Sunday, May 29, 2011

Great Lakes Heirloom Seed Trial

This year, I am participating in Slow Food Huron Valley's Great Lakes Heirloom Seed Trial, where SFHV is giving away heirloom seeds in exchange for information about how these particular varieties do in our gardens.  Many of these were sold through Detroit's D.M. Ferry and Co. Seed Annual from as early as 1894. Since I have lots of critters that live in my woods, it's hard for me to grow a garden, so I am having an all container garden.    I'm hoping the deer decide they don't like the sound of their hooves on the brick patio! 

I got six varieties of seeds....they are:

Green Prolific 'Boston'
57 days until maturity
Smooth, bright-green, 5.5-6 x 2.5-3” blunt ended, seldom too large for pickles, slight taper, black spine, very high yields, bears continually if kept picked, popular old reliable small cucumber for pickling, listed by D.M. Ferry in 1880.  Sow seeds directly into garden soil (outside) 6/1-7/1. Trellis planting: sow seeds 6 inches apart, 1/2 inch deep, in rows and thin plants to 12 inches apart. Sprawling
growing method: sow seeds 4" apart in rows 5' apart and thin plants to 8" apart.  Raised bed planting method: Sow seeds 6" apart in rows 16" apart and thin plants to 12" apart. Keep seeds moist until germination. Cucumber plants normally produce for about 1 month. If you want a longer harvest period plant a second succession planting 1 month after the first planting.

Lettuce, leaf
Sanguine Amerliore' Strawberry Cabbage Lettuce'
45 days to maturity
Old French Butterhead variety w/ deep red-brown  mottling clustered toward the pink center of each tongue shaped leaf, retains color, tender texture, excel quality,  intro to the U.S. in 1906 as Strawberry Cabbage Lettuce by C.C. Morse and Co.

Lettuce, leaf 'Grand Rapids'
42-65 days to maturity
Large erect bright light-green heavily frilled and curled  leaves, for greenhouse or field culture, early, holds well, slow bolting, TB disease & rot resistant, for home gardens or greenhouses, MSU
Sow seeds directly into garden soil (outside) 4/1-6/15.

How to Grow Leaf Lettuce (full size) method: sow 3 seeds every 8" in rows 10-12" apart (cover seeds lightly with no more than 1/8" of soil or leave uncovered; tamp soil lightly with hand). Baby leaf method: broadcast sow 60 seeds/ft in a 2-4ft wide band (cover seeds lightly with no more than 1/8" of soil or leave uncovered; tamp soil lightly with hand ). Keep seeds moist until germination! Seeds may be started earlier inside into containers as early
as 3/20 - be sure to provide adequate light!

Pea, garden "Dwarf Gray Sugar'
60 days until maturity

Described by D.M. Ferry & Co. in 1892. Broad pale green 3-4" pods are stringless and free of fiber, well suited for steaming or stir-fry. Beautiful purple bicolored blossoms. Vines grow 24-30" and do not require staking, quite prolific. Edible podded. Sow seeds directly into garden soil (outside) 3/27-4/20, 1 inch apart, 1/2-1 inch deep, in rows 12-18 inches apart. Keep seeds moist until germination. These are dwarf peas and do not need to be trellised

'Cincinnati Market',
'Long Scarlet'
25-30 days until maturity
Heirloom described in Vilmorin's The Vegetable Garden (1885); now becoming scarce. Deep red radishes are 6" long and tapered (like a carrot). Flesh is tender, crisp, and mild. Medium tops are good for bunching. Sow seeds directly into garden soil (outside) 4/15-8/1, 1 inch apart, 1/2 inches deep, in rows 1' apart. Or, broadcast seeds about 1" apart and thin plants to 2-3" apart. Keep seeds moist until germination.

Bean, pole, snap
Black Seeded
Kentucky Wonder' 84
Kentucky Wonder type with long, large, stringless, fiberless, fleshy pods 6-8" long, 8-10 seeds per pod, good flavor & texture, heirloom from central Ohio.  Original seeds from Tom Knoche's Aunt Marge who maintained this variety for 60 years.  Sow seeds directly in garden soil (outside) 5/15-6/7, 3 inches apart, 1 inch deep, in rows 20-36 inches apart. Keep seeds moist until germination. Support pole bean plants with trellis.

How am I doing?   I haven't planted the cukes or the beans yet - actually, I did plant the beans but my hypertufa planter broke when I tried to move it so I will have to replant them.      I planted the Cincinnati Market radishes with the Strawberry Cabbage lettuce in one planter, but all I see is radishes, no lettuce. 

I planted the Cincinnati Market radishes with the Strawberry Cabbage lettuce on April 10, 2011.  I think those are radish seedlings, 11 days after planting, in the next picture.  At 16 days after planting, the radishes are taking hold - no sign of lettuce - but a critter has burrowed a hole in the right had side of my planter.  On May 1, I think I can barely see some leaves of lettuce in the planter, but I am not sure.  The last picture is today - there may be a few lettuce leaves among the radish plants.  I have more lettuce seeds, so I will plant a planter with just lettuce next.

The peas have been a total delight thus far....I planted them on May 1st, and they have been growing wonderfully.  The bottom picture was taken this morning.   The Grand Rapids lettuce has been interesting - it grows pretty unevenly in it's container.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love the bird's eye view of your seeds' progress! You're inspiring me to improve my documentation.