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I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Posted by Digit Z5 (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 19, 05 at 15:57

The seed catalogs are starting to arrive!

Well, Iíd best come clean right out of the shoot. I do know beans, beets, & broccoli; I just donít know all Iíd like to about choosing appropriate veggie varieties.

By 2006, I figure Iíve had about 40 seasons of gardening experience, man & boy. What Iíve discovered is that certain varieties, SUPER in 1 part of the country, arenít worth a tinkerís DAMN somewhere else. Climate seems to me to be the primary reason althoí there are lots of variables. And, like many Westerners, I canít benefit much from the experiences the majority of Western gardeners, who like most people, live along the coast. They might as well live on the other side of the world but tell that to my stateís Cooperative Extension officials.

Okay, if you wonít protest that Iím hijacking this forum (and I do have quite a bit of experience with ornamentals that I can share elsewhere for RMF gardeners with that special bent), Iíd like to go thru the seed catalogs and ask about your enthusiasm for certain varieties. The alphabet seems to be how these things are set up and, at the risk of another shouting Ė "will someone shut this cretin up!," Iíd like go thru these over the next few weeks and get all the expert advise you care to share. And, we can talk about ANY varieties and ideas/problems you have!

Now beans Ė What Iíd appreciate help with is the "non green" beans. I love the taste of purple beans but that ol' Royal Burgundy must have a field life of about 20 minutes. Pick any later after theyíve reached their prime and Iím rewarded with a mouth full of fiber. And, wax . . . Roc díOr are ookaaay but has anyone tried & succeeded with other varieties?

Beets Ė grow Red Ace every year lately. What Iíd really like is having nice baby beets into September/October. Shucks, they are my favorite veggie! But, I canít come up with a variety that germinates well any later than mid May and grows during the heat of Summer.

Broccoli Ė Iíve just about given up trying to grow anything other than Green Comet but Iíd LIKE to have something a little larger. I think Iíd be willing to fight the cabbage worms and aphids off for a few more weeks IF there was hope for some really nice heads and more useable side shoots. (I used to grow Italian Sprouting but found this OP variety so variable that I couldnít count on them if half the plants werenít going to turn out nice. Seasonally, Premium Crop has been an on-again-off-again winner Ė lost patience.)

Iíll appreciate ALL of your comments & observations and hope that I can be of some help.

Steve


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Steve, for green beans, I've tried all kinds and settled on one that is a local "heirloom" called Kings Banquet, and checking through Seed Savers Exchange, it is only known to our region. I sorta suspect its a renamed variety from 40 years ago, but what the heck. If you'd like, I have extra seeds and would be happy to share. It needs a big, tall support. It stays highly edible and tender for at least 2 weeks on the vine.

Beets, I stick with the Burpees Golden and Detroit Red. Issue with them is they need constant moisture in the soil to germinate, something difficult to attain in an arid climate. I have way best results with germinating in a domed seed tray and transplanting.

Broccoli, I buy in the store.


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Thanks David, I'll send you my address. Hey, I've never seen it suggested that beets could be shown indoors!

Steve


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

I moved here recently and concentrated on making the front yard a little less desert-like this year. Next spring though, i'd like to set up a garden in back for vegetables. Right now i'm just thinking about basics peas, tomatoes, carrots, maybe some spinach if i'm ambitious. :) I'm very curious to hear everyone's experiences! Thanks for sharing -
Keira


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Keira, I'm going thru my Stokes, Johnny's, & Pine Tree catalogs now since they are out first. (I don't order much from Pine Tree but appreciate their wide selection and, if you don't have a lot of space, they have small packets at VERY inexpensive prices.) There are other seed companies that are more "regional specific" but they aren't at hand yet.

It's fun to spend these cold days with the catalogs and they are informative - just don't get caught up too much in the hype. That "Favorites" thread has some good ideas and I'm sure there's a lot more if'n you don't mind searching. And, I'm hoping to just continue on thru the alphabet with my questions ("C's" are next!)and hope that we get lots more suggestions here this Winter as folks check in trying to survive I-canít-garden-now Seasonal Affective Disorder.


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

  • Posted by Skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 28, 05 at 13:14

Hi Steve,

I've been planning to reply to this thread, but I've been coming and going a lot lately and busy trying to get the rest of my bulbs in the ground when I'm home (still not done, but it's too cold today!), so just haven't gotten around to it till now!

