what i grew in 2018 in my garden

Farm & Garden

January 30, 2019

ok i finally have tracked down last years seed orders so I can tell you what I started from seed in my 2018 garden which i’m just going to declare my best garden to date. I had someone start my seeds in their commercial green house and i split them with some friends because lets face it one packet of seeds has the potential for like 300 plants. a few friends and i started a little club and ordered seeds together and split the flats up come spring time. i’m in the hunt for a new seed starter otherwise it’s back to my bathroom to seed start (easier to water that way but super annoying). over the years i’ve learned what grows well here in both my climate and soil type and what doesn’t. for example, i can grow zinnias as tall as me but i can never get my stock or poppies to bloom. last year i decided was the last year attempting those plants. i’m going to let the poppies grow where they may (they seem to pop up anywhere but where i plant them) but i’m cutting my loses with stock. 2018 was the final year i let them take up space.

ok so here is the seed lists from baker creek that i ordered.

LG109 Chinese Noodle Bean – SUPER fun to grow. i planted about 6 of these by a trellis and picked them right up until frost. they taste like a green bean and are great in stir fries!

FL274 Tornado Red Cockscomb – beautiful flower. thick stems and giant blooms. they looked stunning in fall arrangements and produce a ton of seeds.

FL722 – Lemon Queen Sunflower – I put these seeds directly into the ground. Whatever the deer didn’t get grew to about 6-8 feet tall. My bees were all over them!

BS106 – Red Brussel Sprouts – a bust couldn’t get them to grow properly. Not planting this year and depending on the farmers markets instead.

TL101 – Tomatillo Purple – I go back and forth with these. The plants get huge like tomatoes and need to be caged. However the plants are hit or miss. one year I’ll have huge tomatillos in the husks and this past year they never grew past the size of a grape. I might give one or two plants a go because I love making salsa verde with them.

FL749 – Titan sunflower – another great direct sow sunflower. the blooms were so big some of the plants toppled over in the fall.

BN126 – Dragon tongue bush bean – these been was a bit over crowded by the noodle bean. I don’t think I gave it a fare shot at growing. the beans that did make it were stunning in color and delicious.

AM134 – Hop Red Amaranth – a favorite of mine to grow. The plants get huge about 5 feet tall. blooms are gorgeous in bouquets and it’s easy to grow. Be prepared though you’ll have amaranth popping up everywhere but I just let it keep going because I like it 🙂

OK120 – Okra – I’ve grown okra a few years because the pods seem to grow within a few hours. However I cannot eat as much okra as a plant produces so i might be leaving that out this year. maybe

SN104 – Golden Sweet Snow Peas – I grew these early spring and they were the first edible other than herbs to be ready! Delicious dunked right into hummus or in stir fry.

GR132- Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry – Direct sowed these and now they pop up everywhere. fun to grow. I had high hopes of canning them but didn’t get around to it last year.

EG116 – Rotunda Eggplant – beautiful but not as hearty as the standard eggplant. Trying a different variety this year.

EG134- Turkish Orange Eggplant – I grow a few of these every year. The color is stunning but the yield is small because they take forever to grow.

FL105 – Giants of California Asters – They grew well but I wasn’t crazy about the neon colors.

GP107 – Blue podded garden pea – I grew these next to the gold sweets right into the ground. Stunning pod colors!

SSQ119 – Zucchini Lungo Bianco Squash – Great variety to grow. It grew to be giant until the weather peaked in heat. I bet I picked at least 60 lbs off four plants.

FL825 – Tall Orange Sunflower – Only a few made it past the deer but what did was a nice cut flower.

FL620 – Tall Deluxe Snapdragon – Grew fantastic in the garden. Stunning colors all summer long. Made great arrangements!

BN191 – Borlotto Di Vigevano Nano Bean – Complicated like it’s name but also was overshadowed by noodle bean. Might try again.

CU125 – Mexican Sour Gherkin – Growing again for sure. My favorite new addition for 2018. It grew thousands of little tiny watermelon looking cucumbers. Was an awesome salad cucumber. The only cuc I grew as well. Super fun and climbs trellis fast.

BN150 – Purple Dove Bush Bean – One of the only beans to escape the noodle bean! Very prolific and tasty!

FL920 – Spun Orange Marigold – I swear Marigolds are the only thing to keep rabbits out of my garden. I grew this variety because it looked prettier than the standard variety you find in typical greenhouses. It was pretty basic but did it’s job. Probably will just buy marigolds this year.


and most of my flowers came from floret. i’ve had a bit of hit or miss with the floret seeds. my poppies never turn out so i have given up on them for 2019. also my stock never bloomed but it’s all trial and error right? my snap dragons and pincushions were outstanding. here is my complete list of my seeds i grew last year from floret.

Dusty Miller – i was hoping this would grow longer for cutting but it never grew past decent sized short stemmed dusty miller. going to skip that one this year and try my luck with some pre started eucalyptus instead for filler.

