Return to the Organic Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
What is your top favorite things to grow?

Posted by TheMasterGardener1 5B (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 2:38

Just want to know what everyone's spring garden will be looking like this year. What are your favorite things to grow? After a while, I limited my garden to mostly leaf greens like- swiss chard, lettuce, ect. That is what I eat most of so it makes most sense. I grow a few peppers just for the hobby of it. Also grow basil as well.

So, whats on the list?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

For something that's a rarity to get fresh at the grocery for a reasonable price, ease of growth/harvest, and adds so much to so many things...leafy herbs. Basil, oregano, marjoram, parsley, chives, thyme, etc...all pretty much trouble-free if you're using them for seasoning. I know some pesto junkies that can't grow enough basil and every leaf on the plant matters, though...there's very little "acceptable loss" for them.

Sweet/Mild/Medium peppers. I breed them as a hobby...love them. It's one of my passions. While others are busy searching for the hottest burn they can get, I'm busy looking for those that fit my tastes in salads and cooking. I released a super-sweet hobby creation back in 2009 and I'm currently working on a Cubanelle x Anaheim cross with thick walls and a rich flavor.

Tomatoes...for the obvious reason...unless you're buying them canned from a quality producer they're usually bland globes of "why bother?" I grow paste toms, myself...never was a fan of raw slicers even though I love cooked toms.

Okra. I love okra so much. Give it warm/hot weather and full sun...it's going to produce. The tender green outer shell holds in lightly sweet and very tender seeds...great stuff. The "mucus" inside is flavorless and is a great natural thickener. I love it mixed with other veggies (toms, peppers, onions, beans, squash, corn...especially all of them together) or breaded and fried/baked. In my area it's a consistent harvester June through mid-October.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

NC,

Would really like to get into breeding too. Yeah, it is funny some just love growing super hots, never really got into that as most of the super hots take a bit of time to get started in my climate.

To tell you the truth I gave up completely on tomatoes. I found that the crushed roma tomatoes in the can are grown in a hot climate,then picked and canned at peak ripeness. I could not grow a better tomato at home. I am a cook and work with flavors all of the time, and I could make you a marinara with canned crushed tomatoes that you would not be able to stop eating :)

Again living in 5b limits me as well. I also dont have more than a window inside to start seeds under. So thats why I just do a few peppers. I like how swiss chard is directly sowed in then it never really bolts. The white stem varieties are the most productive so that is what I use. From spring to fall I eat about two free big salads a day:)


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

I've a very short growing season here, but can fudge a bit with a greenhouse - get large plants to set out in June, and I have a fleet of containers for peppers and eggplant.

I'm trying to select for strains of sweet and medium-hot peppers as well, I don't see the point in growing something so hot I can't eat it. These originated from inadvertent crosses between who knows what all peppers 4 years ago but include jalapeno, Gypsy (a hybrid in its own right) an Italian frying pepper, and something else I forgot thats bell-shaped. I'm now down to one sweet and one medium "variety" and selecting for consist form and flavor - which is amazing. Thick-walled, hardly any seeds - my issue now is 'cat-facing' or tan cracks. It doesn't bother the flavor, but aesthetically, not so good. I try to grow enough for pickles, fermented sauces, dry and powdered, and frozen.

I love okra, but here, its marginal. A good hot summer and I can pick in July August, but if its cooler, then I'm lucky to get anything.

I used to grow dozens of tomato varieties, but its too cool here for the distinct flavors to really develop, so I now stick with 5 or 6 reliable and disease resistant varieties, and put out 50-100 plants, half of which usually succumb to the dreaded curly top virus or some other nasty.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

1. Spinach. Because it grows all year, is great cooked, and spinach salad with feta, pears, craisins and roasted walnuts is a favorite around here.

2. Corn. Because you just can't beat corn on the cob that was picked 10 minutes ago. Plus, it's pretty on the stalk (I grow Kandy Korn, so it's purple)

3.Butternut squash. Because it beats the SVB's, is easy to grow, harvest, and cook, and lasts until the next June.

Okay, are you trying to give us spring fever???


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

David,

That is quite the list. I have a plot that I do a few tomatoes on andI know what you mean about the diseases. Never had an issue with tomatoes in containers though.

--

Haha sorry elisa! :) I think we do have spring fever.

"and spinach salad with feta, pears, craisins and roasted walnuts is a favorite around here."

