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.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Seed Varieties 2005

These are the seeds that I have so far. There are also some other products that I decided to try. I like to keep descriptions of seeds and photos from the seller's websites or catalogs to remind me why I bought them and to check if they ever lived up to expectations. Photos and descriptions are from catalogs and websites.

Blueberries, Best Bargain

Bluecrop - Leading midseason variety sets up to 20 pounds of really big berries--about 65 per cup compared to the 120 or so needed when using other varieties. Firm light blue fruit ripens mid-July. 12- to18-inch plants. Zones 3-7.

Northblue - Cold-hardy Univ. of MN introduction. Consistently yields 2-5 pounds of sweet, juicy fruit by mid-June. Ornamental size ideal for landscaping--grows just 2 feet tall. 9- to 12-inch plants. Zones 3-7.

Jersey - Medium-blue fruit so large and juicy, you'll have a hard time getting it to the table. Plump berries seem to disappear just as fast as you pick them! Fine for freezing, too. Ripens in late July. 12- to 18-inch plants. Zones 3-8.

Aluminum Sulphate - For acid-loving plants like blueberries. Work into soil at planting time, then again in spring, summer and fall.

Silver Mulch

Drives bugs away!This amazing plastic mulch repels hungry, disease-carrying insects. The shimmering silver, high-density polyethylene plastic causes insects such as thrips, aphids, and white flies to avoid the area near your plants. Experiments have shown that Silver Mulch is as effective as regular pesticide applications for protecting tomatoes from spotted wilt virus. Good for all types of plants. We use it regularly on all brassica crops. Best defense mustard plants have against flea beetles. A must in the organic garden.

Brandywine Tomato Seed

The hard-to-find heirloom variety most sought after by our customers for over a decade. Brandywine is a pink beefsteak producing fruits up to two pounds in size. More importantly, those who have grown it call it the tomato that has that "old-fashioned tomato taste." We agree. 1-2 lb. fruits. Indeterminate. 75 days. Open pollinated. OG. 25-35 seeds/pkt.

Sun Gold Tomato Seed

An orange cherry tomato that was the winner among all the varieties offered at our tomato tasting last summer. It has a distinctive tropical flavor that sets it apart, or, as one participant said, "like fireworks in your mouth." Produces long strands of fruit on vigorous, tall, indeterminate vines. Early. Hybrid. 57 days. 25-35 seeds/pkt.

Winona Giant Strawberries

Tastes Like a Peach!
Gurney's Choice PP10191. Something truly different from the University of Minnesota. Winona's large berries taste much like peaches! Disease resistant, cold tolerant plants. Self pollinating.

Painted Daisy

Pink - Red Midsummer Mix.
For each offer ordered, get 2 plants.
Every bit as easy to grow as meadow daisies--and much more colorful! Produces big, cheery single flowers, 3 feet tall. Prefers full sun. Bareroot. Zones 3-7.

Asparagus, Purple Passion

Rich Color, Record Yields

Larger, sweeter and tastier spears than the more common green types. Stalks turn green when cooked.

Pole Beans, Purple Pod

A Snap to Spot and Harvest.
Quick-pick purple pods stand out against the foliage--gets you in and out of the garden fast! Stringless, tasty and temptingly green when cooked. Produces 4-6 tender seeds per 6- to 7-inch pod.

Tomato Booster Kit

Ready to grow the earliest, best, most delicious Tomatoes of your gardening career? We've got just what you need to protect your young plants from frost and chills, keep them growing their best, and save water and weeding time into the bargain! Here's what you get in this money-saving collection:

High Yield Red Tomato Mulch

9262. Red Tomato Mulch - It sounds like an old wives' tale, but studies at Clemson University have confirmed what many seasoned gardeners have known for a long time: the color red makes Tomatoes (and to a lesser degree, Peppers) grow quicker and stockier, without the legginess found with mulches of other colors (or no mulch at all). The reason is this: the color red makes the Tomato plants believe that they are overcrowded, which stimulates them to fight for dominance. The result? More Tomatoes on healthier, bushier plants! USDA tests confirm that this mulch produces bigger fruit with 46% more overall weight. Each roll is 18 inches by 25 feet, enough to cover an average row of 10 Tomato plants.
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Kozy Coats

9260. Kozy Coats - Grow bigger, stronger, healthier, more productive Tomato plants with this simple device! The red plastic teepee contains 18 open tubes that you fill with water. The water holds up the teepee around your plant, the water heats in the sun, and the whole device acts as an insulator and mini-heater for your young plants! Not only do you get a precious several degrees of additional frost protection, but the red tint stimulates plants to grow quicker and stockier -- no more leggy Tomatoes! Works well with Peppers, too! The plastic is UV-resistant and very tough! Remove it when the weather heats up, drain the water, and store them flat for re-use in late fall!
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Tomato AlgoFlash

