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Big Beef Tomato
For years gardeners wanted a large, beefsteak-type tomato that was delicious, early to bear, and highly disease resistant. Finally in 1994 those wishes came true with Big Beef. The large fruit has old-time tomato flavor and the vines are resistant to many of the problems that can discourage gardeners. The fruit is borne on vigorous, indeterminate vines from summer until frost. Compared to other beefsteak types, Big Beef is early and will set fruit reliably even in cool, wet weather. We harvest dozens of tomatoes from each plant in our Alabama test garden, where the harvest season lasts two full months and the growing conditions are very good. It grows well throughout the country, earning it an All America Selections designation in 1994; it has since grown to be a national favorite. Vines grow long, so give the plant the support of a tall cage or stake.Resistant to verticillium wilt (V), fusarium wilt (F) races 1 and 2, nematodes (N), and alternaria stem canker (ASC), gray leaf spot (St), and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV).For gardeners who enjoy plant history and interesting facts, Colen Wyatt, the breeder of this variety, was one of the most successful home garden vegetable plant breeders in the last half of the 20th century. He also bred Celebrity and Husky Gold tomatoes, which are both also AAS Winners.
Celebrity vines bear clusters of medium-large tomatoes that are prized for their flavor. This is a great, all-round, dependable choice for your "basic" tomato needs -- sandwiches, slicing, snacks, and bruschetta. Gardeners love that the plants are quite resistant to disease, too. The large, meaty fruit with exceptional flavor are borne on dependable, strong vines that benefit from the support of a cage or stake to keep them upright, especially when loaded with fruit. Celebrity is sometimes considered a semi-determinate tomato plant, because it grows to a certain height (3 to 4 feet) but continues to produce fruit all season until frost. Resistant to verticillium wilt (V), fusarium wilt races 1 and 2 (F), nematodes, and tobacco mosaic virus (T).
Banana Sweet Pepper
Named for its banana-like shape, this variety bears sweet, mild banana peppers that mature from yellow, to orange, and then to crimson red. Plants fruit prolifically, easily producing up to 25 to 30 pods per plant. Banana peppers are great for frying and pickling, and are an excellent choice for making pepper rings for sandwiches. Great for containers. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Sometimes known as the "fish herb" because it's such a delicious complement to fish, dill is used in many dishes, especially dips, soups, vinegars, and salads. Fernleaf is an improved, more compact variety of ordinary dill. A 1992 All-America Selections winner, this variety of dill continues to be a favorite for its garden performance and the fact that it offers a lot of foliage. It is also slower to set seed than ordinary dill varieties, which means that you can harvest foliage longer. As the flowers do appear, you can harvest the dill seed for making dill pickles or other dishes calling for dill seed. Dill leaves or seeds are used in the cooking of many cultures around the world.
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Developed by Cornell University, this heat-tolerant, Bibb-type lettuce has quickly become a favorite since earning All America status in 1963. Its rich green leaves, sometimes tinged with red, form a beautiful rosette in the garden that holds well under stress and has good bolt resistance. A good source of vitamin A and phytonutrients. Grows best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade and even appreciates it in spring in hot climates.
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Called "Bright Lights," this variety of Swiss chard is as pretty as it is tasty. Large leaves with a prominent, flat wide mid-rib grow in an upright rosette that is beautiful in a bed or container. Grows best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade and even appreciates it in spring in hot climates. Highly nutritious, the leaves taste a lot like spinach, but this plant is a member of the beet family. Frost tolerant. Harvested chard freezes well.
Clemson Spineless Green Okra
Heirloom. High yields of spineless, tender ribbed pods with excellent flavor. Traditional favorite for soups and stews. Can be canned, fried, roasted or boiled. Harvest pods when 3 Inches Long. Pods get much bigger, but small pods are more tender. Plants just keep growing until cool weather in the fall, so they will get 6 feet or taller in areas with a long, warm growing season.
Wee B Little Pumpkin
Give your garden a splash of cuteness with baseball size pumpkins. A 1999 All-America Selections winner, Wee B Little is well adapted throughout the US. Small fruits weigh from one-half to one pound and are the perfect size for small hands to hold. Fruits can be carved, cooked, or painted — this is one versatile vegetable. Vines have a semi-bush habit, so they don't require lots of room to roam in the garden. Pumpkins are a great source of vitamins A and C.
Straight Eight Cucumber
Heirloom. Named for its perfectly straight, 8-inch long fruit, this slicing cucumber has long been prized for its high quality, flavor, and even, deep green color. Well adapted throughout the US. Vigorous, productive vines that benefit from trellising.
Heirloom. This early, prolific straightneck summer squash produces creamy yellow, tender fruit of excellent quality early in the season. Plants continue bearing if kept picked and cared for. It has a tapered, straight neck, not curved like Crookneck, making it perfect to slice into lengths for grilling. Tender straightneck squash is delicious sliced thin for fresh dips or cooked in any number of dishes. Plant in hills spaced three feet apart..
