Unique Garden Fruits and Veggies You Won't Find at the Store wallacegardencenter

Unique Garden Fruits and Veggies You Won't Find at the Store

These one-of-a-kind plant offerings are sure to make a statement in your vegetable garden this year!

Growing your own food is fun, rewarding, healthy, and costs way less than any food you can buy at the store. It's also a great way to try new foods, including some of the more unique fruit and veggie offerings you won't find in the produce aisle of your local supermarket. To help you spice up your 2023 dinner plates, here are some of our favorite unique veggie varieties that we think you should try this gardening season.

What Are Some Unique Fruits and Veggies I Can Grow in Bettendorf?

While you may not be familiar with some of these crops, we can assure you that they're perfect for your summer planting season. Here are a few of our faves:

heirloom tomatoes


When we say we love tomatoes, we're not talking about those picture-perfect plump, flavorless ones you buy at the grocery store. Instead, we like an heirloom variety in our veggie gardens, the kinds whose seeds have been hand-selected and passed down from farmer to farmer, generation to generation. Heirloom tomatoes are also open-pollinated, meaning they're pollinated naturally with no genetic mods whatsoever. Some of our favorite heirloom varieties include:

  • Carolina Gold: This sweet, mild-flavored tomato has low acidity and a bright golden-yellow color. It's a slow-growing plant, but bears fruit that is disease resistant.
  • Big Rainbow: A tomato that eats like a meal, this large heirloom beefsteak variety can weigh up to 2 lbs! The marbled red and yellow coloring continues on the inside as well.
  • Brandywine: One of the most popular sandwich tomatoes, these large varieties are super tasty, and you can find them in red, yellow, orange, or pink. A bit more particular to grow and care for, but well worth the extra time and effort for all of that flavor!
  • Cherokee Purple: A beautiful beefsteak variety with a rich, deep flavor, this unique heirloom variety is a must-have for your veggie garden!
  • Rutgers: An old favorite among tomato growers, this veggie is often used as a parent plant for hybrid varieties and grows large, red fruit packed with flavor.

Some newer tomato varieties are worth exploring, too, like Mountain Magic. These large cherry tomatoes are low in acid, higher in sugars, and are super resistant to cracking and early and late blight.

shishito peppers


If you're looking for some original ways to spice up your summer cuisine, look no further than these unique pepper varieties:

  • Dragon Roll: This shishito pepper is milder than a jalapeno with a delightful smoky flavor and just a hint of heat, making it a staple in Japanese cuisine. The name is pretty cool, too!
  • Sweet Shishito: A sweet Japanese heirloom variety, this variety is full of flavor and an excellent pick for container fruit and veggie gardening.
  • Gold Standard II: This bell pepper variety was bred for greatness! With a large size, sweet flavor, and superior crunch, this pepper is resistant to most diseases and will surely add a bit of flair to your veggie garden.


We don't all think of planting eggplants in our Bettendorf veggie gardens, but why not? That rich deep purple color adds dimension to a garden, and they transition perfectly from the garden to the grill. Here are a few unique varieties to try:

  • Little Fingers: If you're into baby vegetables, this is the eggplant for you! Grown in small clusters that look like hands, you can harvest these veggies small and not sacrifice their mild, sweet flavor, making them perfect for stir-fries or grilling.
  • Patio Baby: This award-winning veggie might be too cute to eat! It's perfect for container and patio gardens, producing small fruits throughout the season.
  • Satin Moon: A gorgeous, dark glossy purple fruit, these egg-shaped eggplants are great for Italian cuisine and other vegetable-based Mediterranean dishes.

We hope you feel inspired to try some of these unique fruits and veggies in your Bettendorf garden, and we look forward to helping you expand your gardening horizons with something new. Drop by Wallace's Garden Center today for more tips and advice to help you create a garden abundant with delicious and unique fruits and veggies. Who knows, you may just find a new favorite!

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