Seed Any new vegetable/fruit/herb you are going to try to grow this year?

dioptase

Senior Member
Last year I experimented with growing potatoes. The experiment was mostly successful, and I learned that (for me, because I am a lazy gardener) growing potatoes in a raised bed with automatic irrigation gives better results than growing them in a fabric bag which needs hand watering (via a watering can, as I don't trust hoses not to leak nasty toxic stuff).

This coming season I am thinking of trying to grow some celery. I already bought seeds last fall, so all I need are some tips or pointers.

What new food plant are YOU going to grow?
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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No... but we'll be trying to grow everything in really lousy sand soil, after 40 years of rich silt loan with 30" of topsoil. It's going to be a huge challenge!

As far as celery... it probably originally grew in a swamp. It gets a lot bigger than you might think, if grown in rich soil. It's a "heavy feeder", so needs plenty of nitrogen. And it doesn't want to stand in water, but it wants a steady supply of moisture.

I learned how to blanch celery from my Amish neighbors. They use paper grocery bags (a section of newspaper could work as well). They cut the width so it covers the plants from the soil to just below the leaves. Wrap it firmly (but not really tight) around the stalks until you run out of paper. Use string to tie it... two ties about 6-8" apart work well.

I usually wrap the plants about 10 days before I'm planning on harvesting.

Summerthyme
 

Martinhouse

Veteran Member
Here in Arkansas it took at least three and usually four to five weeks for celery seed to germinate for me. I then discoverred that I could germinate it in a little bowl of water by carefully pouring most of the water off every day and replacing it with fresh so it would stay clean and mold-free., Within a week I could see the tiny roots starting to come out of the seeds so then carefully planted those in little six-packs of good soil as they appeared. Hint: The little rootlets are white so don't use a white bowl! Use a tweezers to pick up individual seeds, lightly dabbing them on a paper towel so that any clinging water soaks into the towel and does not prevent them from dropping off of the tweezers.
 

hiwall

Veteran Member
I have seeds for several "native" weeds that I will try to establish a wild population of on my property. Stuff like yarrow and purple cone flower and others. Useful and mostly native to this general area though none are currently growing nearby that I have found so far.
 

Txkstew

Veteran Member
Like the Urban Cowboy, who is all hat and no cattle, I'm all seeds, and not enough garden. All this year, I've been ordering seeds online, and have more than I can possibly fit in my smallish garden. I tilled and prepped an extra doubling of my area, but one of the Hurricanes that hit us this last Summer dropped a sizeable tree across it, and I don't have a working chainsaw to clear it out. I may solve that problem with my favorite "Uncle Sugar" $600 disbursement I got earlier this week.

Besides a bunch of hot pepper seed varieties I have received, there are a few unusual plants I plan to try. I have two Daikon type Radish seed packs that I got from Kitazawa Seed Co in Oakland Ca (fast order delivery by the way). One is Great White Wakayama, and the other is Purple Bora King. Huge mild flavored radishes. I'm also going to plant potatoes this year, which I haven't done in a long time.

Container growing is going to have to take some of the pressure off growing in the earth garden. Pics coming in the near future, if the Creek don't rise. (In my case, flooding, not Injuns).
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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I'm going to put this seed source here one more time. If you have limited funds, you can't beat these folks. NIKITOVKA Seeds - Russian and Ukrainian Heirloom Seeds

Their packet sizes hold *many* more seeds than the average American packet. The only exceptions are beans and peas... you're better off buying a bulk amount from American suppliers.

But they have an amazing assortment of pumpkins and winter squashes, melons, peppers, tomatoes, root crops...

Summerthyme
 

Faroe

Un-spun
The new place we're moving to, doesn't have what you would even call soil. Kind of a white dusty powder. Desert scrub plants grow there. I'll be doing hydroponics for greens, and moving our compost piles over for the fruit and nut trees I plan on establishing.
 

dioptase

Senior Member
Summerthyme, you blanch the celery?! Is that necessary?

Martinhouse, 4-5 weeks until germination?! Yikes.
 

BenIan

Veteran Member
I’m going to seriously try corn this year. I’ve grown small patches with little to no success. I’m going to try a larger square to see if that helps.
 

Martinhouse

Veteran Member
Dioptase, in this case, blanching means covering it so it stays paler green and tender. And yes, it really does sometimes take that long to germinate. At least it did for me.

