Best new vegetable seeds and plants for your garden
New varieties of vegetable garden seeds and starter plants are introduced every year. Here are the new veggies that deserve a place in your garden.
Each spring brings the anticipation of a new gardening season—and the best new vegetable seeds and plants for your garden. Seed catalogs and websites bring the promise of a bountiful crop of new vegetable seeds and plant varieties to grow. This spring is no different, with lots of new vegetable varieties and seed collections to entice new and experienced gardeners alike.
This spring, seed companies have introduced an impressive selection of new vegetable seeds. Some of these new vegetable varieties put a new spin on garden favorites. Others bring back heirloom selections that have a long history of outstanding garden production.
Sometimes the best new vegetable seeds and plants offer bigger harvests and better hardiness. Sometimes the appeal is a different color, or a new variety designed especially for small gardens or container growing.
The best new vegetable varieties presented here are sure to be among this year’s popular favorites. So, get your garden plots ready for planting some new vegetable seeds and plants that will produce your best harvest ever!
Sweet Potatoes for Garden or Container Growing
Treasure Island is a new series of edible sweet potatoes that also look great in ornamental gardens and containers. These plants can turn patios, window boxes and almost any growing container into a tropical garden. The edible tubers range in color from orange to red to purple, and the colorful leaves are edible, too.
The new varieties of Treasure Island Sweet Potatoes are named for specific islands of French Polynesia in the South Pacific, where sweet potatoes have been grown for centuries. Treasure Island ‘Makatea’ is a white-fleshed sweet potato that makes a delicious addition to Asian and Caribbean dishes. Its bright chartreuse, heart-shaped leaves look great in the garden and in salads. Treasure Island ‘Kaukura’ boasts tubers that are bright orange. Its heart-shaped, deep purple leaves make it a great accent plant for pots and other growing containers.
Treasure Island Sweet Potatoes were developed in a collaborative breeding program at Louisiana State University. They won a 2020 Green Thumb Award from the Direct Gardening Association as one of the best new edible plants introduced this year. Treasure Island Sweet Potato plants are available at springhillnursery.com.
A Golden Potato You Can’t Buy at the Supermarket
There is nothing quite like a homegrown potato. The flavor can’t be beat, and potatoes are quite easy to grow. A new variety called Keuka Gold (pronounced Que-kah) is a wonderful, golden-fleshed potato that tastes great when boiled or baked. Developed by Cornell University, Keuka Gold is the best golden potato for producing big yields in organic growing conditions.
Much to the delight of organic farmers and backyard growers, Keuka Gold is a handsome golden potato (similar to Yukon Gold) that is an exceptionally reliable producer of delicious potatoes that store well. A 2.5-pound bag of organic seed potatoes from Wood Prairie Family Farm sells for $16.95, and larger bags are available—all the way up to 50 pounds. Order directly from the grower at WoodPrairie.com.
This Delicious Rhubarb Can Handle the Heat
Here’s a new variety of rhubarb that’s so special it just won a 2020 Green Thumb Award from the Direct Gardening Association. KangaRhu Rhubarb is the result of nearly 10 years of development at Gurneys Seed. It offers outstanding quality and superior summer production. Plus, this new variety makes it possible to grow delicious garden rhubarb in areas where warm summer nights restrict production of typical rhubarb varieties.
KangaRhu Rhubarb was developed using genetics adapted to Australia, one of the most challenging gardening environments to be found anywhere. The red stalks of KangaRhu are the darkest of any rhubarb. They cook up a brilliant red, and they taste great. The plants grow up to 36 inches tall and thrive throughout USDA zones 4-8. KangaRhu Rhubarb bareroot plants are available at gurneys.com.
A Tiny Cherry Tomato Plant that Produces a Bigtime Crop
Cherry tomatoes are a garden favorite because a single plant can produce hundreds of tasty, bite-sized fruits. But the sprawling plants can take up lots of space in the garden—even when they are staked on a pole or trellis. Cherry Fountain is a dwarf plant that is small enough to grow in containers or small gardens. This diminutive plant grows to just 10 inches tall, but it produces abundant yields of delicious bright-red cherry tomatoes. And the tomatoes keep coming all summer long.
Cherry Fountain is an attractive trailing variety that is especially well suited for hanging baskets and containers. It’s a great choice for kitchen gardens, too. Like all tomato plants, it needs full sun to produce the best crop. Available from parkseed.com.
A Nonstop Harvest of Sweet Peppers from your Backyard Garden
There’s nothing wrong with traditional peppers. Fresh homegrown peppers are a delicious addition to salads and veggie trays, and peppers can be used to enhance a wide range of cooked dishes. But sometimes the best new vegetable seeds for your garden are something completely different. A ‘Slovana’ Pepper plant produces a nonstop summer harvest of tasty, neon-golden sweet peppers. This new variety is a compact grower. (The plants are just 17-26 inches tall, so they fit nicely into even the smallest garden spaces. ‘Slovana’ Pepper also grows well in containers.)
A ripe ‘Slovana’ pepper is 6 inches long and 2 inches wide that starts out light green in color but matures to a handsome pale yellow. The 4½-ounce fruits boast a rich pepper flavor with a delicate sweetness that’s delicious both fresh or roasted. A packet of ‘Slovana’ Pepper seeds sells for $6.29 or three starter plants sell for $18.99 from burpee.com.
Biodegradable Seed-Starting Pots Eliminate Transplant Shock
Do you live in a colder climate? Many types of vegetable garden plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, take a long time to mature. That means getting a jump-start on your seed starting (before your last frost date) can really increase your garden yields. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to start seeds under grow lights or in a greenhouse.
To give seeds the best possible start, plant them in a biodegradable and natural seed-starting pot. CowPots seed-starting pots are made from composted cow manure from a dairy farm in Connecticut. (Hence the name, CowPots!) These natural pots allow seedlings to grow a bigger root mass, which results in healthier plants. Also important, using these biodegradable pots eliminates transplant shock since the entire pot can be planted in the ground. Plus, the CowPots naturally decompose to provide nutrients for the plant.
Don’t Forget About Fall Planting, Too
Did you know that many kinds of vegetables can be grown in the fall? Toward the end of summer when temperatures cool down is a great time to plant many vegetable varieties. That makes autumn the perfect weather for lettuce, broccoli, spinach, turnips and other garden crops. Click here more info about Fall Planting.