When you grow multi-coloured vegetables, you get a splash of colour both in your garden and on your plate. These 5 vegetables come in multiple colours in one seed packet so you can sow a rainbow of colours at one go.
Colour brightens up our world. It would be a very dull world if everything were black and white.
Our gardens are the same. Imagine if all you had in your garden were green coloured veggies. Not a pop of colour to be seen.
The same with our meals. Imagine everyday just eating green veggies. Not only will it be boring, but there are certain nutrients you won’t get from eating just one colour.
You can of course add a pop of colour to your garden and your plate by growing colourful veggies such as tomatoes or eggplant or peppers. However that takes extra space. Instead you can grow multi-coloured varieties of the same veggie.
I’ve picked 5 of my favourite multi-coloured vegetables for this article. Titles of each are based on the seeds available through my local seed supplier West Coast Seeds but these varieties are often available elsewhere as well, perhaps under a different name.
Or you can make your own blend by buying multiple seed packets of different-coloured varieties and plant a few seeds from each.
For those of you living in the US, SeedsNow is a great seed supplier and they have several of these blends pre-mixed for you. And I’m a SeedsNow affiliate so by purchasing from them you can help support this website at no extra cost to you. I’ve included links to their blends in some of the sections below.
Tri-coloured Bean Blend
These are my favourite beans as bush beans produce quite a lot of beans. You do need a decently-sized plot though. I usually plant about 16 square feet or so (4×4 square).
So the three colours are yellow, green and purple.
Now unfortunately, the purple beans do lose their colour when cooking and turn a dark green instead. That’s a shame as you miss out on the purple colour on your plate. However you still get the purple colour in the garden to look at. And the flowers are beautiful too.
I direct sow these once the ground has warmed up in late spring, spacing them out with my Seeding Square, 9 plants per square foot.
Bright Lights/Celebration Swiss Chard
Oh, my daughter hates chard! She tells me that every chance she gets!
But despite that, I still grow it. Mainly to put in my green smoothies, but sometimes we do steam it or sauté it and my daughter eats something else.
One or two plants is usually enough, but with rainbow chard you do want a few plants to get a variety of colour. So I usually have about a 1×4 foot section of the garden dedicated.
The colours include a bright red, a rosy colour (almost pink), gold, yellow and white.
It’s mainly the stalks that are vibrantly coloured. The leaves for the most part are green (except the red chard which has red leaves). However there is some deep veining in the leaves that matches the stalk colour.
Luckily the colours do keep when cooking but you might find the red will overpower the other colours and bleed into them.
I typically start these indoors and then transplant them out to save them from our resident slugs and snails.
SeedsNow has a similar blend called Swiss Chard – Rainbow Mix.
A vegetable that does double-duty is always a delight to have. Beets are perfect as you can harvest the root and also eat the greens on top.
And this beet blend, while for the most part all the leaves are green, it’s what’s below ground that is so colourful!
Red, yellow and dark red as well as striped insides with red rings alternating with white rings that look great on a plate.
They taste great roasted or simply boiled. If we do the latter, I keep the cooking liquid to put in my smoothie the next day.
Like with chard the colours may blend when cooked. Red is especially overpowering and you’ll find that if you cook yellow with red beets, you’ll likely get orange beets.
These can be multi-sown, so placing several beet seeds together in one hole and grow best if sown indoors and transplanted.
Rainbow Blend Carrots
Did you know that the standard orange carrot was bred to be that way by Dutch growers as a tribute to William the Orange, who led the way for Dutch independence? Or at least that’s the story and there’s some debate over whether or not that is actually true.
Before the 17th century only purple, white and yellow carrots were grown.
And those colours are coming back now as we return to our food growing roots (pun intended).
Most of these carrot colours retain their colour when cooked, so you’ll get a wonderful rainbow of colours on your plate.
The purple ones tend to have an orangey core, so they look great sliced.
Carrot seeds can be hard to sprout, but I’ve found that covering the area which has been seeded with a plywood board or something else that will hold in moisture helps.
SeedsNow has a similar blend called Heritage Rainbow Blend.
For more info on the various types of carrots check out: 25 Different Types of Carrots
Kitchen Basil Blend
I’ll end with an herb. Yes, I know technically not a vegetable but we do eat it with other veggies. And it’s a great companion plant to tomatoes.
While basil is best known for it’s rich green, there are also other basil varieties that are red and maroon.
So this blend mixes the traditional green with red to give you a colourful display in the garden.
You can either harvest just one colour, especially if you’re making pesto. Or pick a mix of colours if topping a salad.
Each colour has a slightly different taste so you’ll get a nice variety of tastes as well!
Basil requires heat so growing in terracotta pots works quite well. I start them in my greenhouse and move them out when the warm weather starts in late spring.
SeedsNow has a similar blend called Basil Herb Mix.
So add some colour to your garden and your plate with these multi-coloured veggies.
If you enjoyed this article, have something to add or have any questions, please leave a comment below.
Wishing you all the best!
Tranquil Urban Homestead, Victoria, BC