Planning a seasonal kitchen garden

 Planning my garden for the next season is always exciting. This year I had a chance of getting all heirloom seeds from Baker and Creek Heirloom Seed Company thanks to my niece who is in Houston these days.

Here is my mouth-watering list of vegetables that I ordered.
1. California Wonder pepper
2. Tam Jalapeno pepper
3. Golden Marconi Pepper
4. Tom Thumb Lettuce
5. Rossa di Treviso
6. Mizuna red streak
7.Strawberry popcorn
8. Pencil Cob dent Corn
9.Chinese Red Noddle Beans
10.Dragon Tongue Bush Bean
11.Emerald Okra
15. Chinese long eggplant
16. White scallop squash
17. Purple Cosmic Carrot
18. Tamarillo or Tree-Tomato
 

A few vegetables are must in my kitchen garden because of the diversity in their flavors, colors and appearance and also because they are perfect for a container garden. Here is what I selected and why.



1. California Wonder pepper
2. Tam Jalapeno pepper
3. Golden Marconi Pepper



1. Bell Peppers:

 I love heirloom Bell Peppers!  Sweet Peppers are high in Vit C and provide good amounts of Vit B-6 and Vit A. They make my dishes cheerful and fun to make and eat. I wanted to have yellow and red bell pepper. California Wonder is the most famous red bell pepper that I love to grow. Golden Marconi Pepper makes me drool.
Besides sweet peppers I have also included Tam Jalapeno chilli pepper which is even more nutritious than the other two. This means, better pastas, pizzas , pickles and salads!


4. Tom Thumb Lettuce
5. Rossa di Treviso
6. Mizuna red streak


2. Salad Greens and Reds

Me and my husband love crunchy salad leaves in our sandwiches, salads and wraps. Some greens even make the stock more flavorsome.
I try to have several types of greens that mature in different times and have a diversity of colors and textures. We avoid strong flavors and try to include mild to sweet flavored lettuce.
This year I have included, super fast and super rich in Vit A, Tom Thumb Lettuce that can be harvested in 45 days, Chicory, Radicchio that is a perennial which means I can harvest 2 or more heads from the same planting and Mizuna which is packed with Vit C and A besides Calcium, Vit B-6, Iron and Magnesium. 




7.Strawberry popcorn
8. Pencil Cob dent Corn

3. Corns
Although, Corn is sown in Spring and Summer but I will still try to grow these in Fall when its still hot in Karachi.

Corn has always been a fun snack and perfect ingredient for nutritious meals. They can grow easily in containers and look spectacular in your kitchen garden.  To make this display even more fascinating, I picked 2- 3” big Strawberry popcorn which will become a perfect evening snack for us!  Pencil cob dent Corn is said to be best corn for containers. This will also store well and taste best when used fresh.



9.Chinese Red Noddle Beans
10.Dragon Tongue Bush Bean


4. Beans 
Growing beans is always rewarding. There are so many varieties and flavors to explore that you can never gt bored of growing these. I am growing two very unusual yet stunning beans this season. Chinese Red noddle beans is a vine that will have plenty of wall and trellis to grow on. These deep red beans are 18 inches long that create absolutely stunning display. People who grow this say that the vines wont stop producing fruit!  

Dragon Tongue Bush bean is relatively compact plant with good yields that will tolerate our summer temperatures too.



11.Emerald Okra
15. Chinese long eggplant


4. Okra and Eggplants
Two of my favorite vegetables which hardly makes me happy as a vegetable grower but I am determined to learn to produce best crop possible.

Emerald Okra is know for its high continuous yields of smooth, long , deep green tasty pods even in droughts. Ma-Zu Chinese long eggplant is something I always wanted to grow. This plant produces long 8-12 inch long fruit for a long season and is especially productive in summers. I might also use it for tomato transplants.



16. White scallop squash
17. Purple Cosmic Carrot


6. Squash and Carrots
My love for Squashes made me select White Scallop Squash  for my summer garden but I will try to grow these in winter as well. I am hoping that they will do great in big containers. I have also included Purple Cosmic Carrot because its thin, almost core-less and have a very distinctive color that is closer to our red carrot. This seems like a perfect alternate to the famous Nantes Carrots that is usually grown in containers.



18. Tamarillo or Tree-Tomato


7. Tamarillo or Tree-Tomato

I am too excited for growing these! I have not ordered any tomatoes this time because I was too excited for this similar fruit. Even though I do not have enough space to grow these but I would love to try!! 


Here is my plan for coming season. Share yours on our page Crops in Pots .For any questions and suggestions please write to us.


Happy Gardening













WRITTEN BY:

Zahra Ali Husain is a sustainability educator, freelance writer and an environmentalist. She is also a co-founder of Organic City Pakistan and runs the Green Schools & the Horticulture Therapy programs along with Yasir Husain. Zahra also manages an organic farm.

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