It’s OK to have a few good standbys when it comes to the varieties of vegetables and fruits that you grow. But every once in a while, a new variety comes out that you just have to try. Here are a few new (and newish) varieties.
- Loose-curd cauliflower – this different type of cauliflower doesn’t form one large head. It is stemmier and is touted as ideal for light cooking or serving raw for dipping.
- Apple-shaped tomato – All-America Selections (AAS) gave the thumbs up to this variety called ‘Tomato Apple Yellow’. The small tomatoes are bright yellow and the plant could result in ‘up to 1000 fruits per plant’.
- Grafted tomato or pepper plants – There is consensus that grating a desirable variety of tomato/pepper onto a strong rootstock can help to control soil-borne diseases like Fusarium wilt or bacterial wilt. Most rootstocks have strong root system and can thereby confer higher plant vigor to the scion cultivar.
- UFO-shaped pepper – ‘Mad Hatter’ was an AAS winner back in 2017. It’s just a weird-looking pepper that will not only be good eating but will also be a conversation piece. Slightly warm, great for stuffing.
- Potato from seed – AAS chose ‘Clancy’ as a winner. Yes, you plant the seed, grow the transplant (just like a tomato transplant), and plant out into the garden. Growing from seed is a good way to avoid any diseases that may be laying dormant on seed potato pieces. Interesting.
- Figs – Not only are fig trees very ornamental, but they produce some really cool fruit. If you have a warm microclimate, that’s where a fig tree should be planted. Very unusual flower/pollination scheme.
- Joan J raspberry – This variety came out several years ago. It is a thornless, primocane berry that produces red raspberries.
- Caddo blackberry – This new thornless variety comes out of the breeding program at the University of Arkansas by John Clark. No orange rust, anthracnose, or cane/leaf rust has been detected in research trials.
Submitted by Beth Wilson, Agent for Horticulture, Pulaski Co. Cooperative Extension Service