Top New Edible Plants for 2014

What's new and yummy? Try these edible options in your vegetable garden and landscape.

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    Top New Edible Plants for 2014

    Selecting specific varieties of fruits and vegetables for your garden can be overwhelming. Here are our favorite new varieties for 2014.

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    Indigo Rose Tomato

    Here is something extra for tomato-lovers! Beauty, taste, and a boost of extra nutrition. The Indigo tomato series are bred to contain high levels of anthocyanin (an antioxidant found in blueberries). Two-inch round fruit bears blue skin in areas exposed to light; the shaded areas start out green and turn deep red when mature. The flesh is red with multifaceted tomato flavor. Indeterminate plants have an upright growth habit and grow 36-60 inches tall and 36 inches wide. A very vigorous producer! Grow from seed and harvest in 80 days. You can buy 'Indigo Rose' as a bumper crop grafted tomato or by seed.

    Name: Solanum lycopersicum 'Indigo Rose'

    Season of Harvest: Midsummer, indeterminate vines bear until frost

    Growing Conditions: Full sun

    Source: Ball

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    Indigo Ruby Tomato

    Lipstick red and plum-shape tomato, 'Indigo Ruby' has brilliant, violet-blue tops and deep red flesh. Weighing in at 1-2 ounces each, Indigo Ruby is flavorful and sweet with a tempting aroma. If you like to can tomatoes or make sauces, try this determinate tomato. The fruit matures at the same time; just step out into your garden, harvest, and get cooking. For the best flavor and texture, harvest when the colors have deepened and the fruit is soft to the touch. The plants produce clusters of four to six tomatoes. The extra nutritious Indigo tomato series contains high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin. Grow from seed and harvest in 80 days. You can buy 'Indigo Ruby' as a bumper crop grafted tomato or by seed.

    Name: Solanum lycopersicum 'Indigo Ruby'

    Season of Harvest: Midsummer

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: Ball

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    Indigo Sun Tomato

    Sunny yellow cherry tomatoes are colorful additions to salads and pasta dishes. ‘Indigo Sun’ is a yellow cherry tomato with a little extra color and nutrition—the indigo coloring on its shoulders and crown adds the antioxidant anthocyanin (also found in blueberries). ‘Indigo Sun’ tastes great, having a delicious balance of sugars and acid. This tomato has an upright growth habit, growing 36-60 inches tall. It spreads to 36 inches wide. You can buy ‘Indigo Sun’ as a bumper crop grafted tomato or by seed.

    Name: Solanum lycopersicum ‘Indigo Sun’

    Season of Harvest: Midsummer

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: Ball

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    Indigo Starburst Tomato

    'Indigo Starburst' is a yellow cherry tomato with light indigo touches around the shoulders and crown of the fruit—the blue color adds the antioxidant anthocyanin. 'Indigo Starburst' is one of the new Indigo series from Ball seed, which combines great taste with superior nutrition. You can buy this tomato as a grafted plant, which means it will pump out healthy fruits all summer. 'Indigo Starburst' has a sweet taste and grows in attractive clusters of up to six tomatoes. This tomato has an upright growth habit, growing 36-60 inches tall. It spreads to 36 inches wide. You can buy 'Indigo Starburst' as abumper crop grafted tomato or by seed.

    Name: Solanum lycopersicum 'Indigo Starburst'

    Season of Harvest: Midsummer

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: Ball

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    Sweet Cherry Pie Sour Cherry

    Pie makers rejoice! ‘Sweet Cherry Pie’ is a new sour pie cherry that has a sweet flavor. Sour cherries also are called Morello or tart cherries and are the best cherries for baking pies and crisps (but they aren’t sweet enough to eat fresh out of hand). If you love to bake, there’s nothing like harvesting basketloads of these ruby gems. This variety was developed in Wisconsin and is very easy to grow. Add this sweet treat to your orchard or landscape. If you can grow apples, cherries are a snap.  It grows well in a variety of soil types and reaches 15 feet tall at maturity.

    Name: Prunus ‘Sweet Cherry Pie’

    Season of Harvest: Summer

    Zones: 3-7

    Growing Conditions: Full sun

    Source: Bailey Nurseries

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    Blueberry Glaze Blueberry

    Grow fresh berries for your morning cereal! Small-in-stature 'Blueberry Glaze' is ideal for any garden because it looks as beautiful as any garden shrub. You can plant it in containers as well as garden or landscape beds. The compact shrubs bear glossy dark green leaves; it resembles a boxwood. In spring, pink-white flowers appear, which are followed by little bundles of small dark (almost black) berries that are ready for harvest in midsummer. The flavor of 'Blueberry Glaze' is much that of wild blueberries. The dark berries offer a healthful dose of antioxidants.

