Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Seed Order

Saturday night we got about six inches (15cm) of snow. Today we are going to get about that much again. Winter has hit, but at least it only got to about 6F (14C) last night instead of the 0F they were predicting. So things aren't all that bad. I decided a snowy day was a good day to finalize my seed order. Some varieties I've been growing for years and they are always the same. But some I keep trying for better. This year it was a hunt for better carrots to grow.

I've been growing Mokum and SugarSnax for years. I like Mokum for its wonderful taste. SugarSnax is decent but with a much better yield. But it needs a longer growing time and the last two years it just hasn't gotten it. I'm going to try to plant my fall crop earlier next year which will help. I've also decided I want to try two new varieties this year. Yaya was the first. I'm guessing it will be much like Mokum as it is a quick grower and known for its good taste. I'll trial it alongside Mokum next spring. I've decided that SugarSnax just doesn't make a good spring carrot. It gets too bitter.

The second is Bolero. I've been looking for a good fall storage carrot now that I've figured out how to deal with my carrot fly issue (with carrot fly damage I always figured freezing was the best storage solution). UMass Extention did a trial on storage carrots in 2011-2012. Bolero seemed to come out on top as it keeps its quality for a long time. I've read a couple other blogs saying that Bolero is a good late fall carrot which gets nice and sweet late in the fall. Johnny's recommends it as their best storage carrot too. Other catalogs recommend it as their best producing carrot.

My problem came in ordering. I usually order from two companies. Fedco is my mainstay. It isn't the typical seed company. It is a co-op that is geared to seeds that do well in the northeast. It is usually inexpensive (though it depends upon the seed availability from their suppliers) and has no shipping fees as long as your order is large enough. What it doesn't have is a pretty catalog with color photos. Or any photos. Pinetree is the other one I usually order from. It also has low cost packets and even though they do charge shipping they don't charge all that much. I usually just order a few fill in things from them. So I like them both. I can get a large selection of seed that isn't too costly.

Fedco sold Yaya so that was no problem. But neither company sold Bolero. Dang. Today I did a web hunt on the cheapest way to order Bolero seed. It turns out it is from Renee's Garden Seeds. But not through them. They charge $3.95 for shipping. But through Amazon I could get the packet from Renee and shipping was just $1.95. Weird. They were still the most expensive carrot seed bought as I had to pay $4.74 total. But I get to trial them next fall.

From Fedco: Windsor Fava Bean, Windsor Fava Bean, Agate Pinto Bean OG, Honey Select Yellow Sweet Corn, Lincoln Shell Pea, Legume Inoculant, Halona Muskmelon, Alvaro Charentais Melon, Cross Country Pickling Cucumber, Costata Romanesca Zucchini OG, Waltham Butternut Winter Squash OG, Mokum Carrot, Yaya Carrot OG, Sugarsnax Carrot, Evergreen Hardy White Scallion, Copra Onion, Redwing Onion, Space Spinach, Giant Winter Spinach, Arcadia Broccoli, Tango Celery OG, Perfection Fennel OG, Winter Savory.


From Renee's: Bolero Carrot.

I'd still love to try the Romanesco F1 zucchini that did so well in Michelle's garden this year. I always struggle with zucchini production as the squash vine borers tend to weaken the plants. But I love the taste of Costata Romanesca. Then again maybe struggling with zucchini production is a good thing. I haven't found a lot of non-tomato based zucchini recipes that I love. And for now I think I've ordered enough.


  1. I am grateful that you brought to my attention about night shade allergy
    You are one smart lady!!

  2. I will be trying Yaya carrots too. I have heard such wonderful things about them from fellow bloggers. I am looking forward to your trial, maybe I can learn a thing or two and grow some halfway decent carrots someday.

  3. I like to buy my seeds from a number of different suppliers. Actually no one supplier seems to ever have everything I want, so there is little option. The trouble is this racks up a lot of postage costs. This year I may try some of the really small suppliers who generally don't charge so much.

  4. I've only bought potatoes from Fedco but this year, I might give their seeds a try. I'll admit that I've grown tired of depending upon mail order seed companies specifically because of the shipping costs and the fact that no one company has every variety I want! There's a local hardware store that carries seed savers exchange and Johnny's seeds so I'm gonna check out to see what they have before placing any orders.

  5. I also am placing a large order with Fedco, I only hope they don't feel the need to continue with the politics at every page, I was even reading it in the descriptions of seeds.