I don't grow green beans at all because I have VERY limited veggie space and since they're so easy (and cheap) to buy, but I do love wax beans--which are hard to find either fresh or frozen--so I do make room for them. This year I grew 'Cherokee' wax beans which I assume are pretty common because I just picked the seed up at a local (non garden center) store, and I was very happy with them. As long as I kept picking them, they kept producing, and when they started to get mites I picked everything I could find and was planning to pull them out to get them out of the garden, but I didn't get around to doing it right away, and by the time I did a couple weeks later, I discovered another whole batch to pick before I got rid of them. The one negative (besides the mites!) was that they definitely don't hold well on the bush and need to be picked promptly or they get stringy. But when they're picked young, they're very tender and good.

I don't really have any other recommendations. I just moved into my new house a little over a year ago, and it's the first time in a long, long time I've had anywhere at all to grow veggies. My soil for this year was pretty much unimproved Denver clay, and, while what I got from my beets (Burpee's Red Ball and generic Detroit Dark Red) were really good, I only got enough for a couple meals.

Broccoli---I totally agree with David! Broccoli crowns go on sale a lot around here, and I buy it in the stores.

I'm curious to see what people recommend for corn when you do C (yes, I'm watching the favorites thread--and saving lots of good suggestions). And when you get to P, ask about parsnips! I LOVE them! This year I grew generic 'Harris Model', and only got a couple (soil!), but they were so-o-o delicious! I'm anxious to see if anyone has any other varieties to suggest.

Only 22 days till the shortest day of the year and they start getting lo-o-onger again!

Skybird


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Steve, I finally decided to grow only Packman broccoli. It makes a nice head for me, if I don't transplant too late and after that it gives tons of sideshoots. Had so many this year I had to stop picking after we had a early frost and then they still kept poducing.
Our super market used to stock organic broccoli but has discontinued. So last year I was counting on them for my supply but they quit stocking it. Had not planted too many packmans of my own and had to suffer with NO broc. all year. Bummer.


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Mesu, I had expected to return to growing Green Comet after 3 or 4 years of hoping that Premium Crop Broccoli would prove better. I know that Packman has been around awhile but haven't tried it. It looks like, across the board, Packman is replacing Comet. They appear to be fairly similar in all particulars. I'd probably better climb on that wagon, too and quit trying for a larger-size plant. It ain't any guarantee as to head size and if I can keep up with 'em, I sure do enjoy the side shoots. Often enjoy them raw in the garden!

Steve


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

My first year with a garden here in Idaho was last year. I did not have much luck with beans and have yet to try Broccoli. I tried four diffrent beets and they all did very well except that one variety was preffered by the rabbits. I grew them in between tomatoes in raised rows. Ruby Queen and Red Ace did very well with Ruby Queen being slightly larger. The greens from both were very good. Also grew a white beet, did not care for the greens but the roots were a interesting color change. The variety I was most exciting about was the one that was half eaten by something (I suspect the rabbits). This was Stolovaya Bordo 237 (Столовая Бордо - 237) from a Ukrainian seed company. The leaves were thicker - juicy and sweet! They were great fresh from the plant and the beets were twice as big as the others and very tasty. I left some in the ground to see if they survive and produce seed.


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Thanks Happyskunk!

I think that Ukrainian varieties could find a very real niche in this part of the world. But, I can't google Stolovaya Bordo beet seed. Either here or direct email, will you tell me your source?

That part of the world, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania (and yes, Transylvania) looks very similar to the US Interior West on climate maps. Experimentation with their seed stock should bring "new blood" to our gardening.!!!

Steve


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RE: I don�t know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Hi,

I'm far from an expert at translating Ukrainian or Russian, after doing some more reasearch I have discovered that Stolovaya (Ń‚řŘř“–Ô) means dining room. So I'm thinking a dining room beet = a garden beet as opposed to a sugar beet as I see on the russain web sites there are many Stolovaya (Ń‚řŘř“–Ô) varieites. Bordo 237 (Īřŗ‘ř 237) I think translates to claret or red wine, this is the variety name. I'm not sure if this is avaliable in the US under a different name but many Russian and Ukrainian seed companies seem to carry it. I lucked out and got a pack on e-bay. If you do a google search with the cyrillic text(Ń‚řŘř“–Ô Īřŗ‘ř - 237)you will find it on the Russian websites. I'm also guessing from the pictures I see that there may be some genetic variability from the different seed companies in Russia and surrounding areas. I hope to be able to save some seeds but its my first try at saving from a biennial and do not yet have all the optimal resources for saving biennial seeds. I have dozens of other Ukrainian and Russian vegetable seed varieties and wish I had room to try them all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Russian Seeds


