B What to Grow
A generic tip, try to plant a variety of cultivars. Often there can be a season or parasite that affects one cultivar more than another, so if you have some variety in your plot you don’t lose everything if it happens to be a bad year for one type.
Some plants are best started inside, most can be started in early April. Some just transplant well and starting them inside is manageable and gives you a head start.
Starting these inside just gives you a head start
Yukon Gold, consistently grows large, some scab.
Superior, a good early potato.
Red Pontiac (tends to have some scab and not grow very big).
Norland Red grows bigger.
Red fingerling is reported to be excellent.
Banana, small, but beautifully tasting, closer to original potato than others.
Blue, tends to have lots of scab, and “floury” when boiled, not recommended.
Healthmaster, high in beta carotene, grows consistently well, large and crisp
Atomic Red, red colour, good tasting and grows to good size.
Sweetness does not do as well.
Mesclun Mix, any Romaine will do well, from seed or seedling.
Beets: Any regular round beet will do ok. Beets like well-fed soil, lots of space.
Peas: Regular peas: an early pea such as Spring (with the least amount of days to maturity).
Green Arrow is a bit later and grows really well.
The only one that has not done well for me is a Laxton.
Tall Telephone is good, keeps producing, as is any snap pea and snow pea.
Broccoli: Plant seedling in late May or early June. I just buy seedlings. Big feeder, will tolerate liquid fish
Kale: All Kale seems to do well here, it produces all summer and is frost tolerant. Some strains are affected by a little green worm (in some years, most years have little damage), but that doesn’t do much damage.
Cabbage: Does well, especially “Fast Vantage”. There is a moth larva that will get into the cabbage. The best protection for it is to tent the seeds/seedlings with row cover in the spring, to prevent the moth from laying eggs near the plants. Not sure when the covers can be removed.
Beans: Provider. It’s simply the best, but it needs to be babied with floating row cover until the temperature gets hot. Beans can get frost damage on a clear night even if the temperature only drops to 5 C. They need to be covered for protection.
These beans are 60 days from planting were planted late but kept under a floating row cover and watered every other day. Planted densely they produced about 25 lbs of beans before the frost killed them.
These beans were not kept covered and were planted too sparsely.
Note they are small and the yellow leaves indicate they are probably too dry.
Swiss Chard: Best grown from seedling. Can be seeded directly, but takes a while.
Dill: Seed directly and thickly, cut when 3 to 4 inches for baby dill.
Turnips: Do well, but need good soil and space. Rutabaga is better for storing.