9202. AlgoFlash Tomato Food - Simply the best liquid fertilizer I have ever used, and that's saying a lot. It has a 100% mineral base, with NO harmful chemicals, color, or odor, for zero environmental impact. And even if you use too much, you won't burn plant roots -- AlgoFlash is gentle AND effective! Mix 1 capful per gallon of water for watering the soil, or ½ capful to spray directly onto the foliage. It contains NO chlorides, carbonates, or soldium. One bottle makes more than 100 gallons of solution! One liter.
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Tomato Boomers

6009. Simplify your life and increase your harvests with easy-to-use, pre-mixed Tomato Boomers. Nothing to mix, time, or otherwise mess up -- these little oblong stakes are simply pushed into the soil around your tomato plant and left to do their work! Special 8-24-8 formula means big yields every time.
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Marvel Striped Tomato Seed

This space was originally set aside for Yellow Brandywine, but Striped Marvel was the hands down favorite at our annual tasting event many years ago. It has since become one of our top-selling heirloom tomatoes. Luscious sweet flavor, and large 1-2 lb. firm fruits make this one of the best of the heirloom beefsteaks. Fruits are red and yellow bicolor with marbelized interior. Indeterminate. 80-90 days. Open pollinated. OG. 25-35 seeds/pkt.



Zapotec is a beautiful tomato, with a lovely bell shaped form, and pleated sides. The ribbed contours catch a knife’s edge, and make slicing a breeze. Zapotec has a sweet, mild flavor, and a unique, palette pleasing texture that works well in salads and salsas. Originally grown by the Zapotec Indians of Mexico, this is an heirloom well worth preserving. Indeterminate. 80 days. OG.

San Marzano Tomato Seed

One of the best of the old Italian paste tomatoes. Fruit is long and large compared to other paste tomatoes with a classic roma shape. Plant is sturdy and well-branched. San Marzano cooks down into a flavorful, savory paste that needs no extra seasoning. Indeterminate. 75 days. Open pollinated. OG. 25-35 seeds/pkt.

Stupice Tomato Seed

An heirloom tomato from Czechoslovakia with exceptional flavor. Its other merit is that it is always the first full-sized tomato ready to harvest, fully a week or two before other varieties. Performs equally well in hot areas and in cold, short-season areas such as San Francisco. Smooth skinned, red, medium size. Early, indeterminate, 60-70 days. Open pollinated. OG. 25-35 seeds/pkt.

Red Currant Tomato Seed

A South American species of tomato that produces long clusters of highly flavorful, pea-sized fruits. Outstanding in flavor and appearance in salads. Drought and cold tolerant. Indeterminate. 70-75 days. OG. 25-35 seeds/pkt.

Yellow Currant Tomato Seed

Has all the fine eating qualities of the red currant, in a bright yellow color. Together they create a motherlode in your salads. Vigorous plants produce cascades of fruit strands. Indeterminate. 70 days. OG. 25-35 seeds/pkt

Striped Roman - Organic

75–80 days. Very unique. These long, roma-shaped tomatoes have orange stripes running down the length of the fruit. Tomatoes are very thick and meaty with a nice rich flavor. Plants stay moderately compact and have a good yield. Indeterminate. Developed by Seed Savers Exchange member John Swenson.

Normandie Beans

Maturity: 52 Days
Extra-fine stringless filet beans.
Slender and beautiful for making picture-perfect pickled ""dilly beans"" and fancy stir-fries. The 4-1/2 to 5" long beans have fresh flavor and a good crunchy texture. Small white seeds. Packet: 175 seeds.

Arrowhead II (F1)

Maturity: 66 Days
A Johnny's exclusive!
Cone-shaped, pointed mini cabbages have an irresistible eye-catching appeal. Early, dense heads have sweet, tender, thin leaves for refreshing summer salads, slaws, or cooked dishes. Starting in early spring, succession plant for a continuous supply throughout the growing season. Space 8" apart for best results. Mini: 100 seeds.

Kinko 4"

Maturity: 52 Days
Crunchy, sweet, 4" cones.
Sweet and super early. Small, conical, stump-rooted carrots of deep red-orange color inside and out. For first-harvest carrots, even in shallow or heavy soil. Best harvested young. Medium-tall tops. One of our easiest to grow carrots, first offered by Johnny's in 1974. Mini: 500 seeds. Packet: 1200 seeds.


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