Top 10 Heirloom Vegetables to Grow

By Amy Grant | October 15, 2016
by Amy Grant
October 15, 2016

Heirloom vegetables are older open-pollinated varieties of veggies. Heirlooms, unlike hybrids, are not bred to resist diseases and pests but sometimes breeding these qualities into a variety, breeds out other better qualities. Because heirlooms often have superior flavor than the hybrid varieties, it’s worth it to give them a go in the garden. And the good news is that heirlooms will adapt to regional conditions, over time rendering them more resistant to potential threats.

Consider not only your growing region (USDA zone), but also your personal tastes when choosing heirloom varieties. Consulting with others who have grown heirlooms in your area is a great place to start. They can give you a head’s up on their successes and failures. That said, here are 10 popular heirloom varieties:

1. Mortgage Lifter tomato – For large beefsteak tomatoes, Mortgage Lifter is a winner.

2. San Marzano tomato – San Marzano is a roma tomato variety that is prized for making into sauce.

3. Kentucky Wonder bean – Kentucky Wonder beans were introduced in 1864 and are still perennial favorites.

4. Bull’s Eye beet – Also known as Chioggia, this beet heirloom has striking alternating red and white concentric rings.

5. Wakefield cabbage – Wakefield cabbage was introduced in 1892 and is wildly popular with southern cabbage lovers.

6. Little Finger carrot – Perfect for pickling or canning, Little Finger is a baby gourmet carrot.

7. Giant Musselburgh leekGiant Musselburgh leeks can’t be beat.

8. Hubbard squashHubbard squash is a unique winter squash with blue-grey skin that can be stored for long periods of time.

9. Black Beauty zucchiniBlack Beauty zucchini was introduced in 1902 and is adapted to the southern states, but does well in northern regions with longer growing seasons.

10. Hale’s Best melonHale’s Best melons are early cantaloupes with sweet salmon-orange flesh and a resistance to powdery mildew.

The above is just the tip of the iceberg. With thousands of heirlooms to choose from, there is almost no end to the options. Keep in mind your USDA zone and have fun planting these unique vegetable varietals.

Tell us what you think: Leave a comment
3 people are already talking about this.
This article was last updated on
Read more about Top of the Crop
Did you find this helpful? Share it with your friends!

Get our latest eBook, “Bring Your Garden Indoors: 13 DIY Projects for the Fall and Winter”

As the seasons change, it’s time to think about bringing your garden indoors. From creating an indoor garden to using natural decor for your holiday decorations, our latest eBook features 13 of our favorite DIY projects for the whole family.

 Happy holidays from all of us at Gardening Know How.

  • Darshan bhalodiya
    Comment added May 23, 2018Reply

    Vegetable and Fruits Graden is wonderful for a look and Decorate the home, Home vegetables are also good for our health.
    But for Best Vegetable or Fruits we need their best seeds to grow completely.

    Brinjal Seeds | Purple Brinjal | Organic Brinjal Seeds | Exporter | Gujarat | India

    Green Field Seeds-Spreading plant, profuse branching, and early bearing. Oval, medium size, green with light green stripes on fruit, borne in the cluster. Brinjal Seeds, Purple Brinjal, Organic Brinjal Seeds, Exporter, Gujarat, India.

  • Deanna Johnson
    Comment added May 23, 2017Reply

    Won't let me sign up for your newsletter

  • Deanna Johnson
    Comment added May 23, 2017Reply

    I tried signing up to receive your newsletter, but it kept telling me error.

Leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Join Us - Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips!