9 Miniature Vegetables and Fruits You Can Grow in Your Garden
Tiny things are everywhere right now—tiny foods, tiny gardens, tiny toys, and tiny plants are taking over Instagram and Etsy. Edible gardening is also getting more and more love on these sites. So what if you put the two together? These small fruits and veggies (often dwarf varieties or hybrids) are easy to grow in your backyard or in containers next to your kitchen window. Find the varieties that make you say, "SO CUTE!" and get growing!
Wild strawberries, also known as alpine strawberries, are much, much tinier than the strawberries you see in the grocery store. The plant features large, lobed leaves and tall stems that hold the fruit above the foliage. Gorgeous white flowers appear in the spring and fruit appears throughout summer months. Beware: deer and rabbits love to nibble on these plants, so put a fence or netting around them for protection.
Pearl onions (Allium ampeloprasum) are the adorable little onions you often see in stews. These mini onions usually only grow to be about an inch in diameter. They grow similarly to full-sized onions, but this variety matures faster, so you can enjoy sooner.
Snack on these baby kiwis like you would grapes. Called baby kiwi or kiwi berries, these little fruits look like kiwis without the coarse, brown skin. They're packed with vitamin C and are best eaten when they are slightly soft to the touch.
Buy it: Hardy Kiwi Seed Packet, $2.00
Patty Pan Squash
Just a small variety of summer squash, patty pan squash (or sometimes called scallop squash) is typically harvested when it's between only two to four inches wide. The little squashes are shaped like flying saucers and have a mild taste, similar to zucchini. Their small and distinct shape and size make them fun to play with in the kitchen.
Related: All About Summer Squash
These carrots are harvested when they're just the size of a golf ball. 'Thumbelina' is a short and stout variety and doesn't have the classic, tapered shape that most carrots have. The skin on this variety is very soft and doesn't have to be peeled before you eat it.
These miniature eggplants are adorable and pack just as much flavor as a full-sized eggplant. 'Fairytale' eggplants are ready to be harvested when they are four to five inches long and are notable for their purple-and-white patterned skin. They do great in containers and grow best in full sun.
Cucamelons are the fruits you probably didn't know existed but definitely need to start growing. They look like little watermelons but taste like a mixture of limes and cucumbers. Not only do they look cute, but they are also full of antioxidants and vitamins that have earned them the title of 'superfood.'
Miniature Bell Peppers
You've seen them in the produce aisle, but did you know you can grow them yourself? Miniature bell peppers are just a dwarf variety and can easily be started from seed. These little guys do very well in containers, but keep the containers up high to keep hungry rabbits from getting a taste.
Kalettes, or kale sprouts, are a hybrid of kale and brussels sprouts. The small florets of foliage are much easier to manage when cooking and can be eaten raw or cooked. Only on the market since 2014, there are already three varieties available with slightly different harvest times.