Every year the good folks at Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Sciences put together a list of vegetable varieties that “…should be well adapted for New York State community, school and home gardens.” The list, Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners in New York State, doesn’t really change that much from year to year, but if you are new to growing vegetables or you are tired of disappointing corn or cucumbers that succumb to mildew, it’s worth taking a look at what they recommend.
These were either tested in Cornell or Cooperative Extension gardens or suggested by other gardeners at their Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners site (you have to join this site, to view the info). We have to remember that no two gardens are alike and no two growing seasons are alike, but it’s a good starting point.
I like that they include recommendations for okra, lima beans, and sweet potatoes, vegetables many Hudson Valley gardeners are not aware we can grow, although I’ve always had great luck with the beautiful ‘Burgundy’ okra and the only okra they list is ‘Cajun Delight’. And I can’t believe that they only found 1 garlic worth mentioning and it isn’t ‘German Extra Hardy’.
But on the whole, they have a pretty good selection for almost 40 vegetables. It’s a mix of hybrids, open pollinated,, and even a few heirlooms. Actually they have a nice selection of heirloom tomatoes listed. They also identify which vegetables are resistant to which diseases, always a good thing to know.
I also find the list useful for planning out my garden. It reminds me that there are fresh eating onion varieties and others that store well, not to mention early, mid, and late season varieties of a number of vegetables.
The Cornell gardening sites are a wealth of information. There’s Cornell Garden-Based Learning, with all kinds of garden related info and news, and home gardening, which is filled with growing and design guides. They tend to stick with the current research, disparaging anything they can’t prove with a study and research is always discovering something new, like synthetic fertilizer and mulch. I’ve always considered gardening more of an art than a science, so I put great store in advice from seasoned gardeners. Hey, it’s worth a try.