Favorite Vegie seeds?

lovestogardenJanuary 31, 2011

Do you have suggestions for carrots, cantelopes and [seedless] melons (mine always taste like mud), green peppers that flourish, and anything else that's especially good for our area? We live in Salt Lake.

And for you, some of my favorites:

Hamson (DX 52-12) Tomatoes (excellent flavor for our area)

Isis Candy Cherry tomatoes (just discovered this year--wow!--the sweetest yet)

Fairytale Eggplant (beautiful bushy plants with small, purple & white eggplant)

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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi MustGarden,

If you want a "normal looking," long, skinny carrot, you won't like these, but I grow and love Royal Chantenay. They're fat and short, and are great for clay soil, and they can get absolutely HUGE, and are still as sweet and tender as you'll ever find in a carrot. I have REALLY bad clay, and the biggest one in the picture below is smaller than what my brother gets back in Illinois with good black dirt! They also store over winter really well. My brother stores his in big buckets of sand in an unheated building, I stored mine in the ground (where they grew) one year covered with maple leaves, and I've also kept them in the fridge all winter (unwashed), and they were still "just like new" months later. There are different "Chantenay's" and Royal Chantenay is the only one I've tried. Pelleted seed is available from Harris, and I've seen the seed other places too--don't know if it was pelleted.

The beets in the pic are Warrior, and they're as good as the carrots! They, too, can get HUGE, and they're still wonderful--not tough or woody at all. They store as well as the carrots too!

My only two "must have" tomatoes at this point are two cherries! I LOVE SunGold, a yellow cherry---great flavor and very productive, and Sweet Baby Girl is a red cherry that also has a wonderful flavor, and almost never cracks---something that's pretty unusual for a cherry tomato as near as I can tell. When people see your thread, you'll get LOTS of recommendations for tomatoes! Probably "too" many! LOL!

For a "full size" purple eggplant, Classic is really good. They get quite large before they start to produce many seeds. I'm trying other varieties too, but haven't found any other "must haves" yet!

If you want to try something different, Kossack kohlrabis are great! Most kohlrabis give up and get bitter and woody when it gets hot out, but not Kossack. And even if they get really big, they don't get tough and stringy like other varieties. They MUST be spaced out well or the "bulb" won't form, but with proper spacing, they'll keep growing all summer, no matter how hot it gets!

I don't do peppers (or melons), but you are SO gonna be inundated with pepper suggestions! Brace yourself!


    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 10:18PM
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Lets see, I really don't have certain varieties that I have to plant every year. I figure where I am, each year is an experiment anyway. Only a few stick out in my mind right now. Sure I will get home and have the "oh, yeah" effect.
But our favorites are:
Yellow pear tomato - mellow non acidic cherry type tomato

Anaheim pepper - larger long, warm (not really hot, but not a cool bell type) I like it for mild salsa and stuffing.

butter crunch lettuce - it is more head than leaf, but I have harvested by the leaf.

I did really like eight ball and one ball summer squash this year. I will just have to pick them when they are smaller next year. They were easy to find and harvest from the plants and the plants were relatively nice and compact for squash.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 12:58PM
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Ditto the recommendation on chantenay royal. We've grown Danvers very successfully however they are not as sweet as the French. This year we're comparing Nantes and Chantenay.

One of the few hybrids I grow in our garden is Ichiban Japanese eggplant. It does well no matter what kind of summer we're having on the plains of CO.

We're still playing with melons (having come from southern CA) -- MN Midget always produces tho it is not super sweet but is a nice softball size melon that's wonderful filled with blueberries and other fruit; Delicious 51 and Burpee Sweet and Early always do well. If you have a taste for the flowery green melons, then try Jenny Lind. Last year we also grew Ogen Israeli melons; however I'm not sure you could get a ripened crop in a normal CO summer. Terrific melon (as are the F1 Galia hybrids tho we haven't found a consistent producer -- all did well last year but 2009 none produced!)

Beets: Cylindra
Zucchini: Ronde de Nice
Onions: Burrell Yellow Valencia, Colorado #6, Walla Walla and Maui

Happy Gardening (or dreaming of it when it's minus 3 outside!)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 1:44PM
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Doesn't anyone like beans or corn. We always had plenty north of Denver. Loved my peaches & cream corn, wonderful sweet tender taste. Pumpkins and Hubbard squash Cucumbers and of course asparagus. I didn't always live this far south

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 11:20PM
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My favorite beans are Pencil Top (Yellow Bush) and a Romano pole bean that I got several years ago in a trade. Both produce very well and taste great.

Favorite tomatoes - Snow White cherry, Green Zebra, Jaunne Flamme & Black Cherry. Black Cherry isn't real sweet or strong tomato flavor but it consistently produces well)

Skybird - I looked for Warrior beets but it looks like they aren't available any more.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 10:03AM
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It seems really unnatural for me to have stayed out of this thread. Some of you may remember that when I showed up here about 5 or 6 years ago, I was all about favorites!

Still, the original poster asked about "our area" and specifically, Salt Lake. I don't garden in Utah and since most of the gardeners on this forum live in Colorado, that seemed to be the "our area" that was closest - certainly, eastern Colorado is closer to Utah than the ID/WA border up here on the 48th parallel.

Maybe I have something to contribute here and really, I think that everyone gardening in or near the mountains of western North America may. (or like Wally, have gardened there in the past.) BTW - Xaroline in Calgary would spell it "favourite."

