Last January, I published a blog post titled “What I’m planting in 2018.” Using a table format, I listed all the seeds I planned to plant in 2018, some brief comments about why I’d chosen these vegetables and these varieties, and links to posts I’d written about many of the vegetables over the years of this Lopez Island Kitchen Garden blog. For 2019, I’m republishing this table with updates on what I especially liked in 2018, what didn’t work so well and new varieties I’m going to try this year. These updates are in bold face below. As I wrote last year: I hope this list will be a useful resource and, more important, that anyone who has other vegetables and vegetable varieties they like will share them in return.
|Seed||What I’ll plant in 2019||Comments|
|A = Adaptive Seeds
F= Fedco Seeds
J = Johnny’s Selected Seeds
TSC = Territorial Seed Co.
UP = Uprising Seeds
|Arugula||Arugula OG F||
I plant in August as a fall and winter green.
Round Midnight F
|Genovese and Sweet are both good green basil. Round Midnight is purple and a lovely accent color.|
|Beans, Bush green||Maxibel F||Maxibel is my favorite bush green bean.
This year, thanks to a reader, I’m going to try
|Beans, Pole fresh||Fortex UP
Golden Gate F
Northeaster OG J
|I like the mixture of colors and shapes of these pole beans.
|Beans, Pole shell, dry||Aunt Jean
Good Mother Stallard
Seeds for all of these I’ve saved over the years or gotten from friends
|Beans that don’t dry on the vine make great shell beans.
|Beans, Bush shell and dry||Cranberry
Seeds for all of these I’ve saved over the years or gotten from friends
|Cranberry I like best as a shell bean. Drabo and Black Turtle I like as a dry bean.
Kestrel OG F
Touchstone Gold OG F
|I like to grow red, yellow and white beets. TSC used to carry Kestrel then dropped it. I’m glad F brought it back. I was happy to order it this year.
Kestrel is as good as I remembered. I’ll grow it again this year.
|I grew Piracicaba last year and liked its constant side shoot production.
I’ll keep growing Piracicaba and also Umpqua, but I may drop DiCicco so I’m not buried in broccoli.
|Brussels Sprouts||Diablo F
|Gustus was my favorite for flavor and hardiness in 2017. I’ll grow more Gustus relative to the others this year.
Gustus was great again this year though so were the others. For 2019, I’ll grow lots of Gustus but one each of the others for variety.
|Cabbage||January King AD||I continue to like January King best for winter cabbage.
And I still do.
|Cantaloupe||Prescott Fond Blanc OG F||After a few years off, I’m going to try cantaloupe again.
I started seeds too late this year (end of June) but set plants in the cold frame anyway where they grew well but the melons didn’t mature. This year, I’ll start them earlier and use the cold frame again
|Cauliflower||Fioretto 60 F
Snow Crown F
Purple of Sicily TSC
Flame Star F
|Fioretto with its side-shoot growth habit seems worth a try. I’ll grow Snow Crown cauliflower as a back-up.
Fioretto was a disappointment, both in flavor and production, so I won’t grow it in 2019. I will, however, grow lots of Purple of Sicily cauliflower. I may even skip snow crown! And I plan to try an orange cauliflower, Flame Star.
Purple Haze F
Red Cored Chantenay F
White Satin F
|In addition to orange Mokum and Chantenay, Purple Haze, White Statin and Yellowstone offer beautiful colors as well as sweet, crisp flavor. Purple Haze is my favorite for flavor and beauty of these three colorful, non-orange carrots.
|Both celery root varieties have great flavor but Tellus is a tiny bit sweeter.
|Rainbow chard is so pretty.
Fordhook is winter hardy in the garden and tender on the plate. I’m trying Argentata this year for its thicker stems.
