Introducing My Bountiful Best

This year I teamed up with Ferry-Morse Seed Company to offer my top 10 seed varieties that I’m calling my “Bountiful Best.” You can find these seeds at any garden center. Just look for the display with my picture. I selected these based on their easy care nature and abundant production. Many are suited to small spaces and even containers.

Give these varieties a try and you’ll be in fine fettle for serving dishes made with homegrown ingredients.

  1. Basil ‘Genovese’ – If you only grow one herb, make it basil. This variety has large leaves that are full of flavor. Summer garden.

  2. Cucumber ‘Lemon’ – Unusual round, yellow cucumbers. Their sweet flavor makes them good raw, but you can pickle them too. Good for small spaces. Summer garden.

  3. Cucumber ‘Spacemaster’ – Large 7 to 8 inch fruits are borne on compact plants. All you need is a 12-inch pot to grow ‘Spacemaster’. Summer garden.

  4. Peas ‘Cascadia Sugar Snap’ – This pea has multiple personalities. Harvest early to use as a snow pea or matured pods are delicious snap peas. Spring garden.

  5. Radish ‘French Breakfast’ – A scarlet and white radish that is as beautiful as it is flavorful. Spring garden.

  6. Arugula ‘Roquette’ – One of my favorite salad greens and so, so easy to grow. Spring and fall garden.

  7. Squash (Zucchini) ‘Black Beauty’ – Every garden needs at least one zucchini plant! Dark green fruits are tasty sautéed or used in baked goods. Summer garden.

  8. Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’ – The vegetable garden isn’t always the most colorful spot, unless you grow ‘Bright Lights.’ Neon pink, orange and red stems. Spring and fall garden.

  9. Tomato ‘Jelly Bean Hybrid’ – This indeterminate, grape tomato produces abundant fruits with delicious flavor. Summer garden.

  10. Tomato ‘Roma VF’ – These are meaty tomatoes with few seeds. Perfect for sauces, salads and salsa. I selected this variety because it is resistant to both verticilium and fusarium wilt. Summer garden.

24 Responses to Introducing My Bountiful Best

  1. Chiot's Run says:

    These are all great options – I’ll definitely be telling my friend who want to get into gardening this year to look for these. You’ve covered all the basics for a delicious edible garden!

  2. Cheryl says:

    I hope those ‘Jelly Bean Hybrid’ tomatoes are available in southern Wisconsin this spring! Our grandson loved the Sweet 100′s that we grew last summer & loves the cherub tomatoes I buy at the store during the winter. Most fruits & vegetables are his candy. I just hope his good food choices continue into adulthood!

  3. Jinny says:

    Hi Allen, I can hardy wait to get my seeds started but then I think about the squirrels that probably enjoyed more of our tomatoes last year than we did. Then I get a little discouraged. Do you have any magic tricks to help keep them away? I live in the city and I never see rabbits but way to many very bold squrriels. Help please. Thanks.

    • We had squirrel problems too last year. Someone told me that they were after the moisture in the tomatoes. Try bird netting or chicken wire. You can also spray the tomatoes with animal repellent. Just make sure it’s safe to spray on food crops. A hot pepper spray might work too.

      Some folks set up alternative food and water sources for squirrels to keep them away from the garden and bird feeders. – Mary Ellen

  4. Judy Knipfer says:

    When is best time to begin planting vegetables and roses in Greenville, SC I want to get an early start but not too early because of frost danger….

  5. Mary Ferson says:

    My sister always plants peas on March 15th in Massachusetts,….and they always survive! Mine don’t. Is there any particular method I’m neglecting?

  6. Joan says:

    No eggplant?

  7. Mary says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that Bright lights spinach is a true winner. It produced for me in SE Michigan all summer and fall. It is delicious and amazing.

  8. Linda L. says:

    I’m looking at my seed packets, and I have the Genovese basel to try this year. I was really excited to find the Cherokee purple tomato locally. I have already marked my frost date on the calender and counted back to start my seeds indoors. Today has been so nice outside that I cleaned up the barn and the yard. I am looking forward to spring and all the information that everyone here shares about their plants. Thanks for all the information that you share with everyone Allen. We all appreciate it.

  9. I’ve been recently confined to a wheelchair therefore my granddaughter and I are planning a container gaden this year. Flowers are easy but we would really like to try some veggies. Which of these bountiful best would you recommend?

  10. Paul Lankford says:

    Enjoy your squirrels and birds–and if you are very lucky, a possum, too. All of these creatures live on the planet with us, and we must learn to love them and embrace them, too, because we have taken the land away from them. I celebrate my critters, and I find that if I plant lots and lots (or pots and pots) of things I love, then there is always enough for me and for my feathered or furry friends. I was the perfect preppie during the 1960′s when I was a high school and college student. Now that I am in my own 60′s (but still looking good and dressing well most of the time), I am finally embracing all the life that lives in my yard and garden with me. Don’t worry. Smile. It takes so much less energy. Happy Spring! Happy Gardening! Watching Allen’s shows and reading his books and listening to his wisdom have all changed my life.
    Paul in Virginia

    • Wise words Paul! Thanks for posting. – Mary Ellen

    • Mary says:

      My 3 acres and the surrounding wilderness neighborhood are covered with critters and birds. I love it. But, sharing my gardening bounty has been difficult, especially because of droughts. Then, I read an article about using chicken wire as a preventive. No, not over or around the plants. I till up “sidewalks” around and through my garden spots. Then, I lay chicken wire on the dirt on these paths – frequently using rocks to keep the wire in place. Too, I have often put newspaper under the wire, thus killing off weeds and grass and avoiding a mowing problem. I have only lost two catalopes in the past 2 seasons. I am sure that “my” big racoon leaned way, way over to harvest them! This year, I am going to leave the wire in place, as I intend to fence my gardens in the near future. The original cost of chicken wire is expensive, but well worth the investment, as I must try and feed myself as much as I can. But, I do not really mind sharing with my wilderness friends! Last year, I really enjoyed the butterflies, but cannot help but wonder … where have all the bees gone?

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