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 you love home-grown tomatoes, you can enjoy them into fall. Get your plants into the ground from July to early August, depending on where you live in the state, and you can harvest into October or November.
When you visit your community farmers market, you know you're purchasing local produce in its peak season. Fruits and vegetables have more flavor and are typically less expensive when they’re in season. So, when you go to the farmers market, how do you make the most out of in-season produce? (Photo by Michaela Parker)
No matter how you slice it, gardening is a risky business.
We have no control over the weather, waves of pestilence, the threat of plant diseases. It’s a wonder we don’t all just chuck our gardening tools and say, “See you at the farmers market.”
If edibles are on your list for the landscape or garden this year, check out the list of Mississippi Medallion winners. They are proven performers when it comes to our Mississippi climate.
Our horticulture experts help select several plants, including fruits and vegetables, each year that make the cut.
I love riding around town looking at everyone’s front yard landscapes. I know how much work goes into making it look top-notch! A lot has been done, but there’s plenty more to do in your yard and garden.