Gardening: Some vegetables can be grown among perennials instead of annuals

Gardening: Some vegetables can be grown among perennials instead of annuals

I started seeds for three types of onions and six types of peppers last weekend.

Onions will be ready to plant in early to mid-April and peppers at the end of May. It can take several weeks for peppers to germinate, which is why I started germinating them now.

I will plant more vegetable varieties in mid-March, early April and early May and finish with basil in late May.

Here lies a problem. I've started a lot of seeds, where will I put them all in the garden when planting time comes? Answer: Plant some of them among perennial plants instead of annuals. Here are some vegetable varieties that are beautiful enough to join veronicas, snapdragons, coneflowers, and asters.

Eggplant An eye-catching plant with its strong, upright nature. Fuzzy grey-green leaves and purple flowers that turn into white or purple fruits. It can grow 18 inches to 2 feet tall and wide, making it ideal for the medium-height portion of a garden bed. They need full sun if you want them to fruit but can take light shade if you don't care for a fix of fried eggplant or a batch of baba ghanoush. They will need regular watering and fertilizer to grow well.

zucchini And summer squash Its large, broad leaves provide bold texture in a garden bed that is difficult to find in our area. Most large-leaved perennials are not cold hardy enough. They will need full sun, regular water and fertilizer to put on their best show. It is best to plant them near a walkway so you can easily inspect them for ripe fruit.

Pepper plants Provide a medium-sized sheet for the garden bed. Like eggplant, it is a vigorous, upright plant that can reach about 2 feet tall and wide with a small white flower. Green peppers add an interesting texture, and if the summer is long and warm, they add a lovely red color to the bed in late summer. It is fairly drought tolerant but will need full sun and fertilizer during the summer.

corn They can be replaced with ornamental grasses in the bed. After all, it is a member of the grass family. Varieties can vary from about 5 feet to over 8 feet in height. If you want to pick ears of corn, you will need to plant them in full sun in a clump of several rows because, like other grasses, they are wind-pollinated. Corn cannot tolerate drought and needs regular irrigation and fertilizer. Dead stems can be left in the garden for fall decoration.

If you are interested in growing fruit in your flower beds and need some medium height shrubs, consider this Mulberry bushes. They have an airy leaf texture that can grow 3 to 5 feet tall in full sun and good fall color. It should be planted in acidic soil made up of compost, sawdust and a healthy dusting of sulfur granules. Plant two varieties and maintain them well.

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