Saturday, May 09, 2009

Quick-Growing Heirloom Veggies

I've had the great fortune of raising a daughter who never needed prompting to eat all of her vegetables. Other Moms were amazed by this since they spent half the dinner hour coaxing their own children to do the same.

What's the secret? Home grown! Even the pickiest eaters enjoy the downright delectable flavor of sun-kissed, vine-ripened, fresh-picked vegetables.

Bonus: a veggie garden can save you a fortune on grocery bills.

Time & Sunshine
Veggies happily grow anywhere you care to plant them ~ in containers on your balcony, in raised beds in the garden, or planted directly into the soil. Give them time and sunshine and they'll take care of the rest.

Storage containers make great, deep planters for veggies. (Add drainage holes in the bottom.)

How much time?
How about fresh lettuce in 4 short weeks? Mountain growing seasons are very short so we mountain gardeners need to get creative. If you've not heard of these goodies, you're not alone but most every vegetable has a quick-growing cousin that reaches harvest in short order and tastes terrific.

Quick-growing Heirloom Veggies that do well in the mountains:
  • Bountiful Bush Bean - this easy-growing small vine bean reaches maturity in about 51 days. (Heirloom)
  • Bull Nose Sweet Bell Pepper - a crisp, crunchy bell pepper bursting with delicious, earthy flavor. Matures in about 60 days. (Heirloom)
  • Red Cored Chantenay Carrots - A sweet, tender variety, ready to harvest in 70 short days. (Heirloom)
  • Four Seasons Head Lettuce - is as beautiful as it is delicious, with colorful, reddish brown leaves. Matures in 45-55 days. (Heirloom)
  • Brandywine Tomato - This yummy Amish heirloom has a neat habit of producing tomatoes that mature at different times, on the same vine, throughout the season. (80 days, Heirloom)
  • Cocozelle Bush Zucchini - has a fresh, nutty flavor that is particularly delicious when roasted on the grill. Matures in 55 days. (Heirloom)
Not gorgeous but the plants don't care. Pretty much any deep, plastic container is great for growing veggies.

More useless information!
* When buying seeds, or seedlings, check the 'days to maturity' on the seed packet or planting guide. You may need to purchase these varieties from online or mail order sources.
* Harvest days are measured from transplant time. Allow an extra 10-15 days, if planting by seed.
* Heirlooms are vegetable varieties that have not been hybridized for mass production. Most were born long before you were. These guys are infinitely more flavorful than grocery store 'fresh produce.'


Anonymous said...

I went to the Wasatch Community Garden sale today and got some of the heirloom tomatoes that you recommended. All together I bought 14 different varieties. That was a veggie crazed garden crowd all looking for heirloom treasures. Woohoo! The lines were amazing, especially by the tomatoes. Everyone remained very calm, with only a little bit of shoving. Thanks for the tip. I had fun.

Ernie Sue

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hey! Congrats on scoring all those goodies! Isn't that a fun sale?? I'm glad you found lots of great stuff. Be sure and send me photos -- and tomato tasting comments! I'm always excited to discover a new tomater. Happy Gardening :D