Friday, June 08, 2007

Planting the Garden

We finally got the garden out last week. I'd blogged about my tomato seeds in April, and I got a very good germination rate from the Seedsavers seeds--much better than I usually get from the standard commercial seed catalog products. The Seedsavers broccoli also did very well.

Calabrese Broccoli Calabrese Broccoli
Brought to America by Italian immigrants in the 1880s. Popular market variety. Tight heads can grow up to 8" in diameter. After the central head is harvested, side shoots follow. 58-90 days from transplant.

Tomatoes and broccoli are looking very good in the garden now. We also planted Seedsavers beans and squash seeds. It's too early to expect to see them come up, but I go out to the garden and look several times a day.

Black Valentine Bush Beans Black Valentine Beans
Introduced in 1897 by Peter Henderson & Company. Shiny black seeds and 6" pods. Excellent for use as a fresh snap bean or a dry soup bean. Prolific and dependable plants produce pods borne above the foliage. Bush habit, 49-55 days.
Cherokee Trail of Tears Pole Beans Cherokee Trail of Tears Bean
Given to SSE in 1977 by the late Dr. John Wyche, SSE member from Hugo, OK. Dr. Wyche's Cherokee ancestors carried this bean over the Trail of Tears, the infamous winter death march from October 1838 in the Smoky Mountains to March 26, 1839 in Oklahoma, leaving a trail of 4,000 graves. Shiny jet-black seeds. Green 6" pods with purple overlay, good for snaps and dry beans. Pole habit, 85 days.

In addition to these two bean varieties, our neighbor gave us some seeds from his "Logan Giants" pole beans. We've eaten these in previous years, and I really like them. I overdid it with squash this year, and because these three varieties are all the same species, Cucurbitus pepo, they will cross-pollinate, and I won't be able to save seeds from them. However, it will be a chance to decide what squash we like the best.

Fordhook Acorn Squash Fordhook Acorn Squash
(C. pepo) Introduced in 1890 by W. Atlee Burpee of Philadelphia and named for their Fordhook trial grounds at Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Vining plants with long fruits similar to acorns. Can be eaten fresh around 56 days and used for baking after 85 days. Fruits seldom weigh more than two pounds. Very hard to find.
Golden Zucchini Golden Zucchini Squash
(C. pepo) Developed by breeders at W. Atlee Burpee from material supplied by Dr. Ovid Shifriss at Rutgers, introduced in 1973. Glossy golden-yellow, cylindrical fruits on productive, compact bush plants. A great addition to any farm market stand or home garden. 50-55 days.
Summer Crookneck Squash Summer Crookneck Squash
(C. pepo) Semi-open bush plants produce extended heavy crops of smooth light yellow fruits with curved necks, bumped developed after edible stage. Best eaten when 5-6" long. Creamy-white sweet mild flesh has excellent flavor. Keep picked clean to enjoy all season. 55-60 days.

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