March 30

It seems that, after what seemed like forever, spring may finally be here! I have been impatiently waiting to get my spring garden in. Normally I'd have sown some early stuff under a cloche by now, but with TWO (count 'em, two) snowfalls in March this has been an odd spring.

It's also been worse than usual because there've been a number of new varieties I've been dying to grow this year! Not all of them are totally new, but they've all been introduced (or in some cases, re-introduced) either this year or last.

I'm a sucker for a well-named variety too. For instance, Territorial Seed is selling a beet called 'Bull's Blood'. Now, how can I resist that one? Whoever that creative plant breeder is needs my support! I just hope it tastes good...

Territorial also is selling several new varieties of carrots that are unusual colors. Moving along the color spectrum, there's 'Kuttiger' (white), 'Yellowstone' (yellow, duh), and 'Nutri-red' (bad name - my daughter will refuse to eat it). Also I have to mention 'Artist' - it's been around a while, and it's your usual boring orange carrot color, but oh man what a taste! Johnny's Selected Seeds is the source for that one.

Speaking of Johnny's: Why would you call a cauliflower 'Graffiti'? The bright purple color is certainly a draw, but come on! Can't you do any better than that?

Every year I try a new cucumber to possibly replace my old standby, Marketmore 76. Every year I end up preferring Marketmore's taste and reliability. I wonder how Johnny's 'Diva' is going to stack up?

Okay, I'm going to cheat a little here because there are a couple of wonderful vegetables that have been around a few years, but not enough of you are growing. The Cook's Garden sells an absolutely stunning snow pea called Carouby de Maussane. Also, while everyone and her brother are growing Bright Lights chard, you should really consider Cook's variety Charlotte - a beautiful reselection of the standard Ruby chard.

Oh we mustn't forget the tomatoes! We Pacific Northwest gardeners should rejoice now that Late Blight resistant tomatoes are finally appearing. I haven't grown them previously, because my PVC hoophouse solves the problem for me; but I think I'm going to try growing Territorial's Legend and Johnny's Juliet unprotected.

That's just a start! There are so many other varieties I want to try this year. I have a big garden, but I'm not sure if I've got enough room!

What new things are you trying this year? It's always fun comparing notes with my fellow gardeners. Send me an e-mail and let me know!

All contents © Travis Saling
This page was last updated November 18, 2013