What new crops did you grow in 2013? Will you grow them again?

ltiltonSeptember 7, 2013

I planted a number of new varieties this year in my vegetable garden. Some worked out well, some not so well. What new crops did you try? Will you plant them again?

Melon: Escorial

My standard Charentais has been Savor, but Johnny's Seeds said this one was earlier. I found it to be over a week earlier than Savor. It's also netted. Most notably, it resists cracking. With Savor, the instant the skin turns color, it's going to crack. So Escorial is an improvement. The flavor is intense, the flesh more crisp than Savor. I'll grow this one again.

Cucumber: Tasty Jade

A long, "burpless" parthenogenic type. Really nice seedless cuke. I wanted a parthenogenic type to try out my plan of wrapping the support tower in nylon net to exclude the cucumber beetles. It must have worked, because my oldest vines are still alive and, sortof, producing. Will grow again.

Summer Squash: Tromboncino, Costata Romanesco

I wanted SVB resistance plus flavor so tried these two varieties instead of standard zukes. Neither variety got SVB damage. Maybe they weren't around.

Tromboncino: P moschata. This means it can cross-pollinate with the Butternut squash, in case either runs short on male flowers. The vines are long-running, the fruiting prolific. I found them ready to pick on the day of flowering and they could more than triple in size by the next day. I like the seedlessness of the long necks, but the flavor is bland. I'd grow it again if I had more room and could use more squash.

Costata Romanesco: This C pepo variety has the huge leaves and thick hollow stem of a typical zuke, but it tends also to vine a bit, not as compact as the usual bush zuke. The fruits are ridged. Very vigorous plant that resisted every disease and remained green and healthy all season. Because of the flavor issue, this is the one I'll probably grow next year.

Bush Filet Bean: Concador

Very thin, straight, tender yellow beans. I wanted a yellow bean for variety. The first flush is extremely prolific. It's too late in the season to judge a second flush. Some of the pods were getting seedy before they developed good size and color. It was hard to pick on that account. I might grow this again, but I'll probably try a different yellow bean instead.

Lima Bean: Jackson Wonder

This is supposed to be a bush-type, small-seeded lima. What I wanted were baby limas. It turned out to be what I'd call semi-vining, which really wasn't a problem although I had to scramble to support it. But when the seeds were small and tender like I wanted them, the pods were a real bother to get open; when the pods zipped open easily, the beans were too old, already turning purple. Because of the purple coloring, the cooked beans ended up an unappetizing muddy brown. Won't grow this again.

Pepper: Pizza

Last year, having overabundance of tomatoes, I made a lot of salsa and found myself buying jalapenos for them. So I decided to grow my own hot peppers, but opted for a less-hot variety so I could use more and have more flavor from them. But this one is as heatless as a bell pepper, harsh flavored when green. It's also highly susceptible to BER and sunscald. I got very few unspoiled peppers. Definitely a no-grow. Next year I'll grow an actual hot pepper.

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sweetquietplace(6 WNC Mtn.)

This year I put out 25 different types of potatoes. This was the first time I ordered seed potatoes and not relied on sprouted grocery store potatoes for planting. If you've been growing the same old, same old, I urge you to try some of the newer developed varieties. I especially like the red fleshed ones...Terra Rosa and Adirondack Red. Prairie Blush is the best looking and very tasty as well. Huckleberry Gold is scrumptious and has more health benefits than some of the others. And I can recommend the russet Silverton.

I would be interested in hearing about the favorite potaotes that you folks grow.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 10:26AM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

These are the new varieties I grew this year.

Cowpea- 'White Acre'. This is my first time growing cowpeas and they didn't do so well. About a week after I planted them the rains came. So just as they were sprouting, more than half drowned because of the rain. Those that survived seem stunted. And since I planted them late to begin with (near the end of June), I didn't think there'd be enough time to replant and still get a harvest. Which was probably a good assessment because they are just now starting to grow pods. I will be planting these again next year, sooner next time.

Sweet corn- 'Howling Mob'. It's a white, open pollinated variety between 8-10 feet tall. I dabbled with corn a couple times in the past but this is the first year that I had the space to plant it correctly (in a block as opposed to a few short rows). As with the cowpeas, I planted it late so the ears are just now starting to fill in. Don't know yet whether I'll plant it again. I might try 'Country Gentlemen' next year. I did find out that I'll have to increase the space between plants next time.

