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Top 5 edibles for your container garden

STAFF REPORTS
Published on Thursday, March 15, 2012

One of the year's hottest trends in gardening is to combine ornamentals and edibles in one garden space and container gardening makes that easier than ever. When gardening in a small space it is important to look for plants that are compact in size, will give you a large yield, and feature unique colors and shapes.

Here are the top five edibles to add to your garden this season, according to MasterGardening.com.

1. Vates Blue Curl Scotch Lake Kale

This cool weather crop actually tastes sweeter after a frost perfect for those with a short growing season. A Dwarf kale such as Vates Blue Curl Scotch Lake Kale is perfect for containers and max out at 18 inches. Kale adds great texture and a deep blue-green color to the container garden and can easily be planted in mixed containers with flowers or other ornamentals.

2. Nasturtium

This edible flower is the perfect choice for beginners.  An easy and quick grower, Nasturtium does best when neglected a bit. 12-18 inch vines sport rounded leaves and stunning jewel toned blooms. Both the flowers and leaves have a peppery taste and are excellent as garnish or in salads. Weather spilling out of a deck rail container or trained up an exterior wall Nasturtium is an outstanding choice for any urban container garden.

3. Columnar Apple

Delicious apples in the first year of planting! Columnar Apples are a container gardener's dream apple. While they produce a smaller yield than semi-dwarf trees this apple reaches only 10 feet in height and 2 feet wide. Planted in a large container they look wonderful flanking the front walk or as a living fence. Columnar Apples flourish from Zone 4-9 in full sun but require two plants to produce fruit.

4. Purple Tomatillo

Dramatic deep purple fruits encased in pale husks this tomatillo delivers a bit of panache to any container garden. Purple Tomatillo's are slightly sweeter than their green counterparts allowing them to be enjoyed straight off the vine or in the more traditional salsa verde.

5. Rosa Bianca Eggplant

The gourmet's choice of eggplant this Italian variety produces lavender-pink and cream streaked fist size fruits. The Rosa Bianca Eggplant is an excellent variety for the container garden since it is easier to defend from pests which generally swarm eggplant when planted in ground. While a compact plant this eggplant's weak branches benefit from staking or a small tomato cage.

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