29 February 2008


We're getting close to the point where we need a more concrete garden plan, so this afternoon I hauled out all our seeds from last year, rounded up the new arrivals that have been deposited all over the house, and printed out the order confirmations for the stragglers that haven't shown up yet. I grouped everything roughly by type and started making lists.

The end result of all this is that we're slightly more organized, and we've also realized that we have accumulated a hell of a lot of seeds.

Below is a complete list of everything we've got going on this year; there are about 90(!) varieties in all. Varieties in bold are new to us, and those with an asterisk behind the are things we acquired randomly and don't know the names of. We still need to get corn, a red potato, parsnips, and some more carrots.

Garlic: Georgia Crystal
Garlic: Russian Giant
Garlic: Music
Garlic: Italian
Garlic: German Extra Hardy
Garlic: Bogatyr
Garlic: Chesnok Red
Garlic: Spanish Roja
Garlic: Emmaus Farmers Market*

Onion: Sweet Yellow Spanish
Onion: Red Burgermaster Hybrid
Leek: American Flag

Celery: Utah

Broccoli: Green Goliath
Brussels Sprout: Catskill
Cabbage: Golden Acre
Cabbage: Ruby Perfection Hybrid
Chinese Cabbage: Wong Bok
Kale: Dwarf Blue Curled

Potato: All Blue
Potato: Yukon Gold

Lettuce: Red Velvet
Lettuce: Oakleaf
Lettuce: Red Sails
Lettuce: Buttercrunch
Lettuce: Black Seeded Simpson
Spinach: Pinetree Garden Seeds Mix
Chard: Five Color Silverbeet

Bean: Good Mother Stallard
Bean: Cherokee Trail of Tears
Bean: True Red Cranberry
Bean: October
Bean: Rattlesnake
Bean: Jade Green
Cowpea: California Blackeye #5
Edamame: Butterbean
Pea: Green Arrow
Pea: Oregon Sugar Pod II
Pea: Mr. Big Pea
Pea: Cascadia
Pea: Amish
Pea: Capucijner

Hot Pepper: Lemon Drop
Hot Pepper: Hinkelhatz
Hot Pepper: Beaver Dam
Hot Pepper: NuMex Joe E Parker
Hot Pepper: Cayenne
Hot Pepper: JalepeƱo M
Hot Pepper: Tobasco Greenleaf
Pepper: Red Bell

Tomato: Brandywine
Tomato: Grandpa's Mystery Big Tomato*
Tomato: Grandpa's Howard German
Tomato: Amish Paste
Tomato: Red Heart-Shaped*
Tomato: Matt's Wild
Tomato: Black Tomato*
Tomato: Green Sausage
Tomato: Small Green Tomato*
Tomato: Yellow Peach Tomato*
Tomato: Yellow Brandywine Tomato*
Tomato: Yellow Plum Tomato*

Cucumber: True Lemon
Cucumber: Bushy
Summer Squash: Lemon
Summer Squash: Striata D'Italia
Pumpkin: Connecticut Field
Watermelon: Mickylee
Winter Squash: Waltham Butternut
Winter Squash: Burpee's Butterbush
Winter Squash: Table King Bush Acorn
Winter Squash: Delicata
Winter Squash: Sweet Dumpling

Carrot: Tochon
Carrot: Danvers 126
Turnip: Purple Globe
Radish: Sparkler White Tip
Beet: Gourmet Blend

Basil: Genovese
Basil: Thai
Parsley: Giant from Italy
Cilantro: Santo
Oregano: True Greek
Sweet Marjoram
Russian Terragon
Dill: Mammoth


Patrick said...

Wow, that looks like a great collection of plants!

One piece of advice about the tomatoes. If you are saving seeds, the Matt's Wild Cherry can easily cross pollinate with the others, so I suggest putting it in a different part of the garden if possible. Maybe you want to grow it in a pot near the house.

Meg said...

Patrick, thanks! We would like to save seeds from all the tomatoes, so we'll segregate that one.

Do you know why it cross pollinates more easily? Is that also true of other cherry/grape tomatoes?

Patrick said...

Wild (sometimes called currant) tomatoes are a different species (usually Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium or Lycopersicon esculentum) from normal tomatoes (Lycopersicon lycopersicon). In the SSE yearbook you'll see they are listed in the 'Other Species' section.

Normally different species don't cross with each other, but tomatoes are an exception. Not only are they genetically compatible, but wild tomatoes have flowers that are more open than normal tomatoes meaning insects can more easily get at the pollen, so they are more likely to cross with each other as well as normal tomatoes.

Honestly, while this explanation probably sounds so clear and logical, consider it as a guideline. This is disputed, and probably depends on as much as anything they kind of insects you have as well as the varieties of tomatoes you have in your garden. Many people report growing wild tomatoes next to normal tomatoes and never seeing a cross. Others report crosses.

Just to be on the safe side, keep the wild tomato away from the others...

Angelina said...

Have you grown French Tarragon? If so have you noticed much difference between the French and the Russian?

Farmgirl_dk: said...

HOW big is your garden plot again? You guys are going to be extremely busy! This is an incredible number of plants. This is going to be so interesting to see your implementation plan - I'm excited for you!

Christina said...

Sounds like a wonderful list. I'm interested in reading what works for you this year and comparing notes. Perhaps we could swap some seeds at harvest.

Anonymous said...

Very nice! I'm interested to see how the stevia does--I've heard it's hard to grow.

I've got an excess of carrots--Big Top, Early Gold, Scarlet Nantes, and Yellowstone--and an extra packet of parsnips (name unknown) from the Toledo free-seed-swap thing. I'd be happy to send some to you if you'd like.

Meg said...

Angelina, we've rarely used tarragon at all, so we don't know what the heck the difference is between any varieties.

Danni, we're interested to see our implementation plan, too :P

Christina, absolutely! There's this list here, obviously, and we'll probably be posting about everything a bunch as it's growing--if you see anything you want, let us know and we'll grab extra seeds.

Jenny, if you have extras that you don't have a use for, that would actually be awesome! Of course you're welcome to anything we've got, too. We have enough to share of nearly everything on the list, I think, but if you want something we don't have a ton of we can make it an IOU and plan on extra seeds for the end of the season. If you're interested, shoot me an email to swap addresses--I'm at chapstickmeg (a) gmail.

Patrick said...


Do you realize you won't be able to save seeds from everything on your list? It always seems like I'm the bearer of bad news...

Some things will need isolation or they will cross pollinate, and others will need a minimum genepool size which you probably don't have. You'll understand this better when you read one of those two books.

Things that should be straightforward are:

Spinach (if you only have one kind)
Most Herbs

Maybe Onions/Leeks, but these are biennials so will take an extra year. Biennials take some special skills that you might not be ready for and they are a lot of extra trouble.

If you learn how to do hand pollinations quickly, you might be able to do some squashes.

But this is all assuming a best case scenario. Mostly, this all takes some time to learn and things never go as you expect them. You will certainly have some crop failures. You will forget to collect seeds until it's too late, and you will make other mistakes.

The other thing that will probably happen is you end up with some seeds you are not sure are good so you don't want to share any until you grow them yourself.

This is all going to be a bit more work and require a little more thought than you expect.

Meg said...

This sounds like a really fabulous garden. I need to stop reading all the garden lists as they're making me too excited, I want to start growing now (my first plantings will be next weekend). Some of the things we're growing are the same (i.e., Lemon Summer Squash, Santo Cilantro, etc.) and some varieties you listed just barely missed my cut this year, but I might grow next year (such as Mr. Big P, True Red Cranberry Bean, etc.) so it'll be fun to see what your experiences will be like with them.