Soon to be a fav around here as well! Thanks for the salad idea.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

TMG1 -- just to finish the recipe -- you start w/ just the spinach and the dressing is olive oil mixed in, then rice vinegar and a little bit of maple syrup added and mixed in. After that, in each serving, throw those 4 ingredients on top. :)

This post was edited by elisa_Z5 on Sun, Jan 26, 14 at 8:38


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

Peas are one of my top favorites, and they used to be no-miss for me in the home garden. Now for two years running massive numbers of birds have destroyed my seedlings and/or developing pods.

Apparently my yard has become overly attractive to birds, or else Hitchcock has something to do with it.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

elisa,

Thanks! Ever have a apple spinach salad?Thats a good one. Anyway, been enjoying a lot of green smoothies too, and carrot smoothies!

Pnbrown,

What does your trellis system look like for growing peas? Just polls and lines?


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

Peas are another one of those crops that's better out of the garden than what you can buy at the grocery. It's hard enough to find them fresh at the grocery store and they're just not the same frozen (average quality) or canned (inexcusable quality unless you've developed an acquired taste).

I love shelled garden peas, but I can't bring myself to grow them vs sugar snap peas because of the increased amount of edible material when you include the pods.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

I agree, sugar snap is hard to beat. I have a lot of space so I plant snaps, flats, and shell types.

I trellis on wires cages mostly, and also do bush cultivars. The birds haven't been a problem in my main garden but at the home garden they are out of control in early spring.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

I like produce that tastes appreciably better when home grown. Tomatoes, cucumbers, as well as a variety of fruit trees. Trees like figs, pears, citrus, loquats, peaches. Oh and let's not forget asparagus and the various herbs.

PN do you grow sugar snaps in Florida? If I did in TX they would have to be early.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

For some reason, I have never grown anything at home that is "better" than what is in the grocery store. Maybe I am fair when I judge.

This post was edited by TheMasterGardener1 on Tue, Jan 28, 14 at 10:19


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 28, 14 at 13:21

Ah, peas. My FIL fresh freezes over a hundred lbs of both fresh shelled peas and beans. They keep so well in the freezer, and are so healthy and good tasting. But Michigan is really too continental for good production. Our peas mature around 4th of July, just as the big heat hits, so we always get puny returns. Digdirt in Arkansas has the same problems. I prefer my staples: any root vegetable, and squashes, and those that have medicinal value to me, radicchio and cardoon.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

MG fresh figs for sure. Tomatoes too. And the asparagus, well, it doesn't make it to the house. I just graze on that stuff!


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

MG- and plums for sure too. Rare to find a good one in stores. You know when I was a kid a lot of the fruits for example tasted better in stores. Maybe they were more local and picked fresh I don't know, but I remember great tasting peaches too. Now I have to grow my own to get ripe tasty produce in a lot of cases.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

I love growing tomatoes more than anything else, but for the last three seasons we've had terrible late blight.
This year, for no obvious weather reason, the plants look fantastic.
Another favourite is runner beans. I think they're 'white lady'; insanely productive, great as green beans and excellent for drying. As a bonus, they're perennial in my climate.
Berries. Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries...especially my white alpine strawberries which the birds can't see!


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

I will eat runner beans but I don't like them as much as vulgaris or lunatus cultivars. They do grow very well in coastal MA.

GL, I have grown sugar-snaps a couple times in FL. The best pea crops have been from early december sowings, but they don't compare in yield with typical spring-sown crops up north - probably due equally to low sun angle and the much poorer florida sand.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

"For some reason, I have never grown anything at home that is "better" than what is in the grocery store."

WHAT??? How is this possible?
The only things I can't grow better than the grocery store are red bell peppers and Fritos.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

"I will eat runner beans but I don't like them as much as vulgaris or lunatus cultivars."
I actually prefer runner's 'coarse' flavour (I assume that's a gardener's euphemism for 'in your face'...)
But nearly everyone else isn't so fond, in my experience.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

Apparently most British gardeners are fond of eating them.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

@ Elisa, you cracked me up with fritos, lol!

I'm growing tomatoes (hopefully), going to try sugar snaps, leafy yummies, squash, peppers, a few herbs (because fresh herbs are just better, always), my daughter has threatened revolt if I don't do some potatoes and limas for her. I'm most excited for toms and squash and the leafy yummies. IMO there's nothing like homegrown, unless it's mom's homegrown, then that's always better than my own.

~Viv


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

"What is your top favorite things to grow?"

