Here in the north country it’s pretty easy to grow certain crops in our gardens; in fact, some actually thrive in our cool, wet climate. Stuff like red beets, rutabaga (think pasty!), broccoli, and even spuds do just fine, thank you, here in the North.
Other crops? Well, let’s just say that after a few summers in our zone 4 region they’re ready to go back to the Southwest United States where they originated. I’m talking about corn, tomatoes, squash, and pumpkin.
Fortunately, plant breeders are spread out across the country and by golly, would like to see some of these crops grow in our short season zone. So over time they’ve come up with some good short season vegetable crops to please us folks who live in an area where “winter spends its summer.”
I’ve gravitated to these short season varieties like a slug to a cabbage leaf (excuse my choice of simile!). Over the years these varieties have reliably produced an abundance of produce for fresh eating and the freezer– that is, if I take good care to plant them at the right time in the right conditions. I’ll explain some “season extending” options in a future post.
And by the way, if you have some varieties that have done well up here for you over the years, I’d love to hear about them.
So with no further ado, here are some varieties that have a fighting chance of producing ripe fruit and luscious ears here in the north country.
* Northern Xtra Sweet Yellow sweet corn (67 days)
* Early Xtra Sweet Yellow sweet corn (68 days)
Celebrity tomato (70 days)
Bush Early Girl tomato (54 days)
(And most varieties of cherry tomatoes under 65 days)
New Ace Hybrid (sweet) pepper (60 days)
Spirit Hybrid pumpkin (compact variety, 100 days)
Canesi Hybrid butternut squash (80-85 days)
New Queen Hybrid watermelon (80 days)
Alaska Hybrid Muskmelon (70 days)
* The last time I checked these varieties of sweet corn were available from Pickford feed.
Other sources for the above: Vermont Bean Co. , Jung Seeds & Plants, HPS.
As always, I welcome your comments. The compost lot off east Spruce street is open in the Soo for some good, black compost for your garden (Wed., 7-7, Sat. 9-1).