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"Gold Standard" varieties


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  • "Gold Standard" varieties

    Like most people, I have a limited amount of growing space and thus limit each crop to 2 or 3 different varieties.

    I have what I call "Gold Standard" varieties, ones that have good taste and good yield amongst other atributes. Some crops have 1, some 2 Gold Standard varieties and for others the search goes on.
    Rather than just keeping with the proven varieties I also trial new varieties each year in an attempt to "raise the bar" where I can.

    A few of my Good Standard varieties are as follows.

    Pumpkin..................Crown Prince
    Courgette...............Di Nice a Fruit rond, floridor, gold rush
    Onion set...............Sturon
    Shallot...................prisma, hative de niort.
    Red onion...............None good enough yet
    Sweetcorn.............Swift, Lark
    Red cabbage..........Rodeo
    1st early tattie.......Lady crystl, foremost
    main crop tattie......marfona, rooster, british queen.
    Beetroot................cylindra, boltardy
    Swede..................Bora, marion
    cherry tomato........tropical ruby, sungold
    Beefsteak tom........marmande, pink brandywine
    maincrop tom.........shirley, bloody butcher
    Plum tom..............,roma, incas
    Sweet pepper........lipstick, corno rosso, saved tesco finest sweet pointy pep hot cherry, saved varieties
    leek.....................Bleu de solaise, jolant.

    Do you do something siimilar, if so what are your Gold Standard varieties and why?

  • #2
    You wonderful Piggy!

    Although I'll happy try all sorts of varieties in years to come, having a point from which to start (as opposed to just sticking a pin in the catalogue - there are 15 varieties of carrot in one of the seed catalogues alone!) - is a great help!

    List duly printed out for future ref....

    I'm still mostly at the stage of 'wow - I grew that - it tastes FAB!', BUT Wellie kindly sent me 4 small potatoes of different varities for a taste test (I felt like a judge on Master Chef!), and the Rocket that I'm growing as a first early is distinctly bland compared to the Roosvaal and the Lady Crystl....

    Look forward to other grapes views on your list!

    I'm lovin' this!


    • #3
      PigletWillie that is a briliant list and most helpful. It is so difficult to decide which varieties to try and your list is a good starting place. I know soil conditions. personal taste etc will influence choice but you need to know where to begin. I have had a real problem with rust on garlic to will be looking for a resistant variety next year.
      May all our seeds germinate and grow



      • #4
        Good list!
        For early spuds I also like Lady christl but am also enjoying the flavour of Arran pilot this year.
        I've gone off runner beans but love climbing french - blue lake favourite so far for taste and texture of bean. (But I'm still trying new ones!)
        Courgette gold rush again and the good old fashioned zuchini - flavour (I know some people say it hasn't got any - but they've ruined their taste buds with chilli I reckon!) and yield.
        Carrot - I like early nantes. Again, taste.
        Onion - sturon sets. Like you I have tried red onions - best yield was red baron but they have been small and pathetic. If all my onions were like that I'd think it was me but no, just the red.
        Shallot - I like red sun. I get decent sized shallots from them and I like the taste and the pink blush. (Aaaahhh!)
        Radish - I go for the japanese mooli - April Cross, every time. They are impressively large, don't get slugged at all in my garden although the red do. I do like long white icicle though.
        Broadies - I've often grown aquadulce to get an autumn sowing in but up here it's gappy. This year I've used Bunyard's Exhibition - an old variety I've had before. I think they best flavour I had was from one of the Longpods - can't remember now (silver hair!) if it was Imperial or Masterpiece. The latter I suspect.
        I love kohl rabi too - it's not grown enough in my opinion and is a very easy veg to raise. Lanro is a mild white variety but I like the purple too.
        However, the phrase 'So many vegetables, so little time (and space)' comes to mind.
        Whoever plants a garden believes in the future. Updated March 9th - Spring


        • #5
          It would be great if a 'ticks in boxes chart' could be set up so that we can all add judgement!
          big ask I know, as we would have to add varieties to the list and be able to mark them.


          • #6
            Thanks, Flum - v helpful!

