I feel as though I’m in the cast of Oklahoma! with all of the sunflowers popping up in my backyard.
Earlier this year, the Harris Seed Company in Rochester, New York, sent me several seed varieties to test in my garden as part of the company’s seed trials. I’ve been testing Kruger MTO Romaine lettuce, Bonanza Deep Orange marigold and Frilly F1 sunflower. All three varieties are impressive.
Kruger MTO Romaine is tasty, attractive and uniform. I particularly like its resistance to bolting. Granted, like other lettuce varieties, it eventually bolted (sent up a flower stalk that went to seed), but only after enduring several weeks of over-90 –degree temperatures.
The marigolds began blooming at the end of June and are still pumping out 2-inch-wide, plump orange blossoms atop their lush, deep green foliage. The long-lasting flowers are knockouts.
My favorite, however, is the Frilly F1 sunflower. True to its name, it lends a playful air to the garden with its six-foot stalks and an explosion of vibrant flowers. Its brown-and-yellow faces, up to 8 inches wide, began showing up just last weekend.
Watch for these varieties in the Harris Seed catalog.