Planning a vegetable garden but you’re limited on time and space? Heartland Harvest Garden Interpreter Barbara Fetchenhier can help! Here are her top five edibles to plant for a relatively low maintenance garden that requires minimal space:
Who doesn’t love a fresh tomato from the garden? Plant cherry or full-sized tomatoes. They are easy to grow, require relatively little care and produce over a long period (July through September). Grow them vertically in a cage or against a fence as shown above.
Buy a pack of seeds for $3, and you will have gallons of fresh, crisp beans within two months of planting them. That’s enough beans to enjoy fresh from the garden with plenty left over to freeze for soup on a cold winter day. Beans are forgiving, and they produce without being smothered with love. Just be sure to provide them enough water when fruiting. This is also a vegetable that can take some shade.
Yes, this is an herb that deserves to be in the top five because it takes little space and effort, but rewards you with harvests big enough to make pesto for your friends! I’m talking a good culinary basil here like ‘Genovese’, ‘Purple Ruffles’ or ‘Sweet Thai’. As long as you continue to clip the stems to stop it from flowering, the plant will deliver lush new growth to harvest. Fresh basil is a must have for cooking.
Peppers (sweet or hot—whatever suits your fancy)
Peppers grow strong and sturdy, take up little space, and if left alone to grow, they will prosper! I love the bell peppers that ripen red because they turn into a delicious sweetness as they mature. Roasting makes them even better! Peppers do require some heat. If we have a hot summer, you’ll have boat loads of them.
Cucumbers take up less space when grown vertically, so plant them on a trellis or fence. You will get lots of cool and refreshing fruit to eat and share! Cucumbers are so versatile—you can pickle them, add them to salsas for a fresh surprise or make a refreshing popsicle with cucumbers and some of the basil you’re growing. Yum!
Even with limited time and space you can grow a great garden and share the harvest with friends and family. Happy garden planning!
Join Barb for Fresh Bites!
Barb kicks off the 2016 season of Fresh Bites on Saturday, March 12. She will show guests how to corn their own corned beef just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! Join her at 2 p.m. in the Missouri Barn. Fresh Bites is included with Garden admission.