I didn't blanch mine because I wanted it to be mostly leaves I could dehydrate, So it grew much smaller stems that were not in a tight bunch and it grew LOTS of leaves. I did cut up the tiny stems and dehydrate those too, but they were only good for something like soup that had to simmer for a very long time.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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If you only want the celery for cooking, blanching isn't necessary. But if you want sweet, mild flavored stalks for fresh eating, it makes a BIG difference.

All commercial celery is blanched... they just hill up the soil around the stalks...

Summerthyme
 
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abby normal

insert appropriate adjective here
Blue hubbard squash. Tried last year but something tore up my plant as it began to flower. It was the only plant out of 6 seeds that germinated. Man I was sad about that.

Coons destroyed our corn so we'll try that again in another location.

We had a very cold wet spring and got the garden in much later than we wanted. Hopefully it will be better this year, but it's Ohio so the weather is rather schizophrenic
 

dioptase

Senior Member
I forgot to mention that I am trying bok choy this winter garden. It got planted out late but it is handling the winter weather (thus far, coldest nighttime low was 36F), and I expect (well, hope) it to grow to mature size sometime the new few months. I would never have tried growing it, but the local Thai restaurant serves duck with sauteed bok choy, and it is surprisingly tasty. So if it grows to maturity, DH (the meat and veggie cook - I just do salads, potatoes, and some baking (and rarely, homemade soups)) will have something new to learn to cook. (HE likes to cook. I do not.)
 

TerriHaute

Hoosier Gardener
I'm thinking about trying the Mountain Man variety of tomato, new to me but have read some glowing reviews of it. Also, I ordered some pink tip greasy bean seeds, an heirloom pole variety said to be the favorite for drying (leather britches) in the Appalachia region. I turned last summers bumper crop of green beans into several strings of leather britches but haven't yet tried cooking them.

I tried growing celery a few years ago and have included it in my garden every year since. The flavor of home-grown celery is amazing, store-bought doesn't come close.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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One tip for those who have trouble growing celery but want the flavor for cooking... look into "cutting celery" (sometimes called "leaf celery"). It is darker green, with much smaller stalks and a strong celery flavor. It grows easily, and you can harvest individual stalks through the growing season.

Summerthyme
 

Martinhouse

Veteran Member
Summerthyme, my Utah celery grew just like you are describing "cutting celery". The stalks were splayed out, small and very dark. Lots and lots of leaves to dehydrate! Now that I can't wear dentures any more, those dehydrated leaves, powdered up, are a big part of what I use when I need something to be super-tasty. I guess I thought this up myself because I always liked celery flavor but disliked eating celery itself both fresh and cooked. And using celery salt made things WAY too salty when I needed strong celery flavor.

Powdered celery leaf and powdered dill weed help make a finely mashed deviled egg spread I can eat on a good day when my swallower is working half-decent. Same for my "mashed potato salad" which is actually a mashed-everything potato salad.
 

dioptase

Senior Member
I like fresh celery. Blanching. Sigh.

Topping off the seeds right now; I ordered some more lettuce seeds, and am debating adding to the tomato seeds. I should probably start tomato seeds soon, but I really don't have any plant rack space at the moment - it is all lettuce.
 

moldy

Veteran Member
Yes...many new herbs like Siberian ginseng, licorice, comfrey (from seed), chamomile. I dont think I will try many new veggies, although I did see an ad for 'vining peach' that looked interesting.
 

Cag3db1rd

Paranoid Pagan
I am in a seed trading group on MeWe. I traded yardlong bean seeds for amish paste tomato and ground cherry seeds. I also ordered mangel seeds and intend on growing them as food for my critters.
Does it count that I am preparing to do meal worms as feed? I'm in research stage. Preparing to start purchasing equipment. My birbies will love them.
 

parsonswife

Senior Member
I have fallen in love with garnet yams.... But I don't think I can grow then here in Southern foregon. Any one have a clue if it's possible?
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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Garnett Yams are actually sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes really do need heat, and a long season.

I grew sweet potatoes once... Centennial variety, because it's the most tolerant of shorter seasons. But the trick was to use "solar film" plastic mulch... it's a semi-translucent brown plastic that, unlike black plastic, transfers the sun's heat to the soil. If you walk on black plastic barefoot, you can burn your feet. Walking on Solar Film just feels nice... gentle radiant heat from the soil below the plastic.

