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Trial and Error

June 11th, 2015

If you’ve read here long, you know that I love to grow different varieties of each vegetable. One of the main reasons for that is to discover which varieties do best in my climate and with my soil. Each garden has a different microclimate and the soils can be slightly different, even from your neighbor’s garden. Sometimes, one variety of a vegetable won’t do as well as another. Take my 5×5 Challenge garden this year:
bolting Spinach 2
It was planted with two different varieties of spinach on April 13. As you can clearly see, one is going to seed while the other isn’t. The ‘Catalina’ spinach from Renee’s Garden on the right is still going strong, even though they were both seeded at the same time. “Catalina’ has been a favorite spinach of mine for many years, it’s been very successful in my Ohio garden and in my garden here in Maine as well. Because of this I grow it every year, but I also trial other varieties as well.
catalina spinach
The other variety I planted was ‘Bloomsdale’ an old variety, that actually does quite well in the garden. Spinach is a little like carrots in that it can be slightly picky about being planted too closely.
bolting Spinach 1
It used to be that we had regional varieties of vegetables that were particularly suited to microclimates and geographic areas. Much of those varieties have been lost throughout the years, with a more mobile society and fewer people growing their own food and saving their own seed. We can start developing this knowledge once again, by trying different varieties, talking to local gardeners, and saving seed from open pollinated varieties that do particularly well in our area.

Do you trial different varieties of the same vegetables to find the perfect one for your garden?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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