I'm sure this has been asked before so I hope I'll be forgiven. I'm planning my garden for next season and want to try some new varieties, preferably more heirlooms. On that note, do you guys have any favorites? Or know any tried and true cultivars that do well in Georgia or the Southeast USA. Any recommendations are much appreciated!
Where you are doesn't determine where you will go, only where you'll start.
Low maintence stuff for me this year (summer) Seminole pumpkins, asparagus beans, (yard long beans) sweet potatoes... Okra. Coming to an end now of course. This winter I'm planting cabbage, sweet onions, garlic, lettus/radish/kale... More. Maybe if you post what you're used to growing it would be easier to recommend alternatives... I browse over the southern exposure seed exchange and other seed catalogs regularly, SESE has lots of heirloom stuff for our area. I just get a couple new varietys each year an plant it...
Years of experiencegardening, both in Georgia and elsewhere, has taught me the importance of learning about and growing local or regional varieties, as opposed to the standard varieties grown commercially. For example the Butternut and Acorn varieties of winter squash, so common in every supermarket, are not the best for the South. In some cases though the opposite is true, with tomatoes for instance. I found that "heirlooms" of every kind I tried were usually disappointing compared to hybrids. But local sources will help discern this too. Some exotic plants that are not common at all nationally thrive in the hot summer....Indian spinach, kangkong or water spinach, and Surinam spinach or talinum come first to mind....all of which can be eaten raw as salad and thrive on heat and humidity when other salad crops are impossible. A lot of the Asian vegetables, both warm and cool season, are good possibilities too. Georgia Organics is a good resource.
Maypop (passiflora incarnata) is native and volunteered rampantly in my space. I left it mainflh because it’s the host plant for the gulf fritillary butterfly, which were fluttering around my garden all summer.
Mayhaw (crataegus spp.) also grow well and are native. I have one tree. It’s not as fast a grower as the mulberry
Pawpaw (asiminia triloba) is what I’m missing to to complete the “trifecta of forgotten country fruits”.
Roselle ‘Thai red’ (hibiscus sabdariffia) grew as an annual, grew fast and very large, and was quite a stunner vistually. The leaves were sour and I know they are eaten as a vegetable in other countries. I did not get harvestable calyxes before first frost, and I think this is because the plants got too much sun. I think this is a decent mulch plant, but it’s very woody. I bought the seeds from Baker Creek.
I grow tomatoes every year (which makes three years by the time of this post) and they’ve been heirlooms and they usually croak by August. I attribute this to mineral deficiency. (That’s what I tell myself.)
Rubus spp. (Blackberry, raspberry, wineberry) grow in my hard without care. Raspberries get promoted to a garden bed (though they tend to grow outside of it as well). I got about a gallon of raspberries at first flush last year. We froze them and ended up turning them into a raspberry tincture (like lemoncello, but raspberries instead of lemons). My neighbor does not appreciate having to kill the Rubus invading her yard underneath the fence.
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Hi Angelica! My favorite veggies to grow are yellow squash, tomatoes, eggplants and especially okra - which seem to thrive in our Georgia summers. Three tips for you.
1.Plant what you/your family will enjoy eating. Keep experimentation down to a minimum.
2.If you must purchase seed, buy good quality seed. It may be a little more costly, but catalog seed companies often handle and store their products better than most big box stores.
3. Keep a garden journal. Notes on what, when, where and how much really come in handy when the next growing season rolls around.
Homesteading artist. Making an art out of keeping a home. Literally.
Yellow straight and crooked neck squash, Tomato's of any kind (my favorite was Rutgers), sweet corn and field corn, OKRA, I'll say it again, OKRA(my favorite garden veggie and I can't grow it here in Alaska ) Peas of all types generally grow well. I also planted greenbeans. Pole beans were my favorite and the variety I grew was Mcaslins. They were very good and were easy to string. Potato's, Kennebec were the variety I liked the most. Not a whole lot that cant be grown in GA with success. The cool season crops will grow, but have to be planted in the very early spring or preferably in the late late summer and early fall. I grew a garden in the NE GA mountains my entire life until we moved to AK about 12 years ago. Best thing is to check with long time gardening neighbors and friends and see what they are growing, when to plant etc. Your biggest problems will be insect and disease damage. Get your soil tested and amend appropriately. Much of the soil in GA is acidic. Red clay is both a blessing and a curse.....
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