• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Earliest Vegetable Varieties...

 
William Bronson
Posts: 1221
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
9
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want it now!
Well, soon any way. I want 55 day corn! I found some:
EARLIVEE
Its a hybrid(sad face)
70 day watermelon: Little Baby Flower, blacktail mountain watermelon
65(!?) day watermelon:Yellow Doll Hybrid Watermelon
60 day(?) potatoes: Anuschka

Ok, so why do I want these? First to my mouth , first to market,less time for disasters to happen, keeps my attention,harvesting makes room for more plantings,thus more fun/opportunities, plus some of these varieties are rumored to be extra tasty!

Apparently I am in the minority,'cause this info seems hard to come by. No lists have popped up, much less a seed collection or merchant specializing in the earliest varieties.
I know fast doesn't mean best, but it also doesn't mean bad.
Any knowledge about the earliest varieties of any vegetables would be welcomed, thanks!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2011
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
368
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

My earliest peas only produce 1/3 the harvest that the later peas do, but it's a trade I am more than willing to make for a 10 day earlier harvest. My earliest sweet corn produces 1/2 sized ears. Again that's an easy trade off.

To get earliness in my garden, I had to develop my own varieties... I did that by planting a number of early varieties together, letting them cross pollinate, and then selecting year after year among the descendents for plants that were early enough to reproduce successfully. Inadvertently at first I selected for vigor and fast growth. Along the way, I also selected for resistance to my local diseases and pests, and for adaptation to the dry climate, and for flavors that really work for my taste buds.

Blacktail Mountain was among the slowest-growing least-vigorous watermelons that I ever grew. But it did produce a harvest the first year, and it tasted great.

Here's an example of two muskmelons... Both planted and photographed on the same day and growing a few feet apart. The small plant is typical of commercial melon seed when grown in my garden. The larger plant is from my seed-saving program.



It has been a ton of work to develop 70 of my own varieties of vegetables, but it is super nice to be able to harvest crops that i couldn't grow previously because the season was too short. And the flavors... Oh my heck! I get exactly the tastes that I want. No bland, boring, watery produce for me!



Okra is the crop that I am currently day-dreaming the most about. It took a 3 year breeding project to develop plants that were early enough to produce a harvest to eat.



To demonstrate the power of only one year's worth of seed-saving, here's another set of photos. The seeds were planted and photographed on the same day and grew a few feet apart.

In my fields, commercial okra grows like this...


The seed that this plant came from was from the only plant (out of ~100) that produced seed in my garden the previous year.


After two years of saving my own seed, the okra plants grew taller than the farmer!!!


So if you are after earliness, I recommend planting a number of varieties, allowing them to cross pollinate, saving your own seed, and selecting for earliness.










 
William Bronson
Posts: 1221
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
9
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
....
I am in awe...
What treasure you have created!

I am very unorganized,all I have are volunteer Italian Tree tomatoes,from benign neglect.
I suppose they are disease and pest resistant but I tend to eat any that I can find!
The ones that hide and rot are wining the reproductive race...
Clearly I need to step up my game.
There are green tomatoes in that patch thru Holloween,do they add to the gene pool?
Lots to learn.
Thank you for sharing your work, it is inspiring!
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 877
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
99
books forest garden rabbit solar tiny house woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What's early for one location may not be early for another. Growing conditions can make a big difference. So one needs to be mindful of this when you read seed catalog descriptions.

There are growing methods that can improve earliness, such as floating row covers, coldframes, plastic tunnels, and keeping soil moist with the crop's preferred temperature.

Like Joseph, I've been saving seed and selecting my own strains adapted to my location and conditions. Earliness is one of the traits that I select for in my beans, peas, and potatoes. I'm not as selective on earliness for winter squash, pumpkins, gourds, cucumbers, radishes, bok choy, and broccoli because there are other traits that are more important for me.
 
Kate Muller
Posts: 180
Location: New Hampshire
11
bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
My earliest peas only produce 1/3 the harvest that the later peas do, but it's a trade I am more than willing to make for a 10 day earlier harvest. My earliest sweet corn produces 1/2 sized ears. Again that's an easy trade off.

To get earliness in my garden, I had to develop my own varieties... I did that by planting a number of early varieties together, letting them cross pollinate, and then selecting year after year among the descendents for plants that were early enough to reproduce successfully. Inadvertently at first I selected for vigor and fast growth. Along the way, I also selected for resistance to my local diseases and pests, and for adaptation to the dry climate, and for flavors that really work for my taste buds.

So if you are after earliness, I recommend planting a number of varieties, allowing them to cross pollinate, saving your own seed, and selecting for earliness.



I love this! I am very new to seed saving but I will be doing this this year.

 
Kate Muller
Posts: 180
Location: New Hampshire
11
bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been looking for short season varieties to grow here in NH. It is my second year on my property and I am still looking for varieties that work on my site.
I have used seeds from all of these companies last year and I have ordered from them again.

Fruition Seeds in New York carries a great selection of short season veggies that are grown in the north east. They even have peanuts and rice seeds grown in NY. I am trying tomatoes, cucumbers, amaranth, calendulas, ground cherries and spinach from them.
http://www.fruitionseeds.com/default.asp

I love Hudson Valley Seed Library. They have great seeds. I am in love with their Purple Peacock sprouting broccoli. They also carry a lot of North East grown short season varieties like Golden Midget Watermelon 70 days.
http://www.seedlibrary.org/vegetables/watermelon/golden-midget-watermelon.html

Baker's Creek Seeds carries a bunch of sweet pepper varieties that mature between 60 and 80 days from transplant.
I will be trying these types this year. Red Mini Bell Pepper 60 days, Oda Pepper 70 days, Horizon Bell Pepper 73 days, and Canary Bell Pepper 70 days.
http://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/peppers/sweet/

For my first attempt at growing corn I will be trying Hooker's Sweet Indian Corn Organic from Territorial seeds. It ripens 75 to 80 days.
Hooker's Sweet Indian Corn Organic
http://www.territorialseed.com/product/Hookers_Sweet_Indian_Organic_Corn_Seed

I do get the bulk of my seeds from Fedco in Maine. Friends of mine pool an order each year to get volume discounts off the total. We also divide larger packets to save even more money.
They carry a lot of short season varieties. They carry a good selection of organic and biodynamic grown seeds.
http://www.fedcoseeds.com/

 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
21
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
William,

If you want things in the middle of winter I'd also be looking into the really hearty fall crops. Have you tried Radicchio for instance?
Take a look.




This video has been around for a while but just came around in a Growing for Market email.

http://www.growingformarket.com/

I'm sure with some research you can come up with something very suitable to your climate and needs. Brussel Sprouts, leeks, and parsnips are others which just keep on going with little care in my experience.
 
Don't mess with me you fool! I'm cooking with gas! Here, read this tiny ad:
Quality Hand Tools for the Garden, Homestead and Small Farm.
https://permies.com/t/58443/Quality-Hand-Tools-Garden-Homestead
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!