Eighth of an Acre Bounty

Random thoughts and anecdotes on cooking, critters, gardening and life on our small city lot.

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Planting Notes

This page is probably more for my notes than anything else. I suppose it could prove useful to someone else in the Pacific Northwest looking for what varieties do well in this climate or for a specific yield. Below I have listed the year and what I planted with notes on growth, production and other miscellany. Drop me a line if you have questions or suggestions of what to plant with our short short summers!

2009 Season

Seed Starting Record

January 30th (indoor newspaper pots)

  • Giant Musselburgh Leeks
  • Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage
  • Dyna Kohlrabi
  • Red Cabbage (seed saving experiment, variety unknown)
  • Tatsoi Pak Choy
  • Early Jalepeno

February 11th (indoor newspaper pots)

  • Buttercrunch Lettuce

February 12th (cold frame planting)

  • Radish (easter egg mixture and zlata)
  • Ishikura Bunching Onion
  • Mache
  • Razzle Dazzle Spinach
  • Arugula (seed saved from last year)
  • Miners Lettuce (direct seeded outside of cold frame)’ took over a month to germinate, but established well

February 15th (indoor newspaper pots)

  • Broccoli – DeCicco
  • Broccoli – Calabrese
  • Sage
  • Thyme

February 18th

  • Oregon Trail Shelling Peas (outside) harvest began late June
  • Mr. Big Shelling Peas (gutter planting in cold frame) harvest began early June
  • Chioggia Beets (Cold Frame)
  • Cilantro (Cold Frame)

February 21st (outside in pots)

  • Himalayan Blue Poppy
  • Ladybird (Red) Poppy

March 2nd (indoor newspaper pots)

  • Chervena Chushka Red Pepper – Very slow to germinate and grow.
  • Orange Habanero Pepper- Very slow to germinate and grow.
  • Black Sea Man Tomato
  • Black Krim Tomato
  • Aunt Ruby’s German Green Tomato
  • Tiffen Mennonite Tomato
  • Black Russian Tomato
  • San Marzano Tomato
  • Sun Gold Cherry Tomato
  • Principe Borghese Tomato

March 13th (indoor 4 cell pots)

  • Calabrese Broccoli
  • DeCicco Broccoli
  • Mixed Lettuce
  • Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage
  • Chervil
  • Catnip
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  • Sage (trying again, first sowing didn’t germinate)
  • Thyme

March 21st

  • Pac Choi, Cabbage and Peas transplanted from cold frame into bed
  • Mache, Salsify and Spinach direct seeded into bed
  • Sunflowers and Perfection Bulbing Fennel started indoors

(Moved Leeks, Cabbage, Kohlrabi, and Pac Choi out to cold frame. Transplanted 5 Buttercrunch into earth coldframe)

April 5

  • Envy Carrots (direct Seeded) – Matured late July/Early August
  • All AMerican Parsnip (direct Seeded)
  • 4 Color Mix Beets(direct Seeded) – Matured July
  • Leeks transplanted from cold frame to bed

April 6th

  • Aunt Mollys Ground Cherry started indoors, not a single seed germinated
  • Tomatillo started indoors
  • Lageneria Longissima Squash started indoors, did not germinate.
  • Scallop F1 Squash started indoors
  • Nigra Hollyhock started outdoors in cold frame
  • Ozette Potato direct seeded

May-I slacked on recordkeeping of seed sowing. Miscellaneous sowings of Lettuces and herbs. Transplanting


  • Scarlet Emperor Beans (early)
  • Hidatsa Shield Figure Beans (2 weeks later)
  • Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans (2 weeks later)
  • Arikara Bush Beans (end of June)
  • Chicken Lettuce and Arugula (end of June, under Rhody in shade)


  • Envy Carrots, 4 Color Beets and Lettuce mix interseeded in rows (early August)
  • All American Parsnips
  • Razzle Dazzle Spinach
  • Purslane
  • Spinach, carrots and beets interseeded.
  • Broccoli – DeCicco
  • Broccoli – Calabrese
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Sugarloaf Chicory
  • Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage

2008 Season

General Notes: Very short and cold season

TOMATOES (not put in ground until beginning of June, new tomato bed)

Black Russian – Purchased as a start. Somewhat slow growing set first fruit around July 24th. Good production and flavor.

Beaver Lodge Slicer – Started from seed in April. High germination rate and very quick to set fruit once in the ground. Does not appear to grow taller than about two feet, dense plant with numerous 1-2 inch wide fruit. Seemed very susceptible to disease for a hybrid. Flavor ok but nothing to write home about. Determinate.

Super Marzano – Started from seed in April. High germination rate. Took cold weather very hard (phosphorus deficiency, purple leaves). Greened up as soon as soil was warm. Medium size, set first fruit around July 10th. Long narrow fruit. Good, large (long) fruit for sauce. Meaty.

Isis Candy – Purchased from Mintners as a start. Slow to grow at first but then takes off, medium size. Slow to set fruit. Did not fare cold weather well.

Tiffen Mennonite – Started from seed in April. High germination rate, took cool weather the hardest. Large, sprawling indeterminate. Set first fruit around July15th. Huge fist sized fruit with excellent flavor (slugs really like it too).

Japanese Plum – Purchased as start (insurance) from Mintners. Set fruit first out of all. Plant flowering but not putting out a lot of side shoots or growth. Consistent issue with blossom end rot when none of the other tomatoes were having issues. OK flavor.

EGGPLANT – Purchased starts from Mintners. Eary Japanese eggplant variety, flowered but little growth and limited fruit. Good flavor.


