vegetables

Create a vegetable garden that looks as good as it tastes when you plant a spectrum of colors. With a brilliant display that echoes the colors of the rainbow, your attractive vegetable garden will inspire you to bring the technicolor tastes right onto your plate. Rainbow vegetables are also a great way to get kids interested in the garden; you can watch together as your colorful, edible masterpiece grows to fruition.

Funky-colored vegetables will be easier to find in the form of seeds. You’ll find dozens and dozens of seed options at your local garden store. Plan your vegetables in full sun if possible, and make your garden has adequate drainage for best results.

Red

Plant red vegetables for a bold and fiery band of color in your garden. Tomatoes are the top pick. Choose tiny ruby cherry tomatoes for little bursts of color, or big beefsteak tomatoes for a larger effect. Red-ribbed chard will add a striking strip of vertical color to your garden, or you can plant red bell peppers for a true scarlet hue.

Orange

Pumpkins are a classic choice for orange in your garden; their impressive shape and size provide a hearty dose of color. You can also plant orange bell peppers or orange tomatoes. Butternut squashes are also a top contender, and they’ll grow long into the autumn.

Yellow

As the centerpiece of the rainbow and its brightest tone, your yellow vegetables will attract a lot of attention. Yellow summer squash features a rich golden hue, while wax beans lean to the paler side of the color. Many vegetables come in brilliant golden varieties, including tomatoes, zucchini and many types of peppers.

Green

Green is of course, the easiest color band of the rainbow to grow in your garden. In fact, bright green is the very symbol of growth, and a fitting frame for the rest of your vegetables. Green is the color category with the most freedom, so go wild! Choose leafy greens like lettuce, spinach and kale, or plant peas, green beans, broccoli, celery or okra. Herbs present a delicate splash of color and fine appeal. You can plant dill, parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro or oddball herbs like papalo and lovage.

Blue and Purple

Cool tones can be hard to find in nature, but luckily there are several excellent examples in the produce section. Deep purple eggplants will shine like plump gemstones in your garden, and their velvety leaves add a welcoming texture. Red-leaf lettuce is often quite violet, and purple kale is a blue-tinged leafy green. Red onions are purple-y, too, as are red beets. Purple cauliflower is probably the brightest hue in the crayon box, and you can also plant purple basil and purple bell peppers for deep blue tones. Along with red (purple) cabbage and radicchio, you’ll find an amazing array of blue-purple hues to choose from.

White

White isn’t really a color of the rainbow, but white vegetables can add a pretty brightness to your garden. Cauliflower makes a strong white statement, and you can also plant pattypan (or white scalloped) squash.

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Image: Charles Fred