What unusual vegetable seeds are you trying this year?


I’m always interested in what unusual seeds people are trying (or have had success with).  So I’m sharing what seeds I will try, where I got them and I hope some of you will do the same. For a complete list of all my crops for 2014 go here.

2014 unusual seeds that I will try:

African Bushel gourd-big round gourds the size of a bushel basket! Suppose to be good to use as containers after they dry out. You know me and giant things!

White Egg gourds-from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange-small egg gourd-looks like white chicken eggs-sounds like fun! Now I can pretend my old girls are still laying!

Tarbais beans-from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds-a pole bean that you dry out and cook for bean stews, soups and cassoulets. More delicate flavor than navy beans. These use to be hard to find in the states but thankfully Baker Heiloom Seeds has carried them for 2 years now.

Eyesines de Galeux-from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds-a salmon warty winter squash that tastes divine. The more ‘worts’ the sweeter it tastes. More worts=more sugar in it.

Sweet Meat-Another great winter squash-so sweet you don’t have to add anything to it to sweeten it. Also a great keeper-I just finished eating our last one in February.

Peredovik sunflower seed– from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange-this is the black oil sunflower seed that your birds eat in bird seed food.

Jimmy Nardello pepper-a red ‘chili’ looking pepper but sweet-from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange-a sweet long red pepper delicious when sautéed.

Bullshorn (Corno Di Toro) pepper-a red ‘chili’ looking pepper but sweet-from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange-another sweet long red pepper delicious when roasted or sautéed.

‘Canoncito’ landrace red hot chili pepper-This one I got from the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market and is a local seed from north of Espanola.

Charentais melon-from Baker Heirloom Seeds-one of the most flavorful melons from France or so they say.

Purple Bumblebee tomatoes-from Baker Heirloom-small purple and green striped larger cherry tomato. Part of the new Artisan tomatoes out this year.

Round Black Spanish radish-from Baker Heirloom Seeds-I got one from our local organic market and it was delicious so I’m gonna try them this year.

Craupadine beets-from Baker Heirloom Seeds-one of the ugliest but sweetest tasting beets ever-from France.

19 comments on “What unusual vegetable seeds are you trying this year?

  1. lemon and apple seeds from supermarket fruit and some seeds my German seedy penpal sent me like pomegranate


  2. Deanna says:

    I’m growing ground cherries for the first time this year. I got the seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom after reading the reviews and description. They’re related to tomatillos and grow in a husk, and are sweet and rather tropical flavored, like pineapples. If you try them, they are slow to start and seem to need a good bit of warmth to germinate. I have a seedling incubator that I made that brought the soil temperature up to around 80 degrees, and that allowed about 80% of the seeds to begin growing. While my 5 week old tomatoes and tomatillos I started at the same time are 8+ inches tall, the ground cherries are still 1″ to 4″, but I understand that they’ll take off like crazy once they’re planted outside and it becomes warm weather. Looking forward to trying them out!


    • That’s great! Let me know how they turn out in flavor-I’m very interested. What area of the country do you live in?


      • Deanna says:

        I’m going to be moving out to La Plata County not too long from now, but I’m in the Dallas area right now, and I’ve been following your blog for around 3 years now to get a better idea of what gardening in a drier, cooler climate would be like, and have learned a lot from your blog. I’ll definitely let you know how the ground cherries turn out, probably around mid to late June.


      • Yes the weather and growing conditions will be quite different up there! Hope the ground cherries do well and thanks for following my blog for so long!


  3. Tricia says:

    I like to try unusual things In my garden every year. This year I am going to try Edible Luffa, Tromboncino Squash, Armenian Cucumbers, Red Warty Thing pumpkin, Pink Banana Squash, Dixie Speckled Butterpea Lima beans, Hungarian Pumpkin peppers, Hidatsa Shield beans and many unusual tomatoes. It should be an exciting gardening year, best of luck with your garden!


  4. sounds fun 🙂 Did your weather cool off for you? We are back down to 20 & we’re even getting some snow, finally. If you or any readers start sweet white onions from seed, I’d love to hear when they get started. This will be my first time trying, on account of the past two years sets and plants being so disappointing.


    • Where do you live? I haven’t grown onions but have grown shallots instead.


      • I am in southwest Montana at 4500 feet. We are a zone 4 here. I usually grow shallots from sets, saved from last year. I have also started them from seed about the same time as my tomatoes. I am thinking I will get my trays ready and plant my onions around March 15th.


      • Isn’t it interesting that you are in zone 4 at 4500 feet and I am zone 6b at 7000 feet. Guess being down south helps me here but we have a short growing season too. When is your last frost date and first frost date? Ours here in Santa Fe is May 15 and Oct 15 although we got our first freeze last year in third week of September!


      • Our first safe day to set out is Memorial Day and our last “guaranteed” non-frost is Labor Day. I extend my season in front with row covers, walls-of-water, milk jugs and primitive cold frames. I am fortunate to have a tiny micro-climate as I live on the top of a hill, so frost doesn’t settle here quite as early. I can sometimes stretch my season with blankets in the fall. Of course, when the first frost is 8 degrees, there is not much you can do about that. I love reading from you — we garden so much alike, even so far apart and in different climates.


  5. Greetings! I’ve been following your weblog for a while
    now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Texas!
    Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic work!


  6. Deanna says:

    Hi again! I just wanted to report back to you about the ground cherries I’m growing. I only planted 5 plants due to space restrictions, and one of those succumbed to a fungus on the leaves and I chose to dispose of it early on. The other 4 are flourishing and sprawling big time (I’m in the process of making trellises). I’ve harvested about 25 ground cherries already. When they naturally drop off the plant in their light brown husks you gather them and put them on the counter to complete ripening for a week or two. Then you de-husk them, wash, and eat. Yummy! The more I eat them, the more I want them. I choose to think of them as a tropical tasting cherry tomato. They’re sweet, have a distinctly mango flavor, but also have a bit of tomato flavor as well. I expect to be harvesting many more of them during the next couple of months until it gets so hot that they won’t pollenate any longer. Definitely unusual, definitely yummy, and something I’ll be growing more of. The only real drawback I see so far is that the fruit is small, small to perhaps large marble size. I would say it’d take around 200 of them to make a heaping quart-sized strawberry basket, but they are prolific!


  7. Deanna says:

    That’s a good question. I bought the seeds from Baker’s Creek Heirloom Seeds and they only have one variety, but they don’t specify what it is. Through reading info from many web sites, I suspect it’s the “pineapple” variety, because for the first split second after biting into one, my mouth tells me it’s pineapple flavored, but then it immediately goes to a mango flavor. Here’s the link to the web site http://www.rareseeds.com/ground-cherry/


  8. I wanted to let you know that it is probably not too late to grow the pineapple tomatillos (ground cherries) this year. I have great luck with my volunteer plants – which don’t usually sprout up outside until June. They grow fast. I got mine from Pinetree Seeds.


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