What's new?

Or more accurately, "What will be new in your garden next year?" For me the holidays mean it's time to put some seed catalogs to work and to pick out something new to grow.


If I didn't try at least a couple of new varieties of edible plants that I love, plus one or two entirely new plants -- things I haven't grown before -- I'd probably get bored with growing edibles completely. So it's time to choose...


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Although it's strange to admit this, there's one time of year when I'm glad that I have limited growing space for edibles, and that's when choosing which seeds to purchase. The only thing that keeps me in check when adding packets to my order is the knowledge that I don't have enough space!

There's only one new edible that I've chosen so far this year:


It's Minnesota Midget melon, and I'm going to grow these on the deck in containers -- something I learned I can do from Marie Iannotti's heirloom vegetable book.


I found seeds for it in the catalog from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (like me they're based in Missouri), but the problem with well-done seed catalogs is that you always want to buy more. I'm really tempted to pick up the following additional melon seeds:



There's part of my brain saying "You don't have room for these plants!", but the optimistic part asks just as loudly "Surely you can find room for at least one plant somewhere, right?" So I'm not yet decided about choosing extras.

I'll probably select another new-to-me tomato variety or two as well, as I just can't resist their lure.

I'm curious though: what are you going to grow that's new in your edibles garden this year? Not only do I want new ideas, but I love to hear what you're choosing!

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Amy Crumbs  – (December 20, 2013 at 9:27 AM)  

I love the look of those zatta melons! Gorgeous skin. I grew kohl rabi recently, as my partner tends to go crazy with seeds also, without actually knowing what the end product is going to be or how to eat it! It wasn't very successful as anything from the brassica family attracts silly amounts of pests where we are, which these did. Plus I planted them too densely, resulting in tiny produce. To top it all off, the actual vegetable was as the wiki page told me when I later looked it up, like eating a broccoli stalk! (Flavour and texture wise) Never again! We have to try these things though. Good luck with your decision making :)

Alan  – (December 20, 2013 at 9:41 AM)  

Amy: that's one problem with trying new stuff -- sometimes you don't like what you get. Still fun though!

The Zatta melons are only the start -- there are so many more types that you'll never see in a market (except maybe a farmer's market). Same for tomatoes and squash too!

Steve Lau  – (December 20, 2013 at 4:33 PM)  

I've found that within a batch of canteloupe seeds there is enormous variation. For example I've seen some that only produced baseball sized fruits while another was capable of producing fruit exceeding 10lbs. Honestly, I think it's best to just get them from the fruit after you finish eating a store purchased canteloupe that you like.

Alan  – (December 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM)  

Steve: the melon varieties I've grown before were so much more flavorful than any store-bought variety. Produce sold in stores isn't bred for taste, it's bred for shipability and shelf life.

Lisa  – (December 21, 2013 at 7:08 AM)  

We have tried melons several times. We get beautiful flowers and perfect looking fruit but they never ripen. What the heck? Maybe this is the year to try again! We're starting more plants from seed this year (saving those milk jugs!) so perhaps an earlier start will help.

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