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.