Advice Needed on Which Heirloom Seeds

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Tango, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I've wanted to plant an heirloom garden for the past 3 years but I get caught up in things when I ned to dedicate time to choosing the seeds available. Could someone narrow down the choices for me? What do you use and how are the results for any of the below listed? I'm looking for are:
    a salad tomato and a cooking tomato
    potatoes I can grown in container, for boiling and baking
    corn that is firm and sweet but not sugary, and a popping corn
    a zuccini squash
    a yellow squash
    an acorn squash
    a cantaloupe
    cukes for pickling and eating
    okra
    green beans (without strings if possible)
    cabbage for canning and stir fry
    broccoli
    asparagus
    sunflowers

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    You can grow any kind of potatoe in a container, I am partial to those cool looking all blue and peruvian purple and the all read ones. Last year I grew canoe creek collosal cantelope it did good but not many fruit the ones they had were huge. I use to grow MN midget cantelope it produces really quick 65 days I think it was and had a fair amount of fruit per plant. There are a number of differnt squash species 4 or 5 I cant remember all their names but you can grow one each of them with out fear of cross polination if you want to save your own seeds or just close up a female flower before it blooms and hand pollinate it then seal off again. "ok" now where is my advice I posted first LOL
     

  3. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thanks jnap. I'm not familiar with those names but will look them up. I hope one catalog has all or most of the seeds I'll be getting :rolleyes: That's a good idea about trying a couple different ones. Maybe I'll just have to get into this slowly.
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Marcia, have you tried Baker's Creek? They have a large variety of heirloom seeds and are in Ark or MO, can't remember which. There is such a huge variety of heirlooms to choose from, and what I like might not grow well there. I brought a bunch of seeds from CO, and now am trying to figure out which is best to use here.
     
  5. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I like buying from seed savers exhange, seeds of change and I hear baker creek is good but I really like this little known one (christian family buissness) good prices and I ordered a packet of corn that was bulging with maybe 250 seeds for about $1.25 last year the same packet with 10 seeds from seeds of change would have cost the same. here they are http://www.heirloomacresseeds.com/HeirloomAcres/
     
  6. Trisha-MN

    Trisha-MN www.BilriteFarms.com

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    Here are our favorites but keep in mind that different growing conditions and even just diferent years can make a difference...

    a salad tomato - this really is open to any tomatoes but we really like Sioux
    a popping corn - Tom Thumb supposedly not overly tender we enjoy it
    a zuccini squash - 2 to mention here. Odessa & we just recenly discovered Costata Romanesco which we love too
    a yellow squash - Lemon
    cukes for pickling and eating - Poona Kheera
    green beans (without strings if possible) - Rattlesnake pole

    Good luck! :)
     
  7. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    One of the most relevant things about heirloom varieties is that many of them are suited for a particular area or climate. This also means, however, that the heirloom that I count on here might not do well at all for you there. It can be that way even if you're only a hundred miles away. My standby might be your failure, and vice versa. I would try a few types that seem like they're suited to your area, see how tjhey go, make notes, and try new varieites next year, until you get it down.

    For example, a guy here said that Painted Mountain corn did really badly for him, and he seemed pretty disappointed with it. He was in some warmer place... This is a very short season corn, 50-60 days, and one of the only flour corns that I can count on to mature in time in my short seasoned area.
     
  8. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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  9. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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  10. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    a zuccini squash - another vote for Costata Romanesca. I grow others for customers but this is the one we eat.

    a yellow squash - Early Summer yellow crookneck is an OP but I'm not positive that it's heirloom. Heirloom is abstract, there's no 100% for sure definition. If I can't be sure something is heirloom I'll accept OP as good enough for me.

    an acorn squash - Table Queen is a 1913 variety. Have you tried a butternut? They're the tan squash with a long neck and large bulb at the end. The neck is 100% flesh and there are few seeds in the bulb. It's been around since the 50's.

    a cantaloupe - I'm growing Prescott Fond Blanc for the first time. It's warty and not pretty but it's supposed to taste wonderful.

    cukes for pickling and eating - pickling: National. It's been around since 1924. It's my favorite. Slicing: Marketmores are usually OP. I've been growing Marketmore 76 for years. Boothby's Blond is a yellow cuc from Maine. It's an OP heirloom.

