick-walled fruits great for snacking and chopping into salads or sautes. Harvest these green, yellow, orange, red or purple.
Alter Ego is a nice ornamental edible hot pepper with beautifully colored fruit that will dress up any patio pot with colors ranging from yellow to deep red and purple.
A couple of varieties of cherry tomatoes that grow well in patio pots are Sweet N Neat and Cherry Fountain. And for a full-size beefsteak that grow well in pots try Better Bush and PInk-a-licious. These may still need some support in the pot when laden with fruit.
Pantheon is a compact zucchini squash with great flavor. Or try Spineless Perfection.
For more information on these and other varieties as well as growing tips, check out https://ngb.org/2019/12/30/compact-vegetable/
Article by Pam Davies MG volunteer
Photos by National Garden Bureau
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