This past month I decided to sort through my files of articles that have been published in the Daily News.
Wow, I know I have a lot to say about gardening, but seeing it in print, I guess I do have a lot to say about gardening! And as a contributor, there are months when I struggle on what to write about. So, this article kind of takes on the ‘Groundhog’s Day – The Movie’ approach in that while the information is new, I’ll be sharing with you the 2021 Seed Trial Results from the U of M Extension … much like I did in my article last February!
The seed trials have been conducted through the University of MN Extension in conjunction with their Master Gardener program. Master Gardeners across the state receive seeds to trial in their home gardens or Teaching Gardens they work with in each individual county. They plant, grow and monitor seeds and report back. The results are tallied by the U of M and each January they publish the report.
I love to look at the list and see their selections and who the winners are. For me, it’s much like getting that much anticipated garden catalog in the mail and look at the beginning few pages to see all the new introductions. Somedays, I wish I had an acre of land to try all the new things but then … my back tells me "think again!"
In 2021 they selected four vegetable varieties, two annual flowers, one fruit and one herb.
In the vegetable category the winners were Delicata Squash Bush AAS 100, Sweet Cayenne Pepper, Rainbow Lacinato Kale, and the Onion SV4643NT. Delicata Squash was chosen for being a compact, tidy plant with sweet, oblong fruits making it great for the small urban garden. Sweet Cayenne Pepper was chosen for its flavor but doesn’t have the heat of other Cayenne peppers. Rainbow Lacinato Kale which is a cross with Lacinato and Redbor makes for a banquet of diverse shapes and colors and cold hardiness. Onion SV46NT, a red onion that is an early season hybrid and has superior yield potential.
The two annual flowers were Cupcake White Cosmos and Coco Deep Yellow Tall Marigold. Cupcake White Cosmos produces snow-white blooms. With their chalice-like petal shape, this iconic cottage variety resembles wrappers of cupcakes. Coco Deep Yellow Marigolds are strong plants that hold fully double blooms on long stems.
In the herb category Teddy Dill was the winner. Teddy is known for being fast growing, slow to bolt and compact growth habit which not only grows well in the garden but does well in containers. And plant extra for the Black and Anise Swallowtail butterflies as it is a host plant for them to lay their eggs!
And to round it all out with the fruit category the winner was Pineapple Ground Cherry. Ground cherries are closely related to Tomatillos with a tart sweet flavor with a hint of pineapple flavor. Excellent in salsa, dried, cooked into jam, or baked like other fruits.
Just researching this article makes me excited for the growing season to come. Take some time to do a little research, forget about the cold and falling snow and before you know it…you’ll be