Seed Selection Story

Well, my first and largest seed order has been placed.  Now I just need to bat clean-up on a few items.  My blogging colleague Daphne from Daphne’s Dandelions raised a good point in my list of seeds.

I was just comparing the seed you picked this year vs the seed you picked last year. Almost all of it is different. Is this because you didn’t like the other varieties, or is it because you like to try new things?

I do like to try new varieties, but some of my changes are based on hope for improved crops.  For example, I’ve tried to grow Diva cucumber for 2 years.  The plant is supposed to be resistant to striped cucumber beetles, but in my garden, the beetles were all over the plant.  It seems to be very picky about conditions, and mine will never be perfect, so I’m going to try a new type.  I’m also adding the cornichon cuke for pickling — how fun to make my own cornichon pickles!

I love green beans, and make a lot of dilly beans, so I grow a lot of beans for both fresh eating, freezing and dillys.  I like using wax and green beans because they are so pretty together.  I’ve heard raves about Tendergreen, so why not give it a try? I have some wax bean seed left, so I’ll use that up.  I’m adding the Royal Burgundy and the  Purple Trionfo Violetto because they are purple.  I doubt the purple beans will stay purple when made into dillys, but I’m going to try some and see.  I grow both the pole and bush beans because I prefer the bush beans for dilly beans,

Last year I tried Touchstone golden beets from Johnny’s.  The germination rate was much improved, but I preferred the flavor and deeper color of the Golden beets I planted in ’07.  I have some Touchstone seeds remaining so I’ll probably do a comparison planting of them.

I’m adding the Cheddar (orange) and Graffitti (purple) cauliflower because it is fun, and I won’t need to blanch the heads.  Plus, we had some cheddar cauliflower from a farmstand while on vacation last summer that was fabulous.

I’m trying King Sieg leeks because they are supposedly cold-hardier than other varieties, and I’m hoping to have some in the greenhouse for winter harvesting.

The tomatoes….. well, the tomatoes are a long story.  Some are new, the Speckled Romans, for example because they are beautiful and get good reviews from other gardeners.  Ditto Pineapple.  Cosmonaut Volkov was a good producer for me in last years’s miserable weather.  No doubt it will be even better this year with the perfect weather we’ll be having.  Tigerella and Green Zebra will make STUNNING plates of Insalata Caprese.

Back when I started this blog, I’d hoped it would improve my garden recordkeeping, and it has.  Slightly.  I do now know where my past seed lists are –now all I have to do is make better notes on the varieties!

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4 Responses to “Seed Selection Story”

  1. Alan Says:

    I find blogging to be a nice record too. As for seeds I tend to go back to what has worked in the past. I’m probably missing some new, interesting things, but a big part of my garden is about commercial production. In that setting you do what you know. You are lucky if you can try lots of new things.

  2. Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife Says:

    You know I don’t doubt you, Ali. But this entire post, all this talk of seed selection could have been just so much smokescreen. Until I got to this line: “No doubt it will be even better this year with the perfect weather we’ll be having.” -Now *that’s* a real gardener talking. ;)

    I can just see the gorgeous caprese salads you’ll be enjoying eight months hence. I’ll finish up the seed and rootstock orders for my group today. Three catalogs down, three to go!

  3. Daphne Gould Says:

    For me I get rid of anything that doesn’t work well, though occasionally I keep thinking it will work and try it over and over. Sad isn’t it. I’m trying to be better about that. It is hard when you really want a pumpkin and the garden just says no, year after year.

  4. mangochild Says:

    I like your strategy on seed selection. I’m too impatient to stick with something that didn’t work – I’ll jump onto the next possibility with new hope. But this year, because I’m planting larger quantities of things that I can’t get from the CSA/farmers’ market, I have been really thrown out to the unconventional seeds (e.g. opo squash, moong beans, unusual greens, some crops even that I don’t know the English names for because I am used to them from Indian food that I have to guess at by internet research and seed catalog pics!). But all I can do is hope for their growth I guess, just like you!

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