There are Five Categories below, each with many mouthwatering varieties, so scroll down to the one(s) you're most interested in: 1) Tomatoes, 2) Herbs, 3) Peppers, 4) Eggplants and 5) "other" Vegetables.
1) TOMATO PLANTS
(please see cherry and plum tomato lists for heirlooms of those types.)
NEW!!Al Kuffa – (
Aunt Ruby’s German Green – (
Bloody Butcher – (
Carbon – (
Cherokee Purple – (
Dad’s Sunset – (
Earliana – (
NEW!!Goldman’s Italian-American (
Green Zebra – (Ind.) One of my favorites. Juicy, never mealy, slightly acid. This is a fairly recent heirloom with small size but BIG flavor. Heavily bearing plants have beautiful chartreuse fruits with bright green stripes. 75 days.
NEW!!Jubilee – (
Moonglow – (
Moskvich – (
Nyagous – (
Old German – (Ind.) Beautiful, large, boat-shaped tomatoes are yellow with red marbling extending form the center. Very sweet and mild. Beautiful for slicing! 75 days.
Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge – (
Paul Robeson – (
Pruden’s Purple – (
NEW!!Purple Calabash – (
Red Zebra – (
Rose – (
Rose de Berne - (
Siletz – (Det.) One of the best early tomatoes on a nice compact plant. Very good yields and that sweet old-time flavor. Small to medium sized, dark, red-orange fruit. 70 days.
NEW!! Speckled Roman – (
Stupice – (
NEW!!Violet Jasper –(
NEW!!Beam’s Yellow Pear – (
Chocolate Cherry – (
Gold Nugget – (Det.) An early prolific cherry tomato with a well balanced, delicious flavor. Many of the deep yellow fruits are almost seedless. Healthy compact plants will do well in containers. 56 days.
Golden Sweet – (
Red Grape – (
Red Star – (
Sungold - (
Velvet Red – (Ind.) An heirloom cherry with fruits that are slightly fuzzy, just enough to feel soft, but not furry! Unique, silvery-gray foliage. Winner of the 2009 Tomato Tasting at Seed Savers Exchange and one of my personal favorites too. 75 days.
Health Kick – (Det.) Called Health Kick because it contains larger than usual amounts of the antioxidant, lycopene. Bright red, meaty, pear-shaped, and fine-flavored. Strongly disease resistant, compact plants. Does well in containers. 72 days.
Juliet – (Ind.) The most disease resistant of the plum types, ours bore literally hundreds of small plum shaped fruits last season. Fruits are deep red, shiny, and very sweet. Delicious for salads, salsa, and fresh pasta sauce. 60 days.
Mariana – (Det.) these also did very well last season. The fruits are large and firm with thick walls. Great for salads and salsa. If you like a firm tomato, this is the one to get. 70 days.
Martino’s Roma - (Det.) Heirloom tomato of Italian descent. Richly flavored, meaty, pear-shaped fruits. Heavy set on compact plants. 75 days.
Orange Banana - (Ind.) Fedco seed catalog says this heirloom tomato wins their sauce contest every year! I love them dried—so sweet they are almost like candy. Beautiful cylindrical golden fruits are 3-4 inches long. Not as heavy a cropper as some, but worth growing for the flavor. 85 days.
Pear Goliath – (Det.) Large blocky fruits are 5-8 ounces-the largest pear/saladette tomato I’ve seen. Very firm and meaty. Great for hamburgers, salsa, roasting and more. Disease resistant, bushy plant. 90 days.
Purple Russian – (Ind.) A purplish, 6 ounce, egg-shaped heirloom tomato from the Ukraine with great flavor. One of the best for salsa, fresh eating, or drying. Plants are very productive. 75 days.
Roma - (Det.) This heirloom is so well known as a sauce tomato that “Roma” is a synonym for a paste/plum type tomato. Originally from Italy, it is perfect for sauces, pastes, drying and salsa. Heavy crops of bright red, meaty, pear-shaped tomatoes with few seeds. 75 days.
