MIKE'S 2021 garden plants
4th of July – VERY early yielding plant. Produces flavorful red golf-ball to billiards-ball fruits.
Abraham Lincoln - An heirloom variety introduced in Illinois in the 1920s. Produces clusters of large red tomatoes great for slicing and canning.
Aunt Ruby’s German Green – A large beautiful green beefsteak. It can grow to over 1 pound and is delicious. It has brilliant, neon-green flesh with a strong, sweet, and fruity flavor.
Beefmaster – Beefsteak variety. Prolific producer yielding huge red tomatoes up to 2 pounds.
Beefsteak - One of the largest varieties of cultivated tomatoes, often weighing a pound or more. Red with numerous small seed compartments distributed throughout the fruit.
Better Boy - A Guinness record holder for amount of fruit produced from a single plant. Noted for its superior flavor, the fruit grows from an indeterminate plant and is about 12 ounces
Big Slicer (Beefsteak Variety) – Large, thick-fleshed red fruits.
Big XL Yellow - Name speaks for itself. Produces large yellow fruits. SOLD OUT
Big Zac – This beefsteak variety is great fun! Developed by Minnie Zaccaria of New Jersey, it has won numerous giant tomato awards and is purported to produce fruits up to SEVEN POUNDS!!!... although the largest specimen I’ve grown was just over 2 ½ pounds. GOOD LUCK!
Black Beauty – Said to be the “world’s darkest tomato”. A dark, meaty, very rich-fleshed tomato extreme anthocyanin content… the same antioxidant in blueberries and blackberries. They are so dark that some tomatoes turn solid blue-black on the skin. Deep red flesh is loaded with umami and rich, savory, earthy flavor.
Black Icicle – With elongated unusually-shaped, deep purplish-brown fruit, beautiful Black Icicle has a rich taste found in many of the large, dark beefsteak types.
Black Prince - Originally from Siberia Russia, Black Prince is one of the most popular and sought after black heirloom tomatoes. It has excellent growing qualities suited for cooler climates. This medium sized tomato has a rich flavor and considerable health benefits.
Candyland – Smaller than cherry tomatoes, this red currant tomato is ideal for containers and is suitable for the patio or garden.
Chef’s Choice Orange - The flavorful 5 to 6 inch beefsteak-type fruits have flattened globe shape, averaging 9 to 12 ounces each, with beautiful bright orange, almost neon color both inside and out that doesn't fade or discolor when cooked.
Chocolate Pear - Produces huge crops of richly-flavored red-brown pear-shaped tomatoes with swirls of varying hues of green or brown.
Coshocton Spectacular – This variety was developed by Coshocton gardener Bob Entrekin. Produces medium-sized fruits perfect for slicing and sandwiches.
Dinner Plate - Large red fruits averaging 1-1/2 to 2 lbs. a piece are radially flattened and heart-shaped. Fine quality flesh has excellent flavor.
Fahrenheit Blues - A cherry tomato with intense blue coloration. Fahrenheit Blues bears nice sized cherry fruits in clusters of 8-16, with fruits ripening to a dark blue color with red beneath.
German Lunchbox – Brought to the US by German immigrants, the fruit is the size of a small egg, They are vibrant pink and sugar sweet. Perfectly sized for salads or putting in the lunchbox.
German Pink – This very old heirloom originated in Bavaria. It made its U.S. debut in 1883, The potato-leaf plants give high yields of very large, nearly seedless meaty fruit. The gorgeous pink fruit is extremely versatile, excellent for canning and freezing but also for slicing and juicing.
Golden Jubilee – Bears large yellow-orange tomatoes with very meaty, thick-walled interiors and mild flavor.
Golden Sweet Grape - Grows long clusters of deep yellow grape tomatoes that stay firm and crisp and also resist cracking. Sweet flavor and high-yielding.
Hillbilly - This ancient heirloom hails from the hills of West Virginia. Huge, mild-flavored, beefsteak-type fruits weigh up to 1 to 2 pounds, and are colored a most unusual orange-yellow, streaked and mottled in attractive shades of red and pink.
Lemon Boy - Produces medium-sized fruits with beautiful and unique lemon yellow skin. They are unusually colored and eye-catching with wonderful flavor.
Orange Hat - Extra dwarf bush plants reach just 6-9 inches in height! The plants are super-prolific, offering producing copious amounts of small orange fruits. It is the perfect indoor or patio tomato, comfortably fitting in a 6-inch pot.
