Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Urban Edibles

What city dweller doesn't long for the taste of homegrown fruits and vegetables. By doing some simple research and making careful choices almost anyone can add edibles to a rooftop, terrace or patio. Many vegetables are now offered in dwarf or compact forms that make them perfect for container gardens in an urban environment.
Here are some picks to get you started...

Pepper 'Pinata Mix'
Pepper plants are the ideal size for gardens with limited space, and they love heat. One of Burbee owner George Ball Jr.'s top pick is the new hot pepper 'Pinata Mix' with its party-colored, 3-inch fruits.

Basil 'Aristotle'
There are so many varieties of basil, like this tiny-leaved 'Aristotle' that could substitute for boxwood. Basil also offers foliage color options from 'Purple Ruffles' to vibrant green 'Summerlong' which is resistant to bolting.

Strawberry 'Mignonette'
Another option for rooftop or patio gardens is planting edible sin hanging baskets or pots, and strawberries are ideally suited for this. Try the heirloom alpine strawberry 'Mignonette', which has smaller and fewer fruits, but with twice the flavor as standard varieties.

Eggplant 'Gretel'
Two All-American Selection winners, white 'Gretel' and purple 'Hansel', combine high yield with compact size. The fruits are tender and tasty from the time they're 3-inch youngsters until they reached their mature 10 inches.

Article by Jenny Andrews
Garden Design March 2010

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