The vegetable craze, whether eat local, eat fresh, or grow-your-own, is still going strong, and now growers have plenty more options to choose from for growing edibles for the fresh market or for consumers as transplants. Breeders introduced several new vegetables this year at California Spring Trials 2019. Here’s an overview of some of the intros (Please note: Not all of the varieties mentioned here are pictured in the slideshow.)
PanAmerican Seed has broadened its line of compact vegetables with the purchase of Danish breeder Dalina Genetic’s Kitchen Minis indoor vegetable program. Kitchen Minis vegetables have a compact growth habit, which eliminates the need for plant growth regulators. Plus, they taste great and have long shelf-life at retail.
‘Everleaf Emerald Towers’ Basil
Emerald Towers is a well-branched variety with short internodes and a columnar habit that is suitable for growing in container gardens or in-ground. It also works well for hydroponics. Plants flower 10 to 12 weeks later than standard basil and their leaves have a traditional Genovese flavor.
‘Newton’ is a fast-growing variety with a traditional Genovese flavor and a high resistance to Fusarium. Unlike similar varieties, it does not have a licorice aftertaste. This basil works well for the fresh market, hydroponics, and home growing in-ground or in containers.
‘Orange Marmalade’ Pepper
‘Orange Marmalade’ is an easy addition to any fresh market production or garden. It is a high-yielding, early ripening sweet bell pepper with blocky, medium-sized fruit that ripens from green to orange. ‘Orange Marmalade’ has a strong disease resistance package.
The sweet, rich, red cherry fruit of ‘Artemis’ indeterminate tomato plants have a crisp, firm texture. Plants have high disease resistance to root-zone and foliar diseases. ‘Artemis’ is best grown in-ground, including high tunnels.
‘Helix’ cherry tomatoes have a good balance between sweet and acidic. Fruits ripen early and plants are high-yielding. ‘Helix’ tomatoes also have a high resistance to root-zone and foliar diseases, including Late Blight resistance. They are best grown in-ground.
‘Lemon Sun’ Squash
‘Lemon Sun’ has a vigorous, strong bush habit and produces yellow, scalloped, disc-shaped fruit with no green on the blossom end. It is best grown in-ground.
Darwin Perennials now offers six herb combos with patio-to-plate performance. Unrooted cuttings are available from Darwin Colombia or as rooted liners from young plant distributors. The combos include: Back Patio Sips, Bakin’ Up a Storm, Blue Ribbon BBQ, Buzz Off!, New Twist, and Spice Island.
‘Redarling’ Brussel Sprouts
The red-purple Brussel sprouts of ‘Redarling’ have a slightly sweeter flavor than most green varieties. These high-yielding plants stand up to cool nights and frost.
‘Mardi Gras Fun’ Pepper
The Mardi Gras series includes four colors of snack-sized peppers that can be grown together in one large container. Plants are well-matched in habit and timing across all colors.
‘Red Standard’ Pepper
‘Red Standard’ produces huge, thick-walled, green-to-red fruits that adjust well to cool to warm seasons. ‘Red Standard’ offers early maturity and high yields, and the peppers will ripen to red quickly in hot climates. It also offers strong disease resistance and an early, bush-growing habit.
‘Roulette’ has the taste of a habanero without the heat. Peppers start green and mature to red, where they are at their best flavor.
‘Lemon Drop’ Squash
The small, lemon-shaped, creamy-yellow fruits of ‘Lemon Drop’ can be picked at a young stage. ‘Lemon Drop’ grows best in-ground.
‘Grand Slam’ Tomato
‘Grand Slam’ is a determinate tomato that produces high yields of large, great-tasting slicer tomatoes all summer long. It offers high disease resistance and can be grown in-ground or in patio containers.
Proven Winners Proven Harvest Collection
‘Goodhearted’ is a compact, cherry tomato sized for growing in a container on the patio. Its thin-skinned, heart-shaped, juicy fruits have a good balance between sweet and acid, with a Brix value of about 9.
‘Fire Away Hot and Heavy’ Pepper
‘Fire Away Hot and Heavy’ is a hot and spicy pepper with glossy foliage that minimizes water loss and contributes to the low water needs for this plant. Fruit sets and matures quickly once ripe fruit begins to present.
‘Accolade’ is a strong vigorous plant that stands up to field stress and resists fruit cracking. It features a tight seed cavity with firm, orange flesh for extended shelf-life. It comes with a comprehensive disease-resistance package and is bred for resistance to cotton aphid. ‘Astound’ can be programmed for early-mid season planting.
‘Astound’ features a tight seed cavity with firm, orange flesh for extended shelf-life. It is a strong vigorous plant that stands up to field stress and resists fruit cracking. It comes with a comprehensive disease resistance package and can be programmed for mid-late season planting.
‘Ébano’ provides a strong resistance package for viruses and powdery mildew. Open erect plants produce high yields for easy-to-pick fruit. Plants produce slender, glossy, dark-green fruit.
High-yielding plants adapt easily to adverse growing conditions. They have medium vigor with an open habit and reduced spines for easy-pick fruit. ‘Payload’ has a comprehensive disease-resistance package for virus and powdery mildew.
‘Spineless Supreme’ Zucchini
‘Spineless Supreme’ provides the strongest disease package of Syngenta’s spineless-type zucchini. It produces high yields of glossy fruit and an open, erect plant with no spines makes for an easy harvest.
‘Grandprize’ has straightneck, glossy, deep-yellow fruit with a smooth, bump-free skin. Erect, semi-open plants have reduced spines and an enhanced disease package.
‘Trifecta’ works well for dual-purpose use in either fresh or roasting markets. It produces high yields of jumbo and extra-large, dark-green glossy fruit for the fresh market. Fruits color to deep scarlet-red both inside and out.
‘Estrella’ has small seeds for good eating and matures five to seven days earlier than ‘Sangria.’ It produces uniform 20 to 24 pound blocky-shaped ‘Allsweet’-type melons.