The other day I shared the new layout for the new raised bed gardens at our Central Arkansas residence along w/ some bullet points of things that I learned last season in our first season in these new beds. It’s always good to take notes in-season so you don’t forget to review and make changes during the offseason. Based on my takeaways I determined that I needed to look at some different varieties for the vegetables my family uses in order to insure solid production, disease resistance, yield and performance.
I’ve always been a fan of Burpee Seed Company (and their awesome annual catalog). I’m also a big fan of starting everything in my garden from seed that we start indoors. Yes, this is a lot more work, but it’s educational and it gives me an opportunity to involve the entire family in the growing experience. My 9yr old son, Spencer, has even helped me a couple of years in a row now and I’m looking forward to his help this season too! I will share some photos from our indoor grow operation when I have them.
Varieties Selected for 2022 Season:
While I’m sure that I will have some other varieties mixed about this season, these are my primary selections. I’ll be sure to share performance results when I have them this season. I’ve also hyperlinked each variety below, the links will take you directly to Burpee’s website.
- Tomato: Better Boy Hybrid
Large, delicious, bright red, high yielding fruits are borne in abundance starting midseason and continuing to frost. Good foliage protection prevents sun scald. Better Boy is highly adaptable and thrives in most climates and has very good disease resistance. I will start from seed indoors in the middle of February (zone 7)
- Tomato: Big Daddy Hybrid
An all-around game-changer, Big Daddys a breakthrough for taste, size, disease-resistance and yield. Bred from the all-time great Big Boy, Big Daddy produces a mighty, delicious harvest of ruby red round meaty fruits, 15 whopping ounces apiece over a long harvest season. Fusarium and verticillium resistant. Indeterminate. I will start these from seed in the middle of February indoors and hopefully transplant by April 15th
- Tomato: Big Boy Hybrid
When we bred and introduced Big Boy hybrid tomato in 1949, its incredible productivity and gorgeous, perfect, large red fruit made it an instant hit. Whats kept Big Boy tomato a best-selling tomato all these years is the wonderful aroma and rich flavor. The fruits weigh in 10 oz. with many reaching 1 lb. or more. Healthy, indeterminate vines produce all summer long. The bountiful harvest begins about 78 days after setting plants in the garden. I will also start these indoors in the middle of February and hopefully transplant around the middle of February.
- Cucumber: Spacemaster
This compact cucumber is ideal for containers or hanging baskets. Its short, hardy vines produce slender, dark green fruits 7 1/2″ long. Its prolific and great in salads or plain. Resistant to Cucumber mosaic virus and scab. I will likely sow these seeds directly into my raised beds around the middle of April.
- Cucumber: Double Yield Organic
These plants yield a large crop of dark green, slender, uniform fruits that are ideal for pickling. Best when picked 5-6″ long. Certified Organic Seed. I will also sow these seeds directly into my beds around the middle of April.
- Squash: Summer Saffron
Early, with rich yellow-squash flavor and very high yielding. Summer squash and zucchini ripen early and are highly productive. The bush type plants take little space and produces 7-8″ fruit. After danger of frost, sow 3 to 4 seeds in groups 3 to 4 apart or sow 6″ apart in rows, later thinning to 3 apart. These seeds will be sewn directly into their spaces by the middle of April.
- Celery: Tango Hybrid
More crunch to the bunch! Tango Hybrid is a breakthrough in the land of celery-an extraordinary advance over older varieties. Vigorous plants offer better flavor and outsize yields, with fresh, tender stalks that are super-crunchy and sweet. A summer of healthy snacks! Plants stand up to temperature fluctuations and are Fusarium resistant. I will start these seeds indoors around the first of February and will move outside to my beds around the end of March, first part of April.
- Celery: Tall Utah 52-70R Improved
Fresh celery is much more aromatic and delicious than store bought. Tall Utah has dark green stalks and a very compact habit. Start seeds when weather has warmed so crop matures in fall. Mature celery lasts into winter with light frost protection. These seeds are started indoors in January and will be transplanted March / April when hearty.
- Lettuce: Buttercrunch
This extremely popular lettuce has a luscious, buttery texture. The soft heads are creamy yellow inside and have some heat resistance. Best in cooler regions. Plant early in spring and repeat every 2 weeks into fall. Protect from heat with shade cloth. Likes fertile soil, ample water. Best when picked minutes before your meal. Space lettuce plants 8″ apart. These seeds will be started in January and can be transplanted by mid-late March.
- Spinach: RIverside Hybrid
The perfect choice for growing on the West Coast, resists heat-induced bolting and bears small dark-green leaves. Smooth leaves for easy cleaning, downy mildew-resistant for more care-free gardening. Harvest healthful greens in about 30 days. I will probably plant these seeds directly into my beds around the first of April.