What We’re Growing in 2018

How does our garden grow? With all kinds of good organic things: seeds from our favorite seed companies, transplants, potato and onion sets, sweet potato slips, asparagus crowns, and lots of love and tender care.

We were planning to try sweet potatoes for the first time last year but the slips arrived in pretty bad shape. It happens. And this year is another opportunity. Sweet potatoes are said to require very little care and offer an attractive ground cover while they grow. They seem to be just the thing for our upstate New York summers because they like it hot. They are considered a poor soil crop but with a little organic 5-10-10 fertilizer will do even better.

This year, for the first time, we are also planting the relatively new “one-cut” lettuces that Jane Polcovar, a member of our gardening crew, found. One-cut varieties allow you to cut the entire head at once, leaving a few inches of plant above the soil so that the head can grow back several times. It should make lettuce picking much faster and with a Spiral House lunch crew that can reach 17 or 18 people in the summer, that’s important.

Here’s what we are planting this year:

We are passionate about Hudson Valley Seed Company, which happens to be in our own back yard 45 minutes to the South in Accord. We also ordered this year from other regulars: Peaceful Valley, High Mowing Seeds, Johnny’s Seed, Sustainable Seed, Natural Gardening Co., The Tasteful Garden, Renee’s, Stargazer Farms Perennials and Nursery, and Everwilde Farms. At the Bottom of our seed list, you will see what reserved from the stock of Northern Dutchess Botanical Gardens, one of our favorite nurseries, just across the Hudson River in Rhinebeck, NY. Northern Dutchess starts most of our transplants for us. If you are nearby, it’s worth a visit.


Asparagus: Jersey Knight crowns (Peaceful Valley)

Asian Greens: Bok Choy, Komatsuna, Mizuna, Tatsoi, (HVSC)

Beans: Panther Edamame Soybean, Provider Bush, Emerite Pole Bean, (HVSC); Blue Lake Pole, Kentucky Wonder, Maxibel Haricot Vert (High Mowing Seeds); Romano Pole, French Garden bush (Peaceful Valley); Northeaster (Johnny’s)

Beets: Ruby Queen, Detroit Dark Red, Early Wonder, Brilliant Beet Blend (HVSC); Guardsmark Chiogga (High Mowing)

Broccoli: DiCicco (HVSC); Belstar F-1, Spring Broccoli Raab (High Mowing); Imperial summer broccoli conventional (Johnny’s)

Carrots: Scarlet Nantes, Danvers, Atomic Red (HVSC); Organic Cosmic Purple (Sustainable Seed)

Celery: Tango (High Mowing)

Chard: Rainbow, Silverado (HVSC)

Collards: Georgia (High Mowing)

Cucumbers: Marketmore, National Pickling, Painted Serpent Armenian, Ukranian (HVSC)

Eggplant: Rosa Bianca, Ping Tung (High Mowing)

Greens: Escarole, Black-seeded Simpson, Buttercrunch Bib, Flashy Butter Oak, Majenta, Merlot, North Pole, Paris Island Cos, Red Salad Bowl, Spotted Trout, Royal Oakleaf (HVSC); Australe, Emerald Oak, Ezbruck, Freckles, Green Towers, New Red Fire, Outredgeous, Winter Density, Astro Arugula, Green Wave Mustard, Buckley (one-cut), Hampton pelleted (one-cut) Sandy (one-cut) (High Mowing)

Kale: Red Russian, Vates Blue Curled (HVSC)

Leeks: Tadorna transplants 3 bunches (Natural Gardening Co.); Striker F-1 seeds (High Mowing) 

Onions and Shallots: Red, White and yellow sets (Stargazer Perennials Farm and Nursery); French red shallots (Natural Gardening Co.)

Parsnip: Harris Model (HVSC)

Peas: Sugar Daddy, Green Arrow Shelling (HVSC)

Peppers: Bridge to Paris, King of the North, Petit Marseillais, (HVSC); Lunchbox, Early Jalapeno, (Johnny’s); Sweet California Wonder, Sweet Pimiento, Ancho Poblano, Shishito (Peaceful Valley) 

Potatoes: Yukon Gold seed potatoes; All Purple seed potatoes; (Stargazer perennials); Magic Molly purple Fingerling seed potatoes (Johnny’s)

Radish: Watermelon, Cherry Belle, German Giant, breakfast (HVSC)

Scallions: Evergreen bunching onions (HVSC)

Spinach: Abundant Bloomsdale (HVSC)

Squash: Green-striped Cushaw, Jack-Be-Little (Everwilde Farms Inc.); Tromboncino (Territorial)

Sweet Potatoes: Mahon Yam 50 slips (Johnny’s)

Tomatoes: Black Krim, Striped German, Martina’s Roma heirloom, San Marzano Redorta, Brandywine OTV-organic, Tomato Tree, Cherokee Purple, Gil’s All Purpose (Tomatofest); Sungold (Renee’s); Super Sweet 100, Purple Perfection (Sustainable Seed)

Tomatillo: Purple tomatillo (High Mowing)

Turnip: Golden Globe, Hinona Kabu purple and white long gourmet (High Mowing)


Basil: Genovese, Large Leaf, Thai (HVSC); Eleanora, Cinnamon (High Mowing); Mammoth (Johnny’s)

Chervil: Brussels Winter (High Mowing)

Cilantro: Cilantro (HVSC)

Dill: Greensleeves, Bouquet (High Mowing)

Lemon Verbena: transplants (the Tasteful Garden)

Parsley: Italian flat leaf (High Mowing)


 Ageratum: Tall Blue Planet (Johnny’s)

Bachelor Button: (Peaceful Valley)

Calendula: Alpha (orange) (Johnny’s); Calendula (tangerine) (HVSC);

Celosia: Organic Red Flame (Johnny’s)

Zinnia: County Fair Blend, (High Mowing); Benary’s yellow, purple, orange, scarlet, Queen Red Lime, Zowie Yellow Flame, Giant Violet, Giant Dahlia flowered coral (Johnny’s)

Reserved from Northern Dutchess Botannical Gardens:

 100 Verbena Homestead Purple plants

10 Verbena Bonariensis plants

8 Salvia Indigo Spire plants

4 Salvia black and blue plants

3 flats Bidens or 50 4-inch pots, depending how they come

40 4-inch pots bright scarlet red low creeping Verbena plants

1 flat annual aescelpius plants

2 flats bronze rocket snapdragon

20 Dichondra silver falls plants

25 flats mixed portulaca

4 flats white bacopa

2 flats lavender bacopa

4 organic French tarragon plants

1 organic rosemary