For me, part of the fun in gardening is researching and deciding what I will grow in the upcoming year. In addition to looking at seed catalogs and online listings, I also make notes of interesting varieties that other gardeners and bloggers are growing. Then I like to look at my records and notes for the past year to see how things did in our own garden. A couple of weeks ago I posted my Stars of the Garden in 2014 recap which covers the 2014 garden. And I finished my seed inventory late last year, and that helps me know what seed I have leftover. With all those tasks done, I am now ready to come up with a list of what I plan to grow in 2015.
I love to experiment and try new things, so my growing list is usually pretty long. My wife and I try and grow as many of our vegetables and fruits as we can, so gardening is more than just a hobby for us.
Every year I like to try one or two new (to me) tomato varieties. Last year I grew Green Tiger, one of the recently released Artisan series of tomatoes. I also got a taste of several others in this line thanks to our friend Jan who grew a lot of them last year and sold them at farmer’s markets. My favorite was one called Blush, a yellow plum shaped variety that is striped with red and had a great sweet flavor. I’m going to try it this year, and it should make a nice companion to the green and yellow striped Green Tiger. I got my seeds from Johnny’s. I’m also trying Mexico Midget, which is a small red cherry variety I got from the Seed Savers Exchange. For slicers I am going to trial one from the 1940’s called Sioux, and the Halladay family’s Mortgage Lifter tomato. Oops, I think that is four new tomatoes to try this year!
Juliet, Black Cherry and Sungold are three of my favorite small fruited types, and Golden Sweet is another one I like to grow. All of the four I just mentioned are great for dehydrating and oven roasting as well as eating fresh, and Juliet winds up in everything from sauces to salsas. Mountain Magic is a slightly larger ‘salad’ tomato that also does well for me. I plan on growing all of these again in 2015.
Last year I tried several new winter squashes. I planted too many in the beds though, and some got smothered out. This year I hope to try Black Futsu, Marina di Chioggia, Seminole and Honeyboat Delicata. They will join the Thai squash Rai Kaw Tok that did so well last year, and Canada Crookneck which won our 2014 Pumpkin Smackdown. Violina Rugosa, Waltham Butternut and Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck Squash are also in the plan, and Gold Nugget is another of my favorite winter squashes I will be growing again this year.
I’m still trying to figure out how to grow great broccoli. And I am slowly but surely finding varieties that do well for me. Packman is one I’ve grown for several years, and it’s a good one for heading up early, plus it makes a lot of side shoots. Green Magic was the best performer for the 2014 spring crop in terms of yield, while Imperial did the best in fall. I’m looking to try Gypsy or Goliath next year when I buy new seed. I’m also going to give broccoli rabe (aka rapini) another try next year.
The last few years I have been growing lots of different pepper varieties, and having fun making things like hot sauce, paprika and chile powder with them as well as enjoying them fresh. Last fall I experimented with smoking them, and now I have one more thing to do with all those peppers! This year I plan on trying a few new ones, including the C. bacchatum varieties Aji Golden, Kaleidoscope and Malawi Piquante and the C. chinense varieties Aji Panca and Rocotillo. The Malawi Piquante is very similar to the o/p peppers used to make the pricey trade-marked Peppadew pickled peppers you see on salad bars. They will join the tasty and versatile Aji Angelo, Aji Dulce and Trinidad Perfume peppers I have grown for a couple of years now. Some of the new ones may wind up in containers if I run out of garden space.
I’ve been growing several dry shell beans the last couple of years with pretty good results. This year I’d like to try a bush black bean instead of the pole bean Cherokee Trail of Tears I’ve been growing. There are several out there to choose from, including Black Turtle (which I’ve grown before), and Black Valentine, but I believe I will try Black Coco this year as long as Fedco doesn’t run out of seeds. I’ve got my order in already so we will see. I will also be growing Good Mother Stallard and Jacob’s Cattle which are two of my favorite eating beans. I have a couple of others to choose from that I grew last year, as long as I don’t eat up all the seeds first!
I plan on growing my new favorite pole snap beans this year which are Fortex, Musica and Gold Marie. I’m also planning on growing a few of the purple podded Trionfo Violetto beans, which I have grown in the past. They should make a colorful addition to the overal mix.
