FEBRUARY
2009

 

 

 

By
B. Rosie Lerner
 
Purdue Extension
Consumer
Horticulturist

 

 

 

 

 

02-19-09

New Vegetable Varieties 2009

What better way to chase away the winter blues than a stroll through garden catalogs with all their promise of gardening adventures for the coming season! Here's a look at just a few of the new seed company offerings for 2009.

Basil 'Cardinal' is a strikingly handsome addition to the herb garden, with spicy, fragrant foliage crested by tightly packed clusters of deep cardinal-red flowers, resembling Celosia. Plants reach up to 2.5 feet in height. (B)

Beet 'Chioggia Guardsmark' has striking, alternating spiral stripes of bright magenta and white, forming a bull's-eye when cut in cross section. Promising sweet, mild flavor, hybrid vigor and large, 3-3.5-inch globular roots. 60 days. (P)

Cabbage 'Caraflex' is a unique, pointy-headed compact early selection. Cucumber 'Iznik' is a new hybrid "lunch-box"-sized cucumber, reaching just 3-4 inches long. Plants are compact vines with small leaves, perfect for container and raised-bed gardening. (C)

Eggplant 'Gretel' is a follow up to the 2008 award-winning 'Hansel.' 'Gretel' is the earliest of the white eggplant, bearing clusters of glossy mini-fruit (3-4 inches). 'Gretel' plants are relatively small, about 3 feet wide and tall, making them well adapted to container gardening. 55 days. All-America Selections 2009 (Jo, P)

 Watermelon 'Snack Pack' is a "personal-sized" watermelon of 3-4 pounds, about the size of a large muskmelon. Thin, dark green outer rind surrounds a bright red, crisp and juicy, seedless flesh. 75 days. (B)

Melon 'Lambkin' was selected for its early production of outstandingly sweet, aromatic, white, juicy Christmas-type melons. Each oval-shaped fruit weighs between 2-4 pounds with a thin yellow skin with green mottling. Ready for harvest up to a month before other Christmas-type melons. 65-75 days. All-America Selections 2009 (Ju, P, S)

Melon 'Twice As Nice' is a new sort of dual-purpose melon. You can harvest a bit early when the rind turns a distinct dark yellow and enjoy the crisp, sweet white flesh. Or, allow the fruit to stay on the vine another week or two and enjoy a softer-textured, juicier melon. 78 days. (B)

Onion 'Deep Purple' is a dark red bunching- (scallion) type onion that colors up early and holds its color into warmer weather. 60 days. (Jo)

Onion 'Red Candy Apple' is said to be sweet enough to eat like an apple! The 4-inch-diameter bulbs are wrapped in deep magenta-purple wrappers around alternating maroon and white rings of crisp flesh. This intermediate day-length variety should perform well in the Midwest. Sold as plants. 95 days. (P)

Squash 'Bush Baby' is a mini zucchini-type summer squash, ready to pick when 4-6 inches long. Skin is glossy green with pale green stripes. 49 days. (Jo)

Squash 'Buckingham' is a bright golden zucchini-type summer squash, best picked when small, 6-7 inches. Plants are compact, bush types, perfect for container and small space gardens. 70 days. (P)

Squash 'Honey Bear' is an acorn-type winter squash, so named for its sweet-as-honey flavor when cooked. Compact, bush-type plants, reaching only 2-3 feet tall and 4-5 feet in spread, yield loads of fruit. Plants have good tolerance to powdery mildew. 100 days. All-America Selections 2009 (Jo, Ju, P, S)

Sweet Corn 'Revelation' is an early, bi-color that promises good germination in cool spring soils, allowing for earlier planting. Since it matures quickly, you can plant a second crop for later harvest as well. Ears are 7 inches long and offer some resistance to corn smut. Must be isolated from other sweet corn types. 66 days. (P)

Sweet Pepper 'Merlot' yields large, thick-walled bells on compact disease-resistant plants. The fruits begin green in color, changing to white and finally a smoky purple. 65-70 days. (P)

Sweet Pepper 'Pinot Noir' boasts large, blocky sweet bell peppers in a range of colors, beginning as light green and morphing to shades of yellow, red and purple as they ripen. 'Pinot Noir' is said to have good ability to set in both cool and hot, muggy weather. 70 days. (B)

Tomato 'Chocolate Cherry' is an indeterminate plant bearing one-inch cherry-type globes ripening to a dark burgundy red. 70 days. (P)

Tomato 'Sweet Seedless' -- You've heard of seedless watermelon and grapes, but new this year is the first seedless tomato. Burpee says that these fruits are extra sweet, because all of the carbohydrates made by the plant go into flavor rather than seed production. 'Sweet Seedless' produces medium-sized 8-10-ounce fruits on indeterminate plants, so they should continue producing until frost. 68 days (B)

Tomato 'Black Truffle' is a hybrid "upgrade" from the heirloom 'Black Peter,' with deep burgundy-colored flesh and rich flavor high in both sugars and acid. The medium-sized fruit (6-8 ounces) can be sliced for sandwiches and salads. 75 days. (B)

(B) Burpee Seeds, http://www.burpee.com
(C) The Cook's Garden, http://www.cooksgarden.com
(Jo) Johnny's Selected Seeds, http://www.johnnyseeds.com
(Ju) Jung Quality Seeds, http://www.jungseed.com
(P) Park Seed Co., http://www.parkseed.com
(S) Stokes Seeds, http://www.stokeseeds.com

 

Writer: B. Rosie Lerner
Editor: Olivia Maddox