Curious about edible gardening options for this summer? You’ve successfully grown a summer tomato and a crisp cucumber. What’s next? Aside from the sheer joy of eating something homegrown, there are smart tactics to choosing what seeds and plants to include in your food garden. Select varieties of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers that you don’t usually see at the grocery store. You’ll save money and spend less time cooking in the kitchen, as many of these beautiful harvests are enjoyed fresh off the stem.

Looking for neat, unusual varieties to grow? Use this list to spice up your garden space. 

Warm Season Favorites (April – Sept)

Pepper: Fish, Lemon, Padron, Shishito, Poblano, Gypsy, Golden Treasure, Yummy

Tomato: Sungold, Cherokee Purple, Black Plum Paste, Dr. Wyche’s Yellow, San Marzano

Cucumber: Boston Pickling, Mexican Sour Gherkin, Suyo Long

Lettuces/Greens: repeat plantings (early!)

Bean: Scarlet Runner, Italian Rose, Chinese Red Noodle

Okra: Little Lucy, Hill Country Red

Eggplant: Rosa Bianca, Ichiban

Zucchini: Astia, Ronde de Nice

Artichoke: Imperial Star

Thyme: English, Variegated Lemon 

Fennel: Bronze, Florence

Bay Laurel

Cardoon

Basil: Genovese, Sweet Thai, Red Rubin, Amethyst, Boxwood

Mint: any

Lemongrass

Cilantro

Poppy: Breadseed

Hibiscus: Thai Red Roselle

Sunflower

Borage

Calendula

Nasturtium: Alaska Mix (Variegated), Trailing, Jewel