Let the 2019 gardening season begin! The warm weather has melted away all the snow and the rain is starting to turn everything green. The early spring bulbs are up and we are ready to get going. We will be planting things like onions, peas, celery and potatoes as soon as we can get into the garden, but the warm season crops like tomatoes and peppers shouldn't be planted until the soil and the nights are a little warmer.
We have just posted our 2019 plant list. If you want healthy, locally-grown (our backyard), pesticide-free plants ready to plant in May, check out our selection and email us your order at firstname.lastname@example.org. Supplies of each variety are limited, so order early for the best selection. We will confirm their availability and reserve them for you to pick up and pay for when you are ready to plant them in May.
We grew all the peppers and most of the tomatoes on our list in our own backyard last year and we planted our favorites again this year. Since we dropped a few varieties that didn't taste or perform up to our standards, we are trying some new ones too!
Gladiator and Super Sauce are paste tomatoes that looked good in the seed catalogs and had good reviews, so we thought we would give them a try. We couldn't keep up with the demand for grape and cherry tomatoes last year so we are adding Blush, Chiquita, and Red Pearl this year. Ruby Monster is a determinate tomato good for pots and small spaces. We have grown it before and really liked them so we brought them back this year.
We have also added some other fun plants including:
Chelsea Watermelon- This Iowa native sounded like a fun plant to try
Cinnamon Basil- spicy almost cinnamon flavor
Lime Basil- sweet with a citrus flavor
My Favorites From Last Year
We sell a large variety of tomatoes and peppers because I love variety, and each variety has its place. That being said, last year some varieties out-performed the others. Here is how the new varieties and standouts performed last year.
Better Bush: This was new to me last year and I almost gave up on it early last year because it was slower to get growing, but once it did it grew fantastic large tomatoes on a very compact bushy plant. They did not crack or split and tasted great. It was a great tomato for a small space. Great yield too.
Amana Orange, Orange Wellington and Dr. Wychee's yellow: Red tomatoes are great and I love all the ones we sell, and I grow lots of tomatoes for canning, but when I want a fresh eating tomato I always include one of these, and I do not share very many. These are big, meaty (not too many seeds), and have fantastic flavor. When it comes to fresh eating flavor, the yellow/orange beefsteaks are my favorite. We will be growing these again this year.
Honey Delight and Mountain Magic: We tried these last year for the first time. These cocktail sized tomatoes are just the right size for a snack or a salad. Mountain Magic is the Campari tomato that you can buy in the store. It is one of the few I buy fresh in the winter. Honey Delight is just what it says, sweet and delicious. I sometimes pick a bowl and slice them for breakfast. They were vigorous growers and had a good yield.
Golden Baby Bell and Yummy won the garden candy award. Small snack size hybrid peppers that are juicy, crunchy, and perfect. It was hard to share, and most of them were eaten in the garden while watering. Golden baby bell starts out growing slow, but it makes up for it later with amazing flavor.
Red and Yellow Marconi We tried these as a request last year and they quickly became a favorite. These heirloom peppers are so sweet and delicious. I used them in salads and ate them fresh, but I loved them most on a basil pesto pizza.
King of the North I tried these as a last minute idea and was surprised that this heirloom bell pepper did even better for me than the California wonder. It was a vigorous grower with good yield, and turned a great shade of red when I didn't eat them green.
Ajvarski was one of the first and last peppers I picked last year. It was an instant win. It has a thick sweet flesh that was great for cooking. I froze a bunch of these sweet red peppers and we have been eating them all winter and can't wait to grow them again.
Not sure which one to pick? Try several!