But enough of that plug. I believed their warning that the prices would go up with the 2012 catalog, so I ordered all my seeds last month while the 2011 prices were still good. Here's what I'll be planting this year:
Broccoli is another staple in my garden. I've experimented with three varieties and am happy with all of them so they'll be coming back this year:
This Arcadia I start in the summer for a fall crop.
Gypsy is the broccoli I start in January for spring production.
Marathon is started in the summer for fall production.
Napoli carrots are new to me this year. I get them pelleted from Johnny's, which makes them so much easier to plant. They are an early variety, which means I get carrots in 60 days if I plant them at the right time of year.
I'm not a big cucumber adventurer. I know lots of people love growing the specialty varieties, but I'm kinda partial to the plain old cucumbers you get in the grocery store. This Corinto is new to me this year. Johnny's replaced the Genuines I grew last year with this one, and since some of my earlier Genuines came out bitter, I was ready for a change anyway. We'll see how this does.
Peas: I did a pea experiment last year by trying four different varieties of English peas. My plan was to find out which one grew best. In the end, they all grew pretty much the same and I was never able to figure out what I liked best. So--since I've got leftovers from last year--they're all getting planted again.
I'll also be using up the Snow Sweet peas I bought last year, so no new peas on this year's list.
People in the Bay Area say they have much better luck growing specialty peppers as opposed to standard bells. Boy, they weren't kidding. I grew these Anaheims (Sahuaro) last year and had peppers coming out of my ears. I love the mild heat from these and will grow them again.
Like cucumbers, I don't vary my squash much. That's mostly because plain old zucchini is the only squash my family will eat. Last year, I grew both this Plato and Costa Romanesco. I found the Costa Romanesco even more productive. The problem was, the leaves are very spiny and I got tired of scratching the heck out of my arms just trying to cut off a fruit. So this year it will be these Plato and only these Plato.
Which brings me to the queen of everyone's garden: Tomatoes
However, after a year of having them I couldn't bring myself to abandon them in 2012. They really were handy for salads, and I found myself snacking on them a lot, which is great for one's waistline. So they'll be back again for a repeat.
Also back are these Moskvich. They were my earliest tomatoes in 2011 and had good flavor and production. And since I've still got leftover seeds, I'll use them up.
I'm adding two new varieties this year: Cherokee Purple got raves from people who have shorter, foggier summers. They are another early variety.