Ruby red tomatoes and Idaho potatoes are tasty, but have you tried yellow tomatoes or purple potatoes? How about orange-fleshed watermelon or creamy white parsnips?
A garden should be a feast for the eyes and the stomach. Discover how to “plant the rainbow” in your garden this year.
If you want to plant the rainbow, now’s your chance. Dig into your favorite seed catalog and plant these multi-colored vegetables.
Both sweet bell peppers and hot peppers come in a litany of colors: red, orange, yellow, purple, and green. Sweet peppers come in many sizes as well, from snack-sized to miniature standard and standard sizes. You can even grow small pimento peppers for your favorite cheesy snack.
Seed companies sell “multicolored” or “rainbow” or “mixed color” swiss chard mixes. These mixed seed packs combine a range of colors of swiss chard, including yellow/orange, purple, pink, red, and white varieties.
If you think orange carrots are ho-hum, spice up your garden with a little carrot color. Look for a rainbow mix, which generally includes yellow, red, white, or purple carrot varieties all in one package.
Most small gardens include tomatoes and bell peppers in their summer planting fare, so red is no stranger in most home plots. But if you’d like more of this ravishing hue, check out these offerings in varying shades of rouge:
- Bell pepper
- Red onion
- Kidney bean: The pods aren’t red, but the beans are!
- Lettuce: Certain varieties of radicchio and endive, and lettuces such as Rouge D’Hiver, Ruby, and many other variegated, speckled, and freckled varieties.
- Red potato: Unfortunately, these beauties live underground, but they’re bright red at the time of harvest.
Yellow and orange
From plump spaghetti squash to yellow- and orange-fleshed watermelons, this brightly colored category serves up many varieties of vegetables popular in home gardens.
- Squash (both summer squash and winter squash varieties)
- Yellow pepper
- Orange cauliflower
- Yellow wax bean
- Sweet potato
- Watermelon (varieties with yellow flesh or orange flesh)
- Golden beet
Our purple list includes many vegetables that don’t often show up on grocery shelves. Wow your dinner guests with roasted purple cauliflower or a stuffed purple pepper.
- Purple basil
- Purple bell pepper
- Purple cauliflower
- Red cabbage
- Purple pea
- Purple green bean
- Purple potato
- Lettuce greens (many are red or purple-hued)
Green may be commonplace in our lawns and gardens, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Think of the many different shades of green you can grow in your garden, and add a few of these tasty veggies to your next seed order.
- Dark leafy greens
- Green beans
- Bok choy
- (Ripe green) tomato
- Brussel sprouts
Last but not least, there are a few plants that will give your garden that pop of white against all of the other colors of the rainbow.
- Celery root
FAQ about growing colorful vegetables
The list below is an overview of several veggies that work well in containers, which is great for those with limited space and those who have apartment balcony gardens. Make sure your new plants get plenty of sun and proper nutrition to help ensure a large harvest.
Pro Tip: Look on the tag for how much sun the plant needs. Some only thrive in full sun while others may grow with fewer hours of daylight.
—Dark greens, lettuces, and leafy greens
—Root crops: carrots (look for container varieties), turnips, beets
—Cucumbers (with a trellis)
If you want to learn more about growing vegetables, Lawn Love’s website has many articles to get your gardening endeavors off the ground:
—Organic Lawn Fertilizer: How to Grow Chemical-Free Grass
—What is a No-Till Garden?
–7 Clever Ways to Use Leftover Grass Clippings: Cook Up a Lasagna Garden
—Does Vinegar Kill Weeds?
—How to Get Rid of Crabgrass
—Fertilizer Basics: What to Look for in Your Fertilizer
—The Basics of Backyard Composting
—What is Vermicomposting?
Not only are colorful vegetables a bright addition to your vegetable garden, different colors often signal added health benefits. Eating a variety of colorful foods means you’ll eat a broad range of phytochemicals and phytonutrients, which are “beneficial substances produced by plants” that help reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.
Here are a few nutritional highlights for some of the colorful vegetables on our list:
–Vitamin A: Eat one sweet potato or one cup of kale (or swiss chard) for a full day’s worth of vitamin A.
–Vitamin C: A single cup of cooked tomatoes will fulfill nearly 100% of your daily vitamin C requirements.
–Antioxidants: Vegetables are rich in antioxidants such as carotenoids and lycopene that may have positive effects on human health.
–Finally, fresh, colorful vegetables that you grow yourself just taste better.
Sources: DrWeil.com, Health.Harvard.edu
If your gardening efforts have left you with little time to care for your lawn, our pros have you covered. Click or call for a quote on our popular local mowing services.
Main Photo Credit: JillWellington | Pixabay