Fingerling potato- 'Rose Finn Apple'. My soil's Ph isn't acidic enough so they got scab. Tastes okay though. I'm not going to plant potatoes again.

Radish- 'Long Black Spanish'. It's a good sized radish and it grows well but it's hot. It's probably less hot if grown in the fall as opposed to the spring (which is when I grew it). I might plant it again or I might try another variety.

Cucumber- 'Ellen's Family White'. It's a small pickling cucumber and as the name suggests, it is really pale, almost white, in color. I like this variety but I'm going to have to grow something with more disease resistance.

Pea- 'Amish Snap'. Good flavor and it produces pods about a week earlier than when 'Sugar Snap' flowers. Since I planted both at the same time, it gave me an extended harvest of snap peas. 'Amish Snap' ended just as 'Sugar Snap' was coming into peak production. I'll plant it again next year.

I should mention that my vegetable garden is only around 150 square feet (not including my area for corn, jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, and pumpkins). So I don't have too much space to devote to trialing new crops and if something doesn't grow well (limited production, none or little disease resistance, etc.), if it takes up too much space, and/or if I can buy it cheap at a farmers market, it's out. Sometimes I have to make sacrifices if I want to try something new. For example, I planted cowpeas instead of bush beans and potatoes instead of peppers. For the other new things I planted the same veggie, just different varieties.


This post was edited by theforgottenone1013 on Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 10:54

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 10:48AM
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I've seen other recommendations for Silverton russet. May try it next year.

I agree about wasting space. I gave up growing corn because, aside from the depredations of the squirrels, I don't have enough room to do it really right and get good pollination and yields.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 12:55PM
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Never grew Collards, will grow again next year and currently for a fall crop.

Grew some new Kale, Will grow Red Russian and Dino Kale again next year.

Patio tomatoes tried this year, pretty good! Will grow a few next year.

Red onions! Will grow more next year!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:44PM
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Cocoa Noir beans ( black beans) - wonderful both in flavor and productivity
Tomatoes - Golden Sweet (yellow grape from Johnny's) = wonderful flavor
BHN-871 - yellow slicer from Johnny's - great flavor, disease resistant (and, boy, did I have issues).
Edamame - 'Butterbeans' also from Johnny's - very productive, good germination and delicious
Squash - Rond de Nice - most of my summer squash did poorly this year but his kept on producing.

Not so good -
Beans - Masai (bush, from Pinetree) - productive but I just didn't get much flavor. Not good

Tomatoes - Bush Goliath (from Pinetree) devastated by disease (I think it was septoria but 2 county extension sites could not agree) and very few tomatoes.

In contrast to ltilton, I had very bad luck with costata romanesco squash - nice plants but very few fruits. This is the least productive zucchini i have ever planted.


This post was edited by MissRumphius on Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 21:39

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:35PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

they are fast , no need for trellis, easy to pick, one shot , let it go !

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 2:20AM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Limmony tomato -- yellow with nice thick flesh -- flavor was good not sweet/not tart but just right for me. With all the rain we had they did not crack and no BER at all. Russet mite got me really hard so plants will get pulled soon.

Aji dulce pepper -- sweet habanero pepper. They were prolific for me and the flavor is somewhat like habanero but with almost no heat. For me they started to ripen at 75 days - not the 110 listed on the packet. I will grow them again by overwintering the plants. I put three plants in a 1/2 whiskey barrel and they seem to like it.

Purple tomatillos -- Actually my second time growing purple tomatillo but the first time they came in PURPLE!! These also stay in their husk and turn purple inside the husk. Taste is good for me because they are sweet/tart. I'm fascinated by the color of these tomatillos. Will definitely grow again.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 3:45AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I think there was a similar thread a month ago, I remember saying I liked the Brandyboy tomatoes and the brown crowder peas I tried this year. Since then I also got to try my first pumpkin/winter squash. It's a moschata, to help with the vine borers, and it's called Musque de Provence. I got the seeds because I was pretty sure that's what I had bought at the farmers market last fall and had really enjoyed. Can't really say whether it is easy to grow, we had several issues pop up, but it was our first go at growing winter squash, so that's to be expected. I can't say for sure which killed most of the vines- calcium deficiency (doh! forgot to lime the new bed and our soil definitely needs it), borers (didn't seem like they were really harming them) or the mole-vole population that kept running tunnels under them. I suspect the latter mostly. Anyway only got two pumpkins, they don't look like what I bought last year, but do taste like it. Very nice, mild flavor. I'll certainly try them again next year with an eye on prefenting some of the problems we had this year.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 10:36AM
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The other thread only wanted successful new plantings. I think discussion of failure can be valuable.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 1:47PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Skyphos butterhead lettuce was a real winner here.

