Garden Advice: From The Pros

Last year over 41 million households in the US grew vegetable gardens.  Of those, 7.7 million were first time edible garden growers.   This year more gardeners are expected to grow vegetables, herbs and fruits.  The garden pros have their favorite edibles, find out what they grow and recommend.

Hillermann Nursery & Florist grows most the many different kinds of vegetables they sell.  Some of their top picks are: heirloom tomatoes (Cherokee Purple, Brandywine, Pineapple), Sweet Peppers (Better Belle, Red Beauty), Hot Peppers (Garden Salsa & Jalepeno), Eggplant (Fairy Tale), bush beans (Patio Tasty Candy Bean) and broccoli (Packman). From Sandi McDonald Hillermann, www.hillermann.com, 636 239-6729, 2601 E. 5th St. – Washington, MO 63090.

Greene’s Country Store & Feed sells herbs and vegetables along with favorites fruits of kiwi vines, blackberries, raspberries and currents.  Mushroom growing kits are easy to use and grow.  Bee keeping supplies for hives will keep the pollinators nearby.  From Randy Greene, www.greenescountrystore.com, 636 561-6637, 8621 Hwy N – Lake St. Louis, MO 63367.

Sugar Creek Gardens has many vegetables and herbs, including 20 varieties of thyme. Blueberries, (Hardy Blue is exceptionally sweet). Grapes (Eastern Concord, Purple-Leafed) are ornamental and produce berries for table use or wine making. Westerfield Mints out of Freeburg, Il include mints with unique scents, tastes and flowers (Hillary’s Sweet Lemon, Jesse’s Sweet Pear, Julia’s Sweet Citrus’ Mint are exceptional). From Ann Lapides, www.sugarcreekgardens.com, 314-965-3070, 1011 N. Woodlawn – Kirkwood Missouri 63122.

Sherwoods Forest Nursery and Garden Center recommends fruit trees including apples (Braeburn to Zester), pears (Bartlett, Moonglow), cherry (Balaton, Whitegold) and citrus for outdoor and indoor lemons, grapefruit and oranges. Strawberry and Raspberries can also be planted in interesting hanging planters, which help keep the fruit away from the critters.  From David Sherwood, www.sherwoods-forest.com, (fruit inventory – http://sherwoods-forest.com/inventory FRUITS.htm, 314-966-0026, 2651 Barrett Station Rd – Ballwin, MO 63021.

Greenscape Gardens sells lots of vegetables, herbs and fruit shrubs & trees. Tops picks include the vine Malabar spinach which likes the heat.  “The blueberry-like berries from our serviceberry tree was a treat because we got to eat a bunch before the birds did.  This year’s most talked about veggie plant is the Tomaccio tomato (a.k.a. Sweet Raisin Tomato), with its high yield and thick skin which makes for a great oven-dried treat.” From Jennifer Schamber, www.greenscapegardens.com, 314 821-2440, 2832 Barrett Station Road – Manchester, MO 63021.

Garden Heights Nursery loves blueberry bushes for the fruit, flowers and gorgeous fall color. “For something different we love the fruiting trees. We think the Fuyu Persimmon Tree would be a great addition to any landscape. Of course we’ve gone totally tomatoes and have many different colors, shapes and sizes.”  From Steffie Littlefield, www.gardenheights.com, 314 645-7333, 1605 S. Big Bend – St Louis, MO 63117.


Sandy’s Back Porch Garden Center has raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and fruit trees along with vegetables and herbs.  “My favorite things to eat from the garden are sweet 100 cherry tomatoes or Fall Gold Raspberries. Even if they are gold (not red like a raspberry should be) this one has the best flavors hands down of all the raspberries.”  From Sandy Richter, www.sandysbackporch.com,  618-235-2004, 2004 West Boulevard -Belleville, IL 62221.

Bowood Farms “In my own garden I use edible ornamentals in with the flowers. Redbor Kale, Ruby Perfection Cabbage, and Swiss Chard are all very colorful additions to a flowerbed. A favorite tree is Amelanchier an early bloomer, great for snacking while working in the garden and a punch of color for fall. An adorable dwarf shrub is the TopHat Blueberry. Good eats and great fall color.” From Ellen Barrado, www.bowoodfarms.com, 314 454-6868, 4605 Olive St – Saint Louis, MO 63108.