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 there’s one vegetable that could be considered the ultimate home-grown vegetable in Mississippi, it has to be collards.
Collards were chosen as a 2019 Mississippi Medallion winner because they are considered absolutely necessary for true Southern cuisine. As a bonus, they’re really easy for home gardeners to grow.
For people who love gardening, the long, dark, cold winter months can be torture. Gardening catalogs are fine, but their allure can only last so long before we want to get our hands back in the soil! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)
If you want to spice up your Christmas décor this year, add some ornamental peppers to your indoor and outdoor displays. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)
Not into conventional gardening? A salad table just may be for you.
With these elevated gardening beds, you can grow fresh vegetables and herbs throughout the year right at your fingertips. These tables work well in small spaces and eliminate the physical demands of an in-ground garden. (Photo courtesy of Carla Moore)
You’ve got a lovely container, and you want to put a plant in it. But if that container doesn’t have drainage holes, you’ll end up with a dead plant. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)