Garden Seasons: New Crop Varieties for 1985

An examination of the new crop varieties for the upcoming growing season, including fruits, flowers and vegetables.

| March/April 1985

Sweet showers dampen the soil, the earth warms under springtime sunshine,, and winter-pale shoots rapidly green. Rejoice as birds echo Spring's compelling song, calling us forth to enjoy another new season in the garden.

What's New for '85: Part II

In New Seed Varieties: 1985, I covered 18 of the new crop varieties for 1985 gardeners. Here are many more introductions that are sure to add variety and good taste to this year's garden harvest.

The free 1985 catalog of Otis Twilley presents five additions to the firm's Professional Series.

  • Red Ribbon is a widely adaptable 78-day red cabbage that's said to exhibit good disease tolerance
  • What-a- Joy is a somewhat curiously named Chinese cabbage which has 10 to 12 stalks per plant and which grows 10 to 12 inches in both height and width
  • Star Performer is a 75-day cantaloupe with a sweet, slightly musky flavor
  • Great-Time and Main Time are supersweet hybrid corn cultivars that mature in 78 and 82 days, respectively

Twilley is most proud, however, of a group of five supersweet corn cultivars that come under the general name Summer Sweet. Said to be more widely adaptable and easier to grow than other ultrasweet ears, Summer Sweet corn also has kernels with a distinctively crisp texture. The three yellow varieties are Summer Sweet 7200 (80 days), 7600 (82 days), and 7800 (84 days). Summer Sweet 8601 is an 86-day white corn that's been favorably compared to Silver Queen, my personal favorite, while Summer Sweet 8502 (85 days) is a bicolor claimed to be the sweetest of all.

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