I have my favorites that I go back to every year. I also try new varieties each season. There is just so many seed varieties out there! Here's how I chose these year's new varieties.
I try to keep a diary during the garden season to capture what has worked well in my garden and what hasn't as well as any gaps in harvest times. There are typically early, mid and late varieties of the same type of veggie or fruit.
What I want to address in this year's garden that didn't go as well as I would have liked:
*Too many of the same color zinnias. I let the volunteers go to town this past year. For the 2018 garden, I will pull the volunteers and start from seed indoors a variety of colors.
*Want to do a red, white and blue flowering vines. Will start indoors hummingbird vine, moonflower and blue morning glory. Started them outdoors last year and took forever to get to the flowering stage.
*Trying seeds of a couple new varieties of eggplant-Amadeo and Prosperosa. Touted for not getting bitter and having heavy yields. The best tasting we have found so far are Casper, a white eggplant. The drawback has been getting Casper to germinate repeatably.*Trying several intermediate day onions-Candy Hybrid, Red Candy Apple, Superstar, Australian Brown, Bronze D'Amposta. So far in our garden, the long day onions have not bulbed. Ordering mid-day length onions to see if this does the trick. What's up with long day/short day onions? Our bunching onions, leeks and garlic do great in the garden so the best culprit is not buying the right type of bulbing onion.
*Tomatoes that are good for sauce that produce earlier than my current heirloom Italian Red Pear paste. It is a very large tomato so it is ready to harvest is around 80 days. I freeze all my extra tomatoes to make sauce in the fall. This paste gives a silky smooth sauce. I want to be sure that I have some type of paste tomato in each quart of fresh tomatoes I freeze. Preserving the tomato harvest These are the varieties I am going to add to the garden this year for sauce-Gezahnte, Little Napoli, Ten Fingers of Naples, Black Vernissage.
Here are the ones I am trying just for fun:
*Would like to try some plants that are not typical for my zone. Have ordered a Zone 7 tolerant olive tree and have a request in for ordering a citrandarin which tastes like a cross between a mandarin and lemon.
*Ordered a Aronia fruiting bush. A native fruit bush that has dark purple fruits high in antioxidants.
*Trying a different variety of black kale-Black Magic
*Different colors of creeping thyme. Will place between the stepping stones in the garden. Pretty and edible.
*A new type of cucumber-Sikkim.
*A summer lettuce mix from Park Seeds-Summer Glory Blend. I try different types of heat resistant lettuces to lengthen the lettuce season. I'll save the seeds from the ones that do the best in our hot summers. Buying a variety let's you try several in one packet. Bolt-free, sweet summer lettuces
*Tomatoes I am trying to see how they do in our garden that looked interesting-Tigeralla, Indigo Pear DropsChoosing which tomatoes to grow
These are in addition to my standbys. I captured what I wanted to keep and try in my 2018 edible garden in the fall so I wouldn't forget. Reflecting back on the 2017 edible garden
My 2017 Edible Garden Plan
My 2017 Edible Garden Plan