Yes, Wally, I like beans and corn. Fortunately, Dear Wife and I can agree that tender and sweet are important for corn but we don't agree on beans. I want one with lots of "beany" flavor (flavour ;o). I swear, she wants one that just looks like a bean!

Mollycoddling the plants just doesn't seem possible in my gardens. There's too much exposure to the elements. The climate here always goes quickly from too cold for good spring growth of the warm-season crops to too hot and dry for good summer growth of cool-season crops to long hours of darkness with a wide range to daily temperatures as we move into the fall. I am always looking for varieties that can "do their thing" quickly and can just hold their "edge" just a bit as the weather changes.

I have one location that is more protected from the wind and there is also a section of it that has a good deal of afternoon shade. I like to grow greens in this garden. Summer Crisp (aka Batavian) lettuce Nevada seems to do especially well but, really, the Butterhead lettuce Nancy does fine and most any lettuce variety gets along well in this environment.

Asian greens are a big deal with me. They are quick and easy -- like lettuce, I am not waiting for them to develop a fruit or seed crop. Summerfest Komatsuna was an especially big find for me last fall and I'm really looking forward to growing this tender mustard-type green in the spring. Another tender and especially mild Asian green is Maruba Santoh - tender and mild enuf for salads!

Acorn squash seems like a good choice where the maturing of the fruit is problematic. Strangely, I don't like the flavor of acorn squash from my garden - maybe it is a soil problem. Burgess buttercup nearly always comes thru but doesn't keep past Christmas. I just don't think it matures adequately for long-term storage. Last year, I grew Cha Cha Kabocha after a number of tries with other kabocha squash and Cha Cha did real well!

Generally, I don't have any trouble with any cherry tomato. For a larger variety, Big Beef and Goliath have done real well for a number of years. And, Rainy's Maltese is a wonderful early heirloom!

Maybe we have a little more of a Mediterranean summer than what might be expected . . . an early variety of something-or-other from that part of the world might be worth trying. A Galia melon, Passport, has not failed me over nearly 10 seasons of growing. I can't claim that it is the sweetest or most flavorful but Passport has come thru when my other melons, even those that succeed most years, have failed. Perhaps, I need to spend some time on an Israeli kabbutz and see what besides Galia melons are grown!! (I am also thinking about the mountains of Spain . . . :o)

Eggplant? Yeah, if I can keep the potato bugs off them! Eggplant with small fruit always seem to work and I like the long green Asian types but I want to use eggplant in a casserole and that means nice slices so Dusky comes thru for me on that. Still, those green eggplants are less likely to be bitter - AppleGreen gives me a r.o.u.n.d eggplant that isn't real big but makes nice slices.

And big slices of sweet onions! Oh yeah, I grow Utah onions! But, maybe I should be more happy with my Walla Walla, eh?

I know that Skybird keeps singing the praises of Royal Chantenay but carrots in my soil have real problems with splitting - including that one. The Nantes type do about the best. I grow pretty Brilliant Celeriac, tho'! Well, it isn't pretty - no celery root is gonna be pretty. But, it tastes real good mashed with potatoes! And, for potatoes - I'm coming to understand why Yukon Gold is so popular. There are other choices for spuds, tho'!

Corn - mostly just going with an early SE type seems to work. My neighbor keeps talking about Kandy corn but either he grows it and it fails or he just talks about it. Kandy corn just takes too many days, I think. Sugar Buns was real tasty last year but I am still not sure how I'll replace SugarSnow when I finally run out of old seed for that white variety. Bodacious & Ambrosia come thru for me.

And finally, green beans: I'm happy to have King's Banquet as an old fashioned climber in my garden. Really, any bush bean does well and I can continue planting succession crops right into July. I like the flavor of Greencrop and Purple Queen but DW goes for Jade.

(I don't know if this helps anyone but there are some of my vegetable garden favorites. :o)


    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 10:23AM
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Good Heavens, I said all that and didn't mention . . . beets and cukes!!

Baby beets are probably my favorite vegetable! But, they most all grow well enuf in my gardens. It just seems to be a critical that I keep good fertile soil moist for the days beets require for germination and - they are off! Bull's Blood is about the only variety that had a fairly anemic performance once they passed that emergence stage.

Cukes? Either all of them have a good year, or they don't. I probably eat more cukes than any other vegetable in the summer so, I guess, they usually have a fairly good year.

Tastygreen is fine and I appreciate its "burpless" qualities. Tasty King may be a better choice but the seed isn't widely available. Turbo is a real good slicer and seems especially sweet. And, Speedway did well for a little earlier harvest in 2010. It will replace Raider which I've grown for years.

I'd like to grow a Beit Alpha type but Diva just seems to struggle too much during the cool weeks of spring . . .

I don't know . . . is that the end of them?


    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 11:17AM
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david52 Zone 6

I've shifted over to anyone of the 'golden' beets - they taste the same, but you don't have that 'just slaughtered a goat' aspect. I left some last year get as large as softballs, and just snipped off the greens. I'd like to get seeds this year. I *think* they're still there, because the deer haven't yet visited.

With tomatoes, here the seasons vary so much from one to the next that it's impossible to pick the ones that consistently produce good flavor. Thessaloniki does very well, 4 years running. I had an ox heart that used to compete, but no longer - I don't know if its a disease. For flavor, I grow some of the Black tomatoes, they all are good.

I'm 'pepper challenged' - just too cool, most of the time. I'll try some in containers this coming summer.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 2:29PM
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