Paul Robeson - This Russian tomato has almost a cult following among those who appreciate its amazing flavor that is distinctive, smoky and sweet. 7 to 10-ounce fruits are a red-brick color. Named in honor of black opera singer Paul Robeson, an American, who was also a Russian equal rights advocate.
Pink Girl - A large, juicy hybrid tomato that weighs up to one-half pound. The fruit is pearly pink with mild flavor and is resistant to cracking.
Pork Chop – This beautiful oddball is a true yellow with vibrant golden-orange stripes. The medium sized, slightly flattened beefsteaks have sweet tomato flavor with hints of citrus.
Roma - Prized for its use in tomato paste and sauces, Roma produces a large harvest of thick-walled, meaty, bright red, egg-shaped tomatoes about 3 inches long. SOLD OUT
Rutgers Hybrid - An old favorite heirloom, Rutgers is highly productive. The large, red fruits have a thick flesh with outstanding flavor.
Striped Roman - These long, roma-shaped tomatoes have orange stripes running down the length of the fruit. The fruits are very thick and meaty with a nice rich flavor. Plants stay moderately compact and have a good yield
Supersweet 100 (SS 100) – Very prolific and easy to grow. Produces cherry tomatoes bursting with sugary flavor. The bright red, cherry-sized fruits are produced in long clusters right up to frost.
Tiny Tim - Unique dwarf plants that work very well in small containers, window boxes, hanging baskets and small garden spaces. Produces tiny, red sweet fruits.
Yellow Pear - Long, indeterminate vines produce a seemingly endless supply of small, yellow mild flavored, pear-shaped tomatoes all summer.
Scoville Heat Units (SHU) are a measure of the pungency or “heat” of chili peppers. A typical jalapeno pepper has Scoville rating between 2500 and 5000 SHU (Scovilles). A Carolina Reaper is about 400 times hotter than a jalapeno.
Painfully and Insanely Hot Peppers:
Big Mustard Mama – 1,000,000 SHU – A true oddball! This crazy hot strain ripens to a mustard yellow / olive green hue. The fruits are 2-3X the size of a typical Carolina Reaper, making it quite large for a painfully-hot variety,
Carolina Reaper – 1,400,000-2,200,000 SHU – This bumpy red pepper holds the title of “World’s Hottest Pepper” as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2017. Ripe peppers are typically 1-1 ½ inches in diameter with distinctive “stinger” on the underside.
Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia) – 1,041,427 SHU – Originally cultivated in northeast India, the bhut jolokia held the Guinness world’s hottest pepper title from 2007-2011. Ripe fruits are typically about 2-3 inches long and 1 inch wide.
Naga Morich – 1,000,000-1,600,000 SHU – From Bangladesh, this pepper is often described as the “sister” to the bhut jolokia. They are physically similar, but genetically different. The naga morich is slightly smaller than the bhut jolokia with a pimply, ribbed texture vs. the ghost’s smoot surface. It is the only known naturally-occurring pepper measuring over 1,000,000 SHU.
Sunset Reaper – 1,000,000 SHU est. – This variety is likely unstable, but also very rare. It’s an insanely hot accidental variant. It looks like a smooth yellow Carolina Reaper with the trademark stinger. Results may vary, but the painful heat is a given.
Super Carolina Reaper – 2,200,000 SHU – I found the original plant at a large out-of-town garden center. It was a full sized plant with blossoms labeled “Carolina Reaper”. The plant produced hundreds of tiny red reapers, and a few full-sized ones. My observation… the tiny ones are hotter than the typical reaper! You be the judge! My super reaper plants have been diligently isolated from all others to preserve purity.
Trinidad Scorpion – 1,200,000 SHU – Indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T was the Guinness world’s hottest pepper from 2011-2017.
Super Hot Peppers:
Ecuadorian Devil’s Breath – 325,000 SHU - Ecuador's hottest pepper. Peppers are rough skinned, flattened, pointed and 3 sided. Pretty pods mature from green to orange or red.
Fatalii - 125,000-400,000 SHU - Developed in Africa from chilies introduced from the Americas. It has a fruity, citrus flavor with a searing heat comparable to the habanero, to which it is related and from which it may have derived. Very attractive bright yellow fruits.
