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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I've been really neglecting my garden for the past couple months. My husband and I put a ton of work into it in November, getting it ready for winter planting, but after seeding I've pretty much left it alone. It looks like I do have some lettuce, fennel and artichoke plants hanging in there, though.ReplyDelete
Beans were the ONLY thing I had any success with in my Mission garden last year. I had an initial problem with snails when the plants were small, but Sluggo took care of that. I doubt you can use Sluggo because of your livestock, though :( The best recommendation I can give in that case is to plant the seeds indoors in a larger pot than you'd normally do seedlings, and then transplant them as soon as the stems get fuzzy--the snails will leave them alone then. But beans are a summer plant so I think this may be a bit early--the time right now is better for peas.
I've found the book Golden Gate Gardening to be immensely helpful, if you haven't checked it out already.
For gardening topics vistar I recommend the digital library, has helped me a lot http://www.agronet.gov.co/BibliotecaDigital.htmlDelete
Watch out for that lemon basil. It goes to seed quickly and then self seeds like crazy and you will be pulling them out like weeds next year...ReplyDelete
Since we're still months away from planting anything here in North Dakota, we're just now finalizing our seed catalog choices. We may try our hand at some "birdhouse" gourds that can be crafted into birdhouses, it could be a nice Fall project. I'm jealous of your early timetable for putting seeds and seedlings into the ground.ReplyDelete
lemon basil is wonderful. I'm a basil fanatic and luckily it grows well in my too shady yard, so I usually grow several types and then make end of summer pesto to last all year. I haven't had much luck growing anything from seed. they germinate, but die as soon as I pot them. Weird. So I usually buy from our farmer's market, which helps me know what will grow here. It is limiting though.ReplyDelete
I wonder of Cucumber Dragon's Egg is something like Lemon Cucumber? We grow them every year one of or favorite. Your list is all seeds new to me, looking forward to finding out how they do this gardening season.
I am going to attempt to grow watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydew,pumpkins,winter squash, several different kinds of beans, and a ton of other stuff. I decided that I wanted to see how much I could actually produce on my little piece of property.Delete
There is a chicken that keeps showing up in our backyard at random hours. We live in the Excelsior and I would love to connect with someone who would like to take the chicken and care for it. Can anyone help?ReplyDelete
I usually too shy to comment, but this chicken has me intrigued. Do you know if the chicken might belong to one of your neighbors? Does it seem tame? I live out in the East Bay. I'm not sure how often Heidi checks this blog, but you may want to email her directly about the chicken. Good luck!Delete
Trying basil this year.ReplyDelete
I've done some really exstensice reasearch on places to find good seeds and the very top of my list is Baker. They are the best.
I've just started what you might call urban gardening. The largest plot I could plant is 4X30 and 1/4 of that is heavy shade. I'm working on a improvised square foot gardening plan, above ground (1 1/2 ft deep) due to giant pines and magnolias all around me. (from RI, I'm learning to love NC?)
love to hear from others (firstname.lastname@example.org)
sorry don't know facebook or other things :(
We need good crops from good seeds. Thank you for right information about good seeds.ReplyDelete