    okra - I'm a Yankee. 'nuff said. :)

    green beans (without strings if possible) - Dragon Langerie. It's a yellow bean with purple markings. It's great fresh but it doesn't work for me. I'm a market farmer so I sometimes have beans in cold storage for three days before the farmstand opens. By then they're a little soft.

    cabbage for canning and stir fry - When Monsanto bought out Seminis I stopped buy the variety of small cabbage I've always grown. Most of my seeds come from Fedco, who no longer buys Monsanto seeds. This year I'm trying Early Jersey Wakefield. It's conical instead of round so I wasn't sure my customers were going to go for it. They did. Everyone loves it. For red cabbage - Mammoth Red Rock (another variety from Maine) is excellent. It stores well.

    broccoli - Thompson is really good but it needs 90 days. I don't like to give broccoli that much time in the garden. I don't grow any heirloom broccolis.
     
  11. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Excellent advice, thanks to all for the help. I'll start surfing the net now to find sources and look for your seed names. Since I am new to southern TN, I don't know what will grow here. My neighbors aren't into heirlooms and I didn't grow heirlooms in Florida, so I've a few challenges beside the finding the seeds. Just needed something more solid to go with; gets hard to face constant challenges al the time.
     
  12. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Tango, I like Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. They have heirloom seeds and a good online catalog. They specialize in plants that are supposed to do well in the Mid-Atlantic states. I had awesome germination rates with all their seeds except brussels sprouts this year - I think the package was mishandled (left in heat or something).
     
  13. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    No advice here, just had to read as I have my heirloom seeds in the mail. I keep checking the mail and being disappointed that the pick-up slip from the post office hasn't come yet! sigh.
     
  14. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    I grew 'italian sprouting broccoli', which I believe is the same as heirloom 'DiCicco'. I also grew a burpee hybrid brocolli. The burpee hybrid gave a huge initial head, and a few smaller heads, but all were so aphid ridden that only a few were eatable. The Di Cicco gave a smaller initial head and many slightly smaller heads. The individual buds were larger, and the aphid count was much smaller than in the hybrid. It was also sweeter than the burpee hybrid.

    If you aren't using pesticides I think the diCicco might be a good choice if it likes your area.

    I also grew a sunflower called 'snack seed' which I don't think is an heirloom but which I think grows true. I haven't harvested it yet but it seems reliable and easy to grow. Same with 'sunzilla', whose seeds are only about 5-10% smaller than snack seed. Sunzillas are really tall and I grew them to try to distract birds from my snack seed crop, a tactic which so far has worked--only the sunzillas have been predated by birds so far.
     
  15. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Tango, I don't know if this sounds interesting to you, but there are daily heirloom seed swaps planned as part of the annual Appalachian Heirloom Seed Conservancy's fall conference (Oct. 6-8 in Berea, Kentucky). I've never gone to it, but I read that there were about 140 varieties of heirloom tomatoes exchanged last year, as well as beans, corn, okra etc etc. You don't have to be a member to go.
     
  16. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Hope you get your seeds soo SF :)

    I had poor germination rates this year and too boot, I started very late due to health. The hot and dry weather hasn't helped anything but I water diligently and have a shade cloth over the tomatoes. Just harvested the first corn of my life yesterday, it was hybrid and was simply awful :( Hardly worth the time waiting for it. I also planted way too much yellow squash. :rolleyes: One of the more annoying parts of my garden this year however was that a few plant purchased at Lowe's to replace seeds that didn't sprout, were mislabled :Bawling: banana peppers instead of bell for instance (I hope they're not the hot type) and Roma tomatoes instead of Better Boy. I'm not a fan of stores for veggie plants but thought it would be better than nothing. It wasn't.

    Haven't decided on what to do about insects for next year. This year I used DE until I saw it killed the bees that came to pollinate. Next year I might go with a mild insecticidal soap.

    Suburbanite, I have mammoth sunflowers that are starting to bloom!!!! :hobbyhors
     
  17. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Woohoo on the mammoth sunflowers!

    Will you be eating the seeds or are you growing them to attract birds?

    My sunflowers seemed to attract a lot of unusual pollenating insects and not honeybees. Lots of leafcutter bees and bumblebees and little metallic-colored flies (I don't think they were wasps).
     
  18. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    They're for protein for me. This morning I saw a strange little bee over there :) Was gonna plant for livestock feed but just couldn't do it this year, maybe next time, I hope.