Seed Shop: New Spring Heirloom Offerings for Your Garden

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Photo by Johnny’s Seeds

‘Panorama Mix’ Monarda

Also known as bee balm, this perennial color palette of blossoms will attract a variety of pollinators to your garden! Cut them for their enchanting bouquets and for their edible blossoms’ minty, citrusy flavors. These tasty flowers will jazz up your drinks and desserts while aiding in digestion and providing respiratory relief. Native American Blackfoot, Chippeqa, Crow, and Lakota tribes have long made Oswego tea from Monarda flowers to access their high concentrations of antiseptic thymol. You can also infuse baths with minty Monarda blossoms to ease sore muscles and aching feet, and mix them into steam baths to clear the sinuses. Hardy in Zones 4 through 9, Monarda can be directly seeded after the last frost, and will germinate within two weeks. For best results, however, start seeds indoors 7 to 9 weeks before the last spring frost, after which they’ll be ready to transplant. When they bloom, you’ll be joining the chorus of birds, bees, and butterflies singing their praises.

 Johnny’s Seeds

$4.65 for 100 seeds

 Photo by Johnny’s Seeds

‘Galahad’ Organic Tomato

If you’re looking for the best in flavorful, dependable beefsteak tomatoes, look no further than the heroic ‘Galahad.’ Ripening at an average weight of 7 to 12 ounces, this flavorful hybrid has been bred to resist disease. Fusarium wilt, gray leaf spot, late blight, nematodes, tomato-spotted wilt virus, and Verticillium wilt typically threaten tomatoes of the Midwest, Deep South, and northern U.S., but ‘Galahad’ conquers them all with its award-winning genetics. This tomato doesn’t require pruning or trellis support, and produces early. It stood out as the winner in multiple regions in the 2020 All-America Selections (AAS) trials, an annual taste-testing by professional horticulturists of never-before-sold cultivars.

Johnny’s Seeds
$5.45 for 15 seeds 

Photo by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Minnesota Midget Melon

Slice open this luscious mini-muskmelon and savor the sweet fruit that’s the perfect size for a single serving. The University of Minnesota bred this curious melon to grow well in northern climes — even in the mountains of Montana — with the plants yielding even more fruit in warmer Zones. Seedlings should be started indoors two weeks before the last frost date. Whether transplanting or directly sowing seeds, wait a couple of weeks after the last spring frost date to begin growing your plants outdoors. Ripe melons will twist or fall easily off the vine, and should be relished right away, as they tend to spoil quickly.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
$3.50 for 25 seeds

Photo by Old House Gardens

‘Café au Lait’ Dahlias

En vogue with modern brides, these 6-to-10-inch “dinnerplate” dahlias were originally cultivated in Holland in 1967. These symbols of elegance and change embolden bridal bouquets and arrangements with their multicolored blossoms of blush, peach, ivory, champagne, and dusty rose. Plant the tubers outside around the time you plant your tomatoes. Alternately, pot them indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost, and then transplant them. They’ll bloom around midseason, and continue blossoming until the first fall frost. In Zones 8 to 11, these dashing dahlias will overwinter and reemerge as pretty perennials.

Old House Gardens
$8.50 per tuber with discounts for multiples

Photo by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

‘Habanada’ Pepper

You can now enjoy snacking on a habanero pepper with none of the heat, thanks to Dr. Michael Mazourek, a plant-breeding professor at Cornell University. A lifelong habanero aficionado, Mazourek was inspired to crossbreed heatless peppers with habaneros so folks could enjoy the sweet, tropical flavors usually masked by the heat of the habanero. Even the seeds taste sweet. Now, eager chefs are jumping at the chance to add these peppers to their desserts, such as sherbets and creme brulées. This habanero look-alike — distinguished only by its jagged shape — will astonish consumers. Start these seeds indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost in your area, and wait 2 to 4 weeks before transplanting. Have patience with your peppers, and in about 100 days, you’ll have a vigorous haul of ‘Habanadas.’

 Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
$3.00 for 10 seeds

Mother Earth Gardener
Mother Earth Gardener
Expert advice on all aspects of growing.