To review the November newsletter CLICK HERE
GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
Visit our Sponsors! encore azalea Dramm
Visit our Sponsors and win.
Easiest Vegetables

Easiest Vegetables

By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies and Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford

Tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers are three of the easiest vegetables I grow. This grouping features ‘Patio’ tomatoes, ‘Cubanelle’ peppers, and eggplant. Melampodium is tucked in along the edge. The tall blue columns allow maximum harvest in the smallest space.

GardenSMART Article Image

The Plants

‘Patio’ tomato: 1 plant from a 4” pot.

Eggplant: 1 plant from a 4” pot.

‘Cubanelle’ pepper: 1 plant from a 4” pot.

Melampodium: 18 plants from multipacks.

GardenSMART Article Image

Cultural Information

Light: Full sun, at least six hours per day.

Season: Spring through fall for most warmer areas. These plants take temperatures from about 40 degrees to the low 100’s and are equally happy in either extreme. Peppers and tomatoes bear fruit at temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees. Eggplant need 100 to 140 days of temperatures between 70 to 90 degrees.

GardenSMART Article Image

Lifespan: Five to six months for the vegetables. The tomatoes will start to decline about two to three months after planting. Replace them with fresh plants at that time.

Care: Fertilize on planting day with a slow-release mix. Repeat if the leaves look yellowish or washed-out, although the fertilizer should last from six to nine months.

GardenSMART Article Image

Water: Water thoroughly if the plants show signs of wilt, or the soil feels dry when you push your fingertip into the potting mix. I watered this one every day (after it was about a month old) in midsummer and every other day in cooler weather.

Troubleshooting: No problems at all.

GardenSMART Article Image

Planting Plan: Easy. Simply plant a vegetable in the center of the pot, and plant melampodium along the front edge. Be sure to plant in good-quality potting mix, not garden soil, topsoil, or potting soil, which can kill your plants.

Containers: Found in independent garden centers.

Best Time to Pick: Be sure to check behind the leaves frequently because peppers and some tomatoes hide! The more you pick, the more the plants produce. They are ready to eat when they turn a sharp shade of red. The eggplants are ready when they have stopped growing and have a glossy skin.

This is an excerpt from Pamela Crawford’s book, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs, available through Amazon and other online booksellers.

Pamela Crawford, author of 12 gardening books, is considered one of the most accomplished container gardening experts in the country. In addition to designing gardens for over 1500 residences, her work has been featured on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens publications as well as in Southern Living, HGTV Magazine, Fine Gardening, Country Gardens, and in over 300 newspapers. As an expert in her field, she has appeared on the Fine Living Network, GardenSMART, and numerous local tv shows.

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

Article URL:

Back to Articles List                               

GardenSMART Featured Article

By Heirloom Roses
Photographs courtesy of Heirloom Roses

Getting your roses ready for winter involves more than just covering them with mulch. If you care for your roses well in the fall, they will have a head start for successful growth in the spring. For an informative article, Click here .

  Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!  
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.