Saturday, April 25, 2015

Seed Varieties - A working list...Any suggestions?

Part of what I have been doing in my backyard for the last three years is testing varieties here in our Anaktuvuk Pass micro-climate.  I usually find a variety and adjust seed starting dates, sun/shade aspects, and other variables to see if they will grow and produce fruit here.  My goal is to find the best fits, taste, and to eventually begin producing my own seeds from plants that do well.  Of course its a LONG way to go!  But truth be told this is the most EXCITING part of gardening, the researching of the plants and the planning!

I thought I would share my list for this years garden. I usually grow a variety several times in different locations/circumstances to see if it can produce before tossing it out.  I have started first with varieties that are ...kinda....recommended for our area.  I say 'kinda' because I am referring to the UAF recommended list for interior Alaska (LINK for PDF)  And I'm pretty sure that we are not really interior....and are considered 'Arctic'.  But it's a good place to start!  I research other varieties all winter long and look over notes to find out whether or not I can better the circumstances for failed varieties. Keep in mind these are working lists....which means they change every year.

This year I'm VERY excited to add a few Cold hardy apple trees, a couple cherry trees and a couple of rose bushes to the backyard!  But I don't want to add them to the lists till I actually get my hands on them and see where in the list they end up.  

Here are the lists so far.  I know I forgot a few but I can track them down later.

These Plants Thrive in appropriate conditions......

(*) indicates varieties I will be growing this summer, these are purely based on our households own personal tastes and what we tend to eat more of.  All are yummy! 

*Lettuce: Romaine Paris Island Romaine
*Lettuce: Red romaine
Lettuce: Leaf, Salad Bowl 
Kale: Red Russian
*Kale: Dwarf Siberian
Kale: Dwarf Green Curled
Kale: Dwarf Blue Curled
Kale: Black Tuscany
*Turnip: White egg
Turnip:  Purple Top
Mustard: Tendergreen
*Mustard: Green Wave
*Mustard: Southern Giant Curled
*Radish: Early scarlet Globe
Radish: Champion
Radish: Crimson Giant
Radish: white icicle 
*Arugula: Rocket
*Squash: Early Prolific
Squash: Summer Caserta
Tomato: Early Tannana
*Tomato: Sub Arctic 25
*Peas: Early Frosty
Peas: Dwarf Grey Sugar
Peas: Green Arrow
Broccoli: Solstice
*Chard: Fordhook Giant
*Herb: Cilantro
*Chamomile: German
*Herb: Oregano vulgare
*Herb: Dill: bouquet
Tobacco: Gold dollar
*Marigolds: Sparky
Collards: Vates
*Herb: Basil: Large Leaf Italian
*Calendula: Almost any do well

Plants that are growing but I'm figuring out how to maximize crop or bring to full maturity for seed...

*Beets: Early wonder
Beets: Boltardy
Beets: Golden beet
*Cucumber: Mouse melon
Cucumber: Modern Early
*Ground Cherries: Aunt Molly's
Echinacea Purpurea
*Cabbage: Golden Acre
*Pepper: Hungarian Wax
*Carrots: Danvers 126
*Herb: Parsley: Triple Curled
*Corn: Sweet: Yukon Chief
*Squash: Winter: Gold Nugget
*Oats: hulless: sunshine
*Herb: Rosemary
*Herb: Sage
*Herb: Peppermint
*Herb: Dill: Fernleaf
*Herb: Lemon Balm
Green Beans: Provider
*Strawberry: Everbearing: Quinault
Sugar beets
Onions: Stuttgarter (from sets and from seed)
Potato: kennebec
*Potato: Yukon gold
Onion: Bunching Evergreen
*Brussel Sprout: Roodnerf

Plants in the 'experiment' or 'new' pile......not all will be grown this summer, some were grown previous summers and failed because I did something wrong.

*Runner beans: sunset
*Runner beans: Scarlet
*Lavender: Munstead Strain 
*Endive: Frisee
*Millet: German Foxtail
*Kale: Marrow Stem (growing as chicken feed)
*Lettuce: Tom Thumb
*Lettuce: Rouge d'hiver
*Squash: Cream of the crop
Squash: Cocozella Di Napoli
Squash: Black beauty zucchini
*Watermelon: Black Tail Mountain
*Calendula: Pink Suprise
*Calendula: Pacific Beauty
*Herb: Basil: Emily
*Herb: Chives: Chinese
Herb: Parsley: Giganic d'Italia
*Nasturtium: Alaska mix
*Nasturtium: Milkmaid
*Nasturtium: Jewel Mix
*Nasturtium: Cherry Rose
*Sunflower: Yellow Pygmy
*Muskmelon: Minnesota Midget
*Pepper: Kind of the North
*Pepper: Hot Thai
*Cauliflower: Early Snowball
Squash: Uchiki Kur
*Onion: Crystal White Wax
*Beet: Borealis Blend
*Broccoli: Packman Hybrid
Pepper: New Ace Hybrid
*Cucumber H-19 Little leaf
*Peas: Oregon Sugar Pod
*Parsnip: Hollow Crown
*Herb: Dill: Dukat
*Quinoa: Organic read head
Sunflower: Black Russian
*Corn: Painted Mountain
*Herb: Borage
*Cabbage: Napa Chinese
*Cabbage: Chinese tender gold
*Brocolli: Chinese Noble Jade
*Celery: Kintsai leaf
*Chard: Barese
*Beet: Red Mangel (for chicken food)
*Red Garnet Amaranth
Cabbage: Early red acre
Walla walla onions

Plants that I KNOW do not work!  I should have known before trying them but...couldn't help myself!

Spinach...they bolt. Every. Time.
Soy....They need darkness...and my 'artificial' darkness didn't cut it.  But I love edamame

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Growing season has started!

The 2015 growing season has officially started! 

I made my way to the high school early this morning where the students had their first taste at becoming arctic gardeners!  We started 20 tomato plants (subarctic - 25) , 6 pepper plants (New ace hybrid) and 6 rosemary plants. The seeds were started in 'black gold' seedling soil and placed on a heat mat to jump start the germination process. 

I talked a bit about the how our tiny seeds decide that they are ready to grow (signaled by moisture and heat!) and about the first bits to come out of the seed and what they do.  We also talked about how they will need to be kept moist and warm till they develop there first true leaves and then we will be putting them under the grow lights.   In two weeks we will be starting our next set of plants!  By the time we put plants outside around June 1st (our last frost date) we should have about 150 plants total. 

I will be stopping by next week to see how they are doing!

Some photos.....