Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back! Ready to sow.

Finally back from the summer's travels and ready to get going. This first attempt will be focused on finding out which ones grow well in the basement and which varieties we enjoy eating. I'm not sure how long the plants will last, but once they've gone by, I'll select two or three varieties and then try growing them and varying some of the inputs - water, fertilizer, etc to see what works best. The ten I'll be growing this time are:
  1. Mortgage Lifter - 2.5 - 4 lb fruit, pink red and meaty. 80 days until first fruit
  2. Steak Sandwich Hybrid - 10 oz. 70 days until first fruit.
  3. Burpee's Summer Choice - Purportedly "super-sweet". 73 days until first fruit.
  4. Big Boy Hybrid - Up to 2 lbs. 78 days until first fruit.
  5. Fourth of July Hybrid - 4 oz fruits. 49 days until first fruit!
  6. Early Girl Hybrid - 4 to 6 ozs. 52 days until first fruit.
  7. San Marzano - Looks like Roma, a bit more elongated. 82 days until first fruit.
  8. Super Sweet 100 Hybrid - Extra prolific. 70 days until first fruit.
  9. Red Cherry, Large Fruited - We have these in the outdoor garden, very prolific. 70-75 days until first fruit.
  10. Super Beefsteak - 1 lb. 80 days until first fruit.

If this list is correct, we'll have our first underground tomatoes Oct 4. Curiously, the San Marzano seed packet lists 82 days to maturity if planted indoors and 95-120 if planted outdoors. I assume they mean in a greenhouse. It will be interesting to see if the basement garden follows the spec for "indoor" plants.

Most of the seed packets suggest the seeds will sprout in 7-10 days. I'm going to start them in peat pots with the following layout. Each pot will get two seeds of the chosen type. Once they sprout, I'll pick the hardiest one and snip off the straggler. Once they have a little growth on I'll transfer the more robust seedling to the pail where it'll live out it's life.

Now that the seeds have been planted, I placed the peat pot tray in a glass baking dish and covered it with plastic wrap (with a few vents cut in it). I'll put it someplace dark and let it sprout. Might as well put it down in the basement so it can get used to its new home.

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