New Seeds from Burpee
I think you would probably agree that this is an exciting time of year. Sure, it’s cold outside — maybe even snowing — but the seed catalogs have been arriving for weeks and we gardeners are happily planning to have our best garden ever! Am I right?
Well, during the month of December, I had an extra treat: as a garden writer, I often receive advance information and goodies from folks in the horticulture industry. So you can imagine how fun it was to receive a seed-themed advent calendar from Burpee Seeds, called “25 Days of Burpee.”
Each day, as I opened a little window, it would reveal a brand new variety for 2018. How cool is that?! So I decided to give you a little preview of some of the varieties that I think will knock your socks off. Here we go:
Let’s start with veggies first: (remember that you can click on any photo to view a much larger image)
Cucumber ‘Lunchbox’: This is a prolific variety that produces cucumbers up to 7 1/2″ long, although they can be harvested small and popped into your lunch sack. According to Burpee, it “bears as many as 30 cukes at each harvest for a total of 130-140 for the season.” Wow! They indicate it’s very easy to grow and disease-resistance. 50-53 days to maturity.
Pepper ‘Confetti’: My husband Bill is the pepper expert in our family and is looking forward to trying this one and the varieties below. ‘Confetti’ produces small, sweet 2-ounce peppers that mature to a variety of colors — from green to cold, orange and red — all on the same plant. One thing that’s quite remarkable about ‘Confetti’ is that the plants have variegated leaves! Imagine how cool that would look. It would be ideal for growing in containers and small gardens, and requires 55 days to reach maturity.
Pepper ‘Jungle Parrot’: How about a prolific sweet pepper for your garden? The plants reach up to 2 1/2 feet in height and can be harvested green or red, and used fresh or stuffed. They perform well in large containers, too. 75 days to maturity.
Pepper ‘Ring Leader’: Here’s a Jalapeno-style hot pepper that ripens quickly. The plants produce 4″-long peppers and are disease-resistant. 55 days to maturity. We’re both excited about growing these!
Pepper ‘Stuff Enuff’: This sweet pepper produces large 14-ounce fruits perfecting for stuffing. The plants are more tolerant to heat and varied soil conditions, plus are disease-resistant. 75 days to maturity.
Tomato ‘Atlas’: I can’t wait to grow this determinate tomato because it’s a short-season beefsteak type. Those words don’t usually go together, especially when you consider the fruits will be one pound in size! Just the photo has me drooling in anticipation. Give them a sunny location, such as a patio or deck, and watch them grow. 65 days to maturity.
OK, now let’s look at some of the annual flower offerings:
Cosmos ‘Lemonade’: I’ve been a lover of Cosmos all my life and love the idea of growing a yellow variety. This one reaches up to 2 feet in height and will spread to 18 inches wide. I love Burpee’s description of the flowers: “Fresh yellow petals with white centers float like butterflies in the breeze.” Nice. Cosmos prefers full sun.
Marigold ‘Mission Giant Yellow’: Take a close look at this photo. This is not like any marigold I’ve ever seen so, of course, I want to grow it! The blooms resemble chrysanthemum flowers and are up to 3 inches in diameter. Mission Giant Yellow is actually a Burpee heirloom that will grow from 24 to 34 inches tall. They recommend you stake the plants. Marigolds prefer full sun.
Morning Glory ‘Party Dress’: A lot of folks see the words “morning glory” and freak out because they confuse them with the dreaded field bindweed. But don’t worry, even though they’re related, morning glory vines are a delight to have in the garden and are not invasive. ‘Party Dress’ features magenta blossoms with white centers and will grow up to 7 feet tall, so be sure to plant the seeds around a trellis or other type of support. Give them a sunny location to grow in.
Sunflower ‘Fire Catcher’: I’m crazy about growing sunflowers and hope you are, too, because it’s so important to bring pollinators into our gardens. This is a gorgeous sunflower that features bi-color petals in red and yellow. They will grow 4 to 5 feet tall and are a nice cut flower as well. Prefer full sun.
Sunflower ‘Sun-Fill Green’: I seem to be attracted to unusual varieties of plants and this one fills the bill. How about a green sunflower? Burpee describes it this way: “The colorful corona of the calyx — the spikey leaves at the base of the flower — is the show here.” They recommend cutting the flowers while they’re young and haven’t formed petals yet. These would look pretty amazing in an arrangement, don’t you think? They’ll grow 5 to 6 feet tall and need lots of sunshine.
Sunflower ‘Treasure Mountain’: How about a tall sunflower that produces up to a dozen stalks with beautiful blossoms that are up to 11 inches in diameter? That would be a show-stopper in any garden! The plants grow 8 to 10 feet in height. Give them a sunny spot to grow.
Verbascum ‘Snowy Spires’: I’ve never grown Verbascum before this one seems like it’d be a stunning accent to any flower border. ‘Snowy Spires’ features white flower spikes with purple centers. They will grow up to 2 feet tall and 20 to 30 inches wide. This variety can be grown as a perennial in zones 6 to 8, and prefers full sun.
Zinnia ‘Forecast’: I’m crazy about zinnias and am intrigued by this delightful mix of 2-inch-diameter orange, pink, purple, red and magenta flowers. These plants will grow up to 30 inches tall and 24 inches in diameter. They are mildew-resistant and need full sun.
Zinnia ‘Garnet Treasure’: This zinnia features prolific, 3 to 4-inch red blossoms that will attract pollinators. They make awesome cut flowers and will grow up to 26 inches tall. They prefer full sun.
Zinnia ‘Queen Lime with Blush’: Always looking for something a bit non-traditional, I’m attracted to the blossoms of a green shade with a slight blush on the petals. It will grow 18 to 26 inches in height and needs plenty of sunshine to be at its best.