The Beginner's Kitchen Garden Mini Series: Must-Have Edibles for Compact Gardens
For the final episode of our ‘Beginner’s Kitchen Garden’ discover Sarah’s must-have herbs and vegetables for the smallest spaces that pack unrivalled flavour and boast the very best productivity.
in this episode, discover
- How to get more from a small outside space
- Compact varieties to grow and try
- Parsley 'Gigante di Napoli' – Easy to grow, durable, hardy, and delicious. In the hot summer months, Sarah places the stems of her cut flat leaf parsley in a bottle of water in the fridge, enabling it to last 6 days or so.
- Swiss Chard 'Lucullus' – You definitely want the white stem variety for unbeatable flavour. Chard is like two vegetables in one and should be cooked individually. To do this simply strips the leaves from the stalk. The stem takes 5-6 minutes to get soft enough in boiling water, and the leaves take half the time. Add crème fraiche, and nutmeg for a delicious sauce or add to a bechamel and make a gratin. Find the recipe here https://www.sarahraven.com/articles/chard-gratin. Three plants in a 30cm pot will provide lots of produce but takes up very little space.
- Kale 'Curly Scarlet' – A more compact kale that’s delicious with rich crimson leaves. Whatever the weather, this is very happy growing in a container on the doorstep.
- Lettuce 'Merveille de Quatre Saisons' – Also known as ‘marvel of four seasons’ can grow happily in every season of the year. In a beautiful bronze colour, it has a wonderful open structure and a soft leaf with a crunchy stem. Even in a frost, you’ll be able to thaw and pick.
- Squash 'Tromboncino' – From April to August, this is a delicious and productive climbing courgette - an absolute must-have. It’s long and thin with a curling bulbous end, and if you’ve got a small amount of space, or no beds to work with, the vertical aspect of this variety really allows you to get more from a small space. Pick the mini courgettes when they are still small or grow them on and eat them more like squash.
- Runner Bean 'Polestar' – Stringless beans that taste absolutely wonderful, they also produce masses of scarlet flowers which have a distinctive ‘beanie’ taste too and work well on salads. Train up silver birch twigs and remember to pick beans regularly.