2014 catalogue debuts the largest beefsteak tomato ever bred:

US: Burpee introduces SteakHouse Tomato

Each December, millions of Americans eagerly anticipate a one-of-a-kind treat: the arrival of their annual Burpee Catalog. After the commercial overload of the holidays, the hefty catalogues colourful pages offer natural inspiration for the New Year — an innovative array of vegetables, fruits, and flowers to enrich the lives of gardeners across the US.

For 2014, the giant 'SteakHouse' Tomato headlines the bumper crop of new varieties. The biggest tomato ever bred, it tips the scales at up to three pounds, brimming with true heirloom tomato flavour and head-spinning fragrance.

A heritage brand, Burpee has seen the popularity of tomatoes climb steadily for the past 65 years to become the number one vegetable grown, outselling all winter and summer squashes, and sweet and hot peppers combined. Burpee's introduction of the 'Big Boy' tomato in 1948 was at the forefront of the trend that turned tomato-growing into one of America's most popular garden activities.

"Burpee horticulturists have continuously brought innovation to the seed market since 1881," said George Ball, Burpee's chairman. "The 'SteakHouse' Tomato will delight gardeners with its gorgeous, humongous fruits – and the taste is sublime! You can feed a whole family with one of these tomatoes," he noted.

The 'SteakHouse' Tomato matures from seed in 75-80 days in full sun, and produces fruits that weigh between 24-48 ounces. Like all Burpee products, 'SteakHouse' seeds and plants* can be ordered online, and can also be purchased with a Burpee gift card, (the perfect last-minute stocking stuffer for gardeners).

New Innovations for 2014 Season To experience the full array of Burpee's new varieties for 2014, visit: http://www.burpee.com/new-for-2014/. They include:

  • 'Bam' Basil. A Burpee breakthrough, 'Bam' is flowerless basil that won't bolt and is bred to keep producing all season long, even in the very hottest summer. A major breakthrough in the land of basils, Bam is deliriously fragrant and flavourful and matures in 60-120 days in full sun.
  • 'Baby Boomer' Tomato. This hybrid marvel is patio-perfect, delivering big, bumper crops of delicious cherry tomatoes in 50-55 days in full sun. Wildly prolific, each patio-ready bush produces approximately 300 cherry tomatoes bursting with flavour.
  • 'Ms. Mars' Sunflower. This gorgeous new stand-out annual variety has striking dark-red-to-purple flowers, leaves and stems. The low-growing, vigorously branching, 20-30" tall, flame-type sunflower's merlot-coloured ray petals transition to a pretty pink in full sun.
  • 'Zahara Sunburst' Zinnia stands out in borders, beds and containers in full sun. Flowers, gold at first, soon reveal a lovely red stripe down the centre of each petal. This prize-winning 12-18" tall cultivar offers up a lavish floriferous fantasia from spring through summer. It shows superior disease resistance, and thrives in sunny, hot and dry conditions.
  • 'Angel's Perfume' Geranium provides beautiful burgundy blooms together with a lavish commotion of ruffled, lemon-scented, cool-green foliage. 'Angel's Perfume's' 12-14" plant quickly grows into a show-stopping attraction in shade to full sun.

True to its roots as the first catalogue in the world to offer yellow seed corn, Burpee offers gardeners the chance to enjoy the first-ever sweet corn bred for container growing. Burpee's exclusive 'On Deck' Hybrid Corn, a tasty bicolor variety, is perfectly sized—4-5' tall—to spend the summer on a deck, patio, or terrace, adding vertical interest as well as producing two to three, 7-8 inch long ears per stalk. The corn is ready to harvest in about two months.

"We are excited to share the innovations within our 2014 catalogue," says Ball. "Burpee prides itself in providing Americans with a timeless gift every year: the chance to put a seed or plant in the soil, and watch it grow into something magnificent. We encourage gardeners of all ages to embrace the opportunity to get gardening – whether in a garden or a container – and see what they can do!"

*Plants ship in spring at proper planting time. Some plants cannot be shipped to some states. Check the website at www.burpee.com for each product's specific details.

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