December is the month of seed preparation and orders. I’ve reviewed the information I collected in 2011 on which varieties did well and what kind of feedback I got from people who grew them out. Despite the bad weather and poor condition of some of my inventory, there were some good success stories:
Kosovo was the most productive variety in the gardens of many people that I spoke to. It had beautiful, large, flavorful tomatoes and really made a place for itself in my standard lineup. I was very impressed by this large heart shaped pink.
Opalka continues to impress. I also grew several other paste tomatoes, including Heidi and Sarnowski Polish Plum, but Opalka was the one I heard about from new customers. All three of these will be in the standard varieties again for 2012.
Sungold is always a winner for cherry tomatoes. Nothing beats this unique, fruity, sweet sensation. Everyone ought to try this one. It will convert even non-tomato lovers.
Dwarf Tomatoes from the Cross-Hemisphere Dwarf breeding project proved to be very robust. Tasmanian Chocolate, Rosella Purple, and Dwarf Beryl Beauty were strong growers that produced large sized tomatoes in containers, with a little support. I’ve pulled in seed from all of the new dwarf releases from the project for 2012 and hope to do some comparison.
Peppers, especially the sweet ones, were very popular with customers, despite the small size of the plants I had available. For 2012 I will have more varieties of sweets, but more importantly I will be starting them earlier, with more heat, to hopefully get better size on them. Although I’ve been growing large numbers of tomato plants for over ten years, I had never grown so many pepper plants, and 2011 was a terrible year to start with its record cold spring. I’ll also be back with more Bhut Jolokia Ghost Chiles, for the most adventurous heat loving fools (like me).
Onions, which I brought in on a whim, flew out the door so fast they were mostly spoken for on the day I announced them! I can get them in again, at $3-4/bunch of 50, but I need to get a quantity order in soon. Most of the varieties performed great for me, but I’d like to hear more from those who bought them. I’m also going to take another run at seeding onions, on the advice of a couple local growers I spoke to.
Was there anything that did particularly well for you, or that you’d like to see me offer this year? Let me know, here in the comments, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to a great garden in 2012!