Boring veggies ...what are your favorite varieties?

verenap(3a)March 10, 2014

My veggie garden has gotten boring...every year I sow the same danver half long carrots, the same detroit dark red beets, the same grand rapids and buttercrunch lettuce, the same lincoln homesteader peas, etc...I have deep black loam so they perform well and I always enjoy them but I'd like to try something different, just for fun...the downside of trying "something different" is you don't know how it will turn out.

So what are your favorite/go-to veggie varieties? Do you sow anything weird or wonderful?

(Wishing I'd gotten my raised beds assembled last fall like I planned... ;-)

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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Hi Verena, You sound like my dad. He planted the same thing every year for almost 60 years until I moved back home to take care of and my ADHD.... :) I love to experiment and try something new, and I have tried many over the 10 years I have been back home. Every year, with the exception of last year, I have put in at least 3 varieties of everything. I have my standbys but I have often found many of the new varieties I have tried to be just as good or better than the old ones.

Some of my standbys are: Scarlet Nantes carrots (coreless) but have planted yellow, purple, red, and white carrots sometimes all in the same package! I also like the Sweetness III carrots for taste and have even grown the mini ball carrots - Parmex.
Straight 8 cucumbers but prefer Sweet Slice, Sweeter Yet, and Green Dragon. I have grown white cucs and they are just awesome tasty! Have probably 20 different varieties of seed.
Swiss chard Bright Lights
Spinach - Number 7 and Bloomsdale and will grow almost any variety
Romaine lettuce and Grand Rapids but usually just feed the rabbits.....
White beets - Touchstone Gold, Golden Detroit, Albino, Homesteader peas and every different type I could find! Sugar Snap are great, Telegraph, Green arrow, Alaska, Bolero, Knight.....
A variety of bush beans, green and yellow, and more than 100 different kinds of tomatoes. 58 varieties in one year!

I love my garden and I love to see what comes up. :) Bring on the spring! :)


PS I have been known to share seeds. :)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 9:11PM
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We were Lincolm Homesteader peas diehards...until I tried Green Arrow peas. Plants stay a little shorter so don't get ripped off the 30 inch chickie wire we grow them on (high wind location).

Always try to grow 2-5 spud plants for our own baby potatoes.

Tried Minnesota *something* cantaloupe and ended up with 8 softball sized cantaloupes that needed just two more weeks of hot weather to finish.

Tried bell peppers, turned out similar to the cantaloupe.

Cherry tomatoes are an absolute must have. Sunsugar for sure, contemplating adding variety black cherry.

Swiss chard instead of spinach.

Green onions: do not like forking over @ $0.40 for small bundle at the store. Appreciate how quick it is to run outside and pull some for supper.

Big onions that get cured and stored for winter eating. Plan to buy candy onion seedlings that the local nursery had for sale last year-they looked way better than the ones I started from seed (that the cat took a nap on).

Garlic (hard neck).

Blue lake bush green beans. Very good. I grew purple royalty bush (could be off on that name) and enjoyed their flavor and mouth feel, but the family objected due to the fact they start out purple and then turned green (family has its quirks).

Herbs: kids like chewing stevia leaves. Dill, Italian parsley, sage and basil, if just to smell from brushing against.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:23PM
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Nobody has mentioned pole beans yet.

Until a few years ago I had never planted them before, and now I won't do without them. The ones I've planted are called Early Riser. Not only do they take up half your dinner plate, which is awesome, but the plants also look beautiful on a maypole in your garden :)

There's also nothing better than going out every day and eating as many Elfin grape tomatoes as you can.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:47AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I'm big on Kale and Asparagus.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 12:02AM
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Pudge 2b

Hi Verena :) Last year I tried sugar snap peas for the first time and was hooked. I love eating peas shell and all, and those snap peas really are a snap to grow. They're earlier than the shelling peas so it extends the pea season some. I tried two varieties and both were really good but off hand I can only remember one name - Sugar Ann. The year before I tried snow peas but didn't care for them as much - not sweet like the sugar snap.

I'm with NAF about the pole beans, too. I grow both bush beans and pole beans, both Blue Lake varieties, with the hopes of extending that season, too - pole beans are a little later than the bush beans. They do need very good support - I use 10' lengths of rebar sunk deep into the soil on an angle and then bound at the top in a teepee formation. 3 plants at each leg are a bit too many - this year I will thin to 2 plants per leg. The pole beans don't go woody as quick as bush beans, I find. They're longer, too.

I second Kioni's recommendation for SunSugar tomatoes.

Wm Dam sells a cabbage - Tiara Hybrid - that they refer to as Lettage - a tender, mild and early cabbage that is just excellent. I absolutely love it for coleslaw and last year, trying to use it up, I made cabbage rolls which turned out really, really good. It really is a very good cabbage variety and if you try anything new this year, you gotta try this cabbage.The heads do have some staying power in a cold location after cut from the garden (spare fridge, cold room).

Skyphos Lettuce is a really excellent variety well worth a try. My seeds for this year are still backordered and I'm hoping that they will be available

Northern Supersweet Corn - yummmm!!!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 11:05AM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

Ditto on the sugar snap peas. I'm not sure without checking my records, but I think it was Sugar Ann. They did really well last year.
I always go with the coreless nantes type carrots. They are sweet and tender.
I only have a tiny garden. but now you guys have me contemplating more veggies.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 11:12PM
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I will second the suggestion of snap peas. They are tasty and easy to grow.
Depending on how much you relish a challenge, you may want to look into growing tropical veggies. Some of them can do reasonably well here if given some protection, and assuming that summer temperatures are normal or above normal.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 8:02PM
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I'm a big fan of: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. There are a few varieties of vegetables that have always done well for me, and although I'll add another one to experiment, I still grow my tried and true.

I grew Rattlesnake pole beans for the first time a couple years ago and they will be grown again. I grew dino kale for the first time last year and it grew well but if I'm going to grow it this year, I have to figure out a way to keep the cabbage moths away. Yick.

I have gotten into growing Heirloom tomatoes over the past five years - now over 15 different varieties, a change from what used to be two at most.

I think, overall, I grow too many things...I need to decide whether some crops are worth the space, even though they've been grown in garden for 20+ years.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:51PM
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xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)

Veges which I am planning to grow this year:
Golden Giant Amaranthus
Superschmeltz Kohlrabi
Strawberry Spinach
Cucumber Green Apple
Zlata Radish
Red Aztec Spinach

Alaska Peas
Sugar Snap Peas


    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 4:33AM
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    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 5:30AM
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I grew Alaska peas one year. They were short pods and rather mediocre. I found Green Arrow to be a better variety.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 4:18PM
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xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)

Alaska peas come early when you are dying for fresh veges. Green Arrow takes a little longer.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:32PM
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