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.
Choosing a ripe watermelon at the market is easy if you know what to look for. (Photo credit: Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)
BILOXI, Miss. -- Students at North Bay Elementary School in Biloxi got another hands-on learning component this spring with the addition of a school garden.
GULFPORT, Miss. -- Mississippi producers and gardeners who want to learn more efficient planting methods are invited to a May 18 field day.
The Alliance of Sustainable Farms will host “A Garden Tour and Square Foot Gardening/Intensive Planting Demonstration” at the 34th Street Wholistic Gardens and Education Center. The event will focus on the square-foot gardening method, which is designed to save time, work, space and water.
Compost is a great soil conditioner. It helps the soil hold water and improves clay and sandy soils. Starting your own pile is easy and can help keep organic waste out of landfills. (Photo by Gary Bachman)