But if you don't usually catch it summer days, you probably will also need to use sone sort of tunnel cover or cold frame.

I'm not sure it's worth it. (It's not, for us)

Summerthyme
 

gemini212

Member
We will be trying some new types of tomatoes to include wisconsin 55 and moonglow. Also going to try out some bush cucumbers which will be new for us!
 

AlaskaSue

North to the Future
I've been having pretty beautiful success with greens and root veg here in the beautiful Matanuska Valley. Have only grown tomatoes and peppers in my old greenhouse (don't have one at this location), but recently found a source for Alaska-specific seeds. Will try both OUTDOORS this year, but on my very warm, south-facing deck, in containers. I'll baby them and report back. The rest of my garden should do well, I'm well-prepped and looking forward to starting my first seeds next month.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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Oh, in case people want to look for the Solar Film, Johnny's Selected Seeds carries it. It's really valuable for those of us in short season areas, especially if the Grand Solar Minimum starts messing with the temps during the growing season. It lets us grow heat loving melons that would never ripen otherwise.

Summerthyme
 

shortstop

Contributing Member
I am going for Brussel sprouts and kale this year Maybe potatoes, cauliflower or broccoli. I'll still plant green beans, peas and squash. I have spring fever early this year. :)
 

20Gauge

Has No Life - Lives on TB
We are trying to grow a few of the lettuce groups and strawberries.

Other than that, we are going for more / different peppers.

Most of what we grew last year died off after 3-6 years of growth. The sole exception is the Tabasco plants that are still going strong. Burned back some, but still alive.
 

Grouchy Granny

Veteran Member
Ordered some Daikon radish seed this year. Would really like to try English Cucumbers, but I think they need a greenhouse which I don't have. Maybe I'll try the Japanese long cucumbers instead.

Doing Acorn squash in addition to Spaghetti Squash (which did really well last year). I bought this trellis tunnel from Gardner's Supply which is 80-inches tall by 64 wide and that will fit inside the one lower bed that is irrigated. Well, it will after we dig out all the weeds from last year since I fallowed that bed. Can't use the roto tiller in that bed because of the sprinkler lines and the fact it's raised.

Also ordered some habanero's and poblano peppers. I may get another ghost pepper later, but I will do that in a container. Replanting one bed with shallots - we finally exhausted the ones that I did have growing so it's time for more along with some intermediate onions.

I didn't have good luck last year growing potatoes in the bags, so I'm giving up on that idea.
 

dioptase

Senior Member
I had better luck growing potatoes in a raised bed, than in a fabric bag. From what I've read elsewhere that seems to be the norm. Raised bed with automatic irrigation = easy peasy.

What I really need (without having to build it myself) are critter proof cages that are at least 5' high, but which are customized to my raised bed footprints (length and width). Sigh. Rats, racoons, and rabbits, the 3 Deadly Rs of my kitchen garden. (Deer are fenced out, gophers are gopher bottom screened out.)
 

Martinhouse

Veteran Member
xr, those critter-blocking gates are really beautiful, but I see gaps in the fourth picture that wouldn't keep out anything smaller than a good-sized dog.

If I had raised beds, I'd sure be stealing your designs for some of those panels! The panels look like they'd be easy to move aside when tending the beds.

If you made top panels, you'd have a good support for plastic covers that would extend your growing season.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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Look into electronetting for poultry, and a small electric fence charger. It might not solve your rat problem (but that's pretty easy with some baited traps, or Mountain Dew) but it will keep everything else out. If the gardens aren't within reach of an electric cord, they do make very efficient solar fenders, but they're gonna be more expensive.

Summerthyme
 

dioptase

Senior Member
Thanks to all for the suggestions, but...

I think electric fences are illegal where we live, we've been baiting traps forever but rats are endemic here, and sorry, those panels wouldn't keep out the rats or raccoons (maybe the rabbits). The tomatoes here have been growing over 6' and I need something that grows that high AND has a critter proof top. DH and I are kicking around ideas...

(We had one PVC pipe setup which worked one year, sort of, but it was difficult to get access to the interior. I had my garden helper take it out so I could weed and replant, but then he didn't install it back in correctly (the bottom fencing mesh needed to be completely covered with soil) and the rats still got in.)
 
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