San Marzano – (Ind.) Another Italian heirloom. Bright red, slightly rectangular fruits hang in large clusters. Delicious balanced acidic flavor and meaty flesh make this one of the best for sauce and salads. 80 days.
Better Boy - (Ind.) My favorite hybrid. Reliably large yields of big, juicy, deep red tomatoes with big taste! Adaptable to weather conditions and very disease resistant.
Big Beef - (Ind.) This hybrid combines the best disease resistance with that old fashioned rich tomato flavor. Very large beefsteak type fruits. 73 days.
Celebrity – (Det.) Very popular variety with medium large, flavorful, globe-shaped fruits. 72 days.
NEW!!Estiva – (Ind.) Medium sized, globe shaped red tomato. Frim texture and excellent taste. Plant is quite disease resistant and fruit resists cracking. 70 days.
First Light – (Ind.) An Asian hybrid that is a close cousin to the Italian green-shouldered tomatoes. Harvest when the bottom third of the fruit is turning red but the shoulders are still green. Medium sized fruits have a crisp texture and a delicious full tomato flavor-perfect for salsa and salads. 76 days.
Italian Goliath – (Ind.) Bright red, firm, 8 ounce beefsteak-type fruits with excellent traditional tomato flavor. Strongly disease resistant. 76 days.
Jet Star – (Ind.) Big producer of low acidity, big, globe-shaped fruit. Excellent flavor. Compact for an indeterminate plant type. 70 days.
NEW!! Lemon Boy – Perfect for those who like a low acid tomato. Medium to large lemon colored fruits on highly adaptable, disease resistant plants. Very productive.
New Girl – (Ind.) Best tasting early tomato. Disease resistant and widely adapted. 62 days.
Valley Girl – (Det.) Productive, flavorful, and an early bearer. Medium sized fruits are uniform ripening, firm, smooth, and crack tolerant. Sets fruit even under temperature stress. 65 days.
Container Suitable Tomatoes
Container Suitable Tomatoes
Most cherry and plum type tomatoes will also do well in large containers with support.
Better Bush – (Det.) Grows to 48 inches and produces 4 inch fruits that are mouthwatering, sweet, and meaty. Good for large pots with some support. 68 days.
Bush Champion – (Det.) Compact plants grow to just 24 inches tall-perfect for small spaces and container gardening. Produces early yields of big 8-12 ounce fruits with excellent flavor. Good disease resistance. 65 days.
Bush Early Girl - (Det.) Just like “Early Girl”, but with a more compact habit. Extremely early with huge yields of firm, meaty, flavorful 4 inch fruits. 54 days.
Micro Tom - (Det.) Kids loved these last year! Thought to be the world’s smallest tomato plant reaching only 6-8 inches tall. Bears loads of cherry sized tomatoes. An ideal houseplant for sunny windowsills and patios. 80 days.
Patio Hybrid – (Det.) Perfect for container gardening or small gardens since the plants are very compact, yet still produce lots of medium sized ablate fruits that are firm and flavorful. 70 days.
Window Box Roma – (Det.) An Italian type Roma in a size just right for containers. Wonderful pear-shaped, 2-3 ounce fruits with delicious flavor and long shelf life.
2) HERB PLANTS
Anise Hyssop – Very aromatic with a sweet licorice-mint flavor. Leaves and flowers can be used fresh in salads, combined with fruits, and in Italian dishes in place of fennel. Also can be used fresh or dried in teas. Great for sore throats and coughs. Excellent bee and butterfly plant.
Basil -Large Leaf Italian – Everyone knows how to use basil. This variety has extra
large leaves on large plants. A little sweeter than Genovese. Great for pesto.
-Genovese Compact – A favorite for authentic Italian flavor and appearance.
The best variety for container planting because of its compact habit.
-Mrs. Burns’ Lemon – My favorite lemon basil because of its intense, sweet,
tangy flavor and pungent lemon scent.
