Planning the 2018 Garden

I’ve got a pretty good start on my growout list for 2018. I get a lot of great ideas by reading about my fellow garden bloggers growing experiences and getting their feedback on varieties they are growing. I also get ideas from reading books, and last year I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening: Cultivating Tomatoes, Greens, Peas, Beans, Squash, Joy, and Serenity by Carol Deppe. That has led me to want to try a few blight-resistant tomatoes in my garden this year. So far I have escaped major disease issues with my tomatoes, but I fear the blights are coming here eventually. Defiant, Mountain Merit and Rugged Boy are slicing types with good blight resistance, and Jasper is a blight-resistant cherry tomato. I may not grow all of these this year, but they are on my list for trials. And I want to try one of the Brandywine tomatoes here, perhaps Brandywine Black since they seem to do well for Phuong (Kentucky Fried Garden) whose growing conditions are very similar to ours. I also want to try the small-fruited Honeydrop, which is an o/p selection from the F1 hybrid SunSugar. And Sweet Aperitif is a red cherry tomato that is supposed to be even sweeter than Sun Gold, which is my gold standard for sweet tasting tomatoes.

Other ideas come from my own growing and eating experiences. I’m always on the lookup for new varieties of peppers to grow. Last year I grew the 2017 AAS Winner Mad Hatter, which is a hybrid baccatum type, but since I got it planted rather late I didn’t get any ripe fruit. It was loaded with green peppers so I have high hopes for this year. I also want to try the Hawaiian Sweet Hot and Korean Winner peppers. I tried a few of the Heirloom Marriage tomatoes (Cherokee Carbon, Genuwine and Big Brandy) last year and was not reallty that impressed. These are hybrids created by crossing two different heirloom tomatoes. But this year I want to try Perfect Flame, which is a cross of Peron and Jaune Flamme. And I’m looking forward to growing more of the Artisan Seeds unreleased test varieties of tomatoes. The baby beefsteak I grew last year is back again, and it was a real standout for me here. I also plan to try their named and announced varieties Green Bee, Madera and Bellota.

baby beefsteak tomatoes

baby beefsteak tomatoes

As usual, I plan to grow a lot of different squashes, both summer and winter kinds. I found several winter squash to trial, including a couple of kabocha types. Last year I grew the Japanese hybrid Tetsukabuto and it not only did well but we enjoy eating it too. So this year I want to try Sweet Mama, which is a 1979 AAS Winner with a compact habit that I don’t recall ever growing. And Delica is a kabocha type with full vines I hope to trellis. For summer squash I plan to grow my old standbys too like White Scallop, Enterprise and Striata d’Italia plus new favorites like Sunstripe, Clarimore and Astia.

Last year we fell in love with the heirloom beans from the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center Inc. I want to try a couple of new-to-me varieties called Turkey Craw and Headrick Greasy Cut-Short. Something that goes well with the cooked beans are the Yellow Potato onions, a multiplier type I already have planted. These were very productive for me last year, and while the onions aren’t very big they are perfect for many dishes and keep quite well.

Yellow Potato Onions

Yellow Potato Onions

Since I love to experiment with growing new things, so my growing list is always long. And there are always last-minute changes to my list. I will work on getting my seed orders together in the coming weeks.

Varieties I am growing for the first time are marked with an *.

Asian Greens: Asian Delight Pak Choi*,Bopak pac choi, Koji tatsoi, Kyoto mizuna, Miz America mizuna, Mizspoona Salad Select, Mei Qing Pak Choi, Red Kingdom mustard, Vivid Choi

Basil: Amethyst, Aurelia*,Corsican, Italian Pesto, Italiano Classico, Profuma di Genova, Queenette Thai, Rosie, Sweet Thai

Beans (bush): Derby

Beans (pole):  Bertie Best’s Greasy Bean, Blauhilde*, Fortex, Gold Marie, Headrick Greasy Cut-Short*, Musica, Robe Mountain, NT Half Runner, Trionfo Violetto, Turkey Craw*

Broccoli: Apollo, Artwork, Bay Meadows, Blue Wind, Diplomat, Green Magic, Gypsy, Imperial, Santee (PSB)

Cabbage: Cuor di Bue Grosso*, Conehead*, Deadon, Kaitlin, Little Jade (napa), Melissa Savoy, Minuet (napa), Pixie, Primo Vantage, Scarlette (napa), Soloist (napa), Tendersweet, Tiara