Golden Habanero – 150,000-325,000 – A regular habanero pepper. Prolific plants produce rich yellow-orange colored fruits. (Labeled as “Habanero”)
Peach Habanero - 100,000-350,000 SHU – Quite large and exceptionally hot habanero pepper. The fruits ripen to a gorgeous bright peach-pink color.
Puma – 300,000-400,000 SHU – Visually stunning and intensely flavorful. The 2 ½ - 3 inch fruits fruits have streaks of tangerine, violet, deep golden yellow and earth tones… all with an intense searing heat perfect for drying and sauces. Ideal as an ornamental as well, the handsome foliage and stems are a forest green tinged with deep purple.
Red Savina - ~450,000 SHU – A dark red habanero cultivar selectively bred to produce spicier, heavier, and larger fruit, ultimately more potent than its derivative. Described as the “hottest habanero”, it held the Guinness world’s hottest pepper title from 1994-2006.
Scotch Bonnet – 100,000-350,000 SHU – Named for its resemblance to a tam o’ shanter hat, the scotch bonnet is commonly used in West African and Caribbean cuisines. It gives jerk dished and other Caribbean dishes their distinct flavors. This pepper ripens from green to yellow to orange to bright red, and it has a sweeter flavor and stouter shape than its habanero relatives.
African Fish – 5000-30,000 SHU - An African-American heirloom notable for its unique history. Popular in the Philadelphia/Baltimore region, they have unusual striped and speckled white and green leaves on the compact 2 foot tall The peppers themselves start as a solid creamy white, they develop into a light green with dark green stripes, turning orange with dark brown stripes until they finally mature into solid red peppers loaded with fiery flavor.
Black Pearl – 10,000 – 30,000 SHU – Primarily ornamental, but quite flavorful. The foliage ranges from a deep purple to an onyx black, and the plant blooms beautiful purple flowers. The peppers themselves are tiny. Unripened Black Pearls take on a similar onyx black color, and as they age they turn to a crimson red.
Cayenne – 30,000-50,000 SHU – Famous cayenne peppers long, skinny, red peppers, typically with a curved tip and somewhat rippled skin. The attractive plants are wildly productive. They are typically dried and ground and powdered. They are one of the most popular peppers in the US. They provide the heat in Frank’s RedHot Sauce, and are found on pizza restaurant tables across the country.
Hatch Green Hot – 9000 SHU – Large, long, tapered, and richly flavored, these peppers are perfect for grilling and ideal for chiles rellanos. Chili peppers, especially Hatch peppers are a huge part of New Mexico culture. Technically, you’re not supposed to call them “Hatch Peppers” unless they were grown in New Mexico soil, but the seed packet said “Hatch Hot” with no mention of a specific variety, so here we are. Buehler’s had them for about a week last fall. They were freakin’ awesome.
Jalapeno – 2000-10,000 SHU – Jalapeno peppers are popular and well-known. They’re great for pickling, stuffing and using fresh in a variety of recipes. Jalapenos all look about the same, but the heat may vary from a mild kick to rather intense.
Joe’s Beer Bottle (Hungarian) – 1000-15,000 SHU – A fellow enthusiastic pepperhead shared this one with me. He didn’t have a variety name, but he said they grew to the size of a beer bottle. They resemble a Hungarian in appearance and heat level. They pack a punch. They’re delicious and ideal for grilling and stuffing.
Numex Twilight – 30,000-50,000 SHU – Compact and primarily ornamental, Twilight makes a great patio plant. The lovely plant produces purple fruits that ripen to yellow, orange, then red. Small upright fruits start off purple, go to yellow, orange, and then red. All four colors appear on the plant at the same time. It is certainly edible and packs a bit of a punch. Makes a great garnish.
Peter Pepper - 5000-30,000 SHU – While this pepper packs flavorful heat, it is foremost a NOVELTY PEPPER due to its spot-on resemblance to the male genitalia. You don’t really need to use your imagination. In fact, it’s quite amazing that MOST of the fruits take on the obvious phallic shape. The Peter Pepper provides a hearty snicker to the sixth-grader within us all. Comes in red, yellow and orange.
Serrano del Sol – 10,000-23,000 - The plant produces good yields of 3" long by ¾" wide hot peppers. They’re hot, but not excessively so. They turn from green, to orange, to red when mature. It also has a unique flavor that some prefer to Jalapenos. They can be served whole or chopped for sauces and salsa. Serranos are excellent for making pickles, salsa, and sauce.
