You don’t need a big space to grow a cool-season, delicious garden. You can have a harvest that looks as good as it tastes.
Start with bright red or yellow leaf chard, which provides an unbeatable backdrop for frilly lettuce and dark green parsley. These three plants flatter one another with their varying leaf colors and textures, proving that edible gardens can be pretty and delicious.
Feed a sunny garden with a 1-inch layer of compost and a light application of a balanced organic fertilizer before planting your eye-candy edibles.
When transplanting seedlings, press gently to firm the soil around the roots, which helps start new growth right away. Water as often as needed to keep the soil lightly moist, and the new plantings will take off in no time.
Plant a Pretty Garden That’s Also Delicious:
1. Lettuce. Fast and easy to grow when started with seedlings, lettuce settles in quickly after transplanting. Consider leaf color and texture when making your choices, and be on the lookout for leaf lettuce with ruffled, light green leaves, or wavy ‘Oak Leaf’ or ‘Salad Bowl’ varieties. Lettuce with dark red leaves looks even more vivid when flanked by varieties with light green foliage.
2. Curled parsley. Despite its delicate good looks, curled parsley is a resilient plant that’s perfect for trimming edges of beds or containers. The seedlings take time to adjust, so disturb the roots as little as possible when transplanting. Clip off any old stems that wither in subsequent weeks. Parsley plants produce new leaves from their centers, and shed older ones that are not gathered by gardeners.
3. Swiss chard. This showy member of the spinach family keeps its mild flavor in cold or warm weather. Even small seedlings show colors of white, bright red and shades of yellow, orange or pink. Quickly growing to 18 inches tall, a single chard plant can mix with smaller companions in a 14-inch pot, or use four or more plants to create a hedge of color in a small bed.