During stressful times, the best medicine for me is to work in the garden. Not knowing how long we will be self-quarantined, try to focus on growing your own vegetables. Even if you don’t have a lot of room, you can grow smaller forms of vegetables in containers on decks, patios and small yards. A lot of smaller-sized vegetable plants have been bred just for smaller living areas.
If schools stay closed for the rest of the year, growing vegetables with your family can be fun as well as educational.
Patio Snacker cucumber only grows 10 to 12 inches tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. This small plant produces plenty of 6-inch-long, slender fruits —ideal for pots. Like other cucumbers, it bears separate male and female flowers, but unlike other cultivars, Patio Snacker doesn’t need a lot of pollinators around to produce fruit. The flowers are parthenocarpic meaning they have the ability to self-pollinate and rely on insect pollinators.
Thumbelina Baby Ball carrots are small two-inch wide ball-shaped carrots. They’re great for containers and are ready in two months. These carrots are coveted by top chefs as well as children who eat them like sweet orange bonbons. They are even sweeter when caramelized through oven roasting or braising.
A favorite pepper of mine is Lunchbox peppers, in orange, red and yellow. They grow to about 2-3 inches long and I grow one plant in a 2- or 3-gallon pot. They are the sweetest and most flavorful peppers I’ve ever tasted. Delicious in salads, sautéed or just plucked off the plant as a snack, they are especially good stuffed with an herbed cream cheese.
Super Bush tomato grows 2 to 3 feet tall and one to two feet wide. These tomatoes fit in the palm of your hand and are ready in about 70 days after transplanting. This tomato plant variety is high yielding and very attractive. Sow the seeds 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost (end of April to early May) and plant in a 5- to 8-gallon container with a tomato cage to keep it from falling over.
Enjoy growing a mini vegetable garden for fun and just great “yummies”.