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www.veggear.blogspot.com
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We had a small garden the last couple years. We just picked up a few packs of home depot seeds, but I'd like to step it up and get some heirloom plants so we can learn to keep the seeds.

I'd like to get an affordable $20/$50 assortment of basic plant seeds like string beans, peas, tomatoes, squash etc. Can anyone recommend a "brainless" assortment pack from a good company?

I have some organic sprouting seeds. I guess I can grow some of them. They should be non-gmo.
 

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How many types of veggies are you wanting to plant?
I buy my heirloom veggie seeds from Baker Creek seeds they have very reasonable seeds and for $50 you can fill a huge garden. With varieties that you like not just what others would put in a bundle.
Now if you are not sure what you would like and what types to get just make a list of veggies that you would like to try and I can always suggest some of the ones that I have grown or others that I know have grown and would do ok for you.
If you can't tell I am a plantaholic! I even have about 10 extra dwarf boc choi in an aquaponics set up right now!:eek::flower:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not picky about eating. I'm interested in easy to grow, hardy plants that produce well. For example I could fill my yard with corn or wheat and only have a dozen ears or a small can of wheat, but I can grow string beans up the side of the house with tomatoes under them and squash on the ground under the tomatoes.

I'll check out baker's. I'm not planning to plant it all now. I'd like to try a few different varieties and see how they do. I also want to get some extra for the future. $20/$50 sounds like a lot, but at $2-$3 per packet, I can spend that much for crap seeds at Lowes pretty fast.
 

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I'm not picky about eating. I'm interested in easy to grow, hardy plants that produce well. For example I could fill my yard with corn or wheat and only have a dozen ears or a small can of wheat, but I can grow string beans up the side of the house with tomatoes under them and squash on the ground under the tomatoes.

I'll check out baker's. I'm not planning to plant it all now. I'd like to try a few different varieties and see how they do. I also want to get some extra for the future. $20/$50 sounds like a lot, but at $2-$3 per packet, I can spend that much for crap seeds at Lowes pretty fast.
Well at least the packets at Baker Creek you get about 5 times as much seed for the same amount of cash paid at the store. They even throw in a freeby packet of seeds with every order.
And with heirlooms and OP you can at least save your own seed with a little help and care.
And if you join a seed swapping group you can pay out about $30 in postage and make enuf trades of different seeds to keep ya gardening for years.
I did trades in 09 and spent just under $30 in postage and ended up with more seeds and varieties that I can shake a stick at. Doesn't keep me from trading for different ones or even from buying some at the store tho.. I am a plantaholic. lol:2thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think I'll just call them in the morning, explain what I'm looking for and get what ever they suggest. To me a bean is a bean and a tomato is a tomato. If I can cut it up on a sandwich I'm happy. I'm more interested in tough plants since I don't have a green thumb and learning to keep a couple seeds is a good skill.
We did some potatoes last year, but most of them came out small. We didn't eat any so we effectively increased our seed potatoes by 4 or 5 times. Not a success, but not a failure since we have plenty of seed for this year. They are hardly worth growing since one of our local stores has 50# bags for $10-$12 when on sale. At this point I'm just glad to learn a little bit, gain some experience and have something grow. Thanks.
 

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Emerald, I'd love to hear your recommendations! We're trying heirloom this summer. We plan to grow:
corn - as sweet as possible
carrots - are those little gourmet carrots hybrids or heirloom? trying to find that variety
peas - would LOVE to find out which variety is used for the Jolly Green Giant early peas in butter sauce :D my kids love those
tomatoes - a good sauce/paste variety

:flower:
 

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Emerald, I'd love to hear your recommendations! We're trying heirloom this summer. We plan to grow:
corn - as sweet as possible
carrots - are those little gourmet carrots hybrids or heirloom? trying to find that variety
peas - would LOVE to find out which variety is used for the Jolly Green Giant early peas in butter sauce :D my kids love those
tomatoes - a good sauce/paste variety

:flower:
Well for corn it is really hard to find an open pollinated corn that is like the new hybrid super sweets. I just buy mine from the road side stand that is about 3 miles down the road.. lol:eek: But there is one that did well until the raccoons found it! It is Country Gentlemen and it is a white corn with shoe peg kernals-that just means that they are not in neat rows and just all over the cob. It is an old heirloom corn that is easy to find even in box stores.
But for carrots look for one called "Little Finger" it is open pollinated baby type carrot that is really nice and produces really well for me.
Peas are a bugger for me the only ones that I can get to produce for me and enuf for a meal and for freezing are "Mammoth Melting Snow peas" and a sugar snap pea called "Sugar Ann"(not sure if it is OP/heirloom or not I buy it in bulk) I can not grow enuf of the regular peas to make it worth my garden space... But the other two are edible pods so you get more for your space, and the grand baby just loved them this summer raw, and would pick them out of my fried rice and eat them all when I wasn't looking.
Lucky for me there is a big farm north of me about 10 miles that sells shelled peas in season quite reasonably.

