The Search for the Best Vegetable Varieties to Grow: Veg Seed Thoughts

Best Vegetable Varieties to Grow
I’ve been growing vegetables for the past few years in my London garden in the South of the UK, and thought it could be useful to keep track of my thoughts on all the vegetable seed varieties I’ve grown so far, to see which veggie variety I thought is the best out of all the ones I have experience with. I often turn to grower forums for info like this, so in case you’re on the lookout for a similar forum post about good varieties to grow, here’s my post about it.

Without further ado, here are my thoughts on different vegetable varieties to grow in the United Kingdom. I’ve put stars next to the better varieties I’ve grown.

(Note: I imagine experiences may vary slightly depending on weather, where you got your seeds from, how strong the seeds and plants were etc.)


Leafy Greens Spinach Swiss Chard Varieties
Perpetual Spinach:
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Very ordinary tasting Swiss Chard / Greens, tasting the same as (or even a little less tasty than) Swiss chard or greens bought from the supermarket. Easy to grow but not tasty enough to grow again.

Green Bean Varieties

favourite best green bean varieties for climbing pole beans

Climbing Beans:

purple climbing pole beans blauhilde varietyA Cosse Violette:
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts:  Purple round pods that become green upon cooking. Taste exactly like normal french beans. Not particularly extraordinary in any way; neither in taste nor prolificness. I would probably not grow again.

Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts:  Purple flat, shiny silky smooth beans. The feel of them when picking was nice because they’re so silky. In terms of taste, they tasted like any other french bean. Not extraordinary in terms of prolificness nor taste so probably would not grow again.

best most prolific high yielding climbing pole bean variety cobra and blue lake

☆ ☆ Blue Lake:
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Very similar to Cobra with round green pods. Not sure I noticed a discernable difference between Cobra & Blue Lake in terms of taste. Taste like ordinary French Beans, not spectacular, similar to supermarket-grade produce but fresher. Very prolific with really good yields. Compared to other bean plants, these appeared to be much less less fussy about getting watering perfect: more resilient and hardy to variable conditions.

☆ ☆ Cobra:
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Rounded green pods. Taste like ordinary French Beans, not spectacular, similar to supermarket but fresher. Very prolific with really good yields. Compared to other beans, less fussy about getting watering perfect.

☆ ☆ Kentucky Wonder Wax:
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Rounded yellow pods. Taste, ordinary. Prolific good yields.

☆ ☆ ☆ Marvel of Venice:
most tasty delicious best tasting wax yellow pole beans climbing bean marvel of veniceWhere I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Flat yellow wax beans. Taste: These were the only French Beans I grew that tasted significantly tastier than supermarket french beans. These were sweeter, butterier and more delicious than supermarket varieties. Unfortunately the plant was also quite sensitive to overwatering / underwatering with leaves yellowing and falling off if the watering wasn’t just right. When conditions were perfect, the beans were delicious and stringless. But when conditions weren’t just right (too hot / too cold / too wet / too dry) they were more likely to create bumpy uneven and stringy beans that lacked the optimal flavour. Because of my watering errors these were not very prolific for me and yields were quite low.

☆ Musica:
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Flat long freen pods. Very prolific with really good yields. Taste like ordinary French Beans but because they’re flat the texture and mouth-feel is a little different; less meaty and fleshy. A little fussy about getting watering just right. Leaves yellow, brown and fall off with slight overwatering or underwatering.

☆ ☆ Neckargold:
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Semi-rounded, semi-flat yellow wax beans. Taste very ordinary; not extraordinary. Very prolific and abundant (similar to Cobra, Blue Lake and Kentucky Wonder Wax). Not as fussy to water and temperature irregularities as other bean plants.

Dwarf Beans

Dragon Tongue Beans (aka Merveille de Piemonte)
coolest looking crops to grow cool awesome purple dragon tongue beansWhere I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Flattened but meaty, long beans. In terms of appearance these are exceptionally attractive when mature, with a cream colour and lots of dark purple flecks. Taste very similar to ordinary french beans. Possibly a miniscule difference in taste for the better but it’s so subtle and tiny that I’m not even sure if it’s there. Not as prolific compared to climbing beans so you need a lot of plants to get enough for a meal, but they continued to provide a steady crop from July to September. They provide a nice steady small producer to supplement climbing bean plants, but if you want to grow just this variety, you’ll need a lot of plants, and some staggered planting is a good idea in case some plants succumb to some problem or another in their older age. My oldest plants succumbed to spider mites so I was happy I had some younger unaffected ones on standby to keep providing beans.

Runner Beans:

favorite favourite runner bean varieties to grow moonlight vs firestormWhere I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Long velvety bean with red-brown markings along edge as they mature and pink beans inside. Become very stringy if left a little too long on the plant or if conditions are a little stressful. Taste like ordinary runner beans; meaty and fleshy, but not particularly extraordinary or extraordinarily tasty.

☆ Moonlight:
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Long velvety green bean. Taste was extraordinary because it had an interesting floral flavour which was lovely. Due to watering errors on my part the yield was very very low but may be worth growing again with better watering habits to give these another go.

Courgettes / Zucchini Varieties

Courgette Defender F1
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Tasted exactly like supermarket courgettes, so not special enough for me to grow again.

most recommended vegetable varieties for zucchini and courgettes atena polka ☆ ☆ Courgette Atena Polka F1
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Tasty yellow courgettes, tastier than supermarket ones, feeling more delicate in texture and sweeter.

Trieste White Cousa Courgette
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: I bought these after hearing lots of good things about “cousa” Lebanese courgettes but I’m not sure these “Trieste” version of “Cousa” were the variety people rave about because there’s not much I liked about these courgettes. They grow small and fat so you don’t get the fun of growing them to a large size. The taste was very ordinary; not very sweet or extraordinary in any way. The texture was very squeaky on the teeth when you chew it, and the skin was a little tough. Would not grow again.

Squash Varieties

Early Prolific Straightneck Squash
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: Yellow, slightly bumpy, almost plastic-looking pear-shaped squash. The fruits start off pale-coloured when young and progressively become a deeper mustard yellow as they mature. Taste very very similar to normal courgettes in cooked dishes. Very mild flavour. A nice sweetness when roasted but the tough skins became tougher when cooked this way. Overall, not different enough from ordinary courgettes to grow again. The taste was not better than ordinary courgettes in my opinion, and the tough skin was not to my liking.

gem squash - most recommended vegetables to grow - best tasting squash for home grown gardening

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Gem Squash:
Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: I could not recommend these highly enough! This is the tastiest thing I’ve grown to date. Delicate, sweet, nutty and delicious when left to grow for about 25-30 days on the vine. Definilyte would grow again!

☆ ☆ ☆ Tromboncino d’Albenga
tromboncino squash interesting unusual squash varieties to grow Where I bought the seeds from:
Thoughts: A little tough to germinate initially, but once they got going, this was the strongest, most sturdy, vibrant plant I’ve grown. Big beautiful dark green leaves, large flowers, and strong thick stems. The fruits were delicate and tasty; different enough from ordinary courgettes that I would grow these again. The whole experience of growing them is fun from the beautiful plant to seeing the huge tasty fruits grow and lengthen to incredible sizes as long as it’s warm enough (20-28′C) and its got enough sunlight (>6 hours a day).

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