If I were to order every "New & Exciting" seed that piques my interest, I wouldn't be able to pay the January taxes. That said, there are always one or two varieties from the preceding year that did not live up to expectations. This year there were three vegtables I wanted to replace.
The first was the Bodacious Corn. Don't get me wrong, Bodacious tastes fine and it canned and froze up well. The problem was the yield. The ears were just not large enough to warrent the amount of space it took up. I prefer corn with nice big 8+ inch ears, and Bodacious, although advertised as 8", ran more to five and six inches tops. This year we will be planting Yellow Northern Extra Sweet - a 67 day variety with ears supposedly running 9" plus.
The second new variety is a real shot in the dark. Last summer, between pre-electric fence deer and late blight we managed to harvest exactly zero tomatoes. We have always kept to a strict three year rotation and seen to it that our tomatoes and potatoes were kept well apart. Even so, we were clobbered. In the attempt to avoid a similar situation this year, we are switching to a type called Mountain Magic Hybrid. At $3.95 for just 10 seeds, they are expensive little buggers, tolerant to early blight and highly resistant to late blight. Now if I can just keep the seedlings from damping off...
Along with the change in tomatoes, this year we are dropping our old standby Red Pontiac in favor of the more blight resistant Kennebeck. We don't like Kennebeck as well, but better that than little or nothing for our efforts.
Lastly, we will be adding some Swenson Red grapes. Swenson, ripens up to 30 days before Concord. Since Concords have always been hit or miss here in zone 4, I am hoping the Swenson will give us a more reliable harvest.
One final note: You may need to look around a bit, but Walmat has 24" fluorescent grow lights, with the fixture, for less than $11 in the light bulb isle. That sure beats paying some seed company $85.00 and up, plus shipping for just the light and a crappy 2' stand. I made our stand out of scrap lumber and I believe it only took about 15 minutes - total savings, $64.00!