Presentation: 2014 Foothills Organic Gardeners High Altitude Seed Selection

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How to choose what to plant in our high altitude gardens....and how to sift through the myriad options available in seed catalogs!

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Presentation: 2014 Foothills Organic Gardeners High Altitude Seed Selection

  1. 1. PLANT SMART choose your plants wisely and have your best growing season ever… even in Evergreen! Margaret Rode, Evergreen Community Gardener
  2. 2. Which Should I Grow? “Stupice” Season: 55 days Indeterminate Cold/heat tolerant “Black Sea Man” Season: 75-80 days Determinate Sensitive to Frost “Yellow Brandywine” Season: 90-100 days Indeterminate Heat/drought tolerant
  3. 3. The Search: Finding the Right Ones WHAT’S YOUR PLEASURE? Seeds or Plants? Many seed catalogs/companies now sell transplants, as well as seeds, so you’re no longer limited to what you can get at the local nursery! Organic? Non-GMO? Heirloom? Open-Pollinated? Hybrid? Treated? Or Untreated? What’s important to YOU?
  4. 4. Which Ones Are the Best Ones for… …Our Ridiculously Short Growing Season: Our USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 Last Frost Date (Spring 2012): 6/18 First Frost Date (Fall 2012): 9/4 Typical Frost-free Season (2012): ~86 days  …Our Ridiculously Unpredictable Conditions Late and early frosts Late and early snow July hail Dry conditions (except 2013!) Wind …If you have a half-shady, rocky garden plot…
  5. 5. What Do I Want to Grow? (My Process) What do I buy most in the produce section? What do I love to eat? What never goes to waste in the fridge? Can I grow it here? { And by the way, how hard do I want to work? } What’s my “short list” – and do I have room for it all? What are the best varieties for my garden’s unique conditions?
  6. 6. Planning for a great season: • Avocado • Bananas • Basil • Beets (Golden and Red) • Blueberries • Broccoli • Cabbage (Red) • Carrots • Celery • Cilantro • Corn • Garlic • Ginger • Greens (Collards, Asian, etc) • Kale (Curly and Lacinato) • Lettuce (Romaine and Mixed) • Onions (Dry) • Onions (Green) • Oranges • Peas (Sugar Snap & Snow) • Peppers (Hot and Sweet) • Potatoes (White) • Potatoes (Sweet) • Strawberries • Summer Squash • Tomatoes • Winter Squash (Butternut, etc.) What do I love to eat? What never goes to waste? (initial list)
  7. 7. Planning for a great season: • Avocado • Bananas • Basil • Beets (Golden and Red) • Blueberries (perennial) • Broccoli • Cabbage (Red) • Carrots • Celery • Cilantro • Corn • Cucumbers (pickling) • Garlic • Ginger • Greens (Collards, Asian, etc) • Kale (Curly and Lacinato) • Lettuce (Romaine and Mixed) • Onions (Dry) • Onions (Green) • Oranges • Peas (Sugar Snap & Snow) • Peppers (Hot and Sweet) • Potatoes (White) • Potatoes (Sweet) • Strawberries • Summer Squash • Tomatoes • Winter Squash (Butternut, etc.) What actually grows here (outdoors, no greenhouse)? What do I love enough to fuss with? (space, sun, cost, TLC)
  8. 8. Planning for a great season: • Asparagus (perennial) • Basil • Beets (Golden and Red) • Blueberries (perennial) • Broccoli • Cabbage (Red) • Carrots • Celery • Cilantro • Corn • Garlic • Greens (Collards, Asian, etc) • Kale (Curly and Lacinato) • Lettuce (Romaine and Mixed) • Onions (Green) • Parsley • Peas (Sugar Snap & Snow) • Peppers (Hot and Sweet) • Potatoes (White) • Summer Squash • Tomatoes • Winter Squash (Butternut, etc.) THE SHORT LIST
