EDIBLES GROWERS tend to stick with tried-and-true varieties. This year, vow to add a couple of new vegetables to your garden mix. Here are a few 2013 introductions to try:
Royalty Purple Pod Heirloom Bush Beans (above): Part of a new collection of certified organic seeds, these colorful, long string beans are conversation starters on and off the vine. Renee’s Garden, 888-880-7228
Ortolana di Faenza Zucchini: Another heirloom from the organic collection, this classic Italian squash is tender, tasty and easy to grow. Renee’s Garden
Cajun Bell Pepper: This sweet pepper with the classic blocky shape is spicy, but not as hot as a chili pepper. John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds, 860-567-6086
Orion Fennel: Compact plants deliver more licorice-flavored “bulbs,” as well as scented fronds, to snip for salads and floral arrangements. John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds
Lunchbox Pepper Series: Bite-size snack peppers in tempting shades of red, yellow and orange grow on tall, strong plants. Great for salads, too. Johnny’s Selected Seeds, 877-564-6697
Dester Tomato: This pink beefsteak provides great flavor and heft (up to 1½ pounds). Originally from Germany, the seed was saved for more than 40 years before the company acquired it. Baker Creek Seed Co., 417-924-8917
Red Streaks and Lime Streaks Mizuna: An eye-popping combo in an edible landscape, these two oriental greens produce peppery, fringed leaves in bright green and red-purple. Baker Creek Seed Co.