I’M LATE ON THE ANNUAL TRADITION of posting my seed orders, but finally, here they are. Looking the list over now, weeks after the actual purchases and with a little distance, my reaction: That’s a lot of winter squash vines for your not-very-big vegetable garden, Margaret (five kinds in all). Why?
It has been a few years since I grew winter squash; after many years of doing so, the usual run-in with pests (squash-vine borers and cucumber beetles in particular) had reached an overload. I was overdue to give squash and related crops a rest.
The vining crops also take a lot of room—which this year I have a bit more of, because I need to rest certain beds from any potato or tomato plants. Growing so many of each of those close relatives lately means my rotation schedule isn’t what it used to be (ideally three years between replanting an area with one or the other). I’m in search of some inexpensive, castoff whiskey barrels or other big vessels for my tomatoes—and suddenly have space for squash (presumably in soil that hasn’t seen many squash-savvy pests in awhile.) I’ll be growing them under a lightweight fabric cover, except during pollination time, to keep the insects at bay.
Other things I’m focusing on this year: Some new-to-me varieties of peas; the most beautiful beet mix of all; more pole beans (now that I have mastered how to “put up” my beans for winter usage, which I do by quickly tossing them in bubbling homemade tomato sauce, then freezing—almost like blanching, but in marinara). I’ve highlighted a few items below with comments.
Final note: Of course the list below is just what I bought this year. Partial packets of many salads, crucifers and bush beans, among other things, are waiting here for the starting gun as well. And I notice I seem to have forgotten the herbs! A little more shopping lies ahead, apparently.
My 2012 Seed Order
From Turtle Tree
(my recent story on Turtle Tree)
‘Mayfair’ shell peas (recommended by C.R. Lawn of Fedco, too; how could I resist?)
‘Sugar Lode’ snap peas
‘Schweizer Riesen’ snow peas
‘Hidatsa’ Native American winter squash
Biodynamic Prep Plants collection
‘Aunt Ada’s Italian’ pole bean (supposed to be delicious when the seeds have started to plump–so you enjoy green pod and bean together)
From Fedco Seeds
(my recent story on Fedco)
‘Rattlesnake’ pole bean (How could I not grow this one, since I garden where there are rattlesnakes (specifically the Eastern timber rattler)?
H-19 little-leaf cucumber
‘Tromboncino’ winter squash
‘Sibley’ winter squash
‘Marina di Chiogga’ winter squash
3 Root Grex beet
Freedom Lettuce Mix
From Johnny’s Selected Seed
‘Beira’ kale (a specialty kale that’s traditional in Portuguese kale soup and new to me)
‘Copra’ onion plants
‘Ailsa Craig’ onion plants
‘Bridger’ pelleted onion seed (I was glad to see pelleted onion seeds that qualify as organic, despite the coating applied)
‘Red Zeppelin’ onion plants
‘Sierra Blanca’ onion plants
‘Garden of Eden’ pole bean
‘Napoli’ pelleted carrot seed
‘Bolero’ pelleted carrot seed
Wooden labels, 2 sizes
Seed Potatoes From Moose Tubers
(note: to share with neighbor; same with the onion plants above)
‘Rose Finn Apple’
‘Keuka Gold’ (a newer variety than similar Yukon, from Cornell, and supposedly suited to my region and higher-yielding…we shall see)