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  • Planning Ahead For 2018

    I want to expand my growing varieties. I'm always reading through the forum looking at the amazing different varieties of vegetables being grown. I want some recommendation on climbing beans or dwarf beans, winter squashes, bush tomatoes.

  • #2
    Have you ever grown beans Blue Lake, Kentucky Wonder or the cross of these two, Kentucky Blue? Cherokee Trail of Tears are of a similar type too, but colour up to purple on more mature pods. These are pencil podded climbing French Beans. Another type are the flat podded,very wide beans which are nearly a foot long. These are often sold in supermarkets wrongly labelled as runner beans. Varieties to look for are Mantra, Algarve, Pantheon, Kwintus (Early Riser) and Helda or Hilda. There are many more out there. I have a variety called Brejo, that has speckles of red on the sunny side of its belt-like beans, but unfortunately no fresh seed to share. Another very different type are the yellow podded (wax) beans. And there are many dual-use beans. Eat the young pods as green beans or leave for harvesting the bean seeds. The best known in this group are Borlotti, but there are so many more.

    There are many different beans out there, it may be easier to go by what type you would like to grow. I have mentioned before to go for both early and late. I think I shared with you the North Carolina Long Shortcut Greasy Beans, which are an ideal late bean - here they are just starting to make full sized pods.

    Another group that is of great value for the kitchen are the early purples. Blauhilde, Sweet Australian Purple and another I swapped called Violet Purple Stringless are all long and fairly flat, but much narrower than the 'belt' type of bean and really early. I noticed this packet in the seed catalogue that dropped through the door: http://www.suttons.co.uk/Gardening/V...570.htm#195570
    One packet of 3 different coloured beans green, yellow and purple. The beans themselves are similar apart from the colour. This looks fun to grow. But I can't recommend from personal experience.

    I leave it to others to comment on dwarf bean and bush tomato recommendations.

    Squashes I love are Butternut Waltham (a moschata and somewhat tricky to grow), Tromboncino (moschata and easier to grow), Buttercup (cucurbita maxima), Queensland Blue (a maxima), Uchiki Kuri (maxima) and many more. I don't like the Hubbard types so much, because they don't have the dry, sweet and nutty flesh. They have a rock hard skin and moister flesh, but that is a very personal thing, others rave about them. Compared to maxima squashes, most pepo squashes (which don't store as well) are a bit 'pedestrian' in flavour, but Thelma Sanders, Tuffy and Sweet Dumpling or Delicata are much better flavoured than most 'halloween' types.

    As all squashes (and outdoor tomatoes) are a bit marginal in our climate and really would prefer being grown in better summers than we normally get, it might be an idea to go for 'early' as a criterion rather than for specific varieties. I noticed Amazonka squash in a seed catalogue, which is supposed to be the earliest maxima winter squash. Haven't tried them yet, but could be a winner in a less than perfect summer.

    Lots to think about - general types as well as individual varieties. Have fun choosing Clumsy

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    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Galina will be looking at the beans and will order soon to make plans for next year.

  • #3
    Pumpkinlover kindly shared some Koralik tomato seeds with me that I sowed this year - they are a nice bush cherry type and have done pretty well for me outside. I'm going to put this one in the seed circle I think.

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    • #4
      I'm looking for tomatoes to be grown outside as well. That looks interesting.

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      • #5
        Now that 2018 is here, I am finding it difficult to make a start. Should have started peppers and onions, but can't get it together. I had an eye op on one eye recently which meant that I could get nowhere near soil to keep any bugs out, and no straining or doing strenuous work or lifting, but I can't even get the planning together. I am only going to have a limited garden here this year due to other circumstances, but can't even get that planned so far. I certainly want a good pea bed again, so guess sowings for that will be made in a month. Ah well.

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        • clumsy
          clumsy commented
          Editing a comment
          Do you mean sweet peppers or chillies? Do you sow onion seeds? I would love to help you, just tell me which varieties of chilli or sweet peppers you want to grow I could start them and post them to you when they are ready if you don't mind?

        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          That is so kind of you Clumsy, but really not necessary. Now a big kick up the proverbial metaphorically speaking, to get myself out of the doldrums would help. Or I need to do it myself, which would be far better. Yes I wanted to sow onions, but sets are easier anyway and I have so many shallots to plant too. And I still have overwintering Rocotos, which will do fine. And come to think of it, about a year's worth of chillies in the freezer to boot.

          I did start panicking without thinking. Having written the 'bad' down, I am now getting curious again certainly with regards to the pea varieties that I had crossed. Thank you for listening and caring.

      • #6
        I feel your pain Galina. I'm not too sure what to say. I've just cleared the greenhouse at home need to give it a good clean when it warms up. I have a low maintenance garden now two raised and a greenhouse.

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        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          Love the rocket. Such a good idea because it is so hardy. I have had rocket in the garden over winter for years and also use it raw and for cooking. Another is turnip tops. Both get through winter fine. Deer have eaten a lot of my chard, but I have also planted chard in the greenhouse, which is intact and the outside chard will regrow. They haven't touched the rocket and turnip tops. What do you normally grow at home in the greenhouse and raised beds?

      • #7
        Just the green leafy stuff in the raised beds. The greenhouse normally some cucumbers, chillies, couple of tomato plants plus anything exotic just to experiment. Hopefully once the weather warms up the winter blues will disappear.

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