-Cinnamon – Sweet cinnamon aroma. This basil can be used anywhere you use
Italian basil where it lends a little bit different tone then the usual. Great in tea
and desserts too.
-Holy – Used in Thai cooking and medicinally in teas. Very different from most
basils, it has a musky scent with flavors of clove and mint.
Borage – Large plants with thick, hairy leaves that taste like cucumber. Usually grown for its beautiful sky-blue flowers that also taste like cucumber and look so pretty in salads or used as a garnish. Excellent bee plant.
Catnip – Can be used fresh or dried as a treat for your cat or in tea for you! The grey-green leaves and white flowers can both be used. Tea has an earthy, green flavor and is calming.
Chives -Round Leaf – Leaves have the traditional round shape and mild onion flavor.
Edible flowers are abundant and are a pretty lavender color.
-Flat Leaf – Sometimes called garlic chives or Asian chives, these have a flat
leaf and a robust onion-garlic flavor. Strong plants with abundant white
flowers that are also edible.
Cilantro – The classic Mexican herb used in salsas. Also popular in Asian cooking. Slow to bolt (blossom), but after it does, leaf production goes down. Will re-seed itself if you let some flowers go.
Cutting Celery – Looks like a cross between celery and curly parsley, but the taste is all celery. Easier to grow than celery in our climate. Can be cut and it will re-grow. Use fresh in salads, cooked in soups, stews, and vegetables. Freezes well.
Dill – Edible seeds and greens. Abundant blue-green foliage. Very slow to bolt (blossom) so harvest of the leaves is extended. Let it flower if you want seeds.
Hyssop – Used medicinally in teas for sore throats, colds, bronchitis. Pretty bedding plant with dark blue-violet flowers that attract bees.
Lavender – Refreshing clean aroma that is calming to the nerves. Flowers are held above the plants on long stems. Gray-green foliage. Prefers well drained soil.
Lemon Balm – Fresh leaves used in green salads and fruit salads. Fresh or dry leaves can be used in tea. Pretty crinkled dark green leaves.
Lemon Verbena – The best lemon herb for desserts. Also great in tea and in Asian dishes in place of lemon grass. Grow this one in a pot and bring indoors in the winter. You’ll have it for years!
Lovage – I love this herb for homemade soups! Use the young leaves sparingly for a rich celery-like flavor. Cut back after flowering to keep young stems coming.
Marjoram – In the same genus as oregano, but totally different in aroma and flavor. Has a piney, delicate scent and the sweet balsam flavor goes well with Italian dishes, corn, and potatoes. I am hooked on this herb!
Mints – Spearmint – This is the mint everyone calls “mint”. It is the mint usually used
for cooking. Try it in taboulleh, meat dishes, salads, middle Eastern dishes. Ask
for my mint salsa recipe! Also good in tea.
- Peppermint – This is the herb for teas and desserts. Some also like it in salads.
Peppery menthol flavor is delicious!
Nasturtium – A pretty garden plant that has edible leaves and flowers. The leaves look like mini lily pads and the flowers are bright red, orange, yellow and peach. Use them in salads and appetizers. They have a peppery, watercress-like flavor.
Oregano – The indispensible herb (along with basil) for Italian cooking. Fresh leaves have a peppery bite that is lost when dried. Use fresh or dried for pizza and pasta sauces.
Papalo – A Mexican herb used in salsas, sandwiches, tacos, etc. Pungent flavor tastes like nothing else I’ve ever had. Try it!
Parsley – Italian Flat Leaf – Parsley can be used just about everywhere! Salads, soups,
vegetable dishes, potato salad, sauces, pesto….This flat leaf variety has that
true Italian flavor and is popular with chefs.
- Curly Leaf – Similar in flavor to the flat leaf variety but with double and triple
curled leaves. Very pretty for garnishes. Freezes well.
