Catalogs with new veggies inspire dreams so good you can taste them
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Just when you’ve decided it’s time to pull the covers over your head for the next few months, the catalogs arrive.
Colorful, mouthwatering photos flash from the pages, reminding you that the winter solstice is past and each slightly longer scrap of daylight brings us closer to the crunchy freshness of spring.
Which, of course, doesn’t mean you can’t plop yourself under the down comforter and peruse those dream-packed catalogs full of new vegetables without a hint of remorse. You’ve got a few more weeks before the onslaught of seasonal gardening delirium.
There’s no work involved yet; just dreams of veggies growing strong and healthy.
Oh, and a few decisions — but you can handle that from the comfort of bed.
‘RED ROCOTO’ PEPPER (Capsicum pubescens) | An heirloom from Peru, this pepper starts off with purple flowers, followed by small (1- inch) green peppers that ripen to a bright red and hide black seeds. Even in a cool season, you’ll get an abundant harvest. And, for small spaces, it does perfectly in containers. Gets a 4 rating on a heat scale of 1-5. OP. 95-130 days from sowing to maturity. (LOG HOUSE)
‘HOLY MOLÉ’ HOT PEPPER (Capsicum annum) | A 2007 All- America Selection with sturdy, compact plants that produce heavy yields of crunchy, 7- to 9- inch chocolate-brown fruits with a nutty, tangy, mildly hot flavor. Perfect for mole sauce and other Mexican dishes. Good fresh, pickled, dried or ground. F1. 85 days from sowing to maturity. (LOG HOUSE, NICHOLS, TERRITORIAL)
‘GADZUKES’ ZUCCHINI (Cucurbita pepo) | Deep ridges makes this beautiful new zucchini look like a many-pointed star when sliced. Fruits are an emerald green with paler green stripes and have a delicious nutty, creamy taste. F1. Ready to harvest in just 55 days. (LOG HOUSE)
‘TIGER’S EYE’ BEAN (Phaseolus vulgaris) | A beautiful heirloom bean that’s orange with maroon swirling stripes. Originally from either Chile or Argentina. Rich flavor and smooth texture with very tender skin that almost disappears when cooked. Great for chili or refried beans. Can also be used as a fresh shell bean. Very productive, bushtype bean that grows to 24 inches tall. OP. 85-90 days from sowing to maturity. (LOG HOUSE)
‘WOLF’ PUMPKIN (Cucurbita spp.) | With the largest, most distinctive handles of any pumpkin available, this plant is a real animal. Fruits are round to slightly flattened with beautiful deep orange skin. Thick flesh helps to prevent flat-sided fruit. Vigorous vines put out numerous 15- to 25- pound pumpkins, each with moderate ribs. From now on, all your jack-o’-lanterns will have handles. F1. 120 days from sowing to maturity. (LOG HOUSE)
‘CHOCOLATE CHERRY’ TOMATO (Lycopersicon esculentum) | Deep red-brown 1-inch fruits make a new addition to the veggie tray. Small, uniform and extremely flavorful tomatoes grow in trusses of eight on indeterminate plants (which keep growing and producing fruit until frost). Tomatoes can be picked several days before completely mature and allowed to ripen off the vine without sacrificing quality. F1. 70 days from transplanting to first harvest. (LOG HOUSE)
‘GOLDEN RAVE’ TOMATO (Lycopersicon esculentum) | Petite and attractive with full, well-balanced flavor, these little golden-yellow fruits are shaped like romas but are just 2 inches long. Indeterminate, disease-resistant plants thrive in a wide range of climates, producing high yields with little or no cracking. F1. 67 days from transplanting to first harvest. (LOG HOUSE)
‘VELVET RED’ TOMATO (Lycopersicon esculentum) | You’ll want to put this rare tomato where you can show it off. The fuzzy, silver-gray foliage gives it the alternate name of ‘Angora,’ and it looks much like a dusty miller. The cherry-size fruits make a beautiful display against the downy foliage. Indeterminate plants bear excellent yields. 75 days from transplanting to first harvest. (LOG HOUSE)
TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW
OP means open-pollinated variety, which is a cross of two plants of the same variety. The seeds of open-pollinated varieties will produce plants just like the parents.
F1 is a hybrid, which is the offspring of a cross between two plants of different varieties. The seeds of hybrids will not come true: If planted, they’ll produce a plant that reverts to one of the parents.
Plant in sun unless otherwise noted.
©2007 The Oregonian