Scarlet Runner Beans

Top Edible Picks

Jeanne’s Picks
Jeanne Quartz, co-author of The Ohio Gardener’s Journal: The Edible Landscape
(330) 854-2306

Asparagus
Asparagus officinalis
This early season perennial will be productive for about 10 years. Plant in well-drained soil in a sunny spot with lots of compost. After you’ve enjoyed the wonderful veggies, let the last small shoots grow into beautiful four-foot foliage that turns gold in the fall.

Red Currants
Ribes sativum
Beautiful red berries can be used for jams and jellies, but the shrub grows to six feet and can produce about 10 pounds of fruit when mature. Dark ornamental leaves provide a beautiful backdrop to the fruit.

Fig Tree
Ficus carica
This houseplant that can be moved outside in the summer and brought in for the winter. Small, multi-stemmed tree reach only about 4 feet and like indirect light most of the day. A great porch plant, a two-year old tree may yield a few dozen figs.

Potted Rosemary
Rosemarinus officinalis
In Ohio, rosemary likes to winter over indoors with sparse watering, but outdoors prefers sandy soil. An indispensable kitchen herb, plant it as a border or a small shrubby plant.

Ornamental Quince
Chaenomeles
Native to Asian countries, this beautiful early blooming shrub delivers a showy display of watermelon-colored blossoms and yields apple-shaped fruit for chutney, jams and jellies.

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Jennifer’s Picks
Jennifer Bartley, author of Designing the New Kitchen Garden (2006) and Kitchen Gardeners Handbook (2010),
(740) 927-7642

Scarlet Runner Beans
Phaseolus coccineus
This annual climber produces edible red flowers for salads, is easy to grown on a trellis and will attract humming birds. Loves full sun…oh, and don’t’ forget the reward of the beans.

Elderberry
Sambucus nigra subsp. Canadensis
Deciduous shrub the likes full sun to part shade and moist soils. Enjoy the berries for jellies and wine in early fall. For best fruit choose, ‘Adams’, ‘Kent’, ‘Nova’ or ‘York’ and plant two varieties.

Pawpaw
Asimina triloba
A small ornamental tree and a beautiful native plant to Ohio, it can be used as a small landscape tree in full sun or part shade and will produce fruit that taste like banana custard in the fall.

‘Redbor’ Kale
Brassica oleracea Acephala Group
This biennial is grown as an annual in Ohio. Full sun to part shade, its an edible member of the cabbage family, red with frill leaves. Cool weather loving, it survives in containers or perennial beds for a long season. Use the leaves in salads and stir fry dishes.

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
Petroselinum crispum
Another biennial grown as an annual, what kitchen couldn’t do without a crop of versatile parsley for salads and salsas? The beautiful green border thrives in the garden all season, attracts beneficial insects and can be easily started from seed.

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Ruth’s Picks
Ruth “The Grower” Ham, owner
April Showers Greenhouse
7464 Old Route 39 NW in Sugarcreek
(330) 473-8603

Lady Blue Blueberries
Vaccinium corymbosum
This lovely, shrub will begin producing beautiful blueberries in just 3 years. With pruning, it will stay compact, about 4 feet high. Loves full sun and a peat moss mulch.

Golden Child Raspberries
Rubus hybrid
The upright-based shrub has thorns to keep the rabbits at bay. Prefers rich soil, full sun and compost mulch. The yellow fruits are sweet, require less sugar and are the best for making pies.

Gooseberries
Emblica officinalis
An upright, kind of boxy shrub with long thorns and a wild look; doesn’t require much pruning. The berries are good for pies and freeze well for making smoothies in the winter.

June Bearing Strawberry
Fragaria x ananassa
Produces better in cooler soils, composed with mulch and straw, and does not require much fertilizer. A perennial favorite, plant them as a border among flowerbeds. Big beautiful flowers attract honeybees and beneficial insects and yields delightful berries, too.

Bell Peppers
C. frutescens grossum
Container planting allows for incorporating vegetable production into landscaping. Does best in full sun with a compost rich potting soil mix. Varieties called Red Beauty and Hungarian Wax are good choices for adding color and the fruits are good for preserving and freezing.

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Bill’s Picks
Bill Hendricks, president
Klyn Nurseries (wholesalers)
3322 South Ridge Road in Perry
(440) 339-4720

Serviceberry
Amelanchier species
As a shrub, the bluish-green elliptical leaves turn into intense fall foliage colors or yellow, red and orange and winter interest plant with gray streaked branches…all this after the yielding small sweet fruits in June, best used for jelly, pie and wine making.

Cornelian Cherry
Cornus mas
Large ornamental shrub or small tree, like full sun and is adaptable to a range of soil conditions. One of the first plants to flower in the spring and bear tart cherry-like fruit ripens in late summer and can be used for jelly and jam.

Hops
Humulus lupulus
Long-lived perennial grows vigorously like pole beans on tall poles, strings or trellis up to 10 feet. The pine cone-like bracts of the hops, picked young, have a pleasantly bitter taste and can be used in salads.

Persimmon
Diospyros virginiana
Beautiful sun loving tree tolerates some shade and blooms in late spring and bears fleshy tomato-shaped fruit tasting of honeyed apricots when harvested fully ripe.

Sea Buckthorn
Hippophae rhamnoides
Extremely hardy deciduous shrub likes full sun and good drainage. Small, bright orange, tart berries on female plants can be used in juice, jellies and sauces.

 

Marilou Suszko is a food writer from Vermillion, Ohio.