2017-03-09 / From The Garden

New Vegetables for 2017

By Cynthia Gibson

Last week, I told you about the Mad Hatter pepper and the new Burpee hybrid tomato, Cloudy Day. Here are more new veggies you may want to get a jump on for the coming season.

A single cucumber plant can keep you in cukes all summer. But have you ever noticed how bitter the skin tastes? Well, a group of British hybridizers have developed a small, stubbier, sweeter-tasting cuke, named Katrina. They usually come four to a package in supermarkets, so you can taste them before deciding to plant them. The cukes can be eaten fresh or pickled.

The newest beet in the marketplace is Avalanche. It's a pure white beet with interior white concentric circles that lacks bitterness or the earthy taste of red beets.

For those who enjoy winter squash, there is a new acorn variety, named Mashed Potatoes. The squash is bright white and looks almost like carved ivory.

There is also a new seedless watermelon, called Lynx, that fits into the palm of your hand. It can be grown in a large pot, with a round tomato cage for an armature. Since this watermelon is so small, it will grow quickly in full sun.

Topping the list of the heirloom varieties of saved seeds for 2017 is the deep pink Honey Tomato from Latvia.

The Rosa Bianca eggplant from Italy is ovate, squat and fat, with a very sweet flesh. It has a tender pinkish-lavender skin that doesn't need peeling. It is perfect for roasting on the grill or for making a late summer/early fall moussaka.

For the crowning glory to a salad or to use on a plate for edible decoration, Renee’s Seeds tops the bill with a picoted petal nasturtium, named Climbing Phoenix. The Climbing Phoenix comes in a mixed array of stunning colors, from bright yellow to almost purple. But move fast, because they will quickly be out of stock.

So don't delay. Now is the time to order your seeds!

Cynthia Gibson is a gardener, food writer and painter. She gardens and tends her miniature orchard in Newport.



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