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Photo by Jessica Walliser
I saved some seeds (pictured) for this years garden and am ordering some new varieties, too.
I was sitting at the dining room table yesterday, browsing through my 2012 seed catalogs. Exciting stuff! There’s so much I’m looking forward to trying this year, I thought I might let you know about some of the seeds I’ll be ordering and why I’m choosing to give them a place in my garden.
It’s tough to narrow the selections down, but my gardening budget is limited (as is yours, I’m guessing), so I’m cutting myself off before I really want to. Plus, I have a large box in the fridge downstairs filled to the brim with saved seeds from the past 5 or 6 years.
Last year, I got smart and wrote a list of all the seeds inside the box, put it in a Ziploc bag, and stapled the bag to the top of the box. That made this year’s seed ordering a lot easier! Rather than sorting through the box to find out what I already have, I just took out the paper and put it on the dining room table with all of my catalogs. I hope perhaps you can find a few gems for yourself on my list. Here goes.
From Territorial Seed:
Italienischer loose-leaf lettuce
A huge plant that stands 18 inches tall and very upright, it’s the biggest lettuce variety you can grow, so I’ve heard. But, don’t worry, it’s still sweet and crisp and slow to bolt.
Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed butterhead lettuce
I’m trying this lettuce just because of its name! The leaves are medium-green with red accents. According to Territorial, it’s one of the last lettuces to bolt in their trial gardens.
Cavili summer squash
This is a parthenocarpic squash, meaning it doesn’t need pollination to set fruit. I’ll be able to grow it under floating row cover all summer long to deter the squash bugs and vine borers!!! The fruits are creamy green and very smooth. Territorial claims it’s very productive, too.
Apricot Twist sunflower
A sunflower with peach-colored flowers? Why wouldn’t I want to try it? The petals look twisted and the plant is multi-branching, making it perfect for cut-flower bouquets.
From the Cook’s Garden:
I have always wanted to grow conical cabbage but tend to like the red varieties more than the green. With Kalibos I’ll have the best of both worlds! It’s an heirloom variety from Eastern Europe, and though it isn’t as dark-red as some other selections, it has a beautiful purple cast to the leaves.
Pink Summercicle radish
A daikon-type radish with a carrot shape and gorgeous bright-pink skin. They grow 5 inches long and are called “crunchy and sweet.”
Sugar Sprint snap pea
So excited to try this dwarf stringless sugar snap pea! I’ve always grown the 6-foot-tall varieties, but with Sugar Sprint, I won’t have to put the trellis up! They reach only 2 feet tall and are said to produce earlier than other sugar-snap varieties.
From Seeds of Change:
Purple Dove bush snap bean
Unbelievable flat, purple pods! They produce in 50-55 days and look incredible. Although the plants have a slight vining habit, they are still considered bush and don’t need a fence or trellis.
I am so looking forward to growing this plant in my garden for the first time. I have recently come to love the flavor of celeriac and am trying my best to extend my growing season into the winter. Celeriac is one tough plant and this variety is said to produce very large, rounded roots with dark green foliage. And, it stores in the fridge for months.
Red Ruffled Pimento pepper
I love pimento-type peppers, and this one is just beautiful. The skin is red with dark shoulders, and it has deep ribbing, lending it an appearance of one of those mini pumpkins. It is said that the flavor is very sweet and the walls are thick—two terrific pepper traits!
From High Mowing Organic Seeds:
Necoras hybrid carrot
I have been looking for a winter-storage carrot variety and haven’t settled on the best one yet. High Mowing says this one is top-notch. It’s full-sized and keeps well both in the ground and in storage well into winter.
Shanghai pac choy
Cooking with pac choy will be new for me, but I have always wanted to grow it. This variety has smaller heads, only 5 to 6 inches tall, and can be harvested in the baby stage for cooking whole. Havest occurs only 45 days after planting!
Indigo Rose tomato
One look at these fruits, and you’ll be buying a seed packet, too! They are stunning! The skin is rosy red on the blossom end and as black as black can be on top. The interior is deep red, and the fruits are on the smallish side (2 to 3 ounces)—perfect for a salad.