Collards: White Mountain Cabbage Collards, Jernigan Yellow Cabbage Collards

Cucumber: Corinto, Excelsior, Harmonie,Manny, Socrates, Tasty Jade, Vertina

Eggplant: Dancer, Fairy Tale, Galine, Nadia, Nubia*, Patio Baby

Garlic: Early Portuguese*, German Red, Godfather’s Italian, Idaho Silver, K’s Backyard*, Killarney Red, Lorz Italian, Moroccan Creole*, Nootka Rose, Red Janice, Red Toch, Russian Red, Sicilian Silver*, Siciliano, Silver White, Simonetti, Uzbek, Xian

Greens: Adagio arugula, Apollo arugula, Esmee Arugula*, Golden Corn Salad, Pink Lettucy Mustard*, Speedy arugula, Vibrant Joy mustard*

Kale: Darkibor, Dazzling Blue, Prizm, Red Ursa, Simone Broadleaf*, True Siberian, Tronchuda Beira, Western Front, White Russian, Wild Garden Mix

Kohlrabi: Kolibri, Konan, Kossak, Quickstar

Lettuce: 21st Century Fire, Anuenue, Australian Yellow, Bambi, Big Island, Cardinale, Elf Ears, Jester,  Kilauea*, Lava Lamp, Manoa, Mayan Jaguar*, Pandero, Pele, Radichetta, Red Evolution, Red Sails, Red-Tinged Winter, Rosaine, Salad Bowl, Sierra, Simpson Elite, Slobolt, Slogun, Tall Oaks, Tango, Wavy Dory Romaine*

Melon: Gingaku, Mouse Melon/Mexican Sour Gherkin, New Mexico*

Onion: Candy, Copra, I’itoi, Red Torpedo Tropea, Sierra Blanca, Yellow Potato

Parsley: Georgian Flatleaf, Giant From Italy, Hungarian Landrace, Splendid

Peas: Avalanche, Oregon Sugar Pod 2, Petite Snap-Greens*,Sugar Ann

Pepper(hot): Aji Angelo, Aji Golden, Aji Panca, Aji Pena*, Anaheim, Bastan, Biggie Chili, Cayenneta, Emerald Fire, Farmers Market Jalapeno, Flaming Flare, Georgia Flame*, Guajillo, Hawaiian Sweet Hot*, Hot Happy Yummy, Holy Mole, Kaleidoscope, Korean Hot, Korean Winner*, Lady Choi, Malawi Piquante, Minero, Mosquetero, Pepperoncini, Roulette*, Senorita Jalapeno, Sugar Rush Peach*, Sugar Rush Red*

Pepper (sweet): Carmen, Cornito Giallo, Cornito Rosso, Criolla De Cocina*, Dulce Rojo, Escamillo, Glow, Hungarian Magyar, Jimmy Nardello’s, Nora, Numex Garnet, Numex Sweet, Orange Blaze, Paradicsom Alaku Sarga Szentes (aka P.A.S.S.)*, Pritavit, Sweet Happy Yummy, Topepo Rosso

Pumpkin: Dickinson, Winter Luxury*

Radish: Alpine, April Cross, Bora King, Summer Cross #3, Sweet Baby

Shallots: Conservor, Dutch Yellow

Spinach: Gigante Inverno (Giant Winter), Space

Squash(summer): Astia, Clarimore, Enterprise, Flaminio, Raven, Spineless Beauty, Sunstripe, Striato d’Italia, Tatume, Tempest*, White Scallop

Squash(winter): Angel Hair, Candy Roaster, Delica*, Fairy*, Honeyboat Delicata, Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck, Rancho Marques*, Seminole, Sweet Mama*, Tahitian Melon, Tetsukabuto, Thelma Sanders, Tromba d’Albenga, Turkeyneck, Zeppelin Delicata

Sweet Potatoes: Beauregard, Bonita, Carolina Ruby*, Gingseng*, Korean Purple, Murasaki*, O’Henry*, Purple, Red Japanese, Redmar

Tomatoes: Bellota*, Better Boy, Black Cherry,Brandywine, Brandywine Black*, Captain Lucky, Celebrity, Champagne, Chef’s Choice Orange, Chef’s Choice Pink, Chef’s Choice Red*, Chef’s Choice Yellow, Cherokee Carbon, Cherokee Purple, Defiant*, Garden Treasure, Golden Rave, Green Bee*, Health Kick, Honeydrop*, Jasper*, Juliet, Kiss The Sky*, Madera*, Marzano Fire, Mexico Midget, Mountain Merit*, Perfect Flame*, Plum Regal*, Rugged Boy*, Solar Flare*, Sun Gold, Sunpeach, Sun Sugar, Sweet Aperitif*, Vinson Watts, Viva Italia

Turnips: Hakurei, Nozawana, Scarlet Ohno Revival, Scarlet Queen Red Stems, Topper

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16 Responses to Planning the 2018 Garden

  1. Margaret says:

    An impressive grow list – not that I’m surprised by that in the least 🙂

    I have to say, however, that I’m rather amazed by the number of lettuce (25!! – wow!) and broccoli varieties you are growing. I won’t mention tomatoes, ’cause we all know that 30+ varieties is rather reasonable 😉 What kind of differences do you find amongst the different broccoli varieties?

