Try New Varieties for Advantages Over Established Varieties
Most of the varieties in this section will not be available from seed racks or as plants from your regular sources, so be prepared to search for them in catalogs or online. Whenever a new variety is trialed, it should be planted near the normal variety you grow so you can compare them. Be sure to label the plants and treat both old and new varieties the same way so there is a fair comparison.
Minuet is a miniature Napa cabbage that produces heads weighing 1½ to 2 pounds, rather than the 3- to 6-pound heads of full-sized varieties. The crisp leaves resemble romaine lettuce, but they have a very mild cabbage flavor. Minuet grows from seed to harvest in about 50 days. Minuet is well adapted to small-container production.
Indigo Ruby tomato produces teardrop fruit with a purple cap and dark red bottom on a medium to large plant. Each fruit weighs less than 2 ounces. The plant is indeterminate, and harvest lasts 6 weeks.
La Bomba is a medium-hot jalapeño pepper that produces glossy green and red peppers on a small plant that is well adapted to medium-sized containers. The peppers are 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Peppers seldom display skin corking if picked when red color is freshly completed.
Siberian kale is not a new variety, but recent research has shown it to be one of the most productive and hardy of the winter pot herbs. This kale is very cold tolerant and has survived brief exposure to single-digit temperatures. Dwarf Siberian kale is well adapted to production in small containers.
Destiny broccoli produces medium-sized smooth heads on a compact plant. It is well adapted to medium-container production. It does not produce a significant number of side shoots.
All America Selections
A vegetable variety designated as an All America Selection (AAS) has been judged in a number of national trial gardens to have some advantage or uniqueness over a standard comparison variety. This may be disease resistance, color, productivity, flavor, or something else. All America Selections must show wide adaptability to climatic and soil conditions. AAS is a nonprofit organization that accepts variety entries from breeders around the world.
Not all new varieties developed each year are submitted for testing in the AAS trial gardens, so there are many excellent varieties that do not bear the AAS designation. Many AAS vegetables are suited for growing in Mississippi, so be sure to try these new varieties as well as other new varieties listed in catalogs.
Some previously designated AAS varieties are no longer available, since the program is more than 50 years old. The year of introduction for AAS varieties listed in this publication is given with the variety descriptions.
If your lawn, landscape, or garden look a little sickly, it might be time for a soil health checkup. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)
Garden enthusiasts and horticultural industry professionals can enjoy the largest home gardening show in the Southeast Oct. 12 and 13.
Several weeks ago, I wrote about looking forward to the time of year when ornamental peppers start strutting their gorgeous fruit colors. What I didn’t mention is that late summer is not just for ornamental peppers; I always get my best home-grown culinary peppers from August until frost in the fall.
My tastes for culinary peppers range from the mild and colorful bell peppers all the way to the superhot selections like Ghost, Scorpion and Carolina Reaper.
Your summer vegetable garden is likely winding down, but you still have time for another round of fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)
Fire ants are everywhere. If you’ve thrown your hands up in exasperation trying to deal with them, don’t give up just yet. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)