It seems that I am doing more vegetable gardening than anything else these days. I'd like to write about a variety of topics, but this is monopolizing my gardening time lately. It's still at least three weeks before I plant potatoes and onions and maybe more lettuce and spinach, and I'm already planning the vegetables for the summer. It seemed a little early when I was looking through my Park Seed catalog Sunday night, but as I thought about it, some of the vegetables will be transplanted to the garden in late March, after having been started from seed six weeks earlier - around the second week of February. After I realized that, I felt like I was almost late. So, these are my choices from the Park Seed catalog - most of these varieties are recommended for our area by the Clemson Extension and can be found in my vegetable garden chart.
Pole Beans - Kentucky Wonder, Blue Lake, Kentucky Blue
Kentucky Blue looks likes the best, but I've grown the other two, so I might get all three. I'll be able to compare the three and see which ones I want to grow in the future.
Sweet Corn - Early Sunglow, Silver Queen
These are regular sweet varieties, rather than a super sweet or sugar-enhanced hybrid. The Early Sunglow can be planted earlier than normal, so we'll get corn through the whole growing season.
Cucumber - Sweet Slice, Diva, Sweet Success(seedless), Salad Bush
I know we won't eat all these cucumbers, but I thought I might grow one. The Salad Bush variety looks like the one for us. The catalog calls it "a space-saving slicing cuke".
Watermelon - Sweet Beauty Hybrid
I know we might only eat a slice or two of watermelon, It's always good to have one to eat in the summer, and if I have more, I'll give them to neighbors or take one to a fourth of July party.
Peanuts - Gregory
I've never grown peanuts before, but I thought I would give them a try. I have to figure out how many plants I need to get about two pounds of peanuts. I boiled some peanuts a couple of summers ago in the crock pot and they turned out pretty well.
Pumpkin - Autumn Gold, Howden, Big Moon
I don't know if I'll grow all of these varieties. They are very different, so I thought I might try them all. Autumn Gold pumpkins are 7-10 pounds. Howdens will be 20-30 pounds. According to the catalog, Big Moon may produce 150 pound fruit. I think my brother-in-law grew some of these huge pumpkins a couple of years ago and I'm just a little curious.
Squash - Early Summer Crookneck, Enterprise (straightneck)
To the best of my knowledge these are bush type squash and I'd really like a vining type. Squash take up a lot of space and I'd like to grow these on a trellis of some sort if I can. Several years ago, I bought a squash plant from Lowes and it was a vining type. Ever since, I've ended up with bush type, and I'd rather not have that. If I can't find what I'm looking for, I think one of my neighbors grows it and probably has some seeds I can have.
I'm still looking at tomatoes - I haven't decided which variety to grow yet. Everything I read about them, talks about how many diseases they can have, so I don't think I'm planting them in the garden ever again. I'm planning to use five-gallon buckets to grow them in from now on. I can put them anywhere and it'll leave room in the garden for other veggies.
Same goes for the peppers. There's even more variety of peppers than tomatoes, or it seems like. I'm planning to get a few varieties of bell and sweet peppers for Robin.
I'll probably get a mix of sunflowers and stagger plantings through the year, so we'll have them for a long time.
I'm planning to get the four different varieties that Park Seed has.
I've got to learn a little more about strawberries before I buy any. They're sold as plants, so I have some time before I need to order them.