Back in August I gave a quick review of some of my favorites that I had been harvesting and eating at the time. Now it’s December, and I have a few more favorites to add to that list. I do like to try out new varieties, and even though not all of them work out for me here I often make new favorites that way. This year was no exception, and here are a few more of my favorites.
Aji Rico is a hybrid hot pepper from the Capsicum baccatum species. This 2017 AAS Winner has crunchy, mildly hot peppers with a sweet citrus flavor. The plants are early to bear also – at least for a baccatum pepper. And my plants are always loaded with fruit. They are great for fresh use and for turning into hot sauce, which is what I do with a lot of ours. I have grown it successfully both in containers and for in-ground plantings. The plants do get tall and can use some support when loaded with peppers, and I use cages or stakes for my plants.
One new green I tried this year is called Turnbroc, and it was an instant favorite the first time I cooked it up. It’s a green that resulted from a cross between turnips and broccoli, though to me the smooth leaves look more like turnips than broccoli. It has a mild flavor when cooked. Frost improves the flavor too, and the greens are tender when braised or sauteed. I got the seeds from Kitazawa Seed Company. I’ll be growing it again for sure.
Since this is my first year growing it, I don’t know if the Turnbroc will live through our winter weather or not. I have it growing uncovered and lightly mulched, and so far it has survived low temperatures down to 20°F and other nights in the low 20s. The plants are still growing strong, and a five foot long single row has kept the two of us well supplied along with the other greens I am growing.
In the non-edible department, Coleus Main Street Beale Street is a 2020 AAS Winner with deep red foliage. It is later to flower than other coleus I have grown, and didn’t require pinching out or deadheading at all during the summer. It is the first-ever coleus to be named an AAS Winner, and is available in plant form only. I have brought ours indoors for the winter, and took a couple of cuttings to grow for next year.
It can tolerate both full sun and shade, and we had ours sitting out a sunny spot with other potted annuals. It made for a stunning display all summer long, and once potted up it needed no attention other than watering.
I hope you have enjoyed this review of some of my favorite things from the garden in 2021. I’ll be back soon with more adventures from Happy Acres!