Our Test Kitchens' Garden
One of the keys to clipping herbs is choosing the right tools. Garden scissors can be used to snip thin-stemmed herbs such as thyme or chives, but sharp clippers are needed to cut through the thick stems of basil and rosemary. Never tear or break off the stems, and always make cuts at leaf junctions to ensure bushy plants.
We also set out a few different types of peppers. When the summer heat kicks in, we can enjoy mild, sweet-tasting banana peppers or make some spicy salsa with scorching hot ‘Habanero’ peppers. There are so many types in various shapes, and they’re very ornamental. You can plant red, orange, yellow, green, or purple selections. Peppers are great for beginning gar¬deners because they’re easy to grow and prolific.
Eggplants are also heavy producers. Long, thin, purple ‘Ichiban’ and egg-shaped, porcelain-colored ‘Ghostbuster’ are beautiful and make excellent table fare. They are mild flavored and less bitter than some of the larger selections.
We’ve already planted blueberries, figs, and a couple of muscadine vines and plan to add more fruits over the next few years. As our garden grows, so do the many flavors. This year, try growing a few herbs or vegetables in your backyard. You’ll save money at the grocery store and enjoy the beauty they add to your garden. Plus, it’s rewarding to see tiny plants mature and yield fresh and tasty homegrown produce.
Each year we plant a couple of new selections or reliable heirlooms to see how they do. Here are a few that we really like.
- ‘Lemon’ cucumber
- ‘Purple Beauty’ bell pepper
- ‘Round of Hungary’ pepper
- ‘Ghostbuster’ eggplant
- ‘Tiny Tim’ tomato
- ‘Gold Rush’ zucchini