As I was sorting through the vegetable and herb seeds for this season, a handful of packets caught my attention. It must be because Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away because I couldn’t help but notice a sweet theme. All of these have either a sweet-sounding name, have a sweet taste-or both. Perhaps you’ll want to add some of these sweethearts to your vegetable garden:
Valentine mesclun is an assortment of colorful lettuces that can be planted before the last frost. This mix will make an attractive and delicious salad with seven reds, like Red Oak Leaf, Red Salad Bowl, Rouge d’Hiver and Ruben’s Red.
Oregon Sugar Pod peas are another sweet addition to the cool-season garden. Plant these organic seeds as soon as the soil can be worked and you’ll be enjoying tender snow peas in about 60 days.
A sweet melon called Hearts of Gold is fragrant and delicious. These cantaloupes prefer warm weather, so they can be planted a few weeks after the last spring frost. This is an early-season cultivar that matures in about 75 days.
A new chard called Peppermint Stick features striped hot pink and white stalks. This would be a cute addition to the landscape, adding edible interest among the flowers. Bolt resistant plants promise a longer season to enjoy them.
Stevia is called “the sweetest plant you’ll ever grow” because it’s about 300 times as sweet as sugar. This herb can be used fresh or dried, its leaves adding a natural, calorie-free sweetener to summer drinks and fruity salads. For easier planting, start seeds inside and then transplant into the garden.
Gardeners may want to add this honeydew to their list. The Green Flesh honeydew melon is an heirloom fruit that fits in modern gardens. Plant these seeds in a sunny spot after the danger of frost has passed. This melon will need almost 90 days to mature, but it will be worth it.
Sweetie tomato lives up to its name. These cherry-size fruits set in clusters, but pack powerful tomato flavor in every bite. Start seeds indoors about 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost and transplant outside when night-time temperatures are a reliable 55 degrees. Tomatoes should be ready in about 60 days.
Who could resist planting a Sugar Baby watermelon? These personal-sized melons are small in size, but big on flavor. Wait for weather to warm and plant these in a warm, sunny spot and keep the soil evenly moist through the season. Fruits should be ready to harvest in about 75 days.
What sweet treats do you plan on planting in your vegetable garden this season?
Seed companies provide complimentary packets of seeds to test in my garden.