Variety Seeds

Variety is the spice of life, so how will we season our garden this year? I’ve been very happy with Romano and Blue Lake bush beans and believe I’ll try Improve Wax for a new yellow one. Shumway’s is the catalog I’m ordering from, along with Nichol’s and Johnny’s.

Detroit Red is the standard beet variety, but I’ll try a packet variety, but I’ll try a packet of Cosby’s Egyptian, an early flat type. I was not impressed with last year’s Forona carrot-shaped beet, or with Blue Lagoon beans, either.

Chieftan Savoy is the late cabbage I’ll be planting in July. I am going to banish brassicas in the spring garden again this year. It worked well to break the insects’ life cycles by not growing cabbage and broccoli last spring.

I’ve asked the Monroe County Coop to get me 10 pounds of G-90 sweet corn seed without the pink poison on it. As an organic grower, I don’t want to put Captan on our garden, even in small amounts. Jubilee and Frosty are the other sweet corn varieties I’ll try. Goliath silo corn claims to grow 50 tons of organic matter per acre, five times as much as regular corn. I’ll buy five pounds and see if it really has that much more foddler, and turn cattle in on it in August.

Danvers half-long, Health-master, Nelson, and Scarlet Rantes are the carrots we’ll be growing. I’m going to try Autumn King for a fall carrot.

I used to grow National Pickling cucumbers, and I think I’ll give them a chance this year. Poinsettia 76 is the dark green slicer we enjoyed last year and will repeat with again. French Swiss is the chard I grow, here in America.

Harris Model is our parsnip choice this year, and a small packet of All-American to see if they are the sweetest or not. Our choice for kohl-rabi is Early Vienna.

Our customers love lettuce, so we grow all kinds: Simpson Elite, Paris Island cos, Winter Denistz, Red Sails, Prizehead, Buttercrunch, Freckles, Oak Leaf, Deer Tongue, and Lollo rossa. For leeks, we’ll experiment with Kilima.

Nichol’s sold me on Oriental Giant Spinach, which is supposed to be triple size. We shall see. I’m interested to see if Cornell’s Bush Delicata will produce more. Table Queen is our best acorn squash, and we save our own butternut seed.

I finally decided on tried and true Connecticut Field and Small Sugarpie pumpkins. I save some of our neighbor’s Tennessee pumpkins and will grow them out, too. I’m waiting until late June to plant, though, maybe they’ll follow the garlic crop.

Peas were easy. Five pounds each of Sugar Snap and Oregon Giant will go around the perimeter of the new garden. I ordered legume inoculant, also I can insure the presence of the beneficial, nitrogen producing bacteria or the pea roots.

California Wonder red and yellow peppers will come again and also a new one called ace Big Chili were quite prolific for and Anaheim type and I’m going to give Italia a try for a bulls horn pepper. Jalapeno and Cayenne will be hot enough for us, and some sweet bananas for a little zest.

For the watermelon patch, I ordered Rattlesnake, Crimson Sweet, Charleston Grey and Sugar Baby, all ones I’ve had success with before. Cantaloupe seed I save from year to year, as we do with pinto beans, Kale, and a few other vegetables.

Our zucchinis pooped out on us last year, so I’m going to stick with Costata Romanesca, a light green zucchini that produced better. Straightneck yellow and Scallop patty pans will round out the summer squash patch.

Tomatoes for 2002: Park’s Whopper, Goliath, Sensation, Celebrity, and Big Beef for slicers, and Sun Gold for a dynamite cherry. We have a few Bradley and Oxheart seeds saved of these heirloom varieties.

For the fall garden, I ordered Wong Bok, Blues and lettucy Chinese cabbages, Mei Qing and Joi Choi bok choy, Golden self-balancing celery, Garden Rocket arugula and Italian wild arugula, Georgia collards, komatsuma, Tat Soi, and mizuna. A few new ones, for me, are Red Mustard and Melokhiya, the latter being the most widely consumed vegetable in Egypt. I’d never heard of it before.

Parsley varieties are Green River and Italian Giant. Basil, dill, and chamomile will give us a nice herb garden along with the perennials thyme and oregano.

The flower beds will host our own zinnias, poppies, and marigolds, along with some new varieties, too. Sunflowers are a big hit and this year we’ll try Moulin Rouge, Infrared, Provence, Santa Fe, Crimson, and Yellow Thrillers. For zinnias: Benary’s Giant, State Fair, and Persian Carpet, and for marigolds, Red Metamorph, developed by Alan Kapuler from Seeds of Change.

A light dusting of snow gave us enough for a few snowballs today. Cool weather and a warm fire make ordering the seeds welcome winter ritual. Soon, we’ll be sprinkling our gardens with a variety of seeds.

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