I’m sure there will be later changes to my list, but this is pretty close to what I plan on growing this year. I’ve already ordered and received a few seeds, and now I can work on getting the rest.
Asian Greens: Komatsuna Carlton, Mizspoona, Mizuna Kyoto, Pak Choi Mei Qing, Senposai, Yukina Savoy
Beans (bush): Black Coco, Derby, Jacob’s Cattle
Beans (pole): Blue Speckled Tepary, Fortex, Gold Marie, Good Mother Stallard, Musica, Trionfo Violetto
Broccoli: Apollo, Diplomat, Green Magic, Gypsy, Goliath, Imperial
Broccoli Raab: Cima di Rapa Quarantino, Sorrento
Cabbage: Farao, KY Cross, Summer Glory
Carrots: Bolero, Hercules, Mokum, Nelson, Purple Haze, Yaya
Chard: Verde Da Taglio
Cucumber: Calypso, Dasher II, Green Fingers, Manny, Summer Dance,Tasty Green, Tasty Jade
Eggplant: Calliope, Dancer, Fairy Tale, Galine, Millionaire, Nadia
Greens: Arugula, Golden Corn Salad, Mache Large Dutch, Purslane Golden
Kale: Beedy’s Camden, Coalition Mix, Lacinato, Red Ursa, Sutherland, Western Front
Kohlrabi: Kolibri, Kossak, Winner
Lettuce: Anuenue, Black Seeded Simpson, Cardinale, Oak Leaf, Outstanding, Radichetta, Red Sails, Sierra, Simpson Elite, Slobolt, Spotted Trout(aka Forellenschluss), Tango, Winter Density
Melons: Brilliant Canary, Burpee’s Ambrosia, Diplomat Galia, Hollar’s Sensation
Onion: Ailsa Craig, Candy, Red Candy Apple, Red Torpedo Tropea, Sierra Blanca
Pepper(hot): Aji Angelo, Aji Dulce, Aji Golden, Aji Panca, Anaheim, Ancho 211, Biggie Chili, Bishop’s Crown, Cayenneta, Hot Happy Yummy, Holy Mole, Joe’s Long Cayenne, Malawi Piquante, Maule’s Red Hot, Mirasol, Mosquetero, Piccante Calabrese, Serrano Del Sol, Tam Jalapeno, Tarahumara Chile Colorado, Thai Bird, Trinidad Perfume
Pepper (sweet): Big Bertha, Corno di Toro Rosso, Dulce Rojo, Early Sunsation, Feher Ozon Paprika, Flavorburst, Goliath Goldrush, Gourmet, Sweet Happy Yummy, Jimmy Nardello’s, Orange Blaze, Topepo Rosso
Potato: Adirondack Blue, French Red Fingerling, Red Thumb, Yukon Gold
Radish: China Rose, Minowase Summer Cross, Misato Rose, Plum Purple, Shunkyo, Watermelon
Spinach: Amsterdam Prickly Seeded, Giant Noble, Gigante Inverno (Giant Winter), Viroflay
Squash(summer): Enterprise, Gentry, Partenon, Spineless Beauty, Romanesco, Striato d’Italia, Surething, White Scallop
Squash(winter): Black Futsu, Canada Crookneck, Cornell’s Bush Delicata, Gold Nugget, Kumi Kumi, Marina di Chioggia, Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck, Seminole, Thai Kang Kob, Thai Rai Kaw Tok, Triamble, Waltham Butternut
Sweet Potatoes: Beauregard, Carla’s Purple, Okinawa, Norma’s Purple
Tomatoes: Better Boy, Big Mama, Black Cherry, Blush, Celebrity, Champion II, Cherokee Purple, Eva Purple Ball, Golden Rave, Golden Sweet, Green Tiger, Health Kick, Jetsetter, Juliet, Ludmilla’s Red Plum, Mexico Midget, Mortgage Lifter (Halladay’s), Mountain Magic, Quadro, Rio Grande, Sioux, Sun Gold, Sun Sugar, Super Marzano, Super Sweet 100, Vinson Watts, Viva Italia
Turnips: Hakurei, Oasis, Tokyo Cross, Tsugaru Scarlet