Montana Gardening in Zone 4

Although I have read a lot of gardening books, I'm a fairly inexperienced gardener. I live in Montana, zone 4. We have a short growing season. The last frost is around May 15, first frost about Sep 10. I tend to experiment a lot with unorthodox methods and unique varieties of plants.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Cucurbit Seeds 2005

I bought most of these seeds last year and never did get them planted. I got sick before I ever got the plants outside. This year I hope to start them indoors in Mid-April and get them outside under wall o waters by early May. Photos and descriptions are taken from seller's websites.

Green Machine
Vigorous, compact vines, produce green-fleshed 2 lb. melons at an incredible rate! This delicious sweet variety really was amazing last year. A true improvement in melons bred by Merl Neidens, a master of heritage gardening and plant selection. His varieties always receive rave reviews from our customers. Superb taste. 80-85 days A truly succulent melon that stands out in today s market of crisp, unsweet, bland melons. Reliably sweet, this green-fleshed, stabilized cross of Kansas and Jenny Lind weighs 3 - 4 lbs. and does well in cool as well as warm areas. Much easier to grow than a honeydew, the plants are very compact, making it an excellent choice for all, even small, gardens.

A very rare heirloom from Kansas; the vines are vigorous and the yield is great, oval-shaped ridged and netted fruit, the flesh is orange and has exceptional flavor, very delicious! A very dependable variety, fruit weigh around 4 lbs. One of our most endangered varieties and also one of the best. Perfect for farmers’ markets.

85 days. Very sweet, beautiful deep orange flesh, excellent almost tropical flavor! The best tasting of ALL varieties we tried - the favorite of many who tried it at our place. High yields. Very resistant to wilt and insects; strong healthy vines. These will sell at roadside stands & markets!

japanese Cream-fleshed Suika
Japanese Cream Fleshed Suika was the best overall in terms of flavor, yield and days to maturity. These melons were preferred by some people in farmers market taste tests, and some suggested eating them with lime and salt.

Golden Sweet Melon
Totally groovy looking, with their gorgeous, lemon colored rinds and small size. The flesh is white, crisp and good. The skin is so thin that many people do not peel them prior to eating, but enjoy them straight out of the garden. This Oriental variety is also very early, and the compact vines produce like crazy! This is a sure hit at markets. Pick fruit when they turn golden color. Easy to grow; these are popular in Taiwan. We love this one!

Golden Midget
a pink watermelon with a rind that turns golden yellow when fully mature at 75 days. Dr. Elwyn Mender of the University of New Hampshire created this open-pollinated, 6-inch melon in 1959. 70 days. A beautiful miniature watermelon that weighs around 3 lbs. It's easy to tell when they are ripe as the rind turns a lovely golden yellow when ready for harvest, a very beautiful contrast with the salmon-pink colored flesh. The taste is sweet and refreshing. Very early, matures in just 70 days. Developed by the late Dr. Elwyn Meader, UNH in 1959. Unique.

Petit Gris de Rennes
Dense 2 lb. fruit have orange flesh that is superbly sweet, flavorful and perfumed. This variety is early and well adapted to cool climates. The fruit weigh around 2 lbs. and have a grey-green rind. This fine French variety is of the best quality, and is the favorite melon of the French melon expert and author Bruno Defay. Rare in the USA. Our #1 requested market melon, specialty growers love them because they command top prices! We continue to receive rave reviews about this melon. Order early.

Vert Grimmpant (Green Climbing)
A very old, green-fleshed French melon, can easily be grown on a trellis because the fruits are small, 1-2 lbs. Fruit is slightly oblong and the flesh is crisp and juicy. Makes a great cooking melon; keeps well. A very rare heirloom, French grown seed.

80 days. A famous, superb heirloom. A French, 2-3 lb. melon with light, grey-green skin. The bright , orange flesh is super sweet and very fragrant. This was my favorite melon in 2003. I just love the firm, sweet flesh. These are top sellers at high dollar markets.

Netted Gem
One of the most popular melons in the 1890’s, it was introduced by W. Atlee Burpee in 1886 and was famous for its high quality and very spicy sweet flavor. Flesh is bright green, skin is netted. It is round and weighs 2-3 lbs. Rare.

