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  • Writer's pictureJenna Bonnoront

My Favorite Trial Varieties- vegetables, herbs and annual flowers (since 2012)!

Thanks in part to my career as a seed trial manager and merchandiser, I've been compiling a list of favorite trial varieties (vegetables, culinary herbs and annual flowers) since around 2012. For those who are interested in viewing the entire list, please feel free to check it out via Google Sheets, using the link below:



Keep in mind that I am gardening in mid-western Ohio, on clay-rich soil, with a short unpredictable spring season, warm/hot and humid summers, and a fall season which could bring drought and temps in the 80s OR snow. Varieties that perform well for me may NOT do the same for you, especially if you are gardening in a significantly different environment. In my experience, varieties that do well for me also work in the areas circled in red on the map below (perhaps even skewing a bit further in all directions in the case of some varieties).



I would have liked to include all of my trial notes as well, but since some of that information is confidential (for the breeder's and seed company's eyes only) I was unable to include it on the Google sheet. But in general, I judge varieties on 3 main criteria:

1. Flavor/Eating Quality

2. Overall Plant Health and Vigor

3. Productivity.

It's a rare occasion where I will recommend a variety that doesn't taste delicious! In the case of ornamental plants, I'm judging based on looks & plant health.


Most of these varieties are available for sale in the United States- a quick Google search of the variety name should bring up several options for those of you who are interested in growing these for yourselves.


As always, I love to hear from you too! Any suggestions for specific varieties I should try are always welcome.


Part of the 2023 trial garden


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7 Comments


stulk1
Feb 23

Hello, I just started watching your video. They are great and very informative but everything you talk about is very expensive. How can poor families grow food in the dirt in their back yard? What is the least expensive way?

Thank you

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Karelynne Ayayo
Karelynne Ayayo
Mar 08
Replying to

I'm no expert, but I'll share a few tips that you might consider.

-I compost everything I can in a 55-gallon trash bin that I converted. This allows me to amend the natural soil in my yard to make it more suitable for growing.


-Check out your local Extension site (mine is the Ohio State University Extension) for any insights or assistance they might give. In my case, the extension partners with my local library (Stark Co, Ohio) and makes seeds available through a Community Seedbank.

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Sandy Miller- Paine Falls
Sandy Miller- Paine Falls
Jan 24

Thanks so much for posting the list! I sit and furiously take notes from your videos 😂. I was so excited to just receive purple broccoli seeds from Hoss seeds!

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barlage93
Jan 20

I love this!! Thank you!

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Jenna Bonnoront
Jenna Bonnoront
Jan 21
Replying to

You're welcome!

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donnapcotter
Jan 19

Thank you for sharing your list. It will be a great resource when buying seeds for sure. I've had good success with some of the varieties you've suggested here in SE Pennsylvania. Our weather and soil are very similar.


I live about an hour from Lancaster and the PA Dutch farming region. I buy seeds at Rohrer's Seeds a couple of times a year and came across a couple of interesting tomato varieties to try. I grew one of them last year and will definitely include it again this year.


The variety I grew in 2023 is 'Reigart'. It is an heirloom, plum tomato developed by Penn State extension. I wish I wrote down more details about it, but I…


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Jenna Bonnoront
Jenna Bonnoront
Jan 21
Replying to

Thank you for sharing- I'll have to check this one out!

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