    Name: 'Blueberry Glaze'

    Season of Harvest: Midsummer

    Zones: 5-8

    Growing Conditions: Full sun, acidic soil with good drainage

    Source: Brazzleberry

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    'Jelly Bean' Blueberry

    Cute, compact, and delicious! Growing 1-2 two feet tall, 'Jelly Bean' blueberry is smothered in large sweet berries in midsummer. First available last year in limited quantities, 'Jelly Bean' is having its nationwide debut this spring. Grouped together, the shrubs make a beautiful hedge. Planted individually, they are stunning in pots and planters. Add several to make your landscape edible. 'Jelly Bean' blueberry is also cold hardy and will withstand winters to Zone 4.

    Name: 'Jelly Bean'

    Season of Harvest: Midsummer

    Zones: 4-8

    Growing Conditions: Sun, Partial sun

    Source: Brazzleberry

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    Mascotte Green Bean

    Plant a winner! ‘Mascotte’ green bean is a compact bush variety that won the All-America Selections vegetable award for 2014. That’s big news because a bean hasn’t been awarded this prize since 1991. The plants feature white flowers that develop into long slender pods (5-6 inches) that grow well above the foliage so you can see them when they are ready to pick. The beans are crunchy, flavorful, and plentiful. If you have a small-space garden, ‘Mascotte’ is a good choice. It grows 10-24 inches tall. The root system of this bean is ideal for patio containers and window boxes. But they excel in garden beds as well. No staking is required for ‘Mascotte’. Sow in mid-May as soon as the soil is warm enough. Sow every two weeks until July for continuous harvest. You can harvest in 50 days.

    Name: Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Mascotte’

    Season of Harvest: Mid to late summer

    Growing Conditions: Full sun

    Source: All-America Selections

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    Fantastico Tomato

    Can tomato season ever start too early? Early-maturing ‘Fantastico’ is a swell little grape tomato that will deliver up to 12 pounds of tomatoes per plant. Although the fruits are small (just a half-ounce), there are lots of them—up to 350 tomatoes per plant.  ‘Fantastico’ is an All-America Selection winner for 2014, so it’s been proven to excel in gardens all over the United States. It also has built-in late blight tolerance, so it will stay healthy and productive. ‘Fantastico’ was bred for small gardens, ‘Fantastico’ grows well in hanging baskets, container gardens, and small-space gardens where it grows best in a cage that can provide some support. Plants are bushy and spreading, growing more than 24 inches tall. This determinate bush tomato produces long clusters of sweet, tasty fruits that are positioned toward the outside of the plant, making for easy harvest. ‘Fantastico’ also has good crack resistance.

    Name: Solanum lycopersicum 'Fantastico' F1

    Season of Harvest: Midsummer

    Growing Conditions: Full sun

    Source: All-America Selections

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    Mama Mia Giallo Pepper

    The yellow-gold fruit of ‘Mama Mia Giallo’ pepper has a sweet flavor that tastes great fresh, grilled, or roasted. ‘Mama Mia Giallo’ peppers mature early so you can begin harvesting them in mid to late summer. The plants are highly disease-resistant and compact so they don’t take up a lot of space in your garden. They will grow well in containers, too. ‘Mama Mia Giallo’ also has been awarded the All-America Selections seal of approval because of its excellent performance in trial gardens across the country.

    Name: Capsicum annum ‘Mama Mia Giallo’

    Season of Harvest: Mid to late summer

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: All-America Selections

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    Chef's Choice Orange Tomato

    If you love the flavor of heirloom tomatoes, you'll flip over 'Chef's Choice Orange' tomato. This award-winning hybrid has the taste and color of the heirloom variety 'Amana Orange', but it's more productive and disease-resistant. 'Chef's Choice Orange' is an indeterminate variety that produces large, delicious fruit on 5-foot-tall plants. Individual tomatoes can weight up to 1 pound, and the intense color does not fade or discolor when cooked. It's an All-America Selections winner for 2014, so you know it will thrive in your garden.

    Name: Solanum lycopersicum 'Chef's Choice Orange'

    Season of Harvest: Mid to late summer

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: All-America Selections

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    Cippolini Red Onion

    Enjoy the rich, sweet flavor of ‘Cippolini Red’ onions. This gourmet variety develops flattened, disc-shape bulbs with red-and-white papery skins. ‘Cippolini Red’ onions remain small, only growing 1-3 inches in diameter, so their flavor never gets strong and pungent. In fact, ‘Cippolini Red’ onions can be eaten raw with herbs and cheeses. You also can use them to add flavor to any recipe that calls for standard onions.

    Name: 'Cippolini Red’ onion

    Season of Harvest: Mid to late summer

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: Burpee

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    Bam Basil

    When you plant ‘Bam’ basil you won’t have to worry about your plants running out of steam midsummer. This breakthrough introduction just keeps on producing deliciously fragrant leaves all summer long, even during hot, dry periods. Plus, ‘Bam’ basil doesn’t flower, so it won’t spend all its energy trying to send up bloom stalks through the summer. Instead, ‘Bam’ basil produces wave after wave of harvestable leaves. It makes a great container plant, too.