Mirai sweet corn...forget it.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 2:10PM
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Wayne - did that lettuce hold well in the heat? I have yet to find a really good heat-resistant butterhead.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 4:25PM
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All my bush beans did poorly this year, and I wasn't impressed with the flavor of my tomatoes, either. My best new plant was Cascabella pepper - a zippy, but not overly hot variety. Good for salsa, cooking, and DH will eat them in salads (a bit too zippy for my salad taste). Prolific and pretty fire engine red, I will grow them again.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 5:09PM
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That sounds like the kind of pepper I'm looking for.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 6:14PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

ltilton, I would say that Skyphos butterhead head lettuce held up very well for a lettuce. You can harvest the outer wraping without harvesting the whole head at one time.
Also, if you can plant lettuce where it gets some shading part of the day, it helps too.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 6:57PM
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I grew Turkish Orange Eggplant this year and I will definitely grow them next. They are the prettiest eggplants I've seen and very delicious. They are small, about the size of a large tomato, and firmer than the black beauties everyone is used to. I'm really excited about these and so glad I grew them!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:06AM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

Tomatoes: Bistro Hybrid
This is a variety that evidentially is rarely grown in the U.S. I understand it is more common in Europe. I really liked the taste and especially loved the texture. It's very firm and almost crispy! The only drawback was the small size if the fruits. I plan on planting more tomatoes next year, so I might plant one or two of these. Otherwise, I like experimenting and I want something bigger, so I'd try something new.

Peppers: Red Knight and King Arthur
The fruits on both were smallish. I like that the Red Knight is blooming again and trying to set fruit a second time. But I probably won't grow these again next season because of the smallish peppers, which were not suitable for stuffing. I am thinking of growing California Wonder peppers, but it seems like everyone grows those and I do like to experiment!

Strawberries: Ozark Beauty
Lots of smallish fruits. But they tasted great and I'm hoping the small size was because I only started the strawberry patch this year. They are perenials in my sone if I remember correctly. Will definitely keep for next year.

Hot peppers: Orange Habanero
They were slow starters and then they went crazy setting fruit. I plan to overwinter several plants to grow next year. I'm considering whether to add Caribbean Red habaneros and I definitely plan on adding about 2-3 tabasco plants.

I have never grown my own fresh herbs before, but I had a great time doing it this year. All were in containers, but next year I plan on growing some in the ground that are perennial in my zone. I may also grow some dill in the ground. I will probably not grow the genovese basil again. I will probably replace it with pesto perpetuo, just because I prefer perennial plants in general.

I don't tend to cook much with sweeteners, so I haven't found much use for this. But it's been great for giving away to others. If I do grow it again, it will probably be to give away to others.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:47AM
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This was my third year with Poon Kheara cucumbers but last year was a failure because I planted a row of nasturtiums too close and too thick and they smothered the cukes. It's a nice white cuke that turns orange. Even then the seeds don't toughen up. they are small, maybe 4-6 inches so just right for one or two people.

Green Zebra tomatoes: my husband urged me to take a plant at a swap but I'm not sure they are worth growing. I don't detect a citrus flavor and I can't figure out when they are ripe. First ones were over ripe and half mush on the vine.

Summer squash was a failure for me this year if you can imagine not having too many zucchini. I did not plant Costata Romanesco which I like for both flavor and productivity. I planted Raven which quickly succumbed to disease.

Horrible luck with bugs and disease on the first fava beans I tried. Only ones I could find were Thompson & Morgan since I had already sent in my seed order to Fedco.

