Grit Blogs > The Creative Vegetable Gardener

Seed Catalogs: What Is New in 2014

The Creative Vegetable GardenerIt’s that time of year when the 2014 catalogs are being printed, and we’ll be receiving them in our mailboxes starting in December. Since we are in-between garden seasons, now is the time to start dreaming about next spring and what you want to plant. I can’t cover every seed catalog simply because this blog would turn into a long winded article. I’ve selected only a few new varieties from these catalogs.


Tomato Steak House Burpees

When I saw this giant tomato I couldn’t believe the size. Steak House tomato (above, photo courtesy Burpee's) is a hybrid. 75 to 80 days. Tips the scales up to 3 pounds. It is a broad shouldered tomato. The indeterminate plant produces humongous fruit.

Tomato Baby Boomer BurpeesBaby Boomer is another hybrid tomato (left, photo courtesy Burpee's). 50 to 65 days. It is a red cherry tomato, determinate whirling bush plant that produces 300 little cuties. 20 to 25 inches tall and a 20- to 25-inch spread. Great for patio container gardening.

Beet Moulin Rouge Burpees

Moulin Rouge is a hybrid beet (left, photo courtesy Burpee's). 55 to 60 days. Dark, deep wine-purple-red color. Best harvested when 1 inch in diameter. Grows 10 to 12 inches high.

Squash Burpees Best

Burpee's Best Hybrid is a deep green zucchini (left, photo courtesy Burpee's). 35 to 40 days. Spine free plants grow 20 to 30 inches high, 47- to 50-inch spread. Produce full-size 6- to 8-inch fruit.

Pepper Sweet Tweety Burpees

Tweety is a hybrid 1 to 2 inch, bright yellow little stuffing pepper (above, photo courtesy Burpee's). 70 to 75 days. Grows 24 to 32 inches high with a 24- to 32-inch spread. Real cutie.

Potato Midnight Moon BurpeesA new yellow fleshed potato is Midnight Moon. 70 days (left, photo courtesy Burpee's). Regal purple skin with moist golden-yellow flesh. High moisture content that is perfect for mashing or baking. Grows 40 inches high with a 20-inch spread. High yielding variety.

Terroir Seeds offers new varieties to their company.

UC 72 Asparagus is a perennial and granddaughter of Mary Washington variety asparagus. Developed at UC Davis for better production and tolerance of Fusarium Wilt, heat and drought than other varieties. Heavy dark green spears with fairly compact heads.

Oaxacan Green Dent corn has been grown by the Zapotec people of southern Mexico for centuries for green corn tamales. 70 to 105 days. The corn kernels are smooth in striking shades of green from bronze to pea-green to emerald green. Drought resistant sturdy 5- to 6-foot stalks produce 6- to 8-inch ears.

Also new to the market is a hard-to-find green. Argetti (Salsola soda), 45 days for baby greens, 90 days to full maturity. A small annual that is salt tolerant. Looks like a cross between fennel fronds, rosemary and grass with its bright green color and feathery texture. This Italian leafy green in expensive and highly sought after by American chefs since availability is limited to spring and early summer. Freshly harvested it is firm and crisp with a robust acidic tart flavor.

Stokes Seeds is always on the forefront of developing new varieties.

Baby broccoli ASPABROC grows 50 to 60 days from transplants. It resembles broccoli raab with an asparagus-like stem with a mild taste. Plants produce tiny broccoli heads in 50 days plus three to five side shoots in 10 days. Continues producing heads for four weeks.

Red Jewel is a hybrid red cabbage. 75 days. Deep red medium-large heads have short cores. No tolerance to Fusarium Wilt, some Tip Burn tolerance.

A novelty colored carrot is Snow Man. 63 days. Bright white imperator type with no green shoulder. Smooth skin, uniform shape and sweet flavor. Eight- to 10-inch root length. Strong tops.

