Anyone trying something new this year?

tannabananaApril 21, 2009

Hello there!

I was just wondering if anyone was trying some new in their yards and gardens this year - and perhaps the reasoning behind it. My husband's granddad is always trying some new variety of tomato or pepper - he says it keeps him young.

So this year, I'm trying a new squash - Long Island Cheese Pumpkin. It is in the same family as butternut squash so I shouldn't have problems with squash vine borers. Plus, I think it looks kinda cool ;) I'm still planting butternut but either I won't save seeds or I'll have to do some pre-planning to do so...

So, what about you?

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Karen Pease

I try tons of new things every year. For example, I "only" did six new varieties of tomatoes this year (my record is 10!). The two big new things for me are not new plants, but growing styles:

1) I started my seedlings under LEDs. For the most part, they really love it. The UFO works better than the xmas lights. And the UFO only uses 90W, so it's affordable to run 24/7. I'm on the prowl for another ;)

2) I've strung overhead wires throughout my garden, from which I've dangled twine with vine clips. All of my vining plants will be growing up the clips, and their lower branches will be pinched off short and/or leaves and branches outright removed to keep them columnar up until they get to the overhead wires, where they'll be free to sprawl. My hope is that this will help keep insects off, keep them dryer (due to better airflow) and thus less prone to leaf diseases, steal the neighbors' sunlight, make the fruit easier to pick, shade out weeds, and provide me shade while I'm working in the garden.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 12:01PM
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lol @ "steal the neighbor's sunlight"

Please post pictures as the season progresses. I'd like to see what it ends up looking like with the overhead wires and vines.

Oh, and I am trying a new variety of tomato too - Lemon Boy, got the seed packet free from Hy-vee last year!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 2:10PM
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Karen Pease

Lets see, what I'm growing this year in my suburban patch:

Perennials in the garden:
* Rhubarb
* Asparagus
* Oregano
* Mint (invasive)
* Sprouting onions (invasive)

Salad fixins:
* Carrots (blanche de collet vert)
* Parsnips (hollow crown)
* Lettuce (devil's ears)
* Lettuce (whatever that bright green stuff that volunteers each year in my garden is)

* Japanese Black Trifele
* Rev. Morrow's Long Keeper
* Amana Orange
* Striped Cavern
* Great White
* German Tree Tomato

* Red Cheese (it's a paprika pepper)
* Red Marconi
* King of the North
* Chili de Comida
* Tomato Pepper

* Casper
* Applegreen
* Thai Yellow Egg

Squash and melons:
* Pumpkin (Dill's Atlantic Giant)
* Watermelon (Carolina Cross)
* Cucumber (Vine Peach; yeah, I know some people call it a melon, but really, it's a cucumber)
* Muskmelon (Heart of Gold)
* Yellow crookneck squash
* Spaghetti squash
* Ronde de Nice (a type of round zucchini, for stuffing)
* Odessa squash (another zucchini-type, but large and white)

* Lazy Wife (pole)
* Purple Hyacinth (pole)

* Waltham 29 broccoli
* Romanesco broccoli (I've always wanted to grow this!)
* Giant of Naples cauliflower
* My volunteer mustard that I don't find very flavorful but I let grow anyway because it's pretty.

* Ornamental popcorn
* Okra
* Flax
* Amaranth (annual, reseeds itself)
* Sunflowers (Short Stuff and some other dwarf variety)

On the deck:
* Cilantro/coriander
* Cinnamon basil
* Purple shiso

Elsewhere in the yard:
* Sage (if it's still alive)
* Strawberries (just expanded my patch this year)
* Grapes (concord; yielded 4-5 gallons last year)
* Blueberries (3-4 varieties, 5 bushes -- 3 just planted, two planted last year)
* Black raspberries (2 bushes, tiny, just planted)
* Blackberries (2 bushes, planted last year)
* Red Raspberries (2 bushes, planted this year)
* Cherry tree (5 years old, huge, but it's only ever given me two ripe cherries!)
* Fruit salad tree (just planted, ~5 feet tall, replaced a peach that died of sunscald; branches are Blenheim apricots, Gold Dust and July Elberta peaches, Late Santa Rosa plums, and Independence nectarines.)
* Apple tree (planted last year)

I'm probably forgetting a few things :)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 4:37PM
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Karen Pease

Oh, yeah -- outdoor for the warm times, indoors for the cold:

* Coffee arabica var kona (Kona coffee)
* Camellia ptilophyla (the "silver hair tea" plant -- formerly Camellia sisensis var ptilophyla, it's a naturally decaffeinated tea plant)
* Rosemary

I'm still probably forgetting several, but... good enough :)

Oh yeah, I forgot all the annuals I grew from seed... and my sequoias...

