Planning for the 2015 Garden

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.

Green Tiger and Black Cherry tomatoes

Green Tiger and Black Cherry tomatoes

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!

small-fruited tomatoes for dehydrating

small-fruited tomatoes for dehydrating

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.

Gold Nugget and Cornell

Gold Nugget and Cornell’s Bush Delicata squash

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.

Imperial broccoli

Imperial broccoli

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.

Aji Dulce #2(front) and Trinidad Perfume(back) peppers

Aji Dulce #2(front) and Trinidad Perfume(back) peppers

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.


Jacob’s Cattle beans

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!

Gold Marie and Musica pole beans

Gold Marie and Musica pole beans

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

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18 Responses to Planning for the 2015 Garden

  1. I really like your list of what your planting for 2015.

    I have always had luck with Packman broccoli and haven’t tried any other. I grew Ruth Bible beans for my beans for the last three years, but this year I am going to re-try Lazy Wife beans, because SSE’s catalog said they had previously sold things under that name that turned out to not fit the old descriptions. (So I bought new seed and will try again.)

    Because of your posts, I have decided to try a couple of squash this year. I have SO much trouble with SVB’s that I had given up, but I am going to use Agribond to protect them, so we will see.

    I am trying Mortgage Lifter tomatoes for the first time this year. The others I am going to try are Arkansas Traveler, Bread and Salt, and Brandywine. It’s hard to find a tomato that works with the excessive heat and humidity we get here, but I keep trying.

    • Dave says:

      We are fortunate that the SVB is not a big issue in our garden. The summer heat and humidity are though, and it is always challenging to find tomatoes that can take it.

  2. Daphne says:

    What a list. My list is always much smaller than that. I tend to stick to well known varieties and just try a few new ones every year. I was going to do a summer lettuce trial, but I just ended up buying a summer mix. I won’t have a clue which varieties they are sadly.

    • Dave says:

      That’s one bad thing about mixes. The Coalition mix kale I grew last year had a couple of interesting varieties in it, and I’ve had to guess at their identity.

  3. Dave, just how big is your garden? You are so lucky to have the space (and energy!) to grow all of those varieties. Amazing. Awe-inspiring.

    • Dave says:

      Lou, our main garden areas total around 2000 sq.ft. That’s not counting the area devoted to perennial fruits and our asparagus patch.

  4. Liz Cratty says:

    Dave: Try Superschmelz kohlrabi from Territorial Seed. Quite remarkable in its growth habit as well as its flavor.

  5. Michelle says:

    You are always an inspiration, you grow so many interesting vegetables. I get comments about how much I grow, but I have the luxury of being able to easily garden year round, you have a real winter to contend with. I agree, I think the planning is as much fun as the doing. It’s nearly time for me to place my orders, I think I’ve settled on what to grow for the most part.

  6. Margaret says:

    Wow, that is quite the list. I love when gardeners trial new, interesting varieties and talk about their experiences. The only problem I have is that I keep adding all these amazing varieties to my list and now my “Varieties to Try” word document is over 11 pages long – lol!

    Still a few days before I get my orders together…going through those catalogues is one of my favourite tasks.

  7. Susan says:

    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. Although, my climate is much different from yours, I love to see what vegetables you are growing.

  8. Thomas says:

    I grew blush as well for the first time last year and it was also my favorite – very fruity and sweet. I’m trying mortgage lifter this year as well. I’ve grown Brandywine the past few years and it tastes great but never seems to produce well for me so I’m hoping that mortgage lifter will do better. I’m also growing lemon drop this year. I’ve heard great things about it and I’m hoping it won’t crack as easily as sungold.

  9. Susie says:

    That’s so exciting to see such a big list! I have only received one seed catalogue so far and am envious that you are so far along in your plans. Although I have the land available to expand my garden, I just don’t have enough people to feed! Good heavens, you grow so much!

  10. Jaime Haney says:

    Wow, this is quite an impressive list! I was just telling Lynda that I keep telling my self I’m whittling down my tomato plants to just 4 or 6, but I’ve already got 25 new ones picked out from Tomato Growers. I think I need to keep whittling.

    I’m wanting to grow sweet potatoes this year, which is new for me so I believe I’ll check out your varieties you’ve got listed here since you’ve done well with them and we’re in the same area. I think I’ve grown with success Burpee’s Ambrosia but it’s hard to mess them up here in Posey County 😉

    Great photos. Thanks for sharing your list.

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