Top 5 New Vegetable Varieties for 2023

Well here we are again! Another new year and for gardeners, the beginning of a new gardening season. I know it’s still winter but the cold weather gives us time to sit inside and joyfully study what is coming down the pipes for all the new plants hitting the market this spring. And there are so many that I have decided to categorize them – vegetables, herbs, perennials, annuals, and trees and shrubs. I think you are going to be impressed with the variety.

First, in January, we have the top 5 new vegetables. As usual there are a couple of tomatoes from Proven Winners.  Taxonomists recently changed the genus and species designation for tomatoes. Why? I’m not sure. Previously they were called Lycopersicon esculentum. They are now known as Solanum lycopersicum. I know most of us do not use Latin but if you are searching and googling away under the old Latin name, you might appreciate knowing. 

Tomatoes need direct sun, large containers (14 in. diameter minimum), top quality soil and consistent watering. Fertilize every two weeks after planting with a water soluble tomato-vegetable fertilizer. They are heavy feeders and soon use up any of the nutrient in the container soil. Tomatoes are self-pollinating (male and female parts in the same flower). If you only have room for one, you will still get tomatoes!

1. PW Tempting Tomato category: Bellini from Proven Winners

Bellini is a large cocktail tomato that has a high sugar content and is very easy to grow. This indeterminate plant produces clusters of bright orange tomatoes all summer long into fall. They are resistant to cracking and disease. Days to harvest: 65 – 70.  Provide a cage as this tomato will grow to a height of 60 cm - 1m with a mature spread of 60-80 cm.


2. Sun Dipper F1 from Ball Seed

From Ball Seed comes a new indeterminate tomato seed called Sun Dipper F1. Sun Dipper is a hybrid grape tomato. This tomato grows best when planted directly in the ground but can be planted in a large container as well. It has elongated orange fruit just right for veggie platters and dipping. Sun Dipper is resistant to Nematodes, Fusarium and Tomato Mosaic Virus. Prune to two leaders to encourage larger and longer fruit (8-10 cm). Sun Dipper is a very large plant (Height: 1.5-2m.  Spread: 91 cm – 1.22 m.) Give it lots of room! Supply a support stake or cage. Days to maturity: 60 to 65. This is a delicious specialty tomato.  The F1 designation means ‘hybrid’. Sun Dipper is the result of the intentional cross pollination of two different varieties of the same plant. 


3. Pepper Pots Sugar Kick 'Capsicum annuum' from Proven Winners

Pepper Pots is a new seedless sweet pepper loaded with flavor and a crisp sweetness. It has a Brix rating of 11 which is very sweet. It has a thin skin and is very crack resistant.  Like every other pepper it loves full sun and is very heat tolerant.

Mature Height: 50 – 80 cm.

Mature Spread: 40 – 50 cm.

At 54 days post planting this pepper is green.  At 74 days it will have ripened to orange. Will continually fruit until first frost. Use Pepper Pots in containers with good drainage.  Do not let them totally dry out but never allow the plants to stand in water. 

Pepper Pots Sugar Kick remains seedless if isolated from other flowering pepper plants.


4. Sunbor Kale 'Brassica oleracea var. acephala'

Sunbor Kale is a member of the cabbage/mustard family that is an improvement over the Redbor variety. It has heavily ruffled dense leaves that are a deep rich red purple color.  The color and flavor improve with cooler weather. It is a very productive vegetable and is not only used in vegetable gardens, but can be used as an ornamental in perennial/annual beds, raised beds and containers. Very easy to grow.

Mature Height:  60 cm. to 1.2 m

Mature Spread: 30-45 cm

Days to Maturity: 55 

You can also start the seeds inside early if you prefer.  Outside the seeds need soil temperatures of at least 5 -10 degrees C to germinate. Germination occurs in 5-8 days. Like many other garden vegetables, kale is especially loved by deer and rabbits!


5. Dragon Tongue Bush Bean 'Phaseolus vulgaris' from Proven Winners

Any seed associated with a dragon has got to be interesting and should be given a space in your garden! Dragon Tongue is a yellow heirloom bean streaked with purple. The purple color disappears when the beans are cooked. A great veggie garden selection but can also be used as a filler in large containers.

Direct sow in warm soil when all danger of frost has passed.  The beans will rot in cold, damp soil. Planting depth is 1 inch.  Germination is usually 6-12 days after planting. Do not water until the new sprouts have emerged unless the weather is hot and dry. 

Pick Dragon Tongue beans when young to eat fresh, in salads or steamed. Like any bush bean, the more you harvest the more the plants will yield. If left to mature, the stripes on the bean will deepen to a bright red color and the shelled seeds can be used as a dried bean. 

Full Sun

Mature height: 60-80 cm.

Mature Spread: 20-30 cm.

Direct Sow to Harvest:  55-60 days

Row Spacing: 45-91 cm.

Plant the seeds 15 cm. apart                          

FYI – In 2021 I grew the tomato variety Prairie Pride (determinate). I was so happy with this variety - medium size tomato filled with tons of flavor and sweetness. None of the tomatoes on this plant experienced blossom end rot or cracking. I was very impressed!

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