Just Veggies with Ellen Wells

Crisp asparagus, mouthwatering tomatoes, crunchy carrots, even juicy berries. You don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate the value of good tasting vegetables. Ellen Wells, our Just Veggies blogger, talks about her experiences in starting them, planting them, growing them, and best of all, eating them. Yum, yum!

Roxanne the Radish Blog Image

Roxanne the Radish

Late August means late-summer plantings of some crops that I can quickly turn around from seed to harvest. One of those quick-turn crops is radish and in particular, a radish called Roxanne.

What a name for a radish, right? Roxanne happens to be one of the first two National Winners of the 2015 All-America Selections Vegetable Award. It’s a hybrid radish with sleek and beautiful smooth red skin and creamy white flesh, just as a classic radish should have. The bright-red ball grows to a diameter of about 1.5 inches, so spacing seeds about that distance in the garden is a good idea. Roxanne promises to be a tasty radish, too, even as it overstays its welcome in the garden and grows bigger than its recommended size. Roxanne will stay firm even during a prolonged stay in the garden.

Roxanne grows well in a range of environments. In mild climates it can be planted at intervals throughout fall and winter. In cold climates it may do well into winter, especially with a protective covering of mulch. And considering the crop is ready from seed to tasty radish in 27 days, I could definitely go for two or three months before the cold bears down on me.

All AAS candidates are trialed in gardens throughout the country and by folks who know what makes a terrific variety. The wide distribution of gardens is important in determining how well it grows where, and if that particular variety is worthy of National Winner status. Vegetables undergo an extensive trialing process lasting at least two growing seasons side-by-side with similar varieties already on the market. Judges evaluate the candidates and compare them to existing varieties based on growth habit, taste, disease resistance and other characteristics that make consumers success with their gardens. In short, Roxanne is an assured winner.


(Thanks to AAS for providing the photo!)

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Ellen Wells

Meet Ellen

When you are raised on a farm, you can't help but know a thing or two about gardening. Ellen Wells learned about agriculture from her parents/grandparents and then went an extra step by studying biology at college. She¹s now editor-at-large for Green Profit magazine, a trade publication for garden centers. Ellen also writes for the Boston Globe.

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