The Best New Seeds of 2017 — Part 2

Each pellet contains seeds of all 3 colors, so you get a natural blend for pennies a plant!

Whether you love annuals or perennials, fresh vegetables or canning varieties, 2017 will delight you with new choices! Here are four more of the most exciting new flowering and vegetable varieties from seed.

Calibrachoa Fuseables Paradise Island Mix

Don’t be fooled by the seed count of this packet. It says you receive 5 “seeds,” but those are really multi-seed pellets, each containing several seeds of 3 different colors. Paradise Island is a Fuseable, which means that you plant just one pellet and get multiple plants growing up and through one another, for a beautifully balanced, multicolored display that looks professionally “arranged”!

Of course, being able to grow Calibrachoa (Million Bells) from seed at all is a triumph. Just a few years ago we were limited to buying plants. Then Kabloom came along and grew like Topsy in our Bio Domes. And now we have Paradise Island Mix, bringing all us the beauty of a designed mix for pennies a plant.

Paradise Island contains seeds of blue, rose, and yellow Calibrachoa. Use just one pellet for a 6- or 8-inch pot. For a 10- to 12-inch basket or planter, use 2 or 3. So your packet of 5 “seeds” really goes a long way!

There has never been a mix like this one. Now you can start long-lived P. paniculata in all the colors you love . . . from a single packet of seeds!

Bee’s Bouquet Hardy Garden Phlox Mix

Here’s another plant we might never have expected, even a decade ago, to start from seed! Phlox paniculata is a beautiful, long-lived perennial with sweetly fragrant, dome-shaped blooms at the end of tall, elegant stems. A pollinator’s dream, it is visited by bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies all season, and its flowers are irresistible for cutting.

This mix contains all the bright colors for which Phlox is famous, as well as the mildew resistance that sets today’s newer varieties apart from the older types, which used to melt out early in summer in humid and rainy climates. Bee’s Bouquet stands up to rough conditions all season, year after year.

Hardy Garden Phlox is not a simple-sow seed. It needs a vernalization period, so toss the seed packet into your refrigerator for a month when it arrives. Then sow the seeds in your Bio Dome, put the Dome in a cold room (temps in the 40’s and 50’s are ideal), and give it a month. After the seeds sprout, just grow them on in cool conditions until transplant time. Done and dusted — perennial plants for your border that will grow and bloom magnificently season after season, all from a single packet of seeds!

Known as the most productive tomato in many a garden, this golden cherry is packed with flavor!

Egg Yolk Tomato

Too often we have to choose between gourmet flavor and huge yields in the veggie garden, but Egg Yolk Tomato insists upon delivering both. This indeterminate cherry tomato starts early, finishes late, and grows unstoppably in between, setting new fruit at an astonishing rate.

Egg Yolk’s fruit really is the size and color of its namesake, with thin skins and a perfect blend of solids and gels. Succulent yet meaty, sweet yet tangy, it’s a satisfying bite you’ll love all season. The thin skin means that this cherry doesn’t hold very long, so pick the plants every day if you can, and eat the fruit promptly. Once you taste Egg Yolk, you won’t need any encouragement!

Greyzini Hybrid Zucchini

Greyzini isn’t really new, but we haven’t been able to offer it for many years, so we’re delighted to welcome it home! This space-saving summer squash won a national All-America Selection in 1963, and 50+ years later, it’s still tops for yields and flavor in a compact, easy-harvest habit!

The open habit makes harvesting these delicious zukes easy and spine-free!

Its name comes from the grayish mottling over the light green skin of these fruits. Blocky and slightly curved, they will get quite long if you let them, but are best harvested at 5 or 6 inches. Succulent and meaty, they are delectable — and that’s good, because you’re going to get a lot of them, especially at the end of the season, when fainthearted zukes have given up the ghost!

It’s even possible to grow this zucchini in a large patio container, bringing the harvest onto your balcony or deck. Be sure to cook the squash blossoms, too — Greyzini offers large, delectable yellow flowers that shouldn’t be missed!

 

About Sappho Charney

Sappho Charney is a garden writer living in Lubbock, Texas.

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