Other Vegetable Plants
Cucumbers originated in India or western Asia, and have been known to gardeners for at least 3,000 years. Their diverse forms and flavors are now appreciated and utilized in local cuisines around the world. See WH Foods for great information about cucumbers, including a number of health benefits. These are sold in four-packs (can be divided).
This open-pollinated cucumber is parthenocarpic. That means it is self-pollinating and will set fruit without outside pollination. This is a compact plant with smaller than normal leaves making cucumbers more visible. Little-leaf produces a huge number of cucumbers that pickle well and are also good for fresh eating. This small blockish cucumber was bred at the University of Arkansas and has lots of disease resistance. Very popular. (60 days)
Lemon yellow cucumbers are tender and sweet, excellent for salads and pickling. Lemon cucumber does not have a lemon taste, only color, but has a thin, tender skin with a flavor a little milder than a regular cucumber’s. As an added benefit, lemon cucumber plants continue to produce later in the season than most other varieties.
The fruits of various members of the gourd family are squash and they fall into two classifications, summer squash and winter squash. Summer squash differs from fall and winter squash in that it is selected to be harvested before the rind hardens and the fruit matures. Every part of the squash plant can be eaten, including the leaves and tender shoots, which can be cooked in omelets or made into soup. See the WH Foods for great information about summer squash. These are sold in four-packs (can be divided).
This heirloom scallop or patty pan squash should be harvested at a 2-3″ diameter while it has a pale green color. Excellent flavor and texture, this summer squash produces well on a manageable bushy type squash plant and some say it is the best tasting of all summer squash. Developed by Charles N. Farr and introduced in 1914 by F.W. Bolgiano & Co. of Washington, DC., this heirloom has been with us for over 100 years. (55 days)
Superior flavor in this open-pollinated zucchini heirloom squash from 1931. Can be steamed, sautéed, added to soups, omelets, and breads, made into relish and eaten raw in salads or with dip. Black zucchini isn’t really black, but a dark green, containing more of the antioxidant lutein than lighter-skinned varieties of zucchini. Best harvested around 6″ long. (50 days)
Among the most attractive of the Patty Pans with its bright yellow skin, the Sunburst is a staple for market growers since being recognized by All-America Selections in 1985 for vigorous growth, productivity and fruit quality. Can be picked from baby size up to 6-8 inches across without losing its tender, buttery flavor. (55-60 days)
Lettuce is a half-hardy vegetable that you can keep growing all season long by planting one small crop at a time. Days to maturity tend to be short. May be grown right through the winter where the weather is mild, or under row cover, cold frames, etc. Garden lettuce is far superior, in both taste and vitamin A & C content, to supermarket brands. Though there are at least seven types of lettuce, Hattie’s Garden is offering three of the most common ones: Butterhead, Loose-leaf, and Romaine.
Butterhead Lettuces form loose, open heads of melt-in-your mouth leaves. They thrive in the warm days of fall, and the cool days from spring to early summer.
This classic, open-pollinated butterhead type was the standard for many years. Soft, buttery-textured leaves enclose a crisp, juicy, loose inner head of blanched, sweet-tasting leaves. Very heat-tolerant and slow to bolt, Buttercrunch stays mild long after others have turned bitter. Developed by George Raleigh, Cornell University, and an All America Selection for 1963. (50 days)
Kagraner Sommer, an open-pollinated butterhead, has tasty, well-formed medium sized heads that are slow to bolt in summer heat. Some sources say it came from Germany, and some say that it came from France. The name is German, and ‘Sommer’ means ‘summer’ in German. Also known as ‘Butter Bow Head’, this impressive and elegant butterhead has mild tasting leaves are soft and buttery. (58 days)
You will not be disappointed with Pirat. Soft, buttery hearts are surrounded by elegant burgundy tipped leaves. It’s a welcome addition to any salad with its sweet, mild flavor and a beautiful appearance. Resistance to downy mildew and bacterial rot make this butterhead a great choice for our climate. The thinnings make a great baby lettuce, but be sure to let Pirat grow to full size for the optimum lettuce experience. This open-pollinated, German variety descends from Merveille des Quatre Saisons (Marvel of the Four Seasons), but is much more bolt resistant. (55 days)
Loose-leaf (also called leaf) Lettuces are colorful, easy, and fast-growing lettuce varieties. The plants form open heads that allow you to harvest a few leaves at a time, or whole plants as needed.
Black Seeded Simpson, an open-pollinated looseleaf variety, was one of the first lettuce varieties to be deemed an ‘heirloom’ in the middle years of the 19th century. This is a highly adaptable lettuce for plantings throughout the season. Quickly produces a full-sized, bright green open head with slightly crinkled leaves. Popular babyleaf variety for a bright green contrasting leaf in salad mixes. The light-green leaves are especially juicy, and are suitable for salad and other dishes. Slow to bolt. It withstands heat, drought, and frost. (45 days)
A favorite among gardeners who prize beauty as well as flavor, Red Sails received an All-America Winner when it was introduced in 1985 and has never looked back! A most attractive open-pollinated, loose-leaf lettuce with purplish red-splashed leaves, Red Sails is slow to become bitter or bolt, even in heat. A great source of rich color for the salad bowl, they are high-quality eating, with a soft texture and buttery flavor that appeals to all ages. (49 days)
Cos (Romaine) Lettuces form open, upright heads of deeply colored leaves. The leaves have stronger flavor than looseleaf varieties, and crunchy midribs. As long as they get enough water, romaine lettuces can withstand some summer heat.
Translated as “Speckled Trout,” this Austrian lettuce has gorgeous green leaves with maroon markings. Crispy leaves with thick midribs. An absolutely gorgeous romaine with the delicate taste and texture of a butterhead, distinguished for its deep green leaves flecked with wine-red splotches. Grows quickly in cold weather but will bolt in heat. Holds its excellent flavor even after it starts to bolt. Extra fancy for salads. (56 days)
This brilliant green Romaine type lettuce hails from Israel, where it was developed to withstand the intense Mediterranean heat without losing its sweetness. A beautiful and unusual luminescent chartreuse green color makes this savoy leafed, very large framed romaine a standout. Jericho stands up to tip burn as well as heat, and won’t bolt when summer arrives early. It tolerates both powdery and downy mildew, making it an excellent choice for gardeners in humid and rainy climates. (60 days)
Chard is a cool season leafy green vegetable. The plant is related to beets but doesn’t produce the globular edible root. It is a great source of vitamin K, A and C, and is a wonderful cauldron of potassium, magnesium, iron and fiber. The “Swiss” descriptor was added to the chard name to differentiate it from French chardon. It originated in the Mediterranean region and not in Switzerland — no matter what its name might imply. See WH Foods for great information.
Broad white stems and savoyed dark green leaves. This standard chard was introduced by Burpee in 1934 and is an open pollinated variety that is one of the most productive vegetables anyone could ever grow. It is tough taking the high heat and humidity of summer and is productive through most of the winter unless it gets down in the low teens or single digits then it simply rests till warmer temps and takes off growing again. It also grows very well in containers and is very attractive with its dark green leaves and white stalks. Heavy yields of delicious fresh greens.
The gold standard for multicolored Swiss chard, this All American Selection from Johnny’s Selected Seeds, the work of 15 years of careful selection. Open pollinated, the leaves and stems are a range of colors: gold, yellow, orange, pink, intermediate pastels and dazzling stripes. Consistent growth rate and strong bolt resistance across all colors makes this a superior mix.