Basil is a very popular annual herb used heavily in Italian cooking. Like most herbs, it needs a warm sunny location and it will grow into a large bush over the course of the summer. To harvest Basil, simply pinch off the young leaves that you would like to use. Basil does best when you continuously pinch back the flowering tops throughout the season, if you forget, it has a tendency to bolt and produce lots of pretty little purple flowers (but the leaves won’t taste as tender anymore).
Another very popular annual herb, parsley has been known to last well into the fall, even after the first frost. Parsley is harvested by cutting a bunch at the stems, and you can keep unused bits in the fridge in a glass of water. It benefits from constant pruning and in a sunny location, one plant will form into quite a large bush. My grandma swore by this herb and ate it with every meal (she lived to 96!)
Thyme is a low growing perennial herb, that can be eaten of course and also used as a sweet-smelling ground cover. To harvest, pinch off the stems that you would like to use. Thyme is used often in French, Cajun and Creole cooking and can be dried for use in the winter.
This are one of our favorite miniature tomatoes and are so sweet you can eat them like candy! Each plant grows quite tall over the course of the summer, and produces an almost endless supply of little tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are great in salads, or bruschetta or just for eating. They can be planted in a bed or in a container, in full sun with lots of water. When the frost comes, make sure to cover them at night.
Early Girl Tomatoes
The Early Girl tomato is a medium sized tomato popular because of its early fruit ripening. It will get tall and need support as the plant grows, and the first tomatoes should be ripe about two months after they are planted. It has a bright color and good flavor for an early tomato. When you are planting a tomato, be sure to plant them deep (you can bury the stem, it will sprout roots!) for better support as the plant grows.
We love these cucumbers! They taste great and each plant has a profusion of cukes, well into the summer. In fact I’m always surprised when I think the plant is done, there’s another cucumber hiding in the vines. Grow them up a trellis for easy picking and be sure to give them lots of sun and water.
Green and Red Bell Peppers
At Brantim we have a few varieties of bell peppers available from year to year. This is a great plant to have in the garden, each one will produce between 8 and 12 peppers in the season. We suggest having more than one, or staggering their planting times. Watch out for earwigs! They love to climb in the bottom of a ripe pepper, and then give you a surprise!
Hot Jalapeno Peppers
Not for the faint of heart (or tastebuds), these peppers are actually really versatile for a hot pepper, because they’re not outrageously firey. They can be grown in a bed or in a pot and need lots of sun and water. One plant will yield lots of little green peppers.