Variety Recommendations

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by JAS, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    South Dakota
    My son (10) and I are enjoying our first year with the local farmers market. We are not making a lot, most of our stuff is later season stuff. We are starting to think about next year. I would like some ideas of things to try for a zone 4 area that would sell--variety names. Things I would like to try or expand into are:

    unique cucumbers (long types or heirloom that have excellent flavor)
    summer squash
    cherry tomatoes

    Other ideas are welcomed. Also, what seed catalogs would your recommend? Thank you.
  2. Jimmy Mack

    Jimmy Mack Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2004
    ~ EGGPLANTs can be a little difficult to grow, they like warm temps and its tough to keep the flea beetles off of them. "Black Beauty" is a good one for a full size fruit although there faster varieties with more cylidrical fruits.
    Black Beauty

    Price: $1.89

    Eggplant is a very international vegetable: unique and tasty eggplant dishes are served in Japan, China, Italy, Russia and other countries. Try dipping sliced eggplant in flour and frying in olive oil (Italy), stir-frying with bean sprouts, peppers, and tomatoes (China), or roasting and combining with olive oil, chopped onions and tomatoes (Russia). Black Beauty produces very attractive, 1 - 3 pound, dark purple fruit. They keep well, and have excellent flavor.

    One packet yields 35 plants when started indoors.

    Days to Maturity: 80
    When to Sow Outside: 3 to 4 weeks after last frost. Soil temperature should be at least 60 degrees and outside temperature should be at least 55 degrees.
    When to Sow Inside: 8 - 12 weeks before last frost. Starting inside is recommended.
    Seed Depth: 1/4"
    Seed Spacing: Start indoors.
    Row Spacing: 18" apart
    Days to Emerge: 10 - 20
    Thinning: Thin to 18" apart

    I've never grow cucumbers but have heard good reviews on the lemon cucumber
    An exceptionally nice variety for cool short season climates. The fruit looks like a round lemon, instead of a cucumber. A sweet flavored variety that is ideal to use in salads or relishes. 65 to 70 days till maturity.

    Special Directions for Short Season Climates

    SOWING: For early plants start indoors in pots. Or seed directly into garden after all danger of frost has passed and weather has warmed.

    SPACING: In rows, leave 8 inches between plants; space rows 3 feet apart. Or place 6 to 8 seeds in hills that are spaced 4 to 5 feet apart.

    GERMINATION: Approx. one week in 70 degrees F temperatures; up to 2 weeks in cooler weather. Keep soil moderately moist during germination.

    Ed's Special Advice

    Rich, well-drained soil is best for cucumbers. Excellent soil additive: processed manure or compost. Harvest when golf ball size for best texture and flavor, when fruit is paler and not as bright yellow as pictured on front of packet.

    ~SUMMER SQUASH- Don't let summer squash get to big, pick it early. One of my favorites is the Early Yellow Summer Crookneck, easy to grow, tasty and productive. I grow it every year along with a different vaireity of zucchini.

    Organic Early Summer Crookneck Squash
    Expect big, early yields of meaty, bright yellow curved-neck fruits that mature to orange yellow. Grows 8-10" long with a 3-4" bowl. Best picked at 5-6" to really enjoy the sweet mild flesh and excellent flavor. Approx. 25 seeds per packet.

    SQUASH Zucchini, Black Beauty, Bush
    A very popular variety of summer squash. Fruit is dark green, glossy and tapers towards each end. Plants are compact and easy to grow producing an abundance of fruit throughout the summer. Delicious when baked, boiled, fried, steamed and raw in a variety of recipes. Approximately 50 days to first harvest.

    Special Directions for Short Season Climates

    SOWING: Sow seeds directly in garden in late spring after weather has warmed and all danger of frost has passed. Seeds can also be started in individual peat pots indoors or in the greenhouse 2 to 3 weeks before setting out. Cover seeds with 1/2 to 3/4, inch fine soil well firmed down.

    SPACING: Plant 6 to 8 seeds per hill spaced 3 to 4 feet apart. Space rows 3 feet apart.

    THINNING & TRANSPLANTING: Thin or transplant to 3 healthiest plants per hill. Leave 18 to 24 inches between plant rows.

    GERMINATION: One to two weeks depending upon weather and soil warmth. Keep soil moderately moist during germination.

    Ed's Special Advice

    Zucchini grows best in a sunny location in fairly rich well drained soil. Water soil when dry avoiding spraying foliage or blossoms. Cut fruit carefully at stem when 8 inches long for best flavor, texture and continued harvest.

    the Yellow Pear can be productive and has a wonderful mild flavor. They don't hold on the vine very well which is why you don't see them in the chain markets although would work well for a farmer's markert.
    #140 - YELLOW PEAR 76 days - This small fruited, heirloom variety dates back to the late 1800's! The skin and flesh are yellow, and resemble a small pear! The fruit are 2" long and grow in clusters. Great in salads, preserves, pickling, or just eating fresh from the garden! Indeterminate vines.
    PKT. - 20 seeds - $1.50

    RADISHES - Lots of crazy radishes out there and some of them get big! I just picked up an ounce of winter radish, a "Long Black Spanish" vairiety that I'm planting tommorow with "red ace" beets. The "Black Spanish" is a new one to me but have grow the tasty French Breakfast in the past, its a tasty one!

    BTW, ever been to Milesville SD?

    happy cultivating,

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    For an interesting seed company ask for a catalogue from Thompson & Morgan. They have some unique vegetable varieties.

    For late season vegs,maybe try Brussel Sprouts variety is Bubbles or Oliver (very tasty and sweet after frost nip and freezes well)

    processing tomatoes like pear, square, roma, viva italia

    pickling cucumbers. For variety try gherkins (easy to grow on trellis or fence)

    melons like alaska

    summer pattypan or crookneck squash

    Golden acorn squash if you can find the seeds. other winter squashes including hubbard, chestnut. Buttercup squash one year I sold them were a big seller.

    crabapples if you have them to pick

    red onions like burgermaster or large ones for excellent onion rings called ringmaster

    stars and bars or peaches and cream bicolor sweet corn

    red cabbage, red kale, rainbow swiss chard...different 'greens' and healthy to eat

    yellow carrots and/or the high beta carotene varieties of carrots

    rutabagas (turnip swedes) are excellent especially the smaller ones coming in the size of baseballs.

    daikon radish or chinese radish if you have an asian clientele. Also bok choy and any of the asian type of green vegetables

    tomatillos to make salsa. Offer it with the varieties of tomatoes you recommend for salsa, which is about any ripe variety really.

    thai hot peppers, pickling hungarian or ramhorn sweet peppers like sweet shephard or cubanelle. These ripen in zone 4 easier than colored bell peppers.

    might help if you had info for customers on the special varieties and what to do with any different kinds of vegetables you would offer.
  4. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    northcentral Montana
    For cherry tomatoes, we really like Sungold. They are so much tastier than any other tomato we've ever eaten (they usually don't make it into the house). I see the big seed outfits are trying to replace it with Sunsugar, but I haven't yet tried it.

    We also grow Navidad grape tomatoes. They were the best tasting the year we ran trials.