They offer three new synergistic hybrid sweet corn. Bi-Sweet S-5 76 days. Very sweet, tender bicolor 8-by-2-inch ears with 16 rows of kernels. Profit 72 days. Large 8-inchears with 14 to 16 rows of bicolor kernels. Waist high ears on tall plants. Good cold soil emergence. Excellent taste.

Essence 79 days. Refined very tender bicolor ears average 8½ by 2 inches with 14 to 16 rows filled to the tip. Strong tall plants.

A hybrid cantaloupe, Dutchess, 75 days, is perfect medium size, oval 4½ pounds. Amazingly high sugar (14 percent brix), firm orange interiors and nice netting.

Crocodile is a semi-savoyed spinach. 46 days. Oval leaf type with a good tolerance to bolting. Upright dark green, thick leaf plant that washes easily.

Ace, 70 days. Is a hybrid pollen producer for seedless watermelons. Green small fruits are not edible and are easily recognized. Provides pollen early enough to pollinate any seedless types.

Cucumber Silver Slicer Harris SeedsHarris Seeds are offering a beautiful cucumber, Silver Slicer, 62 days (left, photo courtesy Harris Seeds). Distinctive cream white color with excellent flavor. 7- to 8-inch long fruit is consistently straight with tender skin and pleasant crunch.

Zucchini Green Tiger Harris SeedsGreen Tiger is a hybrid zucchini (left, photo courtesy Harris Seeds). 50 days. Glossy, smooth skin with well defined light and dark green stripes makes it especially striking. Harvest at 7 inches for maturity or 3 inches for baby zucchini. Strong bush plants have intermediate resistance to some viruses.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Lilly Johnny Seeds

Lilly (above, photo courtesy Johnny's Seeds) is a hybrid Crenshaw melon that averages 6 to 8 pounds. 78 days. Pale yellow rind with light orange sweet spicy flesh. It is earlier than most Crenshaws and performs well in short season areas.

Blush cherry tomato Johnny Seeds

Blush (above, photo courtesy Johnny's Seeds) is a new elongated yellow bicolor cherry tomato. 70 days. Sweet fruity flavor. Bright yellow skin has red stripes that appear as the blossom-end red marbling develops. Indeterminate.

Truchas romaine Johnnys Seeds

Truchas, 47 days (above, photo courtesy Johnny's Seeds). A compact, dark red, mini romaine lettuce. 6 to 8 inches in height and fills out nicely.

Annie’s Heirloom Seeds has an entire new line of organic heirlooms they are proud of, and can be found online.

Totally Tomatoes

Copia tomato Totally Tomatoes

Copia (OP), 85 days (left, photo courtesy Totally Tomatoes). An indeterminate beautiful bi-colored, slightly ribbed slicer that weighs up to 1 pound, streaked in gold and crimson with red and yellow swirled flesh inside. Named in honor of Copia, the American Center for Food, Wine and the Arts in Napa, California.

Mint Julep tomato Totally Tomatoes

Mint Julep, 75 days (left, photo courtesy Totally Tomatoes). Indeterminate plum/pear shape fruit that weighs 1½ ounces each. Green and yellow striping with green flesh. Nice sweet flavor that is less tart than other green varieties.

The Cook’s Garden

Hot Diabito is a Thai flame thrower 2-inches long hot pepper by the way of Portugal. 80 to 90 days. Conical shaped red pepper that can be used fresh or dried. 20 to 25 inches tall with a 20- to 25-inch spread.

All Purple radish is 12 inches long and 12 inches tall. 60 days. A carrot-shaped purple daikon with mild flavor. Adds color and tang to cole slaw or pickled with ginger.

Purple Podded shelling pea is a beauty. 55 to 60 days. 48 inches tall and 36 inches wide. A fragrant heirloom that has purple-pink flowers that is followed bvy clusters of deep purple pods filled with green peas.

These are just a few of the new varieties being offered, there are many more in each of these catalogs.