Rosemary – Pine scented leaves are used in meat and vegetable dishes, and even desserts. Can be grown in pots indoors.
Sage – Another staple of the herb garden. Beautiful dusty green leaves can be used fresh or dry in dressings, sauces, vegetable dishes, meats, and teas.
Savory – Summer – This annual form of winter savory is a bit milder and leaves are
more tender. Peppery leaves on a somewhat lanky plant.
Winter – Perennial plant has thicker, shinier leaves with a pungent, biting
flavor somewhere between thyme and oregano.
Shiso – Green – Used in Oriental cooking, sushi, and salads. Has a refreshing flavor that
is hard to describe. Kind of minty and spicy, like cumin, but different!
Red – The red version is traditionally used in “umeboshi” pickled plums, but can
also be used just like the green shiso.
Stevia – The leaves of Stevia are 30-45 times sweeter than sugar! Use them to sweeten tea, lemonade, sorbet, etc.
Tarragon – The French variety of tarragon, this has a delicate anise flavor that goes well with chicken, carrots, beets, and peas.
Thyme – French – One of the most versatile herbs. It can be used in everything from
soup to salad dressing to vegetables and meats. Try in herb butters, stir fries,
and even tea.
Lemon – A variegated thyme with a true lemon scent and taste. Great in salad
dressing, chicken and fish dishes, and shortbread cookies!
Pennsylvania Dutch – Tastes like French thyme, but has larger leaves and a
more tender stem. Easier to use!
3) PEPPER PLANTS
Sweet Bell Peppers
Ace – 50 days green, 70 days red. This is the extra early, highly productive standard in bell peppers. Glossy fruits have 3-4 lobes. Blossoms are resistant to dropping in adverse weather conditions. Will grow well in a large container.
Chinese Giant – 65 days green, 85 days red. This heirloom has large, 6 by 4 ½ inch fruits. Sweet mild flesh turns cherry red when ripe.
Flavorbusrt – 75 days. These Burpee taste-test winners are big, blocky bell-shaped peppers that beging the color of a Granny Smith apple and end up a lovely shade of goldenrod. They are thick-walled, crisp, juicy with a zesty surge of lemon flavor along with the classic pepper. Great in salads and as stuffers!
Gourmet – 65 days green, 85 days orange. Early for an orange bell. These medium large, very blocky fruits are easier to grow than most. Thick, juicy walls and a fruity, sweet taste.
NEW!! Islander – 56 days lavender,81 days red. Beautiful pale lavender skin and pale yellow flesh. Peppers are medium size, thick walled, mild and sweet. Strong plants.
Lantern – 62 days green, 82 days red. Big, heavy, dark green fruits are a little more elongated than Ace. Strong plants will continue to yield through multiple harvests.
Snapper – 62 days green, 82 days red. Large blocky bell that is resistant to phytophthora. High yields and widely adapted.
Sunray – 65 days green, 85 days yellow. Medium large, blocky, bright yellow fruit with a sweet fruity taste.
Apple – 57 green, 77 red. This was my favorite red pepper last season. Very thick walled and juicy fruity sweet! 4 inch fruits are a little more rounded than Lipstick and a little heavier. Smaller plants are good for container gardening.
Carmen – 60 days green, 80 days red. Beautiful Italian bull’s horn shape red pepper with a lovely sweet taste perfect for salads and roasting. 6 inches long by 2.5 inches wide. Very productive. Good for container planting.
Golden Marconi – 65 days green, 85 days yellow. This heirloom is up there at the top of my list for sweet peppers. Gorgeous long, tapered fruits are a glowing golden color and taste so sweet and delicious. Perfect for frying and roasting or just eating plain like an apple! Plants are productive and I freeze many for winter.
Lipstick – 53 days green, 73 days red. One of the earliest! Attractive dark green fruits ripen to a glossy rich red. Thick, juicy, and sweet, these are great for everything: salads, salsas, cooking, and roasting. Dependable, early, heavy yields, even in cold weather. Good for container planting.
