Walden Effect approved vegetable varieties
"What are your favorite varietals, the veggies you MUST plant every year?
You should do a lunch time series on all the types that work best in
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I kept thinking I'd
posted about this before, but then I realized that even if I did post
three years ago, chances are my answer would be different now.
(Plus, January is a good time for garden porn.) So, without
further ado, here are the varieties I always plant (in order of planting date):
Lettuce --- Black-seeded Simpson. Somewhat boring, green leaf lettuce, but it just works.
Onion --- Pontiac F1. This is the first year our onions have really worked,
and only our second year growing Pontiac, so I'm not 100% resolved to
never try anything else. But for now, Pontiac makes me happy.
--- Hungarian Breadseed. Not that I've grown any other kind of
poppyseeds. And I'm not really 100% sure that I'm really growing
Hungarian Breadseed --- the picture on the package has a blue flower and
these flowers are closer to white. But they make good poppyseeds and I keep saving some for future years' gardens.
--- Packman Hybrid. Although, I'm not actually planting this
variety this year since Johnny's doesn't carry it and I think I'm
sticking to one seed order for the spring planting. But when I
order from two places, Packman is the best broccoli.
Swiss Chard --- Fordhook Giant. This is the most freeze-resistant chard.
Pepper --- Tangerine Pimento.
I grow this pepper because I'm too lazy to start peppers inside many
years, and it's fast enough to turn orange before frost.
--- Harmonie F1. We love these cucumbers because they don't die
as quickly as other cucumber plants in our troublesome climate, they are
awesome for fresh eating, and they're very prolific. Diamont
Hybrid was just as good, but was replaced by Harmonie. I'm working
on dehybridizing this variety since hybrid cucumber seeds are expensive
(and, as you can see, the companies change them quickly).
--- Sugar Baby. This is starting to sound like a theme, but I
grow Sugar Baby because it doesn't get diseases as badly as some other
watermelons and the fruits are small so they ripen before the vines
die. In other words, I'm a lazy gardener and Sugar Baby works.
Green bean --- Masai. These tiny green beans are the tastiest possible, and are a staple for both summer and winter (frozen).
--- Martino's Roma and Yellow Roma for sauce and drying and soup, Crazy
and Blondkopfchen for nibbling, Stupice for early and dependable
slicing. These are all chosen primarily for blight-resistance.
Okra --- Clemson Spineless. We haven't tried a lot of different varieties, but this one is good, so I stuck to it.
Sweet potatoes --- Beauregard. Same as for okra (and many of the other vegetables listed above). When you save your own seeds (or make your own slips), if a vegetable variety works, you have no reason to change it. No, I don't tempt myself by reading seed catalogs.
Squash --- Butternuts and Yellow Crookneck. They survive the borers and are delicious.
Kale --- Improved Dwarf Siberian and Red Russian. These win for winter flavor and frost hardiness.
Asian greens --- Tatsoi and Tokyo Bekana. These aren't as much staple greens as kale is, but they are fun to have around.
--- Music, Italian Softneck, and Silverwhite Silverskin. These
are troopers, but I'm not convinced other varieties are any less good.
Anything I didn't list
above, we either don't grow, or I haven't settled on a solid favorite
variety (or I missed it while browsing my spreadsheet). Vegetables
in the undecided-variety category that come to mind are cabbage,
carrots, and corn.
What varieties do you swear by in the garden?