Connecticut Garden Journal: New Year, New Vegetable Varieties

Jan 4, 2018

With all this cold weather I find myself sitting by a fire with tea and homemade Italian pignoli cookies, while imagining the summer garden. But it's more than just dreaming. I'm placing my seed order and have found some new vegetable varieties to try.

Kale is one of our favorite greens and we love the Italian Lacinata type for eating in fall. Now a new, more cold tolerant variety called Dazzling Blue allows us to harvest even into winter.

I also love the “bor” series of kale and Darkibor is a new, vigorous growing hybrid.

Hot peppers keep getting more colorful and interesting. Take Mad Hatter for example. These red, bishop-crown shaped fruits have a sweet, almost citrusy flavor that gets hotter near the center.

If you like the flavor of hot peppers, but not the heat, try Roulette. It looks like the traditional habanero and matures to red, but has a citrusy flavor instead of the intense spice.

Another cool new pepper that caught my eye is Biquinho Yellow from Brazil. The yellow fruit looks like a small bird's beak and has a tart and hot flavor. There's a red version as well!

I could go on and on about new tomatoes. If you love Yellow Pear tomato, try Chocolate Pear for its reddish-brown skin coloring. Shimmer is a new cocktail-size tomato that's great for salads. Indeterminate plants produce small, Roma-shaped tomatoes with green, gold, and orange skin coloring.

Sugar Magnolia is a new snap pea with unusual purple colored pods and green peas. I love growing popcorn and Firecracker has multi-colored ears that pop to a pinkish-white color.

Next week on the Connecticut Garden Journal, I'll be talking about moth orchids. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.