Seed picks for my 2021 Garden (Cool Season Crops)

by Becky

On my Instagram a few weeks ago, I shared that I was organizing my seeds. I was surprised that I had so many requests as a result of that for a video showing what I would be growing this year. 

As I tried to think that through, I realized it would probably be a very long video (I have a LOT of seeds). Instead of doing a video and losing everyone’s attention about two minutes in as I show every seed packet, I figured a written list would be a lot more digestible. And a nice bonus is that it has all the links to where I buy everything.

I did this same thing last year, you can find my 2020 Seed Picks for Cool Season Crops HERE and Warm Season Crops HERE. I have received feedback that it was helpful. So here we are again with some old favorites, some seeds I’m still testing for success, and some new seeds I’m excited to grow for 2021. 

You’ll notice that about 95% of my seeds are open pollination. While I don’t necessarily find anything wrong with hybrid seeds, my goal has always been self-sufficiency and I like to have the option to be able to save seeds.

Each of these varieties is linked to where I purchased my seeds. I purchase seed from a few companies that I trust. I will buy from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, and occasionally from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange or

Psst…There is still a large increase in seed orders and therefore many products are out of stock. It has motivated me to save more of my own seeds and I encourage you to do so as well if you have space and time. This BOOK is one of the best out there with information on seed saving. 


Still Testing

Chioggia (55 days)

Cylindra (54 days)

This is DeCicco Broccoli- I harvested in January


Still Testing

DeCicco (48 days)

Waltham 29 (85 days)

New This Year

Spring Raab (42 days)

Brussel Sprouts

New this Year

Long Island Improved (100 days)

Hilton Chinese Cabbage- One of my very favorites!


My Favorites

Golden Acre (62 days)

Red Express (62 days)

Chinese Cabbage Hilton (70 days)

Still Testing

Brunswick Cabbage (90 days)

St. Valery Carrots


My Favorite

St. Valery (70 days) This one is incredibly sweet and maintains its crunchiness when grown as a fall crop. 

Black Nebula (70 days) 

New this Year

Oxheart Carrot  (70 days)Danvers 126 (70 days)

Chinese Pink Celery


My Favorite 

Chinese Pink (90 days) Very easy to grow! Flavor is different than other celery but it’s worth it to grow because it’s much easier than other varieties.

New this Year

Tango Celery (80 days)

Yellow Heart Winter Choy


My Favorites

Mizuna (20-50 days)

Arugula (20-50 days)

Claytonia (40 days)

Bok Choy Purple Lady (45 days)

Tatsoi (40- 50 days)

Vates Collards (75 days)

Champion Collards (70 days)

Yellow Heart Winter Choy (45 days)

Mache or Corn Salad or Vit (50 days)

Genovese Basil


My Favorites

Genovese Basil


Green De Belleville Sorrel


Dill Bouquet

Slo Bolt Cilantro

Holy Basil

New this Year

Amethyst Improved, Purple Basil

Thai Sweet Basil

Still Testing

Parsley Giant of Italy

Moss Curled Parsley

Bee Balm Lemon

Mix of Blue Curled Scotch, Dazzling Blue Kale, Scarlet Kale, and Nero Di Toscana


My Favorites

Blue Curled Scotch (50-60 days)

Nero Di Toscana (55 days)

Scarlet (55 days)

Still Testing

Dwarf Siberian (50 days)

Vates Kale (50- 60 days)

Dazzling Blue Kale (60 days) Will use up the seed packet this year and probably won’t purchase again. This one was less productive than my favorites but really pretty.

Little Gem, Winter Density lettuce, and Merlot


My Favorites

Little Gem (50 days)

Winter Density (55 days full size)

Rouge D’Hiver (48- 65 days)

Mesclun Mix (28 days baby)

Still Testing

Merlot (35-50 days)

Crisp Mint lettuce (60-65 days)

Cimmaron (60-70 days)

Pirat Butterhead Lettuce (55 days full size)

Rossa di Milano (left) and Valencia (right)


(These are definitely grown based on region. For more information on what kind of onions to grow in your area click HERE)

My Favorites

Valencia (120 days)

Rossa Di Milano (110 days)

Zebrune Shallot 

Still Testing

Gladstone Onion (110 days)

Sugar Snap Peas and Wando shelling pea


My Favorite

Sugar Snap  (58 days)

Oregon Sugar Pod II (snow pea)

Still Testing 

Wando (shelling pea 68 days)

Kelvedon Wonder (shelling pea)

New this Year

Royal Snap II 

Green Arrow Shelling Pea (68 days)

Chitting Potatoes- White Kennebec is closest, Yukon Gold in the center, and Adirondack Blue farthest


My Favorites

Kennebec (mid-season)

New This Year

Yukon Gem (Mid-season) I usually grow Yukon Gold and love that variety but thought I would try Yukon Gem because according to the description it’s supposed to be more disease resistant.)

Chinese Red Meat Radish


My Favorites

Chinese Red Meat

Japanese Minowase Daikon

Schwarzer Runder Radish

Watermelon Radish 

Pink Beauty Radish 

Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach


My Favorite

Bloomsdale Long Standing  (48 days)

Still Testing

Giant Winter (50 days)

Winter Bloomsdale (45 days)

New this Year

Equinox (29 days)

Purple Top White Globe Turnip


My Favorite

Purple Top White Globe (40- 50 days)

Still Testing

Scarlet Ohno Revival (50 days)

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Brenna O January 26, 2021 - 9:27 pm

I’m curious to know how you keep the different cultivars from cross-breeding when you’re keeping seed. In my small garden, taking account of rotating crops by families the similar cultivars would have to be planted near one another.

theseasonalhomestead January 27, 2021 - 1:13 pm

It does make it more difficult when you have a small garden but there are quite a few plants that don’t readily cross and are easy to save seed from that you can get started with. Any type of bean, lettuce, arugula, flowers, tomatoes, kale, asian greens, and potatoes are a few.

When it comes to squash, melons, cucumbers, those do cross more easily and you can tape flowers that haven’t opened yet but will open very soon and the next morning hand pollinate the flowers and tape them closed again so there is no cross pollination.

Pepper seeds are also easy to save but if you grow different types they will cross. To get around this I sow my sweet peppers first and then about a month later will plant the jalapeños. You can also stagger harvests from other plants- I also do this with corn.

Anyway, I hope that helps a little. Seed saving is something that I am still learning quite a bit about myself.

Amy Taye January 27, 2021 - 5:17 pm

It might be nice to have a printable version of this list. I know I’m old school, but I like to have a hard copy to jot notes on while I’m looking through catalogs etc.

theseasonalhomestead January 28, 2021 - 12:48 pm

Good idea Amy! I’ll have to make one, it would be good to have it for myself too 🙂

Seed Picks for my 2021 Garden (Warm Season Crops) - The Seasonal Homestead February 10, 2021 - 1:56 pm

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