Variatal Advice - Anchorage
I'm looking for advice on varieties for Anchorage: Snap Peas, Pole Beans and Greens
Snap Peas: I have grown Sugar Ann and Sugar Snap with good success, but I find that I have a big crop for a couple weeks in late July and then nothing. Maybe I need to stagger my start times, but if anybody has advice for super-early peas, or peas that produce through September, I'm interested
Pole Beans: I grow Fortex/Noreaster and Scarlett Runner and am very pleased with both. Scarlett Runner is a very productive bean as long as it stays warm, and Fortex continues to produce through late September. However, I really like my pole beans, and if anybody has advice for other varieties, I would like to experiment.
Spinach and other Greens: So, I grow a lot of Kale. Winterbor/Starbor is my favorite for productivity, and I grow a bit of Toscano because I like it's flavor. I grew Beedy's Camden last year, which I think is properly considered to be a Heirloom variety, and I was happy with it's productivity in late September/early October, but it is less tender and more difficult to process in large quantities. I also grow a bit of Swiss Chard (I find all varieties to be interchangeable, but usually I grow Bright Lights). I haven't had much success in Anchorage with other greens. Bok Choy and Spinach both bolt very early, and other Asian Greens haven't been very productive. Are there any favorite green leafy veggies that you grow?
FYI, here are some of my other favorite variaties:
Storage Cabbage: Batolo, Storage #4. I have grown Red Express, but I would like to find another Red Cabbage. Cabbage should have been started last week.
Broccoli: Diplomat and Arcadia both give me good heads and follow up with good sideshoots and secondary heads. I haven't found an early season Broccoli that I like. I'll start broccoli in mid April. Remember to star pruning old leaves after harvesting the main head, to encourage growth of secondary heads from the base of the plant.
Carrots: SugarSnax is my favorite for eating in the fall. Bolero and Scarlett Nantes store well all winter. I have been having more success with Bolero than Nantes.
Brussel Sprouts: I have grown Churchill in the past, and am growing Franklin this year based on recommendation. Brussel Sprouts should have been started last week. Remember to top the plant after it sets a bunch of sprouts, and prune leaves from the bottom up as it matures.
Potatoes: I don't grow potatoes in Anchorage anymore, but I have to give a shout out for Magic Myrna's. They are a sweet fingerling developed in Palmer, and they have phenomenal flavor. Not as productive as Yukon Gold or other productive potatoes, but well worth growing if you have some space.
Cucumbers: I grow Sweet Success in a Visqueen low-tunnel. It's fairly productive in Anchorage, and the best tasting English Cucumber. I haven't found a favorite pickling cucumber yet.
Tomatoes: I'm finally trying Stupice this year. I grow Oregon Spring and Beaver Lodge outside and in a low-tunnel, both of which are small fruit, but cold hardy. I haven't had a lot of success with tomatoes, so I don't know...
I'd give Pac Choi another chance. That and mustard greens have always done well for me. Also, if you have weeds in your garden, look for Lamb's Quarter. Though many consider it a weed, I enjoy the greens more than even spinach. I don't plant it intentionally, but I'll definitely harvest it
I agree with you on the Cucumbers. A friend turned me onto the Sweet Success a couple years ago and we have grown a couple plants each year in the Green House. There may be others out there that are better, but the Stupice tomato has done exceptionally well for us, both outside next to a south facing wall and in the green house..
In terms of pickling cucs, I tried 'Little Tyke" last year with great success. I'm not terribly good at growing cucumbers in the greenhouse (they always seem to get bitter), but "Little Tyke" were bitter-free throughout the growing season.
My go-to tomatoes are "Gold Nugget" and "Siletz". Both have been very successful despite my less-than-stellar attention.
Interestingly, I recently learned that Quinoa is basically hi-bred lambsquarter. It grows well in Fairbanks. Our falls are a little bit too wet for setting seeds properly in Anchorage. I do agree with you that lambs quarter makes a great steamed veggie. Unfortunately, my dominant weed is chickweed.
Originally Posted by BearMountain
Thanks all for the other advice. I'm excited to see how Stupice grows for me and I'll try Little Tyke this year.
For Pole Beans, I like Kwintus, also known as Early Riser. For leafy greens, New Zealand Spinach is good and doesn't bolt.