TheMasterGardener1, you are asking the wrong question. You need to ask, "how does a gardener determine their favorite things to grow?" The answer is to trial different varieties. You can't just throw out words like "Swiss Chard", because they are not all equal. My trials indicate that 'Lucullus' is the best chard. Your mileage may vary. Favorite garlic? I don't know yet, I'm trialing a bunch right now. :)

You have to grow a bunch of stuff, do some trials, and come away with your own favorites. It will do you no good to grow something that your family won't eat (for me that's Armenian cukes). Be a pest at the Farmer's Market and ask for variety names.

It all boils down to trail & error and compost. :)


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

Well, I think one could generally prefer kale to chard, for example, or vica-versa. I think that's the sort of contrast MG is talking about. (I prefer Lucullus as well, as it happens...)


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

Start with lettuces and spinach.
Then herbs...basil, oregano, thyme, dill.
Then carrots.
Then beans.
Then cucumbers.
Then tomatoes and peppers.

NO squash - going to disappoint the squash bugs and SVB this year - tired of dealing with them. Need a break.

Going to start the tomato and pepper seeds next month (March).


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

Onions
Mizuna
Leeks
Kale


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

Growing now: multiple kinds of lettuces, arugula, spinach, red spinach, tatsoi, a few different types of chard, 3 kinds of kale, sugar peas, shell peas, 3 kinds of basil, 2 kinds of parsley, thyme, dill, lemon thyme, rosemary, cilantro, oregano, sage, chives, spring onions, garlic, shallots, nasturtium, lavender, a lime tree, a jalapeño that survived the winter, and just started some cherry tomatoes & orange bell peppers. I think that's all I have right now- planning on green beans & more varieties of tomatoes too once it warms up.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

MasterGardener did I read that correctly that you've never grown anything better than what you can buy??! How can that possibly be?! Tomatoes are obviously worlds apart comparing store bought to home grown, the home grown being far far superior- but even things like herbs, lettuce, kale & strawberries taste so much better home grown!


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

Oh I have strawberries growing right now too.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

Courtney, MG has an agenda on these forums, which is to get people to embrace conventional agriculture with it's huge scale, poisons, synthetic fertilizers, depleting of underground aquifers, chimerical genetics, and etc.

He's been scolded for bringing that agenda to this particular forum, so now he resorts to sneaky stratagems like claiming that his home-grown produce tastes the same as some tired junk grown on depleted fields, picked too early and sitting around in a truck and store shelf for a week or more.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

Potatoes; there's a joy in harvesting them that can't be equaled. (Unless it's rutabaga of course.) I learnt how to grow potatoes at a village school in southern England when I was 9 or so. It was war time, in a country that was used to importing much of its food, so there was an urgency in growing potatoes that I didn't fully appreciate at the time. Regards, Peter.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

I'm looking forward to trying Brussel sprouts again this year. Last year was the first time I tried and it was a lot of fun to watch grow. I also always grow zinnia in my garden in honor of my granny


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

It's hard to pick just a few!
Pole beans - produce heavily and make wonderful snacks while we're working outside.
Tomatoes! Cherry for snacking and paste tomatoes for sauce. I grow many varieties.
Strawberries. Everbearing so we have some all summer.
Cantelope and sweet corn. There is no substitute for either of these eaten fresh. I grew petite French melons last year that were labor intensive but amazing!
Peppers. Bell, some Italian frying varieties, pimentos, anything I can't find locally.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

Potatoes and celeriac -- and not just because no-one has mentioned them. The home vs. shop taste margin is distinct with potatoes, and the joy of harvesting them is tremendous. And celeriac is just great in soup and casseroles. Might I add rutabaga, or would that be cheating? Wonderful in early winter. All root-crops I realize. Regards, Peter.


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

"Courtney, MG has an agenda on these forums, which is to get people to embrace conventional agriculture with it's huge scale, poisons, synthetic fertilizers, depleting of underground aquifers, chimerical genetics, and etc.
He's been scolded for bringing that agenda to this particular forum, so now he resorts to sneaky stratagems like claiming that his home-grown produce tastes the same as some tired junk grown on depleted fields, picked too early and sitting around in a truck and store shelf for a week or more."

thanks pnbrown for telling us that! Once I heard him say he makes sauce from canned tomatoes I knew something was up! ;)


 o
RE: What is your top favorite things to grow?

"thanks pnbrown for telling us that! Once I heard him say he makes sauce from canned tomatoes I knew something was up! ;)"

Honestly, I agree with him on canned tomatoes.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Organic Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here