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Gardening Tips

updated 5.25.17




CONCADOR YELLOW – Yellow French filet bean; heavy producer. 62 days.

MAXIBEL – French filet green bean, also known as Haricot vert, with long, skinny, string-free pods. Heavy producer. 61 days.

PURPLE DOVE – Half runner (doesn't need support) with beautiful purple flowers and tasty purple snap beans that turn green when cooked: produces up until frost. 70 days.




FORTEX – Steady yields of delicious extra long French green beans can be harvested at any stage and are tender even when left 'a little too long' on the vine. Produces until the very end of the season! 55 days.

RED NOODLE YARD LONG Slow to produce, but once underway it goes & goes if kept picked. Loves heat and moisture. Its strong unique indescribable flavor is brought out best by dry-frying in a hot pan with peanut oil, garlic and tamari. Stringless and most tender when young and thin. Must be trellised. 90 days.

BROCCOLI/CAULIFLOWER – Plant 12-18” apart after all danger of frost is past. Harvest main crown before flowers open. Some will produce side shoots for an additional harvest.




WALTHAM  – Produces 4-8” blue-green heads with good flavor. Will produce some side-shoots on stocky 20” plants. 70-75 days.




Available in limited quantities: Early Purple & Romanesco






BRUSSELS SPROUTS/CABBAGE – Plant 12-18” apart. Plants are somewhat frost tolerant.  Harvest when heads are well formed and hard, but don’t wait too long or they may split.



LONG ISLAND IMPROVED – Old variety of Brussels sprouts that produces 2' plants yielding 50-100 sprouts over an extended period of time. Tastiest after frost.  SOLD OUT





Also available in limited quantities: Falstaff (purple), Roodnerf


For some reason our Brussels Sprouts never seem to "tighten up". I believe it is because we're not giving them the attention they deserve. Some useful information on how to grow these can be found at the West Virginia Cooperative Extension. A PDF version is available on this page if you prefer to download a copy. Growing Brussels Sprouts




LATE FLAT DUTCH – Later producer of large, flattened heads. Great flavor, also good for sauerkraut.






RED ACRE – Produces solid, small to medium heads that are dark reddish-purple.










CUCUMBERS – Plant 18-24” apart after the soil has warmed to 65° or higher. Harvest often, when they are 2-4” long, to keep the plants producing. Mulching helps to control weeds with “bush” type cucumber plants.


BURPLESS BEAUTYSweet, crispy & burpless! 60 days.

HOMEMADE PICKLES - Solid crisp interior and great flavor; best at 4-6". Can be grown on a trellis. 60 days.


SPACEMASTER – Bushy 2 ½-3’ vines produce 6-8” cucumbers that are crisp and juicy. Can be grown in containers or even hanging baskets. 56 days.





Also available in limited quantities: Green Fingers, Marketmore 76, Straight Eight


EGGPLANT – Plant 18-20” apart after all danger of frost. Cut the fruit from the plant to avoid damage. Pick often to encourage additional production.

BLACK BEAUTY – “Standard” heirloom eggplant dating back to 1910. Sets it’s oval, deep purple fruit high off the ground.





PING TUNG LONG - Early prolific producer of 10-15" long, 1-2" wide tasty fruit.


Also available in limited quantities: Little Fingers



KALE – Dinosaur (Lacinato), Rainbow (Lacinato), Red Russian, Scarlet

LETTUCE – Mix (6 packs)-may include Baby Oakleaf, Buttercrunch, Grandpa Admiral, Iceburg, Merlot, Merveilles de Quatre Saisons, Red Sails, Red Velvet, Red-Eared Butterheart

ROMAINE – Mix (6 packs)-may include Cimmaron, Flashy Trout Back, Freckles, Red, White

SPINACH – (6 packs)-Bloomsdale Long-Standing & Giant Noble

SWEET MESCLUN – Mix (6 packs)-contains Beet Greens Bull's Blood, Lettuce Black Seeded Simpson, Lettuce Red Salad Bowl, Mustard Tendergreen & Spinach Bloomsdale Long-Standing

SWISS CHARD – Mix (6 packs)-may include Fordhook, Giant Lucullus, Peppermint, Pink Passion, Rainbow



MELONS – Plant 1-3 plants in hills 24” apart. Consistent watering is required. Melons don’t like competition for nutrients. Mulching around the vine  helps with moisture retention and weed control.


DELICIOUS 51 CANTALOUPE– Traditional orange-fleshed, sweet early melon; 4-5lbs. 88 days.






SUGAR BABY WATERMELON – Small 8-10lb watermelons with sweet, deep red flesh. 80 days.






Also available in limited quantities: Crimson Sweet - red flesh, 20+lbs. 90 days.


PEPPERS – Plant 12-18” apart in full sun. Peppers love the heat, but are not drought tolerant. Mulch well and keep them watered evenly. Pick often when they reach the desired size so the plant will continue to produce.









JALAPENO – A heavy producer of dark green (red when fully ripe) peppers that are great when used raw or pickled. Scoville of 3,500-8,000.




Also available in limited quantities: Ancho, Chocolate Habanero, Datil, Jamaican Yellow,  Long Thin Cayenne, Numex Big Jim, Pepperoncini, Thai Hot, Tobago Seasoning




CALIFORNIA WONDER – A very popular green bell with smooth, 3-4 lobed fruit that have a great flavor and aroma. Will turn red if left to mature fully.




CHOCOLATE BEAUTY – Produces good yields of very sweet, large chocolate-red fruit with brick red flesh.


GOLDEN CALWONDER/GOLDEN WONDER – Similar to the California Wonder in size and flavor, but turns yellow when ripe.


