Many of the seeds from Fedco this year are virgin tries for me -- that's part of the fun of gardening -- experimenting with new varieties. The older heirlooms are especially interesting and if they are still around after all these years and being touted as "super sweet," or "reminiscent flavor;" how could you go wrong? We love carrots, and I got pretty excited last night when I pulled my first bunch. The variety is Sugarsnax and they are delectable. I especially love the long, skinny growth pattern. Very strong plants. Here's a short list of varieties so far this year and what I discovered about them:
Oregon Giant Snow Pea - slow to germinate and come in - maybe only 60% germination rate. But boy are they now taking over. I'm picking almost every night. Flavor is ok -- not the best I've had.
Sugarsnax Carrot - Beautiful looking carrot - long, skinny, colorful; and the flavor is sweet - not bitter.
Early Wonder Tall Top Beet - Incredibly easy and tasty plant; both the greens and the beet itself. I cooked up a pasta recipe that called for the beets AND the greens and it was wonderful.
Risato Rose Radish - Radishes never formed. plant went to flower and seed and the radishes never formed. Bad choice with this one. Pulled and composted the plants.
Purple Top White Globe Turnip - too wet and bulbs started to rot. Mom was disappointed.
Space spinach - You'd think all spinach would be fine, huh? Not so - this variety went to seed fairly quickly and I didn't get near the crop I expected. The flavor was good and the leaves were small and easy to handle, but they are seeding and I'm about to pull the plants and reseed.
Jericho Lettuce - ok; average. I'm not a huge fan of plain lettuce. This was planted for hubby.
Arcadia Broccoli - Interested heads forming. They are super tight and slightly golden-tinged. I'm anxious to taste -- I've found many broccoli varieties to be bitter.
Red Russian Kale - magnificent. I've only recently started eating kale and find store-bought to be bitter. This variety is nothing like store varieties. It's small-leafed, stays fairly compact while growing, and the flavor is spinachy. Even hubby eats it! I'm very pleased with this one and will buy again. Can't wait to reseed for fall.
Safir Cutting Celery - They weren't kidding when they said growing celery is for the experienced gardener. After months of growing indoors, and about a month of being outside in their home for the summer, the plants are just now starting to show signs of actually starting to get life. They are greening up nicely, but still very small. I'm feeding them today with fresh compost - maybe that will bring them around.
Zefa Fino Fennel - slow to germinate and maybe only 50% germination rate, but those that are growing and growing beautifully.
Swallow Eggplant - only 2 seeds germinated after about 2 weeks and those both died. I'd call this a crop failure. I ended up buying eggplant transplants.