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Welcome to Cooperative Extension in Franklin County

University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Franklin County gives local residents access to the resources and expertise of the University of Maine. Through educational programs, publications, and events, UMaine Extension delivers unbiased, research-based information to Franklin County citizens. We can answer your questions on a wide array of topics. To find out how we can help you, browse our site, or contact us.

Got Seed  Catalogs?

Got seed catalogs

Here are some tips when trying to sift through all those descriptions in a seed catalog:

  • How much space do you have in your garden? If space is limited, consider bush-type pumpkins or squash versus long-vined varieties. Pole beans produce prolifically and take up much less space than bush beans plus you don’t have to bend to pick them.
  • Do you prefer to not spray pesticides in your garden? Choosing varieties with disease resistance makes sense for a low-input garden.
  • Choose varieties that mature in a short amount of time if your garden gets hit by frost early in the fall. This is especially important with melons, squash and pumpkins.
  • Choose for taste and quality. Look for melons with high Brix readings (sugars); beans that are tender; though quality in the garden also means harvesting before vegetables are over mature.
  • All catalogs are not created equal. Some have more information than others. This will help you to choose a variety that is right for you.
  • Refer to your garden notes or start keeping notes to pick varieties. Which varieties worked well for you? Which tasted great? Which produced a lot? Which succumbed to disease?
  • Refer to University variety trials. Although usually intended for commercial growers, good information can be gleaned from trial reports. Use the search words: University, trial and the vegetable you are looking for.
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