Gourmet Vegetable Plants List (SCROLL DOWN TO SEE ENTIRE LIST)
Cucumbers - Cucumis sativus
Cucumbers are popular among gardeners for their refreshing flavour and bountiful yields. Available in both bush and vine varieties. Can be grown in large containers but require regular watering. Plant in full sun in well draining soil amended with fresh compost and aged manure.
Jerusalem artichoke - Helianthus tuberosus
Not actually an artichoke this root vegetable is actually member of the sunflower family and definitely looks it. Sweet taste comes from fructose, which is about one and a half times sweeter than sucrose. - making it a good choice for diabetics. Tubers are dug up like potatoes and look like ginger. Tolerates most soil types but does best in rich soil in full sun. Very aggressive grower – should be grown in a large pot or contained area.
Height: 1.5 -3M (5-10 ft), Spread: Indefinite – best to contain
Goosefoot - Chenopodium
A tall (5-6') cousin of lamb's quarters - quick growing plant with large, colourful , edible leaves that both taste great and high in fiber. Use the young, mineral-rich, magenta tipped leaves in salad mixes. The seeds are high-protein and can be ground into gluten free flour, or feed them to the birds!
Kale - Brassica oleracea
Kale has had a recent spike in popularity lately and why not. It is incredibly nutrient rich, beautiful in the garden and the hardiest of all vegetables. Harvest in the middle of a snow storm! Kale is not overly picky about soil conditions as long as it is well draining and has moderate amounts of organic material in it. It does best in full sun but tolerates light shade. Make tasty kale chips or use the baby greens in stir fries, soups and strews.
Lettuce - Lactuca sativa
Fast growing leafy greens that are easy to grow and does best in the early spring and early fall when the weather is cooler. Tends to bolt the summer heat. Grow as full plants or baby greens that can be cut back and harvested 3 or 4 times. Tasty, healthy and colourful – they look great in both the garden or a salad. Does best in moist but well draining soil loaded with organic material. Loves full sun but also does well in partial shade, especially during the hotter summer months.
Peppers - Capsicum annuum
Peppers add colour to your garden and dinner table. Whether you are growing sweet peppers or hot peppers you will need full sun and well draining soil that is rich in organic material. Grows well in containers (2 gal +) but require regular watering for best fruit production. Plant in green house or sun-room to maximize production.
Pumpkin - Cucurbita spp.
Growing pumpkins is a great way to get kids involved in gardening. There are tons of creative things you can do with them in the garden, kitchen and for fall displays. Pumpkins require lots of rich organic material - add plenty of compost and aged manure and plant in full sun for best harvest. Pumpkins take up quite a bit of space in the garden but you can weave its vines around larger trees and berry bushes in the garden to maximize your garden space.
Squash (Summer) / Zucchini - Cucurbita spp.
The trick to getting the best tasting summer squash is pick them when they are small and tender – 2-6” depending upon variety. Plant in full sun in ground that has plenty of compost or manure worked in. Keep well watered but avoid wetting the leaves to prevent powdery mildew. Continual harvest keeps the plant producing fruit. Lager fruit tend to have a harder skin but are still edible – grate them up to use fresh or frozen in sauces, stews and even baking.
Squash (Winter) - Cucurbita spp.
Grown over the summer for for winter storage, winter squash have a sweet meaty flesh. Can stored three months or more when properly cured. Winter squash grows best in the full sun in well draining soil enriched with plenty of organic material. Vineing varieties can be grown up trellises to maximize garden space.
Swish Chard - Beta vulgaris var. cicia
Also know as Beet Greens, Swish Chard is perhaps the flashiest of garden vegetables. It is unquestionably as beautiful as any ornamental plant with its upright growth, vibrant lush leaves and rainbow of colours. Swish Chard is very hardy and survives all but the coldest weather. Grows best in well draining soil with plenty of organic material worked in. Harvest when fully mature or use as baby green in stir fries and salads. Tolerates summer heat with minimal bolting.
Tomatillos - Physalis perviana
Popular in many Mexican dishes and also known as husk tomatoes - Tomatillos grow much the same as tomatoes. Grow in full sun in soil with moderate amounts of organic material. Keep well watered. Plant is woodier than a tomato, more like a pepper plant. Produces beautiful small yellow / purple flowers and green tomato like fruit covered in a paper like husk. Great for salsas !
Tomato - Lycopersicon esculentum
Tomatoes are a favorite of many home gardeners. They are available in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes. Best picked right of the vine and added to any salad, sandwich or sauce. Grows best in full sun in well draining soil with moderate amounts of organic material. To much compost or manure can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of fruit. Plant tomato plants deep – up to its first set of real leaves. The buried stem turns to roots, allowing the plant to access more nutrients and moisture from the soil, resulting in healthier more productive plants. Larger, later maturing varieties should be grown under shelter or protection from the rain to prevent early season blight that can be quite prevalent here in the Pacific North West Coast. To maximize harvest, plant a mix of early season quick maturing varieties and slower maturing last season varieties.
Green Gage Tomato
This Victorian classic was created in England in the 1870s and introduced into the US in 1876. The fruit is sweet just like a greengage plum. . Exceptional flavor! Each fruit is roughly 1 ½ inches in diameter. Produces early, often 60 days after planting and will continue until frost. Ideal for small gardens and cool climate areas of the country. Easy to grow in tubs.
Indigo Rose Tomato
A medium sized dark purple almost black tomato. High in antioxidants. Indigo Rose develops a dark purple pigment in its skin where exposed to direct sunlight. Green when unripe, purple-red when ripe, the 1-2 oz., cocktail-sized tomatoes have good flavor. Indeterminate / Vine. Open pollinated
Jaune Flamme / Orange Flame Tomato
An old heirloom tomato dating back to the 1880s. Light red and orange streaks – sometimes dramatic. Very meaty, sweet and lots of old time tomato flavor. Productive – mid sized fruit. Great fresh in salads, sandwiches Low acid flavor - reaches full potential when dried. Also great for roasting, and zesty sauces. Very sweet and juicy. Vine.
This Himalayas heirloom produces beautiful deep red unblemished 8 ounce firm fruit with a wonderful rich old fashioned taste with a great acid to sugar balance making it one heck of a sandwich and salad tomato. Tolerates cool growing conditions also a great keeper if picked green and wrapped in paper to ripen over the winter months. Does well in cool well ventilated greenhouses. Big plants produce an abundance of fruit. Use extra strong stakes.