It’s that time of the garden season when you start to think about what worked and what didn’t. Yesterday I shared with my email subscribers my favorite tomatoes, annual and rose for 2023. All of these are great plants that you may want to check out for your 2024 garden.
I had two favorite tomatoes in my community garden this year. Both of them met the requirements of being good growers, prolific and not too prone to disease. Put them on your list for 2024!
Cherokee Carbon – This favorite is a cross of two heirloom pole tomatoes – Cherokee Purple and Carbon. It was easy to grow from seed under lights, prolific and so, so tasty. It’s a beefsteak style tomato with a bright, but smokey flavor and a purplish tinge to the flesh. We served it on bruschetta, in salsa and on delicious BLTs. My husband’s absolute favorite of the year.
Sun Dipper – If you are doing a vegetable tray in late summer or fall, you’ll want to include some of these 2-inch long, dipping tomatoes. They’re shape is pointed and oblong and they’re perfect for dipping into ranch dressing or hummus. The vines can get very tall, so put a good trellis in place. They’re not quite as prolific as Sungold, but you will have no shortage of tomatoes! I eat these favorite tomatoes out of hand while picking in the garden.
I picked up three plants of Supertunia Persimmon at Harmony Gardens and Floral in Harmony, MN, during a garden visit in June. The color is a very tropical-mango and so pretty in a large container with Queen Tut papyrus. This color promises to be super popular in 2024 – I recently saw some soon-to-be-introduced lantana with the same pink-orange-yellow color. Like all petunias growing in containers, it needs plenty of water and fertilizer to look its best.
Favorite New Rose
I’m not a big rose grower, but I love this Flavorette™ Honey-Apricot rose, a new variety of edible roses that will be available in garden centers in 2024. I was sent a test plant to try out and it’s a rock star. The bloom is a beautiful soft apricot color and the plant grew well in a container. The flavor of the petals is mild – not at all aggressively floral. These would be impressive floating in ice in a beverage.
Meet me at the Fair!
The end of the summer also means the start of the Minnesota State Fair. I’ll be volunteering at the Minnesota State Horticultural Society booth three times this year and I’d love to talk with readers about what’s happening in their gardens and which plants were their favorites this year. The hort society booth is in the Dirt Wing of the Horticulture/Agriculture building. This year’s educational display is on cutting gardens, which have been super popular recently. (Although, my grandma had a great one back in the day!) The hort society will also be selling memberships, their new what-to-do in the garden calendar (a great idea!), punny T-shirts and stickers, including the one pictured here, which was my daughter’s suggestion!
I’ll be at the booth on Sunday, Aug. 27, from 1 to 5 p.m., on Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 5 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, Sept. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stop by, I’d love to chat with you.
So which were your favorite tomatoes, annuals or roses this year?