China Aster – Apricot mix – loved this variety much better than the baker creek. very soft pretty color and medium to giant sized blooms.

China Aster Chamois Apricot – see above. the feelings are the same with this variety. i also loved that these grew up rather than out which allowed more space for others.

sunflower procut red – just a nice basic sunflower. blooms were small enough for cut table arrangements.

pincushion flower – pretty blooms that were similar to a carnation look. they grew very tall with thin stems. the blooms looked like starbursts.

snapdragon peaches n cream – this variety was beautiful in cut arrangements. the baker creek variety were very bold in color and these were a very light. a nice alternative to the never blooming stock (can you tell i’m still a bitter betty?)

snapdragon butterfly dark red – another beautiful color. some blooms were so deep that they almost black. they looked stunning with the amaranth and soft peaches n cream snaps.

amaranth mira – a fun addition to the crazy amaranth. these almost looked like dreadlocks. they were fun but huge so I am going to give the garden a break from this variety this year.

amaranth autumn touch – another fun addition to the amaranth family. the blooms were a bit smaller on this plant which made for nice table arrangements.

celosia flamingo feather – so much fun to grow! these grew huge almost like grasses. The blooms were all different sizes and looked stunning as cut flowers.

celosia pampas plume – another grass like type of celosia. grew huge and got about 40-50 blooms per plant at peak. it was constantly spouting off new flowers. I grew a half row which might have been a bit excessive. I couldn’t keep up with cutting. i’m hoping to have a few pop up around my compost pile because the seeds went everywhere!

celosia supercrest mix – my favorite variety of celosia. they were flat and small blooms but so many per plant and the color was like a beautiful sunset. everything from neon pink, to blush, to faint yellow. stunning.

carnation – had to give the carnation a whirl. i think my garden was just too much sun for these little guys. i did get a couple blooms per plant though.

love in a mist – african bride – these did not germinate for me. not sure why.

tomato red current – SUPER FUN to grow. the plants got about 5 feet wide and about another 5 feet tall. tomato worms loved them so i had to constantly keep an eye out but they were so fun for salads or for an interesting addition to cut arrangements.

zinnia – red lime – all my zinnias did awesome but this variety was a little too brown tinted for my taste.

zinnia – lime blush – a fun new variety in my garden varied in colors. it was hard to tell the difference between the lime blush and the lime.

zinnia – lime – pretty but tended to be a bit too neon. looked very similar to lime blush.

zinnia- aztec sunset – very pretty looked like mini sunflowers.

zinnia – zinderella lilac – these were stunning. i loved the soft pink. blooms ranged from tiny buttons to fist sized blooms.

zinnia – senora – another prolific pretty pink zinnia. large blooms about the size of my palm.

zinnia – zinderella peach- stunning just like the lilac. huge soft blooms.

zinnia oklahoma salmon – a classic beautiful peach bloom. ranged from blooms the size of my thumb to the size of my open hand.

zinnia benarys giant salmon rose – these were very similar to the zinnia oklahoma. I did not notice much of a size difference other than this variety had no “button” size blooms.

stock – buttercream – became full and bushy but never bloomed.

stock – apricot – became full and bushy but never bloomed.

strawflower – dragon fire – a super fun addition to the garden. the blooms had a hay like texture that were pretty fresh or dried.

strawflower – apricot mix – a softer version of the dragon fire. blooms were about the size of a quarter.

strawflower – silvery rose – see above

breadseed poppy – peony mix – did not bloom for me

foxglove dalmation peach – a gorgeous hearty flower that survived being smothered by my gherkin cucumbers

nasturtium – gleam salmon – a pretty vine. was not good for cuttings (at least not for me) but was tasty, peppery addition to dishes.


whew! that was a lot of seeds! i shared these with four friends so we each had a flat or two of each variety. this year i am going to try out more veggies than blooms in hopes of freezing and canning them for winter. i did save a bit of space to for farmers market plant finds since I can’t seem to stop myself from picking up a plant or two each time i visit. i hope this guide helps you a bit when shopping for seeds! remember a lot of this is based on climate. i find it super helpful to check in on the farmers almanac and i love using the program growveg.com for planning out space and companion planting.

to read more about my garden(s) check out

how to have a low maintenance garden

2017 garden

2016 seed starting

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  1. Morgan says:

    I am moving to a rental soon, an leaving behind my flower beds (cue tears). Any recommendations for what might grow well in planters? The rental will have a deck with a lot of southern exposure.

    • It’s so hard to leave an established garden! That was the only hard part about moving out of our first home. I have had excellent luck growing herbs in pots like lavender and chives. Eggplants and tomatoes grew grate in pots. There is a great variety of pea that grows in small pots I think it’s called “tom thumb” by baker creek. Also Zinnias grow everywhere !

Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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