Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What I'm growing this year

Now that the gardening season is upon us I'll post every day (really). You might want to check out Where to get seeds, and How long can I keep seeds, the two posts preceding this one.  Here I'm going to let you know what vegetables I've got seeds for (will do flowers and herbs in another post). It took me forever to organize all this, which argues for just going down to the store and picking some seeds off the rack. I might not grow all of these varieties. Some are seeds I have that are still viable, but for some reason I've decided to try another variety, or I don't have as many as I need of what I've got left.  But for the most part this is what I'll grow. I'm going to mark seeds I'm buying this year with a colored asterisk, but I'm not going to bother to let you know where I got the old seeds.  If you want to know a source ask in comments and I'll be happy to oblige. 

For some vegetables I'm also going to mark the one or two varieties I'd grow from these if I was only going to grow one, and this doesn't mean they're the best variety.  But I want to emphasize that the time, energy, and money invested in preparing the soil (or in the case of our very sandy soil, feeding the plants as well as the soil) matters a whole lot more than the varieties of seeds.  The varieties you can get from the seed racks are all you need, and there are many of them here. 

* Seeds from Johnny's in 2010
* Seeds from Territorial in 2010
* Seeds from Southern Exposure in 2010
* Burpee seed rack half price 2010 or earlier

The one variety I'd grow if I grew only one

*Fresh pick (bush green)
*Early bush Italian
Royal burgundy (purple)
*Sequoia (purple)
*Brittle Wax (yellow)
* Kentucky Wonder (pole) (the pole bean of my childhood.  Very "beany")

Sugar Ann (early snap pea)
Sugar Snap (very tall)
*Super Sugar Snap
*Snow Sweet (snow pea)
*Caseload (shelling)
*Dwarf Grey Sugar (for the shoots)

Detroit Dark Red
*Forono (cylindrical beet - nice even slices)
*Touchstone (orange beet)

*Bright lights
Magenta Sunset
Fordhook Giant (sweeter flavor than the others, which are prettier)

*Green Goliath (ripens over extended period)
Blue Wind

*Snow Crown
Veronica (romanesco, spiraled and green)

*Gonzales (early green)
Alcosa (savoy)
*Super Red 80
*Kaitlin (for sauerkraut or keeping)
Minuet (chinese or napa)
*Soloist (small napa)
(the plants of the first 3 can be grown close together for small heads)

Mei Qing Choi (pac choi)
Bonsai (pac choi)
Red Choi (pac choi)

*Danvers Half Long
*Nantes Half Long
*Red Cored Chantenay
*Deep Purple (yes, purple carrot)

*Trinity (early bicolor SE)
*Mantauk (mid-season bicolor, synergistic)
*Whiteout (late white SE)

It's important not to grow supersweet corns (also called SH or SHrunken gene) in a community garden, or where you want to grow other corn as well.  All of the corn will end up with very tough kernels.  SE corn (sugar enhanced) are very sweet and more tender than super sweets.

*Burpee Hybrid II (very reliable slicer)
*Sweet Burpless Hybrid
*Tasty Green Hybrid
Marketmore 76
*Bush Champion
County Fair Hybrid
*Burpee Pickler
Pickalot Hybrid
*Diamant (parthenocarpic - seedless if not fertilized)

Sweet Zuke Zucchini
Anton Zuchhini
*Burpee's Hybrid Zucchini (very reliable)
*Early Prolific Straightneck (yellow summer squash)
Sunray (yellow)
Geode (round zucchini)
*Early White Bush Scallop

Puritan Butternut
Baby Bear Pumpkin

*Beetberry (a spinach relative with red berries)

Green ice (green leaf)
Black-Seeded Simpson (green leaf)
Ermosa (green butterhead)
Antago (red lollo rossa)
Fireball (red butterhead)
Mottistone (mottled crisp)
*Crispino (iceberg)
*Wild Lettuce Mix
All star lettuce mix

Deep Purple bunching
*Nabechan bunching
*Alisa Craig (large sweet white)
*Red Bull 
*Copra (yellow keeper)

Long Slim Red Cayenne
Jalapeno M
Hungarian Wax} (these 5 were in a Burpee Mix)
Golden Baby Belle
Sweet Banana
Red Delicious
Big Dipper
*Ace (reliable Northern variety)

Rosa Biana
Millionaire Hybrid
Snowy Hybrid} (these 4 were in a Burpee Mix)
*Fairy Tale (striped lavender and white, tiny)

(I have other seeds. I'm going to try to restrict myself to these this year)
I have opinions about tomatoes, and will do a separate post with detailed descriptions of these varieties and others.

*Burpee Big Boy (Wonderful aroma and flavor)
*Delicious (very large)
Rutgers (standard - great flavor)
New Girl (very early and exceptional flavor for an early tomato)
*Glacier (early. a new variety to me this year)
*Beaverlodge plum (hanging basket size)
*Brandy Boy (I love these, but they don't ripen as reliably as I'd like)
Jubilee (I make marmalade with these)
Lemon Boy
*Yellow Bell (my long lost favorite)

Big Mama(red)
*Roma (red)

Sun Gold (Orange.  I eat more of these by volume than any other tomato)
Super Sweet 100 (red)
*Yellow Pear (maybe. I have a mix)


I've bought Jersey Knight Asparagus seeds from Johnny's and Victoria Rhubarb seeds from Territorial.  For the Asparagus I'm not really sure it's worth it to grow from seed because you lose a year, and maybe two years if you start them in the spring instead of late winter.  But I know I'm not going to have a bed ready for them in time to buy roots to plant.   I had a beautiful bed of red rhubarb that has died out from neglect, and apparently I can grow rhubarb from seed for some picking this year, and then let the plants die out.  I could also plan to put them in a permanent location and not pick any this year.  I'll see how they do and decide.  I'd love to be able to just grow them as an annual.


  1. I am so impressed by the number of varieties you grow! I grow just one of almost everything except squashes and pumpkins, and, of course, tomatoes. Glad you're posting daily--it's a good way to keep track of what you're up to in the garden.

  2. Most of the other extra varieties are either because trying new things, or, as with corn and to some extent cabbage, because I'm spreading out the harvest. If I'd separated beans into green, purple, yellow and pole, it wouldn't look like so many, and peas into snap, snow and shelling. Still, this is like buying books for me; just because I have one doesn't mean I don't need another. :)