This cold-hardy, slow-growing, long-season vegetable is not frequently grown in Mississippi gardens. The cool weather of neither spring nor fall is long enough for maximum yields.
When attempting a spring crop, set plants early and side-dress as soon as active plant growth begins and again when sprouts form. For a fall crop, start plants in midsummer. Set plants 24 inches apart and keep them watered. Sprouts develop where leaves join the main stem. As sprouts develop, do not remove leaves. Lower sprouts mature first, and you can cut leaves when you harvest sprouts. Heat causes soft sprouts. Aphids often infest developing sprouts, making them inedible.
- Jade Cross—hybrid; vigorous plant; uniform sprouts closely spaced; 11⁄2 inches in diameter; 90 days; AAS 1959.
- Long Island—sprouts 11⁄2 inches in diameter; firm; plants 32 to 34 inches tall; 90 days.
Interest in gardening has nearly kept pace with social distancing and self-isolation rates across the country as the COVID-19 pandemic has circled the globe.
Everyone’s normal routine is being flipped upside down. Employees are working from home, kids are out of school, and social gatherings are postponed. Boredom and stress are setting in. Gardening to the rescue!
With much of our workforce telecommuting from home and with school suspended or cancelled for the kids, cabin fever has already become an issue for many households.
The first two months of 2020 have been exceptionally wet and dreary. But don’t lose hope, spring is right around the corner! The daffodils are blooming, and warmer days are in sight.
I’ve promoted the 2020 Mississippi Medallion winners Colorblaze coleus, beautyberry and Luscious lantana for the last three weeks. Now, I want to tell you about the fourth and final 2020 selection, Garden Gem tomato.
This will come as a surprise to the Southern Gardening Nation, but I think I’m starting to like eating fresh tomatoes. I’m certainly looking forward to picking fresh Garden Gem tomatoes this summer.