Wednesday, April 20, 2011

10 days and 10 inches

It has been almost 2 weeks since my last pictures. We have re-done the light stand and added another shop light because things are growing so fast. I am going to have to move much of this out to the cold frame very soon or we will be way over grown. The tomatoes are already growing into each other and the squash have blocked out the light completely.

The squash plants are now 1-12 inches high. I actually see buds forming on them, we may have squash blossoms to eat even before we get them outside.

The tomatoes have all been transplanted taking all their height from them (the stems of tomatoes will grow more roots so we bury as much as we can) and they are still 4-8 inches tall and they need to be separated so that the roots don't grow from one peat pellet to the next.

Here you can see more tomatoes and the peppers and tomatillos are about 10 inches tall too.Amazingly in about 10 days, we have gone from 1-2 inch seedlings to 10-12 inch seedlings. I never would have thought we would get an inch a day indoors under shop lights.

Time to get the cold frame going so we can move these guys out of here. I also think I am going to have to buy more cookie sheets to hold all of these, maybe those all-a-dollar ones will work.

Raspberries should be here any day, I need to get started on those boxes!

Friday, April 8, 2011

What We're growing - Tomatoes

Since we have some more variety this year it seems like we should have something in here about each of these items.
  • Omar's Lebanese ~ 80 days, Indeterminate, regular leaf, moderate to high yield of huge flattened pink beefsteaks, 18-24 oz, 6" in diameter. "Excellent [mild] flavor"
  • Dutchman ~ 80 days, indeterminate, regular leaf, 1-3 lb pink beefsteak, excellent taste, solid flesh, few seeds.
  • Djena lee's Golden Girl ~ 71 days, indeterminate, regular leaf, good producer of small (3-6 oz) smooth slightly elongated yellowish-orange fruit with very good rich and tangy flavor.
  • Golden Sunburst ~ 80 days, indeterminate, regular leaf, good producer of 3 inch yellow fruit, almost like a large cherry tomato. Great for salads.
  • Aunt Ruby's German Green ~ 85 days, Indeterminate, regular leaf, large green beefsteak type fruit average 1 lb or more and have a sweet spicy flavor
  • Black Russian ~ 80 days, indet., regular leaf plant with a good yield of 8-12 oz red-black fruit with very good flavor.
  • Cherokee Purple ~ 75 days, Indeterminate, regular leaf, dark purple beefsteak fruit, 6-16 oz, outstanding producer, excellent taste, no core. Clear skin and some green shoulders that do not affect texture or taste. This was by far our favorite tomato a few years ago. My mouth is watering for a BLT just thinking about it.
Notably missing from this list are:
  • Kellog's breakfast
  • Cherokee green
  • Ananas Noir
Although we saved seeds for all of these, the fire last year damaged them, and they are all gone. We will have to save seeds this year, and look forward to what we want to try next year.

One note on the rogue Potato Leaf tomato from this year, if we undertake some stabilization experiments we will need to enlist your help because we will want to grow at least one hundred of just this variety over the next few years to make sure we can get it to come I will be giving away a lot of tomato plants :-)

What happens when you go away for a week

So I spent a week in the UK, and this is what I have come back to:

The tomatoes are going great guns. We have some unexpected potato leaf heirlooms, want to see what these are, we may have a new variety to try to stabilize over the next few years. We planted 6 heirloom varieties from a single packet (don't know what each seed was) but none of them should have been PL so this is pretty exciting. PL plants are supposed to be hardier, the most famous PL heirloom is Brandywine. All the rest are Regular Leaf so we will have to wait to see how our numbers break down.

These squash plants are getting too tall for the lights, I will have to rig something better up. These are mostly yellow straight neck and butternut squash (mmm that makes me want soup).

Here are the tomatillos, pumpkins and watermelons. I am amazed that even teh watermelons are taking off, Steph is excited about those.

It is amazing how fast things grow, I was only gone a week and look at all we have coming up.
Next year, I think I will wait a few weeks on the squash, only the tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos and melons will go in this early.