(Photo caption: a photo that is totally unrelated to this entry, but is cute!)
I have a tradition I created and have followed for about 15 years, maybe 20. January 1st is the day I sit down with my seed catalogs and make my order for the coming season. Here is a list of what I ordered this year, with some explanation as to why (and a brief primer on tomato types at the end).
From Pinetree Garden Seeds (http://www.superseeds.com/): But first, why I love this catalog. There are no fancy, glossy photos, but this company consistently produces good seed in smaller qualities (and lower prices, though they have gone up over the past 2 years, but what hasn’t?) for the home gardener. Most of the time, the quantities they give me are sufficient for my needs and I don’t pay for a lot of wasted seeds. I do need some seeds in quantity (like carrots) so I just get these elsewhere. They also stock discount and full-price garden books, and garden tools and supplies.
Pencil Pod bean, Dragon Langerie Bean and Marengo Romano pole bean: these three are the yellow beans I prefer
Yard long bean: an experiment for this season. Supposed has a slight asparagus taste
Early Wonder beet: in my continued attempt to grow a decent beet. Seems to get too hot here too fast, so many an early beet??Orange Fantasia and Pink Lipstick Chards: I love greens, chard is my favorite! Except when kale is my favorite!
Sweet Success Cuke
Black Beauty, Lavender Touch and Raveena (green) eggplants: for taste and beauty.
Redibor kale: tasty and pretty, does well here.
Beleah Rose, Matina Sweet, Freckles and Pine tree mix lettuce: remember, I love greens!
Sugar Snap and Cascadia peas: both sugar snap and do pretty well here. I am going to start then early in my cold frame- I get a good flush of peas, then the heat hits…
Kaleidoscope mix pepper- have had good luck with this bell pepper mix
Paprika Pepper: home to convince my neighbor to smoke some for me so I can have home-smoked, dried paprika.
Small Sugar pumpkin: a nice heirloom, tasty
Long Island Cheese winter squash- great for pies. We’ll see who wins this year, the squash vine borers of the pumpkin vine.
Broccoli Di Rapa: Novantina: a broccoli rabe and I hope I can make a go of it! An experiment.
Italian Large Leaf Basil and
Lovage: a great celery substitute, a perennial.
From Totally Tomatoes: I like the variety of this catalog and can always find something interesting. This year, I am ordering all disease-resistant varieties- having some problems with disease, so will not grow heirlooms this year (though they do taste great!):
Better Boy Hybrid Tomato VFNASt Indeterminate
Parks Whopper Improved VFFNT Indeterminate (sturdy and reliable)
Sunmaster Hybrid VFFASt Determinate and
Kada Hybrid VFFASt Indeterminate
[Wonder what those letters after the names mean? They are codes for different diseases to which the plant has demonstrated resistance.
V: Verticillium wilt
F: Fusarium wilt (FF races 1 and 2, FFF races 1,2,3)
T: Tobacco Mosaic Virus (if you are a smoker, wash your hands after smoking and before handling tomato plants and don’t smoke in the garden).
A: Alternaria stem canker
St: Stemphylium Gray Leaf Spot
TSWV: Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus ]
(Also Determinate plants are bushy and produce most of the fruit in one or two flushes. Indeterminate plants are vines that grow throughout the season and keep producing fruit until frost. Canners like determinates).
Happy seed starting!