Dali Zucchini Seed
Dali is a Middle Eastern type of zucchini with the light color, creamy texture, and excellent flavor we associate with Lebanese squash. Unlike other Middle Eastern squash types, Dali doesn't develop a bulbous end, but maintains a straight shape that gives it a finer appearance than similar varieties. This is a good tasting zucchini that you will enjoy on its own, or mixed with other squash varieties. Compact bush. 45 days. 20-30 seeds/pkt.

Magda Squash
This hybrid is a Cousa (Lebanese zucchini) variety. Beautiful, uniform mid-sized 4" fruit have a creamy green color and succulent, nutty, white flesh. Magda is early and very productive over a long season. Maturity 50 days. Approx 25 sds/pkg. 50 days. If you haven't tried Mediterranean Summer Squash yet, you don't know what you're missing! Unlike our rather bland summer varieties, Magda is full-bodied, tender, and almost nutty. And the plant is so productive, beginning the season early and then bearing steadily over a long time. This lovely Middle Eastern type is not only delicious, but economical and easy to grow! Magda Hybrid begins to mature in early summer, just 50 days from sowing. The fruit is shorter and much plumper than zucchini, with a creamy-green skin and pure white interior. Scrumptious fresh or cooked, it makes a hearty meal, and is so strongly flavored that you can enjoy it plain, sprinkled with a bit of salt, or as a meat substitute in sauces. The plant reaches 3 feet tall and spreads about 6 feet wide over its highly productive season. Best in full sun, it is a trouble-free garden performer you will come to rely upon for big flavor from a summer squash! Summer squash ripens during the hot summer months and, thin-skinned, is best eaten fresh. Sow seeds 1 inch deep directly into the garden after the danger of frost is past. Thin the seedlings to 24 inches apart, or plant several seeds in hills 4 feet apart and then thin to 2 plants per hill. (For even earlier harvests, start seeds indoors.) Pkt is 15 seeds.

Zephhyr Summer Squash
(Precocious, yellow, green tip straightneck.) Developed at Johnny's for great taste. A breakthrough in summer squash flavor. Distinctive, slender fruits, yellow with faint white stripes and light green blossom ends. Harvest young at 4-6" for unusually delicious nutty taste and firm texture. Unique appearance for easy identification in the garden and kitchen. Widely adapted. Standard shipping is free for all seeds. 30

Trombetta Di Albegna Summer Squash
This wonderful Italian heirloom summer squash is a bigorous climbing vine, producing many 12-15 inch lime-green fruits with a curvaceous trumpet shape and a delicate mild taste with a hint of nutty artichoke flavor. Trombetta's flesh is seedless and firm and doesn't get watery or mushy like regular zucchini. Teh rambling plants will soon cover a trellis with graceful fruits that hang like jade ornaments.

Costata Romanesco
Maturity: 52 Days Clearly our best-tasting zucchini. Distinctive Italian zucchini, prominently ribbed. Medium gray-green, with pale green flecks and ribs. Big, large-leafed bush with only about half the yield as ordinary zucchini, but much better tasting - clearly better textured, nutty, and delicious, raw or cooked. Also a good producer of heavy male blossom buds for cooking. Standard shipping is free for all seeds. 30 seeds/packet.

Maturity: 100 Days Delicious ""pumpkin nuts,"" striped fruits. These eye-catching, medium small, avg. 5-8 lb., black-striped pumpkins have been a hit with visitors to Johnny's farm. After displaying the pumpkins in the fall you can scoop out the large, dark green, completely hulless seeds which are absolutely delicious roasted. Kakai is a variety of the Austrian type that yields the valuable green pumpkin seed oil which some European studies show promotes prostate health. Avg. yield: 2-3 fruits/plant. Packet: 30 seeds.

Black Futsu Winter Squash
(C. moschata) Rare, black Japanese squash, the fruit is flattened, round and has heavy ribbing. Very unique and beautiful. The black fruit will turn a rich chestnut color in storage. Flesh is golden color and has the rich taste of hazelnuts. Fruits are 3-8 lbs. each and vines give huge yields. Japanese dark skinned, flattened, did excellent here. Popular with European market growers. Good insect resistance makes this a winner here!


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