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Most gardeners love the new, unique or different plants they can grow. Nothing is more fun than selecting new plants and trying them in your own garden. The National Garden Bureau selects new plants every year to tempt us!
There are many different vegetable seeds on the market, but why not try something new this year in the spring/summer garden? Here are a few I plan to try in my own garden. All of these can be directly seeded into a prepared garden bed.
Cucumber Itachi is a new white cucumber introduced by Johnny Seed. It is an Asian unique white cucumber with great tasting fruit and high yield. Uniform 9- to 11-inch long fruit has small seeds and is bitter free. It is recommended to trellis the vine so the fruits produced will be straight.
As with most vegetables, the plant needs full sun and adequate moisture. The soil should be warm, high in pH (6.0-6.8) and fertility. From seeding it will take about 54 days to harvest this very interesting cucumber.
We love melons in the South. An All-America Selections winner for 2019 includes Melon Orange SilverWave. This exotic melon comes from Korea with a sweet orange flesh and unique cream-colored rind with light green stripes. The melon is small, 5-inch round, weighs approximately 3 to 4 pounds each. The vines produce up to six fruit per vine. This melon can even be grown in containers. Growing the vine on a trellis will reduce fruit rot.
Okra Candle Fire is a 2017 introduction from All-America Selections, but the beautiful red fruits just can not be beat. The fruit is delicious as well as ornamental and can be used in floral arrangements. Dried seeds can be used for a caffeine-free coffee. (If anyone tries this, please call me and let me know how it is). Okra prefers a high organic matter soil, so add compost. The soil needs to be warm prior to planting. Okra seed benefit from soaking in water 12 to 24 hours prior to seeding. Flowers start in 50 days and then continue to harvest every five days to keep the plant producing.
A cool season vegetable to try is Kalettes Autumn Star, a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale. What a novelty! The plant is green and purple variegated with bite-sized, loose heads of frilly kale lined up the stalk. Simply clip and eat in a three to four months.
If you have questions about gardening or landscape care, contact the Wilson Extension office at 252-237-0111, trained and certified Master Gardeners, are available to take your call.