Edible gardening guide

How to grow delicious vegetables, herbs, and fruit at home

Grow vegetables in the round

Talk about eating local: grow your freshest food ever in this circular garden plot

Sunset test garden

Our vegetable garden in August

Rob D. Brodman

Click to Enlarge

Sunset test garden

  • Sunset test garden

    Our vegetable garden in March.

Seventeen kinds of herbs and veggies cover the fence and fill two half-moon-shaped beds, each about 3 feet across and 11 feet long.

Our circular kitchen plot, small enough to fit into a 16- by 16-foot corner of the garden, is packed with our favorite vegetables, herbs, and pollinator-attracting flowers. 

Download our planting plan

The varieties listed below (and numbered on the photo above) were planted mostly as nursery seedlings; buy one plant of each variety except where noted. Beans and sunflowers were started from seed, following package instructions.



1. ‘Paul Robeson’: Deep maroon fruits have a sweet, earthy flavor.

2. ‘Early Girl’: red fruits.

3. ‘Yellow Pear’: golden, pear-shaped fruits.


4. 'Sunburst': yellow pattypan with a delicate flavor. 3 plants.

5. 'Cocozelle': Italian zucchini with dark and light green stripes.


6. 'Rosa Bianca': teardrop-shaped fruits with pinkish lavender and ivory skin (pictured at left). 2 plants.

7. Japanese long: tender, blackish purple eggplant. 2 plants.


8. 'Tequila': amethyst bells that mature to bright red. 2 plants.

9. 'Carmen': horn-shaped sweet red peppers. 2 plants.


10. O. vulgare 'Compactum': Small leaves can be used fresh or dried. 4 plants.


11. Grasslike leaves can be clipped to add oniony flavor to salads and sandwiches. 3 plants.


12. Common thyme: Leaves can be used fresh or dried as a seasoning.


13. 'Slow Bolt': Fernlike foliage is a must-have for flavoring guacamole. 3 plants.


14. 'Mrs. Burns Lemon': Adds a distinctly lemony taste to casseroles and salads. 3 plants.

15. 'Genovese': strong-flavored leaves. 3 plants.


16. 'Blue Lake': firm, crunchy, and mild-flavored. From seed.

17. 'Romano': stringless, richly flavored pods. From seed.



18. 'Jerusalem Sunrise Lemon': light yellow blooms on 5-foot plants. From seed.

Coreopsis or cosmos

19. 'Moonbeam' coreopsis: delicate, pale yellow flowers on airy stems. Or try 'Sonata White' cosmos. 2 plants.

Sweet alyssum

20. White sweet alyssum: Fluffy, honey-scented blooms attract bees and butterflies. 8 plants.

 Next: 6 steps to a successful garden


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