Great success with Fedco Moose's Tubers sampler pack of fingerling potatoes. Now I have to find the tags. Harvested French (red skinned) yesterday. Very productive. I don't think I will bother with the blue potatoes but it was nice to have different varieties ready for harvest at different times. Also dug German Butterballs. The skin seems rough and haven't cooked any yet but not as productive as the fingerlings. First hilling was done with soil. Next with straw but could have done a better job covering. Lost some potatoes that turned green from being exposed.

Disappointed that the pepperoncini pepper was similar to what I grew last year, long and skinny but I wanted a shorter, blunter fruit like I see already pickled in the grocery store.

Overall, peppers are not turning red for me this year. We had a cold, wet spring, then heat wave, then more cold wet weather here in New England. Chablis has a nice flavor for a pale yellow pepper and is the first to start to turn red but we're about to get a first frost so I won't have red peppers to roast like last year.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 8:18AM
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I've had a real bumper crop of Ace red peppers this year. I got lazy and froze my surplus instead of roasting/canning/preserving them.

I actually wish I had fewer. When they crowd together on the plant and push each other against the support, they tend to get distorted and don't make good stuffers. Now that it's getting cool, I'd like some stuffed peppers.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 8:52AM
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Peppers: Romanian, Gypsy and Carmen.
Very productive peppers, I was surprised by the amount of fruits at each plant , they were loaded.

Eggplants: Classic is the best, lots of large, fat, glossy eggplants.
Millionaire and Ping Tung Long were very good too.
Same with Morden Midget : lots of round fruit, greenish flesh.

Pole beans: Cherokee Trail of Tears, Rattlesnake, Purple Peacock, Fortex are all very good and productive,
I almost wished they stopped producing, since I could not handle them anymore.

Tomato Druzba: Wow, I have never seen a single bush produce so many perfect blemish-free, crack-free tomatoes.
Not even Big Beef had as many. Definitely will grow again

Will not grow again:
Peppers: Corno di Torro, Shepherd, Sweet Chocolate, Tequila Sunrise, Sweet Cherry and some others….
Not because they were complete failures, but simply because their crop does not come even near what Gypsy and Carmen produced.
Why to bother?

Eggplants: Apple Green, Snowy, Casper, Tsakoniki, Sicilian…
they produced moderate amounts of fruit, but not as much as ones I mentioned above.
Black Beauty was a complete failure.

Pole Beans: Gold of Bacau: not as productive as others mentioned, somehow they always get tough too quickly for me.

Ground Cherry : probably will not grow again. Not impressed with the flavor.

Okra: complete failure.

Some pics :
Eggplant Classic:

Pepper Gypsy:

Tomato Druzba (not yet ripened):

“Weird” tomatoes: Helsing Junction Blues and Wapsipinicon Peach:

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 2:25PM
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green - I'll have to check out Druzba. Any tomato that can beat out Big Beef is worth trying.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 5:11PM
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This was a year of experimentation for me. I tried a lot of new and different vegetables that are relatively unknown here.
Ground cherries: I haven't decided yet if the battle with the chipmunks are worth it, but I did manage to harvest enough for a couple of batches of jam.
Tomatillos: I will definitely grow again. We are not big salsa eaters, but pork chili verde is really yummy!
Sweet potatoes: what a sweet surprise! 10 starts produced a bushel. Curing them is a bit of a challenge, but I'll plant them again.
Long beans: incredibly prolific. I'm still experimenting with recipes for them.
Luffas: a bit of a disappointment, but I will try them again only starting them earlier under lights.
Jerusalem artichokes: I haven't tried them yet, but they are 10 feet tall and starting to flower.
Red kuri squash: DELICIOUS!! Worth the effort of battling SVB.

I am very fortunate in that I have the room to experiment with new and borderline veggies (for my zone).
Next year is already planned with goji berries, mouse melons and figs!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 5:20AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

My best new plant was Cascabella pepper - a zippy,..

I have got seeds to grow them next year. I am a fan of milld peppers, to to the heat of serrano. Something that I can munch on along with my dinner. Never a fan of Sweets and super hots.

One such pepper that I am growing this year is Cubanelle. Very similar to Gypsy and Anaheim.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 5:47AM
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Arwen, the very important thing with sun chokes is to let them freeze and thaw multiple times over the winter. This breaks down the difficult starch that the tuber contains and makes it hugely more digestible. If you eat them in fall or early winter you can propel your own dirigible....

