Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Yard & Garden Planning

Guide to Great Vegetable Varieties for 1998 (page 5 of 5)

by Charlie Nardozzi

Root Crops

'Scarlet Nantes' and 'Royal Chantenay' are two old-time favorite carrots. In 1994, NG testers liked the early vigor and sweetness, as well as standard size and shape of 'Artist' and 'Presto'. For onions, a widely adapted variety is 'Sweet Sandwich'.

'Breakthru' onion: 100 days. This 1-pound yellow storage onion is high in amino acids necessary to build protein.

'Candy' onion: 85 days; NG. This yellow midday hybrid can be planted in spring in the North or South. Bulbs are mild, sweet, and large. Testers agreed that 'Candy' was easy to grow and produced sweet onions. However, size was often small, and flavor did not compare with the classic 'Vidalia'. 'Candy' seemed more popular in cooler climates.

'Pot O' Gold' carrot: 64 days. A good-looking, uniform 9-inch-long dark orange carrot with sweet flavor.

'Sweet Sunshine' carrot: 72 days. Features striking yellow skin and a mild, juicy, sweet taste.

Squashes and Pumpkins

Classic summer squashes include 'Black Zucchini', 'Early Yellow Crookneck', and the pattypan variety, 'Peter Pan'. Good winter squashes include 'Burgess Strain' buttercup, 'Table Ace' acorn, and 'Waltham' butternut. A good all-purpose pumpkin variety is 'Connecticut Field'.

'Discus Bush' winter squash: 85 days. This buttercup squash produces four 3-pound squashes per 3-foot-diameter plant. The flesh is thick and golden.

'Horn of Plenty' summer squash: 50 days. Large hybrid produces an abundance of pale yellow crooknecks with bumpy skin.

'Marina di Chiogga' winter squash: 95 days. Rambling Italian winter squash produces 5- to 10-pound warted, gray-green fruits with pale golden flesh and a small seed cavity.

'Snack 'R Jack' pumpkin: 90 days. This 2-pound, attractive, ribbed orange pumpkin produces many hull-less seeds for snacking.

'Striata d' Italia' summer squash: 50 days. Bushy early zucchini with thin skin and mottled light and dark green stripes.

Okra

Two standard varieties are 'Annie OakleyII' and 'Cajun Delight'.

'Baby Bubba': 55 days; NG. Testers liked the 2-foot-tall bushy plant and tasty pods, but the pods were often difficult to harvest. Not suitable for large-scale production.

'Burmese': 58 days. Huge-leaved, 18-inch-tall variety bears spineless 10-inch-long, tender, sweet pods.

Charlie Nardozzi is senior horticulturist at National Gardening.

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