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Connecticut Garden Journal
Connecticut Garden Journal is a weekly program hosted by horticulturalist Charlie Nardozzi. Each week, Charlie focuses on a topic relevant to both new and experienced gardeners, including pruning lilac bushes, growing blight-free tomatoes, groundcovers, sunflowers, bulbs, pests, and more.

Connecticut Garden Journal: Expand Your Vegetable Horizons

As we enter a new year, what new vegetable varieties should you try growing?
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As we enter a new year, what new vegetable varieties should you try growing?

Happy New Year. I'm looking forward to another outstanding gardening year. To kick it off, I make lists of new vegetable varieties to try. Here are a few that caught my eye!

Each year there are more colorful tomato varieties available. Bronze Torch from Johnny's Selected Seeds is a small, saladette-sized, tomato that's about the size of a Roma. It features a red with golden streaked skin and crack resistant fruits that are early and tasty.

Also from Johnny's comes a broccoli adapted to New England. Eastern Magic is a hybrid broccoli producing medium-sized, green heads. The plants are more stress resistant often growing and producing in adverse weather.

For beet lovers, here's a beauty from High Mowing Seeds. Badger Flame produces oblong-shaped roots with red and golden rings in the flesh. It has a sweet taste and soft texture, too.

Also from High Mowing, Pie-Pita is a hulless pie pumpkin. What's a hulless pumpkin? It's a variety with seeds that don't have tough coats around them. They're perfect for roasting. The 2- to 3-pound fruits have a sweet flavor and are a good size for baking and pie making.

For greens lovers, try Rare Seed's Roughwood Bistro Bronze lettuce. This uniquely colored and shaped lettuce has floppy, tender green with bronze-tinged leaves. The heads grow 1 foot in diameter, but the leaf texture stays tender, even in the heat.

For those growing veggies in containers, you've got to try Hedou Tiny bok choi. This Rare Seeds variety features a miniature bok choi that's bite size even when mature. It's perfect for growing in small pots and baskets.

Charlie Nardozzi is a regional Emmy® Award winning garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 30 years bringing expert information to home gardeners.

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