Provided by University of Missouri Extension
A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but names are important in the plant world nonetheless, especially when you’re growing vegetables. If you’re heading out to the garden center to pick up some seed or starter plants, here are some suggestions from Lewis Jett, University of Missouri Extension state vegetable specialist, for new and interesting varieties recommended for Missouri gardeners:
- Beets: Centurion, Asgrow Wonder and Pacemaker III are good red varieties. For golden beets, try Chioggia.
- Broccoli: Arcadia, Marathon, Pinnacle and Gypsy varieties are great picks. Broccoli performs well in Missouri in spring and fall, Jett said.
- Cauliflower: Cheddar, a new orange variety, is worth trying.
- Cucumbers: Dasher II, Indy, Speedway, Thunder and Daytona are excellent yielding slicing varieties. For burpless cucumbers, try Burpless 26, Tasty Jade or Socrates. “Cucumbers are a great full-season crop for the garden,” Jett said.
- Eggplant: Fairy Tale, Nadia and the white variety Ghostbuster are excellent new varieties. Eggplant performs well during Missouri’s hot summer months.
- Melons: Ambrosia is a very sweet, orange-flesh cantaloupe. Galileo is a high-yielding, green-flesh cantaloupe. Daybreak, Honeystar and Early Dew are excellent honeydew varieties. “Melons thrive in the summer heat and provide a very healthy dessert food,” Jett said.
- Bell peppers: Alliance, Aristotle, Paladin, Revolution and Lafayette are good picks. They’ve proven to be excellent yielding varieties in Missouri, Jett said. Blushing Beauty is an attractive multicolored bell pepper.
- Other peppers: Aruba, Corno de Toro, Lipstick and Antohi Romanian are good non-bell sweet peppers. Some high-yielding hot peppers include the jalapenos Mucho Nacho and Ixtapa.
- Okra: Annie Oakley II is a good choice.
- Pumpkins: Aladdin is a great medium to large pumpkin with good powdery mildew tolerance. Mystic Plus is a high-yielding pie pumpkin, also with good powdery mildew tolerance. For a tropical variety, try La Estrella, an excellent choice both for ornamental use and as a pie pumpkin.
- Spinach: Melody, Space and Tyee are good picks. Tyee is particularly well-suited for early summer production in the home garden, Jett said.
- Snap beans: Bronco, Daytona, Strike and Tema are excellent choices. Roma II is a prolific Romano, flat-podded, variety.
- Corn: Bon Appetite, Delectable, Jackpot and Luscious are good picks. For home gardens and local sales, Jett suggested always choosing sugar-enhanced sweet corn varieties.
- Tomatoes: There are many from which choose. Crista, Florida 91, Pik Rite, Sunguard and Sunbrite are some of Jett’s favorites. Mariana, Plum Dandy and BHN 410 are good Roma varieties. For grape tomatoes, try Jolly Elf, Santa and Golden Sweet.
- Sweet potatoes: Beauregard and Hernandez are both good Missouri performers.
- Watermelons, seeded: Carmen, Fiesta, Sangria, Stars and Stripes, and Sugar Shack are good Missouri performers. Sweet Beauty is a great small variety, producing fruits weighing less than 7 pounds.
- Watermelons, seedless: Summer Flavor 5244, Tri-X Palomar, Gypsy and Freedom are excellent choices. For a small fruit seedless variety, try Solitaire.
- Zucchini: Cashflow, Independence II and Dividend are good picks. All can provide a continuous supply of squash through the summer.
- Other squashes: Table Ace and Carnival are high-yielding acorn varieties. Monet and Multipik are good yellow summer varieties.
For more information about vegetable production, consult your Local University of Missouri Extension Office. For printed growing guides, go to the Horticulture section on the University of Missouri Extension website.