For me, part of the fun of gardening is trying new things. This time of year there’s not a lot of actual work to be done in the garden, so I have time to research and plan for the new gardening year. During the main growing season I make notes and keep records about how the garden is doing so I can refer to it later. I also make note of any interesting varieties I may want to try in the future, often getting ideas from other gardeners and bloggers. So now it is time to come up with a list of what I plan to grow in 2016.
I do love to experiment in the garden, and my list is always long. I’m calling 2016 the Year of the Tomato since I am trying so many new (to me) varieties. From Artisan Seeds I will be growing Blush, Captain Lucky, Green Tiger, Jazz, Lucinda, Marzano Fire, Purple Bumblebee, Spike, Sunrise Bumblebee, Taste, and several unreleased o/p varieties. I am especially excited to be trialing some of the hybrids they are working on. From the University of Florida tomato research program I will be growing Garden Gem and Garden Treasure. Rounding out the new tomatoes will be a couple from Secret Seed Cartel called Champagne and Ron’s Carbon Copy. I’m going to give Maglia Rosa and Spike a try in containers and give them a head start in the greenhouse. My old favorites like Juliet, Golden Rave, Viva Italia, Sun Gold and Black Cherry are also in the plan.
I’m also trying a number of new peppers this year. Flaming Flare is an F1 hybrid Fresno type pepper that was a 2015 AAS winner. I’ve also got seeds from two sources claiming to be the pepper grown and processed to make the famous Aleppo pepper flakes. Of course while shopping for seeds one thing leads to another, and I wound up getting seeds for two hot Turkish peppers called Urfa and Maras and a sweet Italian pepper called Friggitello. I also plan to try Senorita jalapeno, since the so-called ‘mild’ Tam jalapeno I grew last year was a shy producer and was just as hot as most other jalapenos I have grown. I’ve become a fan of the baccatum peppers and this year I want to add Aji Amarillo, Aji Lemon Drop and Criolla Sella Chili to the plan along with ones I have grown before like Aji Angelo, Aji Golden, Aji Panca, Kaleidoscope and Malawi Piccante. I think I counted 37 peppers on my growout list, and some of them will wind up as container plants if I fill up all the garden slots.
After disappointing results with onions the last few years, I have ordered a bundle each of Red Torpedo Tropea and Candy from Dixondale Farms and that will be all I grow. I’m also going to simplify my carrot choices and grow only Mokum and Purple Haze. I want to concentrate on other things this year (like tomatoes and peppers) and I have cut bush dry beans from the list too. I still plan to grow Good Mother Stallard pole beans, but I’m not sure about the Cherokee Trail of Tears beans which have been real shy producers for me here. Definitely coming back are the two ‘greasy’ beans from Sustainable Mountain Agricultural Center I grew last year called Robe Mountain and Lazy Wife Greasy. They will join my old standby pole beans Fortex, Musica, Gold Marie, Rattlesnake and Trionfo Violetta. I also plan on growing tepary beans again this year, and yardlong beans.
Last year I grew the white fleshed sweet potato Bonita for the first time and it was a big hit here. So this year I placed an order with the Sand Hill Preservation Center for the white fleshed Red Japanese and Purple Korean sweet potatoes as well as for Garnet and Golden Sweet. I’m looking forward to finding an alternative to Beauregard which yields well but often produces large and misshapen tubers in my garden. I know, too much sweet potato is a good problem to have but size and shape do matter in the kitchen, as do taste and texture. The purple fleshed Purple is one that will be back for sure.
I also want to tweak my lineup of winter squash varieties. We love delicata squash, so I am going to grow more of the Bush Delicata and give Honeyboat and Candystick another shot. I also want to give the Butterscotch mini butternut a try, and bring back the bush Early Butternut which has always done well for me. Tromboncino is back on the list too, after being absent a couple of years. I’m pretty happy with my lineup of summer squashes, but I will bring the yellow pattypan Sunburst back. It can join the white scalloped squash that I’ve been growing off and on for so many years. My mother really liked pattypan squash and I learned to like eating it even before I began growing it in my own garden.
As for brassicas, I’ll grow the same broccoli varieties I grew last year, and most of the same kale, cabbage and kohlrabi varieties. I do want to try a savoy cabbage this year, but I haven’t settled on which one just yet. I’ve grown Deadon and Alcosa in the past, and I would love to hear suggestions from other gardeners if they have a favorite savoy variety to recommend.
