Thinking about transplants

Um, I love to look at seed catalogs, and seeds are really CHEAP, as hobbies go. I've been cataloging mine in a spreadsheet (an uncharacteristic activity) to see what I have to grow as transplants for an upcoming Garden event to encourage people to grow some of their own vegetables.

We represent lots of partners: the SC Botanical Garden, Upstate Locavores, CU's Sustainable Ag program, CU's Home and Garden Information Center, SC Master Gardeners, and local community groups.

This will be a free event, with lots of info about how to grow vegetables (as a revived Victory Garden sort of thing). Many Americans are enthused about giving vegetable gardening a try; I'm seeing much more interest now. Hooray.

But, here's the list (uh, I did say I like seeds, right). Donating these seeds or transplants gives me the opportunity to buy more. Hmm, and I'll probably be enticed to buy transplants to support the cause, too! Not a bad thing.

What a nice list to contemplate.

Vegetables for transplant:

Ashley Cucumber
Italian cucumber (Lungo Della Cina)
Kiwano (African Horned Cucumber)
Sweet Armenian

Fairy Tale Eggplant
Millionaire Eggplant
Thai Light Green round
Thai Long Green (Elephant Tusk)
Lao Green Stripe
Lao White

Early White Vienna
Purple Vienna
Dyna Giant Purple

Hill Country Heirloom Red OKRA
Burgundy Okra

Ancho San Martin Hybrid Pepper
Pizza Pepper
Corno Di Toro Red Pepper
Carmen Hybrid Pepper
Red Cherry (Cherry Sweet) Pepper
Carolina Wonder Bell Pepper
Ashe County Pimento Pepper
Corno di Toro Mix
Southwestern Chile Trio
Pizza My Heart (container sweet pepper)

Summer Squash
Portofino Squash
Trombonciono Squash
Tromboncino Squash
Thai Serpent
Zucchino Rampicante (Zucca d'Albenga)
Eight-Ball Zucchini
Trombetta di Albenga
Ronde de Nice
Baby Round Zucchini

Winter Squash
Thai Small Pumpkin
Green striped cushaw
Greek Sweet Red
Thema Sander's Sweet Potato
Menina Rajada Seca

Swiss Chard
Golden Sunrise
Perpetual Spinach
Ruby Red

Big Beef Hybrid Tomato
Black Heirloom Tomato
Mortgage Lifter Tomato
Quick Pick Hybrid Tomato
Brandywine Heirloom Tomato
Super Marzano Tomato
Italian Goliath Hybrid Tomato
Big Bite Hybrid Tomato
Small Fry Hybrid Tomato
Miroma Hybrid Tomato
Sweet Chelsea Hybrid Tomato
Sweet Cluster Hybrid Tomato
Tomosa Hybrid Tomato
Fourth of July Hybrid
Tomato Heat Wave
Roma 'Pompeii'
Green Zebra
Early Girl Hybrid
Rio Grande

Purple Coban
Pueblo Verde

Profuma di Genova Basil
Cilantro Santo
Cilantro Slo-Bolt
Smokey Bronze Fennel
Maresilles Basil
Sweet Purple
Dill 'Mammoth'
Giante d'Italia
Sweet Curly Parsley
Thai Basil


  1. This event (called Garden Fest: Building Community, Growing Vegetables) will be on Saturday, April 18, 10-1 pm. at the Discovery Center Parking area, SC Botanical Garden, Clemson, for any of you that are nearby.

    For most of you who live elsewhere, why not consider organizing something similar? It's been great fun to see the enthusiasm and interest that's been building here in our area around vegetable gardening (I had over 80 people attend a talk earlier this week in the midlands about creative vegetable gardening).

    And for those of you who have active community gardens and allotments, we're working on building that sense of community, too.