I won’t grow Argentata this year. I didn’t use the stems as much as I’d anticipated. For a different chard, I’m going to try an all red chard this year, Red Rhubarb, described by Fedco as very hardy and a 19th century heirloom from Europe.
|Collards||Cascade Glaze F
|Despite its rough appearance, collards are very tender when sautéed. It’s a great winter green alone or mixed with cabbage.
Both collards did really well this year. I especially liked Cascade Glaze both for its shiny, yellow-green leaves and its flavor. Its sweet, tender leaves were even good raw mixed into kale salads.
Candy Mountain AD
|Café matured early in 2017 and was very sweet. I’m trying Candy Mountain for comparison this year
Candy Mountain was a disappointment. Very starchy and not at all sweet. I’ll stay with Café this year.
|Cucumber||Marketmore F||I’ve grown Poona Kheera off and on over the years and liked it, but this year, on the recommendation of my friend Anne, I will try the classic Marketmore just to have a green slicing cuke.|
Rosa Bianca F
|These three eggplant produce reliably in my kitchen garden when grown in a cloche.
Galine was my favorite in 2018 for earliness, productivity and smoky sweet flavor. I’m tempted to grow only Galine in 2019.
Pan di Zucchero F
Radicchio de Treviso F
Variegata de Chioggia A
|Borca and Pan di Zucchero, both sugarloaf chicories, have become one of our favorite winter greens.
The red versions are great too.
Both the sugarloaf and Treviso radicchios were great this year, but the biggest treat was the red, pink and white striped variety, Variegata de Chioggia from Adaptive Seeds. I’ll definitely grow more of this variety this year. It was beautiful as well as sweet and crunchy in winter salads.
|Fava||Windsor F||I always grow favas and like Windsor for its size and rich flavor.|
|These two fennel varieties have been very bolt resistant in my garden, planted in early spring and again in late summer.
|Ground Cherry||Ambrosia Husk Cherry F||After a few years off, I’m growing ground cherries again this year.
Actually, I didn’t get to these in 2018; I’ll try again in 2019.
Lacinato, Dazzling Blue AD
Red Russian F
White Russian F
|If I could grow only one vegetable, it would be kale. Search my blog for the many entries on growing kale, kale puree, kale flower buds and kale salad
|Leeks||Bleu de Solaize F
|These two leek varieties seem most winter hardy, most rust resistant and sweetest.
|Lettuce||Super Gourmet Blend TSC||I like lettuce mixes. They are a good way to get variety without buying a lot of different seed packets.
|I can’t imagine not having mache in the winter garden.|
|Mustard||Red Giant F||Sautéed red mustard is a favorite winter side dish.|
|I miss Copra! Newburg and Patterson are OK substitutes but not as sweet as Copra.
Redwing is a great storage red onion.
Purplette is a spring favorite.
|Pac Choi||Shuko F||I’ve never grown Pac Choi so this will be an adventure.
I didn’t get to pac choi in 2018. Maybe in 2019!
|Parsley||Gigante d’Italia F||My favorite parsley. Very winter hardy.|
|Parsnip||Gladiator TSC||What would winter meals be without sweet parsnips?|
|Peas, Snap||Sugarsnap OG F||I continue to plant this original sugar snap pea despite the off-types that still appear and the lack of disease resistance. I like the flavor better than any other sugar snap pea.|
King of the North F
Lady Bell F
Ancho Magnifico TSC
|Like eggplant, peppers produce reliably in my kitchen garden when grown in a cloche.
Peppers produce reliably in my kitchen garden when grown in a cloche.
Poblanos are mainly a winter treat, roasted and frozen in summer/fall and used thawed for sauces and mixed with mashed squash or potatoes in winter.
Etudia, a sweet orange pepper from Adaptive Seeds that I grew for the first time in 2018, was flavorful and productive. I’ll grow it again this year. I may drop Gourmet.
I won’t grow Tiburon again because Ancho Magnifico is so productive and its flavor is just the right balance of sweet and spicy.
|Potato||Daisy Gold MT
German Butterball MT
|At the recommendation of Will Bonsall, I grew Daisy Gold last year, really liked it and will grow it again.
