Before summer becomes a distant memory, take a few minutes to jot down your favorite vegetable varieties from 2015! We try new varieties every year, but come spring, it's nice to know you've also ordered the tried and true seeds that you can count on. Here's a list of our stand-out varieties from this past season.
Chioggia Guardsmark: The smooth, medium-height tops are all green with pink-striped stems and roots. We found that this variety germinated extremely well this year.
Cylindria: 5" long , 2" diameter beets are easy to cut into uniform slices for cooking or canning with little waste. For all you reluctant plant thinners out there, this is the beet for you! These are also a great variety if you’re a little tight on space. If direct seeded, the beets will still need to be thinned to at least 2” apart, but they can grow a little closer together than varieties with rounder roots.
Bay Meadows: We just can’t say enough about the variety. It performs extremely well under stressful conditions from both spring, and summer plantings and produces beautiful, large, blue-green, well-domed heads. (1)
Melissa Savoy: This was the most dependable cabbage variety we grew this year. A gorgeous savoy, with 2–5 lb light green heads surrounded by attractive dark blue-green waxy wrapper leaves. (2)
Nelson: Reliable and widely adapted. A favorite for early sowing and harvest during warm and hot weather, when growing sweet carrots is most difficult. Produces cylindrical, uniform roots. (3)
Bishop: A vigorous variety that’s well suited for summer and fall crops. (If you saw our Instagram post featuring the 10lb cauliflower Farmer Ethan grew, this is the variety!)
Calliope: This charming variety produces small, oval asian style eggplant. The fruit can be harvested when it reaches 2-4” in length, making it the perfect variety for areas will shorter, cooler summers. (4)
Suyo: A sweet-flavored, tender skinned, ribbed fruit growing up to 15" long. We have found that this variety is the most resistant to disease and tends to produce the most abundant crop out of all the varieties we have grown.
Black Forest: These dark green, flat-round fruits are of the kabocha type, but a bit smaller, averaging 3-4 lb. The deep orange flesh is medium dry and sweet, perfect for cubing and adding it to miso soup. Avg. yield: 4-5 fruits/plant.
Provider Bush: Provider can be planted earlier than other beans because it germinates well in cool soils. Compact plants are easy to grow and adaptable to diverse soil and climate conditions. Produces 5 1/2" fleshy, straight, round pod green beans. High resistance to powdery mildew. (5)
Fortex Pole: Fortex produces extra long, round pods. Early and very productive, the beans may be picked at 7" in length for extra slender, "filet" beans.
Patterson: Medium-large, yellow bulbs with dark yellow skin and thin necks that dry quickly. This variety stores extremely well.
Ailsa Craig: Yellow-skinned, round bulbs of the Spanish onion type. Grow well in milder climates and can produce giant heads. Suitable for short-term storage. (6)
Rossa Lunga di Tropea: Traditionally gr.5own in Mediterranean Italy and France, this variety produces tall elongated red bulbs that are full of flavor but do not store well.
Padrone: Named after the town where they originated. Harvest Padron peppers when they are 1-1 1/2" long. About 1 out of 20 fruits will be hot, and the rest mild. Expect multiple harvests off of each plant. (7)
Joes Long Cayanne: Bright red fruits are excellent for homemade hot sauce and dry well. The plants are very prolific. (8)
Ozette Fingerling: It is believed that the Ozette was brought directly from South America to Neah Bay Washington by Spanish Explorers in 1791. The Ozette is one of the tastiest of all fingerlings. Classic in appearance with pale gold skin and creamy yellow flesh.
French Breakfast Radish: 3-4" long, slender with a white tip, tapered to a point. Can be grown all season long. Harvest promptly at maturity to avoid pithiness.
Misato Rose: Produces 3-4 inch roots. Skin runs from light pink to green with bright pink flesh that is sweet, spicy and flavorful. This variety is quick to bolt but we have had lots of luck sowing in late summer and growing as a fall-harvested crop.
Best of luck planning your 2016 garden! For more garden planning inspiration, check out our new book High-Yield Vegetable Gardening: Grow More of What You Want in the Space You Have, no available for pre-order on Amazon.