Hello People Who Like to Eat Their Gardens!

It's a new year so it's time to look back and to look forward.

In this Alert we review the results of our recent survey on our customers' success with 'Ketchup 'n' Fries', Mighty Matos, and Mighty 2'Matos. I hope you'll have a read because there are some interesting findings, some notes to upcoming improvements to 'Ketchup 'n' Fries' as well as advice on how to better grow your own grafted veggies in the future.

Towards that goal of a bountiful harvest for 2016 we are launching a number of exciting Edible Pre-Sales and you are the first to know. You can now place orders for grafted edibles including 'Ketchup 'n' Fries' and Mighty Matos, plus BrazelBerries including the new 'Perpetua', and Pixie Grapesincluding the new 'Cabernet Franc' and 'Riesling'. We also have the ongoing pre-sale for the 'Owari' satsuma. This one is super popular so make sure to place your order early as we are well on our way to selling out.

Our popular pre-sales allow us to present exciting plant opportunities to you and allow you to lock in your plants for convenient and relaxed pick-up - no need to be duking it out with other gardeners to get the plants you need and want. You can order them comfortably from home and know that we'll be saving them for you. Enjoy perusing our pre-sales!

Happy New Year from all of us at Phoenix Perennials. We look forward to gardening with you in 2016!

Yours in Edibles,

Gary and the Phoenicians

Three Hellebore Pre-Sales for the New Gardening Season

Winter Jewels
Spring Series
Next Generation Hellebores

Order now to get the newest, hottest and best of the hellebore world.

More Info Below




Grafted Tomato Survey Results

In December we contacted everyone who pre-ordered 'Ketchup 'n' Fries', Mighty 2'Matos and Mighty Matos in 2015 to gauge the level of success that they had this past season with the these new grafted plants. In all 40% of the people who pre-ordered plants took part in the survey. Here are some take-aways from their responses:

Ketchup ’n’ Fries TomTato

55% of people were satisfied to amazed by the production of tomatoes
83% of people were satisfied to amazed by the flavour of the tomatoes
93% of people rated the production of potatoes as poor. Most people reported some production of potatoes though many people also had no production at all.

I also grew a Ketchup ’n’ Fries this past year and based on my experience and your responses I would present this general impression. The tomatoes were by far the sweetest I have ever tasted. Tomatoes were sweeter than SunSugar, Sweet Million and other classic cherry tomatoes. Many of you made this same comment and also commented on the great production.

I also only got a few potatoes off of my plant. I thought they tasted quite good - nice and buttery and rich - but I was also expecting more production. Though one person did report 12 small potatoes! I had just 2.

An Improved 'Ketchup 'n' Fries': Ketchup ’n’ Fries was first developed and introduced a few years ago in the United Kingdom and it seems that they have been much more successful there with potato production than we were in our first year here. I have spoken directly with the producers of Ketchup ’n’ Fries here in North America and they are aware that production was disappointing for many people. I think most people are aware that they will only ever get a few pounds off of a single plant - not enough to keep you in potatoes all winter - but getting a really poor crop isn’t that fun.

The good news going forward is that the North American producers of Ketchup ’n’ Fries have identified a new method of grafting the tomato stem onto the potato rootstock that should lead to a much larger production of potatoes in 2016. The method is a trade secret but I have been assured by people that I trust that gardeners will see a big improvement this upcoming year in potato production. So if you had your heart set on a good potato production you might want to try again with this new improved grafting method.

Mighty Matos

75% of people were satisfied to amazed by the production of tomatoes
89% of people were satisfied to amazed by the flavour of the tomatoes

I’m pleased with these high numbers as it seems a large portion of gardeners are having success with the Mighty Matos. Some made comments about flavour not being so good and some cultivars producing better than others. See the notes on flavour below. As for production, it seems that it’s more the beefsteaks and larger tomatoes that are not producing as well while the cherries and smaller tomatoes are outstanding. Even though these are Mighty Matos it will still be harder to grow the larger, heat-loving tomatoes in our cool summer climate so this result makes sense. With so many different cultivars of Mighty Mato available, don’t give up on the series because of a bad experience with one cultivar. It could be that you just don’t have the spot to successfully grow ‘Brandywine’ but you might be a star at growing ‘Stupice’ or ‘SunSugar’ or ‘Chocolate Stripe’.

Mighty 2’Matos - The double grafted plants

67% of people were satisfied to amazed by the production of the tomatoes
71% of people were satisfied to amazed by the flavour of the tomatoes

It was also the first year for the Mighty 2’Matos. I’m pleased with the relative success of these plants for people. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to get them this year as the plants were deemed too expensive to produce leading to a high price at retail that dampens peoples’ interest. It’s too bad though because these plants would be really good for people in small spaces. Maybe they will reappear in subsequent years.