Tabasco – 30,000-50,000 SHU – Named after the Mexican state of Tabasco and namesake of the legendary McIlhenny Tabasco pepper sauce, the tabasco pepper is prolific and easy to grow. The fruits are quite small and tapered and usually grow well under 2 inches long. The color starts out creamy yellow, and turns to yellow and orange before ripening to a vibrant, bright red.
Spicy and Warm:
Biquinho – 500 – 1000 SHU – This Brazilian pepper is pronounced “bee-KEE-nyo,” meaning “little beak,” Shaped like a Hershey’s Kiss and just a little bigger, it will add a kiss of flavor to any dish t. The pepper has a distinctive smoky flavor and a rich fruitiness. It makes the perfect garnish for barbecues and pickles, and is great blistered and fried. Medium sized plants grow to about 2 ½ feet.
Hatch Green Medium (Big Jim) – 2000-4000 SHU - The Big Jim pepper is a New Mexico “Hatch” chile pepper. It is extensively grown in New Mexico where it was developed. It is popular in New Mexican cuisine. Big Jim peppers are both sweet and mild and are normally picked while still green.
Jigsaw - ~4000 SHU – This is among the most beautiful ornamental pepper in existence. It is a stunning feast for the eyes. Its leaves are multicolored in tie dye patterns of lavender, cream, violet, sea-foam and forest green. Short, stocky plants produce small, plum-colored fruit, about as spicy as a jalapeño. Easy to grow in containers, borders, or anywhere its ornate foliage can be admired.
Mad Hatter – 500-1000 SHU – True to its name, the fruits look 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 tasty treat.
Rezha Macedonian – 1000 – 8000 SHU – An odd-looking exotic pepper. The name means “engraved”, referring to the curious lines on the skins of the long, thin, tapering peppers. The fruit, which ranges from mild to sometimes very pungent, can be seen hanging in great clusters, drying in the Macedonian sun.
Shishito – 100 – 1000 SHU - A favorite old Japanese variety which produces 3 inches long, slightly wrinkled fruit that is perfect for making tempura and other traditional recipes. Fried, blistered, salted shishitos make an incredible snack. The fruit is emerald green, ripening to red, and mildly flavored with just a bit of spice. This superb, flavorful pepper and is standard with many chefs.
Tunisian Baklouti – 1000 – 5000 SHU – The exotic baklouti is the traditional pepper of Tunisia, a small country on the famed Barbary Coast of Africa, that was once considered the “bread basket” of the Roman Empire. Large red, tapering pods have a wonderful warm, rich flavor, but tend to get milder with cooking. Delicious flavor that is perfect with couscous and other wonderful North African dishes and is one of the best hot peppers for roasting and drying.
Sweet (No Heat):
Ajvarski – Sweet, 0 SHU – This is an outstanding roasting pepper from eastern Macedonia. Two-foot, stocky plants are covered in 6- to 7-inch, broadly wedge-shaped pods that ripen green to deep, rich red. These peppers are incredibly fragrant and tasty. When you throw them on your grill, everybody in your neighborhood will smell them, and come-a-runnin’! These thick-fleshed traditional peppers are roasted on flat metal stoves, peeled, then ground into a traditional relish called ajvar, which is eaten spread on bread, often with sirenje, a local cheese similar to feta.
Orange Blaze – Sweet – 0 SHU – Named for its appearance, not its heat! This early maturing, brilliant orange sweet pepper matures early and is disease resistant. Expect very sweet flavor from 3 to 4-inch long fruits about 1 1/2 inches wide with 2-3 lobes.
Txorixero – Sweet, 0 SHU – Pronounced show-dee-SHARE-row. A sweet frying pepper that is a traditional variety of the Basque people. This super rare and delicious The thin-skinned, totally sweet peppers are traditionally strung into garlands and hung for later rehydration and use and can also be ground into paprika. Also excellent for fresh use, they are great raw in salads or blistered on the grill.
Yellow Monster – Sweet, 0 SHU - Gigantic, behemoth elongated yellow bell peppers can grow 8 inches long by 4 inches wide. These impressive peppers are really sweet, and meaty. They’re strikingly beautiful as they turn from green to rich-yellow. They’re great fresh, roasted, or stuffed.
CUCUMBER - Poinset 76
CUCUMBER - Marketmore
CANTALOUPE - Regular Ol' Cantaloupe
EXOTIC CANTALOUPE - Savor Melon
SQUASH - Acorn
SQUASH - Spaghetti
SQUASH - Butternut