    • Dave says:

      I’m still trying to find one broccoli that consistently does well for me! One does well one year, then fizzles the next. Same thing with cabbage really. And of course there could never be too many tomatoes!

  2. Lorraine Barnett says:

    Wow! Your list makes me blush! 😉 I do like your idea of several varieties so that your “eggs” are not all in one basket, so to speak. I’m anxious to try your Aji pepper that you so generously sent to me and the rogue tomato. I went through my seeds a few days ago when it was snowing and hovering in the teens. What a great way to spend a frigid day! Cannot wait to plant the first seed! Thanks Dave, for all your encouragement, your information you share, and the photos that all inspire. I’d love to chat over the back fence during gardening season. But…your blog shall suffice for now! Happy planting!

  3. Michelle says:

    Your growout list has got mine beat by a mile. I counted 34 varieties of peppers and I thought I was hot stuff with 20 varieties last year. I’ll be interested to see how Mad Hatter does for you this year, I’m always on the lookout for a good baccatum pepper. This winter has been so mild that my baccatum peppers have sailed through with only minimal protection on the coldest nights. I love that about growing baccatums here – pepper harvests in January!

  4. I honestly believe that garden planning, seed buying, and vegetable dreaming is the single greatest ‘drug’ I know.

    Second greatest? Hm… probably reading about other people’s garden planning, seed buying and vegetable dreaming!

    So thanks for the hit, Dave! You enabler XD

  5. Haha thanks Lorraine! Us addicts got to stick together 😉

  6. Mary Wildfire says:

    Some remarks mostly about tomatoes. I just found this blog, looking for a review of Pepitas pumpkin. I see we have a lot in common, though it took me a long time to figure out where you are–you should post this more prominently, as it makes a big difference in how relevant information is. Sounds like you’re in the Hudson Valley in NYS–I’m in western West Virginia, which I’d guess to be a bit cooler especially nights–not sure what other differences but boy–you haven’t had to deal with blight yet? My first year in this new site I did fabulously with tomatoes while others had problems with I think late blight, from major nurseries–I’d started my own. That was 2009. Every year since I’ve struggled with blight, I believe mainly early blight and septoria. Two years ago I tried Plum Regal and Mountain Merit and was not impressed–but that was the year I tried growing in a caterpillar tunnel–I failed to roll the sides down before rains, it was hotter in there and the bugs were worse, and eventually I had samples of more different diseases than I’d ever seen. Last year I made a deal with new neighbors, since I believe one gets a free pass on bugs and diseases with a new garden–by year two they’ve found you. So I grew my tomatoes and peppers in their garden, and other stuff for them in mine. Also want to mention two varieties I didn’t see on your list, in both cases large tomatoes notable for flavor–Kellogg’s Breakfast, a golden tomato I’ve grown several years, and Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye, which i tried last year and everyone agreed it won the flavor competition hands down.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Mary, I’m gardening in southern Indiana. I do have septoria blight occasionally early in the season on on my tomatoes but it never seems to affect the yields. I’ve tried Kellogg’s Breakfast a long time ago and was really impressed, maybe I should give it another try. And thanks for the info on Pink Berkeley Tie Dye. I’ve been considering it, and I will definitely give it a try now.

  7. Phuong says:

    I love seeing your list of varieties you’re trying this year. The busy season is truly almost upon us.

    You do so many pole beans compared to bush beans, and I’m the complete opposite because they don’t do well for me. They must like your netting support system better than my bamboo poles. I’m really interested in how Perfect Flame does for you, I grew Peron last year and thought it was an great tomato.

  8. elizabeth says:

    I see you don’t have viroflay spinach on your list the year. I had poor germination last year with my viroflay seed and was wondering if you experienced the same?

  9. elizabeth says:

    Hope you get a chance this year. Although I’m always happy to eat all the other garden greens and can take or leave the spinach, it is a little more work also, but it grows quickly.

  10. Denver says:

    I saw this list and felt immediately compelled to make a Wild Gardens order. I’d already had my eyes on Manoa lettuce and “Hungarian Landrace Parsley” was too tempting to resist.

    Can’t wait to hear about those New Mexico Melons. I love seeing how members only seeds work out for people.

    • Dave says:

      Wild Garden has quite a few interesting varieties, and I always enjoy trying as many as I can! Their lettuces are especially colorful and unique. I heard about the New Mexico Melon from another blogger and decided to give it a try here.

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