Saturday, August 30, 2014

So many tomatoes

The community garden is flooding me with tomatoes. Here is a sample of the types I grew this year.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sungold wins the tomato race

Cucumbers are starting to come in. Not quite enough to make a batch of pickles yet. think I'll make a batch of cucumber-zucchini relish with the few cukes and the loads of zucchini I have so far. Will have to remember to post it, I fear last year's (delicious) recipe is lost to the ages.

About 10 Sungold so far with high hopes of many more to come.
Sungold = yum
 Yellow pear already showing a TON of green ones, so hopefully I'll have loads of those.
Yellow Pear. Currently Green Pear.
 Gooseberries are gone. Enjoyed them, few though there were. Although seem to be more each year. Maybe next year enough for some jam. Elderberries look great. In fact they're kind of blocking off the entrance to my fenced in garden, so I may have to prune/trellis/tie them up.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Zucchini Time

Over the past week and a half or two weeks I've hauled about 2 lbs, 5 oz of zucchini out of my plot. Given away quite a bit of that and eaten a LOT of zucchini. I've seen wormsign on my plants - little orange vine borer guys flying around. But the plants are still very healthy. I'm going to be very serious about succession planting this year and see how much zucchini I can get post-bugpocalypse. I've always happily grown Black Beauty, but Elite is producing fabulously well.

Oh, my first tomato was end of the first week in July. So far only Sungolds from the front patio.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Toodling right along

Every year I say I'll be so much more diligent. Every year. And yet every year I fall behind, plan poorly, do a fraction of what I wanted to. Ah well. I didn't plant all the tomato varieties I intended to, but I have a decent selection. Here's what the community garden looks like. My swanky new 20' x 25' plot.

The garden plot
8 varieties of paste tomatoes. I made a lot of spaghetti sauce last year. I was very happy with the Amish paste, they're a local heirloom and they do very well in the community garden. Everyone talks up San Marzanos as the pinnacle of sauce tomatoes, so those were well represented as well. Plus a Roma. My Roma seeds were old and didn't germinate well. I wanted to include them for comparison if nothing else.

The rest:

  • Cherokee purple - delicious if not prolific
  • Brandywine
  • Rutgers
  • 4th of July - Their main virtue is supposed to be that they produce early, but I got them in late. Still, they've always done well for me.
  • Plum Regal
  • Indigo Rose - Supposed to be dark purple!
  • Speckled Roman
Poor Tigerella didn't make the cut this year - didn't have seeds. Too bad, they'll be back though.

At home I'm doing cherry tomatoes. Right now I have four kinds in the dirt.
  • Black Cherry - love the look and taste
  • Sungold - Delicious and VERY prolific
  • Yellow Pear - Adds another color to the mix, supposed to be prolific.
  • Red Cherry large fruited - they always do well for me
First Sungold, plant is thriving on the front patio.

Totally dropped the ball on peppers this year. Not even growing jalapenos! I do have three kinds.

  • Capt Joe E. Parker - A New Mexico type
  • Long Cayenne
  • Capperino - A small round type suitable for stuffing
Yeah, definitely dropped the ball. Ah well. 

Eggplants were even worse, only ONE came up of the 16 or so I planted. Husk cherries were a total zero. Not one sprouted. Too bad, those were sweet and tasty, would have loved to make some jam or a pie or something. Maybe try harder on those next year.

My cucumber setup from the last post has not kept the weeds out. Top of the chore list is weeding that patch. Only a few came up.

Also planted green beans. Not many sprouted, and some critter has been at them. Initially thought it was a groundhog but now I'm thinking it might have been deer. Leaving the back light on, maybe they'll be afraid to come in that close to the house.

One nice surprise, last year's dill seeded itself. I found 3 nice plants in some two gallon buckets I had it in last year. Those are huge, but a bit spindly. Further investigation turned up about 10 tiny volunteers springing up amongst the cherry tomato plants in the fenced in garden in the back yard. Which gets me excited for pickling. Set up some more cuke seeds on wet paper towels, I need more of them if I want to be awash in cukes for pickling. Although a smidge late to start.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cheating the Last Frost Date

So I was pleasantly surprised when I went out to investigate the back of the fenced in garden. By the end of last year it was overgrown with weeds, mostly grass. I assumed it was going to be a real chore to weed it. But it all raked right up. It was crazy. I think the dead grass choked out the weeds this year. Nice break.

A few years ago I tried the three sisters in that spot and varmints got the corn, the beans failed to thrive and I got a smattering of squash. This year I'm trying cukes, zukes, and winter squash here. The fenced in garden is a little too shady for tomatoes to really be happy, but cucumbers did well in that area. As always I'm none too hopeful about the zucchini, but maybe I'll get a few before bugmaggedon.
Cucumber patch
 The seedlings in the basement are doing fairly well. There seem to be two batches - some have sprung up vigorously and are 4-6" tall and some at just sprouting, about an inch. The vigorous ones are:

  • Yellow Pear Tomato
  • Sungold
  • Amish Paste

Yellow Pear and Amish Paste

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Tomatoes Are Sprouting! Well, some of them...

So it looks like I'm having a dramatic demonstration of germination rates declining as your seeds age. I have some quite old seed packets - 5 yrs, maybe? - and some of them haven't come up at all. Others are starting to germinate. Sungolds, Yellow Pear, and Amish Paste are up. No sign of Red Cherry Large Fruited. Today I planted San Marzano, Rutgers, Brandywine, and 4th of July. Also Ping Tung Long eggplant and Husk Cherries.

Hello Sungold!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

That time again...

Tonight I planted some tomatoes in my basement.
  • Roma
  • Amish Paste
  • San Marzano
  • Yellow Pear (a pear shaped cherry)
  • Red Cherry Large Fruited
  • Sungold
Just a few favorites so far, and I will no doubt regret packing them so close together soon. I only had 5 Amish Paste seeds and those did well last year. I'll see if I can get a few more. Also need some black cherry, loved those.
It's a start!
Last year I was swimming in tomatoes from the Quaker community garden. Literally hauled out coolers full, made sauce, gave some away. I'll update with more pictures later. Maybe. Probably.

Oh, exciting news, I have a 20' x 25' plot this year! Room for loads of tomatoes. As before I think I'll grow the full sized tomatoes at the community garden and the cherries at home, they seem to do fine in huge pots.