My new seed ordering chart worked perfectly for me. I was able to smoothly review my choices from the five catalogs I use, and end up with a combination order that was organized and easy to refer to. If I needed to double check my choice, my notes made it easy to find the item in the particular catalog. Here is how I noted things, according to the order I arranged the columns:
- Under type of vegetable, I was able to add details as I went along, like color, such as for onions or dry beans.
- The seed saved/self-sown column was a useful place to mark if the vegetable had already been planted in the fall.
- If I already had seed left-over in a packet, or some I had saved, that was checked off, but I also noted in a company column where it originally came from. All of this kept me from making unnecessary purchases without constantly looking through all my seed packets.
- In each box for an item, under whichever company that I chose to buy from, I wrote the catalog page number in the upper left hand corner, then
- I wrote the product number next to that, more to the right hand corner,
- which still gave me room to write the variety name, or an understandable version of it, in the bottom half of the box.
- Right next to that, I often wrote OP, and circled it, if it was important to remember it was an open pollinated variety.
- The notes column at the end was a good place for that, too, if I was only getting one version of that vegetable.
- It was also a handy box to compare price, when that was a determining factor.
- I also made references to days to maturity
- as well as hardiness
- how a vegetable might store in the cellar (or cold pantry)
- and if it was slow to bolt.
- Sometimes, I had an inspiration about a specific location where I might like to plant something, so made a note there.
Below is a list of what I ordered and why. Keep in mind that I live on an acre and my youngest child is 16 years old! I am not listing things I didn’t have to buy. I did not take pictures of all the pages of my chart for you, because I think it would be hard to read from the photo. Plus, this way you get the links. Extra easy for you, if you want to check anything out!
Johnny’s Selected Seeds:
bush beans, Amethyst - I have planted Royal Burgundy in the past, because I really like the purple flowers, beans, and tinted foliage; but this one might grow straighter and more uniformly. Open pollinated.
broccoli, Blue Wind – I am going to try this once more. Fighting of the early spring destruction of my broccoli (and cabbage) by insects has been a challenge, but I’m not giving up yet.
broccoli, Arcadia – has been the most reliable producer for me over the past few years.
cabbage, Storage – Yep, that’s its name. None of my limited crop of cabbage actually made it to the pantry last year. Hopefully, this year I will have enough to try that. This type is a hybrid to compare with an open pollinated variety listed later.
carrot, Caracas – an earlier variety that is open pollinated. I wanted something that would give me a lot of early carrots this year.
carrots, Sugarsnax – a hybrid, but sounded like a good combination of tasty and resistant to trouble. I will be comparing the flavor of the hybrid to the non-hybrid.
leeks, King Richard – one that should mature sooner and sounded like it might be particularly good as baby leeks.
lettuce, Crispino – this has been a standby summer lettuce for me for several years. Takes a long time to bolt and is tasty.
bell pepper, Ace – I will be comparing this hybrid to two open pollinated bell peppers that I ordered from Territorial Seeds.
hot pepper, Hot Paper Lantern – the most reliable hot, hot pepper for our shorter hot season. They don’t tend to show up until the last minute, but then they are beautiful hanging en masse from the plant.
bell pepper, Sweet Chocolate – those of you who know me well may be concerned about this choice. No, I don’t think I’m growing chocolate and I have no plans to bite into them full on. The name and color were just too good to pass up. I’ll let you know what we do with them!
radish, Red Meat – I don’t think they taste like steak. It has more to do with the coloring. Radishes are just so easy to grow, even if we don’t eat that many of them.
spinach, Tyee – a basic variety. I have to plant spinach really early around here, but this one is supposed to be slower to bolt in the heat.
tomato, German Johnson – It is partly my predominantly German heritage, partly that we just need some big, fat, juicy sandwich tomatoes. I will probably try to get one of these off to an early start in the greenhouse.
cherry tomato, Sunpeach – I admit, these names are getting to me. I have found that hybrids are the best cherry tomatoes, too.
cilantro, Calypso – It is supposed to be slower bolting and my husband loves to have cilantro to go pick whenever he wants.
dill, Superdukat – sometimes I just like to choose something that isn’t the standard variety that everyone is growing. Plus, this one says something about the heads being more the same height and easier to pick. It is still open pollinated.
sage, common – I had some of this, but had to remove it from the landscape at a time when it was inconvenient to plant it somewhere else. I will try to locate it better this time. The soft, muted foliage color is a nice addition to the landscape.
thyme, German Winter – It’s not too hard to grow, but I tend to lose it once I have planted it out in the garden, it is so tiny at first. Will try again….