            I know what you mean, Headfry - but you'd only have to inclue grapes who had grown a number of varieties so they could put forward their 'best of'....or else you'd get newbies like me say 'oh oh! I've grown that one, it's really nice!' when the only thing I'm comparing to is shop bought - any home grown is going to taste better than shop bought!

            I would have said my Rocket new pots where the best thing in the whole wide world (as I'd grown them!) but it's not till you compare and contrast that you can make an informed decision for next time!


            • #7
              PW, from a newbie a huge thank you for that list! This year I've stuck with the old favourites I remember from my dad's days, until I learn a bit more and can start experimenting. I shall definitely be trying a few of your recommendations. If I can add though, that 'old favourites' lollo rosso lettuce, money maker toms, Prince dwarf beans, Cambridge Fav strawbs and White Lisbon spring onions are all doing me proud. Everything else has yet to get going enough to make an informed decision. I agree with Hazel as well tho, that anything I grow is amazing at the mo, so i shall definitely listen to those with far more knowledge and experience!!
              Life may not be the party we hoped for but since we're here we might as well dance


              • #8
                It's really interesting to hear what works for people and what doesn't. you can guarantee that on each list there will be ones with which you agree and also some which have been your biggest disaster! It's a good job there are so many varieties, I think.

                I grow mostly in containers using garden compost, organic fertilisers and no chemical pest control. A lot of the garden is in semi-shade. Quick maturing, small but productive plants are my aim. Bearing that in mind, then, my top varieties to date would be...

                Beetroot: Boltardy. Good strong, consistent growth.

                Broad beans: none. very small crops. the beans are fine, there are just never very many! (pots and in the ground)

                Broccoli (purple sprouting): Red Arrow (in the ground). Incredibly productive.

                Cabbage: Minicole & Protovoy. Quick, healthy, right size for me.

                Calabrese: Tiara. Quick and easy. Not massive heads but OK for me.

                Carrot: Amsterdam forcing. Perfect in pots. Not too much top growth wasting energy.

                Cauliflower: Candid Charm. Whilst Idol gave me quick, small heads, Candid Charm gives me bigger heads in the same space. Still surprised that they work so well in containers.

                Courgette: Parthenon. A parthenocarpic variety, each female fruit grows to a courgette without having to be fertilised - this was previously a problem for me. I don't only grow this variety. Grown in the ground.

                Cucumber: Rocky - totally changed my life 150 gorgeous mini cucumbers from 3 plants in a grow bag. Outdoors, I have found Burpless Tasty Green to be foolproof and tasty (in a large container).

                Lettuce: Salad bowl. Boring, but so easy. Lobjoits Green Cos for flavour.

                Potatoes: Jury's still out. Valor and Sante probably the best so far overall. International Kidney really did have the Jersey flavour - must do them again!

                Runner beans: Hestia. Dwarf, set well, productive for their size. You don't get great big long beans, but I don't have space to do the climbers, sadly.

                Sweetcorn: Sundance. Germinate well, good size cobs with soft, sweet kernels.

                Tomatoes: Still not sure. Sungold for the earliest crop. Tumbler for productivity. Flavour? No great shakes yet for me.
                Last edited by Cutecumber; 22-06-2007, 08:17 AM.


                • #9
                  Can I echo the comments above and say thanks for a great list! I'll definitely be keeping a copy and taking a few ideas for next year. I can't contribute my own yet as I'm still to harvest but gardners delight tomatoes taste a lot better than moneymaker!

                  If possible it would be great to see a gold, silver and bronze where you class them as excellent (do again), ok and poor (not worth it) respectivly? A few months ago I posted a question of which seeds people buy - specialist or DIY stores - and this has gone a long way to helping me decide what to do next year!


