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University of Minnesota Extension

Recommended plant varieties from the Master Gardener seed trials

Since 1982, hundreds of Master Gardener volunteers from across the state have devoted time and garden space to testing popular flower and vegetable varieties.

Six yellow beans laying horizontally on a white piece of paper with size and flavor comments written next to each bean

Each year, the seed trial gardeners test six vegetables and two flower varieties (and one herb, when possible). They look for the best return on investment. 

They've tested heirlooms, seed saved from generation to generation, and varieties that promise high yield, ease of growing, space saving and simple beauty.  

Recommendations are based on:

  • flavor
  • disease and insect tolerance
  • productivity
  • germination rate
Cherry tomatoes on a plant surrounded by a tomato cage

Minnesota Winners are chosen as the top performers in each trial. Find these varieties at your local garden center or search online for seed and plant sources.

The Teaching Garden at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum features Minnesota Winner plants during the growing season.  Plan your visit between late June and mid September to see them growing.

Take a look at the Minnesota Winners

View or download a spreadsheet of past results of the Minnesota Master Gardener Seed Trials.  

This spreadsheet is updated annually in January.

Minnesota Winners

Reviewed in 2020

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