Are you an apartment dweller who loves squash or a condo owner who has
always wanted to grow you own tomatoes. I'll bet you thought that you
didn't have enough space to grow your favorite vegetables: the reality
is that you can. Surprise!
Even if your garden is just a small container on your patio, you have
room to try some of the compact plant varieties that have been released
by the dozen over the past few years.
Here are a few varieties to help you get your space-saving garden started.
These plants will make full-sized vegetables--they're little
plants but they don't make miniature vegetables.
- Little Leaf cucumber--This compact plant variety got its name
because its leaves are only half the size of regular cucumber leaves.
According to Johnny's Selected Seeds, these cucumbers "have a
distinctive bright emerald green color. . . and yield well even under
stress." That will sure come in handy if you forget to water them!<
- Summerlong Basil-- Burpee Seeds claims that Summerlong is
"tasty, prolific and unstoppable" and that these vigorous, compact
plants almost never go to seed. Sounds good, doesn't it?
- Patio Princess Tomato-- This tomato plant can fit into a small
container and will only grow about 2' tall while still producing an
abundance of 2 1/2-3'' tomatoes. The only catch? Patio Princess is a
determinate variety meaning that it will only produce one crop of fruits
that will all mature at about the same time. However, this is a bonus if
you just want to get your tomato "fix" and then hit the beach for the
rest of the summer.
- Peas 'n-a-Pot Shelling Peas--These plants are just out and out
tiny! Topping out at just 10'' tall, they produce full-sized 3'' pea
pods. No trellising required for these guys! By the way, shelling peas
are the kind where you need to pop the peas out of their pod to eat
them--as opposed to edible pod peas such as snow peas or snap peas.
- Burpee's Butterbush Butternut Squash-- Apparently, these
plants only need 1/4 the space that traditional sprawling winter squash
varieties need. About nine square feet is as much space as this plant
will need in order to produce its bell-shaped fruits. This variety also
matures relatively quickly, and produces 1 1/2 pound butternut squashes
about 75 days after you seed it.
These varieties are all worth a try if you have always wanted a garden
but never thought that you had enough space for one.