Now tomatoes will get a big tricky- there are two that I grow every year for canning as they are paste tomatoes-"Purple Russian" a purple tomato that has wonderful full flavor, and Opalka a long skinny dry tomato with great flavor, not many seeds and since it is a really dry fleshed tomato it cooks down quickly and I have also dried it for sun dried tomatoes.
But many members of the garden site I am a member of swear by Amish Paste. I liked the flavor of it but it was not as productive for me.
Cherry tomatoes for the kids, look for Black Cherry and a Yellow pear called Yellow Submarine-better color and flavor than the old fashioned one called just plain Yellow Pear.
But for just plain eating out of hand and for sandwiches I love Black Krim and any of the black tomatoes.. I love the flavor of Black Brandywine, but it only makes about 1/2 the amount of tomatoes that my other plants do.. So we really enjoy them!
There is one pole bean that I got in a trade called "Rattlesnake" and it is one of the nicest green beans that I have ever grown-big pods, not a lot of strings(only if you pick one that is too big) sweet flavor raw and wonder flavor cooked and they freeze wonderfully. When you get tired of eating them fresh you can let the plants go and when they turn tan and dry you can harvest the pods for the beans which look a lot like pintos and cook up the same, you haven't had a good dry soup bean until you grow the beans yourself, they cook up in half the time and the flavor is out of this world.
But I have over 50 different types of tomato seed in my hoard and probably about 20 or more pole beans. Including one called Anasazi which is said to come from beans found in Chaco canyon..
I also grow hot peppers as they grow like weeds for me but I go back to the road side stand for sweet peppers as they grow them so well and only charge .40¢ a piece for them. They also grow tons of other stuff but here is a picture of their pepper table from last fall. Of course the sweet peppers are on another table..

They also grow the best squashes and since I have a deer problem the past few years it is almost cheaper to buy them from them and have them then it is to fight the 4-legged monsters..

If the Pumpkin Patch ever decided to stop growing and selling I would so be up the poo creek!
 

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I can vouch for the Country Gentleman corn. Harder for me to de-cob than a row corn because I do it by hand. Trying Stowells Evergreen Sweet Corn this year to correct that issue. I’ll still keep enough Gentleman going to have seeds though. Baker Creek also gets a thumbs up, great selection and prices.

Shelling peas. The flavor of Wando is hard to beat and my all time favorite. It was hard to find seeds for years, so I was forced to start saving them. Lincoln took its place it seemed but I don’t think it is near as sweet or pea-ey tasting. Wando is productive and lasts pretty well into the summer IF it is mulched and kept well watered. Trying Tall Telephone this year as I like pole varieties. More productive and no crawling around on your knees searching under the foliage for pods. Don’t grow any edible pod types, maybe look and try one again this year.

Speaking of pole varieties, huge fan of Kentucky Blue Pole Bean. If kept picked and you can keep the Japaneese Beetles off them productive as a son-of-a-somethingorother. I plant a double row every two weeks to keep from getting that first pick overload. My dry bean choice is Jacobs Cattle. It’s just what I’ve always grown and been happy with so if it ain’t broke… Besides they are really pretty.

Tomatoes are a whole thing by themselves. There are so many varieties and they all taste a little different. I would suggest trying a few varieties each year until you find your favorite. If you’ve never grown any try a red, a yellow, an orange and a black/purple and go from there. I’m happy with Sweet Million for cherry and Brandywine (or something like it) for my sauce/slicer.

Summer squash. I believe I have Black Beauty and yellow is the Prolific Straight neck. Been so long since I bought those that I forget.

Root crops, Cherry Belle radishes are hard to beat, for me anyway. Fast and tasty. Nantes is my carrot I think, I’ve tried so many I forgot what I settled with.

King of the Garden limas, Bloomsdale spinach, Buttercrunch and Simpson lettuce, no idea what the cukes are, No idea what the green peppers are either and Habanera for making pest sprays.

I always try at least one new crop a year, you never know it might turn out great. This year is Tendersweet carrots, German Johnson Pink Tomato, Large Speckled pole bean, Caribbean Red Pepper and Jupiter Pepper (sweet type of pepper).

Of course, these are what I find grows well here with my soil and I like the taste of them. Your mileage will vary!
 

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I think I'll just call them in the morning, explain what I'm looking for and get what ever they suggest. To me a bean is a bean and a tomato is a tomato. If I can cut it up on a sandwich I'm happy. I'm more interested in tough plants since I don't have a green thumb and learning to keep a couple seeds is a good skill.
We did some potatoes last year, but most of them came out small. We didn't eat any so we effectively increased our seed potatoes by 4 or 5 times. Not a success, but not a failure since we have plenty of seed for this year. They are hardly worth growing since one of our local stores has 50# bags for $10-$12 when on sale. At this point I'm just glad to learn a little bit, gain some experience and have something grow. Thanks.
You want a tough tomato get Striped Roman-Last year was the first year I grew it and it was a monster that set fruit well and resisted all of the blights I get here and survived two light frosts with only minimal damage. Only the hard frost took it out. The flavor was nice but just tomato, nothing super special. Cooked down into my sauces just fine. Kentucky blue lake pole bean is ok but there are tons out there that I like better. It was a Japanese beetle magnet at my home too. I will sometimes plant a few at the end of the garden just to lure the beetles away from my good beans.
 

