Summer is almost here! It’s the best time to eat fresh, local veggies, and it doesn’t get any better than when the harvest comes right from your very own garden.

Taste and tradition are two good reasons to plant tried-and-true veggie varieties each year, and Tonkadale now has your favorites on hand! But why not add something new to the mix? There are several new edibles to suit everyone’s taste. Read on – then pick your next new favorite edible!

Basil is the most popular herb, and Red Rubin Basil is one to try. It has stunning purple-red leaves and a bold, spicy flavor to match. Stronger than sweet basil, this herb can be used in the same way, but will add an extra punch. Use Red Rubin to add interest to your garden and your plate – try it chopped and sprinkled on any dish with a red sauce, or any cold salad (pasta, potato, slaw, bean, etc.)

If you want tomatoes that are as interesting and exciting to grow in your landscape as they are to eat, Rapunzel and Big Rainbow are the two for you!

Rapunzel Tomato lives up to its name, producing long tendrils full of sweet cherry tomatoes – up to 40 on each stalk! Try this sweet treat right off the vine or as a great addition to any veggie tray. More than just a tasty snack, this veggie can also add interest to the garden. Try it in a planter or a hanging basket as a feature in your edible landscape.

Big Rainbow Heirloom Tomato has yellow, red and green skin when young. As the fruit matures it retains the red and yellow coloring in both the skin and flesh of the fruit. These tomatoes can reach up to 2 pounds each, so be sure to provide strong support. Resistant to foliar diseases, Big Rainbow is good for tight landscapes with little airflow and does well in rainy and humid conditions.

What pairs well with tomatoes? Peppers! Tonkadale has several new varieties, including Hole Mole Pepper (pronounced ho-lay mo-lay). As the name suggests, this is a great pepper for making mole sauce or adding to other south-of-the-border inspired dishes.

The plant is small enough to grow in a container but is a heavy producer. Peppers ripen to dark, brownish green and have a mildly hot, mildly nutty flavor that is delicious fresh. These peppers can also be dried, ground for spice, or pickled.

Another wonderful new container-suitable veggie is Patio Baby Eggplant. This is a compact plant that produces beautiful, dark purple fruit, making it a great choice for containers or in any garden setting – even as an ornamental edible tucked in among other ornamental plants! Early producing and delicious roasted, the fruit is best when picked small, 2-3 inches.

Remember, all the edibles listed above are heat-loving plants. If the temperature dips too low, they may need some protection. And these are only a few of the new additions. Come visit Tonkadale Greenhouse to see and learn more about each new variety.

More new veggies for 2015

  • Salad Bush Pickle Cucumber
  • Alma Paprika Pepper
  • Cubanelle Key Largo Pepper
  • Golden Greek Pepperoncini
  • Ballmoral Zucchini
  • Sun Gold Tomato
  • Sweet Heart of the Patio Tomato