Results From Seed Starting Tray

Post last updated: August 13th, 2018

In late January, I attended a seed starting class at the County Extension Office. We were given a seed tray with 50 cells already filled with seed starting medium and enough seeds to fill each of the 50 cells. I suspect the seeds were free from seed companies as the majority of them were hybrids. I hate hybrid seeds because you can’t save seeds from them. I was also hugely disappointed with the performance of quite a few of these hybrids. What follows is my opinion on how well these hybrid seeds produced in my garden of traditional hilled rows mulched with oak leaves:

Zephyr F1 Summer Squash – Unique appearance of yellow with faint white stripes and light green blossom ends. Holds up to cooking, i.e., doesn’t become watery. I have a photo of it here.  Review:  RAVE

Juliet Tomato – An elongated cherry tomato that grew in clusters. Very high tolerance to diseases. This is the ONLY tomato bush that was still healthy at the end of the season. The tomatoes had excellent flavor. This was a 1999 All-America Selections Winner. Review: RAVE

Juliet tomatoes

Sweet Gold F1 Tomato – A bright yellow-gold one inch cherry tomato on vigorous vines. It topped my 5 foot tall cages. I had two cages of it with heavy production from both. I froze a huge gallon bag of them to use in soups this winter and shared hundreds of them. Impressive production but the flavor was average. Review: SEMI RAVE

Sweet Gold Tomatoes

Dwarf Wild Fred Tomato – A determinate plant that topped out at four feet. It produced large beef-steak tomatoes that I couldn’t use because something was wrong with all of them. I shared a plant with my friend Evie, who grew hers in containers and couldn’t use them either. It could be that the seeds came from a diseased plant or this tomato doesn’t like Florida. I recognized early in the season that it was not thriving and I should have yanked it out then because whatever disease it was harboring spread to the Celebrity tomatoes next to it. I will likely end up without a sufficient crop of red tomatoes to freeze for the winter. Review: DISGUSTING

Diva Cucumbers – Bitter-free and burpless but just an ordinary salad cucumber. It was supposed to be resistant to powdery and downy mildew but nevertheless succumbed to an early death like most other cucumbers I’ve grown.  It was a poor producer compared to an Italian burpless cuke I once found in a Ferry-Morse seed packet. Nothing to write home about despite its having been a 2002 All-America Selections Winner. Review: BLAH

Bounty F1 Sweet Banana Pepper – Heavy producer of huge 6” peppers that can grow to 10” and turn orange to red but I always picked them before that. Review: IMPRESSIVE

Bounty F1 Sweet Banana Pepper

Snap Provider Bean – The dried beans that I planted in January were black. This was a bush bean with healthy plants but like all snap beans, the bush falls over as the season progresses. It stood up to downy mildew and useful for an early crop of beans. Review: BLAH (only because Kentucky Wonders taste better)

Sunglow Yellow Sweet Corn – Planted this inside three rows of Silver Queen. It produced earlier than the Silver Queen but the ears were small and rotted before filling out. I have no idea what went wrong. Review: DISGUSTING.

Corn Begins to Tassel
Sunglow yellow corn rots away for no discernible reason

Gretal F1 Eggplant – Fair production of skinny, white-skinned eggplants about the width of your thumb. Plant was supposed to be compact but didn’t seem to be any smaller than the other eggplants and didn’t seem to produce in 55 days. This is a 2009 All-America Selections Winner. I can’t review as to taste because I just can’t get into eggplant but one of my friends thought it was tasteless and couldn’t see the point of such a skinny, white eggplant.

Hansel F1 Eggplant – This probably lived up to its 55 days because it started to produce earlier. Chubby 3-4” long purple eggplants that I staked but the weight of the eggplants pulled the stake over. Fairly heavy producer. This is a 2008 All-America Selections Winner and sure was pretty but, again, I can’t eat eggplant.

I was less than excited to receive FIFTEEN eggplant seeds from the Extension Agent as I don’t eat eggplant. I tried, honest I did, when Momma fried some up but I just can’t eat it. I gave some of the fifteen plants away and grew about five of them just for the experience. All of the plants were about 3 to 4 feet tall.

