5 Gorgeous Edibles for your Small Garden

No matter how large or small your backyard space maybe, there is still room for some beautiful edible plants.  With a little bit of planning and creativity even the smallest NYC apartment can boast some of these delicious varieties.   When choosing seeds it is important to consider the sun exposure, maintenance required, and also make sure you are buying non-GMO, non-treated seeds.  This is why I love Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  Baker Creek carries a large selection of seeds including rare and heirloom varieties.  They do not buy seed from Monsanto-owned Seminis and further boycott all gene-altering companies.  Instead they work with small farmers, gardeners, and seed growers to bring consumers non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated, and non-patented seeds.

Here are a few varieties that will work in small spaces, while still providing you and your family with fresh produce.  And let’s face it, what could be better than eating straight off the plant! (Plus, planting and harvesting your own food is a super fun activity for the little ones!)

Minibel Tomato

This small cherry tomato variety grows to about a foot in height and does not require support like other taller cherries.  The Minibel is a great choice for pots or hanging baskets and would be a beautiful addition to your patio.

Harvesting Health:  Lycopene rich tomatoes provide antioxidant protection.  They reduce the risk of heart disease by regulating fat in the bloodstream.  There is also a growing body of research showing benefits to bone health as a result of incorporating antioxidant-rich tomatoes into the diet.

Minibel

Chinese 5 Color Peppers

These gorgeous hot peppers are also container ready.  They range in vibrant colors from purple, cream, yellow, orange and red as they ripen.  Venture to say, the heat of these peppers should also keep pests away from consuming your stash :).

Harvesting Health:  The hotter the pepper the more capsaicin is present.  Capsaicin is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that fights chronic and sub-clinical inflammation.  It also possesses powerful anti-bacterial properties.  Studies have shown capsaicin assists the body in remedying certain intestinal disorders.  Further this compound has also been correlated with pain relief.

Chinese5Color

Saxa 2 Radish

This radish variety is a fast grower.  Plant, water, sun…no patience required as it will mature in just 18 days!  This European variety is bright red and has round perfect globes.  It is ready when the tops are 4” tall.  A deep rectangular pot should do the trick here.  If you plant in your yard, fence it in as I’m sure the local groundhogs will munch it right up (although the short growing time gives you a better opportunity for a successful yield).

Harvesting Health:  Radishes have a cooling effect on the body and are a great option to eat during the warmer months.  The water and fiber content in these little guys help to fill up your belly with little-to-no calories (exhibiting a natural low glycemic load).  Radishes also act as a natural decongestant helping those with asthma and sinus conditions.

SaxaRadish

Arugula

This peppery green is often found on plates all over the Mediterranean.  It’s hardy, fast and easy to grow.  As you take off the tops more will grow back, so even in tiny spaces this lady will continue to produce.  Pair this plant with your Minibel Tomatoes and you have one awesome homegrown salad.

Harvesting Health:  High levels of chlorophyll found in arugula help cleanse the blood of toxins and improves skin health.  Arugula also contains phytochemicals that fight disease and prevent certain types of cancer.  Compared to its popular mild-mannered sister salad green (iceberg), arugula contains approximately eight times the calcium, fives times the vitamin A, C and K, and four times the iron. Ancient Romans also believed this spicy green improved sexual relationships and was honored as a powerful aphrodisiac.  I guess you can say arugula is the powerful, smart, attractive, party-bound sister while iceberg sits at home waiting for a prom date to call.

Arugula

Genovese Basil

No small garden would be complete without this staple herb.  Genovese Basil is my pick for you.  The leaves of this famous Italian variety can be used throughout your cooking and will leave your pasta sauce tasting divine.  It grows quickly and is abundant.  The best thing about having your own garden is you can pick fresh leaves as you need.  If you’ve ever encountered a moldy package of basil at the grocery store, you’ll be over the moon at having your own basil plant.

Harvesting Health:    High in Vitamin K and Manganese, this small yet powerful leaf provides cellular protection.  Basil has anti-bacterial properties, inhibiting growth of staph, listeria, and even some pathogenic bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics.  Basil also is an anti-inflammatory food, protects the body from free radical damage and promotes good cardiovascular health.  Additionally, mosquitos don’t like basil!  A natural bug repellent, plant a few of these throughout your yard…heck rub some leaves on you and your kids too so you can enjoy the summer evenings a little longer before retreating inside.

Basil

Gorgeous photography found in this post is courtesy of Baker Creek.  For a visual treat, make sure you sign up for their beautiful catalog.  If you are interested in the varieties mentioned in this article, you can visit www.rareseeds.com to place your order.

*Sneak peek at what just hit the HHK Storefront – Raised Planter and Greenhouse combo…you’re going to love this!*

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