Looking to spice up your vegetable garden next year? Well, why not try growing something new? I know I did last year and I’m glad I did. Now is the perfect time to scour the internet in search of a new vegetable or two to try in your own garden. To help give you a gentle nudge in the right direction, I’ve put together a list of my must-haves - all of which I grew in my own garden for the first time last year.
Kohlrabi, once a staple in many European vegetable gardens, is quickly becoming more and more popular in the U.S. It’s readily available in most produce sections and has been popping up in more gardens across the country.
Kohlrabi has a crisp, almost sweet taste that is sort of a cross between cabbage and a mild radish. It can be eaten raw or cooked and makes a fresh addition to salads and stir-fry’s. Due to the amount of rain we had last spring, I didn’t get a huge crop of kohlrabi but the plants that survived were tasty enough to make me want to grow kohlrabi again next year.
Here are some must-have early varieties, one of which I’ll be growing myself come spring, and yes, kohlrabi can be grown in the north.
Early White Vienna- 55 Days Eder- 38 Days Korridor - 42 Days Winner - 45 Days Kolibri - 45 Days
Lots of people love popcorn and knowing that it came from your own garden makes it much more enjoyable. There are a handful of varieties of popcorn to choose from and many double as ornamental corn so its like getting a 2 for 1 deal when you grow it in your own garden.
I myself grew Japanese Hull-Less popcorn in my garden last year. I like this variety because it takes about 83 days to mature and since I live in the north, an early variety works best for me. The trick to growing popcorn is to let the kernels dry right on the stalks even after they’ve turned brown.
Yard long beans have a slightly different taste than other varieties of beans. They're a bit milder in flavor, meaning not as sweet. I love them in a stir fry or lightly sautéed in olive oil. What’s fun about growing your own yard long beans is watching them grow. Some beans can grow an inch or two in a single day. If you do decide to try growing yard long beans in your own garden, keep in mind that they are pole beans so they’ll grow best along a fence or trellis.
Yard long beans taste the best when they’re about the thickness of a pencil. In my opinion, they are a must-have and an exciting new vegetable to grow due to their size alone. The three varieties I have listed below can grow from 15 - 20” long.
Orient Wonder - 85 Days
Gita - 78 Days
Red Noodle - 85 Days
Which new vegetables are you going to try in your garden next year? Have any suggestions?