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Bordo 237 Beets

I went to the community garden to check on the beets and they were gone. So I will not be saving any seeds this year.It is disheartening but half the fun of having a plot in the communtiy garden is some of your things get eaten by things (which I don't mind) or taken by thieving people (which pisses me off!).


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

HS, I know exactly what it is like to have theft in the garden. I've had both 2-legged thieves and 4-legged. And, some of the 2-legged wore clothing instead of feathers.

Marmots were by far the worse but it took them awhile to learn how to be real pests. Ground squirrels could quickly be tormented into either leaving or heart attacks. I never learned which. Both of these varmints can create "moonscapes" if the garden is anywhere close to their burrows.

Human thieves are disheartening and infuriating.

Please stick with this eastern European seed adventure. I have absolutely no idea what I was looking at on that Russian seed company webpage . . . If I tried to order something, it would be a complete crapshoot.

Stupice tomatoes will be my eastern European trial this year. A Russian tomato from a now defunct seed company was once the earliest in the garden. It had a good flavor but was terribly prone to disease. One year, it failed to produce a crop . . .

Baby beets are absolutely delicious but I can only grow them early in the season. The Summer sun and dryness stunts late-sown plants (same problem with spinach and lettuce). Suitable late varieties, would add a good deal to my gardening enjoyment.

Steve


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

I am one of those Extension people -- Use a row cover over your broccoli and you won't have to deal with cabbage moths.

I grow green beans but pick them right away. Beets sometimes have to plant several times to get to germinate but once they do they seem to produce okay. This year we are putting in more raised beds. We have alkalai soil. Gradually doing a lot of amending. Love parsnips and some years are better than others in getting them to germinate.
I put them in boiled dinners and bake them with butter and brown sugar. Some times I question how old the seed is. Parsnip seed doesn't stay viable for long. Saved some of my own last year and will see how it does. I grow a lot of tomatoes. Last year did 35 varieties of heirloom tomatoes and this year maybe 40 varieties. Several that do really well for me are Kotlas, Azchokya (sp?)Black Russian, Moskavich, Earli Belle, Black Cherry, Gold Nugget. Do quite a few summer squash, cukes and peppers. Sell at the Farmers Market in August and September.


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

I guess this is the right place for this question: Does anyone have a recommendation for brussel sprout variety for the Boise area? I've tried to grow them here in zone 8/9 with very limited success due to the short cool period. Now I'm hoping I'll have better luck...


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Margaret, those tomato varieties sure look interesting. I'm a little surprised you get away with this number of heirloom tomatoes. They usually are 80 plus maturity dates and I've considered them beyond reach. Perhaps you are covering them along with your broccoli?

Brussels sprouts, Lantanascape??? Hmmmm (notice that's not a 'mmmmm') . . .

The U of Idahoís 'Master Gardeners Handbook' claims 'they do well in Idahoís soil' and the University of Alaska recommends Jade Cross and Prince Marvel.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: UI Master Gardeners Handbook Chp 20


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

I will look for those varieties. Prepared correctly, fresh brussel sprouts are very mmmm... Those nasty things moldering ina corner of the supermarket produce section? Not so much. I even converted my husband by preparing them with a white wine/mustard sauce!


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Well, I do like mustard and white wine. . . could I put it on a lightly steamed slice of savoy cabbage?

Margaret, I should say that I don't have a darn thing against Extension Agents as a source of important information. I don't live in Montana but rather in WA State. It seems that all the gardening information is gathered in Puyallup. Of course, most of the population lives west of the Cascades. But, the climate differences are significant. It was easy to find growing season info on Spokane & SeaTac:

JULY NORMALS max min
SeaTac temps 75 55
Spokane temps 83 54

SeaTac AM humidity 82%
Spokane AM humidity 65%

SeaTac sun 65%
Spokane sun 80%

I'd argue that the contrast would be even greater in other eastern WA locations. And, I'd bet that eastern Oregon would contrast even more from western Oregon.