Growing Conditions

60% of respondents grew their plants in pots
32% of respondents grew their plants in the ground

70% grew in full sun
30% grew in part sun

44% used a slow release fertilizer
17% fertilized every week with a liquid fertilizer
28% fertilized occasionally with a liquid fertilizer
17% didn’t fertilize at all

A few impressions from these numbers:

Container Growing: A large number of people are growing in pots. You can be very successful in pots but these need to be large enough otherwise production can be affected. Mighty Matos should be in pots at least 16-20” wide and about 24” deep. Ketchup ’n’ Fries should be in pots around 24” wide and about as deep.

Sunlight: Tomatoes perform best in full sun. I imagine those people growing only in part sun might have shadier back yards where part sun is the most light they can provide. If you do have brighter and hotter spots than where you grew your tomatoes this past year try to move your production to these areas for the upcoming season.

Fertilizer: This is a big one that I think is really important. The rate of fertilizing seems low amongst respondents. Now it could be that those who didn’t fertilize at all or only occasionally were growing their plants in the ground. If you have really good soil that you enrich with lots of compost or Sea Soil each year then your plot might have enough nutrition to successfully grow good crops. Though since tomatoes are heavy feeders even supplemental fertilizer is advisable for plants grown in the ground.

45% of respondents reported poor to no fertilizing. If everyone who grew in the ground (32%) didn’t fertilize that still leaves at least 13% of people growing in pots that didn’t fertilize enough. Though I would wager that the percent of people growing in pots who didn’t fertilize enough is a bit higher than that. If you were growing in pots and didn’t use a slow release fertilizer or fertilize with liquid fertilizer once a week then this would likely be the main explanation for a lower than expected production of tomatoes. We lead busy lives and sometimes it’s hard to take care of our plants as well as we’d like. If you had trouble keeping up with fertilizing this year, please get a slow release fertilizer from us next year. You apply once when you plant and that does all the fertilizing for you for the whole season.

Flavour: Another thing to keep in mind in terms of flavour is that tomatoes develop their sweetness from the sugars produced in nice hot, sunny spots in the garden. But the complexity of the flavour is enhanced by the minerals and phytochemicals available to the plants. In the ground tomato plants should have lots of access to these flavour-improving constituents but in pots they could be severely lacking. Most potting mixes are sterile so you should make sure you’re using a slow release or liquid fertilizer with added components such as micronutrients and/or kelp extract in order to produce the best-tasting tomatoes possible.

Water: I didn’t ask about watering in the survey but this could have also been an issue for some people. If tomatoes are water-stressed, especially if they wilt multiple times, they will often not set fruit or abort young fruit because the plant cuts its losses “thinking” that it doesn’t have enough water resources to support all that fruit. Regular watering would have been really important this past year with our long, hot and dry summer.

Once again, thank you to those who took part in the survey and thank you to all of you for planting your edible gardens with plants from our nursery. We want you to be successful in your gardens and provide you the best plants and advice to achieve great results. I hope the above results and discussion were helpful for you.



Awesome Edible Pre-Sales for 2016

'Ketchup 'n' Fries', Mighty Matos, Mighty Melons, Mighty Veggies, Pixie Grapes, BrazelBerries, 'Owari' Satsumas

Our popular pre-sales allow you to shop from the comfort of your own home and secure the hottest and most beautiful new plants for your garden. Pre-sales also help us at Phoenix Perennials to plan in advance and provide the right number of plants for our valued customers and fellow gardeners so that everyone receives all of the garden bliss that they desire.

'Ketchup 'n' Fries', Mighty Mato, Mighty Melon & Mighty Veggie Pre-Sale

Welcome to our exciting grafted vegetable pre-sale where you can pre-plan your 2016 edible bounty from the comfort of your own home with the most cutting edge edibles available. Pre-sales allow you to secure the exact plants you desire and allow us at Phoenix Perennials to make sure we have exactly what you want.

After you've noted which plants you want, click on the Register Now button at the bottom of this page to order them. We will email you when they are available for pick-up. The estimated date is May 3rd, 2016.

Full Descriptions and Ordering

The Revolutionary, New "TomTato" is a hand-grafted plant that brings together tomatoes and potatoes, two close relatives, that together give us one of life's great pleasures: 'Ketchup 'n' Fries'. It produces the sweetest cherry tomatoes you've ever tasted by the hundreds. This year an improved grafting method should ensure much larger crops of potatoes than in 2015 with a few pounds per plant.



Mighty Mato and Mighty Mini Mato Grafted Tomatoes consist of desirable heirloom and cool modern varieties hand-grafted onto super strong tomato rootstock that confers greater disease resistance, greater cold tolerance, and greater vigour resulting in up to 2-3 times more tomatoes per plant than ungrafted plants! Heirloom tomatoes that are sometimes shy in their yields produce like never before. Cool modern varieties also produce extra large yields. The new Mighty Mini Matos are dwarf plants growing to just 3-4 feet tall. Though all Mighty Matos can be grown in large pots, these Mighty Minis will be right at home in containers and will stay compact so they won't overwhelm your small spaces.

