The trend in edibles we’ve been seeing in the past few years continues in full force this year. From our first stop at Danziger to our most recent one at Ball, we have seen new edibles all along the way.
A favorite of mine is the Heartbreakers tomato at Danziger. The heart-shaped grape-sized fruit was unique and the packaging, designed by John Henry, is sure to catch a consumer’s eye. Upscale restaurants can serve something a little unique and home gardeners will love it too.
At Pacific Plug and Liner, they had a creative display featuring their new Savour basil. It’s a Greek basil grafted to a wild-type tree form. Because of its height, PP&L ships it small and recommends retailers let it grow a bit more. Growers can add sage and other herbs to the pot underneath the “trunk” for an extra value. Gardeners can clip and harvest the leaves continuously.
I was pleased to see a new rosemary at the Sunset Western Garden Collection. ‘Chef’s Choice’ rosemary reportedly has twice the oil content as regular rosemary, and it smelled wonderful.
At Syngenta Vegetables there was a great selection of veggies. One of their new ones is a pepper called ‘Red Belt.’ It’s a bright red, elongated sweet bell pepper with a thick wall, making it perfect for making roasted red peppers on the grill.
Another group of peppers, ‘Hot Banana,’ ‘Hot Burrito’ and ‘Snack Pepper Orange,’ caught my eye. These were at Greenex. Gorgeous fruit combined with a great taste at different degrees of hotness make it both eye-catching and very edible.
Sakata had a large raised container filled with all sorts of greens they have determined are excellent for baby greens. Mustard and arugula are among the greens Sakata is recommend for growers who would like to have a quick turnaround crop in between their floral crops.
Sakata also had a beautiful new Swiss Chard, called ‘Peppermint,” which will attract attention for its pink-and-white streaked stalks that become brighter as it grows. Like the ‘Bright Lights chard, I think this one will be a winner.
The Vegetalis division of Floranova has a number of promising new experimental tomatoes due out next year, but one that is actually new and available this year is ‘Red Fusion.’ This early fruiting cultivar has a very heavy fruit set, and the fruits are actually on top of the plant. It is a compact type, ideal for containers.
At Seminis, the company behind many All-American Selections Award winners, such as ‘Better Boy’ tomato and ‘Bell Boy’ pepper, is introducing several new cultivars this year. One of them is called ‘Apt 410.’ This cultivar is great for sauces, and has been used for years in commercial vegetable production. The folks at Seminis are also introducing a grafted tomato this year, which will provide additional disease resistance.
And at Burpee, the tomato ‘Homeslice’ was causing a lot of buzz. Ideally, this would be used on a patio or container. Good leaf mass gives it the energy to photosynthesize enough to push sugars through to the fruit. Its tight and tidy habit makes it a good choice for containers or in the ground.
Burpee is also introducing their new Try Basil mix. Featuring three basil cultivars: ‘Serrata,’ ‘Ruby’ and ‘Sweet Italian,’ this is a pelleted mix that finishes in just six weeks. Consumers can harvest the leaves all summer long.