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Unusual Varieties...any Suggestions? — The Grow Network Community
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Unusual Varieties...any Suggestions?

greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

One of the things I enjoy about home gardening is we get to try all kinds of unusual varieties which we would never find in a store. To me, it's fun and exciting to watch these types start to grow and mature.

Sometimes the taste or flavor isn't exactly what I could have wished for but sometimes there is also major successes.

One of those successes was the Trombonchino. It is a summer squash without all the bad habits (the evil squash vine borer) of zucchini. It looks completely different but really just tastes the same. It also has a really long window of harvest without it losing its excellent flavor and taste. You can harvest it anywhere from about 4-6" all the way up to 3-4 feet.

So let me know if anyone else has had any major successes with unusual varieties they have grown and why. I'd really like to try some of them also.


  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,024 ✭✭✭

    Wow, that is a nice one! Doesn't look like it gets consumed with seeds like a large zucchini.

    I too will be watching -- there may be the perfect plant to help me start my rock/desert-to-garden conversion. (I just looked at my last sentence and realized that it described my soil -- eroded sandstone: pretty, red and not fertile.)😶

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl yes you are right. It is one of the advantages of the trombonchino. The seeds are only in the bulb at the very end so you have that whole long skinny neck to work with for your cooking. Even the end bulb isn't overrun with seeds as bad as a large zucchini. The other thing I like about it, many times I do not peel my zucchini and the trombonchino skin stays thinner and more supple. An older zucchini gets too thick it almost has to be peeled I think.

    And compost...compost...compost. Gotta start dumping it onto your garden area consistently. You can start building up your soil so at least it will be workable for you. It took me about 3 years to get my garden beds built up enough I could grow in all those rocks I had.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,024 ✭✭✭

    @greyfurball Yes, I have started the "forest" approach to certain areas of my yard, waiting on my husband to select the piece he needs for an a/c compressor. Our acre is primarily native desert plants and treasured for its natural beauty.

    I am currently evaluating existing landscape plants, climate, sun/shade and native animals and insects as I develop my plans to develop garden areas. Even succulents have died on me here. Most of my choices will involve sun scald vs too much shade. It will take me at least a couple more years to find a viable solution for limited gardening.

    In the meantime small pots are going, maybe to grow bags. I could break out the Aerogardens too.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl when you do have a section of in-ground or a raised bed, how about giving a sun shade fabric cover a try.

    Many of the desert people I see in several other groups I follow have stated they now have luck growing during the continuous 100+ temps because they use shade cloth for their garden. It allows some light thru it but it blocks much of the sun's strong rays.

    That sounds like it might work for you. And the advantage, you can just build one bed at a tie starting in the location of your choice.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 378 ✭✭✭

    I love tromboncino squash! I found it to be much denser than zucchini, which I like.

    I'm not sure if all of these qualify as unusual, but they were all new to me when I tried them:

    1. Melungeon pole beans- grew these the last two years. I have been very happy with the flavor

    you'll have to scroll down to see them. Also grew the Red eye fall on the same page. Also excellent flavor, but earlier and shorter season.

    2. Hamburg parsley root- From what I hear its common in Europe, but I'd never had it or seen it for sale until I grew it myself

    Mine have not looked that impressive, but then I don't do a lot for them. Basically it's like having parsley on top and parsnips below. Now be forewarned that the root is not as sweet as a parsnip, and the leaves are stronger/coarser than regular parsley. That being said, I think both are quite passable for a plant that is so easy to grow. Germination is sporadic, but after that, keep them watered and weed occasionally, and you should be fine. I see some sources say that the leaves are not worth eating. To which I say "Ha! You should try the chimmichurri I made with them."

    3.Yardlong bean- I have grown the green and the red noodle varieties. Both were delicious. Both were relatively easy to grow, but attracted ants. I don't mean to farm aphids either. The ants will eat them. I researched it at the time, and lots of people on the internet told the same story.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba I like the selection shown with that "The Sample Seed Shop". It looks like they try very hard to find and keep some of the old lost varieties still available. Kudos to them for giving a care to this tradition.

    As for the yardlong beans - you mention they attract ants. I'm curious, do you commonly have an ant problem in your garden/yard because I do. I heard if you have a lot of Eastern pine trees growing on your property... you also grow ants. Well, I can attest to that.

    People always remind me ants are a beneficial in most gardens (they help pollinate) but in my garden, they are just plain destructive. So it sounds like that one is out.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 378 ✭✭✭

    To answer your question @greyfurball , I grew the yard long beans at my old house in Maryland. That was 10+ years ago. I might have grown them once since we moved, but I'm not certain. I don't think I had any other vegetables attacked by the ants, unless it was something already spoiling.

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