Summer is one of the most fulfilling seasons for a gardener. Fields, containers, and raised boxes are filled with green foliage, bright blooms, and sentimental aromas. From tomatoes that are plump with rich juices to freshly cut herbs unlike anything found on grocery store shelves, summer is a gardener’s heaven. With harvesting efforts beginning, it’s time to highlight some of the trendy new seed varieties that are thriving this year. Gardeners are focusing less on what is tradition and more on the fun and usefulness of growing their own plants, so there is no shortage of trendy garden seeds worth highlighting.
From herbs and veggies to every color of bloom imaginable, growers are finding new ways of bringing excitement to their gardens while improving the quality and health of their plants. These new and exciting seed recommendations are focused on more than looks, they are top performers in every way you want them to be.
Herbs have historically been one of the most overlooked categories of plants. However, things are changing! Whether people are playing with the latest kitchen tech or going back to their roots with homestead living, people care about where their food comes from and how it is made. Herbs are now playing a greater role in the creative expression through cooking by expanding flavor profiles and improving the experience of consuming everyday meals. Does a recipe call for basil? No problem, there are dozens to choose from! Each with an individual flavor twist. Cinnamon Basil is making quite the splash in both the garden and the kitchen. With jagged green leaves, this aromatic foliage boasts purple stems and uniquely dark blooms for an edgy look and spiced-up flavor.
New flavors and colors aren’t the only things growers are focused on when it comes to new trends. They are also looking for function. This search has brought the spear-leafed cilantro herb onto the scene. Culantro is capable of delivering the cilantro flavor loved by salsa eaters around the world while still enduring the heat of being cooked. This combination of flavor and function gives them great value to the cook and gardener alike. Plus, the life of these leafy greens is doubled with a biennial habit compared to the expiration of one season that plagues common cilantro.
When it comes to vegetables, there is no shortage of qualities that are being explored. Taste, shape, color, use, health of the plant, etc. Any quality that may give a plant an edge over its competition is worth exploring. In the world of tomatoes, there are many varieties that stand out in their own way. This year, the Purple Calabash is one to keep an eye on. Its color is the first point to take notice of. The ruffled purple-pink skin is flushed with a bronze color worthy of its unique smoky flavor. In addition to their color and flavor, these baseball-sized fruits are also drought-tolerant and crack resistant.
In addition to this tomato, other summer vegetables like the ‘Cambuchi’ hot pepper, ‘White Egg’ eggplant, and ‘Eight Ball’ zucchini are being recognized for their trendy and beneficial traits. The Cambuchi hot pepper is perfect for adding some heat with a fruity touch to homemade salsas. With its flying saucer shape, it can also act as an ornamental flare within the garden or home landscape. While the Eight Ball zucchini has been listed on the AAS winners list for several years, its rounded shape and early developing habit make it perfect for beginner gardeners growing their first crops. As for the White Egg eggplant, this vegetable is hopping on the mini-trend train. Its small maturity of 2-3 inch fruits makes it perfect for growing in small spaces with minimal pest issues. Only need a touch of eggplant for a meal? This is the perfect variety!
A garden isn’t complete without some blooms for attracting pollinators and other beneficial insects. While it is common to see new varieties of flowers being put out year after year, some of the most popular trends this year include growing flowers with multiple uses. Extending the enjoyment of flowers has been on the rise for several years now. They have typically been grown and left to die. or come back each year without much additional thought. This standard cycle is over as they are now cut, pressed, dried, displayed, eaten, or shared with others before finishing their usefulness. In the landscape, consider growing Indian Spring Mixed Hollyhocks for their versatile usability. Whether grown along pathways, in the background, or amid other cut flower types, this bright red and pink bloom will put on a show worth preserving.
More interested in something that can perform in the kitchen? Nasturtiums couldn’t be more fitting. Their edible leaves, stems and flowers make them the ideal flower for an entirely edible garden. Don’t want to wait for a harvest? These plants may be grown indoors as peppery microgreens that are ready for harvesting in only two weeks. Besides their looks and taste, flowers are increasingly also being used as lawn alternatives. With this awareness regarding the use of water, flowers are being used as wiser replacements for turf grass. Resilient and drought-tolerant flowers with a wildflower habit are ideal for this purpose. And they help support native pollinator habitats that continue to face hive, colony, and population decline.
Gardeners around the world are reconnecting with the simple joys associated with nature in every season and every setting. They are slowing down, smelling the flowers, and taking in their surroundings because of the smart plant choices made each year. The reason behind these popular trending seeds and practices boils down to growers doing more with less. Grow more, cook more, enjoy more. Stress less, waste less, and harmless. Growers are ready to make the most of their space, efforts, and money as they are busier than ever living their well-rounded lives. By choosing seed varieties that offer more than one use or benefit, they are able to achieve each of these goals without sacrificing taste, quality, and the satisfaction of a fresh garden harvest. Learn more: www.trueleafmarket.com
About the author: Ashleigh Smith is the managing editor at True Leaf Market, with a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Brigham Young University – Idaho. True Leaf Market is a nationally certified organic, non-GMO seed and horticultural company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The True Leaf Market staff specializes in supplying a large selection of conventional, heirloom, and organic seeds to home gardeners everywhere. Learn more: www.trueleafmarket.com.