Garden & Landscape Tips

Purple cabbage
Purple cabbage has leaves of rosy-purple.
George Weigel

Lots of vegetables are either naturally purple or come in purple versions. While that adds a colorful contrast to the more common green of a typical vegetable garden, the color purple is more than a pretty face.

Purple -cauliflower
Cauliflower comes in purple varieties in addition to creamy-white and soft orange.
George Weigel

The same factor that gives plants purple coloring – pigments known as “anthocyanins” – also serves as an antioxidant when eaten. Dieticians often advise eating antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables for nutritional value and possible health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, fighting cancer, and aiding brain health.

'Redbor' kale
'Redbor' is a variety of kale that matures from burgundy to deep purple in fall.
George Weigel

Try these five easy-to-grow purple veggies in your garden this year:

  • Carrots. Some have purple skins, others are purple throughout. Look for 'Purple Haze,'  'Purplesnax,' 'Purple Dragon,' 'Purple Sun,' 'Deep Purple,' 'Purple 68,' and 'Black Nebula.'
  • Kale. This frost-tough leafy crop is a nutritional powerhouse even in its green form, but 'Redbor' matures from burgundy to deep purple in fall. 'Scarlet' and 'Darkibor' are two other good dark-leafed ones, and 'Red Russian' and 'Delaway' have red stems.
  • Cabbage. Both heirlooms and newer hybrids produce tight balls of rosy-purple leaves, including 'Red Express,' 'Ruby Perfection,' 'Primero,' 'Ruby Ball,' 'Omero,' and 'Mammoth Red Rock.'
  • Broccoli. Varieties are available that produce both loose sprouts and larger heads with buds and stems of lavender or purple, including 'Purple Crown,' 'Summer Purple,' '‘Purple Peacock’ and 'Miranda.'
  • Cauliflower. 'Purple of Sicily' is an heirloom light-purple cauliflower, while 'Graffiti' and 'Depurple' are two newer introductions that produce rich purple heads.

Keep weeds away from those and other up-and-growing vegetables by scattering the soil with Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer, made out of 100 percent corn gluten.

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