Need seed advise

mla2ofusOctober 31, 2012

Help needed choosing heirloom seed varieties. My growing season is June 1 to mid to late Sept. I would like to choose a single tomato plant (so not to worry about cross pollination) that is a good fresh eating and also good for canning. Also a short season maxima, maoschata, and pepo squash. And is there any short season beans to dry for winter storage?

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digit(ID/WA)

Mla2ofus, I've already given you some ideas about squash in this, a rather winter squash challenged part of the world.

My grandmother's tomato from the Great Depression was in my tomato patch for about 10 years before I even thought about cross-pollination. It is a regular-leafed variety, which I guess is less prone to crossing but tomato flowers are "perfect" - having both male and female parts. Most varieties have "closed" flowers and crossing isn't too much of a problem. There was once a rather large cherry-type growing where I thought one of Grandmother's tomato plants should have been but I just didn't save seeds from that one and always have old seed from previous years if something should go really wrong with the plants.

Now, having said all that -- I don't can tomatoes or anything else. We freeze several gallons each year and I make lots of pasta sauce out of whatever is available from the garden. I'm not the best person to suggest a canning tomato variety.

I am probably not the best person to suggest a dry bean variety either. It has been years since I've grown pinto & soldier beans. Since my garden may increase in size about 1/4 acre, I've been looking at a variety called Hutterite. There is an outfit up in this area that I'm going to link below. They sell dry beans in bulk and in SUCH variety!! Hutterite is out of stock at the moment but it is good to have some ideas of what one might choose. You could order a pound or so of what you think you might like to try growing and learn about their usefulness in the kitchen.

There is a thread on this forum about my efforts to come up with a useful soybean variety. Since I can barely get them to maturity here, I won't recommend one but take a look at that thread - I've been at this for 4 or 5 years.

What I might be more useful with is encouraging you to grow leafy greens . . . Hey, I know you didn't mention them! If I had more pickling talents, I would try making Kim Chi! As it is, I'm just eating fresh greens from the garden for months & months. This year, I tried Portuguese kale for the 1st time and loved it. It produced right thru the heat of summer with zero problems. We harvested more bok choy this week. That has gone on from late September to the last of October and still going strong from a late August sowing.

(Potatoes in the basement with the onions; squash still in the garage with the basket of shallots; leeks, celery root, carrots, & parsnips are in the carport fridge but will have to go into a winter storage pit before the ground freezes and it gets too cold in that refrigerator. Frozen corn, beans & tomato sauce in the freezer and soybeans on the shelf -- we're fairly well set for winter. ;o)

Steve

BTW - Seeds of Change & others have Hutterite bean seed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Purcell Mountain Farms

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 10:10AM
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mla2ofus

Thanks, Diget. The Hutterite bean sounds like what I want. They are sold out right now but will see if I can order it for next year. With your help (thanks!) I've decided on the squash I'm going to grow. As far as greens go, I'm trying to decide on whether to grow spinach or chard. I don't think I have the room to grow both but will see when I start planting. I have to admit that I haven't tried any other greens (other than lettuce varieties) and haven't seen many of the greens you have mentioned in the local grocery stores so that I could try them. Perhaps I should try planting small patches of some that you have mentioned just to try them out. I will post on the tomatoe forum to see if they can help with some suggestions on tomtoes. Again, thanks for all your help.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 9:35AM
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david52 Zone 6

I garden in the same length growing season, compounded by very cool nights.

When it comes to tomatoes, the gold standard around here is Early Girl, which is an F1 hybrid but many people save seeds with no problems.

This year, I was very impressed with open pollinated Cold Set as an early variety, combined with a mid-season such as Thessaloniki. Both give huge amounts of tomatoes.

As for squash, I have best results if I start the seed indoors the 2nd week of May, and set them out when they have one true leaf. I grow a hybrid kabocha called Cha Cha, but I'm going to try planting the seed of that and see what I get.

Steve is our resident greens guru - I grew chard for years, but have now pretty much switched over to Russian Red kale, which is almost a weed in my garden.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 10:13AM
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elkwc(6b)

You have received some excellent advice from some of the guru's on this forum. I will add a brief comment or two. And might add more later when I have time. With such a short season bush beans will probably be best for you. I will add a link to one site that I have bought seeds from. They handle lots of seeds that do well in my climate. I usually try a new variety or two every year. I have 3 main bush bean varieties I grow every year. This year will be the first time I have saved any for dry beans. So can't comment on that yet. The earliest producing bush bean that will produce for the whole season here is Fowler. A good snap bean. The second variety that is called a short season variety but has a little later maturity date than Fowler for me is Hopi Pink. It is listed on the site I linked to below. A very heavy producer. Withstands harsh conditions but more of a typical bush bean. The main/large harvest is over a 6-10 day period. I was busy and just used a few as snap beans. So will have lots of dry beans of it and Fowler if you would like to try either. I will be using them some this winter as dry beans. Supposed to be a multi purpose type. The other bush bean I grow I feel would take too long to mature in your area. It is another ever bearing bush type. I only know of two ever bearing bush types and I grow both.
I will add a post about my tomato suggestions later. I would go with a short season all around type. I grow a few that would probably work. I will give names when I have the time to comment a little about each of them. Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: Native Seeds

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:29AM
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mla2ofus

I appreciate all the advise, and am looking forward to the tomatoes you use. This really helps me. Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:58PM
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