20 thoughts on “Results From Seed Starting Tray”

  1. The best thing to do with eggplant is dice it up small, add it to some browned burger, rice, and canned tomatoes (or fresh) and let it simmer. It is so tender and adds a really nice flavor! This is one of my favorite one pot dinners!

      1. I can eat fried eggplant, but have never been a huge fan of it or fried green tomatoes. I keep expecting them to yank my “southern” card since I can’t stand sweet tea or sweet potatoes either, but so far, they’ve let me slide. Might have something to do with the accent…

        1. Glo – I thought the fried eggplant was kinda tasteless. Haven’t tried fried green tomatoes. We ain’t supposed to eat all that fried food, anyway. I’m a little worried about your “southern” card. Do you at least eat butter beans and ham? Eggs and grits? Neckbones and rice?

  2. I have to agree with you on a bunch of the info in this article. The Sweet Banana Peppers and the Sweet Gold tomatoes were good but the Juliet tomatoes and those Italian Burpless cukes you grew last year were the greatest. Those Italian cukes from last year were by far the best cukes I’ve come across and they were huge. I ate those by themselves without anything with them. My Juliet tomatoes didn’t give me a lot of tomatoes — maybe 2 or 3 every couple of days but they were tasty. They didn’t yield enough to feed a family so my family didn’t get any of them. Just me (I’m a pig, I know.). They were nothing like that big bush you had in your yard last year. I’m glad you wrote the reviews because I’m sure you won’t remember next year and I only want the best in my pots and this will make sure I don’t get stuck with some more of that Wild Fred.

    1. Evie – Your audacity slays me. Here you are beating me over the head because of my ancient, no-good memory and in the very next breath you want to make sure I give you the best veggie plants for your little container garden. Could I have some agreement on Evie’s audacity, folks? Glo? Meta? Ms. Priss? Those Italian cuke seeds came from Ferry-Morse ONE year. Couldn’t find them and even wrote Ferry-Morse but they didn’t care enough to write back. Having researched cukes, I think I’ve found a reasonably close replacement through rareseeds.com that got rave reviews. We need to rig you up a trellis net so you can grow some for yourself. Let’s work on that this winter. As for your tomato bushes not growing or producing as much as mine, let me remind you that you play with container gardening. I grow in the DIRT. Big difference.

      1. A little manure mixed with the dirt never hurt anything either…I agree on the audacity. Although she was kind enough to try to find some manure for your garden, when I offered to bring her some pig poo in a bucket, she refused…

        1. Glo – the girl won’t mess with dirt. Why did you ever think she’d take on pig poo? I don’t want any pig poo in my garden, either. Rabbit or chicken would do fine, tho. And she is way past audacious. I never was good with algebra but she’s audacious to some kinda higher power.

      2. I PLAY and you GROW? What nerve. I think I did pretty good this year and you need me to make sure your veggies are up to standard so, yes, I am a little picky about what you GROW in your garden. Bring on those big cukes.

      3. Well thank you for making me become somewhat of a farmer. Now that I have one crop under my belt I can rule the world. Anything is possible.

        1. Dear Bucket Farmer – I got you this far and I’m gonna keep working on you. Gonna take you shopping at the dollar store next spring for some garden gloves. Gotta get you some clippers, too. Before you know it, I’ll have you with a tiny plot over by the shed in the corner of your back yard. There’s nothing like the feeling that you can provide for yourself right at the soil level.

  3. Have you seen my rear-end? There aren’t a whole lot of things I don’t eat. But I gag if tea crosses my tongue. Ask my sister, she switched our drinks at least a thousand times growing up. It always ended the same way…with me scrubbing my tongue with a rag trying to get rid of that disgusting taste.

  4. I don’t think so. I don’t like dirt. I don’t even walk in the grass without shoes on. Playing in dirt does not relax me, it actually makes me tense up just thinking of what has slithered across the dirt or what is in it. Just gives me the heebeejeebees. I’m just not farmer material.

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