NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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January 23, 2012 Horticulture Column


It has been awhile since I wrote a gardening column and it has been all due to the timing of the holidays over the past month.  One thing we know for sure and that is the gardening season is getting near.  The garden catalogs are coming daily. It is very interesting paging through the catalogs and finding a very small sampling of new items or varieties.  As I think of the agricultural world and compare that to the gardening world it would seem that more new items would be appearing in some form, to draw our attention.  It is really noticeable in the flower section.  It is not that our same old is bad, I just find it interesting that companies are not developing many new varieties.  It was about three years ago I had a friend give me a multi-color daisy for display.  I am not sure why that plant was not more common place as it was a beautiful plant.  It looked like a daisy only had three or four different color flowers on the same plant.  I kept some seed and finally found the seed packet within my mess.  I plan on starting them in another month and hoping the seed is still viable to grow.  The other thing of interest in these catalogs is the newer developed vegetables claiming to be sweeter and more even more sweet.  The thing I find with them is they do taste good but sometimes the sweeter varieties are loosing the original taste of the what the fruit was to be.  I know that we need to stay ahead of the disease game with more disease resistance than the old varieties but old is most of the time better.  The thing that I have noticed in my garden, with newer varieties, is that sweeter corn which is supposed to be more sweet than the last developed corn does not have a very long shelf life.  I guess what I am trying to say throughout this article is that our local suppliers do a very good job of keeping current with varieties that work well in our climate and should be relied upon for that.  It might be o.k. to try something out of one of those catalogs but remember their growing conditions are much different than what we experience.      


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