I grew a new-to-me heirloom grain corn called 'white gourd-seed'. It is not yet mature enough for bread but it is a quite good fresh eating ear, more so than the dents that I have grown. A very unusual-looking ear and kernel.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 8:26AM
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pn - what kind of mill do you use to grind the meal?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:20AM
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When the grain is very fresh (and thus very damp) I crush it in a Corona mill. Those are excellent and affordable machines made in Columbia for a long time specifically for small-holders to process maize. Last time I bought them I had to go direct to the importer in NYC because for some strange reason none of the online advertisers actually had them, despite saying they did. Don't be fooled by the very similar-looking asian knock-offs that are cheaper and poorly-made, they won't hold up for years. My oldest one I've been using since the mid-80's.

Once the grain gets good and dry I grind it in a Diamant grain mill which I have motorized. Those were made in Denmark, now made in eastern europe to the same specs. Generally considered the best small mill ever made. It is now very expensive due to the weak dollar. One can get by grinding dry corn in the Corona but you will have to make multiple passes increasingly fine to get anything close to typical cornmeal. You can get your heart-rate quite high....

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Can't motorize the Corona, I take it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 1:59PM
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I suppose you could under the theorem that anything is possible...

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 4:07PM
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PNBrown-that was hilarious ! I'm sitting here giggling !

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 1:45PM
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runswithscissors(MT 4/5)

Beans - red noodle...terrible. They grew spindly and sad-looking as if they were sprayed with round-up, but they weren't.

Runner Bean - golden sunshine - Wow. I grew this as an ornamental and it blew me away. I will be planting this bean every year from now on.

Beet - bull's blood - Nice. Grew well. I plant beets for the greens, mostly, but this also had a nice flavored root. Some people use it for dye.

Chinese Cabbage - Michilli - Horrible. First of all, it has stickers! Big stickers!! (I didn't know that.) Plus the earwigs loved it, and it got mushy-rot quickly in the spring.

Bok Choi - Soloist - bolts before you even get a chance to pick and eat it.

Broccoli - Apollo - just, okay. It tasted fine, but I prefer my Green Magic Hybrid for taste and cooking.

Red Cabbage - red express - Fabulous! Small balls of tight red cabbage. Perfect for small family. And tasted good, too.

Sweet Corn - Triplesweet serendipity - so-so. Grew strong and vigorous, but I had a hard time judging the pick time. Usually I use the thumb-nail-trick. By the time the juice was "milky colored" the kernels were very tough. (altho they were also very sweet)

Gourd - bushel - terrible. This is the 3rd year I've tried these. The plant grows huge and healthy, but never makes a gourd. I give up.

Onions - Candy - Great! Not quite as sweet as walla-walla, but smaller and store for a really long time!

Peas - Cascadia - hard to pod.
Super sugar snap - easy to pick because they grow right at eye level, but the pods are rubbery and hard to pop open.
Mammoth Melting - Hard to pod.
Tall Telephone Alderman - Don't even waste your money. These peas taste terrible!
(Have always grown RSVP and they are easy to pod and taste so sweet and yummy.)

Pepper - ghost pepper - hot, hot, hot, super hot. I didn't get but one pepper off of it, but was pleasantly surprised at what a beautiful plant it is. I dug it up and am over-wintering it in my greenhouse.

Pepper - ornamental purple flash - just like the picture in the catalog. Very pretty, and seems hardy too.

Potatoes - German Butterball - has funny brown dots all through the flesh.
Purple Viking - no scab, and extremely delicious. My forever potato now.

spinach - bordeaux - awful. Grows spindly like spider legs and the leaves are small and not worth the effort of picking enough for cooking.

