Jewel Toned Bell Peppers: Crimson, Gold, & Orange. Renee's Garden.
Description: Our mixed seed packet offers you an easy way to grow three different colored sweet bell peppers. Vidi ripens up deep crimson red, Admiral turns glossy golden yellow and Valencia matures glowing orange. These plump vigorous varieties combine mouth-watering rich flavor and juicy texture with high yields and excellent disease resistance. Days to Maturity: approx 75. Year Opened: 2009. Number Planted: 1 of each variety
Experience: All varieties have sprouted as of Jan 22. I gave the red bell pepper variety to Jen at Rebar and Roses.
Heirloom Tomatoes: Rainbow's End. Renee's Garden.
Description: Our mixed seed packet delivers mouth watering heirloom varieties saved and savored for generations. Luscious Brandywine's tender skinned fruits burts with quintessential rich tomato flavor. Big bi-colored Marvel Stripe is rosy-red marbled in gold with meltingly smooth, mild tasting, sweet flesh. Unique Green Zebra's smaller fruits are a wonderful emerald overlaid in golden-amber stripes with a zesty sweet/tart flavor balance to make you smile. Days to Maturity: Approx 80. Year Opened: 2008. Number Planted: 1 Brandywine and Marvel, 2 Zebra
Experience: All varieties have sprouted as of Jan 22. The Brandywine variety died, the two zebras made it, the Marvel died too. I did plant another green zebra in it's place. You know, I hope I like green zebras since I've got 3 plants...
True Thai Chiles: Orange Fogo and Red Dragon. Renee's Garden.
Description: We import these brilliantly colored, authentic Thai chiles direct from the source! Vigorous Fogo ripens bright orange with delicious medium hot/sweet pungency, perfect minced in sauces and salads. Red Demon's fiery little fruits point up like flames, with that nutty, incendiary pungency just right for stirfries. Use fresh or air dry for tantalizing Asian-style dishes. Days to Maturity: Approx 85. Year Opened: 2008. Number Planted: 1 Orange Fogo
Experience: All varieties have sprouted as of Jan 22. All varieties died this year, too.
Habanero Chile: Red Savina. Renee's Garden.
Description: Bred exclusively by Frank Garcias at GNS Spices, incendiary Red Savina is the hottest habanero known, tipping the scale at 380,000 to 500,000 Scoville units which put it in the Guinness Book of World Records. Along with brilliant red color and intense heat, Red Savina's flesh has that special tantalizing fiery fruitiness that characterizes habanero chiles from the Yucatan. The Chinese lantern-shaped fruits grow on sturdy 3 to 3.5 foot plants that do best in long hot summer areas. Days to Maturity: Approx 90. Year Opened: 2009. Number Planted: 2
Experience: Both pots have sprouted as of Jan 27. Both pots died. As did the one that I started after the fact. I ended up buying a habanero plant from Red Barn for about $3.
Specialty Eggplants: Italian Trio. Renee's Garden
Description: Our trio of delicious Italian eggplants combines teardrop-shaped, purple-black "Nadia," gorgeous, oval-shaped magenta "Beatrice" and heirloom rose and white, globe-shaped "Rosa Bianca." The strong plants with velvety leaves and lavender blossoms bear abundant crops of curvaceous glossy fruits with tender skins and succulent flesh that is never bitter or seedy. Enjoy in recipes from all Mediterranean cuisines. Days to Maturity: Approx 80. Year opened: 2009. Number Planted: 1 of the Nadia and Beatrice.
Experience: Nadia sprouted by Jan 22, Beatrice finally sprouted on Jan 29. Beatrice was "emergency planted", and is the only one that's still alive. Nadia was killed off shortly after planting in the garden.
True Thai Basil: Queenette. Renee's Garden
Description: This tropical-looking ornamental basil has dense .5" leaves that grow in clusters around distinctive purple stems. Imported directly from our best Thai seed producer, Queenette's exotic flavor combines aromatic mild sweet spices with clove/mint basil flavor. It is a critical ingredient in Southeast Asian dishes and marvellous in stirfries, chutneys and marinades. An eye-catching herb to interplant with flowers for "edible landscaping." Plant Queenette basil to enjoy growing and cooking with authentic Thai ingredients. Days to Maturity: NA. Year opened: 2009. Number Planted: 1
Experience: This has sprouted as of Jan 27. I ended up starting 2 more containers of the basil (I have a lot of seed). I planted 2 containers in the garden, and the other is still sitting by my porch.
Ananas Noire Tomato: Given to me by Jen at Rebar and Roses
Description: The skin has shades of green, purple, orange, and yellow. Bright green flesh has bursts of red streaks that will definitely add intrigue to your vegetable platter. The lip smacking flavor starts out sweet and ends with the perfect amount of tang. What's more, the sprawling indeterminate plant yields a tremendous amount of 1 1/2 pound fruits.
Experience: This plant seemed to be doing pretty poorly until very recently. It looks more like a tree too (the bottom leaves kept being attacked by something so I cut them off, thus leaving a bunch of leaves at the top. Thus a tomato tree). No flowers yet either. Hopefully it will make it through the summer and do well in the fall.