As western states go, WA is fairly small yet it is MORE THAN TWICE the size of Massachusetts, Conneticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire combined! Further, WA varies in elevation from zero to over 3 TIMES the height of the tallest hill in those 4 states.

We need MORE Coop Ext agents and research stations in Washington and the entire West.

Steve
And, he gave it for his Opinion; that whoever could make two Ears of Corn, or two Blades of Grass to grow upon a Spot of Ground where only one grew before; would deserve better of Mankind, and do more essential Service to his Country, than the whole Race of Politicians put together. -Jonathan Swift


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Digit - I have hoop houses. I guess I didn't say that. Makes the difference in being able to grow the tomatoes, cukes and peppers. I use row covers over them in the hoop houses until the nights warm up a bit. There are a lot of different climates in the west. There are about 3 in our valley depending where you live and what direction the storm comes through. What can be grown in western Montana probably will not make it in eastern Montana.

I have about 60 peppers and 150 tomatoes started under lights in the house now.


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

After being "beet challenged" for years, I now start them in flats in the greenhouse, I planted 2 flats yesterday. I can keep them uniformly moist, which I can't seem to do, for some reason, on my west facing garden slope, in the April winds, where clothes on the line dry as fast as my wife hangs them up.

Anyway, they transplant just fine.


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

I just made a deal with my wife to utilize some of our precious greenhouse space for beets by weeding a flower bed before her lilies come up.

It may be that I'm just not a late season greens person. I like all the tender ones that can't take it late. Chard, universally recommended, never was my favorite. Tatsoi didn't appeal near as much to my palate as bok choy. I haven't tried Vitamin Greens but Brussels sprouts, which would last well into the Winter, is a hard sell.

I fully intend to try planting spinach in late August. That's the time I plant Walla Walla onion seed.

Lots of your recommendations, everybody, I'm trying this year!!

Steve


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

I have tryed calabrese green sprouting, Waltham Pak Man, Decicco, Premium Crop and Early Dividend. Early Dividend is my Main crop Broccolli Now. I start 3 to 4 batches of it across the season and grow some in my rows with my corn for summer use. It gets a nice head and great side shoots with fine buds. One batch I had slowed down in the summer but as it cooled off in the fall it started making nice side shoots again. This will be my 3rd year growing it.
I tryed starting beets in pots and they did not do well. I straight seed kinda thick.
I just grow alot of both bush and pole Blue lake snap beans and some Burgandy Queen bush beans.


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Hadn't even considered planting broccoli in batches, Veggiecanner.

I see that Early Dividend is both early and large and available in my Territorial Seed catalog. May need to wait until next year to order.

The idea of growing some broccoli plants in the corn really appeals to me. Broccoli seems to get really stressed out here in the heat of the Summer and is attacked by aphids, mostly. I have "incinerated" peas by spraying them with insecticidal soap and nothing appreciates that treatment when the weather is really hot and dry. The shade from the corn may help broccoli continue to thrive and make those delicious side shoots.

I can try!

Steve


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

David52 and digit--Looking at this thread for beet info and I think it deserves a bump anyway. I just bought a pkg. of Early Wonder. Never planted beets before. When you say you planted them in flats, do you mean shallow flats that will get transplanted directly into the garden at some point? What point? How early do you start the seeds? It will be an experiment this first year. I have never indoor sowed root crops.... Thanks!
Terry


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Terry, you can plant the beet seed in shallow flats that are transplanted directly into the garden as you say. If you go that route, be sure, when you transplant them, that you bury them right up to the first leaf division.

My problem is a really arid climate, so it's almost impossible to keep the ground moist enough to germinate shallow-planted seed. So I do a lot of it in the greenhouse where it's more controlled with a dome over the trays.

Recently, I've been having better luck with planting beet seed directly in the garden and covering it with a wooden plank to keep the moisture up, then removing the plank once they germinate - same with carrots. It may take 5 - 10 days. I also try to buy seed in larger quantities "bulk" as it were, and plant a lot, then thin.


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Do you ever have problems with the beets trying to sprout and bumping their heads??? I might have to try something like that.


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RE: I donít know Beans, Beets, or Broccoli . . .

Thats the way to tell when it's time to remove the plank - you hear them cussing when they keep hitting their heads - and I have no idea (gasp!) where they learned such language! Probably from the garlic.


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