It’s time to reveal the seed choices for my 2012 Vegetable Garden. 

I decided for the purpose of this on going blog project to stick with one seed company, West Coast Seeds, as they seemed to match my seed selection criteria this year. The points that had to be met were: The seeds are to be either an heirloom, organic or preferably both. They had to come from a company that has taken the Safe Seed Pledge (read pledge guidelines at the end of this post), and lastly, be local to my area.

Okay, lets get on with it shall we? In the past I have always gone for exciting new varieties, this can be fun but I have not always gotten the results I was hoping for. Don’t be afraid to experiment and plant a few ‘sexy’ vegetables but don’t fill your garden with them, some vegetable’s are all about the pretty and less about the quality.

That’s not to say that I’m not trying ANY new ( or at least new to me for growing ) seeds this year as you will see below. I provided a quick description, made a note if I plan to use the variety for a fall/ winter garden and I attached to a few links back to West Coast Seeds for my selections so that you may click on it to get more info.

  • Beets- Chioggia (pink and white striped variety)
  • Carrots: 2 varieties

– Jeanette- (Nantes type- which is sweet and more cylindrical in shape, not as pointy)

– Ya Ya- (Nantes type, chosen for fall/winter harvesting as it holds up well in our coastal climate)

  • Cucumber-Marketmore- (smooth, dark green, great slicing)
  • Lettuce: 4 varieties

– Speckled Butterhead

– Tropicana (green loose leaf)

– Cimmaron (red romaine)

– Grand Rapids ( chosen for a late summer sow, fall harvest)

  • Onion: 3 varieties

– Copra (yellow skinned, spring sow)

– Walla Walla (yellow skinned, winter harvest)

– Red wing (red skinned storage onion)

  • Parsnip- Gladiator
  • Peppers- Pepperoncini (these were the seeds used in the demo in Thyme to Sow post)
  • Radish- French Breakfast (longer for slicing)
  • Scallions- Pacific 22
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Zucchini- Black Beauty

That basket of goodies above is just some of the tasty vegi’s I pulled out of the garden last year. I decided to go with Yukon Gold potatoes and giant garlic from a different company. The garlic got planted in the herb garden about a week ago as it can be planted out in cooler weather. This garden has a great mix of different herbs, vegi’s and perennials…I will be sure to discuss this bed o’ plenty in the future.

I’m missing tomatoes from the above list which I prefer to buy already started, I will be looking for heirloom varieties in these this year as well.

I have a new app for my iPad to play with that allows me to create garden plans. I’m going to get to work on that immediately and will share the layout with you as soon as it’s done. For now, it’s time to get the beds prepped for the up coming planting season.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we don’t get snow that sticks around and our soil never really freezes, so I was out in my garden in January doing a good clean up. That being said, the mild winters can also let weeds get out of control if your not paying attention. I’ve made it a good habit to wander out there when the sun shines with my Stirrup Hoe  and give the soil a good scratch every few weeks to stay on top of it. If there is ever a tool I could not live without, it is the stirrup hoe, very similar to that of a Dutch Hoe but has more flex in the head. Between that and a light rake, I have my two most useful tools when it comes to garden bed clean ups.

So that’s my 2012 Vegetable Garden seed list. I did my best to choose organic or heirloom varieties, with exceptions to varieties that would perform best for our clime. We are just getting started so be sure to check back often!

Please read….this is the pledge made by a select few seed companies. Be informed.

The Safe Seed Pledge

Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately people and communities.


The Council for Responsible Genetics,
Cambridge, Massachusetts