Favorite Plants Spring to Summer 2018

As I did our morning walk through of the garden, I am actually quite surprised that so much is surviving the Southern heat and humidity we have sadly come to accept as normal. There are a few plants that have not only pleased but superseded our expectations. We wanted to share Bain Home Garden’s top 5 favorite plants for the  2018 Spring/Summer growing season.

White Cherry Tomatoes

We got these guys last growing season and planted them late. I was a bit frustrated with how slow the plants grew; we pulled some of the tomatoes right before a freeze but  in our effort to ripen them off vine, the little babies went bad. So this Spring we gave it another shot. We planted many different varieties of tomatoes but this one has been by far the tastiest! Much self-control is required to not eat them right from the vine! No lie!

These plants have been extremely productive and disease resistant. When other tomatoes had succumb to heavy rains, the White Cherry Tomato plants survived. Whenever they do actually make it into the house, we chop and add to a tomato, cucumber, onion, and vinegar salsa of sorts. We store in a mason jar in the fridge. Very tasty.

Blue Shelling Pea

Something you will come to know about me is that I love purple! I’m attracted to most things purple, ESPECIALLY PLANTS! So you already know what happened when I saw these guys! They were pretty prolific producers and added such beauty to the garden this spring! Watching them grow was such a joy! We caught a few of them mid-transition from green to purple. These will be on our regular rotation of peas going forward.

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They were so heavy with pods that our trellises had to be reinforced – all to no avail – they just kept falling! It was irritatingly funny! The bees really enjoyed the flowers. The photos just do not do justice! 20180419_081410100239192426912188.jpg

These peas were pleasantly easy to shell but also stored well in whole pods. We froze a quart and actually just ate them. Mm-mm good!

Turkish Orange Eggplant

So these ladies just make me happy! It really looks like an orange growing on a mini tree. In the case of the photo below, it looks like a mini pumpkin! This heirloom eggplant is absolutely gorgeous!

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They have not been prolific in production by any means & take forever to begin harvesting, however, the taste is well worth the wait! The skin is tender and the taste is sweeter & far less bitter that other eggplant varieties we have tried over the years! Due to the thinner skin we have found the shelf life to be shorter than other varieties – likely why it is not available in the grocery stores. For you container gardeners out there – this is an excellent selection to become acquainted with. We planted four in pots and they are doing just as well as the ones in the ground.

Poona Kheera Cucumber

I had a difficult time keeping these seedling alive but eventually found the recipe for success! Glad I did! These have become my pride and joy this growing season. From India, this heirloom is very resistant to diseases that most cucurbita fall prey to. They mature to a unique russet potato color after going through color changes from green to yellow to an almost golden orange-yellow. While our other cucumbers were being attacked by squash bugs, this plant stood its ground and was unaffected!

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Some of the fruit got quite large and from those we made dill pickles but the smaller ones went in to our salsa we referred to earlier. With a taste that is lighter and sweeter than your average cucumber, it really is a good option for ones who haven’t been friends with cucumbers in the past.

Red & Green Malabar Spinach

Not a spinach at all, this particular plant loves the summer heat & humidity, so we decided to grow it simply because we wanted to ensure we had leafy greens for salads even during summer heat. This is why this selection made our favorite list. In areas that do not have cold winters it is a perennial. 20180726_143232.jpgIt is a vine, yet we have noticed the green variety, because of a thicker stem, can support its own weight without use of a trellis while the red variety definitely needs one. The leaves get VERY LARGE, so much so that there are recipes online for stuffed Malabar Leaves! This is definitely not one for everyone. The leaves are thicker than spinach and have mucilaginous texture that can be off-putting for some. Our Bain Home Garden salad blend, mixes it with other summer lettuces which balances out the flavor very well!

What plants have you found to be prolific or just plain horrible thus far this growing season? Follow us on Facebook and feel free to share your faves and not so favorites with us in the comments sections of this post.

What will we be experimenting with the fall growing season? Stay tuned, this is just about to get FUN!