Top 4 New Garden Varieties for 2017 is by Amanda Pelletier, Alton, Maine
In the depth of a Maine winter there is nothing better than kicking back by the woodstove with a hot coffee while flipping through garden catalogues. If this isn’t your dream—you might be on the wrong website. To kick off this cozy hobby, I’d like to offer up my list of my favorite new garden varieties for 2017.
Opal Creek Snap Peas
I’d like to introduce Opal Creek Snap Peas sold right in Maine at Pine Tree Seeds. These pale yellow pods will pop out and holler to be picked instead of hiding behind the jungle of green leaves.
They grow on strong 6 foot vines and can be eaten fresh while you sit on the garden bench. Whole peas beat shelling for an hour each evening in mid summer. These peas not only made my top new garden varieties for 2017 list, they also earn a spot in my vertical garden plot list.
Rainbow Marcella Echinacea
This winter hardy perennial can be split and replanted to double your size every three or four years depending on its health and how hard the winter before was. Seeds are also easy to collect and spread with a high germination rate.
Rainbow Marcella is a native pollinator attractant. This nectar rich flower will add long lasting browse to your garden for honey bees if you keep them. Companion to many other perennials, this tall flower stays compact and doesn’t blow over easy.
In addition to its beauty and hardy nature, this plant is a common herb widely used for it’s medicinal practices. This is my official new garden varieties for 2017 top flower pick.
Bopak Pak Choi Hybrid:
This new blend made it to the All-American Selections winner’s circle. This new flavorful variety mixes tones of cabbage and beloved buttery chard for dynamic soup to stir fry multi purposing. Improved tender leaves, no strings and sweet crisp stalks can eaten like celery.
This broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower relative has an upright, compact habit great for raised beds and containers. It does well planted along short leaf mix lettuce and can be used a wind barrier for tomatoes when planted around their base. Best of all, it will be an early vegetable with only 4 days for germination at optimal temperatures and only 58 to maturity.
Dragon’s Tail Radish:
Dragon’s Tail Radish is My Favorite of all the New Garden Varieties for 2017
Also on my vertical list this charmer has it all; a tangy taste, brilliant color, flowers, strange beauty and a bushy growing habit. This plant can be tied together as it matures or grown in a cage 2′ wide.
This plant began as an Asian heirloom and was cultivated for its long purple seed pods with green tips. These long wisps 4-6 inches long and quickly cover the bush as the delicate lace-like flowers go by on these pretty plants.
The pods can be eaten raw like radishes, stir fried or pickled. When chopped up small they make a great addition to a salad or wrap. This is a head turner that will have your gardening friends guessing.
A coneflower with fantastic multicolored gradient flower petals that last for weeks and blooms for months. Single-petal blossoms unfurl in shades of melon orange and fade to raspberry pink right up to frost.