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Garden Vegetables: The Dirt on Sure Winners

Here are some easy-growing garden favorites:
  • Tomatoes. Summer Sweet and Juliet are grape tomatoes. Small and oblong, they produce hundreds of amazingly sweet fruit that are perfect cut in half in salads, tossed with pasta, on pizza, or eaten alone. Beefy Boy is a large, beefsteak tomato that is great for tomato salads, burgers, and even sauce.
  • Summer squash. Zucchini and yellow crookneck squashes provides loads of flavorful fruit.
  • Beans. From Blue Lake (a tall pole bean) to Pencil Pod (a bush bean), beans can be used in many recipes, or as a delicious side dish. They are a kid favorite for growing and eating.
  • Chard. Large, dark green, rippled chard leaves are nutritious, flavorful, and versatile; they can be used raw in salads, cooked as a side dish, and in recipes that call for spinach. Bright Lights is my favorite, the multicolored stems are tasty and look almost like they have been dyed.
  • Herbs. Dill and basil are fast-growing, easy-care herbs that can be picked and used liberally in many vegetable dishes. Fresh herbs bring great flavor, and a touch of elegance, to any dish.
  • Salad. Included in this green mass are lettuces, cress, arugula, spinach, and a variety of plants that cross that gray zone between edible and ornamental, or both, such as nasturtiums (delicious flowers), signet marigolds (flowers), and shungiku (edible Chrysanthemums—a delicious novelty). Most of these are easily grown, and the challenge is eating them as fast as they grow.

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