This elongated, 3-lobed beauty performs well in hot and cool regions. Great for frying or in salads. Ripens from light greenish yellow to orange to red. A sweet pepper similar to Romanian Sweet. Resistant to tobacco mosaic virus.
Patio Baby Mini Eggplant
Get ready to harvest a bumper crop of tiny eggplants! The glossy, purple-black eggplants are never bitter, even if you leave them on plants for a few days once they ripen. Fruits mature in just 45 days, and once you start picking, you won’t stop until fall frost. This is a 2014 All-America Selections Award Winner, developed for the shorter growing seasons of the Midwest and Northeast, though it grows well in a wide variety of climates. To grow in containers, plant one per 18-inch pot.
This unique hybrid pepper combines the characteristics of bell and hot peppers to produce a bell with a kick. Mexibell bears large, flat, wide, bell-shaped peppers that mature from green to red. Remove the seed core and ribs for milder taste. An All America winner, it grows well throughout the country. It will not cause nearby bell peppers to produce hot fruits, but could cross-pollinate with them and produce seeds that would affect next year's crop if you save seed.
Juliet Roma Grape Tomato
Slightly larger than the well-known Santa grape tomato, Juliet bears delicious, sweet fruit on indeterminate vines. Some gardeners refer to it as a mini Roma because of the shape. The wonderfully sweet fruit are crack resistant and remain in good condition on the vine longer than most cherry tomatoes. The fruit are as soft and juicy as cherry tomatoes, they hold up well in salads, even leftovers, and they have a longer shelf life so you can keep them on hand without picking every day. The vigorous vines set lots of fruit on long trusses and keep setting fruit throughout the summer. Quite heat tolerant. Vines are long and vigorous, so give the plant room to tumble over its cage. One of the longest-lasting tomatoes in the garden. Hybrid. Resistant to early blight (AB). Tolerant to late blight (LB).
Golden Jubilee Heirloom Tomato
Heirloom. First introduced in 1943 as an All-America Selection, Jubilee bears large tomatoes with very meaty, thick-walled interiors and mild flavor. The globe-shaped, golden-orange fruit is similar to Sunray. Has meaty, thick walls and few seeds. High yielding. The indeterminate vines benefit from strong staking or caging, and are widely adapted throughout the US except in northernmost portions. Resistant to alternaria stem canker (A).
Giant Marconi Pepper
Awarded All-America Selections recognition in 2001 for its adaptability, earliness, smoky-sweet flavor, and yield, this pepper is a sure winner in the garden. It is one of the biggest Italian- type sweet peppers, with a long profile and a slightly lobed end. Peppers ripen from green to red and are sweetest when red. They are great in all kinds of cooked dishes, especially grilled or roasted for sandwiches or alone. Plants grow about 2.5 feet tall and are resistant to tobacco mosaic virus and potato Y virus. Keep peppers picked and they will continue producing until frost.
Cajun Belle Pepper
True to its name, Cajun Belle pepper is an awesome pepper because it gives you all the flavor of a sweet pepper combined with a mild but spicy heat that adds zip to any dish. This 2010 All America winner is just plain cute, too. We love the way the little peppers ripen from lime green to orange to red. You can eat them at any stage, but the longer they stay on the plant, the warmer they get. Plants are robust and disease tolerant yet relatively small, growing about 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide. They're ideal for small gardens or containers. Each fruit is 2 to 3 Inches Long, with 3 to 4 lobes to make a small, thin walled blocky miniature pepper. Allowed to remain on the plant to maturity, they turn glossy red and grow increasingly flavorful. Plants in our Alabama test garden (where the long harvest season lasts from May through October) easily yield more than 150 peppers each. Of course, yield in your garden will depend on care and the length of your warm growing season.
Heirloom. This variety, Waltham Butternut, has a hard, yellow to tan exterior but delicious sweet, orange flesh inside. Exceptional quality, no stringiness. This long-lasting squash stores all winter. Try it steamed, boiled or baked. Extremely rich in vitamin A. This is the most common winter squash used to make the popular, creamy soup by the same name, and it is a popular baking squash. A 1970 All-America Selections winner.
Acorn Honey Bear Squash
A "winter squash" known for its sweet flavor and resistance to powdery mildew. Delicious when halved and baked with butter and maple syrup, or steamed. Outstanding source of fiber and vitamins C and B. Hard outer shell. Bright yellow to orange flesh inside.
Black Beauty Zucchini
Heirloom. A 1957 All-America Selections winner, this early and prolific heirloom variety has been exceedingly popular for its very dark green skin and creamy white flesh. You know what they say about zucchini, "plant it and stand back." The fast-growing plants are very easy to grow and will continue to produce abundantly through summer if kept picked. Use in soups, salads, and casseroles. Great sliced thin for dips, battered and fried, or in veggie lasagna. Freezes well. Harvest while skins are still tender; pick really small for "baby zucchini."