Garden Daybook 11/15/12

The idea for this post came to me as I stood in my garden and saw all the empty raised beds. Well, maybe not all empty. There is that double row of carrots and some struggling cauliflower still green and growing. Anyways, I reminded myself (yes, I talk out loud to myself and the plants when I am in my garden) that I had better make notes NOW about what worked and what didn’t in this past summer’s garden. I always think I will remember particular names and plant the same dependable varieties every summer. Realistically I know that when all those new seed catalogs show up and I settle in to plan my 2013 garden I will be sorely tempted.

I mean, good golly Miss Molly, who can resist wanting to grow varieties described with phrases like, for instance: tomatoes – “luscious beauties”, squash – “glows pale green, as if an opal moon had floated down from the sky”, beans “one of the prettiest plants you can grow, even if you never eat a bean”, lettuce – an “iceberg with copper-hued outer leaves surrounding the green-to-white inner head”, eggplant – “a gorgeous white and pink blushed Italian variety ………. creamy consistency”, broccoli – “high in free glutamine, a building block of protein and an important healing nutrient”. See what I mean? These guys do not play fair. Give me a few minutes with a well-written catalog and my hands begin to tremble because I cannot locate the enclosed order form and the check book fast enough. I want, I want, I want!! So ……..

I am going to make myself a hardcopy of this post and keep it in front of me as I peruse the 2013 seed catalogs. I will keep in mind that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. On the other hand a turtle only travels when it sticks its neck out. Huh?

Here is my basic proven winner list of vegetable varieties that grow beautifully in my north central Ohio garden.

Beans – ‘Blue Lake Pole’ – Wonderful eaten fresh plus they freeze or can beautifully.


Carrots – ‘Yaya’ – Always sweet and crunchy. They store right in the garden all winter.

Onions – ‘Red wing’ – ‘Copra’ – Both varieties store well in our basement until late spring.



Asparagus -‘Martha Washington’ – Dependable and always tasty steamed in a bit of butter and water.

Tomatoes – ‘Sungold’, ‘Black Cherry’, ‘Sun Sugar’ – all three are cherry tomatoes. I think these are best picked in the late afternoon after they soak up the days warmth from the sun. Pop one into your mouth, crunch through the skin, and taste tomato candy. Yum!

‘Amish Paste’ – Often as big as your hand and thick walled. They make the best sauce.

‘Rutgers’ – My favorite, dependable, long-bearing tomato tomato. An old classic.

Garlic – Red Ichelium – Planted in October and harvested in late July it grows nice sized, solid heads.


Celery – ‘Tango’ – This variety grows to three feet in my garden. It is always sweet and tender – a difficult feat for home grown celery.

Summer squash – ‘Tromboncino’. The plant gets huge so give this one room. The squash is good young or mature.



Green Peppers – ‘California Wonder’ – Always dependable. It bears heavily and late. I eat these like apples, right in the garden. They make the best stuffed peppers – they cook up tender and sweet.

Sweet paprika peppers – ‘Boldog’ – I grow these to dry, store, and grind for fresh paprika.

Hot paprika pepper – ‘Alma” – Grow these if you like your paprika to have a bit of heat. I dry them and grind them into paprika as needed.

Look for these varieties when you get your 2013 seed catalogs. Stick out your neck and order a few of them. Your taste buds will thank you.



Hey from the farm,
Fran The Country Cousin

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