There are two ways to think about unique vegetable garden ideas: one is design and layout, and the other is what vegetables you grow. But why not combine them? There’s no rule that says you have to choose between interesting vegetables and fun garden design. At least, I don’t think there is.
Especially given all the garden options out there, from vertical gardens to container gardens to raised beds, there’s really an entire world of options. And that’s just with a DIY approach. You could hire a landscape architect to design your garden, but what’s the fun in that?
Unique vegetable garden ideas you can make your own
We’re just going to scratch the topsoil here. There are so many approaches to gardening, that there’s no way to fit everything into one blog post. My goal here is to give you some unique vegetable garden ideas that you can run with and use to create your own dream garden. Let’s start with some unusual garden vegetables.
1. Plant achocha. You probably haven’t heard of this cucumber relative. I hadn’t either until recently. The achocha is a fast-growing vine native to the mountains of Bolivia and Peru. The fruit itself is pretty interesting in that it is very cucumber-like when it’s young, but as it matures, it becomes more like a pepper. Pollinators love this vegetable, and it’s largely resistant to pests and disease.
2. Grow cucamelons. It might just be me, but these are the coolest little vegetables. They’re also known as watermelon gherkins because they look just like mini watermelons. They’re about the size of a cherry tomato, and they taste like a crisp, tangy cucumber. They grow fairly easily in large containers, as long as you give the vines something to grow on.
3. Plant romanesco. This cruciferous vegetable is making its way into grocery stores, but it really fits in with unique vegetable garden ideas simply because of how interesting and eye-catching it is. The vivid lime green spirals and spikes of this vegetable will stand out in any garden, and it tastes amazing. Since it’s in the brassica family, it’s just as easy to grow as broccoli or cauliflower.
4. Grow rainbow chard. Another colorful vegetable, rainbow chard (also known as Bright Lights Swiss chard) has stems in a vivid array of pinks, oranges, reds, and whites. Chard is easy to grow, too, and it’s loaded with nutrients.
While these and other vegetables can give your garden a lot of visual interest (not to mention new flavor experiences), we can’t limit unique vegetable garden ideas to just what we grow. Here are a few ideas to plant some creative seeds about garden design.
5. Plant a hanging garden. Hanging gardens aren’t just for ancient Babylon. Nor are hanging baskets just for flowers. Any vegetable you can grow in a container (and there are quite a number), you can plant in a hanging garden. They’re also great for herbs and fruits like strawberries. It’s a fantastic way to increase the amount of growing space you have, too.
6. Fill in with flowers. Flowers not only add a lot of color to your garden, they also can fill in a lot of space to make your garden look incredibly abundant. And if that’s not enough, flowers like marigolds help keep nematodes away from your tomatoes and cabbage worms away from your brassicas. Nasturtiums are wonderfully edible. They also attract aphids, which means they draw aphids away from your other plants, and in turn, attract pollinators like ladybugs that feed on aphids. So go ahead and add some bright colors to your garden.
7. Get artsy. A folk art or found objects garden is easier than you might think. To begin with, it’s free or very inexpensive; yard sales are goldmines for this type of garden. Antique watering cans and other garden tools make nice decorative accents, but you can also tie together a few old rakes or hoes to create a trellis for vining vegetables. Gather enough old coffee or milk cans and you can create a flower-filled border with a vintage vibe.
The point with any unique vegetable garden ideas is to have fun and get creative. Remember, this is your garden. You can do anything you want with it.
Do you have an interesting garden? I’d love to see pictures in the comments section.