This herb is known around the world for its wonderful fragrance and flavor. The key ingredient in classic Italian pesto, Sweet Basil has big leaves that are fast and easy to grow so that you can make your own pesto to freeze for year-round use. It loves hot weather, so always wait until all danger of frost is past before planting in the garden in the spring, then harvest before the weather starts to cool down in fall. Great for containers, but be sure to keep watered. If you were to grow only one herb, this should probably be it. Dried basil just doesn’t have the aromatic quality of the fresh leaves, which are often added at the last minute to many Asian dishes. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Cherokee Purple - Heirloom Tomato
Heirloom. Cherokee Purple seeds, originating from Tennessee, are thought to have been passed down from Native Americans of the Cherokee tribe. This heirloom tomato variety consistently ranks very high in taste tests. Slice Cherokee Purple tomato for rich, dark color and unmatched sweet, rich taste on sandwiches or in salads. The tomato is a beautiful dusky pink with a deep, rich-red interior. Cherokee Purple grows well in most regions of the U.S. Let the fruit ripen on the vine for the best flavor. This one is a consistent taste test winner at tomato fests around the country. For an heirloom, it is a good producer. In our Alabama test garden, where conditions are ideal and the season is long, we harvest and average of 20 or more fruits from each plant. Vigorous vines benefit from strong staking or caging.
Super Sweet 100 Tomato
When Sweet 100 tomato was first introduced it created a buzz among gardeners because it is so tasty and produces for such a long time. Now, its improved cousin, Super Sweet 100 hybrid, bears the same long, branched clusters of deliciously sweet tomatoes high in sugar and vitamin C. But Super Sweet 100 is known to be more disease resistant, giving plants a better chance where certain problems may be soil-borne. You'll be eating them right off the vine before they ever make it to the salad bowl! They are perfect for snacking, salads, and even juice. Super Sweet 100 lives up to its name, especially when harvested at the peak of ripeness. The indeterminate vines continue bearing until frost. Give them a tall support because they grow and grow over the top of the cage and back down again. Resistant to verticillium wilt (V) and fusarium wilt (F).
Jalapeno Hot Pepper
Named for the town of Jalapa, Mexico, this is the most popular chile pepper in the United States. Jalapeño produces 3-inch, thick-walled, moderately hot pods with deep green color that matures to a bright red. The skin may show a netting pattern as fruit ages, but it does not affect flavor. Often, the heat of the peppers will vary, even those from the same plant. If peppers grow fast, get plenty of water, and are harvested soon, they may be milder than peppers that stay on the plant a long time, or that develop slowly and under stressful conditions. Widely adapted, jalapeño plants yield a bountiful harvest in dry or humid, hot or cool climates. The compact plants grow well in containers. Use jalapeño on nachos or in salsa, or smoke the mature red ones over mesquite chips to make your own chipotle sauce. Jalapeño became the first pepper in space when a bag full of pods accompanied astronauts on the shuttle Columbia in November 1982! Organic varieties are only available at retailers.