10 unique plants you’ve probably never heard of that you should be planting

Cucamelons

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Cucamelons are quite possibly even more adorable in real life than in this adorable picture. They are fairly hard to start but once they get growing they will climb just about anything with cute sticky tendrils and leaves. Even though they are small I’m sure you will be happy with the yield from these adorable little plants. They pickle well and look adorable in cocktails. They taste like sour cucumbers and even though they are advertised as a new fruit/vegetable they have been a big part of South American history for a long time.

Red Zebra Tomatoes 

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These tomatoes were some of the easiest I have ever grown and each one was a picture perfect showstopper. As someone who has battled blight (it seems like every year). I’ve never felt like more of a successful tomato grower than last summer as my plants produced one adorable striped tomato after

Zebra Eggplant

(see picture above)

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These eggplants do a great job producing quality frequent produce while not taking up much space in your garden. They also make a perfect base for pizza bites!

 

Paw-Paws

Paw Paw

If you have heard of these fruits it is probably because you lived in the south, read it in a history book since it was George Washington’s favorite fruit. Or perhaps you are an avid NPR listener and “Paw Paw for Jesus!” is a phrase you have enthusiastically heard before. Either way Paw-Paw’s are not probably something you have eaten before. This is of course unless you are awesome. These fruits taste like a combination of mangos and bananas and the trees have now be hybridized to be grown in much colder climates than in the days of George Washington. If you have a bucket list for fruits to try this should be at the top of your list.

Cranberry Beans

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Packing in more protein than a normal bean and with less of the traditional “beany” flavor. These little delightfully colored beans and bean pods will cover spaces quickly. I have never had to wait more than a couple days to get them to sprout out of the ground and climbs easily.

Dragon Carrots

dragon carrots

These carrots are a delightful red color right out of the ground! Unfortunately, when you peel them the inside of the carrot is still a regular orange color. However, if you find a recipe that does not call for peeling you can keep all the color!

Jelly Melons

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These little spikey fruits are not for the faint of heart! These were initially very slow growing in my garden and I ended up planting a lot of these plants in fear that I wouldn’t get any. However, since this is a warm-weather fruit, by the end of July these were tearing up my garden. By the end of August I couldn’t get to my tomatoes without being scratched by either the fruits, leaves, or stems, all of which had various degrees of spikes on them. These would be a great fruit if you wanted to create a barrier for predators. Plant along fence lines to deter rabbits or other pesky veggie eaters. These would also be perfect if you wanted an exciting fruit to bring to a farmers market. It tastes like a more citrusy version of a cucumber. And even though they were easy (almost too easy) to grow, I have seen them sold at my local grocery store for $3 a piece in the “exotic foods” section. I saw this during a time when I couldn’t get them out of my garden without some form of pain. Therefore, needless to say I giggled when I saw them being sold for such an absorbent price.

Tigger Melons

Tigger melon

Ok, clearly I have a thing with stripes. Perhaps I was in love with a zebra in another life. But can you get enough of these cute travel sized fruits?! Don’t let the melons at the supermarket be your standard. Can you imagine the looks your co-workers will give you pulling out a travel sized watermelon from your lunch box?! This is sure to wow at any farmers market

Blue Sweet Potatoes

blue sweet potatoes

Even though it is -20 F right now, I still have blue potato vines growing inside my house. They were too cool not to take inside before the frost and have held up nicely in my home. I will plant them in the late spring again to hopefully get some more nutrient rich sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a tropical plant if you can believe it and require much warmer temperatures than most garden plants. Plant in the middle of summer or at any time in your climate when nights are consistently warm.

Strawberry Spinach

strawberry spinach

How would you like to grow a garnish with your spinach on your spinach? That is exactly what you can do if you plant strawberry spinach. Although I did not find the “strawberry” portion of this plant particularly tastey, they look dazzling and are sure to wow a farmer’s market audience.

 

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