What do you want to try for the next growing season?

digitS'

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@Phaedra , have you tried Helianthus tuberosus (Sunchokes)? Your Early Birds remind me of them.

I really think that it would be best if you do some hard thinking about them before planting sunchokes. One place I lived, the neighbors had a patch of them. I became nearly addicted to eating them raw. The problem with growing them is that it's almost as tho once you have them, you will always have them. They are nearly invasive. The neighbors had a weed patch and no longer gardened but the sunchokes were doing just fine. They are somewhat ornamental and serve as a food plant. Of course, if the birds aren't allowed all of the seed, sunflower seeds are also worth eating by the gardener.

And then, there is Heliopsis (false sunflower).

Steve
 

Phaedra

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@Phaedra , have you tried Helianthus tuberosus (Sunchokes)? Your Early Birds remind me of them.

I really think that it would be best if you do some hard thinking about them before planting sunchokes. One place I lived, the neighbors had a patch of them. I became nearly addicted to eating them raw. The problem with growing them is that it's almost as tho once you have them, you will always have them. They are nearly invasive. The neighbors had a weed patch and no longer gardened but the sunchokes were doing just fine. They are somewhat ornamental and serve as a food plant. Of course, if the birds aren't allowed all of the seed, sunflower seeds are also worth eating by the gardener.

And then, there is Heliopsis (false sunflower).

Steve
Yes, I heard of many scary stories about sunchokes so I will plant Early Birds in a large pot instead of sowing them on the ground. However, I wonder why many people, especially those focus on the permaculture or food forest, seldom mentioned that Sunchokes will spread easily. Many of them mentioned only about the edible part.

For me, it sounds like bamboo. Without proper settings, they both will become nightmares easily.

I noticed that Early Bird will spread eventually, station them in the huge pots left from the previous owner should be an ideal way.
 

AMKuska

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Everyone's big changes are so exciting! @Phaedra you'll have to share pictures of those new flowers. I can't wait to see them growing.

As for new things, I'm trying a new pumpkin. Bellatrix F1 was working really well for me, but it's not available from my usual companies the last two years. I tried winter luxury last year but it didn't produce at all. This year I'm trying Cider Jack F1.

Last year I had some great luck with new varieties, so I'll actually be reusing quite a few. In particular, my Minime F1 Cucumber produced a mindboggling amount of cucumbers! I had so many and only two plants.
 

AMKuska

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By the way, how is your opinion for F1 seeds? I am reading some online catalogs and realize that there are more and more F1 seeds.
F1's have their place, but it's important to understand the pros and cons. The big con is you can't save seed from them. They're a hybrid of two varieties, so any seeds you save won't be like the parents at all.

The big plus is that the F1's I select are resistant to specific diseases I struggle with in my area. Powdery mildew is really bad in my little spot of the world, so I look for varieties that are resistant. Since I grow all my cucumbers, pumpkins etc. close to each other, I can't save the seed easily so I don't mind F1's.

The powdery mildew resistant plants (Which I've only found in F1 so far) have been a big game changer in my garden. I'd be forever spraying with this chemical or that if it weren't for their resistance!
 

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F1's have their place, but it's important to understand the pros and cons. The big con is you can't save seed from them. They're a hybrid of two varieties, so any seeds you save won't be like the parents at all.

The big plus is that the F1's I select are resistant to specific diseases I struggle with in my area. Powdery mildew is really bad in my little spot of the world, so I look for varieties that are resistant. Since I grow all my cucumbers, pumpkins etc. close to each other, I can't save the seed easily so I don't mind F1's.

The powdery mildew resistant plants (Which I've only found in F1 so far) have been a big game changer in my garden. I'd be forever spraying with this chemical or that if it weren't for their resistance!
True.

In the beginning, I thought F1 is kind of showstopper as you can't save seeds, but later as you mentioned, saving seeds isn't my top priority.

I prefer and order majorly open-pollinated seeds, but some I can't get (like good Kabocha pumpkins, purple broccoli for early spring harvest, and etc), I will still go for F1 seeds.

I am pretty curious about one specific turnip variety - Tokyo cross F1 for its reputation in flavor, and would like to try. So for the vegetables, I will grow this turnip, celery, more kales (and will sow them much earlier), Brussel sprouts (never had a decent harvest, yet).
 

Branching Out

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We have had success in saving tomato seeds from some F1 varieties. Husky Cherry tomato comes to mind as one that did very well from saved seed, although a friend has been growing it on for many years now and the plant structure is very different that what we started out with. Husky is supposed to be a stocky dwarf, about 4' tall; my friend's plants are growing about 8' tall now-- and producing a LOT of fruit. So he is happy with these seeds, even if the plants are changing over time. This year I planted seeds from a couple of grocery store tomatoes and a couple of them did great. I saved seed from them and will try planting them again next year to see what I get. I grow a lot of tomatoes, so if they flop I have others that can take their place.

I am very reluctant to purchase expensive F1 seeds though, because I find that the spendy seeds often don't do well for me. It makes me wonder if they are still too 'new' and not easy to grow out, making the seed expensive. My preference is to wait an extra year or two and buy the seed once the price drops a bit.
 

ducks4you

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I ordered 2 sampler packages of shallots which arrived in small paper bags with holes, a label on each and folded down and stapled shut. SO CUTE!! Gotta figure out an indoor starting schedule for the onions, leeks, shallots and garlic that never made it into the ground.
ALSO, I need to buy a new Amaryllis for DD. Hers is officially toast.
 

Phaedra

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I ordered 2 sampler packages of shallots which arrived in small paper bags with holes, a label on each and folded down and stapled shut. SO CUTE!! Gotta figure out an indoor starting schedule for the onions, leeks, shallots and garlic that never made it into the ground.
ALSO, I need to buy a new Amaryllis for DD. Hers is officially toast.
I just finished transplanting my purple onions (from onion sets) and home-saved shallots from the seed trays into 5cm mini pots. I might removed them into the hoop tunnel as they are hardy and the ventilation is better than the greenhouse anyway.
14337.jpg


Those onions and shallots will be my first batch of seedlings for 2024. I still have some garlic cloves waiting to be planted, but the weather is really bad for the coming week.
 

Branching Out

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