One of the hardest parts of growing a garden in my opinion is deciding what to grow. In today's market there is so much available that I want to grow everything. I have learned through the years that it is better in most cases to stick with what grows well in your area first, inexpensive seeds if possible that meet the needs of what you are doing with it.
Every year I plant Jade green beans. This is one of the few hybrids that I do plant and they perform extremely well in this area producing thin and crisp stringless beans
that last on the bush well without getting tough. They can well and produce faithfully.
For a tomato I plant Brandywine tomatoes for eating and canning. This is an heirloom open pollinated indeterminate variety. The taste is that of a traditional old time tomato and they produce huge red tomatoes that can wonderfully. I have been saving seeds for almost 10 years from stock originally obtained from Seed Savers Exchange.
My favorite tomato for eating though is also an heirloom indeterminate called Big Rainbow. This is a huge yellow slicing tomato with pink stripes. It is also open pollinated and was originally obtained through Seed Savers Exchange. You can see the large yellow tomatoes in the picture at left that my daughter and Granddaughter are holding. It is lower in acid and has a wonderful tomato flavor. They are planted in wire rings and I have seen the tomato plants reach a height of 8'.
The other hybrid seeds that I always purchase are the variety Kandy Korn. This is a heavy producer for our area and a great ear corn for freezing or eating fresh. Our only problem is beating the coons to it : )
For Okra we now grow 2 varieties both heirloom and open pollinated. One is Clemson Spineless and the other variety is Cajun Cow horn. The Clemson Spineless makes smaller pods and are easier to pick because the stalks are not as tall. The Cajun Cow horn can reach heights of 8' with pods up to 12 inches long but the pods do not get hard when they are large like many okras do. We save these seeds every year.
For cucumbers I plant the heirloom open pollinated variety Straight Eight. I find this variety good for both eating fresh and making pickles and relish. Once the sweet green peas are finished the cucumbers are planted to run on the rings that the peas grew on. We save these seeds every year.
For Cabbage I plant a variety called Early Jersey Wakefield. Also an heirloom variety that makes a smaller conical shaped head that I find holds up well in our cool and wet springs. The larger headed cabbages have a tendency to split with the heavy spring rains we can get here in Missouri. I do not save these seeds every year but do keep a several year supply of them as they store really well.
Well that is enough gardening for today. I'll have to do more in another post! Always love to hear what other people are planting and always ready to try a new variety so feel free to share. Is there a particular variety that you have great success with?