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New garden varieties for 2017
It may be the bleak mid-winter, but for gardeners, this is a season of hope. The days are getting longer and there’s time to plan for the coming growing season. Seed catalogs have been arriving in the mail for weeks and seed company websites and emails are filled with tempting new varieties for 2017.
Burpee Seeds has 170 new varieties in their 2017 spring catalog including the beautiful Marigold ‘Strawberry Blonde’ which features bi-color pastel pink, rose and yellow blooms. Burpee’s hybrid Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ boasts of super disease resistance as does Tomato ‘Chef’s Choice Pink.’
Be on the lookout for many new tomato varieties which are disease resistant – it is the first line of defense in combating problems like late blight.
The Territorial Seed Co. catalog features a rainbow of carrot colors including Carrot ‘Nutri-Red,’ which is salmon-red in color, and ‘Purple Snax,’ which is deep purple.
‘Zinderella’ zinnias make an appearance in several catalogs and are a new form of “scabiosa-flowered” zinnias. The blooms have a single base layer of petals topped with a dense dome of ruffles surrounding a dark eye – very pretty for the garden and for the vase.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds has ‘Glass Gem’ corn with translucent kernels in a rainbow of colors. The Johnny’s website states the corn is somewhat reliable as a popcorn, but its appeal is mainly ornamental.
All-America Selections (AAS) is the only non-profit organization which trials new edible and flower varieties across the country. Their list of 2017 winners includes vegetables and flowers which demonstrate great performance throughout North America.
Winners this year include Dianthus ‘Supra Pink F1,’ Fennel ‘Antares F1,’ Pepper ‘Mad Hatter,’ Tomato ‘Patio Choice Yellow F1,’ Pea ‘Patio Pride’ and Squash ‘Honeybaby F1.’
Pea ‘Patio Pride’ is compact and produces sweet uniform pods which are very tender when harvested early. The pea reaches maturity in only 40 days meaning you can harvest early in the spring and plant again for fall harvest. AAS recommends ‘Patio Pride’ for containers, even mixing them with in-season flowers for an ornamental/edible display.
Squash ‘Honeybaby F1’ is a winter squash that looks similar to a butternut, but is very productive with numerous fruits on a compact plant. In AAS trials, the semi-bush habit plants showed resistance to powdery mildew. The fruits are short, wide, and more meaty than similar varieties.
The National Garden Bureau’s website features information and photos of many new varieties, including 2017 AAS winners such as Celosia ‘Asian Garden.’ The deep pink spiked flowers is the first ever AAS winner from Japanese Murakami seeds and received high marks from judges for its good branching and bushy growth habit. ‘Asian Garden’ kept its bright pink color through some of the first frosts of autumn and also drew pollinators to the garden.
Enjoy time planning this spring’s garden during the cold winter months. With so many beautiful new varieties, it will be difficult deciding which ones to choose.
Provided Information and Photos