The 2022 Special Gardening project is focused on the Rubenza Cosmos.

Johnny's Select Seeds

The Special Garden Project gives 4-H members the opportunity to try growing a new and unusual vegetable or flower each year. The project allows experienced 4-H gardeners to grow something fun and exciting while letting those who are newer to gardening get their feet wet in the horticulture project area with a guided project experience.

4-H members enrolled in the project will:


Grow Something New

Members will receive a seed pack with the current year's focus plant.


Learn Along the Way

Members will receive a newsletter with information about planting, growing, and harvesting.


Exhibit the Fruits of Their Labor

Members are able to exhibit their cut flowers or harvested vegetables at the fair.


Reflect on the Experience

Members complete an evaluation at the end of the year.

Get Started

  1. Enroll for the "PS: Horticulture (D) - Special Garden Project" through 4-H Online.
  2. Contact your local Nebraska Extension Office and let them know how many seed packets you need. If you do not contact your local Extension Office, seeds might not be available for you.
  3. Pick seeds up from your local county Extension office when the county tells you the seeds are available which should be around March or April.

2022 plant

Rubenza Cosmos

The 2022 Special Garden Project is focused on the Rubenza Cosmos. These plants produce unique flowers with petals that change color as they age. Pollinators and beneficial insects are attracted to the blooms all summer long. The Rubenza Cosmos make great cut flowers, so be sure to enjoy a bouquet of them indoors!

2022 Project Resources

2021 plant

Hakurei Turnip

Th 2021 Special Garden Project is focused on the unique, Hakurei Turnip. These are not your grandmother's turnips. Hakurei is a white salad turnip that is smooth, round and at its best when harvested under 2". The roots can be eaten raw or cooked, and the tops can also be cooked.

2021 Project Resources

Fair Exhibits

Educational Exhibit class G775001

The educational exhibit is based on what was learned from the project. Present information on a 14"x22" poster or in a clear plastic report cover. The 4-H member's name, age, full address, and county must be on the back of the poster or report cover. Fresh cut flowers or harvested vegetables should be entered in class G775002

Examples of projects that could fit in this class:

  • Picture/photograph - This class is up to you, as long as it includes the current year's focus plant and what you learned! Please include an 8” X 10” picture/photo mounted on 14” X 22” poster board with a caption.
  • Story - Tell a story about your first experience with focus plant: growing, harvesting, or the insects it attracts. Be sure to include a photographs!
  • Essay - Write an essay about what you've learned about the focus plant and growing them. Be sure to include things you would change next time and photographs.

Fresh Cut Flowers or Harvested Vegetables class G775002

The current year's Special Garden project fresh cut flowers or harvest vegetables should be entered in this class. Be sure to consult the appropriate exhibit publication for guidelines on exhibiting the specific cut flower or harvest vegetable:

Don't Forget to Complete the Evaluation

Complete the evaluation no matter what happened! If every single plant lived, insects ate them off, or even if they all died, fill out the evaluation near the end of the growing season (around State Fair time).

Hakurei Turnip Evaluation (2021)

Rubenza Cosmos Evaluation (2022)

For questions about this program or the information on this page, please contact: