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Wed Feb 26, 2014, 04:45 PM

2014 - Let's share our growing lists - "You just gotta try"...

I've decided to make a pinned thread for the "how" of our 2014 gardens, focusing on what we've learned and what we may try differently.

This is for specific varieties each of us may wish to highlight to others.

We've been selling seedlings for over 15 years now and my customers expect to see some of the usual suspects - I always try to work some new things into the garden each year.

I focus on non-hybrid (open pollinated, including many heirlooms) because I enjoy saving seed and keeping things going, so there are few hybrids in my garden.

Tomatoes - our Dwarf tomato project released 8 more varieties this year - sprinkled around various seed companies are now 25 new Dwarf growing (short, stocky, but large delicious fruit) varieties that our world-wide, all amateur/volunteer (and unpaid!) project created.

Aside from my usual suspects (Cherokee Purple, Chocolate and Green, Sungold, Lillian's Yellow, Green Giant, Lucky Cross) I love the relatively new variety Dester (a family heirloom sent to the Seed Savers Exchange). I need to regrow the varieties I am featuring in my upcoming book - some photos need to be retaken. My tomato sandbox (for playing) will be around work for the next round of new Dwarf varieties - we are entering into stripes, pastes and cherry types.

Peppers - I like colored bells and long shaped Italian frying peppers - we eat a LOT of sweet peppers - so a range of colors, like Orange Bell, Chocolate Bell, and a handful of new ones I am developing from a hybrid - all works in progress. Jimmy Nardello, Marconi, and hot peppers like Padron, Serrano and NuMex Big Jim anaheim types - as well as Trinidad Scorpion Butch T (HOT!!!!)

Eggplant - It's more about color, so I try to include white, green, lavender, striped and black varieties - shapes running from round/teardrop to long and skinny Asian types.

I grow a selection of different colored heirloom lettuce supplied to me by my Michigan gardening pal Jeff; some mustards, kale, collards, chard, and gold, white, red and white/red striped beets.

For cucumbers, Diva is our favorite - for summer squash, Zephyr....always a few rows of green bush beans as well (less fussy about the particular variety, though Jade does particularly well here).

I am doing more garden blogging these days - http://nctomatoman.weebly.com/nctomato-and-garden-blog.html - follow along.

What is everyone growing this year?

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Reply 2014 - Let's share our growing lists - "You just gotta try"... (Original post)
NRaleighLiberal Feb 2014 OP
bettyellen Feb 2014 #1
NJCher Feb 2014 #2
Autumn Mar 2014 #3
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Mar 2014 #4
Aerows May 2014 #5
femmocrat Jun 2014 #6
onethatcares May 2015 #7
sam_i_am Jul 2015 #8

Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Feb 26, 2014, 09:23 PM

1. I'm going to start some shade tolerant flowers- columbine, digitalis and maybe some nicotiana

 

hoping to go to the garden center on Friday and pick some seeds.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 12:01 PM

2. jalopenos

and regular green peppers are being started today.

Note: I couldn't find my pepper seeds from last year, so I looked at a regular store. I was aggravated at the price of Burpee pepper seeds being something like $2.79. Maybe it was $2.39. In any event, too high.

Went to Aldi and got them for 50 cents a packet.


Cher

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Mar 26, 2014, 03:42 PM

3. A few different tomato plants, sweet peppers, jalapenos

and I plan on doing an herb garden this year because my round horse trough developed a leak and it's begging to be brought over to my garden area for that purpose. I bought some annual flower seeds to start early for my planters. I love poppy's and found some called Shirley Poppy that have double fluted flowers. I'm seeing a little green sticking up through the straw in my Carnation bed boxes and in my Columbine boxes.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Mar 26, 2014, 06:41 PM

4. You just gotta try....

spaghetti squash. Decent replacement for regular old high carb spaghetti, extremely easy to prepare in a microwave, decently productive, and the picked squash last for months in storage. I think it was December or January when I used up the last of last year's crop.

I'd love to do 'glass gem' corn as well, but the last few crops of corn I've tried, something is coming along and simply buzz-sawing through the crops before the corn ears are more than a few inches in length.

Garlic is a good starter for beginning gardeners, as long as you realize you plant it in the fall, not the spring. Plant it, water it off and on, and pull it up. As to varietal, I prefer Inchelium Red.

I grew my own mustard seed last year, but it was a pita to winnow out the seeds from the pods, so I probably won't be doing that again soon.

We find the 'straight eight' cucumbers work decently for straight eating or use in making relish, although you have to make sure they're well watered all along, or else they turn bitter.

My 'main' crops, year in and out, though, are a wild black raspberry I picked up a starter from out in the woods and got a patch started in my back yard about ten years back, and everbearing strawberries. We did about 60-70 8 oz jars apiece of black raspberry jam and strawberry jam this last year, and thanks to having gotten a food mill, I'll be trying my hand at a seedless jelly of each this coming harvest. The red delicious and golden delicious apples were abundant last year as well, but I didn't have the gear to preserve them last year, so the birds, squirrels, and wasps got most of them. If the weather is good this year, I'll be ready to make apple butter or apple sauce this year.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 07:13 PM

5. I'm growing a Tabasco pepper plant

 

It's the 4th time I've tried, and this one is taking off. Tabasco peppers have a subtle difference than most peppers and I adore them.

I'm also growing mega-roma tomatoes for sauce and a beefsteak variety. Both are heirloom. Cucumbers, because I love them, though I have never grown bush cucumbers before.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 01:49 PM

6. :woohoo: The garden is in!

We put in several dozen tomatoes, all different varieties from local greenhouses. Also, 30 pepper plants.... 3 kinds of bell, gypsy, and red cherry.

I still have to work on annuals (I did put some in containers yesterday) and herbs. Still have to plant dukes and pumpkins in the "old" garden.

We have to wait until the end of May here, so I think June 1 is pretty darn good!

I haven't started tomatoes from seed for a couple of years because of work and health issues. I will save some seeds this year and try next March.

Happy growing to all!!!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2015, 06:09 PM

7. gettin hot here so I just

put in black eye peas, okra seeds, a few Hungarian Hot wax seeds.

I'll be starting my tomatos in starter pots this week, along with eggplant.

I'm zone 9 1/2 to 10 west coast of Floriduh so it's time for the old reliables. The peas will be tilled under when planting season comes around (September/October).

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Thu Jul 2, 2015, 05:12 AM

8. I grow seeded watermelon because seedless is so terrible tasting.

 

Also the usual stuff and maybe some others:

Dwarf kale
Various Romaine
Cabbage
Cucumbers
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Green onions
Bulb onions
Various squash
Various flowers (some for eating)


Trying some peanuts. Just planted a fig tree a few years ago. Not sure if it's growing right!


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