This season try growing vegetables and fruit in containers on the deck or patio. You can have the benefits of ornamental plants and the pleasure of delicious produce. Floranova, a creative plant breeding company located in the UK, has developed a line of food plants for containers that have been selected for their beauty and successful cropping in large pots. The plants are compact, naturally branching and of determinate habit.
The Patio Vegetable Collection has three tomato offerings. The ‘Totem’ is a high yielding bush tomato with medium-size fruit. There is a ‘Tumbling Tom Yellow’ and a ‘Tumbling Tom Red’. These plants produce a cherry-sized fruit on trailing vines growing up to 20″ long.
Pepper aficionados will enjoy ‘Redskin’, a sweet red bell pepper with upright growth and ‘Mohawk’, a sweet orange bell pepper with growth habit perfect for hanging baskets. Both produce an abundance of fruit.
For those seeking a patio variety of hot pepper, Floranova has a sizzling introduction named ‘Chenzo’. Its fiery hot fruit starts out green and matures from black to red. It will make a perfect feature plant in your container garden, well-shaped and proportioned. Others in the hot pepper family are ‘Apache’, upright and well-branched, and ‘Cheyenne’ with a spreading and cascading habit producing large, hot, orange fruit.
In the Cucurbita department, Floranova offers a miniature, deep orange pumpkin called ‘Windsor’. It is more than decorative – it makes a delicious pie. The vines are 24″ long, the fruit reaches 4-5″ in diameter and it matures in 85 -90 days.
Next, there is ‘Balmoral’, a pattypan squash. Its fruiting pattern is unique among squash, setting along the stems like Brussels Sprouts. The plant is compact with 6″ diameter white pattypans. Lastly, Floranova has introduced ‘Buckingham’, a perfect zucchini for container growing. The plant reaches 18″ wide and produces sunny yellow fruits best picked when 6-8″ long. It’s a delightful summer squash for the patio garden.
Floranova has two offerings for the piece-de-resistance of container gardening – the Alpine Strawberry. Choose either ‘Temptation’ (Fragaria x ananassa), a delicious, everbearing alpine strawberry that produces the first season from seed, or ‘Mignonnette’ (Fragaria vesca), a French favorite which produces a plethora of tasty fruit.
Now you can grow a wide variety of bountiful and tasty vegetables and fruit in containers almost anywhere you find abundant sunshine and a steady supply of moisture. In container gardening, you can easily control the variables of soil, exposure, fertility, and water. You can avoid the problems presented by garden predators and you can enjoy the inherent beauty of these plants up close. Because of growing and taste specific breeding you are more assured of success than ever before. Give container gardening a try this season.