                  • #10
                    Hello Pigletwillie - I have printed your list and will keep it as a record with my own. Its always great to get new info from people who have grown the veggies ) I am new to Grapevine but have had an allotment in hertford for about 10 years. I love spending time on my allotment growing organic fruits and veggies and sharing information and laughter with like minded people. We are having our annuall BBQ this Sunday and we all cook a few different dishes and share these with each other and just spend a few hours eating, drinking and chatting. We also have a peoples vote for the best kept allotment (so fingers crossed) - Keep up all of your good hard work


                    • #11
                      Thanks for your list Piglet.Do you grow all your toms. in a greenhouse? I notice you have Shirley which is a greenhouse variety & wondered if some of your other choices would grow outside as I don't have a greenhouse(only tiny zip-up thingy!). I quite fancy 'Bloody Butcher as you & Lesley & some others have said it's a good variety, is it O.K. outdoors?
                      Into every life a little rain must fall.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for a great list Pigletwillie. Is the Crown Prince squash you grow an F1? I've seen it listed on the internet sometimes as an F1, sometimes not? If it is, does that mean you don't ever save the seed from crops?

                        Things that I've found easy to grow consistently are:

                        Lettuce, Little Gem and Tom Thumb
                        Radish French Breakfast
                        Potato Charlotte - fantastic yields and flavour
                        Khol rabi Purple Vienna
                        Cucumber Lemon
                        Snap Pea Oregon Sugar Pod
                        Last edited by muckdiva; 21-06-2007, 12:11 PM.
                        All at once I hear your voice
                        And time just slips away
                        Bonnie Raitt


                        • #13
                          • Asparagus...Gilnlym
                          • Artichoke....Camus
                          • Aubergine....Moneymaker
                          • Beans
                          • French .......Bluelake dwarf: totem(french)Purple queen (early crop)
                          • Runners.......celebration: trying this year-already cropping and excellent tender beans and pretty pink flowers. I was bored of Enorma.
                          • Broad.........A.Dulce and Suttons
                          • Beet...........Bolthardy
                          • Cabbage......Golden acre primoII fi, Hispi fi
                          • Brussels... ...Bedford filabasket. Purple Falstaff GYO's growing well -eaten by deer last year
                          • Carrot.........Early Nantes(young and sweet)New red itermediate & St valery are good for large roasters: lots on trial this year tho inc. sugarsnax,flyaway and autumn king
                          • Celeriac.........Niva(french)
                          • Courgette....Tosca f1 and Rond de nice
                          • Leek............Musselburgh,St Victor (french)
                          • Lettuce........Little gem, Rouge de grenobloise (french), Webb's wonderful
                          • Onion..........Senshui,Arctic...main: centuion(f1) and Paille de vertue(french)
                          • Parsnip........Gem, Cobham imp. marrow
                          • Parsley........Envy
                          • Pea.............Sugarbon and Early Onward
                          • Potato.........Early:Juliette,foremost 2nd: Anya (on trial)and main salad:Rattes
                          • Sweetcorn...Sundance
                          • Tomato.......Sungold,shirley
                          I can see we are going to have to edit our lists a bit as we go along. I have quite a few new varieties on trial this year so i have not included them yet until they get their APM(award of piglet merit)Goldstandard
                          Last edited by Paulottie; 22-06-2007, 09:43 AM.


                          • #14
                            Things which did well enough last year to grow again this year;
                            • Tomatoes - Sungold, crop well indoors or out.
                              Roma (plum), indoors or out
                            • Cucumber - Superbel, greenhouse (all female) baby cucumbers,prolific &
                              good flavour
                            • Courgette - Taxi, yellow variety, prolific & good flavour if picked small
                            • French Bean - Valdor, dwarf yellow. Not huge crops, but good flavour.
                            • Cabbage - Tarvoy (savoy). Stands well, tastes good, snails not keen
                              on it!
                            • Onion - Shakespeare (autumn planting). Only one bolted, good size

                            I'll do a 'things I won't bother with again' later, when I've checked the old seed packets (I'm a hoarder....I still have them...!)


                            • #15
                              The good thing about the list is that the varieties on it are only there until I find something that is better and that is why I grow the gold standard variety and trial 1 -2 others to compare.

                              I always try to use open polinated varieties and will mainly use them in my trials as most of the F1 varieties, whilst being very good are also very "similar" although there are exceptions, crown prince F1 and Shirley F1 being two noteable ones.

                              Do see what people recommend in your area, ask for a taste to see if you like them as flavour can be such a personal thing. Both crown prince and Bloody butcher were recommendations and they are now firmly embeded on the list.


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