The Shed

The Shed
The Shed

Friday, February 3, 2012


Some of our southern gardening friends have already started their transplants so this may be a little bit late for them but for those of us in the northern zones, hey, there is still time. This means there is time enough to see what the seed companies have been up to and what new offerings they may have for the 2012. With no further ado, presented in hypothetical order, here is some of what’s new in 2012.

The weary world has long cried out for a new cabbage and Thompson and Morgan heard the plea and responded, with the “Attraction” 125 day F1 hybrid. Touted as being particularly frost resistant, crunchy and good for kohl slaw it may well be worth a try for fall cabbage.

If you’ve gone stale on kale you might wish to give T & M’s Rossignal offering a chance. This is an extremely curly long standing fall crop kale that promises an 80 day growing window! T & M asserts that it will sustain several months of winter conditions and retain taste and nutritional value.

Now celebrating its 110th anniversary the folks at Henry Fields bring us several new eye catching varieties for the upcoming season. Chief among these has to be the Graffiti Hybrid cauliflower, which produces medium sized heads of a remarkably deep and intense violet shade; much of which color is retained even after cooking. Interplant snowball white cauliflower with these violets in bloom and the ho hum cauliflower patch becomes a center of attention within your garden.

Also new for 2012 Fields brings us the Stars and Stripes Hybrid blend eggplant, which yields ivory, striped and purple varieties with an average weight of 3 ounces each. Stars and Stripes is a colorful and tasty addition to any garden plot, and well worth a trial.          

Never ones to hold back the hype on a new product this years new tomato, the Big Daddy Hybrid, is hailed as a “breakthrough in taste”, a “big time game changer”,  and a “revolution in the tomato patch.” And that is just the first two sentences!

On the other hand, the Big Daddy derives from the classic “Big Boy” tomato, a success in Uncle Mac’s garden lo these many years – one enchanted season producing 600 lbs from 10 plants – so if it is even a marginal improvement it is very good indeed. We’ll be trying them this year and reporting in periodically.

Easy Peasy peas look like a winner.  A Burpee exclusive this year it promises heavy yield, superb taste and 11 peas per pod. They are apparently a bush or self supporting pea, which frees up the garden fence for cucumber and bean duty, never a bad thing.

The folks at Totally Tomatoes have not forgotten the container gardeners among us, and present us with Container’s Choice Red Hybrid VFF Tomato for 2012. This attractive space saver is at home in a 5 gallon pail and produces high yields of ½ lb. tomatoes. Determinate, but of course will benefit from support.

Totally Tomatoes offer more than tomatoes, and they offer an early, intensely orange bell pepper called Orange Blaze. Brightly colored peppers on intensely dark green plants are some of the gardens eye candy and this strongly colored bell turns color in 65 to 70 days from transplant. Presented as extremely sweet, it gets a try in Uncle Mac’s pepper patch this year.

The Territorial Seed Company has always been a prime supplier to Uncle Mac’s garden and this year they offer a short season container zucchini for those of us who grow veggies on the front porch. Patio Star zucchini matures in 50 days and yields long, slim dark skinned attractive zukes in quantity. What’s not to like?

Pumpkins are the fat, jolly autumnal kings and queens of the garden and I had to mention this one when I saw its stats. A 40 lb. Jack o’ lantern pumpkin available in 100-105 days, Big Doris is uniform and deep orange, If not used for Jack o lanterns just think of all those pies!

Who does not love an acorn squash? Jung in 2012 offers a variety pack called “Autumn Acorn Blend” that yields traditional green, gold, ivory and bi-color acorns from the same seed pack. These will be tried and reviewed in Uncle Mac’s garden, but why wait for us to report when you can try them for yourself?

Also new for 2012 is Sugar Pearl white sugar sweet corn. Ready in 73 days on 6 ½ foot stalks this is a fast, easy to pick super sweet white corn that can come to the table sooner than some of the more traditional favorites. See if it lives up to its press and possibly be the envy of the entire corn growing neighborhood!

Tip of the iceberg:

We left out many, many fine seeds companies and therefore many interesting new varieties of vegetables. We’d love to hear about some of the new offers that you have uncovered; that’s why the net has search engines. A successful gardening season to all, thanks for visiting Uncle Mac’s.


Glory Lennon said...

Love that cauliflower! It's beautiful!

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Beautiful stuff, Mac...but it makes it really tough to face the three long months we have to wait before we can plant in mid-May!

Alexandra Heep said...

I have a brown thumb, but it's good to see you are finally working on the shed.