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Spring 2006 Variety Trial Winners
Superstar Lettuce, Carrots, Peas and Spinach

Every garden has clear superstars. These model citizens of the vegetable world are varieties that almost never let you down. They taste great, are easy to grow and are reliable producers with good yields. Now that spring is coming to a close, it's time to figure out who the superstars of your spring garden were and make sure that they get their props!

My organic garden had several superstars this spring. I grew all of my plants organically and none of them had significant problems with diseases or insect pests.

Minicor Carrot

Carrots are notoriously slow and finicky germinators but Minicor demonstrated that not all carrots deserve the bum rap. Minicor sprouted quickly and grew into hardy, leafy plants. The carrots were uniform, slender, sweet, and early (about 63 days). I harvested them over a one month period and they stayed tender and sweet even as they grew larger, which they did without branching or becoming "rooty".

An honorable mention in the carrot department goes to Purple Dragon, because they are good, robust growers and the purple color of the carrots is just stunning!

Tyee Spinach

Beat Bloomsdale Long Standing and Space by a wide margin. Tyee germinated the fastest, produced harvestable baby spinach the earliest and continued growing at a quick clip which allowed me to harvest it several times over a five week period. Tyee didn't bolt, even when temperatures reached into the 90's.

Sugar Snap Peas

These huge, vigorous vines produced hundreds upon hundreds of sweet, crisp peas. I have never grown a snap pea variety (or any other type of pea, for that matter), that can compare with them, and this year was no exception.

Oreilles du Diable Red Deer Tongue lettuce

I've grown dozens of varieties of lettuce and I happen to think that lettuce is a thing of beauty. That said, Oreilles du Diable was the most gorgeous that I had ever seen. I was captivated!--I took pictures to remember it by before I harvested and ate it. By the way, I enjoyed every bite!

These are all vegetable varieties that I wouldn't hesitate to grow year after year and I feel that I could rely on them as my main sources of their respective crops. They are widely adapted varieties that can be grown in many areas of the country, not just the Southeast, where I live. So, give them a try! These vegetable superstars will make any garden shine!

For More Information: Fedco Seeds

Order your Sugar Snap Peas at Amazon!



See Also:
There's a Goosefoot in my Garden
It's Easy to Grow Great Garlic
How Does Your Garden Grow Part One: Getting to Know Your Soil
Bountiful Basil

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Tammy Biondi has been growing organic produce for over 10 years. Besides running Blue Horizon Farm, Tammy teaches about sustainable farming at the Central Carolina Community College. She also is a successful freelance writer, focusing on agricultural topics. Contact her at tammy@bluehorizonfarm.com.