Wednesday, January 18, 2006


So it is that time....when I need to finally sit down and decide what I want and fill out the order forms. Here is a breakdown of the 2006 garden plan:

Plants I already have:
Bluberries, raspberries, black raspberries

Seeds I already have (saved from last year):
Tomatoes (Genovese, Brandywine, Amish Paste, Elbi)
Cucumbers (some heirloom pickling variety that I can't remember)
Pumpkins (Musquee de Provence, Long Island Cheese)
Squash (some yellow kind)

seeds from last year that I ordered and never grew:
Marconi Peppers

So, this year I need to buy seeds for:
Melons (thinking of Charantais (sp?) and Moon and Stars)
Beans (no idea. I've grown Kentucky Pole Beans and they are boring)
Beets (thinking of Detroit Red)
Lettuce (Black seeded simpson, red sails, Amish deer tongue and maybe something new)
Brussel Sprouts (no idea, never grew them)
Potatoes (no idea, never grew them)
peas (I usually do snow peas and sugar snap)
gourds (something decorative and maybe edible, but haven't chosen anything)
carrots (last year I tried Scarlet Nantes with little success. Need somethin new)
radishes (I am sick of French Breakfast)
Spinach (is there really any difference?)
Onions (never grew them)
And maybe Ground Cherries

So I need to know success stories or failure stories involving varieties I should stay away from. Any wonderful veggie pairings out there that I should know about? I had a hell of a time last year with cucumber beetles which attacked pumpkins, squash and of course cucumbers. So I need to move them this year, but not sure it will be far enough. I might invest in floating row covers to give my seedlings a head start. Has anyone used floating row covers? Let me know.


Anonymous Liz said...

Yay...seeds! One of my favorite subjects. :)

Melons: I can't grow them b/c it doesn't get hot enough, but Moon & Stars is sooo pretty. Maybe someday when I have a hoophouse.

Beans: rattlesnake and haricot verts are my favorite. Rattlesnake are pole beans and freeze decently enough. Haricots are for fresh eating and dilly beans.

Beets: we grew Cylindra this year (hello, 30 lbs!) but they're very tender, and because they're long, they're easy to slice.

My favorite potatoes are Carola. They are golden inside, smooth skinned. Creamy as all heck. A really fabulous potato. I also grow Red Norland, Butte (a russeted variety for baking) and a fingerling (banana? ozette?)

Minicor carrots are nice for early harvesting, and I've been happy with Nantes Fancy. This year I'm trying Red Cored Chantenay.

Space spinach is wonderful...doesn't bolt as fast.

Onions... Copra are great for storage, Candy are my choice for sweet, Ailsa Craig make the most humongous onions you'll ever see. I've also been happy with Greek Salad (red) and Mars (red). The best way to grow good onions is to grow from seed, not sets.

I've only had a few Cucumber beetles... i do the squish method, and have never had an infestation. I do have trouble with Cabbage butterflies, though, and flea beetles. I tried row cover last year, but I didn't realize I had cutworms and they got my seedlings. I may try again this year.

Sounds like you'll have a nice garden... I like to experiment with lots of varieties until I find the ones that work for my spot. I stink at growing lettuce, but I'm going to work on doing that better this year. It's all a learning process. :)

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Liz said...

wow.. that was a really long comment. I think I'll do a seed post once my order comes in in a couple of weeks.

1:36 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

Whew! that was a long post. I've written down all of your recommendations and will try them out. Perhaps if I start squshing early enough, I can get a hold on the cucumber beetle problem before it gets to infestation phase. I had tons and tons last year and I hate them. And their progeny are probably snoozing in my soil as we speak. Do you mulch or are you out there weeding constantly. I have a hard time keeping on top of the weeds.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Judith said...

I do wish I had more vegetable garden space when I read your post I yearn for vegetable gardening. I have space for a small 'kitchen garden' and are taking note of the lettuce you mention here. I will also grow some vegetables in containers and I hang the tomatoes. In the past when I had cucumber beetles (or potato beetles), I would gather them all in a plastic bag & in an old blender they would go with some water--turn it on & make bug juice, return the messy concoction to the plant leaves & the beetles would stay away.

8:15 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

Thats brutal Judith, but brilliant. In addition to squishing, I will liquify their brethren. That'll show them.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Liz said...

Weeding constantly. One of James' only garden jobs is to weed (sucker!). He uses a stirrup hoe and it's hardly like work at all.

3:47 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I have a stirrup hoe but I don't think I know how to use it properly, cause they just grow right back. I wish there were a class for garden tool technique.

3:54 PM  

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