Heirloom Cultivars for the Balcony Garden

Heirloom TomatoesThe following heirloom cultivars are popular with container plant gardeners because of their great taste. Try one of these great heirlooms in your garden this season!



  • 'Cherokee Trail of Tears Pole.' Cherokees brought the seeds of this hardy bean from Tennessee to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears.
  • 'Jackson Wonder Bush.' This lima bean is a drought-tolerant variety from 1880s that not only produces a lot of beans. It is also an attractive container plant.
  • 'Jacob's Cattle.' This attractive bean is great for baking and in soups.
  • ‘Kentucky Wonder.’ Around since 1864, this pole bean variety was originally known as ‘Old Homestead.’ These green beans were really long, tender and tasty.


  • 'Deer Tongue.' This lettuce variety dates back to the 1740s. It is heat-tolerant, slow-bolting and has a great flavor.
  • ‘Paris White Cos.’ This Romaine lettuce variety has been grown in Europe since 1835. It is a late-season variety and has thick, crisp leaves.
  • 'Tennis-ball.' This variety was grown in the vegetable garden at Monticello and was one of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite lettuce varieties.


  • 'Ruby Crescent Fingerling.' This small potato has red skin and yellow flesh.
  • 'Russian Banana.' This light yellow potato variety has small banana-shaped tubers that are finger-sized up to the size of an actual banana.
  • 'Yellow Finns.' This yellow skinned and yellow fleshed potato has a creamy texture and a buttery flavor.


  • 'Brandywine.' This famous tomato heirloom originates in Amish Country in Pennsylvania from 1885. It is often disease-resistant.
  • 'Cherokee Purple.' This flavorful tomato has soft red flesh.
  • 'Georgia Streak.' This beefsteak tomato is yellow and red and comes from Georgia.
  • 'Yellow Pear.' This easy-to-grow tomato plant variety produces many small yellow, pear-shaped tomatoes.
  • 'Mortgage Lifter.' This beefsteak tomato is pink to red and is also called ‘Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter.’

Additional information