Veggie Variations

Growing your own vegetable garden is a sustainable way to feed your family. Check our local landscape professionals' favorite veggies to plant.

By Melissa Mauzy


“The tomato nicknamed 'love-apple' becomes reality with the heartbreaker tomato, a cherry tomato with heart-shaped fruit. Heartbreaker has excellent vigor and produces rich-tasting hearts. The skin is soft, plus the fruit is juicy with the perfect sweet/sour content. Heartbreaker can be used as a snack, for cooking and salads or to decorate your dish for a fun and unique look.” ~ Ann Lapides, Sugar Creek Gardens.

“I have no favorite. I like them all! Zucchini is my favorite to grow because they do well and produce so much for so little.” ~ Jim Meiner, Prestige Landscape.

“Because I have limited space and sun for my garden, I do most of my gardening in containers.  Martino's Roma tomatoes are my absolute favorite vegetable. They are an Italian heirloom that's USDA Organic.  They are perfect for salsas and sauces and grow very well in a container garden, as well as in the ground with proper drainage, organic soil and nutrients.” ~ Linda Coonrod, Chesterfield Valley Nursery.

“I am big fan of the way the 'Galactic' Red leaf lettuce pops in the garden.  The flavor is a bit in the bitter range, but it balances nicely with an acidic vinaigrette.” ~ Eric Ringhofer, Green Guys.

“One of our favorite vegetables is Lacinato Kale. It grows well from early spring to late fall with little effort. It is one of the few vegetables for early and late gardens. Lacinato is an heirloom variety loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is great sautéed or added to soups and stews, and is easy to blanch and freeze for later use.” ~ Daniel Mee, Frisella Nursery.

“My all-time favorite garden veggie is the tomato. Tomatoes are relatively easy to grow and can be worked into a wide variety of meals and snacks. Try a Caprese salad with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, balsamic vinaigrette and cracked pepper for an elegant appetizer. Homemade salsa and marinara sauce are lots of fun to make, especially when you can add in your own garden-fresh herbs. Tomatoes are an easy canning vegetable for the first-time canner. Canning is a great way to enjoy your garden-fresh tomatoes all year round!” ~ Christine Knoernschild, Passiglia’s Nursery & Garden Center.