These new veg are bigger, better and more colourful than ever before! Here’s our pick for the season ahead
Aztec broccoli Huauzontle is a delicious broccoli alternative thatu2019s super-easy to grow and tastes like a mixture of spinach and broccoli. Itu2019s not a brassica (itu2019s actually related to the weed, fat hen) so no problems with caterpillars. You can boil or steam the leaves or young flower shoots. H1.2m (4ft). Sow April-May; harvest July-Sept. u00a32.05 for 200 seeds from the Real Seed Catalogue 01239 821107
Bean 'Yard Long'
Bean u2018Yard Longu2019 Pencil-thick green beans grow up to a whopping 75cm (29in) long! Popular in Asia. Best grown in a tunnel or greenhouse, or a sunny spot to reach their full potential. The beans are produced in clusters and are ideal to freeze or dry beans for later use. Sow Apr-Jul; harvest CHECK. u00a31.99 for 70 seeds from Dobies 0344 967 0303
Carrot 'Rainbow Mx'
Carrot u2018Rainbow Mixu2019 A colourful mix of maincrop carrots. White, purple and yellow varieties, mixed to sow and harvest together. Carrots are high in vitamin A. Sow Mar-May; harvest mid-July-Sept. u00a31.99 for 475 seeds from Suttons 0344 326 2200
Celery 'Giant Red'
Celery u2018Giant Redu2019 A new and excellent strain of red celery selected for its robust habit and growth, solid stems, reliable keeping quality and very dark red colour. Although stems can grow to emmense size, thereu2019s no loss of flavour. Sow Jan-Feb; harvest Aug-Dec. u00a31.99 for 1800 seeds from Suttons 0344 326 2200
Chilli u2018Slowburnu2019 The heat from this chilli builds slowly and stops before it gets too hot, hence the name. Heavy crops of attractive orange chillies of 55-60K SHU heat rating. Deep, rich flavour can be frozen or dried for later use. Best grown in a greenhouse or sunny patio. Sow Feb-Apr; harvest July-Oct. u00a32.99 for 15 seeds from Dobies 0344 967 0303
Courgette 'Summer Holiday'
Courgette u2018Summer Holidayu2019 Exciting new shape, colour and flavour. Large crops of rounded, colourful courgettes. Great flavour and texture, wonderful stuffed. Excellent source of vitamin C. SowMar-Jun; harvest Jul-Oct. u00a32.75 for 10 seeds from Mr Fothergillu2019s 0333 777 3936
Runner bean 'Hestia'
Runner bean u2018Hestiau2019 This superb variety is ideal for small gardens, patios or balconies as it reaches only H45cm (18in) tall. Produces good yields of long, straight, stringless pods with a good flavour. Excellent to freeze for later use. Sow Feb-Apr; harvest Jul-Sept. u00a33.99 for 30 seeds from Suttons 0344 326 2200
Squash u2018Fungou2019 An attractive variety with a distinctive 'Turban' shape. Bred for improved flavour. A popular choice for ornamental autumn displays with excellent flavour for roasting, baking and soups and stews. Sow Apr-May; harvest Sept-Oct. u00a31.99 for 12 seeds from Dobies 0344 967 0303
Strawberry 'Double Pleasure Happy Eyes'
Strawberry u2018Double Pleasure Happy Eyesu2019 This ever-bearing strawberry blooms from May and bears sweet, aromatic, heart-shaped fruit across the entire summer. Remove runners for more flowers. Can be grown in pots and hanging baskets. 1L pot u00a33.30; call Lubera for stockists 0845 527 1658
Strawberry spinach An attractive and rare leafy salad plant with spinach-shaped leavesm that have a satisfying nutty flavour, starting from baby leaves within the few weeks on germination and allowing the plant to grow so you can enjoy the mature leaves with that bit of bite. Sow Feb-June; harvest April-Sept. 99p for 300 seeds from Marshalls Seeds 0844 557 6700
Sweetcorn u2018Moonshineu2019 F1 The best tasting sweetcorn in trials last year - super-sweet variety thatu2019s juicy and can even be eaten raw! Excellent cob coverage. 3-5 cobs per plant. 15-20cm cobs. Harvest August-September. H150-200cm (59-79in). Sow Mar-May; harvest Aug-Sept. u00a33.99 for 25 seeds from Suttons 0344 326 2200
Watermelon 'Little Darling'
Watermelon u2018Little Darlingu2019 Consistently performing well in the UK, this small fruited variety matures and ripens quickly to produce oval fruit with delicious, sweet tasting and succulent flesh. Best in a polytunnel or greenhouse. Sow Feb-Apr; harvest Aug-Oct. u00a32.60 for 7 seeds from Mr Fothergillu2019s 0333 777 3936
FOUR NEW TOMS TO TRY
Tomato ‘Cocktail Crush’ F1 A standard-size red tomato that’s sweet to taste with a slight tangy flavour. Similar in habit and flavour to old favourite ‘Ailsa Craig’, but with added benefit of showing good blight resistance. Sow Jan-April; harvest Jul-Oct. 10 seeds £1.25 Kings seeds 01376 570000 www.kingsseeds.co.uk
Tomato ‘Veranda Red’ A unique compact bush tomato ideal for small patio pots in a sheltered location – no need for staking or support. Excellent sweet flavour compared with similar dwarf types. Good resistance to fusarium, verticillium and some resistance to late blight. Sow mid-April; harvest late July-Sept. £2.50 for 10 seeds from Plants of Distinction 01449 721720; www.plantsofdistinction.co.uk
Tomato ‘Super Sauce’ The world's largest sauce tomato, up to 1kg in weight – that's a jar of sauce per tomato! An easy-to-peel fruit, with meaty, almost seedless flesh. Excellent for burgers and tomato salads too. A cordon variety. Sow Feb-Apr; harvest Jul-Oct. £3.99 for 10 seeds from Suttons 0344 326 2200; www.suttons.co.uk
Tomato ‘Consuelo’ Blight-resistant tom with large, cherry-sized fruits with exceptional flavour. Suitable for growing outside as a staked plant or in an unheated greenhouse. Good resistance to fusarium, verticillium and late blight. Sow Feb onwards; harvest June-Sept. £1.25 for 10 seeds from Just Seed 01978 421764; www.justseed.com