As you begin to plan your garden for spring and beyond, you may want to add some of these new varieties to your shopping list. Most are new space-saving varieties that also impress in the kitchen. And all are hybrids, with the exception of basil 'Pesto Party'.
All-America Selections (AAS) winners are widely recognized for their easy-to-grow nature as well as their superior quality and productivity under a wide range of growing conditions. Among the winners in the vegetable category, the following five may just become favorites that you grow year after year.
- Pea 'Patio Pride' is a compact, dwarf shelling pea that needs only 40 days after sowing to harvest sweet and tender peas. Both ornamental and edible, the compact 18- to 24-inch tall vines are ideally suited to small gardens, or grow them in any container on your balcony, porch, patio or front entry area.
Available at Park Seed.
- Squash 'Honeybaby' is the perfect butternut squash for small gardens as it is so compact that it can be grown even in containers. The vines have a semi-bush habit and grow only 2 to 3 feet tall. What's more, the prolific, single-serving fruits are lightweight and easily supported on a small trellis in the ground or in a container. Ready to harvest just 90 days after sowing.
Available at Park Seed.
- Tomato 'Chef's Choice Yellow' produces 10-ounce beefsteak type fruits of golden yellow with a meaty texture and delectably sweet, citrus-like flavor. This fourth addition to the popular Chef's Choice tomato series also features disease-resistant vines growing to 5 feet tall, so be sure to trellis these beauties.
Available at Jung Seed.
- Tomato 'Patio Choice Yellow' bears an abundance of sweet-tasting cherry tomatoes about 1/2 ounce in size. Compact vines grow only 18 inches tall, making this a winning cherry tomato for hanging baskets, container growing, and small gardens.
Available at Jung Seed and Totally Tomatoes.'Mini Love' watermelon is the perfect pick for small space gardens.photo courtesy of All-American Selections
- Watermelon 'Mini Love' bears personal-sized fruit on disease-resistant compact plants. Each plant yields as many as six fruits, and all within a small 36-inch space. Each fruit weighs in at 7 to 9 pounds and is big on flavor that is refreshingly juicy and sweet with few seeds. Matures in just 70 days.
Available at Park Seed and Territorial Seed.
Burpee's highly recognized horticulturalists have been continually bringing innovation to the seed market since 1881.This year's catalog offerings of new Burpee exclusive varieties are many. Here are a few noteworthy ones to consider for your garden.
- Basil 'Pesto Party', though not technically a vegetable, is a green leafy herb found in many Oregon gardens. The Italian basil flavor is perfect for pesto, stir fries and salads -- that's a classic. But its growth habit stands alone as the late-flowering habit of this basil allows you to harvest deep into the season.
- Hot Pepper 'Dragon Roll' is slender in size but long on flavor. With a subtly smoky essence when young, the pepper takes on a more refined profile of heat and sweet as it matures to a Scoville rating of 200. Great for roasting, in stir-fry, or featured raw in a fresh salsa or kicky condiment. The slender, finger-long chartreuse-green peppers mature in about 67 days.
- Sweet Pepper 'Gold Standard' delights with golden-yellow fruit that is big and blocky -- about 5 inches long by 5 inches wide. These peppers are thin-skinned, which makes them the perfect pick of pepper for fresh eating in salads, for dipping or for roasting. And you won't have too long of a wait as they mature in 60 to 80 days.This glowing red Swiss Chard 'Red Magic' keep on coming as fast as you can harvest it. Photo courtesy of W. Atlee Burpee Company
- Swiss Chard 'Red Magic' is a standout in the garden and kitchen, whether mixed in herb beds, flower borders or the vegetable garden, and then later enjoyed at the table in green salads, steamed, sauteed, baked or lightly roasted. The luminous red stems and glossy-green to merlot-colored leaves are sure to impress with abundant color and bountiful harvests. Matures in 55 to 65 days.
- Tomato 'Gladiator' is a champion among roma-type tomatoes that truly lives up to its name, with extreme vigor, robust Italian flavor, great aroma, and bountiful yields of 90 to 100 fruits per plant. The flesh is dense, rich and tangy for blue-ribbon worthy pastes, sauces, soups, salsa and ketchup. Other hallmarks of this tomato include super-strong roots that resist blight and blossom end rot, and fruits that are easier to peel and core than 'Roma' tomatoes. Matures in 72 days.
'New Again' varieties
Some varieties are a must-have vegetable to grow this year even if they've been around a bit. As such, they have made their appearance as new varieties at garden centers and in several seed catalogs.
- Cabbage 'Katarina' holds its place as an AAS winner in 2016 for its fast growth (45 days from seedlings), sweet flavor reminiscent of the heirloom 'Golden Acre', and smooth texture. The small, light green heads are tightly packed, round and smooth, reaching about 4 inches in diameter. As such it's the perfect plant for small space gardens and container gardens.
Available at Park Seed.
- Cornito Giallo Sweet Pepper is exceptionally sweet and long on flavor. The prolific, bright yellow fruits are only 5 inches long and up to 1 1/2 inches wide at the shoulders. This 2016 AAS Winner is great raw, grilled or roasted and matures in 75 days.
Available at Johnny's Selected Seeds, Tomato Growers Supply Co., and Totally Tomatoes.Cherokee Carbon Tomato is a beefsteak tomato with heirloom flavor and modern day benefits.Photo courtesy of Bonnie Plants
- Tomato 'Cherokee Carbon' is a modern day union between two heirloom taste-test winners, Cherokee Purple and Carbon. The dusky-purple, 10 to 12 ounce beefsteak-type fruit features some of the highlights of their heirloom beginnings, including their parent's rich and complex fantastic flavor. As for the updated benefits, they include improved yields, earlier maturity (75 to 80 days after planting), and fewer blemishes. This indeterminate grower will need support with strong stakes or sturdy cages.
Seeds are available at Territorial Seed, Tomato Growers Supply Co., and Totally Tomatoes; buy plants at Territorial Seed, or shop for Bonnie Plants at your local nursery or garden center.
- Cherry Tomato 'Red Robin' is super compact, growing only 8 to 12 inches tall. Yet this well-branching dynamo of a plant produces exceptionally large yields of sweet and tasty fruit for snacking or for salads. Good choice for hanging baskets, patio planters, mixed containers, or even in petite pots as small as 8 inches. Matures in about 55 days.
Seeds are available at Ed Hume Seeds, Territorial Seed, and Totally Tomatoes; buy plants at Territorial Seed, or shop for Bonnie Plants at your local nursery or garden center.
- Tomato 'Sunchocola' delights with chocolate-red 1 inch fruits having a more smoky flavor that's divinely sweet and juicy. The rambling indeterminate plants are large--so be sure to trellis or super size your cages--and the fruit is set in clusters of 8 to 12 fruits per cluster. Matures in 60 to 67 days.
Seeds available at Burpee and Totally Tomatoes; both seeds and plants are available at Territorial Seed.
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.