10 Great New Fruit and Vegetable Varieties to Grow in 2018

From snack-sized tomtoes to rainbow-colored peppers, you'll find tasty new edibles for your spring garden.

Photo By: PanAmerican Seed

Photo By: Johnny's Selected Seeds

Photo By: PanAmerican Seed

Photo By: Seeds by Design/National Garden Bureau

Photo By: National Garden Bureau

Photo By: National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Bonnie Plants/National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Terra Organics/National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Terra Organics/National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Terra Organics/National Garden Bureau

Pepper 'Candy Cane Red'

Pick a peck of pretty peppers when you grow 'Candy Cane Red'. These green-striped fruits take on shades of yellow and orange before ripening to solid red, and even the variegated leaves are attractive. The peppers are also sweet and crispy, with thin walls that make them great for munching out of hand or tossing into salads. Plant this variety in containers or in the ground. Because the plants have a mounding growth habit, and top out around 18-24" tall, they don't usually need staking.

Swiss Chard 'Rhubarb Supreme'

The breeders of 'Rhubarb Supreme' say it’s the most bolt-resistant red chard on the market, which means it will produce for a longer period of time than other varieties. Start this open-pollinated chard indoors, in early spring, about 5 to 6 weeks before the last heavy frosts in your area (it can tolerate light frosts), or sow the seeds outdoors in a cold frame. If you live in a mild climate, 'Rhubarb Supreme’ may overwinter. The plants have deep green, crinkly leaves and bright, ruby-red stalks.

Cherry Tomato 'Midnight Snack'

'Midnight Snack' cherry-type tomatoes are delicious in salads or popped right into your mouth while you're picking in the garden. In full sun, the red fruits take on a glossy, purplish-black cast that comes from pigments containing healthy antioxidants. You can start harvesting from the indeterminate plants in about 65-70 days from transplanting. 'Midnight Snack' is an All-American Selections (AAS) award-winner.

Hungarian Pepper 'Mexican Sunrise' F1

Looking for a medium-hot pepper? Try 'Mexican Sunrise'. These Hungarian peppers range in color from lime green to yellow, orange and red as they ripen, so you'll often have a rainbow of hues on the same plant. The thick-walled fruits are good for eating fresh, pickling or processing, but they're also pretty enough to dress up your garden or use for fall decorations. This variety is another AAS winner with a bushy growth habit that's suitable for containers or small gardens.

Pak Choi 'Asian Delight' F1

According to a recent study of food trends, Asian cuisine will continue to be popular this year, with Filipino foods joining Thai, Korean and Vietnamese dishes on our tables. 'Asian Delight' F1 pak choi, or bok choy, is a Chinese cabbage that you can chop for Filipino-inspired soups, stews, sauces and more. This AAS-winning variety forms 5-7" heads with tender, mild-tasting ribs and dark green leaves. In field trials, other pak chois bolted much earlier than 'Asian Delight', so you can expect bigger yields than with other varieties.

Corn 'Sweet American Dream'

'Sweet American Dream' is also an AAS winner. This bicolor corn is ready in 77 days from sowing, and since it was bred to have twice the sugar content of regular corn, the kernels are sweet and tender. Plant it in short blocks for maximum pollination, and sow more seeds every 2 or 3 weeks for a continual harvest. Be sure the soil is consistently warm before you plant. The stalks grow 6 to 7 feet tall.

Tomato 'Centennial'

Bred to celebrate Bonnie Plants' 100th anniversary, the 'Centennial' tomato can be grown in containers or your garden. Expect plump fruits to slice for sandwiches and hamburgers in 80 to 90 days from planting. Hot weather doesn’t slow down these determinate plants, which have excellent resistance to diseases. For best results, do a soil test before you plant, so you'll know what nutrients you need to add to your soil, if any.

Okra 'Star of David'

Native to Israel, ''Star of David' is a delicious variety that produces thick, plump okra pods for pickling, frying or grilling. The plants grow 5 to 7 feet tall, with attractive, purple-tinted leaves. Harvest the pods while they’re still short and young, in about 60 to 75 days from planting, or they'll turn woody and tough. The spines can be prickly, so you may want to wear gloves when you're picking.

Radish 'Rudolph'

Need an easy way to mark the rows in your garden? Plant fast-sprouting radishes like 'Rudolph' (you may see this variety shown as 'Rudolf' on some websites) in spring or fall. These crisp, round radishes, which are as red as the legendary reindeer's nose, are ready to pull in 25 days from sowing. They resist cracking and won’t get pithy and pungent as long as you don’t leave them in the ground too long. Sow more seeds every 10 days for a fresh, continuous harvest.

Pumpkin Cushaw 'Orange Striped'

This cushaw pumpkin is great for making into pies and other baked goods. 'Orange Striped' is pear-shaped, with a curved neck and sweet, thick, yellow flesh. Get a jump start on the season by starting the seeds indoors; these veggies need about 110 days to mature. Wait until all chance of frost has passed before you transplant your seedlings into the garden, or direct sow the seeds only after the soil temperatures warm up to 72 degrees F. At harvest, each of these colorful pumpkins can weigh 15 to 25 pounds or more.

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