Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring Planting Plan and Our Favorite Varieties

We're planning to plant the Harvesters Demonstration Garden on March 26 so we finalized our planting plan this week.  We'll be planting varieties proven for the Kansas City area and provided by the great folks at Kansas City Community Gardens.  We'll only be planting cool season plants first and then warm season plants around Mother's Day.  Here are some of our top picks.

Of course, we'll plant the standard popular early green bean variety, 'Provider'.  But we're adding a new type of bean called the Yard Long Bean which has a sweet flavor and beautiful color as you can see in this photo. It grows to 10' tall and has pods that are 15" to 18" long!

We grow beets for both the beets and the greens and our favorite variety is 'Early Wonder Tall Top'.
This Carrot 'Mokum' is in our planting plan because it is very sweet and very early. 

We'll plant a 2002 All-America winner (the Oscars of the veggie world), 'Cucumber 'Diva'.  It has a smooth thin skin and a tender bitter free taste.  Plus, it's resistant to mildew and has some resistance to cucumber beetles.

Our favorite Okra variety is 'Annie Oakley II" because it's productive even in cool weather.  The plants are also shorter which makes them easier to pick.

Kids love Sugar Snap peas and we love the 'Super Sugar Snap' variety (above) for its earlier and higher yield.  Plus, it's resistant to powdery mildew.

We'll dedicate a long row to the very early and very prolific pepper, 'Gypsy'. The plants are compact and the peppers have a zesty taste. For a traditional bell pepper, we're planting the fruity and sweet variety, 'Red Knight'. 

 We should have a lot of spinach early with the above pictured variety 'Space'.  It's also long standing so should produce for quite a while before the summer heat kicks in.

Swiss Chard 'Bright Lights" is another favorite for its vibrant, rainbow colored stalks and its steady supply of greens from spring through fall.

We're trying watermelon for the first time this year in the Harvesters Demonstration Garden.  Watermelon 'Yellow Doll' should work well in our limited space because of its small fruits and vines.  We're looking forward to its sweet and juicy bright yellow flesh!