Zuccini - Easy pick gold - so-so. It doesn't have as many stickers, and the fruit is pretty, but doesn't hold up to cooking at all. Turns to mush very quickly.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 9:00PM
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Enjoying this thread. Seeing some varieties I'm planting next year, but not a lot. Hope I made good selection in my seed choices.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 9:53AM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

We grew Scarlet Runners this year. We've never grown runner/pole beans before, only bush beans. I just wanted to see what they looked like; the pictures in the catalogs were always so pretty. The flowers really are that pretty, I would grow them again just for the ornamental value, but the beans were quite good also. So next year I plan on growing a bunch of them.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 8:43PM
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Last year I grew:

1) Yard-long asian runner beans on my fence. Very prolific. Very good in stir fry.
2) Zucchini - very prolific, and taste good in Itaian dishes.
3) Mustard greens - good choice when mixed with
4) Swiss chards, very prolific.
5) Arichokes - If my plants (pictures) survive the winter in Northern VA I hope to get artichokes this coming year.
6) Tomatoes - I grew heirloom types and big boy and beefsteak. Terrible experience. Most of the plants sufferred from deseases (they were not "vfn"). Next year I will stick to the VFN varieties.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 7:52AM
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Napa, Garlic will grow again 2014

This post was edited by JCTsai on Sun, Dec 29, 13 at 9:23

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 1:57PM
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I grew standard spaghetti squash this year, and I'll be planting it again. Gigante tomatillo was a first for me, and it was very productive and showed no evidence of disease or pests. I used them in stir-fries and veggie soups, so none were wasted. I also grew Fortex pole beans, and liked the taste much better than Kentucky Wonder. I had real problems with Opalka tomatoes and blossom end rot, so I'll be sticking with round tomatoes next year.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 2:20PM
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I've enjoyed this thread. Some of our 2013 hits and misses from first time items were:

Mizuna: Comes up quickly from seed, produces abundantly and is a cut and come again veggie.

Tokyo Bekana
Grew very well here from seed in the spring and fall. We love it raw in salads as an alternative to lettuce.

Fingerling potatoes: we grew five varieties and all did well and were DELICIOUS. Did very well at the farmers' market.

Zephyr summer squash. These are very delicious and showed good disease resistance and yield.

Safari zuchinni. It wasn't a good year for zukes for us, but these kept coming even after the others bit the dust.

Red Russian kale. Produced very well. Tasty and tender.

Moon and Stars Yellow Fleshed watermelons. We really enjoyed these. Not as sweet as Crimson Sweet, of course, but crispy and delicious.

Lemon cucumbers. Produced poorly. They taste fine but not worth the space they take up. Won't plant again.

Burgundy okra. The problem with this is that the wildlife couldn't resist it. Deer and groundhogs destroyed it, while hardly bothering the Clemson Spineless. If you can keep the critters away, this would be a good choice. But we won't bother with it again.

Creasy Greens (upland cress). This didn't come up at all. Surprising since it grows wild here. We won't bother trying again.

Here is a link that might be useful: White Flint Farm

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 8:22AM
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Fortex pole beans impressed me with the fact that they eat good no matter if they got a little larger. Not woody or stringy. Finally got Delicata squash after losing all in 2012 to SVB & squash bug plague. Moonglow tomatoes were rockstars with flavor and hardiness.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 9:38AM
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I planted potatoes..small pumpkin..This year i want to plant butternut and acorn squash..

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 2:01PM
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Of the pole beans I tried, I liked Helda best. I won't be trying runner beans again - not in this climate.

I liked dino kale ok, but now have Portland Brig - delicious! We'll see how it produces over the winter.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 3:04PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

Rattlesnake Pole Beans -- Fortex pole beans have been my go-to selection for several years running, but last year I grew them side by side with Rattlesnake and...wow! They outproduced Fortex (no small task in my experience), had a great flavor, and produced large pods that were never tough and stringy.

Zuchetta Tromba d'Albenga -- Like the OP, I have a devil of a time with squash vine borers, so I've begun to experiment with C. moschata varieties that are more resistant. This one proved to be a winner -- minimal borer damage, great flavor (we roast them with a little olive oil), and very large fruits. While they weren't heavy producers for me, the large size more than makes up for lighter production.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Interesting to see all the mentions of Fortex. It's one of the few new varieties on my 2014 seed order. This year I'm doing more of the tried-and-true.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 2:28PM
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When I posted above, I forgot the alliums. Ailsa Craig grew great for me. It's a long season, mild white onion. It was the first time I grew onions from seed, and I got great production. I also had great luck with the Evergreen bunching scallion. I had a great harvest, and found out late in the season that they divide and give 3-4 after the original stalk was cut just above the roots. They are apparently very cold-hardy, and will take winters down to below zero, so I'll be planting seed in the fall next year for an early harvest.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 1:22PM
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