German Butterball is an old favorite. Both store well.
|Raab||Sorrento TSC||Though kale and other brassicas provide delicous raab-like flower buds in the spring, I like to grow a little raab in the fall.|
|I grow radishes in the cool of spring and enjoy them alone and with new lettuce. These two varieties make pretty, mildly spicy red globes.|
|Rutabaga, Turnip||Joan TSC||Earthy, sweet rutabaga is the perfect winter root. Search my blog for many root vegetable recipes.|
|Shallot||Ed’s Red||My friend Dave Sabold gives me seed of Ed’s Red. Shallots are another winter treat.|
|Spinach||Abundant Bloomsdale AD||Some years I plant spinach in late fall and let it winter over and begin growing early in the spring. It’s always welcome in salads and wilted in butter.|
|Squash, Summer||Costata Romanesca F||Costata Romanesca is my favorite zucchini, flavorful and not watery.|
|Squash, Winter||Burpees Butterbush F
Candystick Dessert Delicata A
Honeyboat Delicata A
Blue Kuri A
Burgess Buttercup TSC
|While I like big winter squash like Buttercup and Blue Kuri for pies, mashes and soups, I’ve also grown to like smaller, one-meal squash like Honeyboat Delicata for roasting. And for the past few years I’ve also liked Butternut squashes for both roasting and stews.
|Tomato||Amish paste F
Brandywine, Pink F
Cherokee Carbon TSC
Cherokee Purple TSC
Darby Red & Yellow A
Fiachetto de Manduria UP
Golden Jubilee (aka Golden Sunray) F
Jasper Cherry F
Jaune de Flamme F
Mortgage Lifter TSC
Orange Paruche TSC
Prudens Purple F
Speckled Roman F
Sunchocola Cherry TSC
Weavers Black BrandywineF
Aosta Valley F
Flaming Burst F
Sungreen Garden TSC
|Each year, I grow old favorites, return to some I’ve grown and liked in the past (underlined), and try some new (italics) that look intriguing. I was especially pleased this year to find in the Fedco description of Golden Jubilee that this tomato used to be offered under the name Golden Sunray, an old favorite of mine. Search my blog for many post about drying tomatoes, roasting tomatoes, training tomatoes and growing tomatoes.
Golden Sunray was as sweetly spicy as I remembered. The Fedco catalog also describes it as smooth-textured and I agree that it’s one of the creamiest tomatoes I grow. If there are any left when nights get cold at the end of the season, they ripen beautifully in a paper bag, keeping their flavor and texture better than any other bag-ripened tomato I grow.
Darby Red and Yellow was a good as I remembered. “2-4 oz, red fruit with yellow tiger stripes.”
Genuwine was good but not outstanding. I will probably grow it this year to give it another chance.
Hillbilly was a pretty and very tasty “golden-orange” tomato with “red streaked flesh and skin.” It looks especially pretty sliced and layered with red tomatoes on a serving platter. I’ll grow it again this year.
Jasper Cherry was OK didn’t develop deep, sweet flavor until late in the season. I may go back to Sweet Million, an old favorite.
Weavers Black Brandywine was OK. I may give it one more year or stop.
Aosta Valley: my friend Carol gave me seeds of this Fedco variety. Like Fiachetto de Manduria, it’s excellent for roasting and freezing but it’s also sweeter and richer flavored than Fiachetto. I will definitely grow it again this year and it may eventually replace Fiachetto de Manduria.
I like serving big bowls of mixed-color cherry tomatoes. To the red, orange and purple cherries I grow now, I’d like to add a yellow and a green. I’m thinking of Flaming Burst yellow cherry from Fedco and Sungreen Garden green cherry from Territorial.
|Turnip||Gold Ball F
|Spring turnips are an amazing treat. Try them!
Gilfeather winter turnip is just as great a treat. Try them too!