It’s been TWO degrees here for days. One day the temperature crept up to a balmy FIVE degrees. That was followed by two nights of -10 degrees. At this point, it doesn’t matter what the thermometer says – it’s COOOOLD! Everything is frozen solid and it hurts to breathe when you’re outside. It’s time to snuggle up on the couch with the gardening magazines that have been appearing in my mailbox and start planning for springtime.
My favorite company to order vegetable seeds from is Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. They have an unbelievable selection of rare and heirloom seeds and all the seeds are non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated and non-patented. You can’t ask for more than that! Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply is a great site for organic fertilizers, weed and pest control supplies.
THE BEST ORGANIC SEED COMPANIES
- Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated varieties
- High Mowing Organic Seeds – certified organic, non-GMO varieties
- Seeds of Change – certified organic, non-GMO varieties
- Sow True Seed – non-hybrid, non-GMO varieties and organic varieties
- Territorial Seed Company – non-GMO varieties and organic varieties
- The Natural Gardening Company – certified organic, non-GMO varieties
Aside from my regular go-to, reliable plants, I’ve found a few new varieties that I fell in love with last summer. They were excellent producers, but still had that old-fashioned, heirloom quality.
The German Pink tomato was the absolute favorite tomato of my family and friends. It’s a variety that originated in Bavaria and was brought to the states in 1883. It’s a beautiful blush pink color and is almost seedless. I had many German Pinks that were 1-1/2 to 2 pounds!
The Blue Beauty tomato came in a close second place with its sweet and mild taste. I originally grew them just because I thought they were pretty, but they instantly became one of my favorites. One of the great things about this tomato was that it held up throughout our very rainy, temperamental summer without nary a crack or split.
I grew four different kinds of cherry tomatoes this past summer. But by far, the best one was the Chocolate Cherry tomato which had an old-fashioned tomato taste, and were unbelievably juicy and sweet. This plant, however, needs to be staked and tied and staked some more. It needs plenty of room because, not only were my plants approximately 5 feet tall, they were about that wide, too! I trimmed it vigorously throughout the summer, but that didn’t slow it down. By the end of the growing season, it had won and was silently mocking me.
Last summer, I ventured away from the ho-hum radish that’s found in every grocery store and planted the Pink Beauty Radish. And what a beauty is was – out of the dirt popped this wonderful pink bubblegum colored radish that tasted just as good as it looked. It had a nice mild flavor with a little heat at the end and was perfect for eating right out of the garden and held up to pickling, too. I never even thinned the radish row and they weren’t even bothered.
MY 2014 GARDEN WINNERS
- German Pink Tomato
- Blue Beauty Tomato
- Chocolate Cherry Tomato
- Purple Beauty Pepper
- Topepo Rosso Pepper
- Lungo Bianco Zucchini
- Ford Hook Zucchini
- Contender Valentine Bush Bean
- Pink Beauty Radish
- Boston Pickling Cucumber
- Delikatesse Cucumber
- Scarlet Nantes Carrot
- Atomic Red Carrot
- Sugar Snap Pea
2015 GARDEN ADDITIONS
- Purple Teepee Bush Bean
- Roma II Bush Bean
- Crosby’s Egyptian Beet
- Quadrato D’Asti Rosso Pepper
- Blue Berries Cherry Tomato
- Omani Pink Sweet Potato
- Purple Viking Potato
SWEET GARDEN DREAMS!