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GardenSMART :: A Sneak Peek from Bonnie Plants

A Sneak Peek from Bonnie Plants

By Joan Casanova, Bonnie Plants
Photographs courtesy of Bonnie Plants, Inc.

Who doesn't love a "sneak peek?" A secret glimpse of anything is riveting, right? A sneak peek allows us the opportunity to see something before it's officially presented or released for public consumption, and can almost feel like a special access pass!

Bonnie Plants, the largest grower and distributor of vegetable, herb and some fruit plants offers more than 250 varieties, all listed on their website which serves as an e-catalog, with pretty pictures, variety information, growing habits, trouble shooting, harvest information and even recipes. Each year, Bonnie adds a few "choice" varieties they've expertly selected to release, or "unleash" to the public for consumption.

In spring 2019 Bonnie will offer four "new to Bonnie" veggie varieties, but these four fantastic varieties aren't listed anywhere on their website (yet)! Yup, for now they're still a "secret!" Here's your chance for that coveted sneak peek we all crave. Now you can factor four more fabulous veggies into your 2019 spring garden plan early, since you now have special access!

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Hot Cayenne Pepper: Some like 'em HOT! Can you take the heat? If you love hot peppers, then add Hot Cayenne to your garden this spring. A famously fiery pepper from South America, Hot Cayenne provides the perfect punch of heat in recipes while adding flavor and spice when used fresh, canned, or pickled. Try adding a Hot Cayenne pepper to a bottle of your favorite oil or vinegar for an infusion of fiery flavor! With high yields, you'll have plenty of thin-walled, bright red peppers to string into a ristra, an easy way to dry your garden surplus for future use. But beware! These peppers pack a pretty punch, so wear gloves when handling.

Specifications: Light: Full sun. Fruit size: 3 inches to 5 inches. Maturity: 85 days after planting. Spacing: 18 inches to 24 inches apart. Plant size: 18 inches to 24 inches tall. Scoville heat units: 3,000 to 6,000.

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Mad Hatter Pepper: Some like 'em not so hot! Add interest to your garden and delicious flavor to your meals with Mad Hatter peppers, which look (fittingly!) like little hats. The unique, disc-shaped, lobed fruit matures from green to bright red, adding ornamental beauty to the veggie garden. The taste, though, is the real reason to adore Mad Hatter. Its slightly floral, citrus flavor remains sweet with just a touch of heat near the seeds. Popular in Bolivian and Peruvian dishes, this prolific plant produces plenty of peppers for salads, pickling, or appetizers. Try Mad Hatter peppers stuffed with cheese for a tidy and tasty treat.

Specifications: Light: Full sun. Fruit size: 2 inches. Maturity: 65-70 days after planting (green), 85-90 days for red. Spacing: 24 to 36 inches apart. Plant size: 32 inches tall, 36 inches wide. Scoville heat units: under 500.

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Mexican Grey Zucchini: For a beautiful, delicious, easy-to-harvest zucchini, add Mexican Grey to your garden. Its lovely green fruit with grey speckles grows on an open plant habit, making a hefty harvest a breeze. No longer will your zucchini hide under foliage until it's the size of a baseball bat! Try this delicious zucchini roasted, sautéed, as a main feature for Meatless Mondays, or even as a substitute for pasta.

Specifications: Light: Full sun. Fruit size: 4-1/2 x 1-1/2 inches. Maturity: 41 to 50 days after planting. Spacing: 48 inches apart. Plant size: 24 to 26 inches tall.

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Yellow Canary Tomato (Birdy Series): Grow a beautiful, delicious edible garden in very little space with Yellow Canary tomato. An ideal determinate tomato for urban and patio gardeners, the golden yellow, sweet fruit grows profusely on compact plants, making it the perfect addition to containers and hanging baskets. Plus, the plant's abundant dark green foliage—which contrasts beautifully with the yellow fruit—can protect the fruit against sunscald. If you thought you couldn't grow tomatoes in your limited space, you'll adore Yellow Canary.

Specifications: Light: Full sun. Fruit size: 1-1.5 inches. Maturity: 55 days. Spacing: 18 to 24 inches apart. Plant size: 8 to 12 inches. Plant type: Determinate.

You'll find these four fabulous varieties this spring from coast to coast in Home Depot, Walmart, Lowe's and in over 5,000 independent garden retailers. To find a retailer nearest you and to peruse the Bonnie website, please visit:


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GardenSMART Featured Article

By Heather Blackmore for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

Heather has written a great article about 5 new annuals that take the heat and thrive all summer long. To learn more click here for an interesting article.

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