Written by Nicole Holland
“Armchair gardeners” everywhere have a favorite winter hobby: drooling over seed catalogs! Whether a beginner starting out – or an experienced green thumb with an extensive seed collection – you’re always on the hunt for some tasty new varieties. Here’s my delicious picks to try in your next garden.
Toh-Mayto, Toh-Mahto – Delicious No Matter How You Say It
With over 13,000 heirloom and hybrid varieties, there’s so many tomato choices for your SFG. Local nurseries and big box stores offer just a fraction of available varieties, so gardeners look to catalogs and online for unusual seeds. Which shapes, sizes, colors, flavors or acidity levels will you be eating this summer? Here are three that caught my eye:
- Black Strawberry Tomato from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. This indeterminate, early variety offers good looks, balanced flavor, durability and big harvests. One-ounce fruits have a gem-like appearance with marbled blue, scarlet, and gold skin.
- Marvel Stripe Bicolor / Renee’s Garden Organic Seeds. This heirloom with climbing vines bears large sunny gold fruits shot through with rose-red, giving these indeterminate tomatoes a marbleized effect. Flavor is mild and sweet.
- Banana Legs from Territorial Seed Company. This low-acid variety is delicious in salads and sandwiches. The determinate plants produce 4 inch Roma-shaped fruits with a golden yellow skin and faint streaks of orange.
Year of the Salad Greens
Is a garden complete without crunchy, cool greens? No wonder the National Garden Bureau named 2022 as The Year of the Salad Greens. Lettuce and its cousins are easy to grow, nutritious, and can be a year-round crop in your SFG with a few accessories. Ready, set, salad!
- Granaat Chinese Cabbage from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. This cool-weather, high-yield variety is perfect for small spaces due to its tall, skinny growth habit. Enjoy in stir fry, soup and kimchi!
- Bokoboko Spinach from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Heat? Bring it! Also known as waterleaf, this spinach from Ghana is heat/drought tolerant (ideal temp is 80-100 degrees!) and loves humidity. Eat it all: the leaves, tender stems and pink flowers.
Purple – the “It” Color for 2022
Another garden essential – and a cost-effective crop – are herbs. At the store, herbs are expensive and sold in a quantity you can’t use fast enough – which leads to food waste. Here’s some new varieties to try in your SFG.
- Purple Ball Basil from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. This beautiful variety has a tidy round growing habit with vibrant purple foliage making it both edible and ornamental.
- Burgundy Broccoli from Botanical Interests. This is my favorite purple sprouting broccoli! With its stunning color and great flavor, it’s happy in a wider temp range, too. After the main head is harvested, it produces lots of side shoots to extend your harvest.
Don’t forget to think vertically when planning your SFG to make the most of your grid. Here’s some perfect-for-the-trellis varieties to grow this year; read Chapter Six of All New Square Foot Gardening, 3rd Edition, for instructions on how to build a trellis.
- Honeynut Butternut Squash from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Sized right for one serving, these 4-5 inch mini butternuts are big on flavor and highly regarded by chefs. Smaller squash = faster roasting time!
- Golden Midget Watermelon from Sow Right Seeds. These personal-size yellow melons grow to 3-5 pounds on vigorous vines and are early producers. Did we say cute?
Note: Seed availability was “in stock” at time of publication. This article contains affiliate links; our writers may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.