Marconi Red – 65 days green, 85 days red. This heirloom from
Ancho 211 – 68 days. Medium heat. Known as poblanos when eaten green and fresh. Authentic Mexican taste is perfect for chiles rellenos, salsa, and more.
NEW!! Big Jim – 75 days. My brother–in-law from
Cherry Bomb – 62 days green, 87 days red. Very hot, but sweet at the same time. This little round and top-shaped pepper turned out to be one of my favorites last season. The peppers are very thick walled, and bright red. Early and very productive-we probably got at least 50 peppers on each plant! This is a smaller plant that does well in containers.
NEW!! El Jefe Jalapeno – 67 days green, 90 days red. Even larger fruit that
Greek Golden Pepperoncini – 65 days. These 2-3 inch peppers are harvested when they are a rich golden green. Fruits are delicious and sweet with a mild heat. They add a mild zing to salads and sandwiches, and are a great frying pepper.
Habanero – 90 days. One of the fieriest peppers in cultivation being 30-80 times as hot as a jalapeno! Wrinkled fruits ripen from a dark green to a salmon orange.
NEW!! NuMex Twilight – 65-75 days. Sunset colored fruits start out purple and ripen to yellow, orange, and then red! Fruits are very hot and delicious in soups and marinades, but the plant is most often grown as an ornamental. It does great in a container and will grow to about 12 inches tall. Disease resistant.
NEW!! Serrano del Sol – 55 days green, 75 days red. Pretty darn hot, but not as hot as an habanero. Early bearing with dozens of cylindrical, large fruits. Excellent in sauces, chili, salsa, and more.
Tiburon Poblano– 65 days green. Medium heat. Sweet, thick flesh. Big sturdy plants hold loads of heavy fruit. I had so many of these last season that I was giving them away.
Volcano – 60-75 days. Hungarian-type medium-hot pepper. 4-6 inch pendant fruits are glossy green turning to yellow and red at maturity. Excellent pepper for fresh use, pickling, and grilling.
NEW!! Clara – 65 days. Unique, early, large, white Italian type eggplant. High yielding plants produce 6-7 inch long by 4-5 inch wide fruits. Creamy tender flesh.
Galine – 65 days. Very glossy black fruit with the classic Italian bell shape. Firm, flavorful fruit on strong plants. Good yields.
Long Purple Italian – 80 days. Prolific Italian type. Heavily branched plants bear dark purple 8-10 inch long fruits. Great for grilling, roasting, or traditional eggplant dishes.
NEW!! Nadia – 67 days. Classic large Italian. Glossy, 7-8 inch by 3-4 inch dark purple fruits on tall sturdy plants. Good fruit set even in cool weather.
Asian/Specialty Type Eggplants
Fairy Tale – 65 days. Incredibly high yielding mini eggplant with purple and white striped fruit on compact plants. Perfect for container planting.
Gretel – 55 days. Sister to Hansel. Very early, solid white mini eggplant. Loads of white skinned fruits. Small plants grow well in containers.
Hansel - 55 days. Brother to Gretel. Also very early, but dark purple in color. Harvest both Hansel and Gretel when fruits are just 3-4 inches long. Fruits are in clusters. Non-bitter and perfect for slicing thin onto pizza or grilling whole. Grow in a large container together with Gretel.
NEW!! Machiaw – 65 days. These beautiful, long, slender, pinkish-purple eggplants are my favorite for slicing into ratatouille. Tender skin, so no need for peeling. Tender, flavorful flesh is delicious!
Mangan – 60 days. Tender, early, excellent quality, Japanese-type eggplant. Glossy, very dark, almost black fruit are numerous and only about 4 inches long.
Orient Express – 58 days. EARLY! Attractive, slender, 8-10 inch, glossy black fruits in the long Oriental style. Sets fruit in cool weather as well as under heat stress. Tender, delicately flavored. My favorite dark purple eggplant.