Black Krim Tomato: Given to me by Jen at Rebar and Roses, also purchased at Allandale Plant Sale for $1
Description: Large brown-red fruit with rich sweet flavor. Sets well in heat. Heirloom from Crimea. (from the Sunshine Gardens info sheet) Dark-brown, red fruit, large (10-12 oz), Russian. Heavy Producer, prone to cracking. Likes hot weather. Rich complex flavor, sweet-tasting fruit. Indeterminate. 75-90 days. Status: Heirloom
Experience: As I mentioned last year, THIS TOMATO IS AWESOME. And I totally have Annie in Austin to thank for this since it was because of her that I even tried this variety last year. Considering that I bought a fairly puny plant at the Allandale Plant Sale (and I bought it at the end of April), I am very impressed with the growth it's put on. It's flowering and there are even a few small tomatoes on the plant.
Purple Cherokee Tomato: Bought at the Allandale Plant Sale for $1
Description: 80 days, indeterminate — Given to heirloom tomato collector Craig LeHoullier by J. D. Green of Tennessee, it is at least 100 years old and was reported as originally grown by the Cherokee Indians. The fruits are large (twelve to sixteen ounces), dark pink with darker purple shoulders. Excellent complex flavor, slight sweet aftertaste, perfect slicer for tomato sandwiches!
Experience: Not as good of a grower as the Krim. I planted them the same day, so there really is no excuse. Not flowering yet. I hope it does well through the summer, and produces in the fall. I would like to do a taste test between the Krim and the Cherokee.
Kentucky Wonder Bean: Bought at the Allandale Plant Sale for $1
Description: Popular, heavy producing Pole Bean. Excellent for eating fresh, freezing or canning when pods are young. Makes a good shell bean when left to mature fully. Approximately 66 days to maturity.
Experience: This bean plant has easily climbed the 5' tomato cage and keeps wanting to go up. It does have a problem with spider mites.
Watermelon: Crimson Sweet (Walmart Gardens)
Experience: The best that my watermelon has ever done. Maybe this year I'll actually get one to grow!
Cantaloupe: Hearts of Gold (America's Choice)
Experience: I haven't noticed any cantaloupe plants, only watermelon. The seeds were old after all.
Black Eyed Peas: Free from my friend, Ross
Description: Cowpeas, also called Black Eyed Peas, are a favorite southern bean. Although the young leaves are edible, most gardeners grow them for the bean inside. Cowpeas are native to Africa, where it is an important food crop. The plant thrives in warmer climates. There are vining and non-vining varieties. Maturity in 80-90 days.
Experience: I planted these mostly for the legume soil factor and not so much for food. About half have survived at this point.
Bush Cucumber: Free via Master Gardeners of Travis County
Experience: I didn't plant these until pretty late, and they're no where as dark a green color as they were when I first got them, but they are doing okay. One even has a baby cucumber on it.
Basil (unknown variety): Free from my coworker, Charlie
Description: Apparently a Thai Basil (but it doesn't look like my Thai basil). It does have purple flowers though.
Experience: Most of these sat in their little pots for weeks before I planted them. I finally planted them and half promptly bolted. Which is fine. I'm content with collecting seeds, or pulling out seedlings when they sprout.
Basil (purple variety): $1 from Allandale Plant Sale
Description: mild purple variety
Experience: The plant itself is doing well, I just think I like the stronger flavored basils more.
Cherry Tomato (unknown variety): Free from my coworker, Charlie
Description: Charlie brought in some seedlings for my friend, Bond, and me. He was positive they were some of the hot yellow peppers he has in his yard because he had taken a whole pepper and just threw it in this pot and about 4 months later, all these little seedlings were growing in the pot. So he separated them, and gave them to Bond and me. A few weeks later, we were pretty sure they were not pepper plants (they had the fjord-like tomato leaf). And when the plants bloomed, it was confirmed. Cherry tomato of some sort. Sprouted from seeds that were put in a pot 8 months ago and forgotten (or something like that). Charlie says he thinks they might be sun gold tomatoes. I'm not sure, I guess I'll know when they fruit.
Experience: One plant has done amazingly well, the other, not so much. They both have flowered, and the larger one has tomatoes on it.
Random Squash Plant: $1 at the Allandale Plant Sale.
Description: I have no idea what this is. The tag was marked W.B. and the one lady said "oh, that means Wonder Bean!" I didn't bother pointing out that it was obviously a squash plant and not a bean plant. But I still bought it (I didn't want to get change so I needed 5 plants).
Experience: Not so great. I don't know if this will make it. It's in front of the lemon balm, and next to the cherry tomato. And I only put this because if it dies, at least I know that I did actually plant something there.
Experience: only about 3' tall (give or take half a foot), but considering it's supposed to only be 4' tall, it's probably doing good. It's the best that corn has ever done down here (for me at least). I think it mostly has to do with the fact that it's actually getting full sun.
Lemon Balm: $2.99 at Red Barn
Description: Lemon balm (Melissa officianlis L.) is a lemon scented member of the mint family. A native to southern Europe, it is a perennial which will over-winter in hardiness zones 4 to 5. The plant develops many branches and grows to a height of about 2 feet. The leaves are 2-3 inches long, oval to almost heart shaped, shiny and wrinkled with scalloped edges. Small light blue to white flowers appear in late spring through midsummer.
Experience: Going ballistic. But I like it. I'll go out there and make sure I run my hands through it just so they end up smelling all lemony. I got this (and nasturtiums) to combat that dreaded squash vine borer. It's all a grand science experience!
Delicata and Early Butternut Squash: Compact Winter Squash, Renee's Garden
Experience: They're there, but they haven't taken off like the Watermelon.