It’s that time of year again. Time to browse catalogs, wonder how you will rotate crops in a small city lot, and try your hardest to cram 13 vegetables into a space that only fits 10.
Simplification is definitely a priority. We’ve done a lot of experimentation in the course of the 7 years we’ve lived in this house – now we have a good idea of what works well, what is marginal, and what is not worth the effort. Still, that’s easier said than done. This year’s list is again pretty long, though not quite as extensive as the 2013 edition.
Some of the highlights, lowlights, and revelations of the 2013 gardening year:
- Amaranth and castor bean volunteers: they performed so much better than anything I’ve ever transplanted or direct-seeded. Now we just scatter seed as it ripens, to encourage more volunteers.
- Garbanzo beans: who knew that they would do so well in Seattle? I always thought of them as heat-loving. But they did really well. In particular, they need hardly any watering during our dry summer months.
- Parsnips: in spite of our clay soil, these did very well and required little care beyond initial thinning. They’re also tastier than store-bought, when they are freshly harvested.
- Burdock: not planting that again. It’s invasive and really needs to be planted in a raised bed or container for easier harvest.
2014 Seed List
Amaranth: Elephant head, Burgundy, love lies bleeding
Arugula: Wasabi, standard
Asian Greens: Tatsoi, Mizuna
Basil: Genovese, Thai, Chen
Beans, bush: Rolande (G), Provider (G), Carson (Y)
Beans, dry bush: Black Turtle, Gaucho, Grex
Beans, dry pole: Hidatsa Shield
Beans, Fava: Windsor
Beans, garbanzo: Hannan Popbean
Beans, pole: Goldmarie, Italian Rare
Beans, runner: Scarlet emperor (p.coccineus)
Cabbage, Red: Mammoth Red
Cabbage, Savoy: Perfection
Chervil: Great green
Corn, popcorn: Dakota black
Cucumber, Oriental: Satsuki Midori
Cucumber, Pickling: Wautoma
Eggplant: Listada de Gandia, Fairy Tale, Little Fingers
Fennel, bulbing: Perfection
Garlic: Bavarian Purple, Chesnock Red, Music, Ontario purple trillium, Russian Red, Siberian
Kale: Dino (Lacinato), Russian Frills
Nigella: N. Sativa (black cumin)
Onions, storage: Cortland F1, Karmen
Parsley: Broad leaf
Parsnip: White Spear
Peas, shelling: Caruther’s, Desiree
Peas, snow: Green Beauty, Oregon Giant
Peppers: Jalapeno, Cayenne, Chimayo
Potato: Austrian Crescent (early), Cob Cottage red (late), German Butterball (mid-season), Maris Piper, Rose Finn (late)
Purslane (portulaca): Goldberg
Radishes: French Breakfast, Sparkler, Watermelon
Radishes, Daikon: Minowase F1
Rutabaga: Angela, Major Dunne
Shallot: French gray
Spinach: Red Aztec
Squash, C.max: Sweetmeat Oregon Homestead
Squash, C.pepo: Patty Pan, Candy Delicata, Winter Luxury, Zucchini Mutabile
Sunflower: giant varieties
Tomatoes: Sun Gold (I, 65), Peacevine (I, 75), Polish Linguisa (I, 75), Pantano Romanescu (I, 75), Speckled Roman (I, 85), Pink Icicle (D), San Marzano, Glacier (D, 55), Japanese black trifele (I, 75), Black cherry (I, 65), Brown berry cherry (I)