Edible Gardening. This week, we are answering your edible gardening questions from fruit trees to tomatoes.
“What are the citrus plants growing at the Outlet?”
We have a great selection of citrus plants (perfect for growing in containers – outside in the summer and indoors for the winter), including Kieffer Lime, Yuzu Lime, Pomegranate, Mexican Lime, Buddha’s Hand, Satsuma Arctic Frost, and still have a few more varieties coming including lemons!
“What apple trees are a good choice for a small backyard?”
Yes indeedie! J Take a look at the ‘Urban Apples’! I love these! They grow in a column shape, only 3-4 feet wide, and maybe 8-10 feet tall! Normal sized apples, great production, and with their size, don’t take up a lot of space, and easy to work with from pruning (very little needed), spraying and harvesting. They will even grow in very large containers. So-o-o-o perfect for growing apples!
“Did I hear you say we can grow any fig in our area outdoors?”
Yes, I did! According to Byron Martin, owner of Logees, who has been experimenting with overwintering all types of figs outdoors in Connecticut, if properly protected, he has gotten all selections to overwinter, outdoors (of course, you can also grow them in containers and overwinter them in an unheated garage – or plant Chicago Hardy which is a zone 6 fig). We have his tip sheet at the Outlet, so pick a fig (4 selections to choose from) and grab the tip sheet. Fresh figs in September are outstanding!
“What was the new tomato that has the long streams of cherry tomatoes hanging down?”
Rapunzel! Can’t wait to grow it this year! By the way, if you’re looking for an all-purpose, good producing, medium-sized tomato (in the ground or in pots), we’re still getting great reviews with 4th of July. Be prepared – when you come to buy tomatoes at the Outlet, it’ll take you a little while to look at all the varieties we have for you this year! (We have a list for you on our website and at the Outlet)
“How deep and wide should a raised bed garden be?”
First, I think raised bed gardening is the only way to grow! It’s a different level of container gardening and has so many great benefits, it’s well worth the time and investment. Depth can be anywhere from 6 inches to 36 inches, width should be no more than 5 feet, but usually kept 4 feet (easy to reach in from either side), and the length is up to you! By the way, google ‘keyhole’ gardens and take a look at that idea. I like it!
“What tomatoes are best for containers, and what size pot do you recommend?”
Actually, any of the tomatoes can be grown in containers as long as you have the ability to stake the taller growing selections. If not, then look at the determinate or bush varieties, which usually stay smaller and stockier (Bush Early Girl, Bush Champion, Health kick, Patio, etc). For the truly dwarf tomatoes, you can get by with a 10-12 inch pot. But for all the rest, I do nothing less than an 18inch pot or larger (one plant per pot). Some folks will use a 5-gallon pickle bucket and be successful. Make sure you use tomato food like TomatoTone which actually has added calcium to help prevent Blossom End Rot.
“Why are some peppers sold as green peppers, then others as red or yellow or whatever? And can I use the color peppers for green peppers?”
Good question! Besides some of the ornamental peppers, most start out green can be harvested green (like the ‘green bell peppers’), but if left on the plant long enough, will eventually turn another color. You jalapeños used mostly as green pepper but will turn reddish orange as they mature on the plant. ‘Green Bell Peppers’ (my parents used to call them ‘mangoes’) are used at the green stage, but again, if left on the plant, would eventually turn colors. Remember, peppers grow great in containers!
‘What’s a good early tomato?”
Early girl is pretty popular, but I like Fourth of July, and look at the Tumbling Toms for an early source of cherry tomatoes. Click Here to See Natorp’s Tomato Collection.
Have a question about gardening in Cincinnati? email firstname.lastname@example.org.