You don't need lots of space to grow herbs and vegetables. At Sunset's headquarters, test-garden coordinator Bud Stuckey planted this organic vegetable garden in four raised beds, each 4 feet square and made of 2-by-6 composite lumber called Trex.
Before planting, he double-dug all beds, turning the soil to a depth of about 22 inches, then amended it with compost. Here's what we grew and liked.
QUADRANT 1: 'Blue Lake' bush beans, lettuce (dark red leaf, 'Red Grand Rapids', and dark 'Lollo Rosso' ― located in the shade of the beans' obelisk to prevent bolting), 'Bolero Nantes' carrots (between the lettuce plants), and peppers ('Golden Summer', 'Ariane', and 'Purple Beauty').
QUADRANT 2: 'Celebrity' and 'Early Girl' tomatoes, 'Dark Opal' basil, 'Long Red Cayenne' peppers, 'Sun Gold' cherry tomato, and sweet basil.
QUADRANT 3: 'Ambassador' zucchini, Japanese eggplant, 'Orange Bell' peppers, and sweet basil.
QUADRANT 4: Mostly herbs. Chives, English thyme, golden lemon thyme, parsley (triple curled and Italian), nonbolting rau ram (Vietnamese cilantro), savory, and a few 'Inferno' peppers. 'Blue Horizon' ageratum and white sweet alyssum surround the bed.
Seeds and seedlings
You can buy seedlings of many vegetables at nurseries. Or order seeds by mail; the following companies sell seeds of healthful fruit and vegetable varieties.
Johnny's Selected Seeds (207) 861-3901
Natural Gardening Company (707) 766-9303
Nichols Garden Nursery (541) 928-9280
Renee's Garden (831) 335-7228
Seeds of Change (505) 438-8080
Territorial Seed Company (541) 942-9547
West Coast Seeds (604) 952-8820