  2. Thanks I'll keep that in mind....ever get over to York County for such events?

  3. I noticed 3 summer squash on your list that I've assumed are basically the same thing, but perhaps I've been wrong-- tromboncino, rampicante, and trombetta (all c. moschata with a prolific vining habit, I believe). I'm trying to beat the vine borers and am wondering if you prefer one of these to the others for disease/pest resistance and flavor?
    I'm looking to pick them young and use the flowers as well.

    Similar question about big beef tomato... I generally plant mostly heirlooms (which miraculously have done well for me here in G'ville despite the odds), but I'm thinking of planting a few hybrids this time-- if the flavor is worth it.


  4. Hi, CEN-
    You're right, of course, that the three C. moschata are essentially similar. I had them from different packets (and different seed companies), so am curious to see if they differ much.

    I'm assuming that they'll all be good, that is, if the hairiness level in all three of them is high enough to deter the borers! I've quite enjoyed the very young fruits of the two 'different' sources that I've grown, although I haven't used the flowers. I was a bit surprised at one description of the fruits tasting like artichokes, which I wouldn't have ever said. I really like the flavor of tromboncino, but it's quite different than a rich green zucchini flavor.

    I'm also interested in trying immature winter squash of other varieties as a 'fresh' vegetable, too, and maybe some of the C. mixta sorts. My accidental spoon gourd foray last summer (labelled as an Italian summer squash mix) was really quite successful as a borer-resistant yellow squash, when harvested young.

    With tomatoes, I think that there are so many different flavor characteristics, that you can basically pick the sorts that YOU like (sweet, acid, etc.) I've had a build-up of root-knot nematodes in one part of my main vegetable garden, so I've been looking for resistant varieties. I thought I'd add some in the mix, since we were going to grow a wide range of transplants.

    My take is that many of the hybrid varieties produced for home gardens are also strongly selected for flavor, so it's certainly worth seeing what you think. Let me know!

    One of the keys is freshness and complete ripening in thinking about why homegrown produce tastes so much better, in addition to NOT growing the commercial production varieties.

  5. Thanks! Pinetree (my favorite cheap but good seed source) has tromboncino so I'll give it a try. They have expanded their pumpkin/gourd/winter squash selection too-- very tempting. I've heard of using immature butternut squash in place of zucchini but I've had such bad luck with butternut yield the last couple of years that I wanted to let the ones I got mature. So haven't tried it yet. Of course that's c.moschata too and the vine borers went after it here last year as if it were a c.pepo. Maybe they'll go somewhere else this summer.

    I'll let you know on my tomato trials. I've really liked Tangerine-- a tasty, slightly acidic, beautiful orange medium-sized tomato that just keeps on all summer and is very pretty in a mix with red tomatoes. (I like balance, but lean a bit toward the acidic side; not a fan of the low-acid varieties.) Brandboy is very good but not very prolific for me. (Of course, the heirloom Brandywine is great but doesn't do well for me here.) My big surprise last year was striped (or speckled) Roman-- a wonderful huge plum that produced well into fall. And the fruit didn't split. It was good and big enough to eat as a slicer as well as using for sauce, roasting, etc.

    You're certainly right about ripeness-- I think for most people the hybrids are a bit easier on that score too. I find that I have to pick many of the heirlooms a tad on the "green" side due to pests, splitting, etc.

    I'll look forward to future posts on how all these turn out. Great variety you've got; not too many seeds at all. (Is there really such a thing!)

    Hope you found your wild asparagus seed.

  6. Hi, CEN-
    I did find some asparagus seed 'Precoce D' Argenteuil' at Baker Creek that sounded interesting, but not wild really. The only sources of 'wild asparagus' I found were limited to distribution in the UK. Hrmph.

    I've looked at Pinetree Seeds online, and maybe I'd better get a catalog, too, like I need encouragement.

    I think there's a lot to be said for trying alternatives to zucchini ( the mythical summer squash abundance doesn't happen often here, for sure). I remember your efforts with Bt injections!

    Maybe our extra cold winter this year will have zapped some of the bad insect larvae.

    I'm not sure I'll be able to try all the transplants that we'll be offering up, but they sure make a tempting list.


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