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  • Collateral Damage July 31, 2014
    Things have to eat to survive. When plants are eaten, they don’t always look as good as before they were eaten. Think of a head of leaf lettuce growing in your garden. It is so beautiful there – wavy leaf margins and a blush of burgundy at the tips – until you lop it off […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let […]
    Ellen Honeycutt
  • Just in Time for National Moth Week July 25, 2014
    The third annual National Moth Week is winding down.  This year it started last Saturday July 19 and runs through this coming Sunday, July 27, 2014.  The inaugural celebration was back in 2012 and I highlighted some of my favorite moths at the time in my weekly article. Moths serve as food for reptiles, birds […] We love hearing from you! Please click here t […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Buckwheat and the El Segundo Blue Butterfly July 24, 2014
    Nothing warms my heart quite like hearing the happy news that butterflies are flourishing~ somewhere.  Rarely do we get good news about our winged friends lately.  But this story is one of hope and promise! The El Segundo Blue (Euphilotes battoides allyni) is a pretty light blue butterfly that is found nowhere but in So […] We love hearing from you! Please c […]
    Kathy Vilim
  • The Wildlife Nursery July 22, 2014
      Gardening often provides the closest encounters we ever have with wild creatures.  It is a solace and a distraction in bad times, and a shared joy in good ones.  ~Ursula Buchan     When you establish a wildlife garden, you need to be aware that at some point in the spring, summer or fall you will […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all t […]
    Donna Donabella
  • The Good in Grapevines July 18, 2014
    I am sometimes dismayed by the rapid growth of my Muscadine grapevines (Vitis rotundifolia).  Then I spot a bird picking through them and I relax and am glad that I procrastinated on cutting back. Heck, this southeastern native vine can be cut back at any time. This past week I watched the cardinals dancing in […] We love hearing from you! Please click here […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • A Monarch Waystation in a Mall’s Landscaping July 17, 2014
    At the Healthy Living Market, which occupies the old JC Penny’s space in the Wilton Mall of Saratoga Springs, NY, there is a new Monarch Waystation site. I had the privilege of doing a landscape renovation to the surrounding island beds and sidewalk gardens this spring. We included many native perennials, and cumulatively the site […] We love hearing from yo […]
    Jesse Elwert
  • Smooth Sumac July 15, 2014
      Just a couple weeks ago, some of the bushes along my woodland edges were abuzz with pollinator activity. The flowers of Smooth Sumac, Rhus glabra, were the magnet.   Butterflies, including this Red-banded Hairstreak, Calycopis cecrops, were part of the crowd.   Honey Bees, gathering nectar, to help some bee keeper with his honey supply were also attracted. […]
    Brenda Clements Jones
  • Sweet as honeyvine July 14, 2014
    This “weed” is a host plant Honeyvine milkweed (Cynanchum laeve) is a vigorous, perennial trailing vine that is native to our eastern and central states.  Some people consider it to be a nuisance “weed”, but I call it Monarch caterpillar food. Hardy hearts I like the honeyvine’s heart-shaped leaves and the fact that I never […] We love hearing from you! Plea […]
    Judy Burris
  • Yellow and Blue make Beauty in the Garden July 11, 2014
    When I see the bright yellow flowers of the Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista* fasciculata) I tend to think of Sulphur butterflies because it is a larval host for several members of the Sulphur butterfly family. The other day I was out enjoying the diversity of insect activity on the Partridge Pea plants back in my pond […] We love hearing from you! Please click h […]
    Loret T. Setters

#GardenChat

My Garden Favorites: Heirloom Vegetables

How timely that the first of the 2010 garden catalogs appeared in the mailbox today. I’ve been busy choosing my favorite heirloom vegetable performers of the year and making final selections of varieties to grow next season. I hope to include a few heirloom flowers and ornamentals as well.

With July’s non-stop rain and August’s cooler than normal temperatures, these plants amazed me with their vigor. Late blight devastated tomato crops along the Northeast early this year, but the heirlooms in the garden remained untouched and the yields were tremendous. ( I thank God for that.) The peppers and beans were prolific in production and warm fall temperatures allowed a second harvest. Heirloom French winter squashes were the star performers of the garden this year… abundant and truly beautiful as well as delicious. They’ve earned a perennial spot in the line-up.

2009 Best Performers:

  • Trionfo Violetto pole bean
  • Chiogga beets
  • Dragon Tongue bean
  • Forellenschluss, Merlot, Lolla Rossa lettuces
  • Rhubarb Chard
  • Sunburst pattypan, Patissons Panache scalloped squash
  • Rosa Bianca eggplant
  • Rouge Vif d’Etampes pumpkin
  • Galeux D’Eysine winter squash
  • Corno di Toro pepper
  • Mammoth Red Rock cabbage
  • Cherokee Purple tomato
  • Brandywine Pink tomato
  • Amana Orange tomato
  • Golden Ball turnips
  • China Rose radishes
  • Jenny Lind melon
  • Amish Paste tomato
  • Hungarian pepper
  • Sweet Banana pepper
  • San Marzano paste tomato
  • Pepperoncini
  • Blue Podded Pea
  • Yellow Snow Pea

2010 vegetable garden:

  • Musquee de Provence squash
  • Jarrahadale Blue squash
  • Telegraph Improved cucumber
  • Prescott Fond Blanc melon
  • De Bourbonne cornichon (gherkin) cucumber
  • Navet Des Vertus Marteau turnip
  • Boothby’s Blonde cucumber
  • Moon and Stars watermelon
  • Ancho Gigantea pepper
  • Mini chocolate, yellow, red bell peppers
  • Feher Ozan  paprika pepper
  • Tequila Sunrise pepper
  • Chervena Chushka sweet pepper
  • Beaver Dam pepper
  • Waspsipinicon Peach tomato
  • Great White tomato
  • Vintage Wine Striped tomato
  • Black from Tula tomato
  • Silvery Fir Tree tomato (indoor growing now)
  • Manyel tomato
  • Black Cherry and White Currant cherry tomatoes
  • Rattlesnake pole beans
  • True Red Cranberry pole beans
  • Christmas Lima pole bean
  • Hutterite Soup bean
  • Black Valentine bush bean
  • Broad Windsor fava bean
  • Red Garnet amaranth

That’s it! I’m looking forward to having more beans in the garden as well as trying new pepper varieties. Naturally, grinding fresh paprika and red pepper is appealing and right at home in the herb garden. For now, though, back to the indoor garden where it’s time to pot up the eggplant and peppers.

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