Grow something new this spring with edibles from Bonnie Plants. Whether your garden is a couple of pots on the balcony or a raised bed in the backyard, be sure to find room for new varieties of vegetables like tomatoes and peppers and herbs like rosemary and thyme.
Keep in mind that not all Bonnie Plants varieties will be available in every Garden Center. Varieties are selected and sold according to the growing conditions in each region.
New Bonnie Edibles for 2017
This strawberry plant bears large, firm, cone-shaped berries with a sweet flavor thanks to their high sugar content. The plant produces from late spring until fall and grows well in gardens and hanging baskets. Perennial in zones 4 to 7. Plant strawberries in full sun and keep soil consistently moist throughout the growing season for juicy, plump fruit. A light layer of mulch will help prevent moisture evaporation.
This rosemary has an upright growth habit and straight stems, perfect for use as fragrant grilling skewers. Grow as hedge or screen and in full sun. Rosemary likes well-drained soil, so go easy on the water. This rosemary is perennial in zones 8 to 10.
Bronze Leaf Fennel
Fennel grows best as an annual herb, but can be a tender perennial in zones 6 to 10. The lovely reddish bronze leaves have a subtle licorice flavor and pair well with fish, beef, tomato and potato dishes. Give this fennel full sun and well-draining soil, being sure to keep it consistently moist throughout the growing season. You can even plant it in a container. If you’re growing fennel for the leaves, keep the flowers trimmed back or it will go to seed.
Cherokee Carbon Tomato
Add this beefsteak tomato to your vegetable garden this year. It’s a cross between Cherokee Purple and Carbon with more fruit production than its parents. Be sure to cage or stake this prolific grower. To prevent cracked fruit and blossom end rot, water consistently throughout the growing season. A layer of mulch between plants will help retain moisture in between waterings.
Thyme can be a fragrant, low-growing border or ground cover with the bonus of flavoring soups and sauces. Add a few sprigs to the pan when you roast a chicken or cook up a stew. Give this herbal companion full sun to part shade and well-draining soil. Perennial in zones 5 to 9. Thyme likes a slightly alkaline soil, this can be achieved by working limestone gravel into the planting area.
Green Leaf Lettuce
Become a salad gardener when you try this new lettuce. A container favorite, this buttery lettuce resists bolting and matures 21 days after planting. Green leaf lettuce takes sun to part shade. Get the most tender leaves when you amend the soil with compost and water consistently.
Islander Bell Pepper
Got full sun? Give this colorful pepper a try, either in containers or the garden bed. Fruits get sweeter the longer they’re on the plant and change from light lavender to deep red. Be sure to stake these peppers as the fruit matures and weighs down the plant. Peppers are resistant to many pests, but keep an eye out for flower drop if temps exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Freshen up your herb garden with lime basil, the same pungent basil flavor with the zesty aroma of citrusy lime. You can pop lime basil into a container by your kitchen door, so that you can use the flowers as a garnish for drinks. This basil likes full sun and consistent watering through the summer. Pinch and prune the leaves up until temps drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. A frost blanket will prolong the season.
Red Bhut Jolokia Ghost Pepper
The Holy Grail for chileheads everywhere, the ghost pepper delivers eye-popping heat (1,000,000 Scoville units), so much so that the grower advises wearing gloves and long sleeves when harvesting. The plant is a slow grower, but can get up to 4 feet high. Give it full sun, consistent watering, and 100 days after planting for the fruit to mature. While you’re waiting, pick up a pair of goggles for when you cut open the fruit.
Red Robin Cherry Tomato
Want to feel like a gardener, even if all you have is a sunny balcony or patio? Try this super-compact tomato plant that’s patio-ready in the ‘burbs or made for a fire escape or balcony in an urban garden. Snacking on sun-ripened cherry tomatoes is a time-honored gardening tradition. This mighty miniature grows 8 to 12 inches high and matures 55 days after planting. Give tomatoes full sun and consistent watering for the best fruit.
Sweet Million Cherry Tomato
Harvest early and continue throughout the season with this indeterminate cherry tomato. Not a particularly leggy plant, but will need to be staked or caged. Give this sweet cherry tomato full sun, nutrient-rich soil, and plenty of water for a summer full of snacking tomatoes.
Tuscan Blue Rosemary
Another rosemary for your garden, this one can reach up to six feet tall, making it a good choice for hedges or screens. No surprise that this fragrantly piney herb is deer resistant. Place near a driveway or pathway so you can run your hands along the stems and release the fragrance. Use rosemary in oils and vinegars. Like all rosemary, give this one full sun, well-draining soil, and let it dry between waterings. Perennial in zones 8 to 11.
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