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The Complete List of Vegetables I'm Planting this Year: 2020

Spring is finally arriving in northwest Montana as evidenced by nubs of leaves forming at the tips of my shrubs and green shards of tulips pushing up through the soil despite a remaining patch of ice. I discovered a frilly little pansy trying to bloom out in the herb bed yesterday, and I'm sure I let out an audible gasp of delight. Spring! I'm trying to remain pragmatic about the whole process though and not allow myself to get too giddy (I am wearing sandals inside the house and opted for a light blouse rather than a hoodie sweatshirt -it's time) because I'm still in the mountains and the forecast is calling for snow again this weekend. What's a girl to do? Well, plan out her vegetable garden - that's what! I've been busy planting starts in the greenhouse these past few weeks. Of course, not all vegetable crops do well as transplants, so I'll be sowing a number of varieties in a month or so. Our farm is located in Zone 5, and as a general rule I try to plant directly around Mother's Day. This seems to work out pretty well for me over the years. I keep thinking I should disclose how many years I've been gardening, but then recoil at the realization the number makes me appear older than I can possibly be. Perhaps I should be reading a blog about wrinkle abatement rather than soil amendment.

Anyway, I've had a number of friends reach out asking about seeds - with this pandemic it seems many seed companies and stores are sold out. I've also had a few questions from former students who are hoping to start their own gardens. I love that - a positive side to this whole ordeal - new gardeners! So, about procuring seeds. Unfortunately, I am unable to offer any advice on where to get seeds if you can't find any online. I imagine most garden shops were stocked before the lockdown and are considered an "essential" business; people do need to eat. So, tie that bandana around your mouth, grab a pair of gloves and go shopping! For me, I'm pretty well set. I have saved some of my own seeds which I gathered in the fall, and I also keep seed packets stored in a lovely tin in the garage where they won't freeze - allowing me to save over seeds from year to year. Let's face it. I love zucchini, but I don't need to plant all 50 seeds that came in the envelope, so by keeping my extra seeds in a cool, dry place I'm able to use one packet for several years. In fact, last year, I planted some seeds my grandmother gave me from her basement storage which were almost 20 years old. They still germinated! Oh the miracle of the seed! I am also a planner, so I purchased any extra seeds back in January. You know what they say about the early bird...

Ok, on to my big list of vegetable varieties I will be planting here in our homestead garden plot. I've been experimenting more the past few years with heirloom varieties (thank you Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for the inspiration). As much as I love growing beautiful flowers, the most satisfaction for me in gardening will always be growing edible things. Regardless of the normalcy of growing ones food in human civilization, it continues to fascinate me each year as plant babies burst forth from tiny specks of seeds. It is such an accomplishment to feed ourselves with produce from the product of our own love, time, and hard work. Not to mention if they taste great too! And of course, given our current situation (thus the seed shortage), it feels good and grounding to be relatively self-sustaining.

This list is made up of varieties that I have grown several times in the past and love and a few newbie varieties I'm excited to try. I am a no-fuss, low-maintenance kind of gal and I want easy veggies that can handle being harvested often without being babied. These are not all organic or even heirloom varieties. Many are hybrids because often a hybrid breeds the best production and resilience. Most of my seeds have been purchased from either Johnny’s Selected Seeds or Baker Creek.



  • Calima

  • Aquadulce Fava

  • Christmas Pole Lima

  • E-Z Pick Bush Beans


  • Chioggia (Bassano)

  • Early Wonder


  • Belstar

  • Imperial


  • Olds


  • St. Valery

  • Little Finger


  • Tendercrisp

  • Chinese Pink


  • Double Sweet

  • Peaches & Cream

  • Early Sunglow


  • Tendergreen Burpless

  • Chicago Pickling

  • Muncher

  • Richmond Green Apple


  • Rocky Top Lettuce Salad Mix

  • Bright Lights Swiss Chard

  • Buttercrunch

  • Baby Romaine

  • Monstruex De Viroflay Spinach

  • European Mesclun Salad Mix


  • Dwarf Siberian

  • Dwarf Blue Scotch


  • Round Tropea

  • Violet De Galmi

  • Stuttgarter

  • Farm store variety (I usually grab a bag from my local shop)


  • Super Sugarsnap

  • Tom Thumb


  • El Jefe (jalapeno)

  • King of the North

  • Jimmy Nardello Italian

  • Mini Bell Mix


  • Yukon Gold

  • Red Norland

  • Fingerling


  • Marina Di Chioggia

  • Cinderella

  • Musque De Provence

  • Baby Boo

  • Sugar Pie

  • Valenciano


  • Easter Basket Mix


  • Dunja Zucchini

  • Goldmine Yellow Squash

  • Butternut, Cucurbita Moschata

  • Honey Bear F1 Acorn Winter Squash

  • Mammoth Table Queen Royal Acorn

  • Olds Spaghetti Squash

  • Sweet Dumpling Delicata


  • Principe Borghese

  • Supersweet Cherry

  • The Dutchman

  • A Grappoli D'Inverno

  • Wood's Famous Brimmer

  • Cherokee Purple

  • Tommy Toe

  • Pink Berkley Tie Dye**

  • Galahad**

  • Sunrise Bumblebee

Phew! Time to drink a glass of ice tea! That’s a long list. I hope that you find some good and new things to grow this year. Figuring out which varieties to purchase can be intimidating when you are a beginner gardener.

For the most part, figure out what grows well in your area and what is a tried and true producer.

From the Red Barn,


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