Calendar

August 2017
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031EC

New, or sort of new, veggies to try

Dolce Fresca, a 2015 All-America Selections basil, recovers rapidly when harvested and holds its shape well, making it work well in a container on the patio or deck. Photo courtesy All-America Selections

Dolce Fresca, a 2015 All-America Selections basil, recovers rapidly when harvested and holds its shape well, making it work well in a container on the patio or deck. Photo courtesy All-America Selections

My philosophy is to always try new plants every year and this year, it will be vegetables. A few of these have been available for a few years, but they will be new to me.

Kalettes is a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale to create a new vegetable so special, it has its own website (kalettes.com). I have not grown this yet and so far, I’ve only been able to find it as seed, so that’s what I ordered from Johnny’s Selected Seeds (johnnyseeds.com). Kalettes supposedly have a sweet nutty flavor, and can be sautéed, roasted, grilled or eaten raw. Since I like Brussels sprouts, I’m hoping Kalettes will make kale taste good.

A brand new vegetable named Kalette is a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale that can be eaten or cooked. Photo courtesy Johnny’s Selected Seeds

A brand new vegetable named Kalette is a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale that can be eaten or cooked. Photo courtesy Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Jasper cherry tomato produces sweet, tender fruits during a long production period Photo courtesy All-America Selections

Jasper cherry tomato produces sweet, tender fruits during a long production periodPhoto courtesy All-America Selections 

Jasper is one of the best producing tomatoes in the Marion County Extension Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. This cherry tomato was a 2013 All-America Selections, praised for its long, productive season, ¾-inch round fruit with good taste. It also is resistant or tolerant of early and late blights and fusarium wilt.

Sandy is the first lettuce to be named an All-America Selections winner since 1985. This 2015 introduction is a loose-head, oakleaf lettuce that is very disease resistant, especially powdery mildew, and slow to go to seed, called bolting. Leaves can be harvested at about any size. It slowness to bolt and size – about 10 inches tall and wide – make this a good selection for a pot or window box.

A 2015 winner, Sandy is the first lettuce to receive the All America Selections moniker since 1985. Photo courtesy All America Selections

A 2015 winner, Sandy is the first lettuce to receive the All America Selections moniker since 1985. Photo courtesy All America Selections

For years, I didn’t like cucumbers. But, tastes change and I now find cucumbers add a fresh, bright, crunch to salads. Diva, which has been grown under cover in the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden, has earned lots of praise for its productivity. Diva produces fruit even when covered to protect the plants from cucumber beetles and other insects. It also is resistant to downy and powdery mildew. The taste of this seedless cuke is supposed to be sweet, tender, crisp, but not bitter. It is a 2002 All-America Selections winner.

New Ace pepper, introduced by Harris Seeds (harrisseeds.com) is another strong producer that is resistant to fusarium wilt. It’s real claim to fame, though, is that it produces large, well-lobed green fruit earlier than a lot of other peppers, usually maturing in about 65 days. The fruit turns red the longer it stays on the plant.

New Ace sweet pepper matures in about 60 days, making it an early, prolific producer. Photo courtesy Veseys.com

New Ace sweet pepper matures in about 60 days, making it an early, prolific producer.
Photo courtesy Veseys.com

To go along with tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers comes Dolce Fresca basil, another 2015 All-America Selections winner. It out performed other Italian, large-leaf basil while staying bushy and compact.

Diva cucumber produces fruit even when covered to protect from cucumber beetles and other insects. Photo courtesy All-America Selections

Diva cucumber produces fruit even when covered to protect from cucumber beetles and other insects. Photo courtesy All-America Selections

Comments are closed.