For various reasons, vegetable gardening seems to be more popular than ever before. You just can’t beat the great taste and the sense of accomplishment of growing your own vegetables. I grew up helping my dad in the garden. Laying out the rows, weeding and planting were some of my main duties. Not all of it was fun (especially the weeding), but as I got older it began to grow on me (pun intended).
Now, growing and maintaining my own vegetable garden has become one of my most enjoyable hobbies. I’m blessed to own a large lot in the country that allows me to have a big garden; although sometimes maintaining it feels like a curse because of my tendency to overdue it.
One of the big differences I’ve noticed between gardening then and now is the variety that’s out there to choose from. Back in the day gardeners were limited to what was sold locally. There were a few seed catalogs available like Burpee and Parks, but from what I remember we never really ordered much from them except for the occasional flower seed packet. Now, thanks mostly to the internet, there is access to a whole slew of companies with all sorts of vegetable plants and seeds. I often find myself experimenting with new varieties almost every spring. In fact, I try to make it a point to grow something new in the veggie garden each year. If I like it and it grows well, it may find a permanent home in the garden year after year. With that said, I want to share some new varieties that I’m trying this summer.
(1) I'm growing a different type of corn this year called 'Peaches and Cream'. it's a bicolor sweet corn with yellow and white kernels. I've tasted 'peaches and cream' and it's super sweet. I planted my corn a little over a week ago and as you can see it's on its way!
(2) I'm excited about a new variety of tomato that I'm trying this summer. It's an heirloom tomato called 'Amish Paste'. I ordered the plants from Appalachian Seeds Farm & Nursery. I've never mail ordered tomato plants before so I hope those delicate babies aren't too banged up when they arrive. This nursery has a good reputation so I'm sure they'll be fine. They should arrive next week. I can taste the salsa now...
(3) I'm also trying a new variety of cucumbers called 'Satsuki Madori'. I first learned about these cucumbers from Willi over at DigginFood. Since then I've heard from a couple different sources that these are a delicious slicing cucumber. I'll definitely let you know! I ordered them (seeds) from Seeds of Change.
(4) Something new I'm trying this year is eggplant. I never cared for the taste of eggplant when I was growing up so understandably I never grew it in my garden...until now. I saw a cooking show sometime over the winter and the chef was making eggplant parmesan. Wow, it made my mouth water. So that's when I decided that I would try my hand at growing some. I did a little research and learned that eggplants require a somewhat long growing season and do best if started indoors (seeds) 8-10 weeks before that last frost. Since I didn't start them indoors I bought some transplants locally. Here are some good tips for growing eggplants: http://www.veggiegardeningtips.com/growing-eggplants/
(5) I'm also going to try butternut squash for the first time. I purchased my seeds recently and will be planting them soon. I've read that butternut is a good squash to grow if vine borers are a problem in your garden. Evidently, the stems on butternut squash are too tough for the borers to penetrate. We'll see...
So, what's growing in your veggie garden?