Vegetables are no longer relegated to the vegetable garden. Instead, they’re used for their beauty as well as their bounty. The best-looking vegetables can be planted in flowerbeds. Here are some of the most beautiful vegetables to use to create your own ornamental-edible garden:
Lettuce comes in many gorgeous varieties with green, red, purple, even spotted leaves. They also vary in texture from frilly to crinkled to upright and crisp. Plant them among your spring flowers, such as pansies or violas, or weave them through daffodils and tulips.
Swiss chard is one of the most beautiful vegetables with large, upright, deep green, often crinkled leaves highlighted by bright red or white stems. The new variety Bright Lights is even more colorful, with stems in various shades of yellow, orange, pink, red, purple, green and white. Plant Swiss chard wherever there’s space. It always looks good.
Peppers are distinctively upright plants with dark green leaves, small, attractive flowers and brightly colored fruit. Most peppers turn red as they mature but there are also yellow and purple varieties. Small-fruited varieties like Serrano or Cayenne look especially good because they produce so many bright red peppers. For something really unusual, try one of the metallic purple Thai peppers.
Scarlet runner beans are produced on a vigorous, twining vine that’s ideal for growing on a fence or trellis. It produces beautiful scarlet flowers among deep green leaves.
Eggplants come in many shapes, sizes and colors beyond the standard supermarket purple. The purplish leaves and flowers are also beautiful, making it one of the top ornamental edibles. Plants are upright and look great in flowerbeds.
Other edibles to consider for an ornamental-edible garden include kale, cabbage, rhubarb, sweet potatoes and herbs such as garlic, rosemary and thyme.
Most vegetables grow best in full sun and well-drained soil. They also need regular water and fertilizer. To protect against damaging insects, you can use Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer for Gardens. This comes in a liquid ready-to-use formula, or a ready-to-use dust formula, that is safe, when used as directed, to apply on vegetables. Refer to the label for approved vegetables and use rates.