Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Garden blog: Seeds I hope to plant.

Here are the seeds I am going to try over the next several months. The warm weather ones that I can get a second crop out of before it gets cool, the cooler weather ones that can't handle the summer heat, and the cold tolerant ones that we can pretty much plant in the dead of winter here.

From left to right, top row:

- Roma 2 bush beans. These grew really well in my Spring garden, and bush beans of all kinds do extremely well here in the fall. It's really nice to have fresh from the garden green beans at Thanksgiving! I can never plant too many bush beans...
- Red stem Swiss Chard. Chard does so-so here, but it can go in pots, so it's worth planting in random containers that I don't have other plans for.
- Japanese long cucumbers, will try these again for cooler weather. They grew very well, but without many bees, I just didn't want to be out hand pollinating in the heat. The cucumbers we did get from thenm were fantastic though.
- Round carrots, never grew these, but they are small enough for window boxes and look awfully cute. And the seeds were free, so can't beat that for a try-out variety.
- A more heat tolerant variety of spinach, I'll get this one going earlier than usual. My spinach did okay last year, I just wish I had more of it.
- Kohlrabi, I love this vegetable, both the bulb and leaves. Will try planting earlier this year to get bigger bulbs, and plant more of them too!

From left to right, bottom row:

- Rich Sweetness 100 melons. I will experiment with these fast maturing little melons, I have plenty of seeds saved from the Spring crop, so even if they don't make fruit, it's worth the risk.
- French breakfast radish, this one did so-so for me, I'll wait for cooler weather this year. Husband loves it because it is very spicy, me...not so much.
- Italian parsley, it'll stay warm enough to grow this one for a couple months now in pots, even if the plants never get that big, they're very useful in the kitchen.
- Dragon tongue bush beans, going to give this one a try too, they got rave reviews for flavor and productivity, and the pods are pale green and purple streaked. Easy to find among the leaves.
- Russian red kale, I'll try this variety out in large containers when it gets cool. Kale is a first for me this year. I buy it all the time, but have never grown it.
- Pink radishes, are supposed to be more sweet than spicy. Planting these for me, not husband. Radishes do awfully well here, and mature FAST so we can continually plant them in all but the hottest months.

From left to right, top row:

- "Easter Egg" radish color mix. Most of these are spicy, I'll finish out this seed pack for my husband, he will literally sit and eat these raw like fruit.
- Colorful beet mix. These grew well for me last year, I'll try and finish out the seeds in an early planting this year, even if I only get tops, beet greens are good.
- I grew the turnips last year just for the tops to eat as greens. I might let them go for actual bulbs this year, we'll see.
- Purple stem spinach. It tasted great, but I planted it too late last year. Will try this variety again because the leaves are perfectly sized for salad.
- Good old basic red beets. I love beets, both the roots and the greens. This variety grows very well and very fast here. And they do really well in long window box containers.
- Bush pickle cucumbers. I'm giving these a try-out since they don't need trellising, if I get enough to make one jar of pickles, I'll be a happy camper.

From left ro right, middle row:

- Baby round squash. These plants make really pretty lacy leaves, so they are decorative as well as productive. I researched how to manage vine borers, so I'm going to give them one more try this year.
- Golden stem chard. Again, they do well in random containers, so I'll give them a go this year. Last year I didn't have much luck, will plant earlier this time.
- Red and green romaine lettuce mix. I'm trying these from seed to have ready for cooler weather, if they flop, backup plan is to buy baby lettuce plants come time to transplant.
- Mesclun mixed baby lettuce mix. I like to grow this in shallow containers, and pick it very young for tender salad greens.
- Romanesco broccoli. Husband impulse bought this based on the photo on the package. We really don't have the right climate for it, but I figure we'll plant some and see what happens. If nothing else, broccoli stems and greens are edible. Will plant baby traditional broccoli plants when the time is right for them.
- Cosmic Purple Carrots, I planted these one year. They didn't get all that big, but they were colorful and tasty. I'll leave them in the ground a lot longer this time to see if I get mature roots.

From left to right, bottom row:

- Dill. Just plain old dill weed. I only want it for the fronds to use fresh, so I don't mind that it most likely won't have time to mature before it gets too cold for it.
- Cilantro, it bolts very fast in our climate, even this slow bolting variety can't tolerate the heat. Again, it just needs to grow enough to give me fresh green tops for cooking.
- Basil, this variety grows pretty fast, and packs a lot of punch flavor wise. And the plants are so compact they can go in flower pots wherever there is a sunny spot.
- Lemon cucumbers, I'm trying these again. Like the Japanese long, by the time they bloomed, it was too hot to be outside hand pollinating. The vines are more compact, I have a couple decorative trellises to grow these up.
- A good old standard bush style green bean. These make slim and tender pods, and make a fair amount. They grow fast and in small spaces. I'll fit them in somewhere.
- Burgundy bush beans. Again, I'll make room for them. They grow fast and are very heavy producers. The purple pods turn green when cooked, but they're still fun to grow.

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