Seeds, Seeds, Plants, and Seeds: Cucurbits

Cucumbers, oh, cucumbers. How we love thee.

  • Speedy Green Hybrid: Maybe a few cukes can be harvested in 42 days? Say, before the aphids attack? This is a biggie (12 x 60), so one per pot.
  • Supremo Hybrid: A little less huge, but still big (15 x 36). Prolific and disease resistant, thankyouverymuch.
  • General Lee: Yup, POD’s Minder is of the Dukes of Hazzard generation. Yup, Bo and Luke? Crushable. The Charger? Still wouldn’t kick it out of my garage (if I had one) for leaking oil 3_6_14genlee(a paint job, perhaps, yes). A disease-resistant cucumber named the General Lee? Yup. Sold. Thanks, Organic Gardening, for pointing this gynoecious paradox out!

Muskmelons! Such luciousness. And so many exciting new hybrids to try! (Side note: heirlooms are great, but will have to wait for the POD’s next, much-larger, raised-bed garden. Thanks for the courage, Michael Tortorello)

  • Honey Bun Hybrid: “Honey Bun is a real bush cantaloupe that is well suited for the smaller garden. The little melons are 5″ across with deep orange flesh and honey-sweet flavor. Each vine will produce 3 or 4 fruits.” That just about covers it.
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What He Said

New York Times journalist Michael Tortorello takes on the hybrid/heirloom debate in “Heirloom Seeds or Flinty Hybrids?”

The faithful few may have noticed that this is a question that POD plans on exploring this gardening season. If this year’s hybrid experiment works, POD’s taking the Fisker route from here on out.

“AS gardeners stock up on heirloom seeds for spring, Rob Johnston, the chairman of Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Winslow, Me., would like to suggest an accessory. Why not buckle up in a 1936 Oldsmobile coupe? O.K., so it doesn’t have seat belts. But the swoop of the fenders resembles Joan Crawford’s eyebrows. Better yet, the rest of the Oldsmobile’s curves are all Lana Turner…But even with all that a ’36 Olds has going for it, Mr. Johnston, 60, said, ‘I’m not sure how big of a market there would be for 75-year-old cars. It would just be a sentimental business.’

So to return to Mr. Johnston’s own business, vegetable seeds, why is the backyard gardener buying so many 1936-era heirlooms?”