Chioggia – Direct Seeded in late March, first harvest in mid June. Good greens, medium size bulbs if spaced correctly. Good raw salad beet with candy cane stripes. Doesn’t seem to store in fridge very well, gets a bit bitter after a week or so.


Egyptian Walking – These took off this year. Excellent growth and topsetting. Greens are tough at the base but if cut early are good in salads, much stronger than standard green onion flavor. Bulbs are numerous. Need to think more about location as these are perennial and will walk.

Bunching Onion – Planted late March. First substantial harvest early to mid July. Needs thinning in order to set bulbs. Good green onion and survived lack of water relatively well. Good green onion too.


Golden Fennel – Non bulbing perennial. 6 feet by July 20th. Green Aphids still attracted to leaves but managed with soap spray. Good seed setting.

Perfection Bulbing Fennel – Started from seed in April. Very quick to germinate and transplanted well. High germination rate, don’t double-seed tray in the future. Small to medium size bulbs. Crisp flavor. Some sort of pest (aphid) attracted to leaves, managed with soap spray and no real damage to plant. Part of row much further behind the rest, soil or water? Bolted in Aug-Sept.

KOHLRABI Dyna – Started from seed in April. Very quick to germinate, high germination. Transplanted well. Beautiful color. Cabbage moth/white butterfly larvae on leaves but not enough to do damage (perhaps due to cold start of season?). First harvests late July yielded 3-4 inch bulbs, a little woody at base. Remainder of plants have a smaller bulb size. Do further testing to see if there is a water or sunlight issue that addresses the discrepancy.


Kentucky Wonder Bean – Pole Bean, direct seeded in April. Did absolutely nothing after initial germination for two months. Once the weather got up above 70-75 F there was rapid growth. Set up on 8 ft trellis and growing over the top. Flowering began July 20th and beans just appearing at end of July. Excellent yield and produced well into cooler fall weather. Keep picked for continual harvest.

Yin Yang Shelling Bean – Bush bean, direct seeded in April. Small compact plants under 2 ft tall. Started flowering before the pole beans in the beginning of July. Setting many pods, no apparent pests. Beautiful beans, limited harvest for available space.

Henderson Lima Bean – Bush bean, direct seeded third week in July. Germinated within a week. Never made it to set fruit before fall/winter.


Snow Peas – Direct seeded in March. Grew to about 4 ft tall, good production beginning in June. Pods were fibrous after a short period of time. Not enough time to eat before turning hard. Plant less or not at all. Cannot compete with shelling peas in height.

Oregon Trail Shelling Peas – Direct seeded in March, grew to approximately 6ft tall. Peas not fully developed in pods until end of June. OK harvest, good flavor.


Buttercrunch – Started indoors from seed in April. Extremely bolt resistant and keeps in ground very well. Crisp and mellow leaves that do not turn bitter once plant has begun to bolt. 8-10 inch diameter loose heads.

Arugula – Started from seed in May, bolted by June (expected). Tasty and easy.

KALE – Mixed Russian Variety

CHARD – Northern Lights



Sugar Hubbard

Bananna Pink Jumbo

Straightneck Summer Squash





FIG – Negrone


Parsley Flat leaf – Excellent production of greens through to first big snow.


Basil Sweet leaf – good germination, quick to bolt. Needs to almost be inside – too cold.

Chervil – Germinated but did not survive transplant.

Dill – Never even germinated.




Sweet William

Viola – Johnny jump up




2007 Season


Principe Borhghese – High yield of 1-2 inch meaty fruit. Abundant production late in season (mid August thru September). Great for both canning and sun drying.

SunGold Cherries – Early and abundant producer of small cherry tomatoes. Sweet raw and freezes whole well.

Sweet Million Cherries – Produced tons of tangy fruit. Froze well.

Black Prince – Medium size black slicer. Good flavor but not very high production, perhaps due to location? Try to plant again in different location.

Black Krim – Huge and heavy fruit, some up to almost 6 inches across and well over a pound. High yeild. Due to heavy fruit set plant needs extra care in staking.

? – Can’t remember the variety, purchased from the Tilth sale. Medium size slicer, tasty but unremarkable both in flavor and production.


Chioggia – Beets were put in late and shaded out by the tomatoes gone wild. Never set bulbs but produced excellent greens over winter and into spring of 2008.


Egyptian Walking Onion – Perennial onion. First planting in 2007, no yield and not a lot of growth during summer months.


Jimmy Nardello – Sweet pepper. Was supposed to be bell type but came out elongated. Thin walled and sweet flavor, low yield.

Bolivian Hot – Tons of very small, multicolored HOT peppers. Could be used as an ornamental as well. Good heat but little flavor.


Green Tomatillo – Slow to take off but grew rapidly. High fruit set but fruit never got very large (average .75 inches). Plant needs attention in staking before fruit get too heavy.

RHUBARB – I can’t remember the variety I bought. First planted in spring of 2005, 2007 was first heavy harvest. Approximately 3 gallons diced. Goes woody/fibrous around beginning of June.

RASPBERRIES – Little to no fruit this year perhaps because of lack of water and disturbed earth.


Butternut – Start from Mintners. Put into the ground late and in poor soil, good production, lost 3 to rot after 4 months storage

Delicata – Start from Mintners. Put in late and in poor soil, good production, and great keeper. Flesh significantly sweetens with storage

Summer PattyPan – Start from Mintners. Shared squash pile with other two winter squash. Put out high yield of dense fruit up to 5 inches across. High water content. Good flowers for stuffing.


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