'The Best' Vegetables

Brett-CpGMarch 26, 2012

I'm out to get some opinions, if I can. It's easy to find "favorites" lists for tomatoes and peppers on these forums, but its harder for other veggies. Whats worse, seed catalogs make everything sound so good, so it's hard to gauge the real winners. I'm only in my second year of gardening, and this year I'm trying out veggies beyond tomatoes and peppers, but even with most things planted, I have no idea what to expect for results. Would you all be open to creating full lists of your favorite veggies? Preferably only offering suggestions for vegetables that you've tried a few varieties of? Better still, add just a few words about why you like it so much.

For instance, last year I grew several normal and cherry tomato varieties. I might have the following list:

Tomato: Cherokee Purple-unbeatable flavor

Cherry Tomato: Sungold-Irresistibly sweet, very prolific

A comprehensive list would be awesome, including everything from Asparagus to zucchini. I appreciate anyone willing to type out their responses. I know some of you grow dozens of different veggies. Also, if a list like this already exists in the forums, my apologies, but I couldn't find it.



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I started a small garden, because I got sick of container growing peppers, both green and hot. But, as anyone will agree with, once you start a small one, it isn't long before you expand. Now, I grow quite a few things, although not tons. For the record, everything I grow is Burpee.

Kohlrabi: I LOVE the "early white vienna" type. It has the classic cabbage flavor to me, with a sweetness to it. My absolute favorite veggie.

Peas: I grow "super sugar snap" en masse. This variety seems to yield better then the regular sugar snap. They are sweet, and the whole family likes them.

Radishes: I have tried "cherry belle", but I found it to be too spicy. Although I like hot food, radish spicy is different. I like the french type, "fire and ice" in particular. They are milder, and have a bit of sweetness to them.

Carrots: All I have ever tried is "danvers half long", because they are so good that I have never strayed.

Turnips: Turnips never appealed much to me, but the description of "turnip oasis" got me to try them. I'll be planting them from now on, as they indeed are sweet and somewhat melon like. I've never cooked them, only eaten them raw, and they say the sweet taste goes away when cooking.

Onions: I only grow the green type, to munch on with a bit of salt while I watch TV. I grow the "parade" type, because it's the only one that is quick to harvest, at only 60 days, versus the 120 that scallions take. They taste like regular ole green onions from the store to me, which is what I like though.

Tomatoes: I only grow a few cherry plants each summer, and "sun gold" takes the gold medal. I have grown "juliet" roma tomatoes, which were good. The skin was a bit thick, but they were meaty and sweet. They over produced though, with one plant yielding WAY more then I could eat.

Peppers: I just grow your average green bell pepper, banana pepper, and jalapeno. I LOVE peppers, so I grow a lot, but nothing fancy in the way of varieties.

Cukes: Plain old burpless type. I do grow "picklebush" though, and make my own pickles. But, eaten fresh, they taste just like all other cukes taste...like cukes.

Beans: I always grow the regular "kentucky wonder" type. I like them, the wife and kids like them, so I've never tried any other types.

Zucchini: I grow the Burpee hybrid, which is used almost entirely for zucchini bread. I also grow 1 "butterstick" plant, to slice up and grill, or deep fry. We all know that 1 zucchini plant puts out some serious zukes, so 1 or 2 plants is TOPS.

Thats pretty much all I got for ya, although this year I will be trying cantaloupe and "chubby checkers" sweet corn. All in all, I have to say, the kholrabi is the thing I look forward to most, with the peppers and sungold cherry tomatoes next. Hey, if something looks or sounds good, try it. That's how you find the best stuff.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 10:35PM
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Asparagus - I started Guelph Millennium from seed eight years ago and we get great production despite giving the bed no attention whatsoever.

Yellow bush bean - Gold Mine is hands down the best and most attractive producer in our garden. Every bean is straight and true, held entirely off the ground and they can be picked by the full handful. No yellow bean compares to green in flavour, but texture-wise they're like velvet.

Carrots - I've only ever grown nantes varieties as our soil isn't deep enough for longer carrots before they hit clay. I try other varieties, but come back to Bolero for storage. They don't get sweet until it's near freezing outside, but they stay sweet as long as they're in storage over the winter. I'd go so far as to say they seem to get sweeter.

Pumpkin - The only pumpkin I've ever gotten to cure on the vine before any hint of frost has been Racer. It's amazing and perfect for our short season.

Tomato (slicer) - Applause is my absolute favourite because it's zingy and not sweet (I hate sweet tomatoes). They get big and they have no problem ripening on the vine in our short season (with no season extending methods beyond hot caps for about a week when they're transplanted out).

Runner beans - I prefer Painted Lady over Scarlet as they're more tender and hold longer on the vine.

I grow lots of other stuff, but I'm not married to any particular variety yet with my green beans, peppers, etc.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 2:54AM
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feijoas(New Zealand)

These are a few of my favourite things...
I save seed, so all my plants are open-pollinated.
In no particular order:
drunken woman and marveille de quatre saisons lettuces.
Hollow crown parsnips
Black cherry and Jaune flamme tomatoes
pink fir apple potatoes
giant red Asian mustard
Romanesco broccoli
costada romanesco zuchini
orange Hubbard squash
Runner beans for green an drying
Glaskin's perpetual rhubarb

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 5:09AM
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Cornell University hosts a website where gardeners can vote for their favorite varieties and make comments about them. If more people participated, the database would be even better. Search in the "explore varieties" box on the left side of the page to look at individual vegetables. You don't have to log in to look.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornell Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 7:53AM
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You might want to check the link below. Cornell has lots of good growing advice and has a data base on various varieties of veggies. Dave's Plant Files is another helpful resource.

What might do wonderfully for some people might not work at all for others. Here's a few of my favorites:

Green Goliath - good size beautiful heads. Good side shoot production after main head has been harvested.

Pole Beans: all of these were tremendously productive as snaps
Lazy Housewife
Case Knife
Cherokee Trail of Tears
Kentucky Wonder (but Japanese Beetles love these)
Grandma Nellie's Yellow Mushroom
Grease Grits

Bush Beans: Tremendously productive
Burpee Stringless
Dragon Tongue (pretty but not as productive)
Royalty Purple (pretty but not as productive)
Kinghorn Wax

Lettuce: easy to grow, not bitter, lasted most of the summer before bolting
Parris Isle Cos
Marveille De Quatre Saisons

Peas: only peas I've been avle to grow successfully
Mammoth Melting Snow Pea

Cucumbers: Productive, not as bothered by pests, never bitter
Boothby's Blonde

Melons: only melons I've been able to grow successfully
Noir des Carmes

Winter Squash: old faithful, very common but always produces
Waltham Butternut

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornell's Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:11AM
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