I’m sure there will be changes to my list, but this is my current list close to what I plan on growing this year. I’ve already ordered and received a few seeds, and I will work on getting the rest in the next month or so. It won’t be that long before it will be time to start some seeds too!
Asian Greens: Komatsuna Carlton, Mizspoona, Mizuna Kyoto, Pak Choi Mei Qing, Yukina Savoy
Beans (bush): Derby
Beans (pole): Fortex, Gold Marie, Good Mother Stallard, Lazy Wife Greasy, Musica, Poletschka, Red Noodle, Robe Mountain, Trionfo Violetto
Beans (Tepary): Black, Blue Speckled, Sacaton Brown
Broccoli: Apollo, Bay Meadows, Diplomat, Green Magic, Gypsy, Goliath, Imperial, Packman
Broccoli Raab: Cima di Rapa Quarantino, Sorrento
Cabbage: Chieftain Savoy, Farao, KY Cross, Katarina, Melissa Savoy, Tendersweet
Carrots: Mokum, Purple Haze
Cucumber: Corinto, Diva, Green Fingers, Manny, Summer Dance, Tasty Jade
Eggplant: Dancer, Fairy Tale, Galine, Millionaire, Nadia
Greens: Apollo arugula, Golden Corn Salad, Granon Corn Salad, Speedy arugula
Kale: Baltic Red, Beedy’s Camden, Gulag Stars, Lacinato, Madeley, Prizm, Red Ursa, Sutherland, Western Front, White Russian, Wild Garden Mix
Kohlrabi: Kolibri, Konan, Kossak, Superschmeltz, Winner
Lettuce: Anuenue, Black Seeded Simpson, Cardinale, Hanson, Jester, Oak Leaf, Outstanding, Pele, Radichetta, Red Sails, Sierra, Simpson Elite, Slobolt, Smile, Three Heart, Total Clown, Unicum, Tango, Winter Density
Onion: Candy, Red Torpedo Tropea
Peas: Avalanche, Oregon Sugar Pod 2, Sugar Ann
Pepper(hot): Aji Angelo, Aji Golden, Aji Panca, Aleppo, Anaheim, Ancho 211, Biggie Chili, Cayenneta, Criolla Sella Chili, Czechoslovakian Black, Flaming Flare, Fooled You, Guajillo, Hot Happy Yummy, Holy Mole, Kaleidoscope, Leutschauer Paprika, Malawi Piquante, Maras, Maule’s Red Hot, Ozark Chili, PCR Paprika, Senorita Jalapeno, Thai Bird, Urfa
Pepper (sweet): Big Bertha, Celia Dulce, Cornito Giallo, Corno di Toro Rosso, Dulce Rojo, Early Sunsation, Escamillo, Feher Ozon Paprika, Flavorburst, Friggitello, Goliath Goldrush, Sweet Happy Yummy, Jimmy Nardello’s, Orange Blaze, Stocky Red Roaster, Topepo Rosso
Potato: German Butterball, Kennebec, Red Pontiac
Radish: China Rose, Minowase Summer Cross, Misato Rose, Plum Purple, Shunkyo
Spinach: Gigante Inverno (Giant Winter), Space, Viroflay
Squash(summer): Astia, Clarimore, Enterprise, Gentry, Kumi Kumi, Raven, Romanesco, Spineless Beauty, Striato d’Italia, Sunburst, Tatume, White Scallop
Squash(winter): Butternut Rugosa, Butterscotch, Cornell’s Bush Delicata, Early Butternut, Gold Nugget, Honey Nut, Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck, Seminole, Sugarloaf, Thai Rai Kaw Tok, Tromba d’Albenga, Violina Rugosa
Sweet Potatoes: Beauregard, Bonita, Garnet, Golden Sweet, Korean Purple, Purple, Red Japanese
Tomatoes: Better Boy, Black Cherry, Blush, Candyland Red, Captain Lucky, Celebrity, Champagne, Chef’s Choice Green, Chef’s Choice Orange, Cherokee Purple, Early Girl, Eva Purple Ball, Golden Rave, Garden Gem, Garden Treasure, Golden Rave, Green Tiger, Health Kick, Jetsetter, Juliet, Lucinda, Maglia Rosa, Marzano Fire, Mexico Midget, Orange Caprese, Orange Jazz, Purple Bumblebee, Rio Grande, Spike, Sun Gold, Sun Sugar, Sunrise Bumblebee, Super Sweet 100, Vinson Watts, Viva Italia
Turnips: Hakurei, Oasis, Mikado, Royal Crown, Tsugaru Scarlet