What’s Hot in 2020 - Your Guide to New Vegetable & Herb Varieties

March 16, 2020
What would a new gardening year be without a new tomato or two!

Tomato Grand Slam F1

Photo: Burpee Seed

What would a new gardening year be without a new tomato or two!

From Burpee Seed comes the new determinate tomato Grand Slam.  As you may guess, this slicer tomato produces large 10 oz. fruit .   Days to harvest -74.  Provide lots of sun, a cage, great soil and tomato fertilizer and you will be rewarded with high yields all summer long.  As an extra bonus, this tomato has high disease resistance.  Can be grown in-ground or in a large container.

Tomato Sun Sugar

Photo: ufseeds.com

New to Floral Acres is Tomato Sun Sugar.  This is a yellow cherry tomato that ripens in full sun  from yellow to orange achieving maximum sweetness and flavor.  Days to maturity- 75.  Give this tomato lots of room and support as it is an indeterminate variety reaching heights of 7 to 9 feet.  Plant 36 inches apart.  This is a very high producer and is resistant to fusarium wilt and tomato mosaic virus. Moisture is critical to prevent cracked fruit and blossom end rot.  I grow my climbing cherry tomatoes on a very sturdy trellis as they do reach the heights described!

Tomato Steak Sandwich

Photo: Burpee Seeds

Introduced in 2011 by Burpee Seeds,this slicer tomato is also new to Floral Acres. Some gardeners have declared it the tastiest slicer tomato ever!  It is an indeterminate hybrid that bears large 10 oz. fruit on plants that are 30-36” in height by 18” wide.   This very vigorous tomato produces lots of fruit at one time from midsummer to fall. Grow in full sun, with top-quality soil and tomato fertilizer.   Water regularly to avoid blossom end rot.

Okra French Quarter Red

Photo: Vegetalis.com

Why not try a new okra this year?  This nutritious sun-loving vegetable can be boiled,fried, baked, pickled and frozen.  French Quarter Red produces creamy lemon colored flowers followed by pink/red fruit.  Foliage and stems are a dark red.  Height is 18-24” with a 20-22” spread.  Days to maturity – 50-55.  Ocre produce 3-5 pods at a time and will continue to do so until harvested.  Once you cut an okra pod off of a stem, another will form from the same spot!  Harvest when small as large pods are tough and woody.  It is very important to provide this plant with a very rich soil, regular vegetable fertilization and water.

Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry

Photo: Mckenzie Seeds

Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry is an annual that is a heirloom variety, originating in Poland.  It can grow 18” tall with a spread of 24-36”.  Bloom color is orange and yellow with days to harvest – 70.  The ½” to ¾”fruit is encased in a papery husk that turns brown when ripe and falls to the ground.  This ground cherry is related to the tomatillo- all parts except the fruit are toxic.  The fruit is very sweet with a touch of tartness.  It has a high pectin content so is great for pies and preserves.  The fruit can also be wonderful in fresh fruit salads.  Another great feature is that this fruit will keep for 3-4 weeks in the husk!

Basil Emerald Towers

Photo: Stokes Seeds

And why would you grow tomatoes without a basil plant or two?  Emerald Towers is a vigorous tall basil plant that will provide you with leaves all summer long!  It grows 24-36” in height by 8-12”wide.  Provide with a full sun to lightly shaded location and water regularly during the summer months. This basil is deer and rabbit resistant and also resistant to downy mildew and fusarium wilt. It would still be wise to water this plant at ground level to avoid wetting the leaves.