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Guide to Great Vegetable Varieties for 1998 (page 4 of 5)

by Charlie Nardozzi

Broccoli & Co.

Standard broccoli varieties include 'Early Dividend' (an early variety with vigorous side shoots, and a 1995 test winner), 'Green Comet', 'Premium Crop', and 'Super Dome' (a widely adapted 1993 test winner with 12-inch heads). A good cauliflower to try is 'Snow Crown'. Good cabbages are 'Dynamo' (a compact variety that produces 2-pound heads, and a 1997 winner), 'Red Acre', and 'Stonehead'.

'Cape Horn' cabbage: 48t days. This yellowish green, pointy-headed cabbage is very early and holds well in the field.

'Doon Major' rutabaga: 87 days. Even in storage, this purple-topped large globe maintains its quality.

'Genji' broccoli: 59t days; NG. A hybrid that produces large dark green heads with slender, smooth stems. Testers liked the tightly budded heads and found the flavor was mild and less bitter. Some testers said the head size, especially among the secondary heads, was small compared with that of standard varieties.

'Kossack' kohlrabi: 50 days. This enormous (10-inch-diameter) kohlrabi doesn't become tough. Harvest can last many weeks, starting with small roots.

'Nutri-Bud' broccoli: 70t days. Large central-headed broccoli that produces plenty of side shoots. The heads are unusually high in glutamine, a key building block of proteins.

'Offenham III' cabbage: 125 days. Vigorous, semisavoy heirloom produces large, pointed, 8-pound dense heads.

'Red Bor' kale: 60 days. This Dutch hybrid grows into a 3-foot-tall treelike plant with purple stems and ruffled red leaves. With cool weather, the leaves turn purple, and the flavor becomes sweeter.

'Trafalgar Square' brussels sprouts: 160t days. Late-maturing medium-sized variety features less mustard-oil content and sweet flavor.


Old standards such as 'Black-Seeded Simpson' and 'Buttercrunch' grow well in any location. Some NG winners over the years are 'Rosalita' (a 1990 romaine with beautiful red color and good flavor); and 'Vanity' (1995), a butterhead-type green lettuce that grew well in adverse weather, had crisp texture, and didn't bolt. For spinach, try 'Tyee' or 'Hector' (a flat-leaved 1997 winner that was bolt-resistant in heat).

'Candystripe' Swiss chard: 60 days; NG. Large-leaved variety produced lots of leaves, according to our testers. But other than the attractive rosy pink color, it wasn't considered unique among red Swiss chards.

'Craquante d'Avignon' lettuce: 65 days. An open-hearted, green romaine-type lettuce that's slow to bolt and cold-tolerant.

'Firebird' radicchio: 74 days. This round red radicchio heads up more consistently than 'Giuilo', so it's good for gardeners who've had difficulty getting radicchio to head up.

'Forellenschluss' lettuce: 75 days. An Austrian heirloom that's similar to 'Freckles' but larger and with more scarlet splotches.

'Ovation' lettuce: 62 days. Butterhead-type lettuce produces 14-inch-diameter green heads. Slow to bolt and disease-resistant.

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