New Garden Vegetables for 2004
The fresh crop of garden catalogs brings me hope for the coming spring
gardening season. Once again, plant breeders are tempting us with new,
better and unique looks to our old, familiar crops.
Carrot 'Romeo' blends a petite ball shape with smooth skin that needs
no peeling. Harvest for peak flavor when they reach about an inch or so
in diameter, about 60 days from seed. (Renee's Garden Seeds)
Cucumber 'Yellow Submarine' bears large, 8-inch-long cukes that start
out with a light green skin, changing to pale yellow as they reach full
size. But the best part is that these are seedless cucumbers! Ready to
pick in 60 days. (Seminis)
Melon 'Amy' is an early, yet high-yielding, specialty melon with smooth,
bright, golden-yellow skin indicating that it's ready for harvest. The
juicy, white flesh has great flavor and aroma with a relatively small
seed cavity. 'Amy' will produce melons in 70 to 80 days from transplanting
on vigorous spreading vines and is one of the 2004 All-America Selections
Onion 'Candy' should deliver extra sweet and mild flavor in a large,
flattened, globe-shaped bulb. The 3-4 inch bulbs are ready to dig in 90-100
days, or get a head start with transplants.
Pea 'Caseload' boasts exceptional flavor that is slow to turn starchy,
allowing for a longer harvest season. Vines reach up to 2.5 feet tall
and can be grown with or without support. Peas are ready for shelling
out of the pod in 57 days from planting. (Johnny's)
Pepper 'Krimzon Lee' is a spicy, yet sweet, paprika-type that ripens
to a deep, rich red color. Green immature fruit are ready in 62 days,
red ripe ready in 82 days. (Johnny's)
Pepper 'Sweet Knight' bears large bell peppers that ripen early to a
deep red color. Ready to harvest in 66 days from transplants. (Seminis)
Potato 'Lucky Charms' is grown from true seed, rather than tubers, yielding
a crop of small, white, nutty-flavored potatoes. You'll want to start
the seeds indoors to get a head start on the season. Potatoes are ready
to dig 85 days from transplants. (Renee's Garden Seeds)
Radicchio 'Indigo' produces a medium-sized, deep burgundy head with good
heat and cold tolerance, lending itself to spring, summer and fall planting.
'Indigo' is ready to harvest in 65 days. (Johnny's)
Radish 'Rudolph' is a petite, early radish with deep red skin and flavorful
"bite," ready to harvest in just 28 days. (The Cook's Garden)
Snap bean 'Festina' is a bush-type plant that continues to produce through
summer's high temperatures. The tender pods reach up to 6 inches long
and are ready to pick in 56 days. (Seminis)
Squash 'Sunny Delight' is a scalloped, summer-type squash that produces
very early, just 40 days from seed! The bright yellow fruits can be harvested
at about 3 inches in diameter or can be picked earlier for use as a "baby"
Squash 'Flying Saucer' is a unique, bi-colored, scalloped-type summer
squash featuring a dark green center with yellow scalloped edges. The
fruits are also deeply ribbed, lending an even more "alien"
appearance! Fruits are ready to harvest in 50 days. (Johnny's)
Sweet Corn 'Sugar Pearl' yields sweet, white kernels ready to pick in
73 days. (Burpee)
Tomato 'Bushsteak' promises meaty 8-12 ounce fruits on compact plants
reaching up to 2 feet. The determinate, compact growth habit and early
production (65 days) make this a great choice for a container or patio
Tomato 'Glory' is a hybrid tomato with flavor similar to that of the
popular heirloom 'Brandywine.' The indeterminate growth habit continues
to grow and bear fruit throughout the growing season. First harvest in
about 75 days from transplants. (Seminis)
Watermelon 'Sweet Beauty' packs sweet flavor and crisp
texture into a small, "ice box"-size package. Weighing in at
5 to 7 pounds, these oblong melons, with dark green skin and medium green
stripes, are the ultimate in convenient, single-serving size. But the
plants are far from compact, spreading about 8-10 feet in the garden!
'Sweet Beauty' is ready to pick about 77 to 80 days from sowing seed and
is one of the 2004 All-America Selections winners.
Winter squash 'Sunshine' boasts a bright orange-red skin surrounding
the 3-4 pound, flattened-globe fruit on semi-compact vines. The bright
orange, smooth-textured flesh is sweet and nutty in flavor. 'Sunshine'
is ready to harvest about 95 to 100 days from sowing seed or 80 days from
transplants and is one of the 2004 All-America Selections winners.
These are just a few of the many new offerings for 2004. Try some of
them along with your old standbys so you'll be able to give them a fair
comparison. Transplants of many of these will be available at your local
garden center later this spring. Seed is available through many of the
popular mail-order catalogs, as well as local garden shops.