April 19, 2013

Cabbage, Cucumbers, and Squash, Oh My!

So, about a week and a half ago, more seeds were sown ... April 8 (approx 4 weeks before outdoor planting day) is the time for the Cucumbers, Squash (both summer/zucchini and winter), Potatoes, and Cabbage. Also, if you want to start your lettuce and spinach inside before transplanting outdoors, this is the week. I usually just direct-seed mine outside in a couple weeks, when I do carrots and transplant the onions outdoors. Also, I am not starting potatoes yet ... they go directly outdoors too but with this winter of ours that refuses to let go (they are calling for another storm that might even bring some snow in the next couple days), I am going to hold off a little on the potatoes until the weather stabilizes. This is also the week that I start my sunflowers indoors.

So, let’s see ... what was sown?

Cucumber “Japanese Long” – this is supposed to be a burpless variety that closely resembles the type of cucumbers you buy in a store, and they don’t get bitter easily. I’ve never grown it before, but we shall see. It is an heirloom and I really hope it is tasty, I’m looking for a new cucumber variety.

Cucumber “National Pickling” – I’ve grown this heirloom before, and makes a great pickle at the end of the summer.

Zuccini “Black Beauty” – Compact plant and these look the most like the small green zucchini you find in the grocery store although tastier. Heirloom as well, and really versatile for using in the kitchen. One of our favourites!

Summer Squash “Costata Romanesco” – new to me this year, this is an heirloom Roman Zuccini. It is ribbed so the edges are scalloped when sliced and is supposed to have great flavour.

Winter Squash – “Boston Marrow” – orange-red hubbard-shaped winter squash, it is supposed to be dry and fine-grained. I am new to this one as well, but really looking forward to it. Apparently it makes a fantastic pumpkin pie, and great flavour, which is why I chose to try it this year.

Cabbage “Red Express” – we started eating more cabbage last summer. It is very healthy, lasts a good long while, and can be used in a variety of ways (soup, cabbage rolls, coleslaw, etc). I decided to try two this year, but I’ve never grown any sort of cabbage before so ... we’ll see how it goes... Red express is specifically bred for Canada and northern States, is compact and the heads are split-resistant (sounds like that should be important). This is the red variety, and is supposed to grow and mature quite quickly.

Cabbage “Early Jersey Wakefield” – Another early producer, this heirloom is green and supposed to be sweet with great flavour.

Sunflowers – “Starburst Blaze”, “Taiyo”, “Velvet Queen”, “Vanilla Ice”, “Henry Wilde”, “Terra Cotta”

And then I also had to re-seed a couple tomatoes. I only planted several seeds of each and there were a few varieties where none germinated, or maybe one did but it was growing slowly and weakly, so I wanted to plant a couple more just in case.

Really starting to look forward to the summer, getting outside and getting planting! Next post will probably be potatoes. Also, I had to mail order the seed potatoes this year, and haven’t received them yet. Hopefully in the next couple days. Crossing my fingers for Spring to really arrive, for good...

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