Friday, February 22, 2008

Seed Order

Before the seed there comes the thought of bloom.
E.B. White

Well, my thoughts were all about blooms and tastes in the past couple days as I've ordered the seeds and plants for this year's garden. I can simply taste this, can't you?

From John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds:

Carmello Tomatoes: 70-75 days
A French hybrid, it is a main-season tomato that doesn’t travel well due to its thin skin. An in-demand variety throughout open-air markets all over France, its strong, indeterminate plants need staking to produce large crops of juicy, medium-large, 5 to 7 oz. tomatoes with outstanding sweet flavor. Plants are resistant to most diseases (VFN TMV)and although the skin is thin, the tomatoes are not prone to cracking. This is our favorite main-season tomato and we think it’s one of the best in the world. Carmello is perfect for a real tomato sandwich. With or without mayo or bacon, this is tomato heaven.

I was only going to buy the cherry tomato, Peacevine, until I read that description. Irresistible.

I did all my shopping in New England this year: High Mowing Seeds in Vermont, Johnny's Selected Seeds in Maine, John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds in Connecticut, and White Flower Farm in Connecticut. I bought shallot sets for the first time in ages because I want to make Tara's mashed potatoes much more often. I bought leek plants for the first time because we just haven't had great success starting them ourselves, and they take up a lot of room under the lights. We had such great results from the onion plants last year that we thought it was worth it to give leeks a try too.

I am trying a new yellow bean called Gold Rush:

Very early, strongly determinate bean with one main, heavy pick. Pods hang in clusters around the main stem, making them easy to pick. Golden-yellow pods with green tips are round, straight, and tender. Fine flavor and ability to remain in prime condition on the plant over a long period of time. Excellent freezer.

and some King of the North peppers that the catalogue says will actually turn red where we live:

Red Bell Very bushy high yielding plants can produce 14-20 large, blocky fruits apiece. Harvest green, or wait until they turn a bright red. The best open-pollinated sweet bell for shorter seasons. 57 days green, 68 days red

You may have heard my lament that I never have enough zucchini. Carol at May Dreams Gardens said maybe it is a pollination problem so I'm trying this variety:

Partenon F1 Summer Squash
Zucchini Parthenocarpic variety that produces fruit without pollination. In effect no seeds are produced, greatly elongating the harvest window. High quality fruits are prolific and tender. 48 days

as well as the beautiful Zephyr again.

Precocious, yellow, green-tip straightneck.
A distinctive, slender fruit, yellow with faint white stripes and light green blossom ends. Harvest young at 4-6" for unusually delicious nutty taste and firm texture. Unique appearance for easy recognition. Big, open plant, high yielding.

And I got four packets of these peas, with high hopes of doing succession plantings to extend the season's eating of fresh peas.

Green Arrow Shell Peas
A classic main crop garden pea bearing heavy yields of 4-5” slim, pointed, doubly-born pods with 8-11 small, deep-green peas. Delicious pea flavor, excellent for freezing.

And for corn, I'm trying this one from John Scheepers:

Honey Select Yellow Sweet Corn: 79 days
Indian corn, the predecessor and genetic relative of modern sweet corn, was a staple food of the Aztecs and Incas. Many years of hybridization has resulted in the tender sweet varieties that we enjoy today. If you prefer yellow corn, with super-sweet flavor, Honey Select beats them all. It was the hands-down winner at the trial grounds last year. With butter dripping onto our chins, we exclaimed loudly that we’d never eaten better yellow sweet corn! Honey Select produces uniformly slender 8” cobs, 2” in diameter.

The White Flower Farm order is for a new garden I want to have across our road on the big south lawn. I want to get benches and chairs to put around our outdoor fireplace, and have flowers everywhere in sight. Isn't that a nice dream?! We'll see what the reality is, but I bought some hardy plants that have already proven their success here, like the tree rose, which I just found out is a William Baffin, another Baptisia Australis or False Indigo, some lemon day lilies, an Aquilegia mix, some white Iris, and a Sedum called Xenox. I haven't quite figured out how I want to arrange them all, but it will keep my gardening heart happy planning it out during the next two or three months of waiting.


  1. What fun you're having! I'm beginning to think about the plants that haven't done so well and where to possibly move them where they might get more sun (or shade). I'm itching to get outside!

  2. That Zephyr looks so pretty, I think I need to get some seeds for it!

    And getting a zucchini that doesn't require pollination is a good idea.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  3. A sure sign that spring is on the way! Your selections look wonderful. I'll be watching their progress with interest.

  4. Nan, We usually do our order in early to mid-March. I'm going to be going over my seed catalogs more seriously during the next couple of weeks as I contemplate my choices. I love your list! Everything sounds lovely. :)

  5. I used to live in illinois during graduate school and had a garden with the blackest most luxuriant dirt- When I read your descriptions it really took me back.
    Now however the only thing growing near me is seaweed on my dock!
    (and yes re: your comment about my boat I have had guests who after ten minutes below in my salon have had to go above and lie down on the dock LOL!! I can't even begin to tell you the adventures of lack luster sailors on a blustery day sail LOL!)

  6. I agree with Les: what fun you're having, Nan! I hope all your wonderful seeds will come to fruition, and your plans too.

  7. Mmm, my mouth is watering over all these gorgeous veggies. I'd like to do those Zephyrs. I cannot wait to see how your garden grows in the coming seasons.


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