One of my New Year’s resolutions for my garden was to get back in the habit of trying something new instead of sticking with the tried and true. So in keeping with that resolution, I dug through our full selection of 2018 seeds here and found some new seed varieties I’m going to try this year:
Broccoli, Sprouting Summer Purple—British bred, sprouting broccoli produces many side-shoots rather than one big “head.” It’s supposedly way more heat tolerant than regular broccoli. I guess I’ll find out….
Pea, Tendersweet—This is a “snap” or edible-podded pea that grows from vigorous short vines so doesn’t need staking and it’s resistant to fusarium and powdery mildew. I usually do very well with peas, but the past couple of years, have had a problem with powdery mildew, so this will be good to try.
Pepper, Habanada—This one is just for fun. It’s supposed to have all the citrusy tropical flavor of a habanero pepper, but without the heat.
Tomato, Red Currant—This tomato is supposed to produce a lot of ½” very flavorful tomatoes. I’ve already grown one called Matt’s Wild Cherry which had little intensely flavorful tomatoes but was a fabulous producer, so we’ll see which one I like better.
Cosmos, Lemonade—I’ve always loved bright, easy, and colorful cosmos. This is a brand new introduction that is a soft pretty yellow. I can’t wait to add it to my butterfly garden.
Marigold, Mission Giant Yellow—An old Burpee heirloom with huge chrysanthemum-like flowers. I think it will be great for cutting.
As always, when starting any seed, the package is the best source of information on how and when to plant. The tomato and pepper I’ll start in my sunny window in a few weeks—around the end of this month—and the broccoli, I’ll start inside about a month later—about the same time I sow my snap peas outside. The cosmos and marigolds I’ll direct sow outside around the first of May.
If I had enough sunny windows, I could start them indoors around the first of April, but with the other seeds I always start indoors (my perennial favorite Cherokee Purple tomato, Jimmy Nardello’s Italian pepper, Ping-Tung long eggplant) I won’t have any more room.
Remember, that seeds grown indoors need as much sunlight as possible. In addition to my southeast windows, on cloudy days, I augment with a grow light. I turn it on before I leave for work in the morning and don’t turn if off until around 11 at night.
And while we’re talking seeds, I never start seeds for things like green beans, cucumbers, squash, melons, peas or any root crops (beets, radishes, etc.) indoors. I always direct sow outside—the back of the seed packet tells you when.
Still, whatever seeds you pick, starting seeds indoors is a great cure for spring fever…