Mighty Mato ‘Amish Paste’ Mighty Mato ‘Beefsteak’
Mighty Mato ‘Big Beef’ Mighty Mato ‘Big Zac’
Mighty Mato ‘Black Cherry’ Mighty Mato ‘Black Krim’
Mighty Mato ‘Brandywine’ (Sudduth’s) Mighty Mato ‘Bumble Bee Purple’
Mighty Mato ‘Celebrity’ Mighty Mato ‘Cherokee Purple’
Mighty Mato 'Chocolate Stripes' Mighty Mato 'Costoluto Genovese'
Mighty Mato ‘Early Girl’ Mighty Mato ‘Homestead 24’
Mighty Mato Indigo ‘Apple’ Mighty Mato ‘Mortgage Lifter’ (Estler’s)
Mighty Mato ‘Pineapple’ Mighty Mato 'San Marzano' (Redorta)
Mighty Mato ‘Stupice’ Mighty Mato ‘Sun Sugar’
Mighty Mato ‘Sweet Million’ Mighty Mini Mato 'Iditarod'
Mighty Mini Mato Indigo 'Dwarf Shadow Boxing' Mighty Mini Mato 'Tasmanian Chocolate'


Mighty Melons and Mighty Veggies consist of desirable heirloom and cool modern varieties that are grafted onto super strong rootstock that, like the Mighty Matos, confers greater disease resistance, greater cold tolerance, and greater vigour resulting in extra large crops of fruit and vegetables. The grafting can make a particularly positive difference in our cool summer climates with melons, peppers and eggplants that all require hot seasons to produce good crops.

Mighty Melons 'Ambrosia' Cantaloupe Mighty Melons 'Swan Lake' Honeydew
Mighty Melons 'Sugar Baby' Watermelon Mighty Veggies 'Coolcumber' (Khassib) Cucumber
Mighty Veggies 'Gigabite' Cucumber Mighty Veggies 'Epic' (Dusky) Eggplant
Mighty Veggies 'Anaheim' Pepper Mighty Veggies 'Golden Bell' Pepper
Mighty Veggies 'Jalapeno' Pepper Mighty Veggies 'Orange Bell' Pepper 9 + GST
Mighty Veggies 'Red Bell' (King Arthur) Pepper


Full Descriptions and Ordering



Pixie Grape Pre-Order

The Pixie Grapes are a new series of dwarf grape vines for containers and small spaces developed in the Niagara region of Ontario that will often produce fruit in their first year and forever more after that. They are perfect for small spaces and patios, conversation pieces, and as a gift for every wine lover you know. In 2015 the first Pixie Grape 'Pinot Meunier Purple' hit the scene. This year two new Pixie Grapes join it: 'Cabernet Franc' and 'Riesling'. Now you can really get your Pixie Vineyard going!

Pixie Grapes only grow to about 2+ feet tall and wide and get lots of bunches of grapes on its small frame over a long season. They require minimal pruning.

'Pinot Meunier Purple'
One of the famous Champagne grapes.
'Cabernet Franc'
A fabled variety from Bordeaux and the Loire.
Most varied white from the Mosel of Germany.

More Information and Ordering



Brazelberry Pre-Order 2016

Brazelberries are one of the hottest items for gardens and patios. They are dwarf berry bushes (four blueberries and one raspberry) that can be grown in pots on your patio or in the garden. They are attractive plants that produce tons of fruit. What could be better than fresh blueberries and raspberries right from your own garden on beautiful plants that make your garden look great year-round? Pre-order now for pick-up in mid April (exact date yet to be determined). We will email you closer to the pick-up date to let you know exactly when you can get your hands on your new berry bushes!

NEW! Vaccinium 'Perpetua' -- Blueberry
'Perpetua' is the newest BrazelBerry. It is a true double-cropping blueberry that sets one crop of fruit in mid-summer, and then flowers and fruits a second time to provide ripe fruit in the fall.

The leaves are dark green, somewhat shiny, and curly or twisted in the spring and summer, turning to deep reds and greens in the winter. The new canes are bright yellow and red in winter.

Perpetua has smallish berries that are mild and sweet.
1.5g pot. $24.99 + GST


You can also order five other BrazelBerries:

Blueberry 'Peach Sorbet'
'Jelly Bean'
Blueberry 'Blueberry Glaze'
Blueberry 'Pink Icing'
Raspberry 'Raspberry Shortcake'

More Information and Ordering



'Owari' Satsuma Mandarin Hardy Citrus Pre-Sale

Grow your own satsuma mandarins outside in coastal BC and harvest your delicious fruit at Christmas time!

Citrus reticulata ‘Owari’ is a satsuma mandarin orange that is hardy outdoors in coastal BC! Plants form lush, tropical-looking, evergreen shrubs to 5-8 ft tall, bloom with white, incredibly fragrant flowers, and produce excellent crops of sweet, juicy, seedless fruit just like you buy in boxes at the supermarket but these you can pick off your very own tree at Christmas time!

More Info and Order


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Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
One of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials in Canada.

3380 No. 6 Road (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)
Richmond, BC | 604-270-4133 | www.phoenixperennials.com

Opening Dates and Hours
February 26th to October 30th, 2016

Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.

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