Yesterday I needed to pick up an Rx in town and looked at the seeds at Walmart. Vince needed something from the hardware store and we stopped by there. We stopped by Atwoods on the way home to get a few more five gallon buckets and they not only had a ton of seeds but I think it was the Burpee seeds were 40% off. I’ve heard that seeds might be hard to find this year and they may be as it gets closer to time to plant but right now, everyone seems to have more seeds than I’ve ever seen before in stores.
My favorite tomatoes are indeterminates, except for San Marzano, which I plant for canning. Last year, all my tomatoes did so poorly and I got so few, that there were none to can. I did get a few freeze dried but we probably had less tomatoes than I’ve ever had. It got hot so very early in the season and I think that was the problem. Most everyone I’ve talked to around here had problems with their tomatoes. So, I’m thinking I’ll plant determinates in buckets and indeterminates in the raised beds and see what happens. Can’t be any worse than last year. All that to say . . I was only looking at seeds because I wanted to see some of the determinate varieties, since I have only bought San Marzano in the past.
Today I spent almost the entire day working in the greenhouse. Here’s a view from the outside looking in.
We have four barrels – one in each corner, except one started leaking and had to be drained and removed but Vince is waiting on another barrel to replace the leaking barrel. They serve two purposes: (1) they are full of water which will heat up during the day and hopefully keep the greenhouse somewhat warm at night and (2) they provide weight to keep it from blowing over. It isn’t very heavy and it isn’t tied down and we get some pretty strong winds here. They take up room but Vince was saying he thought he could get by with just two barrels on opposite corners. I told him . . it doesn’t matter if there are four. I’ll still have enough room in the greenhouse to start more seeds than I can possibly plant in the amount of garden space I have.
We have plenty of shelves but Vince can’t find the box that has all the little snap pieces to hold them together so he ordered more and I think they’e supposed to be here Thursday.
We have this little bitty “greenhouse” that we had never used and we set it up inside the new greenhouse just to have shelves! It has four shelves and that was all I needed today.
On the top shelf, I planted 32 tomato seeds today. There are 16 San Marzano and then four of each of four different varieties.
There are Black Strawberry, Black Krim, Oregon Spring and Orange Accordion.
The Black Strawberry are larger than a cherry tomato but plenty small enough to stand outside and eat while I’m out there working. I think most of the full size tomatoes I grow are in the 8 oz. range and these are supposed to be in the 1 oz. range. They are super sweet and juicy.
The Black Krim are big tomatoes. The blurb on them says they get from 8 oz. to 16 oz. They’re my favorite tomato to put on burgers and sandwiches.
The Oregon Spring tomato is a new variety for me to grow. It’s determinate and is supposed to grow well in containers and be good for soups, sauces and ketchup!
Last is the Orange Accordion. This is another new one for me. They say this one can be as big as 20 oz. That would be nice. They also say it’s juicy, meaty and has few seeds. If it grows anything like the picture, it will make gorgeous tomatoes.
In the picture below, on the right . . those are all peppers. I think I counted 36 seed cups . . lots of peppers! There are jalapeno, cayenne, Cubanelle peppers, Carmen (some kind of sweet Italian pepper)
I’m not sure which ones are which but the white tubs – one has Mesclun lettuce mix. One has cilantro. I want to try to grow enough cilantro and parsley to freeze dry for the year. Same with the various peppers. The third tub is half kohlrabi microgreens and half basil microgreens. I LOVE basil and adding basil microgreens to salads and sandwiches . . heavenly!
In the second picture from the top, you see the row that has the round cups? Those are all sunflowers. I think I have four or five different times of sunflowers. The dirt guy when he was here with his little machine, made me a bed in the corner of the yard for the sunflowers.
The long tray to the left of the round cups has nothing planted. That’s where I’ll plant flower seeds . . maybe tomorrow, depending on what time the electrician gets done. I’ll have to bring all the plants cups into the garage at night since we have some lows in the 20’s and low 30’s. Once the power is hooked up tomorrow, I’ll be able to run a heater but it isn’t worth it when I can put them all in the garage, which is heated, and only about 10 steps from the greenhouse door. I will be ready for the time though, when the night temps stay warm enough that the plants can stay in the greenhouse at night. By then, I’ll probably be having to take them out in the day time because it’s too hot! Today, I think it got to nearly 80 outside and the inside temp in the greenhouse was 102. I was dying but with the power hooked up, we’ll be able to run the fan and it’s set on a thermostat so it will come on at whatever temp we set it. I’ll open the window in the door (the only window) when I get up once it starts getting warmer and then let the fan come on as needed. We can always put a floor fan in there if we need to blow more hot air out.
I am so ready to get that garden going but I know . . not before it’s time!!
I grew black krim tomatoes last year and while I ran into the same issues with tomatoes as you did, the ones I got were wonderful!
My current sprouts are:
– sweet chocolate peppers
– ozark giant peppers
– etiuda peppers
– mini snacking peppers
– riesenstraube cherry tomatoes
– sunrise bumblebee cherry tomatoes
– black krim tomatoes
– pink brandywine tomatoes
– spoon tomatoes (these were just planted, I got them as a free seed variety with an order at Baker Creek)
My best friend is going to trade me some of her super sauce tomato sprouts for some of my extras as well (supposed to get a quart of sauce per tomato?? Sounds crazy and will be a wonderful contrast with the spoon tomatoes). Plus I have lavender seedlings that are just starting to think about putting out their first true leaves. The two surviving lavenders that I started last year (a bad rainstorm took out most of the ones I had transplanted) are coming back but the ones from the store aren’t, so I’m hoping I can plant at least 5 more of the home grown ones this year to fill in in front of the house!
That’s an interesting lineup. If you think about it, please let me know how they all do. Let’s hope for a better year with our tomatoes this year.