5) "OTHER"VEGETABLE PLANTS
Toma Verde – 60 days. Early maturing, large, flat-round green fruits. Use in salsa and Mexican cooking.
De Milpa – 70 days. An old Mexican heirloom type. Small to medium round fruits with a purple blush. Store fresh for several weeks. Great for salsa.
Goldie – 75 days. Small orange berry within a husk grows on tomatillo-like plants. Bears lots of sweet, golden berries with a pineappley-nutty flavor. Great for snacking, salsas, salads, and baking. Ripe when they fall off the plant onto the ground.
NEW!! Diva – 58 days. Looks like a regular cucumber but with smoother, thin, no-peel skin. Distinctly tender, crisp, sweet, and seedless! Especially flavorful when picked small. Disease resistant and somewhat insect resistant too! An all-around winner.
Genuine – 48 days. EARLIEST!! Traditional American slicing cucumber that bears smooth, dark green, 8 inch fruits. Great taste.
Little Leaf – 57 days. Here’s a cucumber that you can grow in containers!! Compact, stress tolerant plants bear blocky medium length fruits good for fresh eating or pickling. Bright emerald green color.
NEW!! Marketmore – 58 days. Popular nonhybrid cucumber with long, slender, dark green fruits. The standard for slicing cucmbers since 1970. Bears well, even under stress.
Tasty Jade – 54 days. My favorite cucumber! Early slender Japanese type bears 11-12 inch fruits with crisp texture and fresh flavor. Skin so tender, there’s no need to peel.
NEW!! Black Beauty Zucchini – 60-70 days. This zucchini grows on a compact, everbearing bush. Glossy, dark green fruit with firm, creamy-white flesh is delicious!
NEW!! Early Prolific Straightneck – 42-50 days. This exceptionally productive plant produces lemon yellow, slightly bumpy, club-shaped fruits with fine grained, tender flesh. Best picked at about 4-7 inches long. Extremely flavorful!
Greens and Brassicas
NEW!! Arugula – 21 days baby, 40 days mature. Dark green extra tender leaves lend a rich, slightly spicy, unmistakable taste to salads and sandwiches. In 5-inch peat pots. For repeated harvests, cut above the growing bud in center of the plant. Plant outdoors or replant into a larger pot.
Broccoli-Packman – 50 days. A favorite, extra early broccoli. Medium sized heads are widely adapted and do well in warmer weather. Let side shoots grow after you cut the main head.
Broccoli-Windsor – 56 days. Heat tolerant, so don’t worry if the weather warms up fast in the spring. Medium small, but heavy heads are blue-green. Let side shoots grow after you cut the main head.
Kale-Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch – 55 days. Low growing compact plants with finely curled, blue-green leaves. Very productive with excellent flavor. Harvest the leaves from the bottom up. Flavor improves with cool weather. Can take frost.
Kale-Red Russian – 50 days. Very tender grey-green leaves with purple veins and stems. Leaves are flat, non-curled, and tooth-edged. Great for salads and light cooking.
NEW!! Lettuce Mix - A nice variety of 7 different red and green lettuces with different textures and flavors. Perfect for fresh-picked salads! For repeated harvests, cut above the growing bud in center of the plant. In 5 inch peat pots. Plant outdoors or replant into larger containers.
NEW!! Swiss Chard-Bright Lights – 28 days baby, 55 days mature. This is a delicious green that keeps growing well even in the heat of the summer. A good spinach substitute. Bright Lights is a beautiful variety with gold, pink, orange, purple, red, and white stems. Use at the baby stage in mixed salads or full size for cooking. Mild delicious taste. Even the stems cook up tender! Will grow well in a large container too! In 5 inch peat pots.
NEW!! Swiss Chard-Fordhook Giant – 50 days mature. The standard green Swiss chard. The leaves are medium green and crinkled with white veins and broad white stem that cook up tender and delicious. My favorite for greens all summer long! In 5 inch peat pots.