sepeters
Senior Member
Posts: 266
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:24 pm
Location: AZ, zone 9

Planning a Purple Vegetable & Herb Garden - Suggestions?

Hi all!
It may seem crazy to be planning for fall already, but where I live the spring season is in full swing and in a month or so it'll be slowing down, and I will be plotting and planning and graphing in earnest for my fall/winter garden. I will be starting seeds in July/August to get them established and in the ground before "winter" begins.

This fall I'd like to do a purple themed garden, just to mix things up and make them more interesting! What specific varieties have you guys grown and had good experiences with? I am looking for things that are tried and true. Emphasis on heavy producers. :) Any suggestions?

For southerners and southwesterners, you already know what will grow here. For my eastern and northern friends, think about winter and early spring crops that do not require dormancy or frost periods. I do have one raised bed, but on the shorter winter days it only gets full sun from around 7am- 12pm and is shaded or gets partial sun from there on out; last year only the lettuces seemed to do really well there. There is a smallish patch that gets full sun all day that is suitable for broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Everything else will have to go in pots and containers, but can be moved to get as much/little sun as they need.

I am open to all manner of veggies that have purple foliage, stems, fruit or even flowers (if they flower heavily or are, say cauliflower, etc). :( Flowers are always good too!No perennials, no trees, please. Don't be afraid to suggest some off the wall things though, I eat some pretty funky stuff! O:)

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11261
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: the color purple

There are always the purple and opal basil.
I don't know if they grow for you that time of the year but how about eggplant?
Lavender
Anise hyssop
Purple beauty bell pepper
Bolivian rainbow, Purple jalapeno hot peppers
echinacea
purple sweet allyssum
false heather
red cabbage
purple potatoes
purple carrots
Royal burgundy beans
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27733
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: the color purple

I love purple vegs. In particular, I have been trying different purple/red brassicas because they are supposed to be less attracting cabbage butterflies and cabbage moths. (They still get on there but I would say there are less on the purple ones -- more manageable -- than on green ones... Particularly less case of egg dumping) BUT harlequin bugs will still get on them (again not as much as on green ones)

Purple Vienna Kohlrabi -- gorgeous seedling foliage parts of which are lime green (I posted photos when I couldn't tell it was Kohlrabi but was impressed by how pretty it was compared to other brassica seedlings)
Image

Image

Image

Falstaff Brussels sprouts -- striking plants and yummy. I have a pic of a plant that is bolting on the cell phone and can post it -- no flowers yet but it looks really pretty

Red Russian Kale -- not really red/purple overall and is susceptible to the caterpillars and bugs, but gorgeous plants. It has red/purple veins that contrasts beautifully with the distictly blue green/gray foliage in colder weather, and once it bolts and has less foliage, more stem, becomes mostly purple, then has yellow flowers on the maroon/mahogany tems. Gorgeous. (posted photos before)
Image

Violetto cauliflower -- heirloom variety as opposed to Graffiti hybrid. I haven't successfully grown a full head, but this one makes side shoots too. Eye-catching.
Image

Purple Sprouting Broccoli -- the plant is supposed to get HUGE if overwintered. I have some that I started in fall and spent the winter (overwintered outside) as seedlings so we will see.

Other recommended purple:

Purple Podded Pole beans -- did you say productive? This one is great. Beautiful pink flowers too (I've posted photos here before)
Image
Image Image

Sweet Violets -- will they grow there? Flowers are wonderful in spring salads.

All Blue and Adirondack Blue potatoes -- prolific (and beautiful purple) bloomers and sets potato berries for collecting true potatoe seeds if you want to try growing them from seeds. Solid blue potatoes are great -- somewhat stronger flavored -- conversation starters, roasted, mashed, or as potato chips. I'm growing Purple Viking potatoes this year.

Can you grow asparagus? Oh year you said no perennials.... Well I have Purple Passion Asparagus
(Yesterday's harvest with Violetto cauliflower and Purple Sprouting broccoli, and Falstaff side shoots and regular green broccoli side shoots:
Image

I'm growing purple fava beans this year. I can't remember the name of it though.

Did you get the Indigo Apple tomato seeds in the giveaway?

... Those were first and immediate thoughts. I may have more for you later. :wink:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

mattie g
Green Thumb
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

Re: the color purple

Cherokee Purple tomatoes? Not truly purple in color, but the theme certainly applies in name!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27733
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: the color purple

Hot peppers Czechoslovakian Black and Royal Black were beautiful purple/mahogany colored plants and they will have rule flowers. I'm sure I posted pics but can't find them right now. Unlike Black Pearl, these are listed as culinary, but one is said to be tastier than the othe other. unfortunately, I can't remember which one. :|
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Planning a Purple Vegetable & Herb Garden - Suggestions?

Love it! :) If you can put up a trellis at the back of your purple garden, hyacinth bean vine has pale purple flowers, then vivid purple pods of edible beans:

Image
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wipCEiBxRhk/U ... loping.JPG


There is a purple(ish) sage:

https://www.thegrowers-exchange.com/Sage ... r-sa02.htm

and there are variegated sages that have purple new leaves:
Image
https://www.rollmagazine.com/wp-content/ ... edSage.jpg

All sage has pretty lavender flowers that bees adore, if you let it flower (generally not recommended if you want to keep collecting the leaves):
Image
https://www.flowerpicturegallery.com/d/9 ... ctures.jpg
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27733
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Planning a Purple Vegetable & Herb Garden - Suggestions?

