Vegetable plants: May Garden plants of the Month

Pick-your-own plants and kitchen gardens are incredibly popular, and vegetable plants often also look fantastic, so there’s a double benefit. On the one hand it’s a response to the growing interest in healthy, sustainable and vegetarian food, on the other hand it creates a decorative corner with productive green plants with produce which is good to grow and tasty to eat. May is a good month to plant vegetables in containers, pots or beds.

Range
The vegetable plants in the selection for May all bear fruit. These include cucumber, bell pepper, chilli pepper, tomato, pumpkin and courgette. Most vegetable plants are supplied already bearing some edible fruit. There are climbing plants, bush forms and dwarf plants available, but also special consumer-oriented concepts such as Pluck, Snacker Funfoods and Pick-&-Joy. Multiple varieties are available of all vegetables: different colours of chilli and bell pepper, tomatoes from Roma to vine, and cucumbers from snack-sized to giant. The pre-cultivated plants produce plenty of fruit over the summer period, and therefore offer the joy of picking and a real ‘ fresh experience’ throughout that time.

Vegetable plants trivia
  • Are they vegetables or fruit? From a culinary and horticultural perspective the tomato, bell pepper, cucumber and chilli pepper are vegetables, although the odd purist will still maintain firmly that they are fruit.
  • Vegetable plants also do very well on the windowsill: they grow upwards, so they need little space.
  • Bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as oranges, and are also rich in vitamins E, B1 and B2.
  • The gherkin is closely related to the cucumber and can be grown in the same way.
Origin
Bell and chilli peppers are so closely related that they bear the same name: Capsicum annuum. The bell pepper originates from South America, whilst the chilli pepper plant grows in India and South-East Asia.

The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a member of a large family which also includes the potato. Tomatoes are native to Central America. The ancestors of the Mayas and the Incas grew them.

The cucumber (Cucumus sativus) originates from India, where it has been cultivated for its fruit for over 3000 years. The plants came to Western Europe via the Mediterranean with the Romans.

Garden Plant of the Month
Vegetable plants are the Garden Plants for May 2018. The ‘Garden Plant of the Month’ is an initiative from the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose one or more plants with an amazing look or unusual characteristics to put in the spotlight. Sometimes it will be a green star that’s highlighted, and sometimes an undiscovered treasure that deserves to be better known and merits a place in the garden, on the patio or on the balcony.

For more information:
Thejoyofplants.co.uk

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