  9. 9. Planning for a great season: Individual beds: Asparagus, Blueberries, Garlic Perennial Green Onions Containers or interplanted: Basil, Parsley, Cilantro Window boxes/Gutters: Lettuces and related Beets (Golden and Red) Broccoli Cabbage (Red) Carrots Celery Corn Cucumbers (Pickling) Greens (Collards, Asian, etc) Kale (Curly and Lacinato) Peas (Sugar Snap & Snow) Peppers (Hot and Sweet) Potatoes Summer Squash Tomatoes Winter Squash (Butternut, etc.) DO I HAVE SPACE FOR IT ALL?
  10. 10. The Search: Finding the Right Ones WHAT’S YOUR PLEASURE? Open Pollinated: Pollination occurs by insect, bird, wind, hum ans, or other natural mechanisms. Allows plants to slowly adapt to local growing conditions and climate year-to-year. Heirloom: Has a history of being passed down within a family or community. An heirloom variety must be open- pollinated, but not all open-pollinated plants are heirlooms. Hybrid: 2 different species or varieties crossed by human intervention to breed a desired trait. First generation hybrid (F1) may grow better and produce higher yields, but seed cannot be saved (genetically unstable)
  11. 11. Which Tomatoes Should I Grow? “Stupice” Season: 55 days Indeterminate Cold/heat tolerant “Black Sea Man” Season: 75-80 days Determinate Sensitive to Frost “Yellow Brandywine” Season: 90-100 days Indeterminate Heat/drought tolerant
  12. 12. Which Pepper Should I Grow? “King of the North” “Heirloom. The best red bell pepper we know for northern gardeners where the seasons are cool and short.…. Great sweet flavor. Stock from Waterville, Maine. 70 days from transplant.” “Miniature Chocolate Bell” “Heirloom. Short, stocky plants covered with lovely 2" long miniature bell peppers with an excellent fresh flavor. Family heirloom from Ohio…..Great for salads. 95 days from transplant.”
  13. 13. Which Corn Should I Grow? “Candy Mountain” “Open-Pollinated. Matures: 70 Days. Montana. A super-sweet offspring perfect for mountain gardeners. This is the only non-hybrid supersweet we know of…Tender golden kernels on impressive 8-10'' ears.” “Golden Jubilee” “Hybrid. Matures: 90-105 days. The grandpa of hybrid corn. Golden Jubilee is …excellent for late summer enjoyment. Stalks reach 6 feet tall, and the 8 1/2-9” inch ears have deep, tender yellow kernels.”
  14. 14. Which Carrots Should I Grow? “Danvers Half Long” “Heirloom. 75 days. Market gardeners in Danvers, MA developed this variety in 1886. The root is a rich, dark orange and is 6-8" long. A first-class carrot for all soils.” “Interceptor F1” “F1 Hybrid. 120-125 days. Long and slender Imperator-type carrot, will grow to 12" or more in proper growing conditions. Roots stay slender … and will not crack. Good resistance to storage diseases. A real standout. ”
  15. 15. Practice a Little Bit Pick up a seed catalog. Think of a food you know you want to grow, and look it up. Choose the one(s) you think you’d like to try, based on what we’ve talked about: short season, cold-hardy, good in shallow soils...
  16. 16. Too Overwhelmed? TRY THE WWW.SEEDSNOW.COM SEED FINDER Not perfect, but useful, and kinda fun…
  17. 17. Evergreen Community Garden at Buchanan New in 2013 Come visit! Yes, INSIDE the fence! All plots are filled for 2014, but we are maintaining a waiting list. Contact us: Email: garden@evergreeneasy.org Facebook: Evergreen Community Garden
  18. 18. Some Terrific Seed Sources: http://www.pennandcordsgarden.com/mountain-seeds-for-sale.html http://seedstrust.com http://groworganic.com http://highmowingseeds.com http://botanicalinterests.com http://territorialseed.com http://sustainableseedco.com http://rareseeds.com http://potatogarden.com (Colorado organic seed potatoes) http://thegarlicstore.com (Organic seed garlic)

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