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 4:42PM
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Maude_IA(z5-SE Iowa)

Lemon Boy! I love them. They aren't new to me this year, though. We canned some last summer, and found that they are very tasty. It looks a little odd to have that golden yellow hue in foods that used to be red, but taste trumps good looks in my book.

I am also growing white eggplant. Again, not for the first time. Another great tasting, but odd looking vegetable.

I usually try a new pea or bean. This year I'm going back to an old favorite - Jacob's Cattle (dry) bean, and trying Masai Green (bush) bean for the first time.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 12:48PM
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Karen Pease

We canned some last summer, and found that they are very tasty. It looks a little odd to have that golden yellow hue in foods that used to be red, but taste trumps good looks in my book.

My first year, our biggest yielding tomatoes were golden pear, so we had lots of cans of tomatoes that were not only yellow, but little tiny things shaped like teardrops! ;) In subsequent years, we got some really neat tomato appearances from seed saving without preventing hybridization -- lots of internal streaking.

I've never tried lemon boy -- what's the flavor like? Strong, weak? Acidic? Sweet/sour? Are they juicy or pulpy?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 4:08PM
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Maude_IA(z5-SE Iowa)

My Lemon Boy tomatoes are the size of a baseball up to softball size. They are not at all mushy, so they slice nicely. The skin is relatively thin. They don't have a lot of core area, and aren't lumpy on the outside like some are. To me, they taste like a tomato should - flavorful but not acidic. The canned ones are very tomato-y without being acidic, so I guess I'd say they are sweet. On the plant, they don't crack much unless the weather is wrong for the degree of ripeness. I really, really like them!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 8:00AM
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Maude - you've totally got me pumped for my Lemon Boy tomatoes this year!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 3:16PM
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iowgardenangel(zn5 IA)

ok where did you find the fruit salad tree I want one, and my name is dessa any chance you have a extra plant or seed of the Odessa zuccini squash?? Im really into the planters this year and i over wintered a red passion vine and ive had a glory bower trpical 2 years i like overwintering and adding tropicals and annuals for color.I have a spanish flag vine ready to bloom. and I got a cardinal vine.I always like to travel to diffrent nurseries to see what i can find...karen you seem to have everything but a pond??

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 7:43PM
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Karen Pease

ok where did you find the fruit salad tree I want one

Ison's nursery. For something that had to be shipped in, it was a nice, healthy looking tree, so I'd strongly recommend them. Of course, I don't know yet how well all of the fruits are going to do in our climate, but if even a couple come in, that'd be great. :) And the rootstock is hardy. Standard treatment for stone fruit in our climate applies -- spray with copper or lime sulfur in the winter if you want to avoid leaf curl, etc.

any chance you have a extra plant or seed of the Odessa zuccini squash??

I'm pretty sure I do. Do you have anything you'd like to trade? Perhaps a passion vine seed or seedling? I also have tons of Kona Coffee plants if you're interested.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 2:59PM
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Container gardening-sweet corn in a 1'x1'x1' plastic container :-) I learned its a lot harder to transplant seedlings than I thought. The peat pellet package instructions should be followed. I apparently bought a really good package of seeds so only one seed per pellet needed.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 3:52PM
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nbacres(4 NW IA)

I'm trying the Straw Bale gardening. I've already learned that birds will pick the small plants out; the bale will dry if not watered every other day; and gourd seeds grow/germinate very quickly in a straw bale. Can't wait to compare the "bale" tomatoes & peppers to the "in-the-ground" plants.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 5:07PM
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Always trying something new- Most of the tom plants I grew were heirlooms this year.
I still rely on Big Beef and San Marzano for a known harvest - but added, Black Forest,
Cherokee Purple, Eva Purple Ball, Goose Creek, Hazelfield Farm, San Pablo (canner).
Hazelfield Farm is interesting  though a great looking transplant it grows wild (like a volunteer).
Have ordered tomato cage extensions (from Burpee unfortunately) for what looks to be an
Abundant Harvest!

Peppers all new  Mariachi, Zavory and Blushing Beauty. Mariachi is different- itÂs a short bushy
plant with ribbed leaves that would not look out of place in a rock garden.
To karen from a different post  IÂm in Burlington and donÂt need a chipper/shredder, but did you try the Just Ask Rental in Marengo?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 6:14PM
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