Disease resistant vegetables

Mon. Mar. 16, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Disease resistant vegetables

Between concerns over produce contamination, viruses, our desire to lower our carbon footprint and eat healthier; vegetable gardening has increased in popularity by the handfuls (of soil!)


If you’re new to gardening or just tired of fighting diseased plants, you may consider planting disease resistant varieties of vegetables.  These are plants that have been bred with plants that are naturally more disease resistant.  These are not genetically engineered with certain herbicides or pesticides.  For more on GMO vs Hybrids

In your catalogs you’ll find codes listed for some vegetables.  Here’s a comprehensive list from Johnny’s Seeds.

Cornell University that has a comprehensive list of vegetables that are disease resistant.  If a plant is listed as “Good disease resistance” without any initials, it’s not really telling you anything except that the plant is vigorous, choose something else.

Since tomatoes are generally the number one planted “vegetable”, here are a couple of 2020 introductions you may want to try!

 ‘Galahad’. has a high level of Late Blight resistance while ‘Early Resilience’ is a roma that’s very resistant to blossom end rot.

Tomato ‘Galahad’
2020 AAS Edible – Vegetable Winner

Yes Sir! Galahad is a brave new tomato variety that has a high level of Late Blight resistance because both parents are resistant. In this case, one plus one equals a very strong two! Galahad is a high-yielding, great tasting tomato that grows on a strong sturdy plant. Judges agreed that the sweet, meaty flavor is better than that of the comparison varieties and boasts of being crack resistant. Broad shoulders (just like Sir Galahad?) and large, clean fruits grow on a highly productive, disease-resistant plant. Certainly, a variety you’ll want to use in your battle for tomato greatness.

Tomato ‘Early Resilience’
2020 AAS Edible-Vegetable Winner

Early Resilience is a rounded Roma tomato with a deep red interior color, uniform maturity and good quality flesh for canning and cooking. Determinate, bushy plants can be staked but it is not necessary. The AAS Judges noted that this variety was very resistant to Blossom End Rot, resulting in a high yield and less fruit loss. Similar great taste as the comparisons but a much healthier plant and fruits. (See the long list of disease resistance below) Overall, this is an excellent variety that would be a home canner’s dream. This could very well replace some of the other Roma varieties as a new standard in the arena, or maybe “Colosseum” of Roma tomatoes!

Some Heirloom varieties don’t have as much disease resistance but I wouldn’t discourage you from trying them!