Nothing beats the taste of fresh vegetables, especially if you have grown them yourself. But as people downsize into condos and as yards in newer areas decrease in size, large veggie plots are not accessible. However, even in these limited spaces one can grow vegetables very successfully in containers on patios or decks. Many seed companies are catering to people growing vegetables in urban lots by introducing varieties specifically developed for small spaces.
The following are some varieties we have chosen than not only product a bountiful harvest, but are specially bred to mature much earlier than most.
• known as the fat and mighty baby carrot
• early harvest; extra scrumptious almost perfectly round baby carrot, ready in 75 days from sowing
• ready to eat when just one inch in diameter
• excellent fresh, cooked or frozen
• ultra sweet; extremely delicious
• great resistance to fungal problems
• for continuous harvest, seed successively every two weeks.
Onion 'Spring Sentry'
• an upright dark stemmed spring onion ideal for cutting fresh for indoor use throughout the season, as this
• variety does not ‘bulb up’
• best used as freshly cut onions in salads
• sow every three weeks for an ongoing supply throughout the summer
• very highly flavoured
• ready in 6-8 weeks
Tomato 'Tumblin Tom Red'
• one of the best for hanging baskets
• very sweet, juicy, cascading cherry type tomato
• heavy yielding throughout the summer
• excellent in containers and window boxes, as plants grow only 30cm tall and have a natural compact habit
• no pruning required – only regular watering and feeding
• ready in 45 days after transplanting
Zucchini 'Midnight Fi'
• a bush rather than vining variety of zucchini
• very compact, bush growth habit making it ideal for containers on the patio; grow up an obelisk or bamboo poles twined together
• foliage is virtually spine-free, making harvesting much easier
• delicious dark green slightly speckled fruit
• 75 days to maturity
Beet 'Action hybrid Fi'
• a unique baby type of beetroot
• seeds quickly producing smooth skinned beetroots which are tastiest when ping pong size
• ready to eat in just 6-12 weeks
• this variety is bred to be at its sweetest and most nutritious whilst still small in size
• ideal for pots on the patio
• leaves can also be eaten, steamed or boiled with a taste reminiscent of spinach; great for beet rolls
• bolt resistant
Chili Pepper 'Gusto Purple Fi'
• a medium hot type pepper adaptable for growing indoors or out in pots
• good yielding variety with a good level of holding ability
• compact mounding plants (30cm x 30cm) making them ideal as potted plants or in the ground
• slender elongated fruits mature from purple to a rich red providing a stunning display or peppers half inch wide and up to four inches long
• ready in 65 to 70 days
Lettuce 'Lollo Rossa'
• a classic Italian lettuce with dark coppery red leaves fading to green
• finely crinkled frilly leaves which are crisp and almost brittle when snapped
• a most beautiful lettuce noted for its unique shape and refreshing taste
• one of the easiest, trouble free varieties one can grown
• it is a “cut and come again” variety, meaning if you pick the outer leaves, the plant continues to grow and does not become bitter in summer heat
• given the right conditions, this variety will produce for 3 months or more
• high end restaurants pay a premium price for this variety of lettuce
• awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit for its performance
• a baby type leek ideal for small spaces
• great flavour and uniformity in shape
• super tasty flavour – milder than spring onions
• delicious in salads and stir fries
• ready to eat in just 6-12 weeks
• ideal for beginning gardeners
Salad Onion 'Apache'
• a fast maturing deep purple-red skinned salad onion ideal for small spaces and containers
• keeps its colour well when peeled, adding nice colour to pasta or potato salad
• designed to be eaten as baby salad onions
• mild flavour and crisp texture
• ready in just 10-12 weeks
• a very appealing fashionable baby turnip with purple tops (that grow above ground) and white base (which grow below ground level)
• roots are rounded and very sweet
• harvest when they are the size of a large radish for the best flavour
• amazing when roasted in olive oil
• leaves can be harvested as greens for salads
• a fast maturing variety (6-12 weeks) that does not bolt
Other good recommendations from the Sutton line include: Carrot 'Ideal', Chili Pepper 'Cheyenne Fi', Dwarf Fresh Bean 'Speedy', Radish 'Jolly'. All make great container plants.
Cucumber 'Alibi Hybrid'
• the best variety for making sweet gherkins
• fruit is absolutely delectable, with a good texture that holds up well for picking
• fruits reach 4 inches long if you let them fully mature, but will be more tender and succulent if you pick them at the two inch size
• huge yields on space-saving compact vines
• a very high level of disease resistance and highly tolerant of inclement weather
• mature 50 days from transplant
• a top notch cuke you won't want to miss!
Lettuce 'Early Curled Simpson'
• one of the most popular lettuce varieties around
• early producer of extra fine quality with broad light green frilled and crumpled outer leaves
• centre leaves blanch to almost white
• hardy and quick growing
• tender and sweet at all stages
• ready in 48 days
• an heirloom variety
Mesclun 'Spicy Mix'
• a spicy and tangy mixture for salads containing seed of arugula, endive, red looseleaf lettuce and mustard
• sow successively in containers every month for a constant supply of fresh greens for salads
• mature 21-30 days, so can be directly sown into containers each month
• knows as the ultimate hanging basket tomato
• a really early variety maturing in 50 days
• each plant can produce up to 7lbs of sweet, tasty bright red cherry tomatoes 1.25” across
• fruit production starts early summer and continues right into the late fall