When it comes to new varieties of vegetables, small is better. As the average size of the typical home garden shrinks, plant breeders have been working to create varieties of our favorite veggies that fit in containers and small beds.
While these might sacrifice some production due to their smaller size, you'll still get good-sized, flavorful fruits.
These varieties have won the coveted AAS, or All America Selections award. This award is given to new and improved varieties by professionals in the seed industry. Growing new and old AAS winners is a great place for the beginning gardener to start.
For 2017, here are some new selections I'll be trying.
Everyone loves a good patio tomato, but most varieties are either too big for the container or space and many have only red colored fruits.
Patio Choice Yellow features bright yellow, mild-flavored, cherry tomatoes on determinate plants that only grow 18 inches tall.
There is nothing like fresh peas from the garden. Patio Pride snap pea is perfect for a small space because it only grows one foot tall. It produces up to 30 edible podded peas per plant, 40 days after planting.
For gardeners who love butternut squash, but don't have the room for a big vining plant, try Honeybaby. This hybrid butternut only grows three feet long, and can even fit in a container.
The same is true for Mini-Love watermelon. This hybrid icebox type watermelon has sweet red flesh on four-foot long vines.
So if you live in an apartment or condo, or are just interested in downsizing the garden, look for these mini varieties this winter.
Next week on the Connecticut Garden Journal, I'll be talking about new flower varieties. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.