New Vegetables to Try in 2018 by Krista Harding, District Agriculture Extension Agent, Southwind District. Call 620-244-3826, cell: 620-496-8786
Each year, the All-America Selections (AAS) tests and introduces new flowers and vegetables to home gardeners. These plants have proven themselves to do well in trials across North America. The AAS winner label is like a stamp of approval.
The vegetable descriptions were taken from All-American Selections material.
Corn, Sweet American Dream – with its excellent germination, very tender, super sweet kernels, this newbie will make a great addition to the home garden. American Dream matures slightly earlier than the comparisons and produces vigorous, healthy plants with cobs that have good tip fill of bi-colored kernels. Plants grow 6-7 feet tall and mature in 77 days after planting the seeds. It is perfect fresh, roasted, grilled, canned or frozen.
Pak Choi, Asian Delight F1 – Asian Delight F1 Pak Choi (or Bok Choy) is a Chinese Cabbage that outperformed the comparisons by leaps and bounds. This Pak Choi did not bolt like the comparisons, even weeks after other varieties went to seed. That means the yield from this AAS winner can be double or even higher than that of other Pak Choi on the market. Asian Delight forms small to mid-size heads that have a tasty, tender white rib and dark green, textured leaves.
Pepper cayenne, Red Ember F1 – this pepper winner won judges over by being earlier to mature than the comparison varieties. Red Ember produces a large number of rounded end fruits on durable, medium-sized plants. Judges described the thick-walled fruits as spicy, but tastier than the traditional cayenne, with just enough pungency for interest.
Pepper habanero, Roulette F1 – Routlette F1 resembles a traditional habanero pepper in every way (fruit shape, size and color, and plant type) with one exception – NO HEAT! The fruits are red with thick walls at maturity and have a nice citrusy (no heat) habanero flavor. This pepper is an early producer of large, uniform fruit and a very high yield.
Tomato, cocktail Red Racer F1 – this cocktail size tomato produces small, uniform fruits with a great taste. Cocktail tomatoes have a good sweet/acid balance and are a smaller variety tomato (although larger than cherry or grape tomatoes). These tomatoes are uniform in size and mature as a cluster of fruit. The compact determinate plants produced a huge yield 7-10 earlier than the comparisons. They are ideal for small spaces and container gardens. It is available in both organic and conventional seeds.
Tomato, Valentine F1 – hands down, the judges agreed this was the most appealing grape tomato they trialed. It has a deep red color and a very sweet taste. It held on the vine longer without cracking or losing the excellent eating quality. This tomato was quite prolific and matured earlier than the comparisons used for this entry. Valentine F1 is an indeterminate vine so it should be staked for best results. Tomato lovers will appreciate the sweet, firm flesh that is meaty enough to resemble a Roma tomato but in a smaller, grape-type fruit.
I will cover the 2018 AAS flowers in my next column. For a complete description of the 2018 All America Selections, visit www.all-americaselections.org.
Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at 620-244-3826 or [email protected]
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