Sunday, January 24, 2010

Following The Example of Others

Ever since I expanded the garden no less than three times last year and went from 18 sqft to 204 sqft in one year, I now realize I have almost enough room to plant everything I could ever wish for. Then I think to myself, does anyone REALLY need 9 sqft of carrots or 20 sqft of radishes? I've found the answer is yes! Yes you do, especially if you spread the love through different varieties.

We're not adventurous eaters. I know I could grow all sorts of different squashes or peppers and cucumbers, but really, one kind is usually enough for us, given the exception of tomatoes. Yet I've been reading the seed lists and planting schedules of others recently and decided there were a few areas I could really branch out, namely carrots and radishes.

I've already planned on growing the basic red radish, my father's black radishes and the German blue radishes Stefaneener sent realized this wasn't such new territory after all, so I ordered some watermelon radish seeds as well which I hope will prove a nice contrast with the basic red ones.

I also ordered a purple carrot and a white carrot to go along with my basic carrot seeds I already purchased. There should be one more bright yellow carrot coming in the mail shortly.

So there you have it. I'm entering new territory and living on the edge, or at least it's as close to the edge as I'll get this year....anyone see the need for an armenian cucumber? Or rather, what off the beaten path variety of veggie can you not live without?

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.


  1. Keeping crops are something I really want to invest more space in -- we're still eating the butternuts, and carrots, potatoes, garlic and onions are just so basic that I don't mind the effort. Good to know what you're up to.

  2. I hear you on the carrots! It seems too that their success varies greatly with the type, climate, and bed they are in. I keep trying new ones to find that perfect one for my garden. I think that this year Malabar Spinach will prove to be the oddball I can't live without. It is vining so I can grow it on a fence, and big bonus, it won't bolt in the heat here. Granted, it's not a true spinach, but the uses are the same and it tastes much the same and if I can grow it during the hot summer who cares? And I found out last year after growing shallots that I can't live without them!

  3. I tried zucchetta tromboncino squash for the first time last year and they are wonderful. They are space hogs and would do much better on a trellis than allowed to sprawl all over the garden like mine did. The taste and texture is like a cross between yellow crookneck and zucchini and they can be allowed to mature on the vine to become an excellent winter squash, too. All around a great new addition to my garden. If you have the space, and can find the seeds, I'd highly recommend it.


  4. Carrots are something new for me this year. In the past with a regular garden, I grew one variety Danvers. It grew ok, but I wasn't impressed with the flavor so I gave up growing carrots and purchased them from the supermarket instead.

    Now that I am part of this blogging community, I am learning more about different types and am trying three different varieties this year. Two in the SFG and one in the traditional garden. Do I need that many carrots? Yup.

  5. Nothing new and exciting here, but I have expanded on the varieties of my basic veggies. I used to grow one variety of tomato, this year I will be growing twelve. Bean varieties have gone from one to seven, carrot varieties from one to four....and so on. The only new thing I'm growing this year is cilantro.

    Nine square feet of carrots? Pffft, you're not even in the running. I'll have a minimum of 24 sf of those babies this year!

  6. I have not found mine yet, maybe this will be the year!

  7. I haven't gotten too adventurous with much other than tomatoes and peppers. For most else, I have only been growing one variety. I did grow Armenian cucumbers last year though. In Arizona the heat is just too much for traditional cucumbers. The Armenians chugged right along though. They were very tasty. Not too much different than regular cukes.

  8. Sandy, I've got my eye on one more possible place for a trellised bed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it will get enough sun, but I'm going to wait until the leaves fill back in before I make that decision!

    So maybe I'm not so different after all. Hannah, GM and Erin have good points that I never thought of. Perhaps it's just a matter of taste or growing conditions that dictate what you grow and the varieties thereof.


  9. No radishes here, as we don't eat them. 9 sqft of carrots is alot! I might do 3-4, but that'll be it.

  10. You know what they say...variety is the spice of life! I can already tell you're getting hooked. I can already tell that this "one kind is usually enough for us" will be a thing of the past. :)

  11. PURPLE!! (Gold!!)

    I'll leave you to figure out who I am talking about. : )

    Gotta get me some of those purple carrots. My husband would just love them. Maybe I could figure out a way to grow some of everything in purple. We have some friends who would just choke if we invited them over & served them a purple dinner. (hehehehehe)