I was looking for a god picture of Red Russian Kale in full leaf that I might have posted, but found this picture of Radicchio instead: :wink:
Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Planning a Purple Vegetable & Herb Garden - Suggestions?

Do let us know what you pick and show us pictures once it gets going! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

sepeters
Senior Member
Posts: 266
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:24 pm
Location: AZ, zone 9

Re: Planning a Purple Vegetable & Herb Garden - Suggestions?

Thanks for all the suggestions, everybody! What a great help!
Hopefully I will have figured out the whole posting pictures thing by the fall, so I can share!
I want to order all my seeds from Baker Creek this year, so here's what I've decided on.

Seeds I already have or mature plants* that will overwinter:
Ping Tung Eggplant*
Black Beauty Eggplant*
Red Rubin Basil*
Fern Leaf Lavender*
Borage*
Beets
Turnips
Red Leaf Lettuce
Mesclun Mix
Purple Beauty Bell Pepper
Swiss Chard (a variety of colors will grow, but every year I collect seeds I get more and more of the kind with dark pink stems and purple/red unsavoyed leaves)
Anise Hyssop
Snap Dragons

Seeds I need to order:
Hyacinth Beans
Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Purple of Sicily Cauliflower
Tete Noir Cabbage
Cosmic Purple Carrots
Giant Red Re-Selection Celery
Early Purple Vienna Kohlrabi (undecided; I've never grown or eaten kohlrabi before...)
Russian Red Kale
Red Creole Bulbing onions
Red Welsh Bunching Onions
Desiree Dwarf Garden Peas (undecided, depends on space available after I get the rest plotted on paper
Rossa di Treviso Radicchio
Rosemary and one of those variegated sages, if I can find the transplants for a good deal

Tomato Options ( I need to choose just a few):
Amazon Chocolate
Black Icicle
Black Plum
Black Prince
Cherokee Purple
Gyspy
Morado
Blue Berry Blend
Indigo Apple (If I can find them, since I killed all the seedlings from the giveaway :( )


Comments? Are any of these duds or plants you do not recommend for the fall/winter? Remember, I am in central AZ and get no snow and less than 5 days of light frost, so most things should do well unless they need lots of heat or very low temps.

Also I only need a few of each plant and would love to trade for seed and would also be willing to pay for members willing to send a small packet (6-12 seeds) since it takes me 5 years or more to use a whole seed packet and I have tried very few of these and not sure if I want to commit to a long term relationship with them. :lol: Purple plants not on my list are good too; I made this list based on my desire to order from only one catalog.

Please PM me if you are interested. :D

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27733
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Planning a Purple Vegetable & Herb Garden - Suggestions?

Bump. Just 'cuz. :() (But note that this thread is from 3 yrs ago :wink: )
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
Gary350
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4904
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Planning a Purple Vegetable & Herb Garden - Suggestions?

I lived in Phoenix area a few years. NOW is the best time to plant purple chard, rainbow chard, beets, beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, melons, herbs, squash, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, just about anything. I remember AZ only had 2 weeks of below freezing weather about last week of Jan or first week of Feb. AZ garden is a new learning experience.

I use to plant some of my garden first week of December. Some plants are ok down to 25 degrees. My herb garden did good year round. I never had much luck with corn it looked great but most ears had no corn.

Plant prices in AZ are so unreasonable $5 per plant. There is a farm supply store near Glendale off 202 with good prices, 6 plant tray of plants $3.50. Same thing in TN is $1.50. Order seeds on Ebay sprinkle in rows keep them wet they will come up in a few days.

Nothing will come up from seed in 114 degrees july/aug.

It is good to have a garden irrigation system. The 1/4" rubber hose with sprayers works best with a timer at the water faucet. Water your garden when the sun goes down about 9PM.

Buy a brown sun shade tarp at Lowes or Home Depot it prevents sun burn tomatoes and let you harvest tomatoes a few weeks longer. Put it up late April or May 1st.

AZ soil and water are both 8ph. If you add sulfur to lower ph do not plant anything for a month. Direction say water every day for 2 weeks. If you do not water sulfur will be there for 10 months and kill all your plants. If you water with AZ 8 ph water it puts all the ph back into the soil. Best thing to do never add sulfur. If you want to lower your ph fill 5 gallon buckets with water then add 1/3 cup of vinegar to the water.

You never see bugs in AZ and you wont have problems until 80 degree weather then millions of micro small bugs will eat your Brussels sprouts first them your broccoli. Best broccoli and cabbage I ever grew was AZ Dec to April. No bugs on anything all winter. Cabbage were the size of water melons I used a hand saw to cut them off the root and used a 2 wheel cart to get them in the house. Large plants taste as good as small plants.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11261
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Planning a Purple Vegetable & Herb Garden - Suggestions?

I love the color purple well magenta really. The only purplish vegetables I grow is long purple eggplant, variegated sage has some purple in it, ornamental peppers- "Purple Flash", and Okinawan sweet potatoes, and purple carrots.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27733
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Planning a Purple Vegetable & Herb Garden - Suggestions?

I want to try growing purple carrots this year. Two varieties I've come across are Purple Dragon and Purple Haze. I thought I'd heard that purple carrots can be "earthy" or "spicy" when they first came out.

I need SWEET carrots or my kids won't eat them.

Any recommendations?
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”