Territorial Seed Company:
asparagus, Purple Passion – I don’t think I’m the only one who likes purple vegetables, since there are quite a few of them for sale. I have successfully grown asparagus from seed several times, only to quickly and completely lose it in the yard. I will plant it in a raised bed this time, but I’m simply not in the mood to wait three years for it to mature.
dry beans, Flambo – I had such fun with the Tepary beans last year, and these lighter colored beans look like they might also mature in our short season.
cabbage, Danish Ball – It sounded dependable. This is the open pollinated variety I wanted to compare to the hybrid storage variety from Johnny’s.
cabbage, Parel – The early cabbage in my garden, which is importantly listed as resistant to splitting!
corn, Hookers – To be honest, I can’t tell if this will be good fresh AND ground, but I’m done trying to pick hybrid sweet corn on exactly the right day. It just doesn’t happen. All the corn I’m ordering is open pollinated. I still hoping to find one that doesn’t get smut, which has been an ongoing problem throughout my yard.
corn, Golden Bantam – This corn IS supposed to be for eating fresh.
popcorn, Early Pink – I’m going to be asking my engineer if he can come up with a better way for me to get the dry kernels off of the cob…
cucumber, Homemade Pickles – Last year, I tried these for the first time and they worked out very well.
lettuce, Drunken Woman – It would be understandable if you wondered why I needed to buy lettuce seed. You’ll just have to surmise.
melon, Minnesota Midget (cantaloupe) – If it grows in MN, it has to grow here. I love fresh cantaloupe.
watermelon, Sugar Baby – Watermelons tends to be hit and miss for us here, but it works out just often enough to keep me in the game.
bell pepper, California Wonder 300 – This is one of the open pollinated peppers I’m growing.
bell pepper, Gourmet – We like color in our fajitas. This is the other open pollinated bell.
radish, Pink Celebration – Just look at the picture. Plus, this is the earliest variety of my two.
zucchini, Black Beauty – This zucchini sounded like it might be more productive than the open pollinated variety I have been growing. I also like the idea of the dark color making it easier to see!
basil, Sweet Dani – Just a touch of lemon
Seeds of Change:
beet, Shiraz – The husband likes beets a lot. This sounded like the best all around beet for me.
carrot, Red Core Chantenay – Listed a best tasting and a heirloom.
cucumber, Bush Champ – It sounded like a space efficient way to grow a salad cucumber. Might consider growing it closer to the house, for ease of picking at will.
lettuce, Red Sails – What else is there to say about lettuce?
lettuce, Fresh Heart – And, to round out the salad bar -
onion, Dakota Tears – This onion sounded like it would mature well in the shorter warm part of the growing season, and it should store well.
jalapeno, Triunfo – I am tired of the kinds that crack. I wanted higher yield and I liked the dark color on this one, too.
sunflower, Miriam Edible – I am still on my search for the best tasting, but practical to harvest, sunflower. This one looked hopeful and is open pollinated.
beet, Boltardy – Again, bolting in the heat is a problem, so I thought I’d compare this beet to the other. I did find the whole Pinetree catalog harder to shop in, compared to the other catalogs. The website is lacking photos, too, which are influential. The seed packets were less expensive, with slightly fewer seeds. For me, the number I wanted was usually the larger package. However, I did find these three kinds of seeds that were of interest through them.
cabbage, Jersey Wakefield – This cabbage looked interesting as an early cabbage. It seems to have a very good record, anyway.
lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson – I know I could probably get this anywhere, but this is where I saw it. I haven’t grown it for a while, but it is the earliest lettuce I’ve ever had.
Time will tell if filtering through all the differences in the vegetables pays off, or if it is just me succumbing to pretty pictures. It should be helpful! I’ll list some of the flowers I’m growing from seed in another post soon.