Varieties and Seed Sources

What are recommended varieties?
We are tomato, cucumber, squash, and pepper fiends: flavor and quality come first, yield second. We can't stand supermarket tomatoes. Any tomato description that says "firm, good shipper, or long shelf-life" usually means a commercial variety for the supermarket....feels like a baseball, looks and tastes like a sponge. We also don't like specially bred greenhouse varieties. Our direct, hands-on experience has been that only heirlooms and certain modern hybrids will pass the test. These are always outdoor, field tomatoes.

Tomatoes: Supersonic, Ramapo, Scarlet Red, Granny Cantrell, Rutgers, Super Choice, Tappy's, Big Zac, Kellogg's Breadfast, Coustralee, Patano Romanesco, Mortgage Lifter, Omar's Lebanese, Delicious, Pruden's Purple, Super Steak, Brandywine, Big Rainbow, Pineapple, Manyel....to name a few. Many others are in trials right now. One thing about heirlooms: it is true that they possess the best flavors, but they are notoriously inconsistent in their yields.

Cucumbers: Most any will do. They are easy. You can grow the european greenhouse types that self-pollinate, or you can grow field types. We like the field-types best.

Squash Also easy with lots to choose from. The yellow and green zucchini types give alot of bang for the time and space. Long-season varieties produce alot of vegetation but not much fruit, and they end up clogging drain lines. But give it a try if you have the space.

Peppers: All kinds of bell peppers, both greenhouse and field types. Jalapenos, green chiles, poblanos, serranos....they all do phenomenally well. And the good thing is that they are compact enough that you can put 3 different kinds in a planter for variety.

Eggplant: These grow as persistently as weeds! When we grew in soil, eggplant was one of our most problematic garden vegetables. We had diseases, bugs, and low-yields. It is the opposite in The Urban Farm: eggplant is about the easiest vegetable to grow now, with yields going over 100 in our Japanese varieties.

Links to seed sellers:

Pinetree Garden Seeds
Tomato Growers
Henry Fields
Harris Seeds
Tomato Seeds
Totally Tomatoes
Heirloom Tomatoes
Burpee Seeds
Victory Seeds
Baker Creek Seeds
Botanical Interests
Johnny's Seeds
Texas Tomato Cages.....for the best tomato cages.

There are lots more. Google vegetable seeds. Nearly all the best tomatoes are heirlooms (but yield is inconsistent). But when it comes to squash, cucumbers, melons, and peppers the modern hybrids are very good.

*Results will vary largely according to water quality and user input. HydroSystems makes no guarantees. However, the potential for astounding growth and yields is inherent.