Like most gardeners, I have a surplus of seed from years past. So I went easy in my ordering this time around. I only purchased from one company, my favorite, Baker Creek, and chose a small handful of things I have been eager to try. Here's this year's highlights.
Streamline and Scarlet Runner Beans - I've never had too much luck with beans around here. The summers are never hot enough to get really strong plants before the pests come in. Runners like cooler weather so we'll see if that does the trick.
Pepino Melon - There's a lot of debate about how well this eggplant relative, native-to-the-Andes plant can grow in the Northern Hemisphere. It requires a long growing season, but tolerates cooler weather. I'm figuring since chayote, another Andean native, grows like a weed here, the pepino should do about the same. I'm also curious about the taste, which is said to be melon-like. I'll let you know. And btw, the chayotes that I put in last year grew phenomenally well.
Chinese Lantern Gigantea - Similar to ground cherries and tomatillos, this plant produces a husked fruit that can only be eaten when fully ripe. The husks are bright orange, which I think will be a gorgeous addition to the foliage on the farm. I've had great luck with ground cherries in the greenhouse and am not sure how these will fair in our cool summer.
Cucumber Dragon's Egg - Yeah, I bought these because of the name. I'm a sucker for anything with the word "dragon" in it, like the Dragon Tongue bean from Baker that is oh so groovy colored and tasty. This variety of cuke, developed in Croatia, is said to be bitter-free. I have found that most varieties that produce well in Russian-ish areas, do well in San Francisco.
Mexican Sour Gherkin - These guys look like tiny watermelons and have a lemony flavor. I thought they might make interesting pickles. Also they have a 70 day growing season, which is just the right amount of time to fruit in our short summers.
Little Green Eggplant - Usually eggplants require a tremendous amount of heat to produce well. This is another Russian variety that might work in cooler summer areas. Fingers crossed. I would love to get an eggplant to fruit here.
Lemon Basil - Well this one just sounds amazing, doesn't it? Who wouldn't want a hint of lemon in their pesto? This variety received rave reviews on the Baker Creek site. I can't wait to see how it does and what it actually tastes like.
Are you growing anything interesting or new this year?
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