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I occasionally seed swap and also placed my first Baker seed order about a month ago. I'm very pleased with the packet size and what I got for my money... spent about $50 myself and have and arm load of packets. Easily more than I can plant and grow this summer.

@NJ... try to be a little more picky. Do some research. A bean is a bean and a tomato is a tomato is quite far from the truth. Do you want Bush bean or pole bean? Pole beans usually produce more beans but need string or a trellis or something to climb. Green beans for eating and freezing/dehydrating? or Pinto's for drying and saving? Fava? etc.

On to tomatoes... Eating? Beefsteaks? or cherry? or for making sauce or paste? (plum or amish paste varieties). Something that produces all at once resulting in a big batch over a short period? or something that produces throughout the growing season resulting in a steady supply?

Also, since your locations says NJ, check your growing zone for your area. Look for varieties that do well in your zone. Also, look for something that you can harvest before it freezes. Something that needs 120 days to reach maturity won't do well in Maine, for example.

While I don't think you can go wrong with most offerings from Baker, it is still worth it to spend a bit of time to get what you want. I personally can't stand raw tomatoes so something like a beefsteak for slicing onto sandwiches will simply go to waste however I really enjoy cooked tomatoes (think sauce) so I buy (and trade for) varieties that make good sauces.

Unrelated, I assume the other half of your alias is your vehicle of choice. I keep fluctuating over getting one or not. :)
 

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Do tell what other beans!!! I still have a little left in the seed budget and its early enough to shop more!!
Well I usually have these and grow them out every other year to make sure that my seed stock is fresh, even tho I have gotten 4 year old beans to sprout and grow for me.
Cherokee Trail of Tears- great tasting pole bean that can be eaten green and once it starts to turn burgundy it develops strings and I let htem go for a nice shiny black bean that looks like a small black kidney bean-they cook up into a dark reddish brown kidney shaped bean that is great for chili and for refried beans.
Speckled Cranberry pole bean=I don't care for these as green beans but for the soup pot or refried beans they are the best. They end up as a big cream colored bean with deep red speckles. I was bored last summer and only had room for one plant on one of my fences so I put just one bean of this there and ended up with just more than my 8 oz jelly jar full, but I had many empty pods due to the fact that I think it was too shaded where it was. I do grow this every other year and grow enuf for two years(about 30 feet of fence goes to these.)
Purple Podded Pole bean- very cool great tasting, even when big, purple bean. They get really big, the Japanese beetles don't like them and the plants are beautiful with big light lavender flowers-the beans are so easy to pick as they are a dark purple. The light tan seeds can be eaten and are very creamy and tend to just totally disintegrate into my soups and make the broth really creamy.
Pencil Pod or Yellow pencil pod pole bean is a yellow wax bean that is really long and skinny, and if you let them get bigger so that a few seeds are starting to swell and then eat them they do look like a yellow pencil with a dark purple ink(the bean is black).
There is an unnamed roma pole in my collection that I got from a friend and it is a bit dainter than the big robust roma's but it has the best flavor but it will be a couple years before I grow out enuf to start sharing it. But pole Romas are wonderful no matter which you try.
McCaslin I just got these in a trade last spring and the beans were huge! one was even 1 1/2 foot long but not a yard long bean just regular bean-ok flavor wise but they freeze beautifully and the tons of little white seeds/beans were good in soup.
Rattlesnake is by far my favorite for raw snacking and for freezing, long juicy and a touch of sweet(compared to the others that I eat raw) green pods with streaks of purple on them, the beans when dried look just like pintos and taste the same when cooked. I love, love, love this pole bean I got it from a friend(same who gave me the roma) and just can not thank him enuf.
I've grown many more and I have several that I have gotten in trade this last year to try.
If they turn out any better than the ones I put up I'll let ya know.. :2thumb:

By the way, my favorite way to eat beans is out by the fence for breakfast while I work in the garden.. lol;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Too late already ordered and am really not picky at all. I just want strong good producers. After a few years in the military and tons of camping and hiking, I have drank plenty of gray coffee, eat lunch under a poncho to keep the blowing sand out of my meal and had dinner in rain so heavy that food was washing off of the plate. My standards are low. If it's not still walking, then it's food. We grew some mexican midgets last yr and they did much better than the normal plants. They when right into a sprout salad, mashed 'em into spanish rice and cut them in half on a burger. I even mad a couple tomato sandwiches from them. I'm easy, it's all the same to me. I just want to grow stuff and gain some experience. If I can grow 2 plants I can grow 20. We still kill off a few plants, so we're still learning.

I told them where and I live and what I'm looking for. I have a nice assortment of 5 or 10 different seeds on the way and a book too. It came to $52 and the book was a good part of it. We have single digit temps last night and tonight with snow still on the ground, but it's almost time to start some seed inside.
 

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Thanks Emerald and Woody!

Checked out Bakers, and checked out your different recommendations. Lots of good stuff that will make its way into our garden this year.

I want to grow it all. :)
 
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