    Name: ‘Bam’ basil

    Season of Harvest: Summer to fall

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: Burpee

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    Diablito Pepper

    Turn up the heat with ‘Diablito’ hot pepper. This hot new Thai pepper produces quantities of conical, 2-inch-long, bright red fruits that have a fiery flavor used either fresh or dried. ‘Diablito’ is a compact variety that fits equally well in containers or garden beds. If you’re a fan of hot peppers, make sure to try ‘Diablito’ this summer.

    Name: Capsicum ‘Diablito’

    Season of Harvest: Late summer to fall

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: Burpee

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    Porcelain Doll Hybrid Pumpkin

    The world's first pink pumpkin, 'Porcelain Doll Hybrid' tastes as good as it looks. Producing large, deep-ribbed, flattened, fruits, 'Porcelain Doll Hybrid' makes a great centerpiece for fall decor. But unlike other ornamental pumpkins, this pink beauty has sweet orange flesh you can use in soups, stews, or pies. It's also resistant to common pumpkin ailments, such as powdery and downy mildew. A percentage of seed sales proceeds benefits the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation efforts in battling breast cancer.

    Name: Cucurbita 'Porcelain Doll Hybrid'

    Season of Harvest: Fall

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: Burpee

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    Tawara Asian Pear

    If you’ve ever noticed how expensive Asian pears are in the grocery store, you probably thought they were rare or hard to grow. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth, especially when you plant ‘Tawara’. This hardy, heavy-bearing tree has almost no insect or disease problems and will produce bumper crops of crisp, sweet pears every year. ‘Tawara’ has an upright form, growing 15-18 feet tall and 8-12 feet wide. In the spring, you’ll also love the tree’s snow-white flowers. All Asian pears are self-fruitful but will produce larger harvests if there’s a European variety nearby to improve pollination. Good partners for ‘Tamar’ include ‘Bosc’, ‘Seckle’, or ‘Bartlett’.

    Name: Pyrus ‘Tawara Oriental’

    Season of Harvest: Fall

    Zones: 4-7

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: Bailey Nurseries

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    Pageant Pepper

    A sweet banana-type pepper, ‘Pageant’ is a productive, disease-resistant variety that develops large yellow fruits all summer. These sweet, thick-wall peppers are perfect for grilling, broiling, or eating fresh. ‘Pageant’ grows quickly, forming an upright medium height plant that thrives when summer temperatures soar.

    Name: Capsicum ‘Pageant’

    Season of Harvest: Mid to late summer

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: Syngenta (seed available from Totally Tomatoes)

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    Toscano Strawberry

    Good looks and good taste combine when you grow ‘Toscano’ strawberry. Developed in Holland, this day-neutral variety produces both large rose-color flowers and sweet, cone-shape fruits throughout the spring and summer. Use it in your landscape as a colorful edger or pot some in a container or hanging basket on your porch and patio. Then, just reach out and grab a sweet treat whenever you want.

    Name: Fragaria ‘Toscano’

    Season of Harvest: Spring, Summer

    Zones: 4-8

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: ABZ Seeds (for photos contact info@abz-strawberry.nl)

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    Gasana Strawberry

    A close cousin to ‘Toscano’, ‘Gasana’ strawberry is also a day-neutral variety that produces a seemingly nonstop supply of pretty flowers and delicious fruit. The big difference between the two varieties is color. ‘Gasana’ has bright pink flowers and fruit instead of red. The two varieties look and taste great together or planted in beds or containers of their own. They also mix well with annual flowers in a combination planter.

    Name: Fragaria ‘Gasana’

    Season of Harvest: Spring, Summer

    Zones: 4-8

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: ABZ Seeds

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    Silver Slicer Cucumber

    At first glance you might not recognize 'Silver Slicer' as a cucumber. That's because instead of the traditional dark green skin, 'Silver Slicer' is creamy-white through and through. It has a sweet, mild flavor and thin, tender skin. The fruit measures about 7-8 inches long and appears from mid to late summer. 'Silver Slicer' is also relatively resistant to Powdery Mildew, a common ailment of cucumbers.

    Name: Cucumis sativus  'Silver Slicer'

    Season of Harvest: Mid to late summer

    Growing Conditions: Sun

    Source: Harris Seeds

  • Next Slideshow How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

    How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

    Elevated garden beds have so many benefits and make growing any plant easier. You can amp up your raised bed by utilizing bird netting to protect your plants or incorporating a drip system to prevent waterlogged soil. Use these easy instructions to create DIY raised garden beds in your own yard.
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