KING OF THE NORTH – Large bell peppers are sweet and crisp: green fruit turn red when fully ripe. This is an early variety that grows well in the North.




ORANGE SUN  – Super sweet bells that start green and turn orange when ripe.


PURPLE BEAUTY – These compact plants produce beautiful dark purple, blocky fruits with thick, crisp, sweet flesh.




Also available in limited quantities: Jimmy Nardello, Marconi Purple, Melrose, Sweet Banana, Sweet Pimiento

PUMPKINS – Plant 2-3’ apart after frost danger. Pumpkins are heavy feeders so enrich the soil with lots of organic compost. Insect control is crucial to getting a good crop. Long term storage is possible – pick, “cure” and store the same as winter squash.


CONNECTICUT FIELD – Produces 15-25lb orange fruits that are good for carving or eating. One of the oldest varieties in North America, predating European settlement.






NEW ENGLAND PIE – Excellent for pies! 6-7lbs.






Also available in limited quantities: Atlantic Giant, Casper, Galeaux d'Eysines

SUMMER SQUASH – Plant one plant per hill and pick often. Squash is best when picked 5-6” long, while they are still tender and the seeds are small.


BLACK ZUCCHINI – An heirloom zucchini that produces huge yields of dark green, almost black, squash. Pick small and cook the same as summer squash, or pick large, remove the seeds, then stuff & bake.       



EARLY PROLIFIC STRAIGHTNECK – Bush type plants produce large yields of tender fleshed, yellow fruit.  Great steamed, grilled or sautéed with a little butter.





TOMATOES – Plant 18-24” apart and mulch to keep them weed free and to retain moisture. Stake or cage early, preferably at the time of planting to avoid root damage. Keep evenly watered to help prevent the tomatoes from cracking. 






JULIET – Hybrid-Very sweet, glossy red grape shaped tomatoes last on the vine longer than most. Crack resistant.




RIESENTRAUBE – German heirloom grown as early as 1856 in the US by the Pennsylvania Dutch. Heavy yields of 1" red cherry tomatoes in clusters of 20-40. Name translates to "giant bunch of grapes". 


SUGAR LUMP (aka Gardener's Delight)– German heirloom that is a heavy producer of 3/4-1" tomatoes in clusters of 6-12.




SUN GOLD – Hybrid-Orange cherry tomato with a nicely sweet taste.





SUPER SWEET 100 - Hybrid-Very high in sugar and vitamin C; 1" red cherries are produced in abundance all season.







AMISH PASTE – Large, 6-8oz fruits are good for sauce, ketchup, canning and slicing. 





OPALKA – A large, meaty, dry tomato that is excellent for making sauce or paste. This heirloom has a distinct point on the bottom of the fruit. These are what we grow for making our own sauce.




SAN MARZANO – An excellent Italian paste tomato with a meaty texture and mild flavor. Fruits are longer and larger than the Roma. Good in sauce, soups or even raw in salads.




Click this image to compare sauce tomatoes. 







BEEFSTEAK – Large, somewhat flat red fruits can grow to 1lb in size. A good flavored tomato that is popular with home growers, especially for sandwiches.




KELLOGG'S BREAKFAST A strange name for this large, orange beefsteak type. This heirloom is named for Darrell Kellogg, a railroad supervisor from Missouri.




PINK BRANDYWINE– Widely grown for it's extremely delicious flavor & very large fruits (1-2lbs), this late-bearing heirloom dates back to the 1880s. 




YELLOW BRANDYWINE – Huge 1-1½lb fruits with an excellent flavor.  Like the beefsteak, these are somewhat irregular and flat tomatoes. 


The following varieties are available in limited quantities:

African Queen, Aunt Gertie's Gold, Aunt Ginny's Purple, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Believe It or Not, Bicolor Mortgage Lifter, Black Cherry, Black Krim, Blondkopfchen, Burpee's Big Boy, Burpee's Globe, Casady's Folly, Chile Verde, Chocolate Cherry, Cousin Frank's Plum, Crimson Sprinter, Elfin, Flamme, Giant Belgium Pink, Gold Medal, Gold Rush Currant, Goldman's Italian American, Great White, Green Doctors, Green Giant, Honey Bunch Red Grape, Honeydrop, Hugh's, Hungarian Heart, Japanese Oxheart, Ladybug Hybrid, Mama Leone, Manitoba, Marglobe, Marvel Striped, Matt's Wild Cherry, McClintock's Big Pink, Mexico Midget, Mountain Magic Hybrid, Mullen's Mortgage Lifter, Old Ivory Egg, Orange Banana, Orange Russian 117, Peacevine Cherry, Peach Blow Sutton, Pink Princess Gene Pool, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Polish Giant, Pruden's Purple, Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter, Red Brandywine, Red Rose, Russian Black, Russian Rose, Santa Clara Canner, Sara's Galapagos, Speckled Roman, Spoon, Stump of the World (Big Ben), Sudduth's Brandywine, Super Italian Paste, Vilms, Wapsipinicon Peach (Yellow Peach), White Beauty, Wild Sweetie, Yellow Mortgage Lifter, Yellow Plum


WINTER SQUASH – “Winters” come in many sizes and shapes. Plant one per hill and pick before a heavy frost. Cut the stems at 1” or further from the fruit. Let the skin “cure” in the sun for several hours after picking. Turn to expose the entire squash to the sun before storing in a cool, dry place.


BUTTERCUP – Great flavored fruits that average 4-5lbs with thick flesh and deep green skin.






SPAGHETTI – Plants produce an abundance of cylindrical yellow 8-12" squash that can be stored for a few months in a cool, dry place.


WALTHAM BUTTERNUT – Classic butternut squash producing 7-9” fruits.