February 1, 2012

2012 Seed Purchases (Part 1): Pinetree Garden Seeds

I've been ordering seeds from Pinetree Garden Seeds for years now. They are by far my favorite seed company. They have a good selection and the prices are low. I like that you can order a packet of 25 tomato seeds for $1.50 rather than having to shell out $3 or $4 for a packet of 300 seeds (when am I ever going to need 300 tomato seeds of the same variety?). All of the varieties I ordered this year will be new for the 2012 garden. Here's what I ordered (and the descriptions provided by Pinetree Garden Seeds):

Dinosaur Kale
HEIRLOOM 1885 Also known as Tuscan Black Palm or Lacinato. A unique kale with very large, rounded, well filled, meaty leaves. Plants are large, hardy, and vigorous, and the flavor is bold.

Lancelot Leek
Substantially earlier than others and of high quality. The earlier you start it, the better it will perform. Transplant to the garden in April/May and "hill up" several times for long well blanched leeks. Flavor is mild.

Rouge Vif D Etampes Pumpkin
HEIRLOOM This unique 1800s French pumpkin, Cinderella to us here in America, is popular with chefs for soup bases because its mild flavor doesn't overpower other ingredients. Fruits are flattened and concave on top, about fifteen inches across and six inches high. The skin color is a brilliant reddish orange, more dramatic than the yellow-orange pumpkins you are used to. The flavor is just great, in pies or any winter squash recipe. Plants are vigorous with 15 foot vines. 

Ailsa Craig Onion
HEIRLOOM 1887 British. This fine large onion has gained a considerable following in the past several years. Bulbs in excess of 3 pounds are possible, but the real virtue of this variety is the quality. Color is a snow-white, centers are bull's eye single, tops are vigorous, and the flavor is very sweet. Great for slicing raw. Every year that we grow it we reaffirm that Ailsa Craig is the biggest, the earliest, and the best.

Red Marble Cippolini Onion
HEIRLOOM The extremely dark red color goes to the core of the bulb. Flat onions are 1 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch high. This is a very hard onion and good keeper. Also good for braiding.

Delicata Squash 
HEIRLOOM 1894 A favorite of many Pinetree employees, Delicata is a good choice for the home gardener. The vines are relatively compact. Fruits average about eight inches in length, are half as wide, so they are a good size for a meal. Color is a creamy green with lengthwise darker green stripes. Flesh is an attractive orange and flavor is very sweet. As a bonus, Delicata is also a very good keeper for a small squash and the flavor even seems to improve as the winter passes. We have a particularly good strain of this variety.

Black Cherry Tomato
Indeterminate. Long vines are covered with distinctive, very dark purple fruit. You get the exceptional flavor of a Brandywine in a cherry tomato.

Riesentraube Tomato
Indeterminate In German the name suggests a giant bunch of grapes and that pretty well sums it up. The plant can produce 20-40 fruits per cluster. They are an elongated cherry shape with a pointed end. The flavor is quite acid, not too sweet.

1 comment:

  1. I like to order from Pinetree Garden seeds, too! Good company!


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