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What to plant: Five edible picks from Lauri Kranz

April 13, 2012 | 12:37 pm

Lauri Kranz gardeningLauri Kranz, who has built a following as an edible gardening consultant in the Hollywood Hills, shares her five favorite picks of the moment: Dragon's tongue beans, Ananas Noire tomatoes, cucumbers, butternut squash and country gentleman corn. Keep reading for why she likes these crops, and where she goes to get seeds and seedlings.

Dragon's tongue beansDragon's tongue beans: Purple-striped pods are crisp, juicy and beautiful. Sellers include one of Kranz's favorites, the nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange. Photo credit: Seed Savers Exchange

Ananas Noire tomatoAnanas Noire tomatoes: A variety that produces a lot of fruit and is delicious in sauces. Kranz likes it sliced thick and served with olive oil. Among the sources: Sunset Nursery for seedlings and Seed Savers Exchange for seeds. Photo credit: Tomatomania!

CucumbersCucumbers: Kranz gets seeds from Renee's Garden or Botanical Interests. For 13 types of Asian cucumbers: Kitazawa Seed Co.  Photo credit: Kitazawa Seed Co.

Butternut squashButternut squash: Kranz plants these on staggered weeks, so as summer ends, the squash ripen in succession. Franchi has a nice variety. Photo credit: David Karp

Country gentleman cornCountry gentleman corn: Flavorful white corn whose kernels grow in a random mosaic instead of tidy rows. Available from heirloom seed sources (including Seed Savers Exchange) or as seedlings in some nurseries. Photo credit: Seed Savers Exchange

Other picks from Kranz, who runs Edible Gardens LA:

At the Hollywood Farmers' Market: Peter Lee and heirloom specialists Logan and Jimmy Williams.

At the Santa Monica Farmers Market: Arugula seeds from James Birch of Flora Bella Farm, garlic from Schaner Farms, potatoes and sunchokes from Weiser Family Farms.

For raised beds: Minifarmbox

Favorite soil: E.B. Stone Edna's Best Potting Soil for raised beds, Green All by E.B. Stone for amendments.


Article: Lauri Kranz, garden "fairy godmother"

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— Jeff Spurrier

Photo at top: Lauri Kranz in the enclosed edible garden of clients Joseph and Ambre Dahan. Credit: Ann Summa